The house was not burning badly, and they got into it quite easily and found the woman lying in bed with her little infant beside her, almost out of her wits with terror, but too weak to move. The nurses found they could not manage alone, so went down into the street to find a man. They found, after some trouble, a man who had only one arm and got him to help them take the woman to the hospital. One of the nurses was carrying the baby, the other with the one-armed man was supporting the mother, when the German soldiers fired at the little party, and the one-armed man fell bleeding at the side of the road. The Sisters were obliged to leave him for the moment, and went on with the mother and infant to the hospital, got a stretcher and came back and fetched the man and brought him also to the hospital. It was only a flesh wound in the shoulder and he made a good recovery, but what a pitiful little group to waste ammunition on—a newly confined mother and her infant, two Red Cross Sisters and a crippled man.
One can only imagine that they were drunk when they did these kind of things, for individually the German soldier is generally a decent fellow, though some of the Prussian officers are unspeakable. Discipline is very severe and the soldiers are obliged to carry out orders without troubling themselves about rights and wrongs. It is curious that very few German soldiers know why they are fighting, and they are always told such wonderful stories of German victories that they think the war will soon be over. When they arrived at Charleroi, for instance, they were told they were at Charleville, and nearly all our wounded German soldiers thought they were already in France. They also thought Paris was already taken and London in flames. It hardly seems worth while to lie to them in this way, for they are bound to find out the truth sooner or later.
OUR HOSPITAL AND PATIENTS
After we had had a long week of night and day work, two more of my nurses suddenly turned up at the hospital. They had most unexpectedly got a message that I had sent in by hand to Brussels, begging for nurses and saying how hard pressed we were, and had got permission to come out in a Red Cross motor-ambulance. I was, of course, delighted to see them, and with their help we soon settled down into the ordinary routine of hospital life, and forgot we were prisoners under strict supervision, having all kinds of tiresome rules and regulations to keep.
The question of supplies was a very difficult one from the first. We were short of everything, very short of dressings, chloroform and all kinds of medical supplies, and especially (even worse in one way) very short of hospital linen such as sheets and towels and shirts and drawers, and we had the greatest difficulty in getting anyone to come and wash for us. One might have thought that with almost every one out of work, there would have been