light boots, hard biscuit, canned meats and confiture. Already a flock

of human ravens was collected about the piles of debris, sorting out

what was good to take and collecting fragments of bread for a happy

repast. It was sickening to see, when possibly some of those brave, dead

soldiers were lying, yet unburied, in the nearby hedges and ravines.

Arrived at the little village we saw destruction a plenty. The

inhabitants all had terror-stricken countenances and yet in their desire

to please, literally fell over each other in haste to tell and show.

Some of the buildings were entirely demolished, others with doors hacked

up and windows broken, while everywhere houses and trees were riddled

with bullets. One old peasant woman told me that she and fifty others

were imprisoned for twenty-four hours by the Germans in a tiny stable,

without food or drink, and for no apparent reason.

The battlefield on the top of a ridge of hills between the Ourthe and

the Meuse is a large plain, around the edges of which lay scores of

magnificent trees cut down in haste to give unobstructed range. Their

branches had been previously soaked in _petrole_ and set on fire. The

effect of those prostrate, charred monsters added to the desolation all

around. Across the end of the plain were those famous open trenches of

"two stories," that is, with about a two-foot elevation of earth in the

bottom against the front wall of the ditch, forming a kind of platform

for the soldiers when taking aim.

These were dug by the soldiers and men from the factories of Liege. In

front of the trenches were constructed those marvellous, barbed wire

fences, about one and one half metres apart and perhaps five rows deep,

with the wire twisted and wound in every conceivable fashion. Thirty

feet in front of this barrier was buried a string of mines, connected

with the trenches by an electric wire, to be exploded at a given

moment. Dark as the night was, the enemy found and severed some of

these communications so that most of the mines were rendered

ineffective. We saw the cut wire in several places. What hope can those

poor soldiers have, enemy or no, the advance guard of the besiegers, who

are pushed forward often at the point of the bayonet, armed only with

huge scissors to cut through such an almost impenetrable defense?

A most touching sight was the graves of thirty Belgians in one end of

these trenches. Does that not seem a terrible irony to be buried in

one's own trenches? A few common, wayside flowers were strewn on the

graves, in front of which was an old prayer-stool and a wooden cross

surmounted with a Belgian _kepi_ (military cap). This cap seemed a

living thing almost and reminded me of the red fez so often seen on the

Moslem tombs in the cemeteries of Constantinople, which seemingly

strives to evoke a vital spirit from the frigid marble. Nailed to the

cross was a fragment of those well-known lines of the Immortal Caesar,

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