Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 69
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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on this area of the body, there were a succession of wild screams
and gales of laughter from the second-floor corridor outside the
room. I looked up to find everyone had left the room. The whole
class had stepped out into the corridor.
One of the students had taken a long segment of upper
intestine from a waste tub and wound it about the neck of the
old colored scrubwoman while she was bent over her mop and
pail. She had torn off the wet and serpentine thing, flung it
madly aside, and ran shrieking down the stairs and clean out of
the building. In her demented passage she had passed the office
of Dr. McMurtry, one of our senior professors, as serious and
God-fearing a man as his Galloway name might suggest. The
students' ribaldry died away as Dr. McMurtry now rapidly ap-
proached, his bony Scots face set.
With alacrity we drew aside to give him gangway into the
dissecting room. From corpse to corpse he went, to see which was
minus the ropy part he held in his hand. To my dismay, I saw
him stop at my table. He crooked a finger at me.
"Atkinson," he said like Stentor, "are you the coward who
did this to a defenseless woman? Speak up!" And he raised the
I told him, no, sir, I had not done it. His gray eyes, hard as
flint, stared into mine, saw it was true, and turned away. Now
he drew all nine of us together and would not rest until he had
nailed down the culprit. Suddenly one of the students volun-
tarily admitted his guilt. I shall never forget the cold contempt
in McMurtry's face as he contemplated the delinquent. "Come
with me," he said, and stalked off, the student after him. It was
an awesome exit and it shook us all. However, McMurtry did
not expel the prankster. He gave him a savage lecture on the
sacredness of human dignity and the sanctity of all flesh, alive
or dead. This will suggest that the iron Presbyterian spirit was
strong in our faculty and in no small measure compensated for
our school's physical limitations.
Some members of the faculty have dimmed to mere shapes
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/m1/81/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.