"Good-bye and God bless you." She went out, and he closed the door softly behind her. Sidney never forgot her early impressions of the hospital, although they were chaotic enough at first. There were uniformed young women coming and going, efficient, cool-eyed, low of voice.
"We'll have to stand 'em off heah!" They had been expecting it, and they were hardly surprised or unprepared. They were favored, too, in having such a place for defense. Save for the low walls of the abandoned corral, there was no cover worth mentioning for miles. Among the cool-eyed five who prepared to make their stand, there was not one who hadn't faced death before and often.
He had scarcely time to put his fire out, hide the lighter portions of his apparatus and flee to a safe hiding-place, nearby, before, clambering with lithe skill and caution almost equal to his own along the rocky pathways of the mountain-side, armed like soldiers scouting in a hostile country, cool-eyed as Indians, hard-faced as executioners, they actually appeared.
In each department of the store there is an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnivorous person carrying always a mileage book and a red necktie, and referred to as a "buyer." This particular buyer was a capable, cool-eyed, impersonal, young, bald-headed man.
Meanwhile the ravages went on, and the children were kept close housed at night, and cool-eyed old woodsmen went armed and vigilant along the lonely roads. The French habitant crossed himself, and the Saxon cursed his luck; and no one solved the mystery. Yet, after all, as Arthur Kane, the young schoolmaster at Burnt Brook Cross-Roads, began dimly to surmise, the solution was quite simple.
The Germans claim to have captured guns at or near this place. One thing I am sure of: This battery or another, it was not taken while there were men belonging to it to defend it. The bridge would run red and the water under the bridge, the muddy field be strewn with bodies, before those cheery, cool-eyed and indomitable French gunners would lose their guns.
It spread out on the bank across, a howling, frustrated, futile mass, disorganized and demoralized, which fired its useless guns across the river, which seethed and tossed and struggled, and spent itself in its own wild fury. And all the time cool-eyed men, on the wharves across, watched and waited for the time to attack.
Though the sight and odour of the cooking nauseated him, he was braced by a drink made from some bitter desert herb known to the girls for its tonic effect. "Now, Dad, remember you're sick. Just sit here quietly and leave all the business to me," said Carmena. "Jack will keep you company." She looked at Lennon, cool-eyed and self-possessed. "Watch your bad arm, Mr. Lennon," she advised.
The capable, cool-eyed, impersonal, young, bald-headed man whose task it was to engage six of the contestants, was aware of a feeling of suffocation as if he were drowning in a sea of frangipanni, while white clouds, hand-embroidered, floated about him. And then a sail hove in sight.
Shiela returned in a few minutes with her nurse, a quick-stepping, cool-eyed young woman in spotless uniform. A few minutes afterward the sounds indicated that oxygen was being used. An hour later Miss Race came into the hallway and looked at Shiela. "Mr. Hamil is conscious," she said. "Would you care to see him for a second?" A dreadful fear smote her as she crouched there speechless.