Head: Sabre Wound
The strokes of a sabre on his wan head – those blows repeated in the heat of battle where sabres whirl like flames. An attack by a tiger or the wake of a cutlass? He is conscious but he can’t speak. Better the clean cut of the sabre than all the musket-fire, grape-shot or tearaway cannonball. A field surgeon knows such a head injury gives ‘frequent opportunities of seeing the upper and the lateral parts of the cerebrum exposed by sabre wounds.’ To manoeuvre a cavalry horse ridden in balance staying steady always leaving the sabre arm free is a skill parried by another: to remove fragments of bone from the skull allowing the wounded dragoon to recover.