And I said a little prayer

Bill said: “as
soon as you pass the bridge go like the devil. It’s
hell on that road they’re shelling hell out of it.”
— Comforting words these and
my spirits rose accordingly. I hurriedly cranked my car saying a little
prayer that I would have the guts to go thru with it. As we left the poste we
could see them breaking on both sides of the bridge, sending up big clouds of
dust & smoke. I saw them but somehow
they didn’t seem to register on my brain. I saw them &
that was all. The road surely was being shelled. Shell holes,
branches & wires littered the road. Despite this, from the time I
said my prayer,
I had

the most peculiar feeling almost
of abstraction, the shells didn’t worry me in the least because something
inside me kept saying “you’re safe” “they won’t hit you” “don’t be afraid”. As
we dashed along the road, it seemed that I was
merely driving along a country road at home. A most peculiar feeling and I can’t
express just exactly what it was…

Friday, June 14 1918, near the front in Northern France, American ambulance driver’s diary – The Compensations of War. Photo: 1918, France, American ambulance dashing along the road.