There were other ceremonies which took place in the General's room. General Joffre arrived one day and decorated him with the Legion of Honour. After Joffre had pinned the medal on his breast and kissed him on both cheeks he came over and talked to me for a few minutes about the General's progress. Another day King Albert arrived and gave him a medal, one only given to high officers, ---the Order of the Cross. A certain great man, a member of the British Royal Family, was also deputed to be the bearer of the Victoria Cross from our King. Many great statesmen of Belgium and famous warriors of the Allies visited my General at one time or another.
It was autumn now. Sometimes in the afternoon we wandered across the fields, picking blackberries which I made into pies or stewed for my illustrious patient. I spent a good part of my time trying to concoct little dainties for him, and bothering the chauffeur, who bought our stores each day in Dunkerque, to search the shops for some new delicacy. In those rambles we strolled along the banks of little brooks where forget-me-nots fringed the edges, passed through farmyards where nuns in their quaint costumes sat on three-legged stools milking cows, and soldiers leaned over the gates laughing and chatting. By-and-by the sun sank, a ball of fire, while mist rose like a veil from the low flat country. In the glow of the glorious sunset airplanes chased each other overhead, little puffs of smoke dotted the clear blue sky, whilst the bark of guns and the reports of explosions overhead all played a weird part in the rural evening scene. Birds chirped in the hedges where we gathered blackberries, while on the horizon the roar of artillery formed the bass of the orchestra. The General progressed rapidly. In a month he was able to dispense with my services. Soon the morning came when I entered his room to bid him farewell. Handing me an immense bouquet, he kissed me on both cheeks in approved French fashion. Then we climbed the car and were off to Calais, en route for England, waving regretful good-byes to white-capped groups of nurses and our dear Belgian friends.
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