Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 59
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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fact that my mother and brothers were in the West pulled me
in that direction.
So, then, having purchased a pair of railroad tickets a yard
long, Mr. Sabin assigned to a lower and I to an upper berth set
out for the land of Sitting Bull, a Sioux chieftain liquidated not
many years before. With every passing mile of this westward
journey amid plush and grit my heart grew lighter. I felt a
little like a man long banished at last going home. On and on
we clickety-clacked, in a smother of coal smoke, across the flat-
lands of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. In boisterous Chicago we
transferred, without mishap, to the Chicago and Northwestern,
and chugged ever deeper into America's prairie lands. It was all
new to me, the endless grassy vistas, the brilliant light, the way
male passengers carelessly draped booted legs over the arms of
Pierre, in the center of South Dakota on the Upper Missouri,
was named after Pierre Chouteau, of the old St. Louis pioneer
family. Originally it had been a trading post of the American
Fur Company, later the site of a fort, when the Great Plains
were being made safe from the Indians. When Mr. Sabin and I
arrived, Pierre had grown to be a drab little county seat of
perhaps two thousand inhabitants. A wide and muddy main
street ran through two rows of wooden buildings and meandered
off into prairie emptiness, beyond which lay the wooded Black
Despite its glaring primitivism, I liked Pierre. For the first
time since leaving New Brunswick I found myself in what
might be described as a classless society, where a man was pretty
much taken at face value, no questions asked. Here Conestoga
wagons still creaked through the town. Stages drawn by four
shaggy horses ran in different directions to indeterminate destina-
tions. Men with lean and leathery faces were much in evidence,
and some wore gun belts. Even the water, strongly flavored
with sodium carbonate from the limestone substrate of this
region, had a western taste.
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/m1/71/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.