refused him admission until the old gentleman got his poor scattered
brains together enough to prove his identity. This is the story as we
have it first-hand. Can it then be possible that the others we heard are
_October 10th, Saturday._
I have been advertised! like a stray dog, and what a feeling of
importance it gives one. A peculiar looking document with the Embassy
seals of Paris and Brussels on it, arrived from the American Consul in
Liege enquiring if such a person as "Me" still exists.
Well, rather, I should say. Fancy one's coming all the way on foot from
Brussels to find out that!
Masses of soldiers and cannon passing today and news from Brussels is
bad. The worst must have happened! "Antwerp, the untakable." How is it
possible in a few days, with fifty-two forts in triple line? We were so
depressed we could scarcely eat dinner, when about nine P. M.
came the news, from a man of affairs who is just back from Brussels,
that the rumor is false. We shall sleep tonight after this hope and the
end of the world is not today, anyway.
_October 11th, Sunday._
We have heard the raging of a distant battle for days and we tremble for
the result. It seems that Antwerp is really taken, that is, "they say"
so, but it is such a mystery to everybody.
A Dutch army nurse--but in the German Red Cross service--is here for a
few days' furlough, and related to Madame X. some horrible details of
the battlefield in France, whence she has recently come. It is just one
scene of mud and blood--pieces of limbs strewn everywhere and the dead
standing straight against masses of bodies, both living and dead. In
some towns she saw women and children pinioned with a sword through the
breast to the walls of their houses, and in Belgium the women and
children were often obliged to hold the hands of the men whom the
soldiers shot at random, according to their fancy. Here again are tales
that one hears that I cannot assert as facts, though this woman told
them as her own experiences.
Madame X. received a card from Charles, the young gardener, who is now
safe in France training with the Belgian army near Dunkirque. You are
doubtless wondering how a card arrived here, as we have had no mail
since August 2nd. It was sent to a certain bank in Holland which is not
far from the Belgian frontier and a messenger brought it on foot.
And I have sent you back a letter, dear people, scribbled at top speed
(without capitals, t's crossed nor i's dotted, probably) by the same
messenger who takes his life in his hands when he passes the guard at
the Dutch frontier again. If letters are found on this person he will
certainly be shot, so whether you ever receive my communication will be
a matter of history.
_October 13th, Tuesday._
The old concierge of the hunting box at Viel Salm (near Malmedy,Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>