May 4 [1918]

Dear Mother,

I keep vowing that I will
not write any more sloppy letters
but not yet having purchased a
fountain pen or decent paper I
seem to be as badly off as Ever.

I really feel now as if we were
proving our Existence -- of course the
unit did that before but I never
saw them really at work. It is
nice to feel that because we are
here work is being better done
& lives saved which might
otherwise have been lost. I can't
say that I come in very close
contact with the wounded because
I don't Even wear nurse's clothes
now. Agnes & I wear any old
thing & always look dirty & greasy.
Our nurses have tremendously
interesting cases; they get the

men first hand, & the only thing
they regret of course is that they
are sent away just as soon as
they can stand the journey back to
the interior. I admire them a lot
and they most of them combine
one or two nights work a week in
addition to their day work; it certainly
is arduous & wearing because besides
the physical side they have so much
worry & nervous tension. My only feeling
of usefulness is that some one would
have to do my job anyway, & I
probably do it as well as another
because I don't care what I am
asked to do & am as Equally
willing to cook a late supper as to
chauffeur or carry around material,
keep accounts etc. The financial
End nearly kills me and I am
growing very close to stingy; it is
no cinch to feed 70 people Especially
when they are not all self supporting & you know that half have to support
the whole. I have been putting
Gus' money into champagne,
oranges & lemons for the men; the
hospital never seems to have any
in stock & we need a lot. Just
take that little item alone, giving
a few Extra comforts to the men
& you can realize in how many
other things we help. The
American Red Cross is very good
to us & we use a great deal
of their material, hospital shirts,
mattresses, pitchers, basins etc., stock
which our hospital has not got
a very complete set of & which
the lack of causes inconvenience &
poor work. If you are thinking
of sinking more money into the
Red Cross you can give me some
& it will go to the same End.
We are using a great many
surgical dressings but most of them are old, so I don't know
how your new models are; I do
know however that hardly any
pansement we get is big Enough.
We have Enormous wounds so we
take Extra size dressings which
we make up ourselves -- these
doctors like rolls of absorbent & non-
absorbent cotton--we love all sizes of
compresses & now I notice they are
starting on tampons -- we use
bandages de corps, but when I
think of all the struggles over
half inches that you used to have it
makes me laugh when I see how
they use things here.

I haven't thought at all
about coming home, to tell you
the truth I feel as if I had just
begun & I should hate to leave
just now when we are starting
in on a new Era & Mrs. Daly is
hunting for more people. If

you know of any husky, willing
aides who can talk French &
pay 10 francs a day do let me
know, because we would like
them here with us. I could not
bear to leave now when no one
knows what is going to happen
next, & Especially now that I
know the ropes, can speak
French & above all (let us knock
on wood) am healthy. I might
almost call myself valuable. The
great point out here is to be
not of a nervous temperament, &
take Everything as it comes, not
to worry, and to look after your
health. I had to chuckle over
a letter from Pa in which he
said not to get tired; Mrs. Daly
heard me & when I told her the
reason why she said she wished
she could send a photo of me to
Pa just to show him how bursting I am.

Agnes & I washed the Ford This
morning. We went to the hospital
pump & with an old piece of hose
tried to squirt the machine. The
medecin chef came by & Agnes
asked him for a decent hose so
he went & brought us in his own
hands a beautiful long piece --
great triumph! With many bowings
& scrapings he presented it to us,
while I could hear the men around
us murmur in amusement.

Too dark to write another
word. This not is not much but
I will try to do better.

Much love,

19.1 cm x 12.5 cm

From the Eleanor Saltonstall papers