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Title: With the Allies

Author: Richard Harding Davis

Release date: March 1, 2004 [eBook #11730]
Most recently updated: December 26, 2020

Language: English


E-text prepared by A. Langley





I have not seen the letter addressed by President Wilson to the American people calling upon them to preserve toward this war the mental attitude of neutrals. But I have seen the war. And I feel sure had President Wilson seen my war he would not have written his letter.

This is not a war against Germans, as we know Germans in America, where they are among our sanest, most industrious, and most responsible fellow countrymen. It is a war, as Winston Churchill has pointed out, against the military aristocracy of Germany, men who are six hundred years behind the times; who, to preserve their class against democracy, have perverted to the uses of warfare, to the destruction of life, every invention of modern times. These men are military mad. To our ideal of representative government their own idea is as far opposed as is martial law to the free speech of our town meetings.

One returning from the war is astonished to find how little of the true horror of it crosses the ocean. That this is so is due partly to the strict censorship that suppresses the details of the war, and partly to the fact that the mind is not accustomed to consider misery on a scale so gigantic. The loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, the wrecking of cities, and the laying waste of half of Europe cannot be brought home to people who learn of it only through newspapers and moving pictures and by sticking pins in a map. Were they nearer to it, near enough to see the women and children fleeing from the shells and to smell the dead on the battle-fields, there would be no talk of neutrality.

Such lack of understanding our remoteness from the actual seat of war explains. But on the part of many Americans one finds another attitude of mind which is more difficult to explain. It is the cupidity that in the misfortunes of others sees only a chance for profit. In an offer made to its readers a prominent American magazine best expresses this attitude. It promises prizes for the essays on "What the war means to me."

To the American women Miss Ida M. Tar-bell writes: "This is her time to learn what her own country's industries can do, and to rally with all her influence to their support, urging them to make the things she wants, and pledging them her allegiance."

This appeal is used in a periodical with a circulation of over a million, as an advertisement for silk hose. I do not agree with Miss Tarbell that this is the time to rally to the support of home industries. I do not agree with the advertiser that when in Belgium several million women and children are homeless, starving, and naked that that is the time to buy his silk hose. To urge that charity begins at home is to repeat one of the most selfish axioms ever uttered, and in this war to urge civilized, thinking people to remain neutral is equally selfish.

Were the conflict in Europe a fair fight, the duty of every American would be to keep on the side-lines and preserve an open mind. But it is not a fair fight. To devastate a country you have sworn to protect, to drop bombs upon unfortified cities, to lay sunken mines, to levy blackmail by threatening hostages with death, to destroy cathedrals is not to fight fair.

That is the way Germany is fighting. She is defying the rules of war and the rules of humanity. And if public opinion is to help in preventing further outrages, and in hastening this unspeakable conflict to an end, it should be directed against the one who offends. If we are convinced that one opponent is fighting honestly and that his adversary is striking below the belt, then for us to maintain a neutral attitude of mind is unworthy and the attitude of a coward.

When a mad dog runs amuck in a village it is the duty of every farmer to get his gun and destroy it, not to lock himself indoors and toward the dog and the men who face him preserve a neutral mind.

NEW YORK, Dec. 1st, 1914.


   I. The Germans In Brussels
  II. "To Be Treated As A Spy"
 III. The Burning Of Louvain
  IV. Paris In War Time
   V. The Battle Of Soissons
  VI. The Bombardment Of Rheims
 VII. The Spirit Of The English
VIII. Our Diplomats In The War Zone
  IX. "Under Fire"
   X. The Waste Of War
  XI. The War Correspondents

Chapter I The Germans In Brussels

When, on August 4, the Lusitania, with lights doused and air-ports sealed, slipped out of New York harbor the crime of the century was only a few days old. And for three days those on board the Lusitania of the march of the great events were ignorant. Whether or no between England and Germany the struggle for the supremacy of the sea had begun we could not learn.

But when, on the third day, we came on deck the news was written against the sky. Swinging from the funnels, sailors were painting out the scarlet-and-black colors of the Cunard line and substituting a mouse-like gray. Overnight we had passed into the hands of the admiralty, and the Lusitania had emerged a cruiser. That to possible German war-ships she might not disclose her position, she sent no wireless messages. But she could receive them; and at breakfast in the ship's newspaper appeared those she had overnight snatched from the air. Among them, without a scare-head, in the most modest of type, we read: "England and Germany have declared war." Seldom has news so momentous been conveyed so simply or, by the Englishmen on board, more calmly accepted. For any exhibition they gave of excitement or concern, the news the radio brought them might have been the result of a by-election.

Later in the morning they gave us another exhibition of that repression of feeling, of that disdain of hysteria, that is a national characteristic, and is what Mr. Kipling meant when he wrote: "But oh, beware my country, when my country grows polite!"

Word came that in the North Sea the English war-ships had destroyed the German fleet. To celebrate this battle which, were the news authentic, would rank with Trafalgar and might mean the end of the war, one of the ship's officers exploded a detonating bomb. Nothing else exploded. Whatever feelings of satisfaction our English cousins experienced they concealed.

Under like circumstances, on an American ship, we would have tied down the siren, sung the doxology, and broken everything on the bar. As it was, the Americans instinctively flocked to the smoking-room and drank to the British navy. While this ceremony was going forward, from the promenade-deck we heard tumultuous shouts and cheers. We believed that, relieved of our presence, our English friends had given way to rejoicings. But when we went on deck we found them deeply engaged in cricket. The cheers we had heard were over the retirement of a batsman who had just been given out, leg before wicket.

When we reached London we found no idle boasting, no vainglorious jingoism. The war that Germany had forced upon them the English accepted with a grim determination to see it through and, while they were about it, to make it final. They were going ahead with no false illusions. Fully did every one appreciate the enormous task, the personal loss that lay before him. But each, in his or her way, went into the fight determined to do his duty. There was no dismay, no hysteria, no "mafficking."

The secrecy maintained by the press and the people regarding anything concerning the war, the knowledge of which might embarrass the War Office, was one of the most admirable and remarkable conspiracies of silence that modern times have known. Officers of the same regiment even with each other would not discuss the orders they had received. In no single newspaper, with no matter how lurid a past record for sensationalism, was there a line to suggest that a British army had landed in France and that Great Britain was at war. Sooner than embarrass those who were conducting the fight, the individual English man and woman in silence suffered the most cruel anxiety of mind. Of that, on my return to London from Brussels, I was given an illustration. I had written to The Daily Chronicle telling where in Belgium I had seen a wrecked British airship, and beside it the grave of the aviator. I gave the information in order that the family of the dead officer might find the grave and bring the body home. The morning the letter was published an elderly gentleman, a retired officer of the navy, called at my rooms. His son, he said, was an aviator, and for a month of him no word had come. His mother was distressed. Could I describe the air-ship I had seen?

I was not keen to play the messenger of ill tidings, so I tried to gain time.

"What make of aeroplane does your son drive?" I asked.

As though preparing for a blow, the old gentleman drew himself up, and looked me steadily in the eyes.

"A Blériot monoplane," he said.

I was as relieved as though his boy were one of my own kinsmen.

"The air-ship I saw," I told him, "was an Avro biplane!"

Of the two I appeared much the more pleased.

The retired officer bowed.

"I thank you," he said. "It will be good news for his mother."

"But why didn't you go to the War Office?" I asked.

He reproved me firmly.

"They have asked us not to question them," he said, "and when they are working for all I have no right to embarrass them with my personal trouble."

As the chance of obtaining credentials with the British army appeared doubtful, I did not remain in London, but at once crossed to Belgium.

Before the Germans came, Brussels was an imitation Paris— especially along the inner boulevards she was Paris at her best. And her great parks, her lakes gay with pleasure-boats or choked with lily- pads, her haunted forests, where your taxicab would startle the wild deer, are the most beautiful I have ever seen in any city in the world. As, in the days of the Second Empire, Louis Napoleon bedecked Paris, so Leopold decorated Brussels. In her honor and to his own glory he gave her new parks, filled in her moats along her ancient fortifications, laid out boulevards shaded with trees, erected arches, monuments, museums. That these jewels he hung upon her neck were wrung from the slaves of the Congo does not make them the less beautiful. And before the Germans came the life of the people of Brussels was in keeping with the elegance, beauty, and joyousness of their surroundings.

At the Palace Hotel, which is the clearing-house for the social life of Brussels, we found everybody taking his ease at a little iron table on the sidewalk. It was night, but the city was as light as noonday— brilliant, elated, full of movement and color. For Liege was still held by the Belgians, and they believed that all along the line they were holding back the German army. It was no wonder they were jubilant. They had a right to be proud. They had been making history. In order to give them time to mobilize, the Allies had asked them for two days to delay the German invader. They had held him back for fifteen. As David went against Goliath, they had repulsed the German. And as yet there had been no reprisals, no destruction of cities, no murdering of non-combatants; war still was something glad and glorious.

The signs of it were the Boy Scouts, everywhere helping every one, carrying messages, guiding strangers, directing traffic; and Red Cross nurses and aviators from England, smart Belgian officers exclaiming bitterly over the delay in sending them forward, and private automobiles upon the enamelled sides of which the transport officer with a piece of chalk had scratched, "For His Majesty," and piled the silk cushions high with ammunition. From table to table young girls passed jangling tiny tin milk-cans. They were supplicants, begging money for the wounded. There were so many of them and so often they made their rounds that, to protect you from themselves, if you subscribed a lump sum, you were exempt and were given a badge to prove you were immune.

Except for these signs of the times you would not have known Belgium was at war. The spirit of the people was undaunted. Into their daily lives the conflict had penetrated only like a burst of martial music. Rather than depressing, it inspired them. Wherever you ventured, you found them undismayed. And in those weeks during which events moved so swiftly that now they seem months in the past, we were as free as in our own "home town" to go where we chose.

For the war correspondent those were the happy days! Like every one else, from the proudest nobleman to the boy in wooden shoes, we were given a laissez-passer, which gave us permission to go anywhere; this with a passport was our only credential. Proper credentials to accompany the army in the field had been formerly refused me by the war officers of England, France, and Belgium. So in Brussels each morning I chartered an automobile and without credentials joined the first army that happened to be passing. Sometimes you stumbled upon an escarmouche, sometimes you fled from one, sometimes you drew blank. Over our early coffee we would study the morning papers and, as in the glad days of racing at home, from them try to dope out the winners. If we followed La Dernière Heure we would go to Namur; L'Etoile was strong for Tirlemont. Would we lose if we plunged on Wavre? Again, the favorite seemed to be Louvain. On a straight tip from the legation the English correspondents were going to motor to Diest. From a Belgian officer we had been given inside information that the fight would be pulled off at Gembloux. And, unencumbered by even a sandwich, and too wise to carry a field-glass or a camera, each would depart upon his separate errand, at night returning to a perfectly served dinner and a luxurious bed. For the news-gatherers it was a game of chance. The wisest veterans would cast their nets south and see only harvesters in the fields, the amateurs would lose their way to the north and find themselves facing an army corps or running a gauntlet of shell-fire. It was like throwing a handful of coins on the table hoping that one might rest upon the winning number. Over the map of Belgium we threw ourselves. Some days we landed on the right color, on others we saw no more than we would see at state manoeuvres. Judging by his questions, the lay brother seems to think that the chief trouble of the war correspondent is dodging bullets. It is not. It consists in trying to bribe a station-master to carry you on a troop train, or in finding forage for your horse. What wars I have seen have taken place in spots isolated and inaccessible, far from the haunts of men. By day you followed the fight and tried to find the censor, and at night you sat on a cracker-box and by the light of a candle struggled to keep awake and to write deathless prose. In Belgium it was not like that. The automobile which Gerald Morgan, of the London Daily Telegraph, and I shared was of surpassing beauty, speed, and comfort. It was as long as a Plant freight-car and as yellow; and from it flapped in the breeze more English, Belgian, French, and Russian flags than fly from the roof of the New York Hippodrome. Whenever we sighted an army we lashed the flags of its country to our headlights, and at sixty miles an hour bore down upon it.

The army always first arrested us, and then, on learning our nationality, asked if it were true that America had joined the Allies. After I had punched his ribs a sufficient number of times Morgan learned to reply without winking that it had. In those days the sun shone continuously; the roads, except where we ran on the blocks that made Belgium famous, were perfect; and overhead for miles noble trees met and embraced. The country was smiling and beautiful. In the fields the women (for the men were at the front) were gathering the crops, the stacks of golden grain stretched from village to village. The houses in these were white-washed and, the better to advertise chocolates, liqueurs, and automobile tires, were painted a cobalt blue; their roofs were of red tiles, and they sat in gardens of purple cabbages or gaudy hollyhocks. In the orchards the pear-trees were bent with fruit. We never lacked for food; always, when we lost the trail and "checked," or burst a tire, there was an inn with fruit-trees trained to lie flat against the wall, or to spread over arbors and trellises. Beneath these, close by the roadside, we sat and drank red wine, and devoured omelets and vast slabs of rye bread. At night we raced back to the city, through twelve miles of parks, to enamelled bathtubs, shaded electric light, and iced champagne; while before our table passed all the night life of a great city. And for suffering these hardships of war our papers paid us large sums.

On such a night as this, the night of August 18, strange folk in wooden shoes and carrying bundles, and who looked like emigrants from Ellis Island, appeared in front of the restaurant. Instantly they were swallowed up in a crowd and the dinner-parties, napkins in hand, flocked into the Place Rogier and increased the throng around them.

"The Germans!" those in the heart of the crowd called over their shoulders. "The Germans are at Louvain!"

That afternoon I had conscientiously cabled my paper that there were no Germans anywhere near Louvain. I had been west of Louvain, and the particular column of the French army to which I had attached myself certainly saw no Germans.

"They say," whispered those nearest the fugitives, "the German shells are falling in Louvain. Ten houses are on fire!" Ten houses! How monstrous it sounded! Ten houses of innocent country folk destroyed. In those days such a catastrophe was unbelievable. We smiled knowingly.

"Refugees always talk like that," we said wisely. "The Germans would not bombard an unfortified town. And, besides, there are no Germans south of Liege."

The morning following in my room I heard from the Place Rogier the warnings of many motor horns. At great speed innumerable automobiles were approaching, all coming from the west through the Boulevard du Regent, and without slackening speed passing northeast toward Ghent, Bruges, and the coast. The number increased and the warnings became insistent. At eight o'clock they had sent out a sharp request for right of way; at nine in number they had trebled, and the note of the sirens was raucous, harsh, and peremptory. At ten no longer were there disconnected warnings, but from the horns and sirens issued one long, continuous scream. It was like the steady roar of a gale in the rigging, and it spoke in abject panic. The voices of the cars racing past were like the voices of human beings driven with fear. From the front of the hotel we watched them. There were taxicabs, racing cars, limousines. They were crowded with women and children of the rich, and of the nobility and gentry from the great châteaux far to the west. Those who occupied them were white-faced with the dust of the road, with weariness and fear. In cars magnificently upholstered, padded, and cushioned were piled trunks, hand-bags, dressing-cases. The women had dressed at a moment's warning, as though at a cry of fire. Many had travelled throughout the night, and in their arms the children, snatched from the pillows, were sleeping.

But more appealing were the peasants. We walked out along the inner boulevards to meet them, and found the side streets blocked with their carts. Into these they had thrown mattresses, or bundles of grain, and heaped upon them were families of three generations. Old men in blue smocks, white-haired and bent, old women in caps, the daughters dressed in their one best frock and hat, and clasping in their hands all that was left to them, all that they could stuff into a pillow-case or flour-sack. The tears rolled down their brown, tanned faces. To the people of Brussels who crowded around them they spoke in hushed, broken phrases. The terror of what they had escaped or of what they had seen was upon them. They had harnessed the plough-horse to the dray or market-wagon and to the invaders had left everything. What, they asked, would befall the live stock they had abandoned, the ducks on the pond, the cattle in the field? Who would feed them and give them water? At the question the tears would break out afresh. Heart-broken, weary, hungry, they passed in an unending caravan. With them, all fleeing from the same foe, all moving in one direction, were family carriages, the servants on the box in disordered livery, as they had served dinner, or coatless, but still in the striped waistcoats and silver buttons of grooms or footmen, and bicyclers with bundles strapped to their shoulders, and men and women stumbling on foot, carrying their children. Above it all rose the breathless scream of the racing-cars, as they rocked and skidded, with brakes grinding and mufflers open; with their own terror creating and spreading terror.

Though eager in sympathy, the people of Brussels themselves were undisturbed. Many still sat at the little iron tables and smiled pityingly upon the strange figures of the peasants. They had had their trouble for nothing, they said. It was a false alarm. There were no Germans nearer than Liege. And, besides, should the Germans come, the civil guard would meet them.

But, better informed than they, that morning the American minister, Brand Whitlock, and the Marquis Villalobar, the Spanish minister, had called upon the burgomaster and advised him not to defend the city. As Whitlock pointed out, with the force at his command, which was the citizen soldiery, he could delay the entrance of the Germans by only an hour, and in that hour many innocent lives would be wasted and monuments of great beauty, works of art that belong not alone to Brussels but to the world, would be destroyed. Burgomaster Max, who is a splendid and worthy representative of a long line of burgomasters, placing his hand upon his heart, said: "Honor requires it."

To show that in the protection of the Belgian Government he had full confidence, Mr. Whitlock had not as yet shown his colors. But that morning when he left the Hôtel de Ville he hung the American flag over his legation and over that of the British. Those of us who had elected to remain in Brussels moved our belongings to a hotel across the street from the legation. Not taking any chances, for my own use I reserved a green leather sofa in the legation itself.

Except that the cafés were empty of Belgian officers, and of English correspondents, whom, had they remained, the Germans would have arrested, there was not, up to late in the afternoon of the 19th of August, in the life and conduct of the citizens any perceptible change. They could not have shown a finer spirit. They did not know the city would not be defended; and yet with before them on the morrow the prospect of a battle which Burgomaster Max had announced would be contested to the very heart of the city, as usual the cafés blazed like open fire-places and the people sat at the little iron tables. Even when, like great buzzards, two German aeroplanes sailed slowly across Brussels, casting shadows of events to come, the people regarded them only with curiosity. The next morning the shops were open, the streets were crowded. But overnight the soldier-king had sent word that Brussels must not oppose the invaders; and at the gendarmerie the civil guard, reluctantly and protesting, some even in tears, turned in their rifles and uniforms.

The change came at ten in the morning. It was as though a wand had waved and from a fête-day on the Continent we had been wafted to London on a rainy Sunday. The boulevards fell suddenly empty. There was not a house that was not closely shuttered. Along the route by which we now knew the Germans were advancing, it was as though the plague stalked. That no one should fire from a window, that to the conquerors no one should offer insult, Burgomaster Max sent out as special constables men he trusted. Their badge of authority was a walking-stick and a piece of paper fluttering from a buttonhole. These, the police, and the servants and caretakers of the houses that lined the boulevards alone were visible. At eleven o'clock, unobserved but by this official audience, down the Boulevard Waterloo came the advance-guard of the German army. It consisted of three men, a captain and two privates on bicycles. Their rifles were slung across their shoulders, they rode unwarily, with as little concern as the members of a touring-club out for a holiday. Behind them, so close upon each other that to cross from one sidewalk to the other was not possible, came the Uhlans, infantry, and the guns. For two hours I watched them, and then, bored with the monotony of it, returned to the hotel. After an hour, from beneath my window, I still could hear them; another hour and another went by. They still were passing.

Boredom gave way to wonder. The thing fascinated you, against your will, dragged you back to the sidewalk and held you there open-eyed. No longer was it regiments of men marching, but something uncanny, inhuman, a force of nature like a landslide, a tidal wave, or lava sweeping down a mountain. It was not of this earth, but mysterious, ghostlike. It carried all the mystery and menace of a fog rolling toward you across the sea. The uniform aided this impression. In it each man moved under a cloak of invisibility. Only after the most numerous and severe tests at all distances, with all materials and combinations of colors that give forth no color, could this gray have been discovered. That it was selected to clothe and disguise the German when he fights is typical of the General Staff, in striving for efficiency, to leave nothing to chance, to neglect no detail.

After you have seen this service uniform under conditions entirely opposite you are convinced that for the German soldier it is one of his strongest weapons. Even the most expert marksman cannot hit a target he cannot see. It is not the blue-gray of our Confederates, but a green-gray. It is the gray of the hour just before daybreak, the gray of unpolished steel, of mist among green trees.

I saw it first in the Grand Place in front of the Hôtel de Ville. It was impossible to tell if in that noble square there was a regiment or a brigade. You saw only a fog that melted into the stones, blended with the ancient house fronts, that shifted and drifted, but left you nothing at which to point.

Later, as the army passed under the trees of the Botanical Park, it merged and was lost against the green leaves. It is no exaggeration to say that at a few hundred yards you can see the horses on which the Uhlans ride but cannot see the men who ride them.

If I appear to overemphasize this disguising uniform it is because, of all the details of the German outfit, it appealed to me as one of the most remarkable. When I was near Namur with the rear-guard of the French Dragoons and Cuirassiers, and they threw out pickets, we could distinguish them against the yellow wheat or green corse at half a mile, while these men passing in the street, when they have reached the next crossing, become merged into the gray of the paving-stones and the earth swallowed them. In comparison the yellow khaki of our own American army is about as invisible as the flag of Spain.

Major-General von Jarotsky, the German military governor of Brussels, had assured Burgomaster Max that the German army would not occupy the city but would pass through it. He told the truth. For three days and three nights it passed. In six campaigns I have followed other armies, but, excepting not even our own, the Japanese, or the British, I have not seen one so thoroughly equipped. I am not speaking of the fighting qualities of any army, only of the equipment and organization. The German army moved into Brussels as smoothly and as compactly as an Empire State express. There were no halts, no open places, no stragglers. For the gray automobiles and the gray motorcycles bearing messengers one side of the street always was kept clear; and so compact was the column, so rigid the vigilance of the file-closers, that at the rate of forty miles an hour a car could race the length of the column and need not for a single horse or man once swerve from its course.

All through the night, like the tumult of a river when it races between the cliffs of a canyon, in my sleep I could hear the steady roar of the passing army. And when early in the morning I went to the window the chain of steel was still unbroken. It was like the torrent that swept down the Connemaugh Valley and destroyed Johnstown. As a correspondent I have seen all the great armies and the military processions at the coronations in Russia, England, and Spain, and our own inaugural parades down Pennsylvania Avenue, but those armies and processions were made up of men. This was a machine, endless, tireless, with the delicate organization of a watch and the brute power of a steam roller. And for three days and three nights through Brussels it roared and rumbled, a cataract of molten lead. The infantry marched singing, with their iron-shod boots beating out the time. They sang "Fatherland, My Fatherland." Between each line of song they took three steps. At times two thousand men were singing together in absolute rhythm and beat. It was like the blows from giant pile-drivers. When the melody gave way the silence was broken only by the stamp of iron-shod boots, and then again the song rose. When the singing ceased the bands played marches. They were followed by the rumble of the howitzers, the creaking of wheels and of chains clanking against the cobblestones, and the sharp, bell- like voices of the bugles.

More Uhlans followed, the hoofs of their magnificent horses ringing like thousands of steel hammers breaking stones in a road; and after them the giant siege-guns rumbling, growling, the mitrailleuse with drag-chains ringing, the field-pieces with creaking axles, complaining brakes, the grinding of the steel-rimmed wheels against the stones echoing and re-echoing from the house front. When at night for an instant the machine halted, the silence awoke you, as at sea you wake when the screw stops.

For three days and three nights the column of gray, with hundreds of thousands of bayonets and hundreds of thousands of lances, with gray transport wagons, gray ammunition carts, gray ambulances, gray cannon, like a river of steel, cut Brussels in two.

For three weeks the men had been on the march, and there was not a single straggler, not a strap out of place, not a pennant missing. Along the route, without for a minute halting the machine, the post- office carts fell out of the column, and as the men marched mounted postmen collected post-cards and delivered letters. Also, as they marched, the cooks prepared soup, coffee, and tea, walking beside their stoves on wheels, tending the fires, distributing the smoking food. Seated in the motor-trucks cobblers mended boots and broken harness; farriers on tiny anvils beat out horseshoes. No officer followed a wrong turning, no officer asked his way. He followed the map strapped to his side and on which for his guidance in red ink his route was marked. At night he read this map by the light of an electric torch buckled to his chest.

To perfect this monstrous engine, with its pontoon bridges, its wireless, its hospitals, its aeroplanes that in rigid alignment sailed before it, its field telephones that, as it advanced, strung wires over which for miles the vanguard talked to the rear, all modern inventions had been prostituted. To feed it millions of men had been called from homes, offices, and workshops; to guide it, for years the minds of the high-born, with whom it is a religion and a disease, had been solely concerned.

It is, perhaps, the most efficient organization of modern times; and its purpose only is death. Those who cast it loose upon Europe are military-mad. And they are only a very small part of the German people. But to preserve their class they have in their own image created this terrible engine of destruction. For the present it is their servant. But, "though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small." And, like Frankenstein's monster, this monster, to which they gave life, may turn and rend them.

Chapter II "To Be Treated As A Spy"

This story is a personal experience, but is told in spite of that fact and because it illustrates a side of war that is unfamiliar. It is unfamiliar for the reason that it is seamy and uninviting. With bayonet charges, bugle-calls, and aviators it has nothing in common.

Espionage is that kind of warfare of which, even when it succeeds, no country boasts. It is military service an officer may not refuse, but which few seek. Its reward is prompt promotion, and its punishment, in war time, is swift and without honor. This story is intended to show how an army in the field must be on its guard against even a supposed spy and how it treats him.

The war offices of France and Russia would not permit an American correspondent to accompany their armies; the English granted that privilege to but one correspondent, and that gentleman already had been chosen. So I was without credentials. To oblige Mr. Brand Whitlock, our minister to Belgium, the government there was willing to give me credentials, but on the day I was to receive them the government moved to Antwerp. Then the Germans entered Brussels, and, as no one could foresee that Belgium would heroically continue fighting, on the chance the Germans would besiege Paris, I planned to go to that city. To be bombarded you do not need credentials.

For three days a steel-gray column of Germans had been sweeping through Brussels, and to meet them, from the direction of Vincennes and Lille, the English and French had crossed the border. It was falsely reported that already the English had reached Hal, a town only eleven miles from Brussels, that the night before there had been a fight at Hal, and that close behind the English were the French.

With Gerald Morgan, of the London Daily Telegraph, with whom I had been in other wars, I planned to drive to Hal and from there on foot continue, if possible, into the arms of the French or English. We both were without credentials, but, once with the Allies, we believed we would not need them. It was the Germans we doubted. To satisfy them we had only a passport and a laissez-passer issued by General von Jarotsky, the new German military governor of Brussels, and his chief of staff, Lieutenant Geyer. Mine stated that I represented the Wheeler Syndicate of American newspapers, the London Daily Chronicle, and Scribner's Magazine, and that I could pass German military lines in Brussels and her environs. Morgan had a pass of the same sort. The question to be determined was: What were "environs" and how far do they extend? How far in safety would the word carry us forward?

On August 23 we set forth from Brussels in a taxicab to find out. At Hal, where we intended to abandon the cab and continue on foot, we found out. We were arrested by a smart and most intelligent-looking officer, who rode up to the side of the taxi and pointed an automatic at us. We were innocently seated in a public cab, in a street crowded with civilians and the passing column of soldiers, and why any one should think he needed a gun only the German mind can explain. Later, I found that all German officers introduced themselves and made requests gun in hand. Whether it was because from every one they believed themselves in danger or because they simply did not know any better, I still am unable to decide. With no other army have I seen an officer threaten with a pistol an unarmed civilian. Were an American or English officer to act in such a fashion he might escape looking like a fool, he certainly would feel like one. The four soldiers the officer told off to guard us climbed with alacrity into our cab and drove with us until the street grew too narrow both for their regiment and our taxi, when they chose the regiment and disappeared. We paid off the cabman and followed them. To reach the front there was no other way, and the very openness with which we trailed along beside their army, very much like small boys following a circus procession, seemed to us to show how innocent was our intent. The column stretched for fifty miles. Where it was going we did not know, but, we argued, if it kept on going and we kept on with it, eventually we must stumble upon a battle. The story that at Hal there had been a fight was evidently untrue; and the manner in which the column was advancing showed it was not expecting one. At noon it halted at Brierges, and Morgan decided Brierges was out of bounds and that the limits of our "environs" had been reached.

"If we go any farther," he argued, "the next officer who reads our papers will order us back to Brussels under arrest, and we will lose our laissez-passer. Along this road there is no chance of seeing anything. I prefer to keep my pass and use it in 'environs' where there is fighting." So he returned to Brussels. I thought he was most wise, and I wanted to return with him. But I did not want to go back only because I knew it was the right thing to do, but to be ordered back so that I could explain to my newspapers that I returned because Colonel This or General That sent me back. It was a form of vanity for which I was properly punished. That Morgan was right was demonstrated as soon as he left me. I was seated against a tree by the side of the road eating a sandwich, an occupation which seems almost idyllic in its innocence but which could not deceive the Germans. In me they saw the hated Spion, and from behind me, across a ploughed field, four of them, each with an automatic, made me prisoner. One of them, who was an enthusiast, pushed his gun deep into my stomach. With the sandwich still in my hand, I held up my arms high and asked who spoke English. It turned out that the enthusiast spoke that language, and I suggested he did not need so many guns and that he could find my papers in my inside pocket. With four automatics rubbing against my ribs, I would not have lowered my arms for all the papers in the Bank of England. They took me to a café, where their colonel had just finished lunch and was in a most genial humor. First he gave the enthusiast a drink as a reward for arresting me, and then, impartially, gave me one for being arrested. He wrote on my passport that I could go to Enghien, which was two miles distant. That pass enabled me to proceed unmolested for nearly two hundred yards. I was then again arrested and taken before another group of officers. This time they searched my knapsack and wanted to requisition my maps, but one of them pointed out they were only automobile maps and, as compared to their own, of no value. They permitted me to proceed to Enghien. I went to Enghien, intending to spend the night and on the morning continue. I could not see why I might not be able to go on indefinitely.

As yet no one who had held me up had suggested I should turn back, and as long as I was willing to be arrested it seemed as though I might accompany the German army even to the gates of Paris. But my reception in Enghien should have warned me to get back to Brussels. The Germans, thinking I was an English spy, scowled at me; and the Belgians, thinking the same thing, winked at me; and the landlord of the only hotel said I was "suspect" and would not give me a bed. But I sought out the burgomaster, a most charming man named Delano, and he wrote out a pass permitting me to sleep one night in Enghien.

"You really do not need this," he said; "as an American you are free to stay here as long as you wish." Then he, too, winked.

"But I am an American," I protested.

"But certainly," he said gravely, and again he winked. It was then I should have started back to Brussels. Instead, I sat on a moss- covered, arched stone bridge that binds the town together, and until night fell watched the gray tidal waves rush up and across it, stamping, tripping, stumbling, beating the broad, clean stones with thousands of iron heels, steel hoofs, steel chains, and steel-rimmed wheels. You hated it, and yet could not keep away. The Belgians of Enghien hated it, and they could not keep away. Like a great river in flood, bearing with it destruction and death, you feared and loathed it, and yet it fascinated you and pulled you to the brink. All through the night, as already for three nights and three days at Brussels, I had heard it; it rumbled and growled, rushing forward without pause or breath, with inhuman, pitiless persistence. At daybreak I sat on the edge of the bed and wondered whether to go on or turn back. I still wanted some one in authority, higher than myself, to order me back. So, at six, riding for a fall, to find that one, I went, as I thought, along the road to Soignes. The gray tidal wave was still roaring past. It was pressing forward with greater speed, but in nothing else did it differ from the tidal wave that had swept through Brussels.

There was a group of officers seated by the road, and as I passed I wished them good morning and they said good morning in return. I had gone a hundred feet when one of them galloped after me and asked to look at my papers. With relief I gave them to him. I was sure now I would be told to return to Brussels. I calculated if at Hal I had luck in finding a taxicab, by lunch time I should be in the Palace Hotel.

"I think," said the officer, "you had better see our general. He is ahead of us."

I thought he meant a few hundred yards ahead, and to be ordered back by a general seemed more convincing than to be returned by a mere captain. So I started to walk on beside the mounted officers. This, as it seemed to presume equality with them, scandalized them greatly, and I was ordered into the ranks. But the one who had arrested me thought I was entitled to a higher rating and placed me with the color-guard, who objected to my presence so violently that a long discussion followed, which ended with my being ranked below a second lieutenant and above a sergeant. Between one of each of these I was definitely placed, and for five hours I remained definitely placed. We advanced with a rush that showed me I had surprised a surprise movement. The fact was of interest not because I had discovered one of their secrets, but because to keep up with the column I was forced for five hours to move at what was a steady trot. It was not so fast as the running step of the Italian bersagliere, but as fast as our "double-quick." The men did not bend the knees, but, keeping the legs straight, shot them forward with a quick, sliding movement, like men skating or skiing. The toe of one boot seemed always tripping on the heel of the other. As the road was paved with roughly hewn blocks of Belgian granite this kind of going was very strenuous, and had I not been in good shape I could not have kept up. As it was, at the end of the five hours I had lost fifteen pounds, which did not help me, as during the same time the knapsack had taken on a hundred. For two days the men in the ranks had been rushed forward at this unnatural gait and were moving like automatons. Many of them fell by the wayside, but they were not permitted to lie there. Instead of summoning the ambulance, they were lifted to their feet and flung back into the ranks. Many of them were moving in their sleep, in that partly comatose state in which you have seen men during the last hours of a six days' walking match. Their rules, so the sergeant said, were to halt every hour and then for ten minutes rest. But that rule is probably only for route marching.

On account of the speed with which the surprise movement was made our halts were more frequent, and so exhausted were the men that when these "thank you, ma'ams" arrived, instead of standing at ease and adjusting their accoutrements, as though they had been struck with a club they dropped to the stones. Some in an instant were asleep. I do not mean that some sat down; I mean that the whole column lay flat in the road. The officers also, those that were not mounted, would tumble on the grass or into the wheat-field and lie on their backs, their arms flung out like dead men. To the fact that they were lying on their field-glasses, holsters, swords, and water- bottles they appeared indifferent. At the rate the column moved it would have covered thirty miles each day. It was these forced marches that later brought Von Kluck's army to the right wing of the Allies before the army of the crown prince was prepared to attack, and which at Sezanne led to his repulse and to the failure of his advance upon Paris.

While we were pushing forward we passed a wrecked British air-ship, around which were gathered a group of staff-officers. My papers were given to one of them, but our column did not halt and I was not allowed to speak. A few minutes later they passed in their automobiles on their way to the front; and my papers went with them. Already I was miles beyond the environs, and with each step away from Brussels my pass was becoming less of a safeguard than a menace. For it showed what restrictions General Jarotsky had placed on my movements, and my presence so far out of bounds proved I had disregarded them. But still I did not suppose that in returning to Brussels there would be any difficulty. I was chiefly concerned with the thought that the length of the return march was rapidly increasing and with the fact that one of my shoes, a faithful friend in other campaigns, had turned traitor and was cutting my foot in half. I had started with the column at seven o'clock, and at noon an automobile, with flags flying and the black eagle of the staff enamelled on the door, came speeding back from the front. In it was a very blond and distinguished-looking officer of high rank and many decorations. He used a single eye-glass, and his politeness and his English were faultless. He invited me to accompany him to the general staff.

That was the first intimation I had that I was in danger. I saw they were giving me far too much attention. I began instantly to work to set myself free, and there was not a minute for the next twenty-four hours that I was not working. Before I stepped into the car I had decided upon my line of defence. I would pretend to be entirely unconscious that I had in any way laid myself open to suspicion; that I had erred through pure stupidity and that I was where I was solely because I was a damn fool. I began to act like a damn fool. Effusively I expressed my regret at putting the General Staff to inconvenience.

"It was really too stupid of me," I said. "I cannot forgive myself. I should not have come so far without asking Jarotsky for proper papers. I am extremely sorry I have given you this trouble. I would like to see the general and assure him I will return at once to Brussels." I ignored the fact that I was being taken to the general at the rate of sixty miles an hour. The blond officer smiled uneasily and with his single glass studied the sky. When we reached the staff he escaped from me with the alacrity of one released from a disagreeable and humiliating duty. The staff were at luncheon, seated in their luxurious motor-cars or on the grass by the side of the road. On the other side of the road the column of dust-covered gray ghosts were being rushed past us. The staff, in dress uniforms, flowing cloaks, and gloves, belonged to a different race. They knew that. Among themselves they were like priests breathing incense. Whenever one of them spoke to another they saluted, their heels clicked, their bodies bent at the belt line.

One of them came to where, in the middle of the road, I was stranded and trying not to feel as lonely as I looked. He was much younger than myself and dark and handsome. His face was smooth-shaven, his figure tall, lithe, and alert. He wore a uniform of light blue and silver that clung to him and high boots of patent leather. His waist was like a girl's, and, as though to show how supple he was, he kept continually bowing and shrugging his shoulders and in elegant protest gesticulating with his gloved hands. He should have been a moving- picture actor. He reminded me of Anthony Hope's fascinating but wicked Rupert of Hentzau. He certainly was wicked, and I got to hate him as I never imagined it possible to hate anybody. He had been told off to dispose of my case, and he delighted in it. He enjoyed it as a cat enjoys playing with a mouse. As actors say, he saw himself in the part. He "ate" it.

"You are an English officer out of uniform," he began. "You have been taken inside our lines." He pointed his forefinger at my stomach and wiggled his thumb. "And you know what that means!"

I saw playing the damn fool with him would be waste of time.

"I followed your army," I told him, "because it's my business to follow armies and because yours is the best-looking army I ever saw." He made me one of his mocking bows.

"We thank you," he said, grinning. "But you have seen too much."

"I haven't seen anything," I said, "that everybody in Brussels hasn't seen for three days."

He shook his head reproachfully and with a gesture signified the group of officers.

"You have seen enough in this road," he said, "to justify us in shooting you now."

The sense of drama told him it was a good exit line, and he returned to the group of officers. I now saw what had happened. At Enghien I had taken the wrong road. I remembered that, to confuse the Germans, the names on the sign-post at the edge of the town had been painted out, and that instead of taking the road to Soignes I was on the road to Ath. What I had seen, therefore, was an army corps making a turning movement intended to catch the English on their right and double them up upon their centre. The success of this manuvre depended upon the speed with which it was executed and upon its being a complete surprise. As later in the day I learned, the Germans thought I was an English officer who had followed them from Brussels and who was trying to slip past them and warn his countrymen. What Rupert of Hentzau meant by what I had seen on the road was that, having seen the Count de Schwerin, who commanded the Seventh Division, on the road to Ath, I must necessarily know that the army corps to which he was attached had separated from the main army of Von Kluck, and that, in going so far south at such speed, it was bent upon an attack on the English flank. All of which at the time I did not know and did not want to know. All I wanted was to prove I was not an English officer, but an American correspondent who by accident had stumbled upon their secret. To convince them of that, strangely enough, was difficult.

When Rupert of Hentzau returned the other officers were with him, and, fortunately for me, they spoke or understood English. For the rest of the day what followed was like a legal argument. It was as cold-blooded as a game of bridge. Rupert of Hentzau wanted an English spy shot for his supper; just as he might have desired a grilled bone. He showed no personal animus, and, I must say for him, that he conducted the case for the prosecution without heat or anger. He mocked me, grilled and taunted me, but he was always charmingly polite.

As Whitman said, "I want Becker," so Rupert said, "Fe, fo, fi, fum, I want the blood of an Englishman." He was determined to get it. I was even more interested that he should not. The points he made against me were that my German pass was signed neither by General Jarotsky nor by Lieutenant Geyer, but only stamped, and that any rubber stamp could be forged; that my American passport had not been issued at Washington, but in London, where an Englishman might have imposed upon our embassy; and that in the photograph pasted on the passport I was wearing the uniform of a British officer. I explained that the photograph was taken eight years ago, and that the uniform was one I had seen on the west coast of Africa, worn by the West African Field Force. Because it was unlike any known military uniform, and as cool and comfortable as a golf jacket, I had had it copied. But since that time it had been adopted by the English Brigade of Guards and the Territorials. I knew it sounded like fiction; but it was quite true.

Rupert of Hentzau smiled delightedly.

"Do you expect us to believe that?" he protested.

"Listen," I said. "If you could invent an explanation for that uniform as quickly as I told you that one, standing in a road with eight officers trying to shoot you, you would be the greatest general in Germany."

That made the others laugh; and Rupert retorted: "Very well, then, we will concede that the entire British army has changed its uniform to suit your photograph. But if you are not an officer, why, in the photograph, are you wearing war ribbons?"

I said the war ribbons were in my favor, and I pointed out that no officer of any one country could have been in the different campaigns for which the ribbons were issued.

"They prove," I argued, "that I am a correspondent, for only a correspondent could have been in wars in which his own country was not engaged."

I thought I had scored; but Rupert instantly turned my own witness against me.

"Or a military attaché," he said. At that they all smiled and nodded knowingly.

He followed this up by saying, accusingly, that the hat and clothes I was then wearing were English. The clothes were English, but I knew he did not know that, and was only guessing; and there were no marks on them. About my hat I was not certain. It was a felt Alpine hat, and whether I had bought it in London or New York I could not remember. Whether it was evidence for or against I could not be sure. So I took it off and began to fan myself with it, hoping to get a look at the name of the maker. But with the eyes of the young prosecuting attorney fixed upon me, I did not dare take a chance. Then, to aid me, a German aeroplane passed overhead, and those who were giving me the third degree looked up. I stopped fanning myself and cast a swift glance inside the hat. To my intense satisfaction I read, stamped on the leather lining: "Knox, New York."

I put the hat back on my head and a few minutes later pulled it off and said: "Now, for instance, my hat. If I were an Englishman would I cross the ocean to New York to buy a hat?"

It was all like that. They would move away and whisper together, and I would try to guess what questions they were preparing. I had to arrange my defence without knowing in what way they would try to trip me, and I had to think faster than I ever have thought before. I had no more time to be scared, or to regret my past sins, than has a man in a quicksand. So far as I could make out, they were divided in opinion concerning me. Rupert of Hentzau, who was the adjutant or the chief of staff, had only one simple thought, which was to shoot me. Others considered me a damn fool; I could hear them laughing and saying: "Er ist ein dummer Mensch." And others thought that whether I was a fool or not, or an American or an Englishman, was not the question; I had seen too much and should be put away. I felt if, instead of having Rupert act as my interpreter, I could personally speak to the general I might talk my way out of it, but Rupert assured me that to set me free the Count de Schwerin lacked authority, and that my papers, which were all against me, must be submitted to the general of the army corps, and we would not reach him until midnight.

"And then!—" he would exclaim, and he would repeat his pantomime of pointing his forefinger at my stomach and wiggling his thumb. He was very popular with me.

Meanwhile they were taking me farther away from Brussels and the "environs."

"When you picked me up," I said, "I was inside the environs, but by the time I reach 'the' general he will see only that I am fifty miles beyond where I am permitted to be. And who is going to tell him it was you brought me there? You won't!"

Rupert of Hentzau only smiled like the cat that has just swallowed the canary.

He put me in another automobile and they whisked me off, always going farther from Brussels, to Ath and then to Ligne, a little town five miles south. Here they stopped at a house the staff occupied, and, leading me to the second floor, put me in an empty room that seemed built for their purpose. It had a stone floor and whitewashed walls and a window so high that even when standing you could see only the roof of another house and a weather-vane. They threw two bundles of wheat on the floor and put a sentry at the door with orders to keep it open. He was a wild man, and thought I was, and every time I moved his automatic moved with me. It was as though he were following me with a spotlight. My foot was badly cut across the instep and I was altogether forlorn and disreputable. So, in order to look less like a tramp when I met the general, I bound up the foot, and, always with one eye on the sentry, and moving very slowly, shaved and put on dry things. From the interest the sentry showed it seemed evident he never had taken a bath himself, nor had seen any one else take one, and he was not quite easy in his mind that he ought to allow it. He seemed to consider it a kind of suicide. I kept on thinking out plans, and when an officer appeared I had one to submit. I offered to give the money I had with me to any one who would motor back to Brussels and take a note to the American minister, Brand Whitlock. My proposition was that if in five hours, or by seven o'clock, he did not arrive in his automobile and assure them that what I said about myself was true, they need not wait until midnight, but could shoot me then.

"If I am willing to take such a chance," I pointed out, "I must be a friend of Mr. Whitlock. If he repudiates me, it will be evident I have deceived you, and you will be perfectly justified in carrying out your plan." I had a note to Whitlock already written. It was composed entirely with the idea that they would read it, and it was much more intimate than my very brief acquaintance with that gentleman justified. But from what I have seen and heard of the ex-mayor of Toledo I felt he would stand for it.

The note read:

"Dear Brand:

"I am detained in a house with a garden where the railroad passes through the village of Ligne. Please come quick, or send some one in the legation automobile.


The officer to whom I gave this was Major Alfred Wurth, a reservist from Bernburg, on the Saale River. I liked him from the first because after we had exchanged a few words he exclaimed incredulously: "What nonsense! Any one could tell by your accent that you are an American." He explained that, when at the university, in the same pension with him were three Americans.

"The staff are making a mistake," he said earnestly. "They will regret it."

I told him that I not only did not want them to regret it, but I did not want them to make it, and I begged him to assure the staff that I was an American. I suggested also that he tell them, if anything happened to me there were other Americans who would at once declare war on Germany. The number of these other Americans I overestimated by about ninety millions, but it was no time to consider details.

He asked if the staff might read the letter to the American minister, and, though I hated to deceive him, I pretended to consider this.

"I don't remember just what I wrote," I said, and, to make sure they would read it, I tore open the envelope and pretended to reread the letter.

"I will see what I can do," said Major Wurth; "meanwhile, do not be discouraged. Maybe it will come out all right for you."

After he left me the Belgian gentleman who owned the house and his cook brought me some food. She was the only member of his household who had not deserted him, and together they were serving the staff-officers, he acting as butler, waiter, and valet. The cock was an old peasant woman with a ruffled white cap, and when she left, in spite of the sentry, she patted me encouragingly on the shoulder. The owner of the house was more discreet, and contented himself with winking at me and whispering: "Ça va mal pour vous en bas!" As they both knew what was being said of me downstairs, their visit did not especially enliven me. Major Wurth returned and said the staff could not spare any one to go to Brussels, but that my note had been forwarded to "the" general. That was as much as I had hoped for. It was intended only as a "stay of proceedings." But the manner of the major was not reassuring. He kept telling me that he thought they would set me free, but even as he spoke tears would come to his eyes and roll slowly down his cheeks. It was most disconcerting. After a while it grew dark and he brought me a candle and left me, taking with him, much to my relief, the sentry and his automatic. This gave me since my arrest my first moment alone, and, to find anything that might further incriminate or help me, I used it in going rapidly through my knapsack and pockets. My note-book was entirely favorable. In it there was no word that any German could censor. My only other paper was a letter, of which all day I had been conscious. It was one of introduction from Colonel Theodore Roosevelt to President Poincaré, and whether the Germans would consider it a clean bill of health or a death-warrant I could not make up my mind. Half a dozen times I had been on the point of saying: "Here is a letter from the man your Kaiser delighted to honor, the only civilian who ever reviewed the German army, a former President of the United States."

But I could hear Rupert of Hentzau replying: "Yes, and it is recommending you to our enemy, the President of France!"

I knew that Colonel Roosevelt would have written a letter to the German Emperor as impartially as to M. Poincaré, but I knew also that Rupert of Hentzau would not believe that. So I decided to keep the letter back until the last moment. If it was going to help me, it still would be effective; if it went against me, I would be just as dead. I began to think out other plans. Plans of escape were foolish. I could have crawled out of the window to the rain gutter, but before I had reached the rooftree I would have been shot. And bribing the sentry, even were he willing to be insulted, would not have taken me farther than the stairs, where there were other sentries. I was more safe inside the house than out. They still had my passport and laissez- passer, and without a pass one could not walk a hundred yards. As the staff had but one plan, and no time in which to think of a better one, the obligation to invent a substitute plan lay upon me. The plan I thought out and which later I outlined to Major Wurth was this: Instead of putting me away at midnight, they would give me a pass back to Brussels. The pass would state that I was a suspected spy and that if before midnight of the 26th of August I were found off the direct road to Brussels, or if by that hour I had not reported to the military governor of Brussels, any one could shoot me on sight. As I have stated, without showing a pass no one could move a hundred yards, and every time I showed my pass to a German it would tell him I was a suspected spy, and if I were not making my way in the right direction he had his orders. With such a pass I was as much a prisoner as in the room at Ligne, and if I tried to evade its conditions I was as good as dead. The advantages of my plan, as I urged them upon Major Wurth, were that it prevented the General Staff from shooting an innocent man, which would have greatly distressed them, and were he not innocent would still enable them, after a reprieve of two days, to shoot him. The distance to Brussels was about fifty miles, which, as it was impossible for a civilian to hire a bicycle, motor-car, or cart, I must cover on foot, making twenty-five miles a day. Major Wurth heartily approved of my substitute plan, and added that he thought if any motor-trucks or ambulances were returning empty to Brussels, I should be permitted to ride in one of them. He left me, and I never saw him again. It was then about eight o'clock, and as the time passed and he did not return and midnight grew nearer, I began to feel very lonely. Except for the Roosevelt letter, I had played my last card.

As it grew later I persuaded myself they did not mean to act until morning, and I stretched out on the straw and tried to sleep. At midnight I was startled by the light of an electric torch. It was strapped to the chest of an officer, who ordered me to get up and come with him. He spoke only German, and he seemed very angry. The owner of the house and the old cook had shown him to my room, but they stood in the shadow without speaking. Nor, fearing I might compromise them—for I could not see why, except for one purpose, they were taking me out into the night—did I speak to them. We got into another motor-car and in silence drove north from Ligne down a country road to a great château that stood in a magnificent park. Something had gone wrong with the lights of the château, and its hall was lit only by candles that showed soldiers sleeping like dead men on bundles of wheat and others leaping up and down the marble stairs. They put me in a huge armchair of silk and gilt, with two of the gray ghosts to guard me, and from the hall, when the doors of the drawing-room opened, I could see a long table on which were candles in silver candlesticks or set on plates, and many maps and half-empty bottles of champagne. Around the table, standing or seated, and leaning across the maps, were staff-officers in brilliant uniforms. They were much older men and of higher rank than any I had yet seen. They were eating, drinking, gesticulating. In spite of the tumult, some, in utter weariness, were asleep. It was like a picture of 1870 by Détaille or De Neuville. Apparently, at last I had reached the headquarters of the mysterious general. I had arrived at what, for a suspected spy, was an inopportune moment. The Germans themselves had been surprised, or somewhere south of us had met with a reverse, and the air was vibrating with excitement and something very like panic. Outside, at great speed and with sirens shrieking, automobiles were arriving, and I could hear the officers shouting: "Die Englischen kommen!"

To make their reports they flung themselves up the steps, the electric torches, like bull's-eye lanterns, burning holes in the night. Seeing a civilian under guard, they would stare and ask questions. Even when they came close, owing to the light in my eyes, I could not see them. Sometimes, in a half circle, there would be six or eight of the electric torches blinding me, and from behind them voices barking at me with strange, guttural noises. Much they said I could not understand, much I did not want to understand, but they made it quite clear it was no fit place for an Englishman.

When the door from the drawing-room opened and Rupert of
Hentzau appeared, I was almost glad to see him.

Whenever he spoke to me he always began or ended his sentence with "Mr. Davis." He gave it an emphasis and meaning which was intended to show that he knew it was not my name. I would not have thought it possible to put so much insolence into two innocent words. It was as though he said: "Mr. Davis, alias Jimmy Valentine." He certainly would have made a great actor.

"Mr. Davis," he said, "you are free."

He did not look as disappointed as I knew he would feel if I were free, so I waited for what was to follow.

"You are free," he said, "under certain conditions." The conditions seemed to cheer him. He recited the conditions. They were those I had outlined to Major Wurth. But I am sure Rupert of Hentzau did not guess that. Apparently, he believed Major Wurth had thought of them, and I did not undeceive him. For the substitute plan I was not inclined to rob that officer of any credit. I felt then, and I feel now, that but for him and his interceding for me I would have been left in the road. Rupert of Hentzau gave me the pass. It said I must return to Brussels by way of Ath, Enghien, Hal, and that I must report to the military governor on the 26th or "be treated as a spy"—"so wird er als Spion behandelt." The pass, literally translated, reads:

"The American reporter Davis must at once return to Brussels via
Ath, Enghien, Hal, and report to the government at the latest on
August 26th. If he is met on any other road, or after the 26th of
August, he will be handled as a spy. Automobiles returning to
Brussels, if they can unite it with their duty, can carry him."

"VON GREGOR, Lieutenant-Colonel."

Fearing my military education was not sufficient to enable me to appreciate this, for the last time Rupert stuck his forefinger in my stomach and repeated cheerfully: "And you know what that means. And you will start," he added, with a most charming smile, "in three hours."

He was determined to have his grilled bone.

"At three in the morning!" I cried. "You might as well take me out and shoot me now!"

"You will start in three hours," he repeated.

"A man wandering around at that hour," I protested, "wouldn't live five minutes. It can't be done. You couldn't do it." He continued to grin. I knew perfectly well the general had given no such order, and that it was a cat-and-mouse act of Rupert's own invention, and he knew I knew it. But he repeated: "You will start in three hours, Mr. Davis."

I said: "I am going to write about this, and I would like you to read what I write. What is your name?"

He said: "I am the Baron von"—it sounded like "Hossfer"—and, in any case, to that name, care of General de Schwerin of the Seventh Division, I shall mail this book. I hope the Allies do not kill Rupert of Hentzau before he reads it! After that! He would have made a great actor.

They put me in the automobile and drove me back to Ligne and the impromptu cell. But now it did not seem like a cell. Since I had last occupied it my chances had so improved that returning to the candle on the floor and the bundles of wheat was like coming home. Though I did not believe Rupert had any authority to order me into the night at the darkest hour of the twenty-four, I was taking no chances. My nerve was not in a sufficiently robust state for me to disobey any German. So, lest I should oversleep, until three o'clock I paced the cell, and then, with all the terrors of a burglar, tiptoed down the stairs. There was no light, and the house was wrapped in silence.

Earlier there had been everywhere sentries, and, not daring to breathe, I waited for one of them to challenge, but, except for the creaking of the stairs and of my ankle-bones, which seemed to explode like firecrackers, there was not a sound. I was afraid, and wished myself safely back in my cell, but I was more afraid of Rupert, and I kept on feeling my way until I had reached the garden. There some one spoke to me in French, and I found my host.

"The animals have gone," he said; "all of them. I will give you a bed now, and when it is light you shall have breakfast." I told him my orders were to leave his house at three.

"But it is murder!" he said. With these cheering words in my ears, I thanked him, and he bid me bonne chance.

In my left hand I placed the pass, folded so that the red seal of the General Staff would show, and a match-box. In the other hand I held ready a couple of matches. Each time a sentry challenged I struck the matches on the box and held them in front of the red seal. The instant the matches flashed it was a hundred to one that the man would shoot, but I could not speak German, and there was no other way to make him understand. They were either too surprised or too sleepy to fire, for each of them let me pass. But after I had made a mark of myself three times I lost my nerve and sought cover behind a haystack. I lay there until there was light enough to distinguish trees and telegraph-poles, and then walked on to Ath. After that, when they stopped me, if they could not read, the red seal satisfied them; if they were officers and could read, they cursed me with strange, unclean oaths, and ordered me, in the German equivalent, to beat it. It was a delightful walk. I had had no sleep the night before and had eaten nothing, and, though I had cut away most of my shoe, I could hardly touch my foot to the road. Whenever in the villages I tried to bribe any one to carry my knapsack or to give me food, the peasants ran from me. They thought I was a German and talked Flemish, not French. I was more afraid of them and their shotguns than of the Germans, and I never entered a village unless German soldiers were entering or leaving it. And the Germans gave me no reason to feel free from care. Every time they read my pass they were inclined to try me all over again, and twice searched my knapsack.

After that happened the second time I guessed my letter to the President of France might prove a menace, and, tearing it into little pieces, dropped it over a bridge, and with regret watched that historical document from the ex-President of one republic to the President of another float down the Sambre toward the sea. By noon I decided I would not be able to make the distance. For twenty-four hours I had been without sleep or food, and I had been put through an unceasing third degree, and I was nearly out. Added to that, the chance of my losing the road was excellent; and if I lost the road the first German who read my pass was ordered by it to shoot me. So I decided to give myself up to the occupants of the next German car going toward Brussels and ask them to carry me there under arrest. I waited until an automobile approached, and then stood in front of it and held up my pass and pointed to the red seal. The car stopped, and the soldiers in front and the officer in the rear seat gazed at me in indignant amazement. The officer was a general, old and kindly looking, and, by the grace of Heaven, as slow-witted as he was kind. He spoke no English, and his French was as bad as mine, and in consequence he had no idea of what I was saying except that I had orders from the General Staff to proceed at once to Brussels. I made a mystery of the pass, saying it was very confidential, but the red seal satisfied him. He bade me courteously to take the seat at his side, and with intense satisfaction I heard him command his orderly to get down and fetch my knapsack. The general was going, he said, only so far as Hal, but that far he would carry me. Hal was the last town named in my pass, and from Brussels only eleven miles distant. According to the schedule I had laid out for myself, I had not hoped to reach it by walking until the next day, but at the rate the car had approached I saw I would be there within two hours. My feelings when I sank back upon the cushions of that car and stretched out my weary legs and the wind whistled around us are too sacred for cold print. It was a situation I would not have used in fiction. I was a condemned spy, with the hand of every German properly against me, and yet under the protection of a German general, and in luxurious ease, I was escaping from them at forty miles an hour. I had but one regret. I wanted Rupert of Hentzau to see me. At Hal my luck still held. The steps of the Hôtel de Ville were crowded with generals. I thought never in the world could there be so many generals, so many flowing cloaks and spiked helmets. I was afraid of them. I was afraid that when my general abandoned me the others might not prove so slow-witted or so kind. My general also seemed to regard them with disfavor. He exclaimed impatiently. Apparently, to force his way through them, to cool his heels in an anteroom, did not appeal. It was long past his luncheon hour and the restaurant of the Palace Hotel called him. He gave a sharp order to the chauffeur.

"I go on to Brussels," he said. "Desire you to accompany me?" I did not know how to ask him in French not to make me laugh. I saw the great Palace of Justice that towers above the city with the same emotions that one beholds the Statue of Liberty, but not until we had reached the inner boulevards did I feel safe. There I bade my friend a grateful but hasty adieu, and in a taxicab, unwashed and unbrushed, I drove straight to the American legation. To Mr. Whitlock I told this story, and with one hand that gentleman reached for his hat and with the other for his stick. In the automobile of the legation we raced to the Hôtel de Ville. There Mr. Whitlock, as the moving-picture people say, "registered" indignation. Mr. Davis was present, he made it understood, not as a ticket-of-leave man, and because he had been ordered to report, but in spite of that fact. He was there as the friend of the American minister, and the word "Spion" must be removed from his papers.

And so, on the pass that Rupert gave me, below where he had written that I was to be treated as a spy, they wrote I was "not at all," "gar nicht," to be treated as a spy, and that I was well known to the American minister, and to that they affixed the official seal.

That ended it, leaving me with one valuable possession. It is this:
should any one suggest that I am a spy, or that I am not a friend of
Brand Whitlock, I have the testimony of the Imperial German
Government to the contrary.

Chapter III The Burning Of Louvain

After the Germans occupied Brussels they closed the road to Aix-la- Chapelle. A week later, to carry their wounded and prisoners, they reopened it. But for eight days Brussels was isolated. The mail-trains and the telegraph office were in the hands of the invaders. They accepted our cables, censored them, and three days later told us, if we still wished, we could forward them. But only from Holland. By this they accomplished three things: they learned what we were writing about them, for three days prevented any news from leaving the city, and offered us an inducement to visit Holland, so getting rid of us.

The despatches of those diplomats who still remained in Brussels were treated in the same manner. With the most cheerful complacency the military authorities blue-pencilled their despatches to their governments. When the diplomats learned of this, with their code cables they sent open cables stating that their confidential despatches were being censored and delayed. They still were delayed. To get any message out of Brussels it was necessary to use an automobile, and nearly every automobile had taken itself off to Antwerp. If a motor-car appeared it was at once commandeered. This was true also of horses and bicycles. All over Brussels you saw delivery wagons, private carriages, market carts with the shafts empty and the horse and harness gone. After three days a German soldier who did not own a bicycle was poor indeed.

Requisitions were given for these machines, stating they would be returned after the war, by which time they will be ready for the scrap- heap. Any one on a bicycle outside the city was arrested, so the only way to get messages through was by going on foot to Ostend or Holland, or by an automobile for which the German authorities had given a special pass. As no one knew when one of these automobiles might start, we carried always with us our cables and letters, and intrusted them to any stranger who was trying to run the lines.

No one wished to carry our despatches, as he feared they might contain something unfavorable to the Germans, which, if he were arrested and the cables read, might bring him into greater trouble. Money for himself was no inducement. But I found if I gave money for the Red Cross no one would refuse it, or to carry the messages.

Three out of four times the stranger would be arrested and ordered back to Brussels, and our despatches, with their news value departed, would be returned.

An account of the Germans entering Brussels I sent by an English boy named Dalton, who, after being turned back three times, got through by night, and when he arrived in England his adventures were published in all the London papers. They were so thrilling that they made my story, for which he had taken the trip, extremely tame reading.

Hugh Gibson, secretary of the American legation, was the first person in an official position to visit Antwerp after the Belgian Government moved to that city, and, even with his passes and flag flying from his automobile, he reached Antwerp and returned to Brussels only after many delays and adventures. Not knowing the Belgians were advancing from the north, Gibson and his American flag were several times under fire, and on the days he chose for his excursion his route led him past burning towns and dead and wounded and between the lines of both forces actively engaged.

He was carrying despatches from Brand Whitlock to Secretary Bryan. During the night he rested at Antwerp the first Zeppelin air-ship to visit that city passed over it, dropping one bomb at the end of the block in which Gibson was sleeping. He was awakened by the explosion and heard all of those that followed.

The next morning he was requested to accompany a committee appointed by the Belgian Government to report upon the outrage, and he visited a house that had been wrecked, and saw what was left of the bodies of those killed. People who were in the streets when the air-ship passed said it moved without any sound, as though the motor had been shut off and it was being propelled by momentum.

One bomb fell so near the palace where the Belgian Queen was sleeping as to destroy the glass in the windows and scar the walls. The bombs were large, containing smaller bombs of the size of shrapnel. Like shrapnel, on impact they scattered bullets over a radius of forty yards. One man, who from a window in the eighth story of a hotel watched the air-ship pass, stated that before each bomb fell he saw electric torches signal from the roofs, as though giving directions as to where the bombs should strike.

After my arrest by the Germans, I found my usefulness in Brussels as a correspondent was gone, and I returned to London, and from there rejoined the Allies in Paris.

I left Brussels on August 27th with Gerald Morgan and Will Irwin, of Collier's, on a train carrying English prisoners and German wounded. In times of peace the trip to the German border lasts three hours, but in making it we were twenty-six hours, and by order of the authorities we were forbidden to leave the train.

Carriages with cushions naturally were reserved for the wounded, so we slept on wooden benches and on the floor. It was not possible to obtain food, and water was as scarce. At Graesbeek, ten miles from Brussels, we first saw houses on fire. They continued with us to Liege.

Village after village had been completely wrecked. In his march to the sea Sherman lived on the country. He did not destroy it, and as against the burning of Columbia must be placed to the discredit of the Germans the wiping out of an entire countryside.

For many miles we saw procession after procession of peasants fleeing from one burning village, which had been their home, to other villages, to find only blackened walls and smouldering ashes. In no part of northern Europe is there a countryside fairer than that between Aix-la-Chapelle and Brussels, but the Germans had made of it a graveyard. It looked as though a cyclone had uprooted its houses, gardens, and orchards and a prairie fire had followed.

At seven o'clock in the evening we arrived at what for six hundred years had been the city of Louvain. The Germans were burning it, and to hide their work kept us locked in the railroad carriages. But the story was written against the sky, was told to us by German soldiers incoherent with excesses; and we could read it in the faces of women and children being led to concentration camps and of citizens on their way to be shot.

The day before the Germans had sentenced Louvain to become a wilderness, and with German system and love of thoroughness they left Louvain an empty, blackened shell. The reason for this appeal to the torch and the execution of non-combatants, as given to Mr. Whitlock and myself on the morning I left Brussels by General von Lutwitz, the military governor, was this: The day before, while the German military commander of the troops in Louvain was at the Hôtel de Ville talking to the burgomaster, a son of the burgomaster, with an automatic pistol, shot the chief of staff and German staff surgeons.

Lutwitz claimed this was the signal for the civil guard, in civilian clothes on the roofs, to fire upon the German soldiers in the open square below. He said also the Belgians had quick-firing guns, brought from Antwerp. As for a week the Germans had occupied Louvain and closely guarded all approaches, the story that there was any gun-running is absurd.

"Fifty Germans were killed and wounded," said Lutwitz, "and for that Louvain must be wiped out—so!" In pantomime with his fist he swept the papers across his table.

"The Hôtel de Ville," he added, "was a beautiful building; it is a pity it must be destroyed."

Were he telling us his soldiers had destroyed a kitchen-garden, his tone could not have expressed less regret.

Ten days before I had been in Louvain, when it was occupied by Belgian troops and King Albert and his staff. The city dates from the eleventh century, and the population was forty-two thousand. The citizens were brewers, lace-makers, and manufacturers of ornaments for churches. The university once was the most celebrated in European cities and was the headquarters of the Jesuits.

In the Louvain College many priests now in America have been educated, and ten days before, over the great yellow walls of the college, I had seen hanging two American flags. I had found the city clean, sleepy, and pretty, with narrow, twisting streets and smart shops and cafés. Set in flower gardens were the houses, with red roofs, green shutters, and white walls.

Over those that faced south had been trained pear-trees, their branches, heavy with fruit, spread out against the walls like branches of candelabra. The town hall was an example of Gothic architecture, in detail and design more celebrated even than the town hall of Bruges or Brussels. It was five hundred years old, and lately had been repaired with taste and at great cost.

Opposite was the Church of St. Pierre, dating from the fifteenth century, a very noble building, with many chapels filled with carvings of the time of the Renaissance in wood, stone, and iron. In the university were one hundred and fifty thousand volumes.

Near it was the bronze statue of Father Damien, priest of the leper colony in the South Pacific, of whom Robert Louis Stevenson wrote.

On the night of the 27th these buildings were empty, exploded cartridges. Statues, pictures, carvings, parchments, archives—all these were gone.

No one defends the sniper. But because ignorant Mexicans, when their city was invaded, fired upon our sailors, we did not destroy Vera Cruz. Even had we bombarded Vera Cruz, money could have restored that city. Money can never restore Louvain. Great architects and artists, dead these six hundred years, made it beautiful, and their handiwork belonged to the world. With torch and dynamite the Germans turned those masterpieces into ashes, and all the Kaiser's horses and all his men cannot bring them back again.

When our troop train reached Louvain, the entire heart of the city was destroyed, and the fire had reached the Boulevard Tirlemont, which faces the railroad station. The night was windless, and the sparks rose in steady, leisurely pillars, falling back into the furnace from which they sprang. In their work the soldiers were moving from the heart of the city to the outskirts, street by street, from house to house.

In each building they began at the first floor and, when that was burning steadily, passed to the one next. There were no exceptions— whether it was a store, chapel, or private residence, it was destroyed. The occupants had been warned to go, and in each deserted shop or house the furniture was piled, the torch was stuck under it, and into the air went the savings of years, souvenirs of children, of parents, heirlooms that had passed from generation to generation.

The people had time only to fill a pillowcase and fly. Some were not so fortunate, and by thousands, like flocks of sheep, they were rounded up and marched through the night to concentration camps. We were not allowed to speak to any citizen of Louvain, but the Germans crowded the windows of the train, boastful, gloating, eager to interpret.

In the two hours during which the train circled the burning city war was before us in its most hateful aspect.

In other wars I have watched men on one hilltop, without haste, without heat, fire at men on another hill, and in consequence on both sides good men were wasted. But in those fights there were no women or children, and the shells struck only vacant stretches of veldt or uninhabited mountain sides.

At Louvain it was war upon the defenceless, war upon churches, colleges, shops of milliners and lace-makers; war brought to the bedside and the fireside; against women harvesting in the fields, against children in wooden shoes at play in the streets.

At Louvain that night the Germans were like men after an orgy.

There were fifty English prisoners, erect and soldierly. In the ocean of gray the little patch of khaki looked pitifully lonely, but they regarded the men who had outnumbered but not defeated them with calm, uncurious eyes. In one way I was glad to see them there. Later they will bear witness. They will tell how the enemy makes a wilderness and calls it war. It was a most weird picture. On the high ground rose the broken spires of the Church of St. Pierre and the Hôtel de Ville, and descending like steps were row beneath row of houses, roofless, with windows like blind eyes. The fire had reached the last row of houses, those on the Boulevard de Jodigne. Some of these were already cold, but others sent up steady, straight columns of flame. In others at the third and fourth stories the window curtains still hung, flowers still filled the window-boxes, while on the first floor the torch had just passed and the flames were leaping. Fire had destroyed the electric plant, but at times the flames made the station so light that you could see the second-hand of your watch, and again all was darkness, lit only by candles.

You could tell when an officer passed by the electric torch he carried strapped to his chest. In the darkness the gray uniforms filled the station with an army of ghosts. You distinguished men only when pipes hanging from their teeth glowed red or their bayonets flashed.

Outside the station in the public square the people of Louvain passed in an unending procession, women bareheaded, weeping, men carrying the children asleep on their shoulders, all hemmed in by the shadowy army of gray wolves. Once they were halted, and among them were marched a line of men. These were on their way to be shot. And, better to point the moral, an officer halted both processions and, climbing to a cart, explained why the men were to die. He warned others not to bring down upon themselves a like vengeance.

As those being led to spend the night in the fields looked across to those marked for death they saw old friends, neighbors of long standing, men of their own household. The officer bellowing at them from the cart was illuminated by the headlights of an automobile. He looked like an actor held in a spotlight on a darkened stage.

It was all like a scene upon the stage, unreal, inhuman. You felt it could not be true. You felt that the curtain of fire, purring and crackling and sending up hot sparks to meet the kind, calm stars, was only a painted backdrop; that the reports of rifles from the dark ruins came from blank cartridges, and that these trembling shopkeepers and peasants ringed in bayonets would not in a few minutes really die, but that they themselves and their homes would be restored to their wives and children.

You felt it was only a nightmare, cruel and uncivilized. And then you remembered that the German Emperor has told us what it is. It is his Holy War.

Chapter IV Paris In War Time

Those who, when the Germans approached, fled from Paris, described it as a city doomed, as a waste place, desolate as a graveyard. Those who run away always are alarmists. They are on the defensive. They must explain why they ran away.

Early in September Paris was like a summer hotel out of season. The owners had temporarily closed it; the windows were barred, the furniture and paintings draped in linen, a caretaker and a night- watchman were in possession.

It is an old saying that all good Americans go to Paris when they die. Most of them take no chances and prefer to visit it while they are alive. Before this war, if the visitor was disappointed, it was the fault of the visitor, not of Paris. She was all things to all men. To some she offered triumphal arches, statues, paintings; to others by day racing, and by night Maxims and the Rat Mort. Some loved her for the book- stalls along the Seine and ateliers of the Latin Quarter; some for her parks, forests, gardens, and boulevards; some because of the Luxembourg; some only as a place where everybody was smiling, happy, and polite, where they were never bored, where they were always young, where the lights never went out and there was no early call. Should they to-day revisit her they would find her grown grave and decorous, and going to bed at sundown, but still smiling bravely, still polite.

You cannot wipe out Paris by removing two million people and closing Cartier's and the Café de Paris. There still remains some hundred miles of boulevards, the Seine and her bridges, the Arc de Triomphe, with the sun setting behind it, and the Gardens of the Tuilleries. You cannot send them to the store-house or wrap them in linen. And the spirit of the people of Paris you cannot crush nor stampede.

Between Paris in peace and Paris to-day the most striking difference is lack of population. Idle rich, the employees of the government, and tourists of all countries are missing. They leave a great emptiness. When you walk the streets you feel either that you are up very early, before any one is awake, or that you are in a boom town from which the boom has departed.

On almost every one of the noted shops "Fermé" is written, or it has been turned over to the use of the Red Cross. Of the smaller shops those that remain open are chiefly bakeshops and chemists, but no man need go naked or hungry; in every block he will find at least one place where he can be clothed and fed. But the theatres are all closed. No one is in a mood to laugh, and certainly no one wishes to consider anything more serious than the present crisis. So there are no revues, operas, or comedies.

The thing you missed perhaps most were the children in the Avenue des Champs Elysées. For generations over that part of the public garden the children have held sway. They knew it belonged to them, and into the gravel walks drove their tin spades with the same sense of ownership as at Deauville they dig up the shore. Their straw hats and bare legs, their Normandy nurses, with enormous head-dresses, blue for a boy and pink for a girl, were, of the sights of Paris, one of the most familiar. And when the children vanished they left a dreary wilderness. You could look for a mile, from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, and not see a child. The stalls, where they bought hoops and skipping-ropes, the flying wooden horses, Punch- and-Judy shows, booths where with milk they refreshed themselves and with bonbons made themselves ill, all were deserted and boarded up.

The closing down of the majority of the shops and hotels was not due to a desire on the part of those employed in them to avoid the Germans, but to get at the Germans.

On shop after shop are signs reading: "The proprietor and staff are with the colors," or "The personnel of this establishment is mobilized," or "Monsieur———informs his clients that he is with his regiment."

In the absence of men at the front, Frenchwomen, at all times capable and excellent managers, have surpassed themselves. In my hotel there were employed seven women and one man. In another hotel I visited the entire staff was composed of women.

An American banker offered his twenty-two polo ponies to the government. They were refused as not heavy enough. He did not know that, and supposed he had lost them. Later he learned from the wife of his trainer, a Frenchwoman, that those employed in his stables at Versailles who had not gone to the front at the approach of the Germans had fled, and that for three weeks his string of twenty-two horses had been fed, groomed, and exercised by the trainer's wife and her two little girls.

To an American it was very gratifying to hear the praise of the French and English for the American ambulance at Neuilly. It is the outgrowth of the American hospital, and at the start of this war was organized by Mrs. Herrick, wife of our ambassador, and other ladies of the American colony in Paris, and the American doctors. They took over the Lycée Pasteur, an enormous school at Neuilly, that had just been finished and never occupied, and converted it into what is a most splendidly equipped hospital. In walking over the building you find it hard to believe that it was intended for any other than its present use. The operating rooms, kitchens, wards, rooms for operating by Roentgen rays, and even a chapel have been installed.

The organization and system are of the highest order. Every one in it is American. The doctors are the best in Paris. The nurses and orderlies are both especially trained for the work and volunteers. The spirit of helpfulness and unselfishness is everywhere apparent. Certain members of the American colony, who never in their lives thought of any one save themselves, and of how to escape boredom, are toiling like chambermaids and hall porters, performing most disagreeable tasks, not for a few hours a week, but unceasingly, day after day. No task is too heavy for them or too squalid. They help all alike—Germans, English, major-generals, and black Turcos.

There are three hundred patients. The staff of the hospital numbers one hundred and fifty. It is composed of the best-known American doctors in Paris and a few from New York. Among the volunteer nurses and attendants are wives of bankers in Paris, American girls who have married French titles, and girls who since the war came have lost employment as teachers of languages, stenographers, and governesses. The men are members of the Jockey Club, art students, medical students, clerks, and boulevardiers. They are all working together in most admirable harmony and under an organization that in its efficiency far surpasses that of any other hospital in Paris. Later it is going to split the American colony in twain. If you did not work in the American ambulance you won't belong.

Attached to the hospital is a squadron of automobile ambulances, ten of which were presented by the Ford Company and ten purchased. Their chassis have been covered with khaki hoods and fitted to carry two wounded men and attendants. On their runs they are accompanied by automobiles with medical supplies, tires, and gasolene. The ambulances scout at the rear of the battle line and carry back those which the field-hospitals cannot handle.

One day I watched the orderlies who accompany these ambulances handling about forty English wounded, transferring them from the automobiles to the reception hall, and the smartness and intelligence with which the members of each crew worked together was like that of a champion polo team. The editor of a London paper, who was in Paris investigating English hospital conditions, witnessed the same performance, and told me that in handling the wounded it surpassed in efficiency anything he had seen.

Chapter V The Battle Of Soissons

The struggle for the possession of Soissons lasted two days. The second day's battle, which I witnessed, ended with the city in the possession of the French. It was part of the seven days' of continuous fighting that began on September 6th at Meaux. Then the German left wing, consisting of the army of General von Kluck, was at Claye, within fifteen miles of Paris. But the French and English, instead of meeting the advance with a defence, themselves attacked. Steadily, at the rate of ten miles a day, they drove the Germans back across the Aisne and the Marne, and so saved the city.

When this retrograde movement of the Germans began, those who could not see the nature of the fighting believed that the German line of communication, the one from Aix-la-Chapelle through Belgium, had proved too long, and that the left wing was voluntarily withdrawing to meet the new line of communication through Luxembourg. But the fields of battle beyond Meaux, through which it was necessary to pass to reach the fight at Sois-sons, showed no evidence of leisurely withdrawal. On both sides there were evidences of the most desperate fighting and of artillery fire that was wide-spread and desolating. That of the Germans, intended to destroy the road from Meaux and to cover their retreat, showed marksmanship so accurate and execution so terrible as, while it lasted, to render pursuit impossible.

The battle-field stretched from the hills three miles north of Meaux for four miles along the road and a mile to either side. The road is lined with poplars three feet across and as high as a five-story building. For the four miles the road was piled with branches of these trees. The trees themselves were split as by lightning, or torn in half, as with your hands you could tear apart a loaf of bread. Through some, solid shell had passed, leaving clean holes. Others looked as though drunken woodsmen with axes from roots to topmost branches had slashed them in crazy fury. Some shells had broken the trunks in half as a hurricane snaps a mast.

That no human being could survive such a bombardment were many grewsome proofs. In one place for a mile the road was lined with those wicker baskets in which the Germans carry their ammunition. These were filled with shells, unexploded, and behind the trenches were hundreds more of these baskets, some for the shells of the siege-guns, as large as lobster-pots or umbrella-stands, and others, each with three compartments, for shrapnel. In gutters along the road and in the wheat-fields these brass shells flashed in the sunshine like tiny mirrors.

The four miles of countryside over which for four days both armies had ploughed the earth with these shells was the picture of complete desolation. The rout of the German army was marked by knapsacks, uniforms, and accoutrements scattered over the fields on either hand as far as you could see. Red Cross flags hanging from bushes showed where there had been dressing stations. Under them were blood-stains, bandages and clothing, and boots piled in heaps as high as a man's chest, and the bodies of those German soldiers that the first aid had failed to save.

After death the body is mercifully robbed of its human aspect. You are spared the thought that what is lying in the trenches among the shattered trees and in the wheat-fields staring up at the sky was once a man. It appears to be only a bundle of clothes, a scarecrow that has tumbled among the grain it once protected. But it gives a terrible meaning to the word "missing." When you read in the reports from the War Office that five thousand are "missing," you like to think of them safely cared for in a hospital or dragging out the period of the war as prisoners. But the real missing are the unidentified dead. In time some peasant will bury them, but he will not understand the purpose of the medal each wears around his neck. And so, with the dead man will be buried his name and the number of his regiment. No one will know where he fell or where he lies. Some one will always hope that he will return. For, among the dead his name did not appear. He was reported "missing."

The utter wastefulness of war was seldom more clearly shown. Carcasses of horses lined the road. Some few of these had been killed by shell-fire. Others, worn out and emaciated, and bearing the brand of the German army, had been mercifully destroyed; but the greater number of them were the farm horses of peasants, still wearing their head-stalls or the harness of the plough. That they might not aid the enemy as remounts, the Germans in their retreat had shot them. I saw four and five together in the yards of stables, the bullet-hole of an automatic in the head of each. Others lay beside the market cart, others by the canal, where they had sought water.

Less pitiful, but still evidencing the wastefulness of war, were the motor-trucks, and automobiles that in the flight had been abandoned. For twenty miles these automobiles were scattered along the road. There were so many one stopped counting them. Added to their loss were two shattered German airships. One I saw twenty-six kilometres outside of Meaux and one at Bouneville. As they fell they had buried their motors deep in the soft earth and their wings were twisted wrecks of silk and steel.

All the fields through which the army passed had become waste land. Shells had re-ploughed them. Horses and men had camped in them. The haystacks, gathered by the sweat of the brow and patiently set in trim rows were trampled in the mud and scattered to the winds. All the smaller villages through which I passed were empty of people, and since the day before, when the Germans occupied them, none of the inhabitants had returned. These villages were just as the Germans had left them. The streets were piled with grain on which the soldiers had slept, and on the sidewalks in front of the better class of houses tables around which the officers had eaten still remained, the bottles half empty, the food half eaten.

In a château beyond Neufchelles the doors and windows were open and lace curtains were blowing in the breeze. From the garden you could see paintings on the walls, books on the tables. Outside, on the lawn, surrounded by old and charming gardens, apparently the general and his staff had prepared to dine. The table was set for a dozen, and on it were candles in silver sticks, many bottles of red and white wine, champagne, liqueurs, and coffee-cups of the finest china. From their banquet some alarm had summoned the officers. The place was as they had left it, the coffee untasted, the candles burned to the candlesticks, and red stains on the cloth where the burgundy had spilled. In the bright sunlight, and surrounded by flowers, the deserted table and the silent, stately château seemed like the sleeping palace of the fairy-tale.

Though the humor of troops retreating is an ugly one, I saw no outrages such as I saw in Belgium. Except in the villages of Neuf- chelles and Varreddes, there was no sign of looting or wanton destruction. But in those two villages the interior of every home and shop was completely wrecked. In the other villages the destruction was such as is permitted by the usages of war, such as the blowing up of bridges, the burning of the railroad station, and the cutting of telegraph-wires.

Not until Bouneville, thirty kilometres beyond Meaux, did I catch up with the Allies. There I met some English Tommies who were trying to find their column. They had no knowledge of the French language, or where they were, or where their regiment was, but were quite confident of finding it, and were as cheerful as at manuvres. Outside of Chaudun the road was blocked with tirailleurs, Algerians in light-blue Zouave uniforms, and native Turcos from Morocco in khaki, with khaki turbans. They shivered in the autumn sunshine, and were wrapped in burnooses of black and white. They were making a turning movement to attack the German right, and were being hurried forward. They had just driven the German rear-guard out of Chaudun, and said that the fighting was still going on at Soissons. But the only sign I saw of it were two Turcos who had followed the Germans too far. They lay sprawling in the road, and had so lately fallen that their rifles still lay under them. Three miles farther I came upon the advance line of the French army, and for the remainder of the day watched a most remarkable artillery duel, which ended with Soissons in the hands of the Allies.

Soissons is a pretty town of four thousand inhabitants. It is chiefly known for its haricot beans, and since the Romans held it under Caesar it has been besieged many times. Until to-day the Germans had held it for two weeks. In 1870 they bombarded it for four days, and there is, or was, in Soissons, in the Place de la République, a monument to those citizens of Soissons whom after that siege the Germans shot. The town lies in the valley of the River Aisne, which is formed by two long ridges running south and north.

The Germans occupied the hills to the south, but when attacked offered only slight resistance and withdrew to the hills opposite. In Soissons they left a rear-guard to protect their supplies, who were destroying all bridges leading into the town. At the time I arrived a force of Turcos had been ordered forward to clean Soissons of the Germans, and the French artillery was endeavoring to disclose their positions on the hills. The loss of the bridges did not embarrass the black men. In rowboats they crossed to Soissons and were warmly greeted. Soissons was drawing no color-line. The Turcos were followed by engineers, who endeavored to repair one bridge and in consequence were heavily shelled with shrapnel, while, with the intent to destroy the road and retard the French advance, the hills where the French had halted were being pounded by German siege-guns.

This was at a point four kilometres from Chaudun, between the villages of Breuil and Courtelles. From this height you could see almost to Compiègne, and thirty miles in front in the direction of Saint- Quentin. It was a panorama of wooded hills, gray villages in fields of yellow grain, miles of poplars marking the roads, and below us the flashing waters of the Aisne and the canal, with at our feet the steeples of the cathedral of Soissons and the gate to the old abbey of Thomas à Becket. Across these steeples the shells sang, and on both sides of the Aisne Valley the artillery was engaged. The wind was blowing forty knots, which prevented the use of the French aeroplanes, but it cleared the air, and, helped by brilliant sunshine, it was possible to follow the smoke of the battle for fifteen miles. The wind was blowing toward our right, where we were told were the English, and though as their shrapnel burst we could see the flash of guns and rings of smoke, the report of the guns did not reach us. It gave the curious impression of a bombardment conducted in utter silence.

From our left the wind carried the sounds clearly. The jar and roar of the cannon were insistent, and on both sides of the valley the hilltops were wrapped with white clouds. Back of us in the wheat-fields shells were setting fire to the giant haystacks and piles of grain, which in the clear sunshine burned a blatant red. At times shells would strike in the villages of Breuil and Vauxbain, and houses would burst into flames, the gale fanning the fire to great height and hiding the village in smoke. Some three hundred yards ahead of us the shells of German siege-guns were trying to destroy the road, which the poplars clearly betrayed. But their practice was at fault, and the shells fell only on either side. When they struck they burst with a roar, casting up black fumes and digging a grave twenty yards in circumference.

But the French soldiers disregarded them entirely. In the trenches which the Germans had made and abandoned they hid from the wind and slept peacefully. Others slept in the lee of the haystacks, their red breeches and blue coats making wonderful splashes of color against the yellow grain. For seven days these same men had been fighting without pause, and battles bore them.

Late in the afternoon, all along the fifteen miles of battle, firing ceased, for the Germans were falling back, and once more Soissons, freed of them as fifteen hundred years ago she had freed herself of the Romans, held out her arms to the Allies.

Chapter VI The Bombardment of Rheims

In several ways the city of Rheims is celebrated. Some know her only through her cathedral, where were crowned all but six of the kings of France, and where the stained-glass windows, with those in the cathedrals of Chartres and Burgos, Spain, are the most beautiful in all the world. Children know Rheims through the wicked magpie which the archbishop excommunicated, and to their elders, if they are rich, Rheims is the place from which comes all their champagne.

On September 4th the Germans entered Rheims, and occupied it until the 12th, when they retreated across the Vesle to the hills north of the city.

On the 18th the French forces, having entered Rheims, the Germans bombarded the city with field-guns and howitzers.

Rheims is fifty-six miles from Paris, but, though I started at an early hour, so many bridges had been destroyed that I did not reach the city until three o'clock in the afternoon. At that hour the French artillery, to the east at Nogent and immediately outside the northern edge of the town, were firing on the German positions, and the Germans were replying, their shells falling in the heart of the city.

The proportion of those that struck the cathedral or houses within a hundred yards of it to those falling on other buildings was about six to one. So what damage the cathedral suffered was from blows delivered not by accident but with intent. As the priests put it, firing on the church was "exprès."

The cathedral dominates not only the city but the countryside. It rises from the plain as Gibraltar rises from the sea, as the pyramids rise from the desert. And at a distance of six miles, as you approach from Paris along the valley of the Marne, it has more the appearance of a fortress than a church. But when you stand in the square beneath and look up, it is entirely ecclesiastic, of noble and magnificent proportions, in design inspired, much too sublime for the kings it has crowned, and almost worthy of the king in whose honor, seven hundred years ago, it was reared. It has been called "perhaps the most beautiful structure produced in the Middle Ages." On the west façade, rising tier upon tier, are five hundred and sixty statues and carvings. The statues are of angels, martyrs, patriarchs, apostles, the vices and virtues, the Virgin and Child. In the centre of these is the famous rose window; on either side giant towers.

At my feet down the steps leading to the three portals were pools of blood. There was a priest in the square, a young man with white hair and with a face as strong as one of those of the saints carved in stone, and as gentle. He was curé doyen of the Church of St. Jacques, M. Chanoine Frezet, and he explained the pools of blood. After the Germans retreated, the priests had carried the German wounded up the steps into the nave of the cathedral and for them had spread straw upon the stone flagging.

The curé guided me to the side door, unlocked it, and led the way into the cathedral. It is built in the form of a crucifix, and so vast is the edifice that many chapels are lost in it, and the lower half is in a shadow. But from high above the stained windows of the thirteenth century, or what was left of them, was cast a glow so gorgeous, so wonderful, so pure that it seemed to come direct from the other world.

From north and south the windows shed a radiance of deep blue, like the blue of the sky by moonlight on the coldest night of winter, and from the west the great rose window glowed with the warmth and beauty of a thousand rubies. Beneath it, bathed in crimson light, where for generations French men and women have knelt in prayer, where Joan of Arc helped place the crown on Charles VII, was piled three feet of dirty straw, and on the straw were gray-coated Germans, covered with the mud of the fields, caked with blood, white and haggard from the loss of it, from the lack of sleep, rest, and food. The entire west end of the cathedral looked like a stable, and in the blue and purple rays from the gorgeous windows the wounded were as unreal as ghosts. Already two of them had passed into the world of ghosts. They had not died from their wounds, but from a shell sent by their own people.

It had come screaming into this backwater of war, and, tearing out leaded window-panes as you would destroy cobwebs, had burst among those who already had paid the penalty. And so two of them, done with pack-drill, goose-step, half rations and forced marches, lay under the straw the priests had heaped upon them. The toes of their boots were pointed grotesquely upward. Their gray hands were clasped rigidly as though in prayer.

Half hidden in the straw, the others were as silent and almost as still. Since they had been dropped upon the stone floor they had not moved, but lay in twisted, unnatural attitudes. Only their eyes showed that they lived. These were turned beseechingly upon the French Red Cross doctors, kneeling waist-high in the straw and unreeling long white bandages. The wounded watched them drawing slowly nearer, until they came, fighting off death, clinging to life as shipwrecked sailors cling to a raft and watch the boats pulling toward them.

A young German officer, his smart cavalry cloak torn and slashed, and filthy with dried mud and blood and with his eyes in bandages, groped toward a pail of water, feeling his way with his foot, his arms outstretched, clutching the air. To guide him a priest took his arm, and the officer turned and stumbled against him. Thinking the priest was one of his own men, he swore at him, and then, to learn if he wore shoulder-straps, ran his fingers over the priest's shoulders, and, finding a silk cassock, said quickly in French: "Pardon me, my father; I am blind."

As the young curé guided me through the wrecked cathedral his indignation and his fear of being unjust waged a fine battle. "Every summer," he said, "thousands of your fellow countrymen visit the cathedral. They come again and again. They love these beautiful windows. They will not permit them to be destroyed. Will you tell them what you saw?"

It is no pleasure to tell what I saw. Shells had torn out some of the windows, the entire sash, glass, and stone frame—all was gone; only a jagged hole was left. On the floor lay broken carvings, pieces of stone from flying buttresses outside that had been hurled through the embrasures, tangled masses of leaden window-sashes, like twisted coils of barbed wire, and great brass candelabra. The steel ropes that supported them had been shot away, and they had plunged to the flagging below, carrying with them their scarlet silk tassels heavy with the dust of centuries. And everywhere was broken glass. Not one of the famous blue windows was intact. None had been totally destroyed, but each had been shattered, and through the apertures the sun blazed blatantly.

We walked upon glass more precious than precious stones. It was beyond price. No one can replace it. Seven hundred years ago the secret of the glass died. Diamonds can be bought anywhere, pearls can be matched, but not the stained glass of Rheims. And under our feet, with straw and caked blood, it lay crushed into tiny fragments. When you held a piece of it between your eye and the sun it glowed with a light that never was on land or sea.

War is only waste. The German Emperor thinks it is thousands of men in flashing breastplates at manoeuvres, galloping past him, shouting "Hoch der Kaiser!" Until this year that is all of war he has ever seen.

I have seen a lot of it, and real war is his high-born officer with his eyes shot out, his peasant soldiers with their toes sticking stiffly through the straw, and the windows of Rheims, that for centuries with their beauty glorified the Lord, swept into a dust heap.

Outside the cathedral I found the bombardment of the city was still going forward and that the French batteries to the north and east were answering gun for gun. How people will act under unusual conditions no one can guess. Many of the citizens of Rheims were abandoning their homes and running through the streets leading west, trembling, weeping, incoherent with terror, carrying nothing with them. Others were continuing the routine of life with anxious faces but making no other sign. The great majority had moved to the west of the city to the Paris gate, and for miles lined the road, but had taken little or nothing with them, apparently intending to return at nightfall. They were all of the poorer class. The houses of the rich were closed, as were all the shops, except a few cafés and those that offered for sale bread, meat, and medicine.

During the morning the bombardment destroyed many houses. One to each block was the average, except around the cathedral, where two hotels that face it and the Palace of Justice had been pounded but not destroyed. Other shops and residences facing the cathedral had been ripped open from roof to cellar. In one a fire was burning briskly, and firemen were playing on it with hose. I was their only audience. A sight that at other times would have collected half of Rheims and blocked traffic, in the excitement of the bombardment failed to attract. The Germans were using howitzers. Where shells hit in the street they tore up the Belgian blocks for a radius of five yards, and made a hole as though a water-main had burst. When they hit a house, that house had to be rebuilt. Before they struck it was possible to follow the direction of the shells by the sound. It was like the jangling of many telegraph-wires.

A hundred yards north of the cathedral I saw a house hit at the third story. The roof was of gray slate, high and sloping, with tall chimneys. When the shell exploded the roof and chimneys disappeared. You did not see them sink and tumble; they merely vanished. They had been a part of the sky-line of Rheims; then a shell removed them and another roof fifteen feet lower down became the sky-line.

I walked to the edge of the city, to the northeast, but at the outskirts all the streets were barricaded with carts and paving-stones, and when I wanted to pass forward to the French batteries the officers in charge of the barricades refused permission. At this end of the town, held in reserve in case of a German advance, the streets were packed with infantry. The men were going from shop to shop trying to find one the Germans had not emptied. Tobacco was what they sought.

They told me they had been all the way to Belgium and back, but I never have seen men more fit. Where Germans are haggard and show need of food and sleep, the French were hard and moved quickly and were smiling.

One reason for this is that even if the commissariat is slow they are fed by their own people, and when in Belgium by the Allies. But when the Germans pass the people hide everything eatable and bolt the doors. And so, when the German supply wagons fail to come up the men starve.

I went in search of the American consul, William Bardel. Everybody seemed to know him, and all men spoke well of him. They liked him because he stuck to his post, but the mayor had sent for him, and I could find neither him nor the mayor.

When I left the cathedral I had told my chauffeur to wait near by it, not believing the Germans would continue to make it their point of attack. He waited until two houses within a hundred yards of him were knocked down, and then went away from there, leaving word with the sentry that I could find him outside the gate to Paris. When I found him he was well outside and refused to return, saying he would sleep in his car.

On the way back I met a steady stream of women and old men fleeing before the shells. Their state was very pitiful. Some of them seemed quite dazed with fear and ran, dodging, from one sidewalk to the other, and as shells burst above them prayed aloud and crossed themselves. Others were busy behind the counters of their shops serving customers, and others stood in doorways holding in their hands their knitting. Frenchwomen of a certain class always knit. If they were waiting to be electrocuted they would continue knitting.

The bombardment had grown sharper and the rumble of guns was uninterrupted, growling like thunder after a summer storm or as the shells passed shrieking and then bursting with jarring detonations. Underfoot the pavements were inch-deep with fallen glass, and as you walked it tinkled musically. With inborn sense of order, some of the housewives abandoned their knitting and calmly swept up the glass into neat piles. Habit is often so much stronger than fear. So is curiosity. All the boys and many young men and maidens were in the middle of the street watching to see where the shells struck and on the lookout for aeroplanes. When about five o'clock one sailed over the city, no one knew whether it was German or French, but every one followed it, apparently intending if it launched a bomb to be in at the death.

I found all the hotels closed and on their doors I pounded in vain, and was planning to go back to my car when I stumbled upon the Hôtel du Nord. It was open and the proprietress, who was knitting, told me the table-d'hôte dinner was ready. Not wishing to miss dinner, I halted an aged citizen who was fleeing from the city and asked him to carry a note to the American consul inviting him to dine. But the aged man said the consulate was close to where the shells were falling and that to approach it was as much as his life was worth. I asked him how much his life was worth in money, and he said two francs.

He did not find the consul, and I shared the table d'hôte with three tearful old French ladies, each of whom had husband or son at the front. That would seem to have been enough without being shelled at home. It is a commonplace, but it is nevertheless true that in war it is the women who suffer. The proprietress walked around the table, still knitting, and told us tales of German officers who until the day before had occupied her hotel, and her anecdotes were not intended to make German officers popular.

The bombardment ceased at eight o'clock, but at four the next morning it woke me, and as I departed for Paris salvoes of French artillery were returning the German fire.

Before leaving I revisited the cathedral to see if during the night it had been further mutilated. Around it shells were still falling, and the square in front was deserted. In the rain the roofless houses, shattered windows, and broken carvings that littered the street presented a picture of melancholy and useless desolation. Around three sides of the square not a building was intact. But facing the wreckage the bronze statue of Joan of Arc sat on her bronze charger, uninjured and untouched. In her right hand, lifted high above her as though defying the German shells, some one overnight had lashed the flag of France.

The next morning the newspapers announced that the cathedral was in flames, and I returned to Rheims. The papers also gave the two official excuses offered by the Germans for the destruction of the church. One was that the French batteries were so placed that in replying to them it was impossible to avoid shelling the city.

I know where the French batteries were, and if the German guns aimed at them by error missed them and hit the cathedral, the German marksmanship is deteriorating. To find the range the artillery sends what in the American army are called brace shots—one aimed at a point beyond the mark and one short of it. From the explosions of these two shells the gunner is able to determine how far he is off the target and accordingly regulates his sights. Not more, at the most, than three of these experimental brace shots should be necessary, and, as one of each brace is purposely aimed to fall short of the target, only three German shells, or, as there were two French positions, six German shells should have fallen beyond the batteries and into the city. And yet for four days the city was bombarded!

To make sure, I asked French, English, and American army officers what margin of error they thought excusable after the range was determined. They all agreed that after his range was found an artillery officer who missed it by from fifty to one hundred yards ought to be court-martialled. The Germans "missed" by one mile.

The other excuse given by the Germans for the destruction of the cathedral was that the towers had been used by the French for military purposes. On arriving at Rheims the question I first asked was whether this was true. The abbé Chinot, curé of the chapel of the cathedral, assured me most solemnly and earnestly it was not. The French and the German staffs, he said, had mutually agreed that on the towers of the cathedral no quick-firing guns should be placed, and by both sides this agreement was observed. After entering Rheims the French, to protect the innocent citizens against bombs dropped by German air-ships, for two nights placed a search-light on the towers, but, fearing this might be considered a breach of agreement as to the mitrailleuses, the abbé Chinot ordered the search-light withdrawn. Five days later, during which time the towers were not occupied and the cathedral had been converted into a hospital for the German wounded and Red Cross flags were hanging from both towers, the Germans opened fire upon it. Had it been the search-light to which the Germans objected, they would have fired upon it when it was in evidence, not five days after it had disappeared.

When, with the abbé Chinot, I spent the day in what is left of the cathedral, the Germans still were shelling it. Two shells fell within twenty-five yards of us. It was at that time that the photographs that illustrate this chapter were taken.

The fire started in this way. For some months the northeast tower of the cathedral had been under repair and surrounded by scaffolding. On September 19th a shell set fire to the outer roof of the cathedral, which is of lead and oak. The fire spread to the scaffolding and from the scaffolding to the wooden beams of the portals, hundred of years old. The abbé Chinot, young/alert, and daring, ran out upon the scaffolding and tried to cut the cords that bound it.

In other parts of the city the fire department was engaged with fire lit by the bombardment, and unaided, the flames gained upon him. Seeing this, he called for volunteers, and, under the direction of the Archbishop of Rheims, they carried on stretchers from the burning building the wounded Germans. The rescuing parties were not a minute too soon. Already from the roofs molten lead, as deadly as bullets, was falling among the wounded. The blazing doors had turned the straw on which they lay into a prairie fire.

Splashed by the molten lead and threatened by falling timbers, the priests, at the risk of their lives and limbs, carried out the wounded Germans, sixty in all.

But, after bearing them to safety, their charges were confronted with a new danger. Inflamed by the sight of their own dead, four hundred citizens having been killed by the bombardment, and by the loss of their cathedral, the people of Rheims who were gathered about the burning building called for the lives of the German prisoners. "They are barbarians," they cried. "Kill them!" Archbishop Landreaux and Abbé Chinot placed themselves in front of the wounded.

"Before you kill them," they cried, "you must first kill us."

This is not highly colored fiction, but fact. It is more than fact. It is history, for the picture of the venerable archbishop, with his cathedral blazing behind him, facing a mob of his own people in defence of their enemies, will always live in the annals of this war and in the annals of the church.

There were other features of this fire and bombardment which the Catholic Church will not allow to be forgotten. The leaden roofs were destroyed, the oak timbers that for several hundred years had supported them were destroyed, stone statues and flying buttresses weighing many tons were smashed into atoms, but not a single crucifix was touched, not one waxen or wooden image of the Virgin disturbed, not one painting of the Holy Family marred.

I saw the Gobelin tapestries, more precious than spun gold, intact, while sparks fell about them, and lying beneath them were iron bolts twisted by fire, broken rooftrees and beams still smouldering.

But the special Providence that saved the altars was not omnipotent. The windows that were the glory of the cathedral were wrecked. Through some the shells had passed, others the explosions had blown into tiny fragments. Where, on my first visit, I saw in the stained glass gaping holes, now the whole window had been torn from the walls. Statues of saints and crusader and cherubim lay in mangled fragments. The great bells, each of which is as large as the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, that for hundreds of years for Rheims have sounded the angelus, were torn from their oak girders and melted into black masses of silver and copper, without shape and without sound. Never have I looked upon a picture of such pathos, of such wanton and wicked destruction.

The towers still stand, the walls still stand, for beneath the roofs of lead the roof of stone remained, but what is intact is a pitiful, distorted mass where once were exquisite and noble features. It is like the face of a beautiful saint scarred with vitriol.

Two days before, when I walked through the cathedral, the scene was the same as when kings were crowned. You stood where Joan of Arc received the homage of France. When I returned I walked upon charred ashes, broken stone, and shattered glass. Where once the light was dim and holy, now through great breaches in the walls rain splashed. The spirit of the place was gone.

Outside the cathedral, in the direction from which the shells came, for three city blocks every house was destroyed. The palace of the archbishop was gutted, the chapel and the robing-room of the kings were cellars filled with rubbish. Of them only crumbling walls remain. And on the south and west the façades of the cathedral and flying buttresses and statues of kings, angels, and saints were mangled and shapeless.

I walked over the district that had been destroyed by these accidental shots, and it stretched from the northeastern outskirts of Rheims in a straight line to the cathedral. Shells that fell short of the cathedral for a quarter of a mile destroyed entirely three city blocks. The heart of this district is the Place Godinot. In every direction at a distance of a mile from the Place Godinot I passed houses wrecked by shells —south at the Paris gate, north at the railroad station.

There is no part of Rheims that these shells the Germans claim were aimed at French batteries did not hit. If Rheims accepts the German excuse she might suggest to them that the next time they bombard, if they aim at the city they may hit the batteries.

The Germans claim also that the damage done was from fires, not shells. But that is not the case; destruction by fire was slight. Houses wrecked by shells where there was no fire outnumbered those that were burned ten to one. In no house was there probably any other fire than that in the kitchen stove, and that had been smothered by falling masonry and tiles.

Outside the wrecked area were many shops belonging to American firms, but each of them had escaped injury. They were filled with American typewriters, sewing-machines, and cameras. A number of cafés bearing the sign "American Bar" testified to the nationality and tastes of many tourists.

I found our consul, William Bardel, at the consulate. He is a fine type of the German-American citizen, and, since the war began, with his wife and son has held the fort and tactfully looked after the interests of both Americans and Germans. On both sides of him shells had damaged the houses immediately adjoining. The one across the street had been destroyed and two neighbors killed.

The street in front of the consulate is a mass of fallen stone, and the morning I called on Mr. Bardel a shell had hit his neighbor's chestnut- tree, filled his garden with chestnut burrs, and blown out the glass of his windows. He was patching the holes with brown wrapping-paper, but was chiefly concerned because in his own garden the dahlias were broken. During the first part of the bombardment, when firing became too hot for him, he had retreated with his family to the corner of the street, where are the cellars of the Roderers, the champagne people. There are worse places in which to hide in than a champagne cellar.

Mr. Bardel has lived six years in Rheims and estimated the damage done to property by shells at thirty millions of dollars, and said that unless the seat of military operations was removed the champagne crop for this year would be entirely wasted. It promised to be an especially good year. The seasons were propitious, being dry when sun was needed and wet when rain was needed, but unless the grapes were gathered by the end of September the crops would be lost.

Of interest to Broadway is the fact that in Rheims, or rather in her cellars, are stored nearly fifty million bottles of champagne belonging to six of the best-known houses. Should shells reach these bottles, the high price of living in the lobster palaces will be proportionately increased.

Except for Red Cross volunteers seeking among the ruins for wounded, I found that part of the city that had suffered completely deserted. Shells still were falling and houses as yet intact, and those partly destroyed were empty. You saw pitiful attempts to save the pieces. In places, as though evictions were going forward, chairs, pictures, cooking-pans, bedding were piled in heaps. There was none to guard them; certainly there was no one so unfeeling as to disturb them.

I saw neither looting nor any effort to guard against it. In their common danger and horror the citizens of Rheims of all classes seemed drawn closely together. The manner of all was subdued and gentle, like those who stand at an open grave.

The shells played the most inconceivable pranks. In some streets the houses and shops along one side were entirely wiped out and on the other untouched. In the Rue du Cardinal du Lorraine every house was gone. Where they once stood were cellars filled with powdered stone. Tall chimneys that one would have thought a strong wind might dislodge were holding themselves erect, while the surrounding walls, three feet thick, had been crumpled into rubbish.

In some houses a shell had removed one room only, and as neatly as though it were the work of masons and carpenters. It was as though the shell had a grievance against the lodger in that particular room. The waste was appalling.

Among the ruins I saw good paintings in rags and in gardens statues covered with the moss of centuries smashed. In many places, still on the pedestal, you would see a headless Venus, or a flying Mercury chopped off at the waist.

Long streamers of ivy that during a century had crept higher and higher up the wall of some noble mansion, until they were part of it, still clung to it, although it was divided into a thousand fragments. Of one house all that was left standing was a slice of the front wall just wide enough to bear a sign reading: "This house is for sale; elegantly furnished." Nothing else of that house remained.

In some streets of the destroyed area I met not one living person. The noise made by my feet kicking the broken glass was the only sound. The silence, the gaping holes in the sidewalk, the ghastly tributes to the power of the shells, and the complete desolation, made more desolate by the bright sunshine, gave you a curious feeling that the end of the world had come and you were the only survivor.

This-impression was aided by the sight of many rare and valuable articles with no one guarding them. They were things of price that one may not carry into the next world but which in this are kept under lock and key.

In the Rue de l'Université, at my leisure, I could have ransacked shop after shop or from the shattered drawing-rooms filled my pockets. Shopkeepers had gone without waiting to lock their doors, and in houses the fronts of which were down you could see that, in order to save their lives, the inmates had fled at a moment's warning.

In one street a high wall extended an entire block, but in the centre a howitzer shell had made a breach as large as a barn door. Through this I had a view of an old and beautiful garden, on which oasis nothing had been disturbed. Hanging from the walls, on diamond- shaped lattices, roses were still in bloom, and along the gravel walks flowers of every color raised their petals to the sunshine. On the terrace was spread a tea-service of silver and on the grass were children's toys—hoops, tennis-balls, and flat on its back, staring up wide-eyed at the shells, a large, fashionably dressed doll.

In another house everything was destroyed except the mantel over the fireplace in the drawing-room. On this stood a terra-cotta statuette of Harlequin. It is one you have often seen. The legs are wide apart, the arms folded, the head thrown back in an ecstasy of laughter. It looked exactly as though it were laughing at the wreckage with which it was surrounded. No one could have placed it where it was after the house fell, for the approach to it was still on fire. Of all the fantastic tricks played by the bursting shells it was the most curious.

Chapter VII The Spirit Of The English

When I left England for home I had just returned from France and had motored many miles in both countries. Everywhere in this greatest crisis of the century I found the people of England showing the most undaunted and splendid spirit. To their common enemy they are presenting an unbroken front. The civilian is playing his part just as loyally as the soldier, the women as bravely as the men.

They appreciate that not only their own existence is threatened, but the future peace and welfare of the world require that the military party of Germany must be wiped out. That is their burden, and with the heroic Belgians to inspire them, without a whimper or a whine of self-pity, they are bearing their burden.

Every one in England is making sacrifices great and small. As long ago as the middle of September it was so cold along the Aisne that I have seen the French, sooner than move away from the open fires they had made, risk the falling shells. Since then it has grown much colder, and Kitchener issued an invitation to the English people to send in what blankets they could spare for the army in the field and in reserve. The idea was to dye the blankets khaki and then turn them over to the supply department. In one week, so eagerly did the people respond to this appeal, Kitchener had to publish a card stating that no more blankets were needed. He had received over half a million.

The reply to Kitchener's appeal for recruits was as prompt and generous. The men came so rapidly that the standard for enlistment was raised. That is, I believe, in the history of warfare without precedent. Nations often have lowered their requirements for enlistment, but after war was once well under way to make recruiting more difficult is new. The sacrifices are made by every class.

There is no business enterprise of any sort that has not shown itself unselfish. This is true of the greengrocery, the bank, the department store, the Cotton Exchange. Each of these has sent employees to the front, and while they are away is paying their wages and, on the chance of their return, holding their places open. Men who are not accepted as recruits are enrolled as special constables. They are those who could not, without facing ruin, neglect their business. They have signed on as policemen, and each night for four hours patrol the posts of the regular bobbies who have gone to the front.

The ingenuity shown in finding ways in which to help the army is equalled only by the enthusiasm with which these suggestions are met. Just before his death at the front, Lord Roberts called upon all racing-men, yachtsmen, and big-game shots to send him, for the use of the officers in the field, their field-glasses. The response was amazingly generous.

Other people gave their pens. The men whose names are best known to you in British literature are at the service of the government and at this moment are writing exclusively for the Foreign Office. They are engaged in answering the special pleading of the Germans and in writing monographs, appeals for recruits, explanations of why England is at war. They do not sign what they write. They are, of course, not paid for what they write. They have their reward in knowing that to direct public opinion fairly will be as effective in bringing this war to a close as is sticking bayonets into Uhlans.

The stage, as well as literature, has found many ways in which it can serve the army. One theatre is giving all the money taken in at the door to the Red Cross; all of them admit men in uniform free, or at half price, and a long list of actors have gone to the front. Among them are several who are well known in America. Robert Lorraine has received an officer's commission in the Royal Flying Corps, and Guy Standing in the navy. The former is reported among the wounded. Gerald du Maurier has organized a reserve battalion of actors, artists, and musicians.

There is not a day passes that the most prominent members of the theatrical world are not giving their services free to benefit performances in aid of Belgian refugees, Red Cross societies, or to some one of the funds under royal patronage. Whether their talent is to act or dance, they are using it to help along the army. Seymour Hicks and Edward Knoblauch in one week wrote a play called "England Expects," which was an appeal in dramatic form for recruits, and each night the play was produced recruits crowded over the footlights.

The old sergeants are needed to drill the new material and cannot be spared for recruiting. And so members of Parliament and members of the cabinet travel all over the United Kingdom—and certainly these days it is united—on that service. Even the prime minister and the first lord of the admiralty, Winston Churchill, work overtime in addressing public meetings and making stirring appeals to the young men. And wherever you go you see the young men by the thousands marching, drilling, going through setting-up exercises. The public parks, golf- links, even private parks like Bedford Square, are filled with them, and in Green Park, facing the long beds of geraniums, are lines of cavalry horses and the khaki tents of the troopers.

Every one is helping. Each day the King and Queen and Princess Mary review troops or visit the wounded in some hospital; and the day before sailing, while passing Buckingham Palace, I watched the young Prince of Wales change the guard. In a businesslike manner he was listening to the sentries repeat their orders; and in turn a young sergeant, also in a most businesslike manner, was in whispers coaching the boy officer in the proper manner to guard the home of his royal parents. Since then the young prince has gone to the front and is fighting for his country. And the King is in France with his soldiers.

As the song says, all the heroes do not go to war, and the warriors at the front are not the only ones this war has turned out-of-doors. The number of Englishwomen who have left their homes that the Red Cross may have the use of them for the wounded would fill a long roll of honor. Some give an entire house, like Mrs. Waldorf Astor, who has loaned to the wounded Cliveden, one of the best-known and most beautiful places on the Thames. Others can give only a room. But all over England the convalescents have been billeted in private houses and made nobly welcome.

Even the children of England are helping. The Boy Scouts, one of the most remarkable developments of this decade, has in this war scored a triumph of organization. This is equally true of the Boy Scouts in Belgium and France. In England military duties of the most serious nature have been intrusted to them. On the east coast they have taken the place of the coast guards, and all over England they are patrolling railroad junctions, guarding bridges, and carrying despatches. Even if the young men who are now drilling in the parks and the Boy Scouts never reach Berlin nor cross the Channel, the training and sense of responsibility that they are now enjoying are all for their future good.

They are coming out of this war better men, not because they have been taught the manual of arms, but in spite of that fact. What they have learned is much more than that. Each of them has, for an ideal, whether you call it a flag, or a king, or a geographical position on the map, offered his life, and for that ideal has trained his body and sacrificed his pleasures, and each of them is the better for it. And when peace comes his country will be the richer and the more powerful.

Chapter VIII Our Diplomats In The War Zone

When the war broke loose those persons in Europe it concerned the least were the most upset about it. They were our fellow countrymen. Even to-day, above the roar of shells, the crash of falling walls, forts, forests, cathedrals, above the scream of shrapnel, the sobs of widows and orphans, the cries of the wounded and dying, all over Europe, you still can hear the shrieks of the Americans calling for their lost suit-cases.

For some of the American women caught by the war on the wrong side of the Atlantic the situation was serious and distressing. There were thousands of them travelling alone, chaperoned only by a man from Cook's or a letter of credit. For years they had been saving to make this trip, and had allowed themselves only sufficient money after the trip was completed to pay the ship's stewards. Suddenly they found themselves facing the difficulties of existence in a foreign land without money, friends, or credit. During the first days of mobilization they could not realize on their checks or letters. American bank-notes and Bank of England notes were refused. Save gold, nothing was of value, and every one who possessed a gold piece, especially if he happened to be a banker, was clinging to it with the desperation of a dope fiend clutching his last pill of cocaine. We can imagine what it was like in Europe when we recall the conditions at home.

In New York, when I started for the seat of war, three banks in which for years I had kept a modest balance refused me a hundred dollars in gold, or a check, or a letter of credit. They simply put up the shutters and crawled under the bed. So in Europe, where there actually was war, the women tourists, with nothing but a worthless letter of credit between them and sleeping in a park, had every reason to be panic-stricken. But to explain the hysteria of the hundred thousand other Americans is difficult—so difficult that while they live they will still be explaining. The worst that could have happened to them was temporary discomfort offset by adventures. Of those they experienced they have not yet ceased boasting.

On August 5th, one day after England declared war, the American Government announced that it would send the Tennessee with a cargo of gold. In Rome and in Paris Thomas Nelson Page and Myron T. Herrick were assisting every American who applied to them, and committees of Americans to care for their fellow countrymen had been organized. All that was asked of the stranded Americans was to keep cool and, like true sports, suffer inconvenience. Around them were the French and English, facing the greatest tragedy of centuries, and meeting it calmly and with noble self-sacrifice. The men were marching to meet death, and in the streets, shops, and fields the women were taking up the burden the men had dropped. And in the Rue Scribe and in Cockspur Street thousands of Americans were struggling in panic-stricken groups, bewailing the loss of a hat-box, and protesting at having to return home second-class. Their suffering was something terrible. In London, in the Ritz and Carlton restaurants, American refugees, loaded down with fat pearls and seated at tables loaded with fat food, besought your pity. The imperial suite, which on the fast German liner was always reserved for them, "except when Prince Henry was using it," was no longer available, and they were subjected to the indignity of returning home on a nine- day boat and in the captain's cabin. It made their blue blood boil; and the thought that their emigrant ancestors had come over in the steerage did not help a bit.

The experiences of Judge Richard William Irwin, of the Superior Court of Massachusetts, and his party, as related in the Paris Herald, were heartrending. On leaving Switzerland for France they were forced to carry their own luggage, all the porters apparently having selfishly marched off to die for their country, and the train was not lighted, nor did any one collect their tickets. "We have them yet!" says Judge Irwin. He makes no complaint, he does not write to the Public- Service Commission about it, but he states the fact. No one came to collect his ticket, and he has it yet. Something should be done. Merely because France is at war Judge Irwin should not be condemned to go through life clinging to a first-class ticket.

In another interview Judge George A. Carpenter, of the United States Court of Chicago, takes a more cheerful view. "I can't see anything for Americans to get hysterical about," he says. "They seem to think their little delays and difficulties are more important than all the troubles of Europe. For my part, I should think these people would be glad to settle down in Paris." A wise judge!

For the hysterical Americans it was fortunate that in the embassies and consulates of the United States there were fellow country-men who would not allow a war to rattle them. When the representatives of other countries fled our people not only stayed on the job but held down the jobs of those who were forced to move away. At no time in many years have our diplomats and consuls appeared to such advantage. They deserve so much credit that the administration will undoubtedly try to borrow it. Mr. Bryan will point with pride and say: "These men who bore themselves so well were my appointments." Some of them were. But back of them, and coaching them, were first and second secretaries and consuls-general and consuls who had been long in the service and who knew the language, the short cuts, and what ropes to pull. And they had also the assistance of every lost and strayed, past and present American diplomat who, when the war broke, was caught off his base. These were commandeered and put to work, and volunteers of the American colonies were made honorary attachés, and without pay toiled like fifteen-dollar-a-week bookkeepers.

In our embassy in Paris one of these latter had just finished struggling with two American women. One would not go home by way of England because she would not leave her Pomeranian in quarantine, and the other because she could not carry with her twenty-two trunks. They demanded to be sent back from Havre on a battle-ship. The volunteer diplomat bowed. "Then I must refer you to our naval attaché, on the first floor," he said. "Any tickets for battle-ships must come through him."

I suggested he was having a hard time.

"If we remained in Paris," he said, "we all had to help. It was a choice between volunteering to aid Mr. Herrick at the embassy or Mrs. Herrick at the American Ambulance Hospital and tending wounded Turcos. But between soothing terrified Americans and washing niggers, I'm sorry now I didn't choose the hospital."

In Paris there were two embassies running overtime; that means from early morning until after midnight, and each with a staff enlarged to six times the usual number. At the residence of Mr. Herrick, in the Rue François Ier, there was an impromptu staff composed chiefly of young American bankers, lawyers, and business men. They were men who inherited, or who earned, incomes of from twenty thousand to fifty thousand a year, and all day, and every day, without pay, and certainly without thanks, they assisted their bewildered, penniless, and homesick fellow countrymen. Below them in the cellar was stored part of the two million five hundred thousand dollars voted by Congress to assist the stranded Americans. It was guarded by quick- firing guns, loaned by the French War Office, and by six petty officers from the Tennessee. With one of them I had been a shipmate when the Utah sailed from Vera Cruz. I congratulated him on being in Paris.

"They say Paris is some city," he assented, "but all I've seen of it is this courtyard. Don't tell anybody, but, on the level, I'd rather be back in Vera Cruz!"

The work of distributing the money was carried on in the chancelleries of the embassy in the Rue de Chaillot. It was entirely in the hands of American army and navy officers, twenty of whom came over on the warship with Assistant Secretary of War Breckinridge. Major Spencer Cosby, the military attaché of the embassy, was treasurer of the fund, and every application for aid that had not already been investigated by the civilian committee appointed by the ambassador was decided upon by the officers. Mr. Herrick found them invaluable. He was earnest in their praise. They all wanted to see the fighting; but in other ways they served their country.

As a kind of "king's messenger" they were sent to our other embassies, to the French Government at Bordeaux, and in command of expeditions to round up and convoy back to Paris stranded Americans in Germany and Switzerland. Their training, their habit of command and of thinking for others, their military titles helped them to success. By the French they were given a free road, and they were not only of great assistance to others, but what they saw of the war and of the French army will be of lasting benefit to themselves. Among them were officers of every branch of the army and navy and of the marine and aviation corps. Their reports to the War Department, if ever they are made public, will be mighty interesting reading.

The regular staff of the embassy was occupied not only with Americans but with English, Germans, and Austrians. These latter stood in a long line outside the embassy, herded by gendarmes. That line never seemed to grow less. Myron T. Herrick, our ambassador, was at the embassy from early in the morning until midnight. He was always smiling, helpful, tactful, optimistic. Before the war came he was already popular, and the manner in which he met the dark days, when the Germans were within fifteen miles of Paris, made him thousands of friends. He never asked any of his staff to work harder than he worked himself, and he never knocked off and called it a day's job before they did. Nothing seemed to worry or daunt him; neither the departure of the other diplomats, when the government moved to Bordeaux and he was left alone, nor the advancing Germans and threatened siege of Paris, nor even falling bombs.

Herrick was as democratic as he was efficient. For his exclusive use there was a magnificent audience-chamber, full of tapestry, ormolu brass, Sèvres china, and sunshine. But of its grandeur the ambassador would grow weary, and every quarter-hour he would come out into the hall crowded with waiting English and Americans. There, assisted by M. Charles, who is as invaluable to our ambassadors to France as are Frank and Edward Hodson to our ambassadors to London, he would hold an impromptu reception. It was interesting to watch the ex-governor of Ohio clear that hall and send everybody away smiling. Having talked to his ambassador instead of to a secretary, each went off content. In the hall one morning I found a noble lord of high degree chuckling with pleasure.

"This is the difference between your ambassadors and ours," he said. "An English ambassador won't let you in to see him; your American ambassador comes out to see you." However true that may be, it was extremely fortunate that when war came we should have had a man at the storm-centre so admirably efficient.

Our embassy was not embarrassed nor was it greatly helped by the presence in Paris of two other American ambassadors: Mr. Sharp, the ambassador-elect, and Mr. Robert Bacon, the ambassador that was. That at such a crisis these gentlemen should have chosen to come to Paris and remain there showed that for an ambassador tact is not absolutely necessary.

Mr. Herrick was exceedingly fortunate in his secretaries, Robert Woods Bliss and Arthur H. Frazier. Their training in the diplomatic service made them most valuable. With him, also, as a volunteer counsellor, was H. Perceval Dodge, who, after serving in diplomatic posts in six countries, was thrown out of the service by Mr. Bryan to make room for a lawyer from Danville, Ky. Dodge was sent over to assist in distributing the money voted by Congress, and Herrick, knowing his record, signed him on to help him in the difficult task of running the affairs of the embassies of four countries, three of which were at war. Dodge, Bliss, and Frazier were able to care for these embassies because, though young in years, in the diplomatic service they have had training and experience. In this crisis they proved the need of it. For the duties they were, and still are, called upon to perform it is not enough that a man should have edited a democratic newspaper or stumped the State for Bryan. A knowledge of languages, of foreign countries, and of foreigners, their likes and their prejudices, good manners, tact, and training may not, in the eyes of the administration, seem necessary, but, in helping the ninety million people in whose interest the diplomat is sent abroad, these qualifications are not insignificant.

One might say that Brand Whitlock, who is so splendidly holding the fort at Brussels, in the very centre of the conflict, is not a trained diplomat. But he started with an excellent knowledge of the French language, and during the eight years in which he was mayor of Toledo he must have learned something of diplomacy, responsibility, and of the way to handle men—even German military governors. He is, in fact, the right man in the right place. In Belgium all men, Belgians, Americans, Germans, speak well of him. In one night he shipped out of Brussels, in safety and comfort, five thousand Germans; and when the German army advanced upon that city it was largely due to him and to the Spanish minister, the Marquis Villalobar, that Brussels did not meet the fate of Antwerp. He has a direct way of going at things. One day, while the Belgian Government still was in Brussels and Whitlock in charge of the German legation, the chief justice called upon him. It was suspected, he said, that on the roof of the German legation, concealed in the chimney, was a wireless outfit. He came to suggest that the American minister, representing the German interests, and the chief justice should appoint a joint commission to investigate the truth of the rumor, to take the testimony of witnesses, and make a report.

"Wouldn't it be quicker," said Whitlock, "if you and I went up on the roof and looked down the chimney?"

The chief justice was surprised but delighted. Together they clambered over the roof of the German legation. They found that the wireless outfit was a rusty weather-vane that creaked.

When the government moved to Antwerp Whitlock asked permission to remain at the capital. He believed that in Brussels he could be of greater service to both Americans and Belgians. And while diplomatic corps moved from Antwerp to Ostend, and from Ostend to Havre, he and Villalobar stuck to their posts. What followed showed Whitlock was right. To-day from Brussels he is directing the efforts of the rest of the world to save the people of that city and of Belgium from death by starvation. In this he has the help of his wife, who was Miss Ella Brainerd, of Springfield, 111, M. Gaston de Levai, a Belgian gentleman, and Miss Caroline S. Larner, who was formerly a secretary in the State Department, and who, when the war started, was on a vacation in Belgium. She applied to Whitlock to aid her to return home; instead, much to her delight, he made her one of the legation staff. His right-hand man is Hugh C. Gibson, his first secretary, a diplomat of experience. It is a pity that to the legation in Brussels no military attaché was accredited. He need not have gone out to see the war; the war would have come to him. As it was, Gibson saw more of actual warfare than did any or all of our twenty- eight military men in Paris. It was his duty to pass frequently through the firing-lines on his way to Antwerp and London. He was constantly under fire. Three times his automobile was hit by bullets. These trips were so hazardous that Whitlock urged that he should take them. It is said he and his secretary used to toss for it. Gibson told me he was disturbed by the signs the Germans placed between Brussels and Antwerp, stating that "automobiles looking as though they were on reconnoissance" would be fired upon. He asked how an automobile looked when it was on reconnoissance.

Gibson is one of the few men who, after years in the diplomatic service, refuses to take himself seriously. He is always smiling, cheerful, always amusing, but when the dignity of his official position is threatened he can be serious enough. When he was chargé d'affaires in Havana a young Cuban journalist assaulted him. That journalist is still in jail. In Brussels a German officer tried to blue-pencil a cable Gibson was sending to the State Department. Those who witnessed the incident say it was like a buzz-saw cutting soft pine.

When the present administration turned out the diplomats it spared the consuls-general and consuls. It was fortunate for the State Department that it showed this self-control, and fortunate for thousands of Americans who, when the war-cloud burst, were scattered all over Europe. Our consuls rose to the crisis and rounded them up, supplied them with funds, special trains, and letters of identification, and when they were arrested rescued them from jail. Under fire from shells and during days of bombardment the American consuls in France and Belgium remained at their posts and protected the people of many nationalities confided to their care. Only one showed the white feather. He first removed himself from his post, and then was removed still farther from it by the State Department. All the other American consuls of whom I heard in Belgium, France, and England were covering themselves with glory and bringing credit to their country. Nothing disturbed their calm, and at no hour could you catch them idle or reluctant to help a fellow countryman. Their office hours were from twelve to twelve, and each consulate had taken out an all-night license and thrown away the key. With four other Americans I was forced to rout one consul out of bed at two in the morning. He was Colonel Albert W. Swalm, of Iowa, but of late years our representative at Southampton. That port was in the military zone, and before an American could leave it for Havre it was necessary that his passport should be viséed in London by the French and Belgian consuls-general and in Southampton by Colonel Swalm. We arrived in Southampton at two in the morning to learn that the boat left at four, and that unless, in the interval, we obtained the autograph and seal of Colonel Swalm she would sail without us.

In the darkness we set forth to seek our consul, and we found that, difficult as it was to leave the docks by sea, it was just as difficult by land. In war time two o'clock in the morning is no hour for honest men to prowl around wharfs. So we were given to understand by very wide-awake sentries with bayonets, policemen, and enthusiastic special constables. But at last we reached the consulate and laid siege. One man pressed the electric button, kicked the door, and pounded with the knocker, others hurled pebbles at the upper windows, and the fifth stood in the road and sang: "Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light?"

A policeman arrested us for throwing stones at the consular sign. We explained that we had hit the sign by accident while aiming at the windows, and that in any case it was the inalienable right of Americans, if they felt like it, to stone their consul's sign. He said he always had understood we were a free people, but, "without meaning any disrespect to you, sir, throwing stones at your consul's coat of arms is almost, as you might say, sir, making too free." He then told us Colonel Swalm lived in the suburbs, and in a taxicab started us toward him.

Scantily but decorously clad, Colonel Swalm received us, and greeted us as courteously as though we had come to present him with a loving-cup. He acted as though our pulling him out of bed at two in the morning was intended as a compliment. For affixing the seal to our passports he refused any fee. We protested that the consuls-general of other nations were demanding fees. "I know," he said, "but I have never thought it right to fine a man for being an American."

Of our ambassadors and representatives in countries in Europe other than France and Belgium I have not written, because during this war I have not visited those countries. But of them, also, all men speak well. At the last election one of them was a candidate for the United States Senate. He was not elected. The reason is obvious.

Our people at home are so well pleased with their ambassadors in Europe that, while the war continues, they would keep them where they are.

Chapter IX "Under Fire"

One cold day on the Aisne, when the Germans had just withdrawn to the east bank and the Allies held the west, the French soldiers built huge bonfires and huddled around them. When the "Jack Johnsons," as they call the six-inch howitzer shells that strike with a burst of black smoke, began to fall, sooner than leave the warm fires the soldiers accepted the chance of being hit by the shells. Their officers had to order them back. I saw this and wrote of it. A friend refused to credit it. He said it was against his experience. He did not believe that, for the sake of keeping warm, men would chance being killed.

But the incident was quite characteristic. In times of war you constantly see men, and women, too, who, sooner than suffer discomfort or even inconvenience, risk death. The psychology of the thing is, I think, that a man knows very little about being dead but has a very acute knowledge of what it is to be uncomfortable. His brain is not able to grasp death but it is quite capable of informing him that his fingers are cold. Often men receive credit for showing coolness and courage in times of danger when, in reality, they are not properly aware of the danger and through habit are acting automatically. The girl in Chicago who went back into the Iroquois Theatre fire to rescue her rubber overshoes was not a heroine. She merely lacked imagination. Her mind was capable of appreciating how serious for her would be the loss of her overshoes but not being burned alive. At the battle of Velestinos, in the Greek-Turkish War, John F. Bass, of The Chicago Daily News, and myself got into a trench at the foot of a hill on which later the Greeks placed a battery. All day the Turks bombarded this battery with a cross-fire of shrapnel and rifle-bullets which did not touch our trench but cut off our return to Velestinos. Sooner than pass through this crossfire, all day we crouched in the trench until about sunset, when it came on to rain. We exclaimed with dismay. We had neglected to bring our ponchos. "If we don't get back to the village at once," we assured each other, "we will get wet!" So we raced through half a mile of falling shells and bullets and, before the rain fell, got under cover. Then Bass said: "For twelve hours we stuck to that trench because we were afraid if we left it we would be killed. And the only reason we ever did leave it was because we were more afraid of catching cold!"

In the same war I was in a trench with some infantrymen, one of whom never raised his head. Whenever he was ordered to fire he would shove his rifle-barrel over the edge of the trench, shut his eyes, and pull the trigger. He took no chances. His comrades laughed at him and swore at him, but he would only grin sheepishly and burrow deeper. After several hours a friend in another trench held up a bag of tobacco and some cigarette-papers and in pantomime "dared" him to come for them. To the intense surprise of every one he scrambled out of our trench and, exposed against the sky-line, walked to the other trench and, while he rolled a handful of cigarettes, drew the fire of the enemy. It was not that he was brave; he had shown that he was not. He was merely stupid. Between death and cigarettes, his mind could not rise above cigarettes.

Why the same kind of people are so differently affected by danger is very hard to understand. It is almost impossible to get a line on it. I was in the city of Rheims for three days and two nights while it was being bombarded. During that time fifty thousand people remained in the city and, so far as the shells permitted, continued about their business. The other fifty thousand fled from the city and camped out along the road to Paris. For five miles outside Rheims they lined both edges of that road like people waiting for a circus parade. With them they brought rugs, blankets, and loaves of bread, and from daybreak until night fell and the shells ceased to fall they sat in the hay-fields and along the grass gutters of the road. Some of them were most intelligent-looking and had the manner and clothes of the rich. There was one family of five that on four different occasions on our way to and from Paris we saw seated on the ground at a place certainly five miles away from any spot where a shell had fallen. They were all in deep mourning, but as they sat in the hay-field around a wicker tea basket and wrapped in steamer-rugs they were comic. Their lives were no more valuable than those of thousands of their fellow townsfolk who in Rheims were carrying on the daily routine. These kept the shops open or in the streets were assisting the Red Cross.

One elderly gentleman told me how he had been seized by the Germans as a hostage and threatened with death by hanging. With forty other first citizens, from the 4th to the 12th of September he had been in jail. After such an experience one would have thought that between himself and the Germans he would have placed as many miles as possible, but instead he was strolling around the Place du Parvis Notre-Dame, in front of the cathedral. For the French officers who, on sightseeing bent, were motoring into Rheims from the battle line he was acting as a sort of guide. Pointing with his umbrella, he would say: "On the left is the new Palace of Justice, the façade entirely destroyed; on the right you see the palace of the archbishop, completely wrecked. The shells that just passed over us have apparently fallen in the garden of the Hôtel Lion d'Or." He was as cool as the conductor on a "Seeing Rheims" observation-car.

He was matched in coolness by our consul, William Bardel. The American consulate is at No. 14 Rue Kellermann. That morning a shell had hit the chestnut-tree in the garden of his neighbor, at No. 12, and had knocked all the chestnuts into the garden of the consulate. "It's an ill wind that blows nobody good," said Mr. Bardel.

In the bombarded city there was no rule as to how any one would act. One house would be closed and barred, and the inmates would be either in their own cellar or in the caves of the nearest champagne company. To those latter they would bring books or playing-cards and, among millions of dust-covered bottles, by candle-light, would wait for the guns to cease. Their neighbors sat in their shops or stood at the doors of their houses or paraded the streets. Past them their friends were hastening, trembling with terror. Many women sat on the front steps, knitting, and with interested eyes watched their acquaintances fleeing toward the Paris gate. When overhead a shell passed they would stroll, still knitting, out into the middle of the street to see where the shell struck.

By the noise it was quite easy to follow the flight of the shells. You were tricked by the sound into almost believing you could see them. The six-inch shells passed with a whistling roar that was quite terrifying. It was as though just above you invisible telegraph-wires had jangled, and their rush through the air was like the roar that rises to the car window when two express-trains going in opposite directions pass at sixty miles an hour. When these sounds assailed them the people flying from the city would scream. Some of them, as though they had been hit, would fall on their knees. Others were sobbing and praying aloud. The tears rolled down their cheeks. In their terror there was nothing ludicrous; they were in as great physical pain as were some of the hundreds in Rheims who had been hit. And yet others of their fellow townsmen living in the same street, and with the same allotment of brains and nerves, were treating the bombardment with the indifference they would show to a summer shower.

We had not expected to spend the night in Rheims, so, with Ashmead Bartlett, the military expert of the London Daily Telegraph, I went into a chemist's shop to buy some soap. The chemist, seeing I was an American, became very much excited. He was overstocked with an American shaving-soap, and he begged me to take it off his hands. He would let me have it at what it cost him. He did not know where he had placed it, and he was in great alarm lest we would leave his shop before he could unload it on us. From both sides of the town French artillery were firing in salvoes, the shocks shaking the air; over the shop of the chemist shrapnel was whining, and in the street the howitzer shells were opening up subways. But his mind was intent only on finding that American shaving-soap. I was anxious to get on to a more peaceful neighborhood. To French soap, to soap "made in Germany," to neutral American soap I was indifferent. Had it not been for the presence of Ashmead Bartlett I would have fled. To die, even though clasping a cake of American soap, seemed less attractive than to live unwashed. But the chemist had no time to consider shells. He was intent only on getting rid of surplus stock.

The majority of people who are afraid are those who refuse to consider the doctrine of chances. The chances of their being hit may be one in ten thousand, but they disregard the odds in their favor and fix their minds on that one chance against them. In their imagination it grows larger and larger. It looms red and bloodshot, it hovers over them; wherever they go it follows, menacing, threatening, filling them with terror. In Rheims there were one hundred thousand people, and by shells one thousand were killed or wounded. The chances against were a hundred to one. Those who left the city undoubtedly thought the odds were not good enough.

Those who on account of the bombs that fell from the German aeroplanes into Paris left that city had no such excuse. The chance of any one person being hit by a bomb was one in several millions. But even with such generous odds in their favor, during the days the bomb-dropping lasted many thousands fled. They were obsessed by that one chance against them. In my hotel in Paris my landlady had her mind fixed on that one chance, and regularly every afternoon when the aeroplanes were expected she would go to bed. Just as regularly her husband would take a pair of opera-glasses and in the Rue de la Paix hopefully scan the sky.

One afternoon while we waited in front of Cook's an aeroplane sailed overhead, but so far above us that no one knew whether it was a French air-ship scouting or a German one preparing to launch a bomb. A man from Cook's, one of the interpreters, with a horrible knowledge of English, said: "Taube or not Taube; that is the question." He was told he was inviting a worse death than from a bomb. To illustrate the attitude of mind of the Parisian, there is the story of the street gamin who for some time, from the Garden of the Tuileries, had been watching a German aeroplane threatening the city. Finally, he exclaimed impatiently:

"Oh, throw your bomb! You are keeping me from my dinner."

A soldier under fire furnishes few of the surprises of conduct to which the civilian treats you. The soldier has no choice. He is tied by the leg, and whether the chances are even or ridiculously in his favor he must accept them. The civilian can always say, "This is no place for me," and get up and walk away. But the soldier cannot say that. He and his officers, the Red Cross nurses, doctors, ambulance-bearers, and even the correspondents have taken some kind of oath or signed some kind of contract that makes it easier for them than for the civilian to stay on the job. For them to go away would require more courage than to remain.

Indeed, although courage is so highly regarded, it seems to be of all virtues the most common. In six wars, among men of nearly every race, color, religion, and training, I have seen but four men who failed to show courage. I have seen men who were scared, sometimes whole regiments, but they still fought on; and that is the highest courage, for they were fighting both a real enemy and an imaginary one.

There is a story of a certain politician general of our army who, under a brisk fire, turned on one of his staff and cried:

"Why, major, you are scared, sir; you are scared!"

"I am," said the major, with his teeth chattering, "and if you were as scared as I am you'd be twenty miles in the rear."

In this war the onslaughts have been so terrific and so unceasing, the artillery fire especially has been so entirely beyond human experience, that the men fight in a kind of daze. Instead of arousing fear the tumult acts as an anaesthetic. With forests uprooted, houses smashing about them, and unseen express-trains hurtling through space, they are too stunned to be afraid. And in time they become fed up on battles and to the noise and danger grow callous. On the Aisne I saw an artillery battle that stretched for fifteen miles. Both banks of the river were wrapped in smoke; from the shells villages miles away were in flames, and two hundred yards in front of us the howitzer shells were bursting in black fumes. To this the French soldiers were completely indifferent. The hills they occupied had been held that morning by the Germans, and the trenches and fields were strewn with their accoutrement. So all the French soldiers who were not serving the guns wandered about seeking souvenirs. They had never a glance for the villages burning crimson in the bright sunight or for the falling "Jack Johnsons."

They were intent only on finding a spiked helmet, and when they came upon one they would give a shout of triumph and hold it up for their comrades to see. And their comrades would laugh delightedly and race toward them, stumbling over the furrows. They were as happy and eager as children picking wild flowers.

It is not good for troops to sup entirely on horrors and also to breakfast and lunch on them. So after in the trenches one regiment has been pounded it is withdrawn for a day or two and kept in reserve. The English Tommies spend this period of recuperating in playing football and cards. When the English learned this they forwarded so many thousands of packs of cards to the distributing depot that the War Office had to request them not to send any more. When the English officers are granted leave of absence they do not waste their energy on football, but motor into Paris for a bath and lunch. At eight they leave the trenches along the Aisne and by noon arrive at Maxim's, Voisin's, or La Rue's. Seldom does warfare present a sharper contrast. From a breakfast of "bully" beef, eaten from a tin plate, with in their nostrils the smell of camp-fires, dead horses, and unwashed bodies, they find themselves seated on red velvet cushions, surrounded by mirrors and walls of white and gold, and spread before them the most immaculate silver, linen, and glass. And the odors that assail them are those of truffles, white wine, and "artechant sauce mousseline."

It is a delight to hear them talk. The point of view of the English is so sane and fair. In risking their legs or arms, or life itself, they see nothing heroic, dramatic, or extraordinary. They talk of the war as they would of a cricket-match or a day in the hunting-field. If things are going wrong they do not whine or blame, nor when fortune smiles are they unduly jubilant. And they are so appallingly honest and frank. A piece of shrapnel had broken the arm of one of them, and we were helping him to cut up his food and pour out his Scotch and soda. Instead of making a hero or a martyr of himself, he said confidingly: "You know, I had no right to be hit. If I had been minding my own business I wouldn't have been hit. But Jimmie was having a hell of a time on top of a hill, and I just ran up to have a look in. And the beggars got me. Served me jolly well right. What?"

I met one subaltern at La Rue's who had been given so many commissions by his brother officers to bring back tobacco, soap, and underclothes that all his money save five francs was gone. He still had two days' leave of absence, and, as he truly pointed out, in Paris even in war time five francs will not carry you far. I offered to be his banker, but he said he would first try elsewhere. The next day I met him on the boulevards and asked what kind of a riotous existence he found possible on five francs.

"I've had the most extraordinary luck," he said. "After I left you I met my brother. He was just in from the front, and I got all his money."

"Won't your brother need it?" I asked.

"Not at all," said the subaltern cheerfully. "He's shot in the legs, and they've put him to bed. Rotten luck for him, you might say, but how lucky for me!"

Had he been the brother who was shot in both legs he would have treated the matter just as light-heartedly.

One English major, before he reached his own firing-line, was hit by a bursting shell in three places. While he was lying in the American ambulance hospital at Neuilly the doctor said to him:

"This cot next to yours is the only one vacant. Would you object if we put a German in it?"

"By no means," said the major; "I haven't seen one yet."

The stories the English officers told us at La Rue's and Maxim's by contrast with the surroundings were all the more grewsome. Seeing them there it did not seem possible that in a few hours these same fit, sun-tanned youths in khaki would be back in the trenches, or scouting in advance of them, or that only the day before they had been dodging death and destroying their fellow men.

Maxim's, which now reminds one only of the last act of "The Merry Widow," was the meeting-place for the French and English officers from the front; the American military attachés from our embassy, among whom were soldiers, sailors, aviators, marines; the doctors and volunteer nurses from the American ambulance, and the correspondents who by night dined in Paris and by day dodged arrest and other things on the firing-line, or as near it as they could motor without going to jail. For these Maxim's was the clearing-house for news of friends and battles. Where once were the supper-girls and the ladies of the gold-mesh vanity-bags now were only men in red and blue uniforms, men in khaki, men in bandages. Among them were English lords and French princes with titles that dated from Agincourt to Waterloo, where their ancestors had met as enemies. Now those who had succeeded them, as allies, were, over a sole Marguery, discussing air-ships, armored automobiles, and mitrailleuses.

At one table Arthur H. Frazier, of the American embassy, would be telling an English officer that a captain of his regiment who was supposed to have been killed at Courtrai had, like a homing pigeon, found his way to the hospital at Neuilly and wanted to be reported "safe" at Lloyds. At another table a French lieutenant would describe a raid made by the son of an American banker in Paris who is in command of an armed automobile. "He swept his gun only once—so," the Frenchman explained, waving his arm across the champagne and the broiled lobster, "and he caught a general and two staff- officers. He cut them in half." Or at another table you would listen to a group of English officers talking in wonder of the Germans' wasteful advance in solid formation.

"They were piled so high," one of them relates, "that I stopped firing. They looked like gray worms squirming about in a bait-box. I can shoot men coming at me on their feet, but not a mess of arms and legs."

"I know," assents another; "when we charged the other day we had to advance over the Germans that fell the night before, and my men were slipping and stumbling all over the place. The bodies didn't give them any foothold."

"My sergeant yesterday," another relates, "turned to me and said: 'It isn't cricket. There's no game in shooting into a target as big as that. It's just murder.' I had to order him to continue firing."

They tell of it without pose or emotion. It is all in the day's work. Most of them are young men of wealth, of ancient family, cleanly bred gentlemen of England, and as they nod and leave the restaurant we know that in three hours, wrapped in a greatcoat, each will be sleeping in the earth trenches, and that the next morning the shells will wake him.

Chapter X The Waste of War

In this war, more than in other campaigns, the wastefulness is apparent. In other wars, what to the man at home was most distressing was the destruction of life. He measured the importance of the conflict by the daily lists of killed and wounded. But in those wars, except human life, there was little else to destroy. The war in South Africa was fought among hills of stone, across vacant stretches of prairie. Not even trees were destroyed, because there were no trees. In the district over which the armies passed there were not enough trees to supply the men with fire-wood. In Manchuria, with the Japanese, we marched for miles without seeing even a mud village, and the approaches to Port Arthur were as desolate as our Black Hills. The Italian-Turkish War was fought in the sands of a desert, and in the Balkan War few had heard of the cities bombarded until they read they were in flames. But this war is being waged in that part of the world best known to the rest of the world.

Every summer hundreds of thousands of Americans, on business or on pleasure bent, travelled to the places that now daily are being taken or retaken or are in ruins. At school they had read of these places in their history books and later had visited them. In consequence, in this war they have a personal and an intelligent interest. It is as though of what is being destroyed they were part owners.

Toward Europe they are as absentee landlords. It was their pleasure- ground and their market. And now that it is being laid low the utter wastefulness of war is brought closer to this generation than ever before. Loss of life in war has not been considered entirely wasted, because the self-sacrifice involved ennobled it. And the men who went out to war knew what they might lose. Neither when, in the pursuits of peace, human life is sacrificed is it counted as wasted. The pioneers who were killed by the Indians or who starved to death in what then were deserts helped to carry civilization from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Only ten years ago men were killed in learning to control the "horseless wagons," and now sixty-horsepower cars are driven by women and young girls. Later the air-ship took its toll of human life. Nor, in view of the possibilities of the air-ships in the future, can it be said those lives were wasted. But, except life, there was no other waste. To perfect the automobile and the air-ship no women were driven from home and the homes destroyed. No churches were bombarded. Men in this country who after many years had built up a trade in Europe were not forced to close their mills and turn into the streets hundreds of working men and women.

It is in the by-products of the war that the waste, cruelty, and stupidity of war are most apparent. It is the most innocent who suffer and those who have the least offended who are the most severely punished. The German Emperor wanted a place in the sun, and, having decided that the right moment to seize it had arrived, declared war. As a direct result, Mary Kelly, a telephone girl at the Wistaria Hotel, in New York, is looking for work. It sounds like an O. Henry story, but, except for the name of the girl and the hotel, it is not fiction. She told me about it one day on my return to New York, on Broadway.

"I'm looking for work," she said, "and I thought if you remembered me you might give me a reference. I used to work at Sherry's and at the Wistaria Hotel. But I lost my job through the war." How the war in Europe could strike at a telephone girl in New York was puzzling; but Mary Kelly made it clear. "The Wistaria is very popular with Southerners," she explained, "They make their money in cotton and blow it in New York. But now they can't sell their cotton, and so they have no money, and so they can't come to New York. And the hotel is run at a loss, and the proprietor discharged me and the other girl, and the bellboys are tending the switchboard. I've been a month trying to get work. But everybody gives me the same answer. They're cutting down the staff on account of the war. I've walked thirty miles a day looking for a job, and I'm nearly all in. How long do you think this war will last?" This telephone girl looking for work is a tiny by-product of war. She is only one instance of efficiency gone to waste.

The reader can think of a hundred other instances. In his own life he can show where in his pleasures, his business, in his plans for the future the war has struck at him and has caused him inconvenience, loss, or suffering. He can then appreciate how much greater are the loss and suffering to those who live within the zone of fire. In Belgium and France the vacant spaces are very few, and the shells fall among cities and villages lying so close together that they seem to touch hands. For hundreds of years the land has been cultivated, the fields, gardens, orchards tilled and lovingly cared for. The roads date back to the days of Caesar. The stone farmhouses, as well as the stone churches, were built to endure. And for centuries, until this war came, they had endured. After the battle of Waterloo some of these stone farmhouses found themselves famous. In them Napoleon or Wellington had spread his maps or set up his cot, and until this war the farmhouses of Mont-Saint-Jean, of Caillou, of Haie-Sainte, of the Belle-Alliance remained as they were on the day of the great battle a hundred years ago. They have received no special care, the elements have not spared them nor caretakers guarded them. They still were used as dwellings, and it was only when you recognized them by having seen them on the post-cards that you distinguished them from thousands of other houses, just as old and just as well preserved, that stretched from Brussels to Liege.

But a hundred years after this war those other houses will not be shown on picture post-cards. King Albert and his staff may have spent the night in them, but the next day Von Kluck and his army passed, and those houses that had stood for three hundred years were destroyed. In the papers you have seen many pictures of the shattered roofs and the streets piled high with fallen walls and lined with gaping cellars over which once houses stood. The walls can be rebuilt, but what was wasted and which cannot be rebuilt are the labor, the saving, the sacrifices that made those houses not mere walls but homes. A house may be built in a year or rented overnight; it takes longer than that to make it a home. The farmers and peasants in Belgium had spent many hours of many days in keeping their homes beautiful, in making their farms self-supporting. After the work of the day was finished they had planted gardens, had reared fruit- trees, built arbors; under them at mealtime they sat surrounded by those of their own household. To buy the horse and the cow they had pinched and saved; to make the gardens beautiful and the fields fertile they had sweated and slaved, the women as well as the men; even the watch-dog by day was a beast of burden.

When, in August, I reached Belgium between Brussels and Liege, the whole countryside showed the labor of these peasants. Unlike the American farmer, they were too poor to buy machines to work for them, and with scythes and sickles in hand they cut the grain; with heavy flails they beat it. All that you saw on either side of the road that was fertile and beautiful was the result of their hard, unceasing personal effort. Then the war came, like a cyclone, and in three weeks the labor of many years was wasted. The fields were torn with shells, the grain was in flames, torches destroyed the villages, by the roadside were the carcasses of the cows that had been killed to feed the invader, and the horses were carried off harnessed to gray gun- carriages. These were the things you saw on every side, from Brussels to the German border. The peasants themselves were huddled beneath bridges. They were like vast camps of gypsies, except that, less fortunate than the gypsy, they had lost what he neither possesses nor desires, a home. As the enemy advanced the inhabitants of one village would fly for shelter to the next, only by the shells to be whipped farther forward; and so, each hour growing in number, the refugees fled toward Brussels and the coast. They were an army of tramps, of women and children tramps, sleeping in the open fields, beneath the hayricks seeking shelter from the rain, living on the raw turnips and carrots they had plucked from the deserted vegetable gardens. The peasants were not the only ones who suffered. The rich and the noble-born were as unhappy and as homeless. They had credit, and in the banks they had money, but they could not get at the money; and when a château and a farmhouse are in flames, between them there is little choice.

Three hours after midnight on the day the Germans began their three days' march through Brussels I had crossed the Square Rogier to send a despatch by one of the many last trains for Ostend. When I returned to the Palace Hotel, seated on the iron chairs on the sidewalk were a woman, her three children, and two maid servants. The woman was in mourning, which was quite new, for, though the war was only a month old, many had been killed, among them her husband. The day before, at Tirlemont, shells had destroyed her château, and she was on her way to England. She had around her neck two long strings of pearls, the maids each held a small hand- bag, her boy clasped in his arms a forlorn and sleepy fox-terrier, and each of the little girls was embracing a bird-cage. In one was a canary, in the other a parrot. That was all they had saved. In their way they were just as pathetic as the peasants sleeping under the hedges. They were just as homeless, friendless, just as much in need of food and sleep, and in their eyes was the same look of fear and horror. Bernhardi tells his countrymen that war is glorious, heroic, and for a nation an economic necessity. Instead, it is stupid, unintelligent. It creates nothing; it only wastes.

If it confined itself to destroying forts and cradles of barbed wire then it would be sufficiently hideous. But it strikes blindly, brutally; it tramples on the innocent and the beautiful. It is the bull in the china shop and the mad dog who snaps at children who are trying only to avoid him. People were incensed at the destruction in Louvain of the library, the Catholic college, the Church of St. Pierre that dated from the thirteenth century. These buildings belonged to the world, and over their loss the world was rightfully indignant, but in Louvain there were also shops and manufactories, hotels and private houses. Each belonged, not to the world, but to one family. These individual families made up a city of forty-five thousand people. In two days there was not a roof left to cover one of them. The trade those people had built up had been destroyed, the "good-will and fixings," the stock on the shelves and in the storerooms, the goods in the shop-windows, the portraits in the drawing-room, the souvenirs and family heirlooms, the love-letters, the bride's veil, the baby's first worsted shoes, and the will by which some one bequeathed to his beloved wife all his worldly goods.

War came and sent all these possessions, including the will and the worldly goods, up into the air in flames. Most of the people of Louvain made their living by manufacturing church ornaments and brewing beer. War was impartial, and destroyed both the beer and the church ornaments. It destroyed also the men who made them, and it drove the women and children into concentration camps. When first I visited Louvain it was a brisk, clean, prosperous city. The streets were spotless, the shop-windows and cafés were modern, rich-looking, inviting, and her great churches and Hôtel de Ville gave to the city grace and dignity. Ten days later, when I again saw it, Louvain was in darkness, lit only by burning buildings. Rows and rows of streets were lined with black, empty walls. Louvain was a city of the past, another Pompeii, and her citizens were being led out to be shot. The fate of Louvain was the fate of Vise, of Malines, of Tirlemont, of Liege, of hundreds of villages and towns, and by the time this is printed it will be the fate of hundreds of other towns over all of Europe. In this war the waste of horses is appalling. Those that first entered Brussels with the German army had been bred and trained for the purposes of war, and they were magnificent specimens. Every one who saw them exclaimed ungrudgingly in admiration. But by the time the army reached the approaches of Paris the forced marches had so depleted the stock of horses that for remounts the Germans were seizing all they met. Those that could not keep up were shot. For miles along the road from Meaux to Soissons and Rheims their bodies tainted the air.

They had served their purposes, and after six weeks of campaigning the same animals that in times of peace would have proved faithful servants for many years were destroyed that they might not fall into the hands of the French. Just as an artillery-man spikes his gun, the Germans on their retreat to the Aisne River left in their wake no horse that might assist in their pursuit. As they withdrew they searched each stable yard and killed the horses. In village after village I saw horses lying in the stalls or in the fields still wearing the harness of the plough, or in groups of three or four in the yard of a barn, each with a bullet-hole in its temple. They were killed for fear they might be useful.

Waste can go no further. Another example of waste were the motor- trucks and automobiles. When the war began the motor-trucks of the big department stores and manufacturers and motor-buses of London, Paris, and Berlin were taken over by the different armies. They had cost them from two thousand to three thousand dollars each, and in times of peace, had they been used for the purposes for which they were built, would several times over have paid for themselves. But war gave them no time to pay even for their tires. You saw them by the roadside, cast aside like empty cigarette-boxes. A few hours' tinkering would have set them right. They were still good for years of service. But an army in retreat or in pursuit has no time to waste in repairing motors. To waste the motor is cheaper.

Between Villers-Cotterets and Soissons the road was strewn with high-power automobiles and motor-trucks that the Germans had been forced to destroy. Something had gone wrong, something that at other times could easily have been mended. But with the French in pursuit there was no time to pause, nor could cars of such value be left to the enemy. So they had been set on fire or blown up, or allowed to drive head-on into a stone wall or over an embankment. From the road above we could see them in the field below, lying like giant turtles on their backs. In one place in the forest of Villers was a line of fifteen trucks, each capable of carrying five tons. The gasolene to feed them had become exhausted, and the whole fifteen had been set on fire. In war this is necessary, but it was none the less waste. When an army takes the field it must consider first its own safety; and to embarrass the enemy everything else must be sacrificed. It cannot consider the feelings or pockets of railroad or telegraph companies. It cannot hesitate to destroy a bridge because that bridge cost five hundred thousand dollars. And it does not hesitate.

Motoring from Paris to the front these days is a question of avoiding roads rendered useless because a broken bridge has cut them in half. All over France are these bridges of iron, of splendid masonry, some decorated with statues, some dating back hundreds of years, but now with a span blown out or entirely destroyed and sprawling in the river. All of these material things—motor-cars, stone bridges, railroad-tracks, telegraph-lines—can be replaced. Money can restore them. But money cannot restore the noble trees of France and Belgium, eighty years old or more, that shaded the roads, that made beautiful the parks and forests. For military purposes they have been cut down or by artillery fire shattered into splinters. They will again grow, but eighty years is a long time to wait.

Nor can money replace the greatest waste of all—the waste in "killed, wounded, and missing." The waste of human life in this war is so enormous, so far beyond our daily experience, that disasters less appalling are much easier to understand. The loss of three people in an automobile accident comes nearer home than the fact that at the battle of Sezanne thirty thousand men were killed. Few of us are trained to think of men in such numbers—certainly not of dead men in such numbers. We have seen thirty thousand men together only during the world's series or at the championship football matches. To get an idea of the waste of this war we must imagine all of the spectators at a football match between Yale and Harvard suddenly stricken dead. We must think of all the wives, children, friends affected by the loss of those thirty thousand, and we must multiply those thirty thousand by hundreds, and imagine these hundreds of thousands lying dead in Belgium, in Alsace-Lorraine, and within ten miles of Paris. After the Germans were repulsed at Meaux and at Sezanne the dead of both armies were so many that they lay intermingled in layers three and four deep. They were buried in long pits and piled on top of each other like cigars in a box. Lines of fresh earth so long that you mistook them for trenches intended to conceal regiments were in reality graves. Some bodies lay for days uncovered until they had lost all human semblance. They were so many you ceased to regard them even as corpses. They had become just a part of the waste, a part of the shattered walls, uprooted trees, and fields ploughed by shells. What once had been your fellow men were only bundles of clothes, swollen and shapeless, like scarecrows stuffed with rags, polluting the air.

The wounded were hardly less pitiful. They were so many and so thickly did they fall that the ambulance service at first was not sufficient to handle them. They lay in the fields or forests sometimes for a day before they were picked up, suffering unthinkable agony. And after they were placed in cars and started back toward Paris the tortures continued. Some of the trains of wounded that arrived outside the city had not been opened in two days. The wounded had been without food or water. They had not been able to move from the positions in which in torment they had thrown themselves. The foul air had produced gangrene. And when the cars were opened the stench was so fearful that the Red Cross people fell back as though from a blow. For the wounded Paris is full of hospitals—French, English, and American. And the hospitals are full of splendid men. Each one once had been physically fit or he would not have been passed to the front; and those among them who are officers are finely bred, finely educated, or they would not be officers. But each matched his good health, his good breeding, and knowledge against a broken piece of shell or steel bullet, and the shell or bullet won. They always will win. Stephen Crane called a wound "the red badge of courage." It is all of that. And the man who wears that badge has all my admiration. But I cannot help feeling also the waste of it. I would have a standing army for the same excellent reason that I insure my house; but, except in self-defence, no war. For war—and I have seen a lot of it—is waste. And waste is unintelligent.

Chapter XI War Correspondents

The attitude of the newspaper reader toward the war correspondent who tries to supply him with war news has always puzzled me.

One might be pardoned for suggesting that their interests are the same. If the correspondent is successful, the better service he renders the reader. The more he is permitted to see at the front, the more news he is allowed to cable home, the better satisfied should be the man who follows the war through the "extras."

But what happens is the reverse of that. Never is the "constant reader" so delighted as when the war correspondent gets the worst of it. It is the one sure laugh. The longer he is kept at the base, the more he is bottled up, "deleted," censored, and made prisoner, the greater is the delight of the man at home. He thinks the joke is on the war correspondent. I think it is on the "constant reader." If, at breakfast, the correspondent fails to supply the morning paper with news, the reader claims the joke is on the news-gatherer. But if the milkman fails to leave the milk, and the baker the rolls, is the joke on the milkman and the baker or is it on the "constant reader"? Which goes hungry?

The explanation of the attitude of the "constant reader" to the reporters seems to be that he regards the correspondent as a prying busybody, as a sort of spy, and when he is snubbed and suppressed he feels he is properly punished. Perhaps the reader also resents the fact that while the correspondent goes abroad, he stops at home and receives the news at second hand. Possibly he envies the man who has a front seat and who tells him about it. And if you envy a man, when that man comes to grief it is only human nature to laugh.

You have seen unhappy small boys outside a baseball park, and one happy boy inside on the highest seat of the grand stand, who calls down to them why the people are yelling and who has struck out. Do the boys on the ground love the boy in the grand stand and are they grateful to him? No.

Does the fact that they do not love him and are not grateful to him for telling them the news distress the boy in the grand stand? No. For no matter how closely he is bottled up, how strictly censored, "deleted," arrested, searched, and persecuted, as between the man at home and the correspondent, the correspondent will always be the more fortunate. He is watching the march of great events, he is studying history in the making, and all he sees is of interest. Were it not of interest he would not have been sent to report it. He watches men acting under the stress of all the great emotions. He sees them inspired by noble courage, pity, the spirit of self-sacrifice, of loyalty, and pride of race and country.

In Cuba I saw Captain Robb Church of our army win the Medal of Honor, in South Africa I saw Captain Towse of the Scot Greys win his Victoria Cross. Those of us who watched him knew he had won it just as surely as you know when a runner crosses the home plate and scores. Can the man at home from the crook play or the home run obtain a thrill that can compare with the sight of a man offering up his life that other men may live?

When I returned to New York every second man I knew greeted me sympathetically with: "So, you had to come home, hey? They wouldn't let you see a thing." And if I had time I told him all I saw was the German, French, Belgian, and English armies in the field, Belgium in ruins and flames, the Germans sacking Louvain, in the Dover Straits dreadnoughts, cruisers, torpedo destroyers, submarines, hydroplanes; in Paris bombs falling from air-ships and a city put to bed at 9 o'clock; battle-fields covered with dead men; fifteen miles of artillery firing across the Aisne at fifteen miles of artillery; the bombardment of Rheims, with shells lifting the roofs as easily as you would lift the cover of a chafing-dish and digging holes in the streets, and the cathedral on fire; I saw hundreds of thousands of soldiers from India, Senegal, Morocco, Ireland, Australia, Algiers, Bavaria, Prussia, Scotland, saw them at the front in action, saw them marching over the whole northern half of Europe, saw them wounded and helpless, saw thousands of women and children sleeping under hedges and haystacks with on every side of them their homes blazing in flames or crashing in ruins. That was a part of what I saw. What during the same two months did the man at home see? If he were lucky he saw the Braves win the world's series, or the Vernon Castles dance the fox trot.

The war correspondents who were sent to this war knew it was to sound their death-knell. They knew that because the newspapers that had no correspondents at the front told them so; because the General Staff of each army told them so; because every man they met who stayed at home told them so. Instead of taking their death- blow lying down they went out to meet it. In other wars as rivals they had fought to get the news; in this war they were fighting for their professional existence, for their ancient right to stand on the firing- line, to report the facts, to try to describe the indescribable. If their death-knell sounded they certainly did not hear it. If they were licked they did not know it. In the twenty-five years in which I have followed wars, in no other war have I seen the war correspondents so well prove their right to march with armies. The happy days when they were guests of the army, when news was served to them by the men who made the news, when Archibald Forbes and Frank Millet shared the same mess with the future Czar of Russia, when MacGahan slept in the tent with Skobeleff and Kipling rode with Roberts, have passed. Now, with every army the correspondent is as popular as a floating mine, as welcome as the man dropping bombs from an air-ship. The hand of every one is against him. "Keep out! This means you!" is the way they greet him. Added to the dangers and difficulties they must overcome in any campaign, which are only what give the game its flavor, they are now hunted, harassed, and imprisoned. But the new conditions do not halt them. They, too, are fighting for their place in the sun. I know one man whose name in this war has been signed to despatches as brilliant and as numerous as those of any correspondent, but which for obvious reasons is not given here. He was arrested by one army, kept four days in a cell, and then warned if he was again found within the lines of that army he would go to jail for six months; one month later he was once more arrested, and told if he again came near the front he would go to prison for two years. Two weeks later he was back at the front. Such a story causes the teeth of all the members of the General Staff to gnash with fury. You can hear them exclaiming: "If we caught that man we would treat him as a spy." And so unintelligent are they on the question of correspondents that they probably would.

When Orville Wright hid himself in South Carolina to perfect his flying- machine he objected to what he called the "spying" of the correspondents. One of them rebuked him. "You have discovered something," he said, "in which the whole civilized world is interested. If it is true you have made it possible for man to fly, that discovery is more important than your personal wishes. Your secret is too valuable for you to keep to yourself. We are not spies. We are civilization demanding to know if you have something that more concerns the whole world than it can possibly concern you."

As applied to war, that point of view is equally just. The army calls for your father, husband, son—calls for your money. It enters upon a war that destroys your peace of mind, wrecks your business, kills the men of your family, the man you were going to marry, the son you brought into the world. And to you the army says: "This is our war. We will fight it in our own way, and of it you can learn only what we choose to tell you. We will not let you know whether your country is winning the fight or is in danger, whether we have blundered and the soldiers are starving, whether they gave their lives gloriously or through our lack of preparation or inefficiency are dying of neglected wounds." And if you answer that you will send with the army men to write letters home and tell you, not the plans for the future and the secrets of the army, but what are already accomplished facts, the army makes reply: "No, those men cannot be trusted. They are spies."

Not for one moment does the army honestly think those men are spies. But it is the excuse nearest at hand. It is the easiest way out of a situation every army, save our own, has failed to treat with intelligence. Every army knows that there are men to-day acting, or anxious to act, as war correspondents who can be trusted absolutely, whose loyalty and discretion are above question, who no more would rob their army of a military secret than they would rob a till. If the army does not know that, it is unintelligent. That is the only crime I impute to any general staff—lack of intelligence.

When Captain Granville Fortescue, of the Hearst syndicate, told the French general that his word as a war correspondent was as good as that of any general in any army he was indiscreet, but he was merely stating a fact. The answer of the French general was to put him in prison. That was not an intelligent answer.

The last time I was arrested was at Romigny, by General Asebert. I had on me a three-thousand-word story, written that morning in Rheims, telling of the wanton destruction of the cathedral. I asked the General Staff, for their own good, to let the story go through. It stated only facts which I believed were they known to civilized people would cause them to protest against a repetition of such outrages. To get the story on the wire I made to Lieutenant Lucien Frechet and Major Klotz, of the General Staff, a sporting offer. For every word of my despatch they censored I offered to give them for the Red Cross of France five francs. That was an easy way for them to subscribe to the French wounded three thousand dollars. To release his story Gerald Morgan, of the London Daily Telegraph, made them the same offer. It was a perfectly safe offer for Gerald to make, because a great part of his story was an essay on Gothic architecture. Their answer was to put both of us in the Cherche-Midi prison. The next day the censor read my story and said to Lieutenant Frechet and Major Klotz: "But I insist this goes at once. It should have been sent twenty-four hours ago."

Than the courtesy of the French officers nothing could have been more correct, but I submit that when you earnestly wish to help a man to have him constantly put you in prison is confusing. It was all very well to dissemble your love. But why did you kick me down-stairs?

There was the case of Luigi Barzini. In Italy Barzini is the D'Annunzio of newspaper writers. Of all Italian journalists he is the best known. On September 18, at Romigny, General Asebert arrested Barzini, and for four days kept him in a cow stable. Except what he begged from the gendarmes, he had no food, and he slept on straw. When I saw him at the headquarters of the General Staff under arrest I told them who he was, and that were I in their place I would let him see all there was to see, and let him, as he wished, write to his people of the excellence of the French army and of the inevitable success of the Allies. With Italy balancing on the fence and needing very little urging to cause her to join her fortunes with France, to choose that moment to put Italian journalists in a cow yard struck me as dull.

In this war the foreign offices of the different governments have been willing to allow correspondents to accompany the army. They know that there are other ways of killing a man than by hitting him with a piece of shrapnel. One way is to tell the truth about him. In this entire war nothing hit Germany so hard a blow as the publicity given to a certain remark about a scrap of paper. But from the government the army would not tolerate any interference. It said: "Do you want us to run this war or do you want to run it?" Each army of the Allies treated its own government much as Walter Camp would treat the Yale faculty if it tried to tell him who should play right tackle.

As a result of the ban put upon the correspondents by the armies, the English and a few American newspapers, instead of sending into the field one accredited representative, gave their credentials to a dozen. These men had no other credentials. The letter each received stating that he represented a newspaper worked both ways. When arrested it helped to save him from being shot as a spy, and it was almost sure to lead him to jail. The only way we could hope to win out was through the good nature of an officer or his ignorance of the rules. Many officers did not know that at the front correspondents were prohibited.

As in the old days of former wars we would occasionally come upon an officer who was glad to see some one from the base who could tell him the news and carry back from the front messages to his friends and family. He knew we could not carry away from him any information of value to the enemy, because he had none to give. In a battle front extending one hundred miles he knew only his own tiny unit. On the Aisne a general told me the shrapnel smoke we saw two miles away on his right came from the English artillery, and that on his left five miles distant were the Canadians. At that exact moment the English were at Havre and the Canadians were in Montreal.

In order to keep at the front, or near it, we were forced to make use of every kind of trick and expedient. An English officer who was acting as a correspondent, and with whom for several weeks I shared the same automobile, had no credentials except an order permitting him to pass the policemen at the British War Office. With this he made his way over half of France. In the corner of the pass was the seal or coat of arms of the War Office. When a sentry halted him he would, with great care and with an air of confidence, unfold this permit, and with a proud smile point at the red seal. The sentry, who could not read English, would invariably salute the coat of arms of his ally, and wave us forward.

That we were with allied armies instead of with one was a great help. We would play one against the other. When a French officer halted us we would not show him a French pass but a Belgian one, or one in English, and out of courtesy to his ally he would permit us to proceed. But our greatest asset always was a newspaper. After a man has been in a dirt trench for two weeks, absolutely cut off from the entire world, and when that entire world is at war, for a newspaper he will give his shoes and his blanket.

The Paris papers were printed on a single sheet and would pack as close as bank-notes. We never left Paris without several hundred of them, but lest we might be mobbed we showed only one. It was the duty of one of us to hold this paper in readiness. The man who was to show the pass sat by the window. Of all our worthless passes our rule was always to show first the one of least value. If that failed we brought out a higher card, and continued until we had reached the ace. If that proved to be a two-spot, we all went to jail. Whenever we were halted, invariably there was the knowing individual who recognized us as newspaper men, and in order to save his country from destruction clamored to have us hung. It was for this pest that the one with the newspaper lay in wait. And the instant the pest opened his lips our man in reserve would shove the Figaro at him. "Have you seen this morning's paper?" he would ask sweetly. It never failed us. The suspicious one would grab at the paper as a dog snatches at a bone, and our chauffeur, trained to our team-work, would shoot forward.

When after hundreds of delays we did reach the firing-line, we always announced we were on our way back to Paris and would convey there postal cards and letters. If you were anxious to stop in any one place this was an excellent excuse. For at once every officer and soldier began writing to the loved ones at home, and while they wrote you knew you would not be molested and were safe to look at the fighting.

It was most wearing, irritating, nerve-racking work. You knew you were on the level. In spite of the General Staff you believed you had a right to be where you were. You knew you had no wish to pry into military secrets; you knew that toward the allied armies you felt only admiration—that you wanted only to help. But no one else knew that; or cared. Every hundred yards you were halted, cross-examined, searched, put through a third degree. It was senseless, silly, and humiliating. Only a professional crook with his thumb-prints and photograph in every station-house can appreciate how from minute to minute we lived. Under such conditions work is difficult. It does not make for efficiency to know that any man you meet is privileged to touch you on the shoulder and send you to prison.

This is a world war, and my contention is that the world has a right to know, not what is going to happen next, but at least what has happened. If men have died nobly, if women and children have cruelly and needlessly suffered, if for no military necessity and without reason cities have been wrecked, the world should know that.

Those who are carrying on this war behind a curtain, who have enforced this conspiracy of silence, tell you that in their good time the truth will be known. It will not. If you doubt this, read the accounts of this war sent out from the Yser by the official "eye-witness" or "observer" of the English General Staff. Compare his amiable gossip in early Victorian phrases with the story of the same battle by Percival Phillips; with the descriptions of the fall of Antwerp by Arthur Ruhl, and the retreat to the Marne by Robert Dunn. Some men are trained to fight, and others are trained to write. The latter can tell you of what they have seen so that you, safe at home at the breakfast table, also can see it. Any newspaper correspondent would rather send his paper news than a descriptive story. But news lasts only until you have told it to the next man, and if in this war the correspondent is not to be permitted to send the news I submit he should at least be permitted to tell what has happened in the past. This war is a world enterprise, and in it every man, woman, and child is an interested stockholder. They have a right to know what is going forward. The directors' meetings should not be held in secret.