the only diet for the sick men were replaced by punctual meals, well-prepared and appetising, while strengthening extra foods — soups and wines and jellies ("preposterous luxuries," snarled*) Dr. Hall) — were distributed to those who needed them. One thing, however, she could not effect. The separation of the bones from the meat was no part of official cookery: the rule was that the food must be divided into equal portions, and if some of the portions were all bone — every man must take his chance. The rule, perhaps, was not a very good one; but there it was. "It would require a new regulation of the Service," she was told, "to bone the meat." As for the washing arrangements, they were revolutionised. Up to the time of Miss Nightingale's arrival the number of shirts which the authorities had succeeded in washing was seven. The hospital bedding, she found, was "washed" in cold water. She took a Turkish house, had boilers installed, and employed soldiers' wives to do the laundry work. The expenses were defrayed from her own funds and that of the Times; and henceforth the sick and wounded had the comfort of clean linen.
Then she turned her attention to their clothing. Owing to military exigencies the greater number of the men had abandoned their kit *); their knapsacks were lost for ever; they possessed nothing but what was on their persons, and that was usually only fit for speedy destruction. The "Purveyor", of course, pointed out that, according to the regulations, all soldiers should bring with them into hospital an adequate supply of clothing, and he declared that it was no business of his to make good their deficiencies. Apparently, it was the business pf Miss Nightingale. She procured soeks, boots, and shirts in
1. to snarl: to growl, said of angry or quarrelling dogs.
2. kit: soldier's valise or knapsack, or the things in it.