more and more distinct, gradually becoming incessant like a long,

uninterrupted drum roll--the machine guns, I suppose. These frightful

noises, increased in volume by the minute and coming on and on in our

direction, were shortly right over the hill above us. The bullets rained

like hail and shells shrieked and split the universe from end to end. We

lay in our beds, trembling, while utter terror seized us as the fracas

would subside a little and then roll nearer and nearer in a perfect

deluge of horrible sounds. Suddenly in the middle of it all a terrific

blast rent the air; the forts had entered into this hideous contest! Oh

the joy of it! I hardly breathed between their shots which seemed

centuries apart and in reality were only a few minutes, for I thought,

now, surely the struggle must end; no enemy can long withstand their

mighty will. But the battle lasted all night with increasing fury. The

roar and din were beyond words, the concerted effort of four forts, the

giant field cannon, machine guns and rifles. My heart stands still when

I remember the thundering of those forts, the premeditated destruction,

the finality which each boom! bespoke, and the thousands of human beings

up there fighting like madmen. The latter, in the wild confusion of

fire, battle and the blackness of the night, finished by shooting into

each other by mistake as their officers were cut down in their midst.

About 2 A. M. we all gathered in Madame X.'s sitting-room.

Suddenly, quite unconscious of any definite purpose, I remember pulling

on the light. Monsieur X., aghast, said, "Mademoiselle, put it out

quickly. They might see it through the dark and aim for it."

What a night! and what visions we conjured up of the invincible

Prussians, drunk with blood and battle ready for any atrocity, plunging

down the hill into our own garden. The sound of the guns was so near

that Monsieur X. thought the battle must be in the open on his own

property just above the hill. As a matter of fact it was only three

kilometres away, on the plain of Sartilmont.

_August 6th, Thursday._

Rain came with the light. That gentle pattering on the sod, after the

tumult of the night, was the sweetest sound I ever heard. It was just as

if Nature had put out Her mother's hand over the earth to soothe its

troubled breast. Was she pleading for that mercy which drops as Her own

gentle tears from Heaven?

During the morning the road in front of the chateau was filled with

Belgian troops, bedraggled with mud, trying to regain order. And there

they halted for hours and hours in the rain--an absolute picture of

dejection. Even the horses imbibed the general despair as they stood

there, heads drooping, their manes stirring in the wind. That must be

the hard part of it--waiting for orders; but they did it well, no

impatience nor fretting, just obeying the command, their very immobility

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