Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 41
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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were then only too common, especially among the class who
kept the stables of the rich.
For a few days I took driving lessons from John, a crusty,
red-nosed Irishman of middle years who was leaving the
Borens, he said, to work for far better wages in a Charlestown
marine boiler factory. John was a good deal smaller than my
nearly five foot ten and one hundred and seventy pounds. None-
theless, I put on John's livery, a suit of Sherwood green with
which I wore a tall silk hat, also much too small. Decked out in
my livery, I fancied I cut rather a dashing figure.
The very first Sunday after John left I drove the Boren
family, including their only daughter, Alice, who was eighteen
or nineteen, to church in Newton. Beside me, doubling as foot-
man, sat the stable groom, Frank, a silent man who drank
steadily to relieve the tedium of his days. After the service, with
no help from Frank, I fell in line with many other waiting
carriages. Frank handed the family into the open vehicle-the
top had been folded down for reasons of invidious exhibit-and
nimbly leaped up beside me. I shook the reins, gave a cluck, and
off we moved at a decent Sunday jog. All this while I was hold-
ing the reins as John had showed me, high up with my elbows
pressed to my sides.
However, the road ran beside the railroad tracks. As if to
test my coachmanship, a midday train bound, I suppose, for
Worcester came thundering up, gathering speed and vomiting
black smoke as it passed. This apparition had a galvanic effect
on my horses. They reared, whinnied, tried to bolt in opposite
directions, found they could not, and so began to gallop straight
ahead. Frank, clutching the little rail at the seat end, muttered
low and urgent imprecations. I, with as much power as my coach-
man stance would permit, leaned back on the reins. This served
only to steady the horses and they galloped, if anything, even
Now my silk hat, insecure to begin with, was blown off and
fell into Mrs. Boren's lap. She shrieked and Mr. Boren rose up
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/m1/53/: accessed December 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.