carving them a niche in the landscape. These men had been fighting for

several days and, bowed down as they were with the wet and misery of it

all, made a shocking contrast to fresh troops of cavalry which passed at

the same time, brandishing long, dramatic looking lances. And Felix,

the second gardener, who is one of these "_lanciers_," came to say

good-bye in the elegant uniform of his regiment and looking very smart

in white trousers and short blue jacket--in fact, a man transformed.

I had always seen him in wooden sabots and blue apron coaxing this

flower and that into bloom, but he had never been a great success at it.

When his elder brother died, he had wished, so much, to replace him as

head-gardener, so his master let him try for a little and he had failed,

indifferently. But here was a soldier-man, stout heart and valiant

sword, eager to serve his King. This time he will not fail but will meet

his opportunity more than half way.[1] All day Red Cross ambulances and

every kind of vehicle were hurrying by, bringing the wounded from the

battlefield. Madame X.'s family physician stopped in on one of his trips

for a moment's respite from the awfulness up there--his description of

those scenes is too terrible to write about. The carnage was

awful--pieces of bodies scattered about everywhere, the wounded writhing

in their death agony and the dead standing up straight against masses of


In the evening, indistinct sounds of a far off battle could be heard as

the struggle moved on to another quarter. Nearer, we heard the trailing

of heavy artillery down the mountain and against our will the thought

formulated itself, "Will that wave of terror roll back to us?" Our ears

have developed an abnormal acuteness, so that almost a pin falling will

make taut nerves scream, though in reality nobody moves--a glance is

enough to both ask and answer a question. A marvelous new

self-possession seems to have come to everybody which bridges over a

natural despair and forms, at least, a skeleton framework by which we

keep each other up.


[1] Not heard of again.

_August 7th, Friday._

More or less booming from the forts all day. As communications of every

kind have been cut off, we cannot know what is happening. But where is

the assistance so direfully needed, promised by both France and England

to poor little Belgium with the great German army moving on Liege?

Everybody has faith, however, in the Allies, and in the streets it is

pathetic to hear people assuring each other, "_O, oui, les Francais

viennent ce soir_" (Oh, yes, the French are coming to-night). There are

many German troops in town already, who somehow have pushed their way

in between the firing, but the city will not cede the forts, so the

bombardment may begin at any moment. I cannot define my

impressions--some day I may be able to, but just now I do not know what

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