others of the village.
One morning at two o'clock a great ox cart drove up the avenue of pines
to the chateau and took him off before his mother's eyes. He is now
confined in a convict's cell at Coblenz.
Baronne de L. has suffered severely at the hands of the invaders. She is
living quite alone in the chateau with the servants since her son was
taken and the avalanche of troops swept over the frontier at this point.
The house has been full of officers from the "first days" and she thinks
one of them was the "Kronprinz" from his photograph and because his
brother-officers always addressed him as Excellency. After one frightful
day, when the soldiers had literally despoiled the place by tearing
trophies from the wall, appropriating furniture and devastating the
stables, the household quieted down about midnight and everybody was in
bed, when suddenly a thundering of horses' hoofs was heard in the
courtyard and a new detachment of hungry, quarrelsome men piled in,
making a raid on the kitchen and pantries as usual. They were even more
boisterous and brutal than their predecessors and poor Madame de L.
crept fearfully up to the captain's room to solicit his aid and
protection. She knocked and knocked several times before the door
finally burst open and he angrily demanded what she wanted. Just as he
was in the middle of roaring out an oath, he suddenly drew himself up
haughtily, attired as he was in that great voluminous night gown
accredited to the Teutonic people, to salute a superior officer who at
that moment ascended the stair-case.
Baronne de L. said that in spite of the fearfulness of the moment, it
was one of the most laughable scenes that she ever witnessed.
On our way home from Viel Salm we saw the wonderful bridge of trees,
three hundred feet long and fifty feet high, at Trois Ponts, which the
Germans built when the tunnel was blown up by the Belgians at the
commencement of the war. It is a marvellous affair in engineering
construction and commands enthusiastic admiration. Except for iron bolts
and rivets, it is made entirely of trunks of huge trees--with the bark
yet on in places, though, when necessary, a surface was planed square
and true to meet its fellow.
We drove through the village of Francorchamps, which was also burned to
the ground, and a few miles further on met three Prussian officers who
snarled out some frightful invective as we passed. I cannot think of a
reason, except that we were in an automobile while they were obliged to
circulate in a modest, pony phaeton.
_October 17th, Saturday._
Antwerp is taken! There is no doubt about it now, and it is a sad blow
for Belgium. Antwerp! the pride and strength of the whole empire! But
there is not a person (bar the enemy) who does not expect to get it back
and all the rest of the usurped territory.
Madame de H. sent letters by a "foot-messenger" from Brussels. She leftDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>