by Gary Humphreys
This is a true story told to me by my mother,
Maudie Belle McNutt Humphreys, during the fifties……
Wolfman was discovered around 1924 near Comstock,
Texas on the McNutt Ranch. Maudie McNutt about 10 years of age
was riding with her Grandfather Peter McNutt and several hands of
the McNutt Ranch. North east of the ranch headquarters near a dirt
tank, the group rode upon a lamb that had just been killed. Immediately
Pete McNutt said, “look straight ahead and keep riding”. They rode
by the slaughtered lamb not looking down. In the past they had found
other stock dead as if they had been slaughtered. And items have turned
up missing out of the tool shed. Riding straight ahead and going over
a hill Pete instructed little Maudie along with one of the hands to
return to the Ranch Headquarters.
After Maudie and the hand had ridden a safe distance, Pete and the
other hands circled around and returned to the slaughtered lamb. Topping
the hill again Pete saw movement at the site. Pulling out their ropes
and spurring their horses, they rode in and roped the Wolfman. Not
being violent but scared the Wolfman gave in. Pete and his men returned
to the ranch headquarters with the captured Wolfman, the dark skinned
man was heavily bearded, his hair long and matted, he was unbathed
and half dressed in sheep skin with a foul odor.
Standing out front of the rock house near the cool box (a spring where
Grandmaw Margaret McNutt kept her perishables in glass jars submerged
in the cool water) Margaret, Maudie, Mary and Pauline along with the
hand had all five sets of eyes on the Wolfman as they approached the
When they reached the house, Pete instructed the men to tie the Wolfman
to one of the pecan trees in the yard. Maudie went into the house
returned with a fresh glass of water. Pete said he would ride into
Comstock the following
morning and fetch Sheriff M. L. Whistler out of Del
Rio to come and pick him up. That night Pete locked him in the
tool shed out behind the house. Sleep was short that night for all.
Margaret prepared a plate and Maudie took the plate to the Wolfman.
He did not talk but only grunted and ate with his hands. Maudie said
other than looks he seemed harmless.
After about three days the Sheriff arrived to transport the Wolfman
to Del Rio. Over
a cup of coffee Pete and the sheriff discussed that they suspected
that the Wolfman had escaped from a mental institution and had probably
got off the train near Comstock.
Judging from his looks he had been living off the land for some time.
Researching the Sheriff’s records from the 20’s nothing could be found
as to what happened to the Wolfman. Maudie presumed he was returned
to an Institute and lived out his life there.
© Gary Humphreys
15, 2010 guest column