which the day before had been uprooted from the terraces of the chateau
to make room for the red, summer geraniums.
At ten o'clock this Sunday morning the usual fusillade and tolling of
bells announced the departure of the procession from the church. It
passed slowly along by the highroad and presently we heard a chorus of
young voices singing hymns--the girls and boys of the village: the music
was soft and illusive in the distance, developing a sweet crescendo as
they turned into the pasture, fairly plowing their way through a sea of
daisies. Behind them came two little acolytes, fair as angels, swinging
their golden incense lamps; then followed six choir boys, chanting the
Mass, like veritable della Robbias, in their red soutanes and exquisite,
white, lace surplices. Next were the clergy, in robes of cloth of gold
and rare Flemish lace, carrying the Host under a purple velvet canopy.
The village people followed on in quiet devoutness and, arrived at the
chapel, placed lighted candles in the sconces at each side of the grille
door. When the Mass was said and the last plaintive notes had died away,
little children came forward and heaped their thousand-colored bouquets
before the altar. It was an impressive ceremony and must, by its
charming simplicity, leave a mark on many a worldly heart.
Today, August 11th, 1914, at dusk, as the cannon had ceased firing, we
took a little recreation, following the paths on the mountainside;
looking down from a height of perhaps one hundred feet through the
trees, we saw the little chapel gleaming like a beacon in the dark,
dozens of blinking candles pinioned against the black walls. The grille
door was woven with nosegays, making a curtain of flowers which
partially concealed the altar beyond.
Before it, stretching up supplicating hands, many women knelt, bowed
down with grief and despair, and children, awed by recent memories,
stood immovable in their places. Poor, poor people! Some of them in
spite of their unwavering faith must drink the bitter cup so near at
_August 13th, Thursday._
It is true that one gets inured to danger (particularly if one has not
so far been hit) and after a week of the bombardment, we have a distinct
feeling of annoyance at being disturbed at an unearthly hour every
morning by the screeching and bursting of shells.
About four A. M. we were awakened by another terrifying
whizzing and exploding of bombs as if we were in the very midst of a
battlefield. This lasted about three hours and all we could do was wait.
I often wonder if it's as hard for the men to go off to war as it is for
the women to stay. The battle was inconceivably furious this morning. If
you could imagine five hundred of the worst thunderstorms, shaken up
together, that you ever experienced, you would arrive at a mild notion
of the tumult, not counting the apprehension, the danger and thatDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>