Below, perhaps two hundred feet distant, was the station, out of which,

upon our sudden apparition, swarmed a hundred soldiers in alarm, quite

as if the surprising toe of a boot had inadvertently kicked over an ant

hill. At Ramillies we were not more successful than at Jauche, for as

the officials explained, if we passed the railroad station we were in

danger of being caught between two battlelines. So, sadly indeed, we

retraced our way and returned in the dark and the pouring rain to a

dismantled house and forlorn hopes.

_September 12th, Saturday._

We are in the depths of despair today for we hear that they are fighting

at Meaux--Meaux, which nearly is Paris. If I were a French woman I could

not feel more poignantly about it. But we always think that it is not

true, as we have no real means of knowing--all is hearsay.

A messenger brought news from Monsieur N., "Uncle Maurice," in the

Ardennes. It appears that in August when the German troops went through

Belgium on foot, the regiment of Count Otto von M. passed his villa.

Count Otto is "Uncle M's" nephew--the son of his sister, who married a

"high official of the Imperial Court," of whom I have already spoken. So

it happened that the young officer went to call on his esteemed uncle,

who frankly shut the door in his face. The Count burst into tears and

cried, "Uncle, Uncle, won't you speak to me? It is not my fault. When my

brothers and I received orders to come through Belgium, we begged other

commissions but to no avail."

Certainly not! who better than the Counts von M. who have hunted from

childhood, thro' every lane and secret path, to lead the armies thro'


Trains are passing with every known thing therein--first thousands of

soldiers, then wagons of provisions, cannon, boats for pontoon bridges

mounted on wheels ready for unloading, material for building, trucks of

hay, portable houses and in one car were hundreds of tiny wheels

sticking up which we discovered belonged to wheelbarrows. It is a droll

procession, that never ceases before one's eyes. To offset it, we have

taken to playing Patience morning, noon and night, and if this monotony

keeps up much longer we shall certainly become imbeciles. From time to

time, in the trains going back to Germany one sees French prisoners,

easy to tell by their red _kepis_, boxed up in cattle cars, peering out

from a narrow slit at the top. From the terrace can be heard the dull

thud of distant cannon; the fighting is at Warrem, thirty kilometres

from here.

_Monday, September 14th._

Somebody came into possession of a newspaper, the "Figaro" from Paris,

dated September 6th. We were delighted to have it loaned us for an hour,

greasy and dirty as it was, for in these days a newspaper is the most

precious article on earth. It is brought in on a silver tray--then

somebody feverishly reads aloud for the benefit of the others, while the

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