Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 61
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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Custer, and he had never been given the responsibility which he
deserved. Had this situation been different, the disaster at Little
Big Horn might have been averted.
Berg was living with his squaw in a tattered old army tent,
which stank abominably in true Indian style. Contributing to
this effluvium were eight scalps which, Berg casually assured
me, he himself had taken. If this were the case, my examination
revealed, he had scalped eight white men, a possibility I would
not entirely discount. In his dirty old buckskin shirt he looked
quite capable of working up a breakfast appetite with a bit of
The scalps offended Mr. Sabin. At first he thought Charlie
Berg, as people called him, a fascinating character. But after
some hours of conversation in the unsavory tent, with Charlie's
vague blue eyes coldly sizing him up, poor Mr. Sabin's condi-
tion got the upper hand. So distasteful did he find poor old
Charlie that he had me take notes on him, not wishing to have
such unpleasantness rub off on him. This typically schizoid
reaction, incidentally, should have warned me about later
At any rate, suddenly Mr. Sabin decided we should drop the
whole business of Fort George and Charlie and get back to
civilization and Pierre. We had scarcely gotten settled in the
hotel when, a couple of nights later, while I was asleep, Mr.
Sabin made an earnest attempt to hang himself. I woke with a
start, and there he was, strung up by a strip of bed sheet to a
clothes rod. I was then a very strong young man. I used one
arm to hold him aloft, the other to untie the noose. His eyes
were bulging and his face as purple as a plum, but I saved him
with artificial respiration. However, no sooner had he regained
his strength than he threw a heavy inkwell at my head, and
then attacked me. I pinned him down on the bed. Meanwhile,
the hotel was aroused, the walls being paper thin.
I kept watch over Mr. Sabin night and day until his brother,
in response to my letter, came on the double from Minneapolis.
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/m1/73/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.