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Mr. Cottman, a biology teacher in Madison, Wisconsin, gave up The States in 1939 and went to the out-islands of the Bahamas to look for adventure. Adventure came in heavy, closely knit reality. He found himself transformed by the natives into a doctor. In the out-islands qualified doctors were practically nonexistent and so the Bahaman government issued licenses to ""doctors"" known as Unqualified Medical Practitioners, and Cottman took out a license in the spirit of a lark. Almost immediately e was in over his head and discovered himself blindingly unqualified. Since the natives refused to understand this, he began a furious self-taught course in general medicine. Soon he was pulling teeth, drying up hemorrhoids and going on doctorific issions with a horse named Shadow. He decided he needed training and went to Nassau, there, at a hospital, during a quassi-internship, he opened and sewed up corpses. The Bahamians on the various islands which constitute his ""beat"" are individual from island to island. Saturday night brings its own brand of misery, with wife-beatings galore, split lips and knife-sliced drunks. ""Doctor"" Cottman is still there, with his wife and daughter, still practicing, still longing for a legitimate medical education. His book captures the humor of the Bahamians quite nicely, with their precise knowledgeable naivete.

Pub Date: July 8th, 1963
Publisher: Dutton