The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 49
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Liotot and Jalot, Two French Surgeons of Early Texas 49
formed, the sick man would certainly die within one month.
'Well, then,' said the governor, 'go on with the operation, as
soon as you please.' 'It shall never please me,' cried Jalot, in
a voice of thunder; and shaking his fist at the enemy of St.
Denis, whom, in his turn, he had now in his power, he doggedly
withdrew from the house of the infuriated governor. Remon-
strances, entreaties, large offerings of money, threats, could
not bring him back. At last, the governor swore that he would
hang Jalot, and sent some soldiers to arrest him. But the
people, who loved Jalot, and feared being deprived of his
invaluable services, rose upon the soldiery, beat them off, and
proclaimed that they would hang the governor himself if he
persisted in his intention of hanging Jalot. Matters were in
this ticklish situation, when St. Denis returned to Caouis.
In company with his friend Jalot, who was almost dis-
tracted with joy at his safe return, St. Denis immediately
waited upon the governor, to whom he communicated a letter
patent, by which the Viceroy gave authority to St. Denis to
inflict upon Anaya, for his abuse of power, any punishment
which he might think proper, provided it stopped short of
death. The terror of the governor may easily be conceived,
but after enjoying his enemy's confusion for a short time,
St. Denis tore to pieces the Viceroy's letter, and retired,
leaving the culprit, whom he despised, to the castigation of
heaven and to the stings of his own conscience. He did more:
he had the generosity to request Jalot to perform the operation
which this worthy had hitherto so obstinately refused to do.
The surgeon, who was mollified by his friend's return, con-
sented, not however without terrific grumblings, to use his
surgical skill to relieve the bedridden governor, and he ad-
mirably succeeded in the difficult operation upon which the
fate of his patient depended. But he peremptorily and con-
temptuously refused the fee that was tendered him, and in-
formed the governor, face to face, and with his roughest tone,
that he deserved no remuneration for the cure, because he had
saved his life merely out of spite, and under the firm con-
viction that he would ere long die on the gallows.17
Ruth Cross in her delightful historical novel has Jalot to make
this diagnosis of Don Gaspardo's ailment: "You've committed a
crime against your stomach and entrails, not once, but every time
you sat down to the table. Your punishment is fitting."8 And
later he adds: "I should have carved his guts out instead of saving
17Ibid. pp. 177-178.
a1Cross, Ruth. Soldier of Good Fortune, Dallas, 1936, p. 151.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/57/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.