arms of hospitable Holland and then, "All's well."

Trains were passing all day loaded with provisions, as well as soldiers

and sailors who were sticking on like caterpillars all over the roofs,

the sides, the steps and almost the wheels. I saw two of them dancing

the tango on the top of one carriage. Then came car after car of prairie

wagons, we call them, with voluminous, white, canvas hoods, loaded with

provisions; after these, countless, giant cannon decorated with

branches, flowers and flags, mounted on open trucks without sides. All

this procession was a weird phenomenon gliding by in the sky like a

mirage, for the road-bed at the rear of the chateau is very high and is

hidden by intervening shrubs and bushes so that the wheels of the cars

are quite concealed. It reminded me of those Amazon warriors in "_Die

Walkuere_" who slid up to Heaven so smoothly on their wooden horses at

the Opera in Paris.

Dropping from the poetical plane to common cause and effect, the whole

gave the impression of being well lubricated--like the wheels of Destiny

which turn steadily on with few jerks or hitches.

_September 9th, Wednesday._

The word is said. We are packing our bags to leave for Brussels

tomorrow. When I went to the Convent this morning, I found all the

soldiers in bed and looking so wretched. Merciful Heaven! What blight

could have fallen on our children over night? But it was a farce. They

had heard that the officers of the regiment, here, were coming to

inspect the wounded with the idea of sending those who are well enough

on to Germany as, of course, they are prisoners. So the moment the

Germans entered the courtyard, all the _blesses_--even those who are

quite well--hopped into bed with their clothes on, pulled the covers up

to their chins and with a wet compress on their heads, looked as ill as

possible. It was comical to see; one can be a soldier and comedian at

the same time--and even the dear Sisters enjoyed it. But I was paralyzed

with fear. They had not thought of another side of the question to which

the very impudence of their ruse might subject them.

I was very sad to say good-bye to these brave fellows who have been to

all the world such a lesson in bravery and patience during their

suffering. One big, lanky _garcon_--Jean, in fact--was quite undone at

our departure. He refused to be consoled with the promise of postal

cards in some future era and wept and sobbed, but I managed to

understand between the sobs that he was saying, "_Mais, Mademoiselle, je

vous suis habitue._" (But, Mademoiselle, I am used to you.) I do not

know if this was meant for a compliment, but I took it as such and wept

too.

_September 10th, Thursday._

This morning was spent in finishing packing, which usually is the

biggest part of it, I find.

There appears to be violent fighting at Malines, Louvain and Tirlemont.

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