It’s certainly fitting that this is the month that’s taken such a long time to publish. I haven’t been active on here since late April, as I had to attend to some urgent business—namely, I bought a motorcycle and have been spending too much of my free time riding it. But I digress.
November 1918 was also the month Cap had a three-week lapse in writing. But the reason for his delay is a much nobler one: He was busy winning a war. He was also severely injured in a mustard gas attack that left him blind for several days.
Cap’s lengthy entry from November 28 is one of the most captivating pieces of first-hand reporting I’ve ever read. It’s like the zany nightmare of a mental patient: a ruthless enemy hurling shell after shell of poisonous gas at you, who upon reaching an armistice immediately runs across the trenches to offer you wine—all this amid the silent spread of the deadly Spanish Flu. It’s something unimaginable, and quintessentially not of this era.
“Shortly after reaching the hospital my eyes began to close and for two days I was unable to see even the light of day. It was then that I realized to what extent we were gassed. I lay in bed and many, many times wondered if I would ever see again and I can assure you it was anything but pleasant.”