"Are any of you fellows alive?"
Claude closed his eyes against the rain beating in his face. The same voice came again, with a note of patient despair.
"If there's anybody left alive in this hole, won't he speak up? I'm badly hurt myself."
That must be the new doctor; wasn't his dressing station somewhere down here? Hurt, he said. Claude tried to move his legs a little. Perhaps, if he could get out from under the dirt, he might hold together long enough to reach the doctor. He began to wriggle and pull. The wet earth sucked at him; it was painful business. He braced himself with his elbows, but kept slipping back.
"I'm the only one left, then?" said the mournful voice below.
At last Claude worked himself out of his burrow, but he was unable to stand. Every time he tried to stand, he got faint and seemed to burst again. Something was the matter with his right ankle, too--he couldn't bear his weight on it. Perhaps he had been too near the shell to be hit; he had heard the boys tell of such cases. It had exploded under his feet and swept him down into the ravine, but hadn't left any metal in his body. If it had put anything into him, it would have put so much that he wouldn't be sitting here speculating. He began to crawl down the slope on all fours. "Is that the Doctor? Where are you?"
"Here, on a stretcher. They shelled us. Who are you? Our fellows got up, didn't they?"
"I guess most of them did. What happened back here?"