streets and streets of ashes and crumbled brick--and I seemed to see

again the ruins of ancient Troy in Asia Minor, which are not more

complete. Someone murmured, "Pompeii." But it is not comparable. The

ages have woven about the broken columns of Pompeii a light film of

romance and a bit of tender beauty springs up with the tiny, flowering

weeds which push their way to the sun between many colored tiles. Here,

the tragedy is too new; too crude; too bleeding!

The only living things I saw were a cat scampering down a deserted

alley, and one man--half-dazed, looking at what was probably his own

ruined home; the only wall to be seen which was, even in part, standing.

It must have been an ironmonger's shop, for some black kettles still

hung on nails against the stone, and iron stoves in all their bleakness

stood up in bold relief on piles of ashes.

When the Germans came to Vise the commanding officer called the people

together in the market place and harangued them at length, threatening

them with dreadful punishments if they did not do so and so. He felt he

had to, doubtless, as the town and the surrounding country are well

known centers of the firearms industry; the peasants work in their own

homes to a large extent and are very expert in the making of delicate

weapons and also in their use.

So, when the sturdy Belgians could not digest another single threat,

apparently, somebody fired a shot from the crowd which killed the

officer while he was speaking. Then followed that frightful slaughter

and the firing of the town, the remnants of which we saw to-day. Nobody

on earth will ever know who fired the shot, probably, for the soldiers

hate their officers and already German bullets have been found in German


9 A. M. Over the frontier! Oh, the joy of it--the indescribable

relief--the wet-eyed thankfulness! Shall I ever forget it? I did not

know until then what depths Tyranny had furrowed into my consciousness.

Here were men and women laughing and talking in the streets and people

daring to drive in their own carriages, and everybody reading

newspapers--I felt as if I would spend my last sou for one.

The day was spent in wandering aimlessly over the old town. The wind was

bitterly piercing and a fog hung over the canal but I was not altogether

aware of bodily discomfort. My mind, trying to adjust itself to new

conditions, was in a haze, staggering back and forth from the

consciousness of regained freedom to servitude and from barbarism to

freedom again.

At three P. M. the train left for Flushing, where we were to

take the boat for Folkestone, England. Just before it pulled out of the

station, a friend of Comtesse de M. rushed up to the car window and

said, "Madame, must you go? We have just received a dispatch saying that

a big boat has been sunk today by a mine near Boulogne." But nothing on

earth could have deterred us then.

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