latters' revenge was instantaneous and terrible; they just stood
eighteen men up in front of the University and shot them like dogs--then
burned that section for blocks around.
Austrian artillery was passing today with their great cannon drawn by
automobiles. The wheels of the gun carriages are enormous and the cannon
are the biggest things we have yet seen.
_August 19th, Wednesday._
Such an odd picking little noise, like a mouse, disturbed us at
breakfast this A. M. Madame X. opened the door and was astonished to see
a German soldier unscrewing the telephone from the wall. Her obvious
surprise moved the man to explain, which was unqualifiedly this--"Madame,
permit me, but we need your telephone for field service."
I suppose he may as well have it anyway for nothing so modern and useful
as telephones has existed for us since August 3rd.
A group of very surly officers have "taken over" Madame R.'s chateau
down in the country. The moment they arrived night before last, the
Colonel ordered her to bring out all her best wine, throwing her his
soiled gloves to wash at the same time.
The patients at the Convent are beginning to show a little life now,
though their poor, black faces are more grotesque than ever as an eye,
here and there, begins to peep out from a crack in the crusted surface.
They have begun to talk after a fashion, though their poor, dried lips
can hardly accomplish the task. Jean, the big fellow who jumped seven
metres into the ditch from Fort Chaudefontaine when it blew up, died
this morning, the result of a fractured skull.
French and German aeroplanes alike have been flying over the city,
dropping the most sensational circulars of the victories of their
particular armies. But the news is "_trop beau_"--one cannot believe it
and probably it is only destined to encourage the soldiers. It appears
that the officers tell their men all kinds of extraordinary tales, to
give them heart for the fight, and the poor things believe (hearing
French spoken here) that they are already in France, for yesterday one
of them in a passing train was heard demanding the Eiffel Tower. An
officer admitted to Monsieur S. that Germany prints three
newspapers--one for the officers, one for the soldiers, and one for
imbeciles. I suppose the latter means us.
_August 22nd, Saturday._
Bread is being rationed out now in the village and we are allowed only
two small pieces at a meal. It seems to me that I never wanted one more
slice so much in my life. The soldiers have cleared out the baker's
supply and he cannot get any more flour.
Monsieur S. has bought a bicycle and goes into town every morning to
find out about things. Sometimes it seems as if we could hardly wait
until he gets back to lunch for the news. And oh! such terrible things
are happening. Some funny incidents too, intersperse themselves fromDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>