More Nursing At Belleau Wood

Bruce Hannaken is like most of the other Marines, he's been focused either on fighting or digging trenches for the past few days. Ever since his unit first moved into this part of France. Now he was aggrivated. Every shovel-full brings unbearable pain to the Marine's left hand. He pauses to look at the mess of flesh that was his palm a few hours ago. Blisters and broken tissue now adorn the reddened flesh.

Josephine has settled in in her new surroundings and has been too busy to long for home anyway. She has a little bed in a room in the villa, a room that is shared with many other nurses. She's just gotten up after a few hours of sleep after a long night of work. A quick bath and a clean uniform put on, and she feels almost human again. Time to get back to work, and since all the acute cases are handled for now, Bruce Hannaken is up on the list. Josephine turns a smile upon the marine and beckons him to come over and sit on a cot.

Hannaken gets permission from his NCO to visit the aid station and then takes his lightly dressed form down the road toward the old stone villa where the Red Cross has erected their equipment. He stands in line, turns his name and information in to a secretary and then shows an orderly his hands. He then stands in line. He hears a woman's voice and then turns to see Josephine. As instructed, he takes a seat on the cot.
He grimaces as he opens his hand to show her the mess of flesh there. "Hi, ma'am," he says in greeting, a soft twang apparent in his voice marking him as a Southerner of some sort.

Grant hates the people in command, at the moment. After all, he's supposed to be out there somewhere, sending those Germans to a far better place than this war, but where is he? Currently being ordered to carry supplies to the aid station, which he does, but with a rather unhappy expression as he keeps on carrying the stuff.

"Hello, Marine," Josephine replies in English, though it is accented so clearly she is French in origin. She leans over to look at his hand, then reaches for her kit so she can start by cleaning his hand. "Call me Josephine," she suggests kindly. "And your hand looks worse than it is, but you should avoid working with it for a couple of days, at least not do any more digging." Perhaps Hannaken can get away from that duty for a few days if he's lucky. She looks over at Grant and waves to him, a bit distractedly; she's taking care of a patient, after all.

Hannaken notices Grant and recognizes him from the Island. He then turns to Josephine. "Maybe you could write me a light duty chit then…something to tell my NCO that I need a break," he says looking the nurse in the eyes as best he can before smiling. He sets his jaw against the pain of her tampering with his wound. "Are you from these parts ma'am?" he asks her.

Grant places the supplies where he was instructed to, and then offers a smile and a quick grin over at Josephine and Hannaken, before he makes his way back out to do whatever more they have for him to do.

Josephine gives Grant a thankful smile at his work and another wave as he leaves again. "I will write it," she promises, now wrapping a bandage tightly around Hannaken's hand. "And no, I am from Arras, which is about 150 kilometres northwest of here, close to the Belgian border," she explains willingly. "I just came here yesterday to help nurse the Americans." Hannaken gets a dazzling smile. "Thank you for being here."

Such gratitude from such a beautiful and benevolent lady isn't something Hannaken is used to, he blushes terribly and turns his eyes from his bandaged hand to the frenchwoman, "You don't have to thank me ma'am," he says with coy humility. "I'm here to do my duty," he says pressing a sheen of bravado into his voice.

Josephine tucks the end of the bandage in under the wrapped part and then inspects it to make sure it's nicely done. "Some would argue it is not your duty to be here," she says softly. "But perhaps it is a personal thing, a duty of the soul…" She hesitates, not too used discussing such deep thoughts in English. She turns to get a form to fill in to write about Hannaken's wounds on, for his CO. "What is your name, Monsieur?"

"Private Bruce Hannaken ma'am," he says. Hannaken was a bit older and college educated to some degree. Unlike many of his country fellows, the Kentuckian wasn't ill-educated as to world politics. "It was inevitable that we get involved miss, perhaps the allies can finally end this war and restore your homeland to peace." He felt a bit out of place discussing such things in an aid station, but it had been a very long time since someone had tried to engage him in an actual conversation.

Josephine writes slowly. Though she speaks English well enough, writing it is another matter, her practice in that regard somewhat lacking. Still, it should be quite understandable by his CO. She hands him the sheet of paper, after having signed it. "That the nation of America get involved, that I can understand, it is a political thing. But it does not mean you had to sign up," she says thoughtfully, studying the man. "What makes a man decide to volunteer for war?" She is fascinated about that mindset; it is one thing fighting when your country is attacked, another to sign up and go across a large ocean to fight in another country when you don't have to.

"That's an excellent question," Hannaken says. He flexes his hand beneath the bandage. "The pain is much reduced, thank you." He then turns back to the subject of their conversation. "Where I'm from its expected. If the nation calls, then you answer. Everyone else of age did, so part of it is the pressure of my peers. The other part was curiosity. I've wanted to see Paris all my life. And perhaps London."

Josephine smiles her understanding at him, washing her hands. "Did you get to see Paris yet?" she wonders curiously. "I have only been there once, myself. And I was only a small child then, I barely remember."

It seems that he was sent in here with more supplies. And so Grant's back, shrugging a little bit as he carries the rest inside. "Where shall I put this?" he asks, to nobody in particular.

Hannaken sits back on the cot, more than happy to take the time at sick call to escape the non-stop work of trench digging.
He'd even thought about going out on patrol when they asked for volunteers, but he'd thought bleeding hands were better than a bleeding stomach…or chest. He looks at Josephine and smiles again. "Well, I saw it from the road as we moved here…in the distance." He chuckles a bit to himself and sees Grant move closer. "Hey Grant, I thought you were with second platoon. They have you guys moving supplies?"

Josephine cleans up after herself, throwing away some old rags and closing some jars with salves, leaving things neat and tidy for the next person to work here. "After the war, I will go there, and to London," she says longingly. She looks up and nods to Grant, moving a bit closer to him. "Is that morphine?" she asks, looking at the crates.

Grant shrugs a little bit, at Hannaken's questions, "Don't know, really. I was just told to do this." He shrugs a little bit more, and then looks about to say something else as well, but then stops as he hears Josephine's questions. "I think so, yes," he replies, after a few moments of pause.

Morphine…Hannaken closes his eyes briefly remembering the sweet sensation of morphine. He then opens them to look at the nurse and Grant. "Better to carry supplies than carry a shovel it would seem," Hannaken says holding his bandaged hand up. He glances at the nurse and says, "Thank you miss," he gets to his feet and waits for her to finish his light-duty chit.

Josephine looks positively happy to hear that. "Oh good, we only had a small supply of it earlier." She points towards a room nearby. "Put them over there for now," she suggests, catching the eye of another older nurse and gesturing at Grant to explain what's going on. Then she turns back to the chit and finishes it, handing it over to Hannaken. "There you go, Mister Hannaken. Be careful with that hand and make sure to have the bandages changed tomorrow."

Hannaken smiles at Josephine, letting his eyes linger upon her like only soldiers can. He flexes his hand again and then brings it up into the grip of his other hand, which he holds across his chest. "Perhaps when your shift ends we can talk again of war and politics and…" his voice trails off. "Other things." He smiles and looks to Grant. "Take care…"

Grant shrugs a little bit, as he grins at Hannaken, "Isn't everything better than carrying the shovel?" he asks, before he nods at Josephine. "Will do," he replies, heading over towards where that other nurse is, with the morphine.

Josephine blinks a bit at Hannaken. "Oh… I would like that," she says and beams a quick smile at him. "Though only in the company of someone else, of course. A chaperone." Here's a real catholic girl and young to boot. "Did any of you hear if there's some ambulances coming here soon?" she asks next of both Grant and Hannaken.

"I think some army units were engaged somewhere north last night, so probably." He smiles at Josephine. "I'll see you soon." Time to make himself scarce. They were at war after all. Not much time to socialize and talk when the sun was up and blood was being spilt in a wholesale manner. Hannaken trods out of the medic station with lighter footsteps at the thought of talking with Josephine again.

"Ambulances?" Grant asks, as he's finished with deposing the morphine. "I don't know. Hopefully there'll be some here, or some other kind of transportation." He then looks over at Hannaken. "See you out there," he offers, with a smile.

Josephine waves at Hannaken. "Be careful!" she calls, something said to all who leave. It might help them survive a bit longer. She watches him leave for a moment, then looks back at Grant, studying him curiously. "I am Josephine Beaumont, from Arras," she introduces herself. "We need some ambulances… I heard they were coming soon, was hoping you'd seen them or heard something."

Grant smiles, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Beaumont," he replies, before he adds, "I'm William H. Grant, from Philadelphia, but most people only call me Bill." He then shakes his head a little. "I'm afraid I won't be able to help you with good news about the ambulances."

Josephine chews on her lip, nodding her understanding. "Nice to meet you too, Mister Grant. But call me Josephine," she insists. She tucks some hair in under her hat, studying him curiously. "America, it is such a big country! I have met many of Americans already, there is so many accents."

Grant smiles, nodding a bit. "It is rather big, yes," he replies, before he adds, "Arras, is that far from here?" No, European geography wasn't his best subject the time he spent in school.

"Not that far away, it is about 150 kilometres to the northwest, not far from the Belgian border," Josephine explains, speaking fondly of her home-town. "Thankfully, Arras has never been captured though it has been very close. For awhile, the front line was right outside of the town."

Grant blinks a little, "Right outside of town? That sounds quite troubling." He then nods a little bit. "Hopefully, we'll be able to send the Germans back into Germany soon…"

Josephine lets out a little sigh. "I hope so," she says quietly. Hope is the last thing to leave a man, it is said. "Are you in need of any medical attention, Mister Grant? I have some time right now if you need something."

Grant shakes his head a little. "I've managed to avoid being shot so far," he replies, with a grin. "I guess being short is good sometimes…"

Josephine has to laugh at that joke, eyes twinkling. "It has its clear advantages," she agrees, quite the short one herself. "Except in crowds on events, you never see anything."

"That's why you need to find some place with a view for those occasions," Grant replies, with a bit of a grin.

"Well, when I was little, I could ride the shoulders of my father, but now?" Josephine laughs a little at the idea. "Perhaps when I get married my husband can hoist me up."

Grant smiles a bit, "That sounds like a good idea," he offers, before he sighs. "I should go back out there again, now. It was nice to meet you."

"It was nice to meet you too, Mister Grant! Be careful out there," Josephine says insistantly.

Grant smiles, "I'll do my best."

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