Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 38
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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Baldy was kind to me, and an oracle of folk misinformation. He
made the return trip more bearable than the leg down.
Having filled the holds with barrels of sugar, molasses, and
manjak, this last a kind of bitumen used, if I recall correctly, in
the manufacture of the varnish much in demand for covering
woodwork in these antimacassar times, we again set out to sea.
The day we left Bridgetown was oppressively hot, with low
gray clouds, showers of rain, and grumbles of thunder. It was
still raining, I remember, when I turned in that night on my bag
of straw, known as a "donkey's breakfast."
I awoke with a start and knew at once that something had gone
wrong. The ship no longer had any motion. I heard cries of
command and the sound of running feet on the deck above.
Anxiously emerging from the glory hole into sheets of driven
rain, already faintly silvered by the first light of day, I saw
that the Queen Bess was seemingly stuck fast in the ocean. Mr.
Pottle was in a rage. His favorite expletive was flying in all
directions. I heard one of the crew say: "She's stove, that's wot
she is, the bloody old biscuit tin."
I joined others leaning over the rail and peering into the
mild wash of sea. Off to the east a low shore could now be seen,
which someone informed me was Speightstown, some forty or
fifty miles north of Bridgetown on the western side of Barbados.
During the night the third mate and the helmsman, both now in
deep disgrace and under threat of court action, had allowed the
Queen Bess to drift too close to the island, and we had grounded
on the only sand bar for many leagues around.
Seeing me standing idle at the rail, Mr. Pottle chose to vent
his aggravation on me. Seizing me by the collar, he wrenched
me backward, saying: "Wot are you doing 'ere, you narsty,
moony little sod? Get into the galley, or I'll rip yer bloody,
blarsted 'ead orf." With that, still holding me by the collar, he
clouted me across the mouth with the back of his hand, making
it bleed. I was a very strong boy for my age, and almost surely
could have made Mr. Pottle pay dearly for his spleen. But such
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/m1/50/: accessed August 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.