he marched Monsieur S. away, as guide, half a mile down the road to a


That excitement had hardly quieted down when another batch of officers

arrived at dusk, demanding lodgings for the night. These men were a

rough type, altogether different from the preceding ones. About eight

o'clock as we, the women, were waiting in the library for dinner to be

announced, we heard a tremendous stamping of heavy boots and spurs and a

snarl of angry voices just over our heads. Baronne de H., brave little

woman as she always proved herself to be, flew up the stairs in a flash

and found her brothers at the end of the hall between two orderlies with

fixed bayonets, trying to pacify seven officers who were disputing

angrily and were just about to enter one of the private apartments--in

fact their father's room. She addressed them in a few vehement words--"I

forbid you to enter the room of my father, who has been dead only a

week." Then she added that the other soldiers who had been here were

gentlemen and that she expected them to be. They were cowed at once and

all humility, begging pardon properly. They pleaded fatigue for their

rudeness and said "certainly they expected to be gentlemen, too." Wasn't

that comical? They were ill at ease and rather sullen at dinner: and

such a dinner as we had!--glacial does not express it. The captain of

the band spoke English, French, Russian and German, but he could not

coax anybody into conversation, for we clung to "_Oui_," or "_Non_," and

stopped there. More than that, a kind of rigid fascination fixed our

attention on one of their number--the tallest and lankiest, who sat down

at least two feet from the table and endeavored to serve himself like

that. Every mouthful was fraught with tense anxiety (for us). Happily

they went to bed early, the captain kissing our hands and asking Madame

X. if she were used to that, it being the custom in Germany.

Hardly had they got under cover and we were alone again, when a hoarse

cry arose in the court--it was blood-curdling to us, as every sound

these days is full of terror and possibilities. But it turned out to be

only the cry of the sentry. There had been promiscuous shooting along

the railroad in the village and all our brave soldiers tumbled out of

bed, fell down the stair-case one after the other, buckling on swords as

they went. It is the greatest wonder to me that we were not all shot on

the spot when we stood there staring up, as one very young lieutenant

descended three steps at a time with a revolver in one wobbly hand which

was shaking like an aspen leaf, and a pair of field glasses in the

other. I think the sudden excitement may have unnerved him and there is

no doubt, this time, that the gods favored the innocent. That was the

last we saw of our guests.

_August 18th, Tuesday._

This morning one of them came back for some personal things, principally

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