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THE DAY OF DEPARTURE.
camp, and as we feared he made the best of things whilst others made the worst, it was determined therefore that they should take the middle course.
At length all was ready, and October the 8th was fixed for their departure. Lighters had been ordered to come down from Scutari to take the luggage, but none appeared. At eleven the Sisters could delay no longer, for fear of losing their passage ; they ordered as many boxes as possible to be placed in the caiques, which were to convey them to the Golden Horn, where the “ Ottawar lying
The long train of Sisters descended the hill and entered the barrack-yard. They stopped at the extra store-room to bid farewell to our superintendent and the other ladies. The tears came to our eyes as we parted from them. From first to last the utmost cordiality had subsisted between all the ladies and Sisters, and some of us felt we were parting from tried and warm friends.
THE SISTERS' DEPARTURE.
Passing down to the quay they were again stopped by the number of patients, orderlies, and soldiers from the detachment, crowding to say good-bye, and shower down a last blessing on the heads of those who had been so long their nurses and comforters. The quay was crowded with soldiers and officers; every one in the hospital was sorry they were going, for their simple holy lives had won the respect and goodwill of all.
They embarked in caiques, and were soon on board the “ Ottawar." Among their fellow passengers was
one going to the camp, whose departure all deeply regretted. Mr. Coney, the senior Church of England chaplain, was ordered to the station of St. George's monastery, and to our real sorrow he quitted us. Our only consolation was that he would have a wider field of work in which to do good; very much indeed had he done at Koulali, and among those who differed from him in religion, as well as
those who agreed with him, he was universally respected and beloved.
I took my last farewell of the Sisters on board the 6 Ottawar." There I met and was kindly greeted by Miss Nightingale, who was also going up in the “ Ottawar," with two nurses, to the Castle Hospital, Balaclava. The Sisters of Mercy, from the General Hospital, Scutari, also here joined their Superioress and the rest of their community, as the whole number were to proceed together to Balaclava.
The General Hospital, Koulali, was closed formally the next day, and the Sardinians were daily expected. Days passed into weeks, and yet no signs of their arrival. The departure of the Sisters made a terrible blank; we could not bear to go near the General Hospital, where we had spent so many happy hours-now gone for ever. General Storks expressed his sorrow at their valuable services being lost to the hospitals in his
DIMINUTION OF THE NURSING STAFF.
command. The medical officers spoke in the highest terms of the assistance they had rendered while under their orders. One of them inquired into the peculiar rules of their order. He had never met with nuns before, and fancied all religious orders were cloistered, of which life he said he did not approve,
but thought an active order like this most useful.
Invalids were sent home after the Sisters' departure, so that our numbers diminished more and
while twice a week as usual a number of men were discharged for duty while none came down from the camp. We had now only one hundred men in the Barrack Hospital, and another one hundred and ten in the Convalescent Hospital, who were not under our care. We began seriously to contemplate the advisability of some of our party returning home, as it was evident that the closing of the General Hospital and the diminution of patients had more than counterbalanced the loss of the
DR. HUMPHREY AND THE DIET ROLL.
Sisters, and our staff was far too large for our present work.
Those who had important duties at home, and who had left them only because they were called out by a great emergency, did not feel justified in remaining when that emergency had passed.
One had almost made up her mind to leave when an alteration in the routine at once caused her and others also finally to decide on returning to England. Dr. Humphrey had for some time past considered that the health of the patients had so amended, and the facility of procuring things from the purveyor's stores was so great, that he thought the old routine of the diet-roll ought again to be revived.
An act of disobedience of one of the hired nurses brought matters to a crisis, and Dr. Humphrey issued general orders to the effect that nothing was to be given except from the diet-rolls. This order came so suddenly