I dressed wounds! dressed wounds, and made thorough work of it. In the church was a dispensary where I could get any washes or medicines I wished, and I do not think I left a worm. Some of them were over half an inch long, with black heads and many feet, but most were maggots. They were often deeply seated, but my syringe would drive them out, and twice a day I followed them up. The black and green places grew smaller and better colored with every dressing. The men grew stronger with plenty of beef and broth and canned milk. I put citric acid and sugar in their apple sauce as a substitute for lemons. I forget how many thigh stumps I had, but I think as many as twelve. One of them was very short and in a very bad condition. One morning when I was kneeling and dressing it, the man burst into tears, and said:
“You do not seem to mind this, but I know you would not do it for anything but the love of God, and none but He can ever reward you; but if I live to see my wife and children, it will be through what you have done for me, and I will teach them to bless your name!”
He quite took me by surprise, for I seemed to have forgotten any other life than that I was then living; and dressing the most frightful wounds was as natural as eating. I felt no disgust, no shrinking, and mere conventional delicacy is withdrawn when the Angel of Death breathes upon it.
The man we stepped over at the back door, proved to be a student from the Pennsylvania Agricultural College, shot through the alimentary canal, near the base of the spine. For him there was no hope, but I did what I could to make him less uncomfortable, and once he said:
“This is strange work for a lady.”