The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 27
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Lester Gladstone Bugbee
"sunburned to a finish," as he wrote, but probably worse rather
than better for his vacation.
By the beginning of the 1901 summer vacation it was evident
that he could not carry on his work the following year. Though
those of us who saw him daily shrinking in weight and energy
knew that his condition was very serious, friends elsewhere
heard of his illness with incredulity. Some who knew of his
chronic shortness of funds offered assistance. Donald Cameron,
who happened at the time to owe a note, though he and Bugbee
had alternately been in debt to each other for years, paid it,
and put his current earnings at his friend's service. Dr. Blount
offered assistance and invited him to come to Nacogdoches,
where he guaranteed to give him as good treatment as he could
get in El Paso and save him a hundred dollars a month. Ocie,
after wailing, "Why did this happen to us ?" reported that her
father would sell the timber land and that he was to deny
himself nothing and give himself no worry concerning money.
He obtained an indefinite leave of absence and prepared to
spend it, perhaps, in the vicinity of El Paso. Despite their high
appreciation of his services, the regents had no power to continue
his salary during absence, and the tragic pity was that he
needed it! He left Austin for the last time on July 27, 1901.
He was received in El Paso by two friends, Bates McFarland,
just beginning to practice law and not too busy with clients,
and H. P. Reynolds, a member of Bugbee's fraternity, teaching
then in the El Paso schools. They spent much time with him,
but can hardly have realized how much he needed their com-
panionship. He put himself in the hands of Dr. Charles Fishback
Norton, whom he had known at the University. Norton did not
pretend to know much about tuberculosis, but he was intelligent,
scientific, and honest. When Bugbee, after Norton had given
him up, consulted him about the medical officer at Fort Bliss,
who claimed miraculous cures from a serum treatment, he did
not discourage him from putting himself under Dr. Baird's
attentions, but evidently expected little benefit. Whether this
gentleman was a charlatan or a self-deluded enthusiast is hard
to determine from Bugbee's reports. He described him as "a
great talker; makes you think you'll get well tomorrow; exag-
gerates a great deal, but a good old soul." At least, he performed
one service for Bugbee; he made him a sort of office assistant.
In his letter describing his duties (October 12), Bugbee wrote:
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/36/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.