grand, triumphal entry into Antwerp, he found an empty city and received
the sword of a general, ill and incapacitated for duty.
It is said that the Prussian general who accomplished the siege was
decorated amid a grand flourish of trumpets and then retired, since one
of the great motives was the capture of the Belgian army, which is now
safe in France and taking a week-end off somewhere. Is it not fine that
little Belgium has been able to impede the great German army two and one
half months, which has given the other actors in the play time to
change their costumes? Oh, it is fine to be brave!
Countess de M. came with Monsieur and Madame S. from Brussels and has
her passports all in order to go to France, to her husband who is in the
Belgian army near Calais. She is leaving at once, under the protection
of the Dutch Consul, who is here in Liege for a few days (a circumstance
ordained by the Fates) and who is going to conduct her in his auto over
the frontier to Maestricht, Holland. And the miracle has happened! If I
can get my papers in readiness in two days, she will take me with her. I
am wild with joy, but I feel it is like a dream that one knows cannot
_November 6th, Friday._
Just the moment I finished breakfast this morning, I dashed into town,
that is, as fast as an old tramcar could take me, to the American
Consul. In my impatience, I fancy I must have rung his bell several
times, though it was really a long while before the servant opened the
door and showed me in to the library. Then Mr. Z. (a German-sounding
name), the Consul, appeared, unshaven and with the evidence of his
morning meal upon his face--it was yellow.
But nothing mattered to me and I plunged into the subject of getting a
passport for to-morrow without preliminaries. Perhaps I took the poor
man's breath away, for certainly he was not nearly as enthusiastic as I
about it. In fact, he embarked upon a dissertation pertaining to the
invaders which made me cry out in astonishment, "Why, you surprise me,
you seem to have pro-enemy tendencies." "Well," he said, "they've done
everything they've said they have, haven't they?"
I asked him if he had seen Louvigne or Vise yet and he said, "No, I
haven't ben up t' Vise yet."
All this, however, was far from the point in question and I finally got
back to it by informing him of the good fortune I was going to have
to-morrow in getting away to Holland in the Dutch Consul's automobile if
I could get my passport from the Germans. It did not occur to me that
there would be any difficulty about it, so I calmly asked him if he
could get it for me by six o'clock to-night?
"Oh, no," he replied, "I could not get it before two or three days."
"But," I protested, aghast, "I am going to-morrow and it is a chance in
a thousand; I may not have another such opportunity during the war.
Could you not make an especial effort to get it for me?"Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>