Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 47
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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Never before had I seen a naked woman of twenty-five. The
shock to my sensibilities would be considered laughable in these
only too-casual days. I remember the woman's soft, dark hair,
and her pale face. For a moment I thought she must be dead,
but the rise and fall of the white breasts belied this possibility.
Fearfully closing the door, I hastened downstairs and in pertur-
bation notified the first-floor tenants that something had gone
wrong above. I was taken aback when they found nothing ex-
traordinary in it.
For a long time I was puzzled by the whole affair. The woman
was beautiful, gentle, and had been utterly kind to me. Yet she
was a drunkard, and neglected her children. How was such a
contradiction possible? It deeply troubled me. Many years were
to pass before I accommodated myself to the ambivalences of
It so happened that my deliveries sometimes brought me to
Tufts College in Medford, and to the homes of professors
teaching there. I had traveled countless times through Harvard
Square, and past the tall black iron fence enclosing the famous
Yard. But the student flow at Harvard seemed hopelessly
beyond access to a boy driving a dray. I longed to know what the
Yard was like, but never could quite bring myself to find out,
though it meant only tethering my horses and strolling in.
Fierce pride and a stoic acceptance of my lesser lot forbade
experiment of this nature.
Tufts, however, was quite different. It consisted of a little
cluster of brick buildings on a bare slope surmounted by a
reservoir, and with a small railroad station below. Here I felt
much more at ease, and often stopped to pass the time of day
with the professors. One of them told me of a night school in
Boston financed by a philanthropist of Quaker persuasion. This
school was housed in a faded brick building somewhere, I think,
along Cambridge Street. It was approached through a sagging
iron gate, by a little walk, and the dingy classrooms were heated
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/59/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.