Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 39
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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a thought did not occur. As I say, it was I888. I retired, face
numb, to the cookhouse, where Baldy was already fumbling
about, making porridge for breakfast. Even in the very midst
of foundering, it seemed, eating had to continue.
By noontime we were free and under way again, propelled by
a feeble wind. Mr. Pottle had had a boat put over the side and
a kedge anchor dropped into the sea, so we might haul ourselves
off with the windlass. This maneuver took some time, since the
sea was either too deep or offered no grip except in the im-
mediate vicinity of the sand bar. Meanwhile, rural Barbadians
came to the beach to watch our efforts. The sun had come out
and we were able to pick out the brightly colored calicoes of the
women. Our plight to those on shore must have been a godsend,
for diversions in the Lesser Antilles, barring hurricanes, are few
and far between. As soon as the kedge took hold, it was a fairly
simple matter to dislodge the Queen Bess. The men walked
around the windlass, and off she slid, in a little boil of sandy
jade water. Needless to say, she had sprung a leak, but the
pumps took care of that, and the bottommost cargo of bitumen
in any case was immune to watery damage.
We arrived back in Boston a little more than two months
after our departure. I was never happier than when the bluish
peninsula of Hull and the gray islands of the harbor hove into
view, with the city silhouetted beyond as if it were an engraving.
Down Nantasket Roads we came at a good clip, were met by a
tug, and towed to another Boston and Albany dock to discharge
our humdrum cargo.
From there, I learned from Baldy, we were going to Liver-
pool. Since I was still a British subject, it would not do, he
warned, to ask to be paid off. The captain could make trouble
for me. Baldy was wrong, of course, for a seaman can demand
his wages if he returns to the point where he was taken on. But
I was in no position to argue this nuance. As soon as the coast was
clear, I collected my belongings, now stiff and soiled, and flitted
from the scene. Almost instantly the whole episode happily dis-
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/m1/51/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.