National Geographic : 1942 Jul
Kentucky, Boone's Great Meadow Volkmar Wentzel Out of the Night and the Dangerous Ways Comes an Angel of Mercy Young women of the Frontier Nursing Service at Hyden risk life and limb daily to visit isolated mountain cabins (page 74). If this nurse had not braved the wilds to reach the home of Mrs. May Morgan, who looks on while first aid is administered, the little girl might have suffered serious complica tions from an infection in her foot. "By this time the roar of the river was much louder and the mud stickier and foot holds less firm; in fact, we were soon using hands as well as feet to keep from rolling down the hillside. "When we had nearly reached the mouth of Owlsnest Branch, I heard a thud and, sud denly missing my guide, I wildly shone my flashlight around. To my horror I found my beloved saddlebags vanishing over the cliff edge, and a pair of hands fumbling in the mud. It took me a few seconds to decide which to save, the man or the bags, and dur ing those few seconds he scrambled up un aided, much to my relief. "A mule was waiting for me at Owlsnest. His owner said apologetically: " 'We didn't rightly know if you would ride a scary mule, and the saddle is fixed with string and hardly good for a woman.' "After a few minor incidents, such as sink- ing to the top of the mule's legs in sand, and slipping on rock, and being 'scary' in the middle of a rushing creek, we got going. "The mule was splendid in getting over tree trunks; in fact, our getting to Cutshin Creek was due to that poor animal. "When we at last caught sight of a light flickering in the far distance, I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but when we had slid and slithered nearer, we plainly heard a lusty yell from the new arrival. "With a word of thanks to the mule and the man, I staggered into the cabin. A dim light, a fire burning low, a white-faced, anxious woman on a tumbled bed, and somewhere amongst the bedclothes an eight-pound baby girl! "Two hours later, a clean baby, a happy mother, and a bright fire-in fact, a peaceful cabin. All had to be left, and with a sinking heart I faced the return journey."