Library policies Library hours Library catalogue More than 10,000 books in the database!
Golden Lads
written by "Gleason, Arthur, 1878-1923"
...ight arm and the stomach. Every careen of the ambulance over cobble and into shell-hole was a thrust into his hurt. We had to carry him all the way from the Nieuport cellar to Zuydcoote Hospital, ten miles. The driver was one more of the American young men who have gone over into France to pay back a little of what we owe her. I want to give his name, Robert Cardell Toms, because it is good for us to know that we have brave and tender gentlemen. On this long haul, as always, he drove with extreme care, changing his speed without the staccato jerk, avoiding bumps and holes of the trying road. When we reached the hospital, he ran[Pg 111] ahead into the ward to prepare the bed. The officer beckoned me to him. He spoke with some difficulty, as the effort caught him in the wound of his stomach. "Please be good enough," he said, "to give my thanks to the chauffeur. He has driven me down with much consideration. He cares for wounded men." Where other races are grateful and inarticulate, the French are able to put into speech the last fine touch of feeling. My friend kept a supply of cigarettes for his ambulance cases, and as soon as the hour-long drive began we dealt them out to the bandaged men. How often we have started with a groaning man for the ride to Zuydcoote, and how well the trip went, when we had lighted his cigarette for him. It brought back a little of the conversation and the merriment which it had called out in better days. It is such a relief to be wounded. You have done your duty, and now you are to have a little rest. With a clear conscience, you can sink back into laziness, far away from noise and filth. Luck has come along and pulled the pack off your[Pg 112] back, and the responsibility from your sick mind. No weary city clerk ever went to his seashore holiday with more blitheness than some of our wounded showed as they came riding in from the Nieuport trenches at full length on the stretcher, and singing all the way....

This book you can borrow for use directly by visiting our library!