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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 07, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 11

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-08-07/ed-1/seq-11/

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SOME APPALLING SCENES IN THE SURGEONS'
RED-STAINED BARRACKS
How the Wounded Looked and Acted and Suffered as
They Reached the Operating Table. '
The following vivid and horrifying
description of modem warfare is re
printed from Emile Zola's great work
on the Franco-Prussian war, "The
Downfall." Forty-four years ago, on
August 2, the first blow was struck in
the last great European conflict, the
Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. Zola
has been called the greatest descrip
tive writer on war subjects that ever
lived. Will these scenes be redoubled
a hundred times in the present war?
The following is a description of the
scene when the wounded were
brought in after a big battle in that
war.)
It was a sight to move the most
callous to behold the unloading of
those poor wretches, some with
greenish pallor on their face; others
suffused with the purple hue that de
notes congestion; many were in a
state of coma, others uttered piercing
cries of anguish; some there were
who, in their semi-conscious condi
tion, yielded themselves to the arms
of the attendants with a look of deep
est terror in their eyes, while a few,
the minute a hand was laid on them,
died of the consequent shock.
They continued to arrive in such
numbers that soon every bed in the
vast apartment would have its occu
pant, and Major Bouroche had given
orders to make use of the straw that
had heen spread thickly upon the
floor at one end. He and his assist
ants had thus far been able to attend
to all the cases with reasonable
promptness; he had requested Mme.
Delaherche to furnish him with an
other table, with mattress and oilcloth
cover, for the shed where he had
established his operating room. i
The assistant would thrust a nap- 5
kin saturated with chloroform to the
patient's nostrils, the keen knife
flashed in the air, there was the faint
rasping of the saw, barely audible,
the blood spurted in short, sharp jets
that were checked immediately.
As soon as one subject had been
operated on another was brought in,
and they followed one another In
such quick succession that there was
barely time to pass a sponge over
the protecting oilcloth.
At the extremity of the grass plot,
screened from sight by a clump of
lilac bushes, they had set up a kind
of morgue whither they carried the
bodies of the dead, which were re
moved from the beds without a mo
ment's delay in order to make room
for the living, and this receptacle also
served to receive the amputated legs
and arms of the victims.
In the vast drying-room, the wide
door of which was standing open, not
only was every bed occupied, but
there was no more room upon the lit
ter that had been shaken down on
the floor at the end of the apartment.
They were commencing to strew
straw in the spaces between the beds,
the wounded were, crowded together
so closely that they were in contact
Already there were more than two
hundred patients there, and more
were arriving constantly; through the
lofty windows the pitiless white day
light streamed in upon that aggre-r
gation of suffering humanity.
Now and then an unguarded move
ment elicited an involuntary cry of
anguish. ,
The death-rattle rose on .the warm,.,
damp air.
Down the room a low, mournful.

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