Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 46
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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particularly after I had been entrusted with a wagon and was
strictly on my own.
I stuck at this job for several years, until I had reached my
majority. In this interval my beloved aunt Lavinia fell ill and
died at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and my family came
from Worcester to attend the funeral. My brothers were also
growing up fast, and my mother was already fired with a desire
to go out to California, a growing state with warm weather the
year round. Her yearning for a warmer climate was in part
explained by the terrible previous winter of I888 when New
England was smothered by snow and Herald Square, in New
York, was buried thirty feet deep in drifts.
During this expressman interlude I had only one experience
that might be considered unusual. Every two weeks, for several
months, I delivered a package bearing a foreign address to a
second-floor flat in North Cambridge. The recipient of these
packages was a young married woman of French birth who often
detained me to tell me how lonely she was and how much she
wished she were back in France. Her husband, she said, was in
the diplomatic service. I was a very sympathetic listener.
Gradually I began to suspect that the Frenchwoman was as-
suaging her loneliness with the bottle. At least on a couple of
occasions, I felt sure, she had liquor on her breath. But she
made no advances to me, nor did she ever offer me anything to
drink. It may have been that my Presbyterian manner did not
invite such familiarities. In any case, if she plied me at all, it
was with cake and a glass of milk. I came to like her very much,
for I was as lonely as she.
This day, when I came up the stairs to deliver the usual
mysterious package, there was no answer to my knock. The door
was ajar a little, and I went in. There, on the living-room carpet,
lay the French lady, quite naked except for a negligee with
ruffles at the neck. Her little two-year-old son, also near-naked,
was playing in a corner with an empty whisky bottle. The twins
lay uneasily crying in their crib. My mouth fell open.
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/m1/58/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.