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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 27, 1916, NOON EDITION, Image 14

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-01-27/ed-1/seq-14/

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ticipate in, the depressing handling
of bloody and shrieking wounded.
I stepped up to the officer who was
pleading with a sergeant to find
stretcher-bearefs.-"Voila moi," I
Somebody found me a cap and
somebody else an old uniform, and I
quickly took my place on an ambu
lance. A long ride through the dark
and we arrived as the train was pull
ing up at the little station.
The unloading began. I couldn't
make you understand what a sight it
First, out came a queer bundle cov
ered with canvas. He did not groan.
Everybody took off his pap. '
The next shrieked with-pain. It
was half a man; the Jovyer half was
missing. - "S
Then' came a long stream of
stretchers bearing one-legged men;
the left leg gone. The'yjwere set in
a row.
Now for the ones with'"the right
leg gone. They must be distributed
side-by-side with tlie former, so that
in placing the lot 'in ambulances, a
whole leg would be nextrtbe wall and
the wounds saved from nibbing.
Then came one-aimed men; after
wards, a few with shoulders missing.
I don't know how many, but in the.
flickering light they kept coming and
coming out of the dingy train till I
got tired of counting, and so tired of
carrying that I was afraid of drop
ping my end.
Knowing that a slip of the foot Or
hand would likely mean the death of
that helpless fellow groaning at
every swing of the stretcher, we
worked slower.
Big men took the head end of the
stretchers and little men the footend.
I was unluckily bigger than my part
ner, and as the night wore on I be
came almost too tired to continue.
I found myself envying the little
Frenchman who carried with me, and
speculating on how light must be his
end, the foot end, .for the ,wounded
had no feet and only one leg. It must
have been light.
A sergeant called us sharply to the
other side of the hall for the last in
stalment the men with no faces.
Eyes, noses and jaws carried away
by fragments of shell, they made a .
weird array as they lay in a row, each
with a queer shaped white mask ms
where his features ought to hj.(re
We removed them to the ambu
lances, and I watched a man with no
legs on his stretcher by the roadside,
who was trying to mork a mechan
ical cigar-lighter and complaining
that it would not "march."
A long wail came from the rear of
the station. My partner and I went
back. It was an old fellow with a
long beard. He complained that we
were forgetting him.
French soldiers always address one
another as "thee" and "thou," and I
used this form in Speaking to him.
He, lying in the muddy bedding of his
stretcher, looked at me with accusing
eyes. I wasn't treating him with suf
ficient respect
He was a captain, and must be ad
dressed as "you."
He insisted that the ambulance
wait while we recovered the dirty old
rag bundle of his personal trinkets
and souvenirs. You must humor a
man with a shoulder shot away.
We drove the rest of the night, and
when the last load was taken out of
the little pigeon-holes of the ambu
lance, I fell asleep on a stretcher
bearer's cot, hoping to have no more
experiences of such kind and
dreamed of .the poor devil with a
wound through the chest that my
partner had let drop.
Or o
"What in the world is the matter
with that baby it has stopped cry
ing?" (Time 4:30 a. m.)
o o
Louishkin, giant Russian drum
major of the imperial guards, was
eight feet five inches high.

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