The Queen's Gift Book, In Aid of Queen Mary's Convalescent Auxilliary Hospitals

4 THE QUEENS GIFT BOOK An instrument-maker shows me legs—not very heavy much lighter actually but of course heavier in effect than the lost limbs.“ Iiow far does it show—say with an amputation below the knee ?”The instrument-maker walks a few paces and comes back. “You can judge for yourself—I ve got one Ion.”“ should never have known it.” “No ?It depends on the man. Some will always show it— others-----”“ A matter of temperament!”“ Thats right.”“ But—above the knee ?”“Charlie just walk across will you?” A young man walks. You would say he had a bad corn or a weak knee—not ”more. “That says the instrument-maker “comes of getting the limb exactly right. And for that its vital to have the man right herewith you a bit at the start so as you can watch it pare away whats wrong and get it to fit him O.K. And another thing I’ll tell you :The better the instrument—and unfortunately the more expensive—the more comfortable itll be.” “Its not mere polish then that adds to the expense ?”“No sir its extra efficiency—skill and time spent on it.” “And does it worry a man much when its first put on ?”“Well its not just an addition to his comfort but he soon gets to feel all right with it. This is what we cover them with—calf­ skin. I should like you to seethe officer th ats going to have this leg he wears itAl .”This then is the importance of precisely the “just ”limb. And the second part of the work here—the placing of the maimed on the path of anew utility and hope the fitting of him with his to­morrow ?It goes very well they say—very well so far. It is up to the public to see that it goes well to the end. Passing back through the new w rooden wards twenty or thirty beds in each and two stoves—very scrupulous comfortable airy through the recreation rooms—small billiard tables chess dominoes plenty of books and heaps of papers I sit down in a wheel-chair vacated by one with left leg gone and right leg badly damaged who has got into a more solid chair alongside to read a magazine. Here is a bit of irony—perhaps the only bit of its kind in the whole of the two hospitals.
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