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When Henry was taken to Milan in a train, he was shifted to the American hospital in an ambulance. He was taken on a stretcher to the elevator, and when there was no room in it, the attendants carried him. Henry felt pain in his legs when they were bent in the elevator and pleaded to the men to be gentle. He inquired whether he was very heavy, to which they reply no. When he went into the hospital, no room was ready because no patients were expected. The nurses could not speak Italian, but Henry informed them that he could speak English. Henry offered the attendants and the stretcher-bearers some money. Henry finally got a room. The next morning when he awoke, Henry rang the bell, and it was answered by a young, pretty nurse. She informed him that the doctor had gone to Lake Como and they did not know that a patient was coming. Henry asked her if she knew a nurse called Miss Barkley but she said she didnít. She washed him gently and smoothly.
His temperature read normal, though he claimed that a lot of trench mortar fragments, old screws, and bedsprings were lodged in his legs. She told him that if that was the case, then there would be inflammation and fever. Her name was Miss Gage and she treated him well, and provided him with excellent nursing care.
The next afternoon, Henry met Miss Van Campen, the superintendent. She did not like Henry, and he did not like her either. He treated her curtly and was later admonished by Miss Gage for having done so. The doctor had still not come from Lake Como, for he had a clinic there. Henry asked the porter to bring him some wine and the evening newspapers.
This chapter vividly describes the apathy that is generally found in hospitals dealing with war victims. The staff is skeletal, the nurses are all right, the superintendent is rough, and the doctor is absent. There is little scope for action or plot development in this chapter because we know that Catherine has not yet arrived.