Page:Above the battle.djvu/92

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Above the Battle

the distress of those who have disappeared, deprived of money or the means of obtaining any from their families. What misery is revealed in the first letters received from such families interned in France or Germany! A mother whose little boy is ill, although rich cannot procure any money. Another, with two children, requests us to warn her family that if after the war, nothing more is heard of her, it will mean that she has died of hunger. These cries of misery seemed in the noise of battle to fall on deaf ears for the first two months. The Red Cross itself, absorbed in its immense task, reserved all its help for the military prisoners, and the Governments seemed to show a superb disdain for their unfortunate citizens. Of what use are such as cannot serve! Yet these are the most innocent victims of this war. They have not taken part in it, and nothing had prepared them for such calamities.

Fortunately a man of generous sympathies (he will not forgive me for publishing his name), Dr. Ferrière, was touched by the misfortunes of these outcasts of the war. With a tenacity as patient as it was passionate, he set himself to construct in the swarming hive of Red Cross workers a special department to deal with their