Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 18
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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way to Montreal. Not the least important purpose of the rail-
road was to remedy this gross defect in communications.
In any case, the railroad line cut through low farmland and
the ubiquitous stands of spruce and balsam, still cut as much for
firewood as for pulp. The sunny autumn day was perfumed with
the smell of resin, and men were at work in the fields. My
stride was short and I had no trouble adjusting it to the spacing
of the ties. I walked with a will out into life.
The second night, I recall, I left the tracks for a road near
Maccan, leading to the village. Here I was stopped by a farmer,
who asked me who I was and where I was going. To the mines,
I told him, and he shook his head. He took me home with him,
where his wife clucked over me, another Dick Whittington,
gave me a hot supper, and let me sleep on a woodshed cot.
Early the next morning I was up at the crack of dawn and
on my way, back on the Intercolonial tracks. Near a bridge-it
could not have been more than eight or nine o'clock-I spied a
stranger who had suddenly materialized from the trackside
undergrowth. Uneasily I approached, and found him, at close
range, as unprepossessing as I had feared.
His eyes were bloodshot, his lips thin, and his nose oddly
bent to one side. Strangest of all were his clothes. I had never
seen their like. His trousers were turned up high at the bottom
and his coat sleeves were folded under in a peculiar fashion. I
could not make him out. And so, being a country boy, I asked
him straight out why he dressed that way. He explained that
the night before he had been in a fire. He had lost his clothes
and those he was wearing were odds and ends bought by trading
his watch. In Halifax he had credit, and would get a proper
"I'm hungry, though," he confided. "I could eat a horse. But
not a penny do I have." He pulled out an empty pocket to prove
it. Now I pitied him. And so, when, a mile or two farther down
the tracks, we came across a tie choppers' camp, from which a
delicious aroma of breakfast coffee, beans, and bacon drifted, I
Here’s what’s next.
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/30/: accessed February 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.