the rhythmic shuffling of feet, the thud of horses' hoofs, the chugging

of autos which carry the superior officers, and the heavy wheels of the

gun carriages with their clanking chains. Their order, equipment and

discipline are admirable to see.

All their apparel is new, as one of the officers told Monsieur D. at

Spa. Uniforms, boots, belts, saddles, bridles and even buttons--all new

and spic and span for a triumphal entry into Paris. Each man carries two

sets of buttons, one for field service (negligible) and the other,

shining brass ones, for the review down the Champs Elysees.

All the officers wear a tiny card-board map of Belgium about (3" x 4"),

hung on their coat buttons and every soldier has embossed on his belt

plate "_Gott mit Uns._" At dinner the officers were very entertaining;

the ice was somewhat broken, at least, we knew better what piece was

safe clinging to and we managed to exchange some ideas. It is rather odd

how few of these educated men speak French. In fact, it is so odd that

it makes us suspicious and cautious. Monsieur J. attacked the captain

with this question, as a leader, "when he thought the war would be

over?" (This being the second week of it.) His answer was _net_ and

forbade argument--"We shall be 'home' by Christmas, or Easter at the

latest." But he did have the grace to congratulate the Belgian army on

its stout defense of Liege, for instead of the two days given the

Germans by their Emperor to capture it, they had been constrained to

take nearly two weeks at it.

_August 16th, Sunday._

A warm, beautiful morning. As Madame de H. and I walked through the

garden and the wood to the little convent ambulance, it was difficult

not to contrast smiling Nature with the frightful scenes of which, in a

few minutes, we would be a part. The awful stench of burned flesh met us

half a block away and congealed my courage as I walked, for it permeates

everything. We can even taste it, it clings in our hair when we go home

and we are obliged to hang our nursing clothes out of the window all

night. I felt as if I must run away from it and those terrible

dressings, reeking with purulence, where ears and eyelids and lips come

off and fingers and hands peel like a glove.

Then I thought of the patience of those brave fellows and the pain and

awfulness of living it. The fortitude and devotion of the village men

and women are beyond praise--they come day after day to help in the

nursing, some spending the night, turn and turn about. Especially the

tenderness of the men for their "_camarades_" is one of the sweetest

things I ever saw, for they are as gentle and capable in their care as

any woman could possibly be.

Prussian troops continue to pass and it is a wonderfully impressive

sight; infantry in gray-green khaki, singing, always singing their

famous "_Wacht am Rhein_" and other folk songs: the _Uhlans_, on

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