terrifying voice in the whistling trail of every shell which sings,

"This time I'll get you." At four this afternoon the Fort of

Chaudefontaine fell, blown up by the Prussians. Between four and six

o'clock the firing ceased.

It was an evening of ineffable beauty and the garden looked so lovely in

its mantle of roses, the little lake at the foot with its white swans

and the wooded mountain rising up almost from its waters--a picture of

calm and contentment. We were there taking a long breath after the

nightmare of the day, when the young gardener rushed in from the village

with the news that thirty of the soldiers in the fort, wounded and

burned beyond recognition, were being brought into the Sisters' Convent,

which had been turned into a Red Cross Ambulance hospital.

The shells from the great field pieces of the enemy falling upon the

forts had shattered the cupolas and had caused them to fall in upon the

Belgians who were thus imprisoned and barely escaped suffocation from

the poisonous gases of the exploding shells. The electric wires were cut

immediately so that the poor things who were entrapped three stories

underground groped about in the dark some time before they at last found

the stairs which led them up through shot and flame and gas to the air.

Gathering some old linen together we fairly flew across the field to the

convent and stopped short, staggered by what we saw. Never on this

earth could one imagine so horrible a sight as those thirty charred

bodies with no suggestion of faces--just a flat, swollen, black surface,

with no eyes, nose nor mouth. Some of the wounded lay on beds, others in

the middle of the floor or wherever there was space, and each was

holding up hands burned to the bone. The room was dimly lighted, a

hushed quiet reigned except for an occasional stifled groan of pain or a

sigh of concern from the villagers or the swish of the black garments of

those ministering angels, the nuns, as they fluttered about among the

suffering; their white coifs, like a halo, contrasting them with that

other Angel, whose black wings, indeed visible, already shadowed his


_August 14th, Friday._

One has hoped against hope, but the worst has happened and the people

are despondent. Liege is certainly in the hands of the Prussians. They

have been pouring into the city all day and most of the forts have

either been destroyed by the German field artillery or been blown up by

their defenders rather than surrender. We nursed the soldiers all

day--if last night was horrible I could not find the words to describe

what the daylight revealed, or the awful odor of burned flesh when the

wounds were redressed. It was pitiful to see the courage of the poor

men--the Belgians are brave not only on the battle field. With lips too

seared to articulate, they would try to speak and one could occasionally

catch an indistinct "_de l'eau_," or a half-formed "_Merci, chere

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