time to time. During the recounting of some of these awful tales of

violence and revenge which we are hearing from the little villages the

young footman's knees doubled right up and nearly let him down while he

was serving the table and he is getting greener and greener from day to

day. He becomes absolutely petrified when the officers address him and

whispers out an unintelligible something as he vanishes through a door.

The horrible carnage at Namur has begun and we already have heard

sickening accounts of it. The story, as we have had it by word of mouth,

is that one of the seven forts capitulated (the city was evacuated),

allowing the enemy to enter in over a tract of land which was literally

sown with this famous, new _Poudre Turpin_ which exploded under the feet

of whole regiments at once, and the forts completed the slaughter.

Troops, troops, always troops plodding along. Their attitude could not

be called determined for there is not enough mental action in it, though

there does exist an indisputable tenacity which is appalling. How they

lack that infectious _ardeur_, that splendid _elan_ which characterizes

every little _poilu_! But they just plod on like a great machine,

lacking intelligence in its parts, each vital, however, to the

perfectly-fitted whole.

Madame X. and I felt as if we could not sit still another minute this

afternoon and, safe, or no, we decided to take a walk on the

mountainside. We could hear regiments approaching first by a faint

buzzing in the distance which rounded out into song as it drew near; as

an officer told us, the men often sing in four voices which is quite

beautiful. Then, we became aware of a different noise, a sort of loose

rumble, as if cohesion would presently not exist for the thing, whatever

it was, that caused this new note. But it was not a note, it was a

disturbance which grew and grew in proportions. Madame X. and I scurried

up and down the paths trying to find a vista through the trees that

would disclose this monster which was moving so protestingly along the


I imagined it would be snorting flame and its eyes smouldering fires,

but instead its eyes were neat little windows with tidy curtains, for

the monster turned out to be three diminutive houses on wheels drawn by

a huge motor. What their end and purpose might be, is imaginable. If it

is for the comfort of the High Command _en campagne_, the great clumsy

procession rivaling the speed of a snail is a heap of trouble for a

little luxury.

_August 24th, Monday._

Namur is taken by the Germans. Practically nothing remains of the city.

A German major who was brought, wounded, to Liege, said the battle was

too frightful to narrate. He entered the city with one thousand men and

left it with sixty-five. Just outside the forts, where he had been

stationed with two hundred horses, three bombs fell upon them at the

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