"And you suppose that I will allow this? The wounded men remain here. I will seek shelter elsewhere. But, above all things, examine the wounds of these two officers at once, and dress them."
The surgeon advanced, and examined them carefully, then drew near the king.
"Your majesty," said he, shrugging his shoulders, "it would be all in vain. A cannon-ball has torn off the right arm of one of these men, and he must die of gangrene. The other has a cartridge-load of iron in his face and in his body. It is impossible to bind up these wounds."
The king did not answer him. He stepped hastily to the straw-bed, and took both the wounded men by the hand. Then, turning to the surgeon, he said--
"Look, now, these two men are young and powerful--they have no fever. With such young blood and fresh hearts Nature often does wonders. Dress them, and bind up their wounds, and, above all things, see that they have nourishment--they have need of it."
"Ah, yes, your majesty; we have been hungry and thirsty a long time," said Grabow.
The king smiled. "See, now, you think they are lost, and yet they have healthy stomachs; so long as a man is hungry he will not die."
The surgeon opened his case of instruments and commenced to dress the wounds. The king watched him for a long time, then stooped down and said, tenderly, "Children, do not despair; I will learn how it goes with you, and if you are no longer fit for service, I will take care of you. Believe that I will not forget you." He bowed kindly and left the room. His adjutants were awaiting him at the door of the tent. [Footnote: The king's own words. The whole scene is historical. These two officers, whom the king saved in this way from death, recovered rapidly. After they were completely restored, they again took part in the contest, and were again severely wounded at Kolberg. They served until peace was declared, and then retired on the invalid list, and, by the express order of the king, were most kindly cared for.--See Nicolai.] The king signed to them to follow him, and stepping rapidly through the village, he passed by the huts from which loud cries of anguish and low murmurs were heard.