Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 36
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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seamen since the days of Drake and the Virgin Queen whom our
ship memorialized. He immediately used it in connection with
myself, as he summarily directed me first to the galley, then to
the glory hole, where I was to sleep, 'tween decks aft, with the
cook. So quickly was I assigned to the lowliest job aboard, that
of galley scullion, mess boy, and general helper to the Negro
cook. This surly Jamaican everyone called Jackson, very likely
after the heavyweight Peter Jackson, then in the boxing lime-
Many sailing vessels, I believe, before setting out to sea were
overhauled at least to the point of seeing that new cordage re-
placed old and that all sails were made reasonably sound. Not so
with the Queen Bess. Once she had been loaded and her hatches
battened down, with dismaying abruptness a tug appeared
alongside at the unlikely hour of four-thirty in the afternoon.
Off we were towed down the Narrows through the myriad
islands obstructing Boston Harbor, and left to our own devices
in the outer bay, where a June sun was gilding a greenish swell
heaving in from the open Atlantic. Now the crew shook out the
sails, and presently they hung over us, a limp and ashen cloud.
There was no wind, so we drifted, more or less in the direction
of Provincetown. But as night fell the evening land breeze at
last sped us on our way, to a region which in my heated imagina-
tion was peopled with pirates and freebooters like Sir Henry
Morgan and Blackbeard.
As the days passed I had no time at all to observe the opera-
tion of a full-rigged ship, as I had so fondly hoped. No sooner
was one meal finished than another had to be prepared. I washed
pots, carried mugs of tea to the poop and the officers' quarters
and the fo'c'sle, peeled onions and potatoes, fished salt horse in
hideous lumps from smelly hogsheads. This I did from before
daybreak until sunset.
At regular intervals I rushed to the rail, unspeakably nause-
ated and dizzy. The galley was marvelously hot and only a
British seaman's digestive apparatus could tolerate the messes
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/48/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.