eight-thirty we rush over there as quickly as we can to see how the poor

children are getting on and who has another eye open. Nature has begun

her restorative work and oh! what a satisfaction it is to see the new

skin stretching out tiny shreds to bridge over the martyred flesh.

The atmosphere of the ward is gay. 'Most everybody can laugh, at least

with their hearts, for stiffened lips do not all respond yet. The work

has arranged itself in admirable routine, where humanity is not entirely

swallowed up in duty. There are young girls and boys who fetch basins

of water, old women who roll bandages, faithful, sweet-faced matrons who

bind up dreadful wounds, and strong, young men who lift, so tenderly,

pain-racked bodies and who can toss a joke or a word of encouragement

with equal discretion, which never fails to infuse the down-hearted with

their own priceless vitality. Then there is the _Mere Superieure_, of

thin, aesthetic face, who comes with a gentle word of the "Faith" for

each one; the austere _Soeur Felicite_, who counts the cups and searches

your soul and brings in hot coffee and a steaming ragout; and the

pretty, young _Soeur Monique_, with her uplifted face, who cannot

conceal a shy admiration for big, blond Henri who rails at everything

and is as lovable as a baby. Then the villagers: in the middle of the

room, Monsieur B. (Secretary and Treasurer, I should say) cuts off gauze

with a calculating eye at one end of a long table and at the other,

rosy-cheeked Monsieur R. (painter of every house and barn in the

village) stands all day long with a spatula in his hand and slaps on the

ointment for dressings. There is a sort of professional twist in the

gesture and his merry, little eyes glance around, not seeking but rather

gathering in approval, and from under his bristling, white moustache

will burst a salute for one, a joke for another, or a reproach for

another.

Here, there and everywhere he is needed, is Monsieur F., whose great,

dark eyes are acquainted with pain; he is a frail, little person and the

substantial man of the village, a living paradox. Just when Monsieur R.

announces--dramatically waving his spatula--that that is the last ounce

of boric ointment and no more peroxide in the cupboard and we are raving

around and denouncing the pharmacist, Monsieur F. steps up and inquires

what the trouble is, knowing full well the difficulty and also "his

moment," wise man that he is. While we are swamping the situation with

words, he quietly dispatches a boy to his house, who quickly reappears

with huge bottles of this and that. Oh, blessed Monsieur F., who long

since had made a corner in peroxide and everything else we shall need

until after the war. But the despair of the moment, the heat and three,

long hours of unremitting "dressings" effect a faintness of soul and a

"queer" feeling we did not realize was there, until that dear, roly-poly

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