Germany), who has been dying of tuberculosis for twenty years, arrived

here tonight, having walked the whole distance of seventy five

kilometres. This shows the faithfulness of the old servant who thought

he must come to report the sacking of the villa by the German troops

which occurred in the early days of August.

The poor man could not have hobbled another step, for he was at the end

of his strength and his feet were just two great blisters. He told a

shocking tale of the troops, who entirely pillaged the villa. While he

went to complain of them at the _Kommandantur_ of the place, others came

and what they did not break up, they took off. Pictures, engravings and

mirrors were broken, the leather chairs slit up with a sabre--artistically

done in the shape of a cross--and porcelain smashed in the middle of the

courtyard. You can see by this that pillaging and atrocities began when

the troops were hardly over the frontier.

In one of the numerous pillaged chateaux around about, an extraordinary

bit of literature, in fact a masterpiece, has been found by the

chatelaine. A tiny scrap of paper sticking out from a book had these

words scribbled on it in German: "I am only a common soldier but I ask

pardon for these atrocities, committed by my superior officers."

_October 14th, Wednesday._

It is unbelievable the trainloads of soldiers that are passing about

every ten minutes, and the fighting--judging from the wounded--must be

beyond words. The army nurse told of men who have fought five days in

the trenches without relief. They were tumbling over with fatigue, rifle

in hand, and the officers were obliged to go from one to the other,

shaking them into consciousness.

[Illustration: MAP SHOWING VIEL SALM AND THE GERMAN FRONTIER]

_October 16th, Friday._

We went to Viel Salm in the automobile. The destruction at the villa,

which I saw with my own eyes, has not been exaggerated. There was

practically nothing left but the structure itself and that was far from

intact, for nearly all the great plate glass windows were broken by some

_devot_ of vandalism who had taken the trouble and an ax to split up the

jambs of the doors so that they never could shut again.

Inside was far worse; every picture, glass and mirror was smashed, each

leather chair had a great cross on it, cut with the sword, the sofas

were ripped up the middle, curtains and portieres were wrenched from

their rods, all the dishes were taken except the glass stoppers of the

water-bottles, all the linen, all the blankets, all the clothes except a

few which were carefully cut up into ribbons and the tops of riding

boots which were sawed off for gaiters. In addition to this, eighteen

beds and bedsteads as well were carried off.

We visited the Baronne de L., whose son, after refusing a demand of

forty thousand francs, was taken as a hostage, with the burgomaster and

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