Tending to the wounded at hospitals is sort of an obligatory ritual of our time, a patriotic duty, and girls fulfill it scrupuosly.
Wounded during our summer offensive, I lay in a hospital train, boiling in the heat, raving from my wounds, rocking in my hammock and surrounded by strange apparitions. At night my fever led me across the thickly forested floodplains of the river Prut between Yassa and Ungena and revealed to me the land of my childhood and, unbeknownst to my childhood self, my ancestors. See more
My hallucinations featured evil-looking black windmills, gardens, grapevines, graveyards overgrown with sagebrush, and an old Church from Peter’s times, half stone and half wooden.
A crowd of wounded officers surrounded a Red Cross hospital train, demanding to be allowed on board. This was clearly impossible: it was quite obvious even through the window how tightly packed the carriages were. Terrible, bandaged heads peered out of hammocks, and narrow, faces, deathly pale as masks, with pitiful eyes, so dark they looked painted, muddy-grey hospital gowns, and crutches, one of which was sticking out through the broken window of the carriage. See more
The crowd howled and swore obscenely without a break, heaping abuse on the Provisional Government, on the leaders, safely entrenched in the rear, on our “gallant Allies” and the “Commander-in-Chief” Kerensky himself, who ought to be strung up from the nearest tree, and wasn’t it a shame Kornilov hadn’t done it? - although he was a regular bastard himself.
Kerensky himself visited our division: hunched shoulders, bulbous nose, wearing a felt English cap with an unbuckled peak, his damaged hand in a suede glove pressed to the chest pocket of his coat; he stood in the command car surrounded by curious soldiers. He was screaming at them, his shaved mouth wide open, urging them to attack in the name of freedom and revolution.