They cut the soldier’s trousers away and Boyd filleted his right thigh hastily to the bone at a point midway between the man’s hip and knee. He took up the bone saw then and laid the business side of it against the lower end of the soldier’s bare thighbone, where he began to run it back and forth. The blade’s teeth bit at the glistening bone with a feel of grit and tiny flecks of bone dust and blood peppered the air as he worked. It took a bit more force than Boyd supposed it should and he made a mental note to have Tiny replace the blade before the next patient. When he had about sawn through the whole of the man’s femur, the final remnant of it snapped with the audible pop of a dry twig. Working quickly, the surgeon dropped the saw back in the basin and stuffed a wad of lint against the bleeding bone stump.
“Artery forceps, thread,” Boyd said. He turned to spit again in the resulting brief interval.
Major Josiah Boyd was an old forty-eight. His hair had decidedly thinned up top and he hadn’t shaved in a long span of days. He was of lanky build and sallow complexion, possessed a long drawn-out face almost ghoulish in its particular bony detail, with cheekbones that sat high under his eyes. The cheeks themselves, hollow and sunken, looked dark and ominous. His lower jaw had been twice broken and evidently poorly set. It jutted out obtrusively and his teeth came together but poorly, and then at an angle somewhat off the expected so that the whole of his face looked skewed. His hands were large and his fingers long and spindly in the manner of a great spider. He was overall an ungainly fellow, undignified in appearance.
He was as good as they came once his blade parted skin.
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