Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 79
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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gave us a peculiar look, dashed into his little office, and slammed
the door behind him. We heard the brrring of a telephone bell.
"Dr. Atkinson," said McMillan, "let's drift."
Out of town and into the countryside we went at a smart jog
trot, McMillan at one end of Gerald, I at the other. It was
too much. We stowed the box together with our luggage under
a bridge, to be picked up later, and pushed on.
The sun came up in a soft, still, pearly sky. Gilded fields
stretched in every direction as far as the eye could see. The air
was soft and sweet, unlike any winter air I had ever known. We
stopped to rest and mocking birds sang to us from the trees. By
seven we were at the McMillans' place and I was having my first
taste of Texas hospitality. There I rested comfortably for
several days and laid more plans. For years without a real
home, I was deeply moved by the McMillans' kindness and
Having retrieved Gerald and our luggage, young McMillan
and I hurriedly finished our dissections, and boiled the bones
clean. For future anatomical reference I took the skull, because
of my projected specialty, and McMillan kept the rest. This
skull remained in my possession, a talisman of sorts, for more
than forty years. Then one morning in San Antonio I went to
get it to check the location of a nerve exit and found it gone, to
this day an unsolved mystery.
At Mr. McMillan's urging, I bought a horse from him on
credit. With what was left of my small savings I purchased a
secondhand saddle and two old saddlebags, to carry my medical
gear. One morning I rode out of the McMillans' yard, with a
few changes of clean linen done up in a bundle tied behind the
cantle of my saddle. The weather was warm, the sun was bright,
and my spirits were high. I liked the Texas scene, the way the
people talked, the look and smell of the land.
At this time I was almost thirty. I still looked quite strikingly,
I think, like my mother. I wore a rather fierce mustache that
matched the color of my little cow pony, who had a coat of
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/91/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.