lot of good if everyone tried such a mental drill for three minutes a
A great depression hung over the Convent to-day--the men were quiet,
showing their consideration for the "_camarade_" as they always do.
Constant, who received internal injuries at Fort d'Embourg, is dying and
Augustin is worse. The latter's face has a gray-blue look and his poor
jaws are very stiff. But there is hope! Oh, yes, there is Hope in big
Jean's smile across the ward, as he follows us around with his great,
black eyes. One can find lots of sympathy in a "_Oui, Mademoiselle_," or
a "_Non, Mademoiselle_," (which is all he ever says) even when it has
nothing to do with the question.
Since the commandant has taken the auto we no longer go out. It is much
too complicated anyway, as one has to show a passport at every bridge
and corner. Every acre of land is infested with soldiers. It is
interesting, however, to see what they do and how they turn everything
to some use. Men are sent from Germany to repair railroads, build
bridges, put up telephones, institute food stations and to kill pigs and
wash the meat in porcelain bath tubs as we saw them do yesterday,
outside a free bath establishment near one of the factories. As we were
looking down on the road tonight, from a hill perhaps two hundred yards
away, we saw distinctly a column of soldiers in dark blue uniforms,
marching across country, and just behind them the ground seemed to
writhe and wriggle in a distressing manner. For a moment we could not
imagine what was happening, when soon a company of men in khaki began to
evolve itself from the landscape. Does that not prove the inestimable
value of earth-colored clothes? For as close as they were to us, we
could distinguish nothing.
This gray-green which the Germans wear is by far the best tone of khaki
that I have yet seen.
Soldiers are stripping the factories here of their fine machinery, but
one sort of chuckles in one's boots when he remembers that it was
originally bought in Germany and has not been paid for yet.
All day long, trains without ceasing were bringing back the wounded. We
do not know exactly where the fighting is, but probably near Charleroi.
A Baron de C. and his wife arrived here at ten P. M. from
Posen, one of the German provinces already taken by the Russians. Crazed
with anxiety, they are going in search of their son, who was wounded at
Namur, and have been three days in a military train--an excruciating
journey! At midnight, the soldiers and the _chef de cuisine_, who has
had his kitchen in the court, departed. Before going they sang softly
some of their songs and then the wagons, one by one, filed out of the
moonlight and were swallowed up in the shadows of the trees. I felt as
if the candle had been blown out for them.
_September 4th, Friday._
Monsieur J. came home today with bad news, though every day has its badDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>