Puslapio vaizdai

quence of what is happening now, may find themselves in a more delicate position than yours. Your case does n't seem to me alarming.'

But he was inconsolable, and I could hardly conceal my satisfaction at the discomfiture of that Teuton who had missed his appointment. I have no knowledge of what became of him.

As for myself, I know that the next morning seven men, under a commissioner of police, appeared at my then abode with the purpose of arresting me. It is needless to say that they went away empty-handed.

Later, I learned from the German newspapers that I had been shot; and a fortnight later still, just as I was starting for Paris, I read in a German journal at Berne that I was interned in the fortress of Rastadt in Baden.

I have not told everything, either concerning the events of the last years before the war, or concerning the incidents of my departure from Colmar, because I am bound to maintain some

reserve on account of certain persons who are still under the yoke of the enemy. But all that I have told, I lived through, saw with my own eyes, and heard with my own ears.

Since I left Colmar the information that I have received through Switzerland has been very indefinite, and I cannot hope to learn the truth previous to the entry of the French and Allied troops into the annexed provinces, of which we hold thus far only a small portion. I know that my property has been seized, that I have been made the object of numerous prosecutions each of which involves the capital penalty, and that they have done me the honor to declare that I have forfeited my German citizenship.

But I know, also, that now AlsaceLorraine forms a part of the French patrie, and that the accused are the ones who will, at no distant day, rise up as accusers, and will demand, aye, and obtain, that justice be done on their executioners.

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a plank and watched the game. We had an acetylene light. The shells fell all around, shaking the place and repeatedly putting out the light. The noise was remarkable. The air was filled with screams, hisses, and loud reports, followed by the slide of masses of earth. Many shells were so close that a strong push of hot gas was felt. At six o'clock the Moroccans took the ridge by storm. At midnight the bombardment slackened but did not cease.


With the dawn the wounded came in a stream, and were laid in the upper The wounds were of all sorts. The worst was a completely crushed jaw, in a man with a dozen slighter wounds. One man had a hole through the temple into the brain-a hole two inches long and half an inch wide. Another had a smashed leg, a bad head, and in the thigh a wound the size of a small orange.

I watched the blood-pressure carefully. Imagine a cellar with a plank floor covered with clay an eighth of an inch deep. A horrible tub full of bloody dressings. Two stretchers on the floor. Ten men in a space 10 by 12 feet, shoulder to shoulder. Two candles. Sandbag walls. The roof so low that I am always hitting my helmet against the beams. The air thick with the smell of blood, sweat, alcohol, iodine, vomit. Everywhere a smear of clay — the chalky clay of Champagne. The continuous scream, roar, crash of shells. A rain of small stones, dirt, pieces of steel. Every few seconds a profound trembling, as a shell strikes closer. Four men passing bandages and iodine in the half-light, over backs, under arms. The cries of the wounded. The litter of bloody garments. The fresh cases, obliged to lie outside, under the fire, until the room is cleared. The brancardiers, bent under the load of the stretcher, slouching off with the dressed wounded. The dawn, the failing moon,

the thick vapors and acrid stench of the barrage. The blasted hillsides smoking under the continual rain of death. Countless fresh shell-holes all around us. The graves reopened.

They are bringing down the dead. They lie sprawling on the slope just below us, half sewed up in burlap, like pieces of spoiled meat.

Such was the battle for the crest a 'minor operation' in this great war, but an excellent example of the most violent artillery fire. The blood-pressure remained normal, not only in the unwounded men, but also in the wounded. As it happened, there were among them no fractured thighs and no case of multiple wounds through the subcutaneous fat.

May 25. To-day two or three rather elderly soldiers came in, with the plea that they were sick. The doctor, who has a soft full beard, large brown eyes, and a very gentle manner, said, 'You are not sick. You are only tired. But all the world is tired here.'

During the evening, one of our own shells fell short. It struck squarely in our own trenches near the crest of Mont Haut. Immediately up went two rockets, each with three green flares, meaning 'Great Jerusalem! Lift your nose.' Thus admonished, the humiliated seventy-five raised its muzzle and the next shell fell over the ridge.


May 26. Just before daybreak there was drum-fire-continuous roars from all the batteries. This lasted two hours. I got up and crawled into the upper cave, but was at once driven down again. After the fire slackened, I went out- about two feet out and Gérard prepared my toilet - a shave and face-wash. I have not had any of my clothes off during the last three days and nights. After shaving, I went out to brush my teeth. The air was clear and brisk, the sun not fully risen. To stand on the open slope of the hill, in

the keen wind of dawn, under fire, and use a tooth-brush, was really exhilarating. It was the first time I have ever enjoyed brushing my teeth.

At nine o'clock we put a barrage on Fritz. At this he quite lost his temper. The noise was awful. Naturally, we went 'down' again. But his rage lasted only a short time. Then Gérard came to tell me there would be a Mass in the lower cave. 'Is there a priest among you?' I asked. 'Yes,' replied Gérard, 'we have two ones; the both very brave.'

The Mass was a touching ceremony. The early Christians worshiped thus in the catacombs of Rome. A very small portable altar had been placed at the end of the tiny passage. Two candles burned upon the altar. The men stood elbow to elbow or kneeled in the bunks

martyrs not yet dead. The priest was a private in the infantry. Over his dirty uniform of horizon blue the faded symbol of worldly hope he had drawn the vestments of the Church that teaches Hope eternal and unsoiled. His grave strong face was lighted with sincerity and faith. The clear word of promise and of consolation mingled with the roar of German shells, beasts seeking whom they might devour.

About ten o'clock, the major turned up to fetch me to dinner, or déjeuner, at Headquarters. It was to be my farewell to Mont Blond. He had a great stereoscopic camera, with which he took my picture standing at the mouth of the cave. Then we went off, with Gérard and another orderly to carry my things. The major has a quick and almost jaunty walk. In ten minutes we arrived at the poste.

An officer went with me up to the observatory, a pit in the chalk on the top of the hill. The breeze was fresh, the sunshine delicious, and the view very extensive. Behind us, the slopes of Mont Blond and Mont Haut, smok

ing with shells, white with craters, trenches, and dust. In front, the plain of Châlons, green and smiling, with the spire of a church, and the villages of Mourmelon-le-Petit and le Grand. To the right, the Montagne de Rheims, with Épernay and its vineyards. After that diabolical cave all this was very sweet to me. I dozed in the sun, when suddenly a soldier, who was digging near us, threw down his tool, and with a warning cry rushed under cover. We jumped for our lives. An aeroplane sailed over us, half a mile up.

A hawk is hovering in the sky –
To stay at home is best.

After a delightful hour we returned to the gallery for lunch. It was quite a feast. There was one white plate, produced in my honor. The rest ate the whole meal out of one aluminium porringer apiece. It is useful to eat each course clean, to scour the porringer with bread, and then to eat the scourings.

After an excellent meal, I set out for Mourmelon-le-Petit. Two officers went a little way with me. It was hard to part with such kind friends. For success with these people there are three points to be observed: to be perfectly brave, to be always smiling and gay, and to be enchanted with your bed, your food, the dirt-in short, with everything. Fortunately, I do not mind shelling; few men do.

The walk across the plain to the Farm of Constantine, where the motorambulances wait, was not unpleasant, though a battery of seventy-fives directly en face made a deafening racket. The ambulance driver, an Englishman, worn, prematurely gray-haired, covered with dust, had lived for years at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and knew my friends there well. He was very cross about the gas-shells; he could not see to drive with his mask on. After a


dazzling, dirty ride, we reached the ambulance de triage at Mourmelon-lePetit. Here are brought all the wounded from the postes de secours at our immediate front. It will be a good place to try the respiration method for the treatment of shock.

May 27. Mourmelon is a small village, justly called 'le Petit.' Its glaring streets are white with lime-dust, which indeed lies everywhere. The dirt is quite inconceivable. The ambulance consists of a number of old barracks in a walled compound. On my arrival, the médecin chef gave me a very kind welcome. He is a bacteriologist by profession, and before the war was Assistant Director of the Pasteur Institute in China, where he had met my colleague, Dr. Strong, during the pneumonic plague.

I sleep alone in a small ward. My ward has five beds, a wooden floor thick with dirt of all descriptions, and painted canvas walls. Naturally the furniture is crude. But what a delight to strip once more and to bathe in clear cold water about one quart! Last night I slept hard, but to-day I feel the strain of the terrible scenes that I have been through. Our popote, or mess, is excellent.

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After supper, the médecin chef and I took a long walk over the Field of Châlons. It is a green almost level expanse, traversed here and there by roads lined with trees. The sun had set, the air was cool and luminous. The cannonade seemed for the first time without sinister meaning. The plain was covered with small shellholes. In the distance, on rising ground, against the horizon, galloped a train of limbers bearing ammunition for the insatiable cannon.

May 28. I am very tired. The glare, the dust, the endless stream of broken men, ten thousand passed here in the last six weeks; one hundred and

sixty-five last night between midnight and 6 A.M., the necessarily great inadequacy of treatment- all this, added to my reaction from the sickening scenes on Mont Blond, is depressing enough. I have had to think to-day. That was a bore.

The respiratory machine has undergone a transformation. It is now, in fact, a tomato-can with a tube ending in a rubber mouthpiece. It has been cut in two and each half shoves over a collar of tin, so that it may be drawn out like an accordion. The patient is to breathe in and out of this can, filling it with the carbon dioxide he exhales. As the gas increases, so will his respiration. To wash the can with fresh air, the two halves are pulled apart. Nothing could be simpler.

This hospital is a triage. It sorts the wounded. Those who can be moved are sent in suitable lots to Châlons and elsewhere. One hospital specializes in abdominal wounds, another in fractures, and so on. Only the most mangled are treated here. The cases of shock are among them.

To-day I was presented to General X-, one of the high command hereabouts. He is a man about five feet seven, slim, fit, handsome uniform, great star on his breast, intelligent, courteous. He was pleased at my having been in the barrage; he said it had been a very severe action acharné.

Our médecin chef is very kindmuch interested in my physiology and helps me with everything himselfsays he is at my disposition day and night. But it is an awful load; there are such numbers of these battered fragments, and I know so little. It wrings the soul. A fine young officer came in to-day-shell in the abdomen.

I wish I were at home with you. I shall never be able to get these sights and sounds out of my mind, or the smell of rotting flesh out of my nose.

May 29. To-day, the chief and I tried an experiment on a blessé with multiple shell-wounds and very low blood-pressure. It was a failure. The respiration was not increased, and the blood-pressure was not raised. Neither was the chief's opinion of the method, though he was much too wise to be skeptical. My spirits were not elevated by the occurrence. Last night I was very tired. Indeed, I am tired to-day also. My bed is next a great ward filled with wounded, only a canvas wall between. Promptly at daybreak one of these sufferers begins to call, 'Garçon! Garçon!' The monotonous, feeble, penetrating wail rises with clock-like regularity every few moments until broad daylight. There are no nurses here, only ignorant poilus.

This afternoon I got a soldier as subject and tried the machine in the presence of several deeply attentive officers. Nothing doing. The breathing remained almost calm. Immense shrugs from all beholders. I do not see why it should work on animals and not on men. They brought me another man, a finely built youth, and intelligent. Another failure. This time the shrugs were so exaltés that I thought the spectators would put out their tongues at me. Then the soldier said, 'But, monsieur le major, my nose is still open.'

O clever youth! Inspired young man! The officer whose duty it was to stand guard at the nose had put the clip too high up. Ten hands reach the recalcitrant organ. I look to see the nose pulled off. But no. It successfully resists. This time it is stopped for sure. The youth announces thickly that he can breathe only through his mouth. The instrument is now applied to the mouth. Listening to the artery, I get for a base measurement a clear bruit just above the minimum normal blood-pressure. Commencez!' I cry. Off we go. In fifty seconds, he is pump

ing merrily. The heart bounds. The blood-pressure goes up. Three cheers for les Etats-Unis. Bring back the first rebel. His nose is closed this time. It is all but squashed flat. Again a success. Voila! C'est fini. Profuse thanks to the experimentés. Conclusion: another triumphal demonstration that men are like dogs.

May 30. It remains now only to get a couple of smashed thighs with low blood-pressure. It is practically certain that we shall have a rise also with them. They may come in any minute. It is very calm to-day. No cannonade to speak of. This morning the Boches dropped three shells on the railway station about two minutes from here. But their aim was good; they did not hit us. Just above me is a hole in the roof through which a shell fell a few weeks ago. A fragment sailed out the front door, narrowly missing the médecin chef.

This waiting is slow work. I am writing in the big pavillon de réception. It was a soldiers' theatre. It is here that the sorting takes place. On the dirt floor, near my feet, lies a soldier on a stretcher. He has had a heavy thump on the chest and breathes with difficulty. Between us is a great brazier, half-full of red-hot coke. The air is keen to-day. Tea is to be served for me at four o'clock. As I speak English, they fear I should die without my tea. I wave my hands, but it is no use. After our dinner, we drink a hot decoction of the blossoms of the lime tree. They firmly believe that it helps the digestion. Who can refute it! The connection between faith and peristalsis is too strong to be denied.

The chief regrets that there are no women here. He thinks they would help the service. They would no doubt teach these poilus how to wash. Such dirt! The chief has lent me a clothesbrush. 'It is for the horse,' he explains,

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