squares which were burned out by the Germans, and also where those

eighteen civilians were shot, following a slight uprising of the people.

Madame X.'s niece, who lives quite near there, heard the screams of the

women, and such scenes of terror seem even yet to paralyze the

population. In the Place de la Cathedrale we saw soldiers pushing people

along with their saw-toothed bayonets to disperse a crowd which was

gaping, stupefied, at some unusual proceeding.

As we stood there, an automobile, with eight Prussian officers in it,

came banging down the street, loose bolts jingling, and was just

disappearing around a corner when Madame R. exclaimed "Oh, that's our

Reynaud!"

All the automobiles, as well as everything else, have been confiscated

by the invaders and it is a common occurrence to look up and see one's

own beautiful car bounding along over cobblestones and breaking with its

load of soldiers--the motors are driven so hard that in two weeks' time

they are practically worthless.

At the beginning of the war, many owners cunningly removed a tiny

necessary part of their machines, but in most cases the same owners were

given just two hours at the point of the bayonet to find those missing

parts, which was not always easy. And the farmers, too, who cut down the

big trees across the roads to impede the enemy's advance, had just the

same amount of time given them to clear the path again. So you see that

one is helpless.

Rumors come from France that the fortified town of Mauberge still

resists, but that the Germans are at Compiegne, which is so near to

beautiful Paris. It is impossible to believe. Yet we all experienced a

feeling of absolute faintness when that report came, for Compiegne, or

anywhere within one hundred kilometres of it, is too near. But if--_Bon

Dieu_, keep us from thinking!

_September 8th, Tuesday._

There is a possibility of our going to Brussels. Oh, the joy of it! That

may find me the means, through the American Ambassador, of getting back

to my beloved France.

The youngest gardener, the little one, Charles, who is only eighteen

years old, has left for "the front." Not with his regiment, for he

hasn't one (this year was to have been his class), but as a private

individual who could not stay at home when his country needed him. His

old mother, with a little catch in her throat, sent him off proudly, her

baby, her _petit Charles_, to serve with his four brothers, already

gone.

But how can he get away with the eye of the arrogant usurper on every

corner and road?

A Belgian soldier will play his role after his own interpretation.

Instead of going off in his best smock and a tiny bundle on a stick, _le

petit Charles_ bade us a smiling _au revoir_ in his old blue apron and

torn hat. He will wander aimlessly over the hills which he knows so well

and, unsuspected, will creep through the friendly hedges into the very

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