The story about 5-year-old Mary Hamleton's abduction by Indians in 1867 is a tale stranger than fiction.

The mystery of what became of the lost child is only revealed in the book, “Good Medicine and Bad,” a collection of Kiowa oral history compiled by historian Wilbur Nye. (George Hunt, a Kiowa historian and interpreter assisted with the stories.)

Nye's book said that of three children taken during a Kiowa attack southeast of Graham, only two were returned to their father. When Sarina Myres returned from captivity, she said that the Kiowas murdered her half-sister. A Kiowa chief later confirmed that Mary was dead.

However, the Kiowa version of what really happened to Hamleton is very different. When a warrior learned that Mary was left alive, he returned to the oak tree, “rescued” her and took her to camp for his childless daughter.

The Kiowa gave the little Mary the name, To-goam," and greatly endeared herself by her fighting spirit and way with horses. She grew into a big-boned, tall woman whom the Indians said was as strong as a man. Although she was deeply tanned, her hair stayed light brown and her face still showed that she was white.

To-goam lived and died among the Kiowas her entire life. (Read the entire story in the Sunday, Aug. 25, edition of The Graham Leader.)