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Full text of "My war diary"

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MY WAR DIARY 



MY WAR DIARY 

BY MARY KING WADDINGTON 

(MADAME WADDINGTON) 

AUTHOR OF "A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE," "CHATEAU AND 
COUNTRY LIFE IN FRANCE," ETC. 



LONDON 
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W. 

1918 



A U rights reserved. 



PREFACE 

This simple, every-day record of the experi- 
ences through which one French family has lived 
since August 1914. may seem at first sight a charm- 
ing, but not very important contribution to the 
literature of the war. But if we accept Henry 
Cabot Lodge's dictum that "one fact is gossip, 
and that two related facts are history," we shall 
realise in closing the book how much history 
we have absorbed in a Jourdainesque kind of 
ignorance. 

The cure at Mareuil, the little grandsons 
finding a German skull, the lawn sacrificed to 
potatoes, the roses rising triumphant over utilita- 
rianism, the good-byes at the railroad-stations, 
the Christmas tree, the friendly talks ... all 
these may be trifles in one way ; but they are 
making history. After all, we know more about 
the Lilliputians than about the Brobdingnagians, 
and they are more illustrative of Swift. 

This story of the past war months is like a 
rich fabric so cunningly woven that the rare and 
restrained touches of emotion stand out in bril- 
liant relief against the neutral — no, that word 
has fallen into disrepute — against the sober tones 
of the daily background. And it is only in cer- 



vi PREFACE 

tain lights that one catches the gleam of the dis»- 
creetly hidden threads of gold and silver which 
indicate the heroism of mother and wife. Ah, 
they are beautiful and sublime, these lives of 
French women ! Son or husband at the front, 
while the children at home are cared for, the 
wounded, poor, and wandering" helped, fields 
tilled, shops kept open, and everything- done 
cheerfully, "all in the day's work," with no posing, 
no assumption of being above the ordinary. 

To those of us honoured by the author's friend- 
ship this book means a great deal. We have 
seen her brilliant in the world, tender and gay 
at home, helpful and widely charitable in her 
many duties, while all the time we divine that 
the mother's heart holds always the pride and 
the ache of which she writes so seldom. 

Helen Choate Prince. 



MOBILISATION— FIRST DAYS OF 
THE WAR 

Mareuil, 
Saturday, ist August 19 14. 

I will try and write regularly, Dear, but this 
iniquitous war has come so suddenly that we are 
all bewildered. Even my journey down here 
seems a horrible dream — the Gare de l'Est crowded 
with troops of all grades, reservists joining their 
corps, soldiers guarding the line, a strong detach- 
ment at every bridge and tunnel. When I think 
that on Thursday, when Francis lunched, he said 
the state of things was serious, that many men 
had been sent off to join their corps, but merely 
as a matter of precaution, but that the two 
Emperors, German and Russian, were still "talk- 
ing," and every one hoped there would be no 
general war! He thought I could perfectly start 
for Cowes on Monday, and it was agreed that I 
should come down here for the day, Saturday, to 
say good-bye to them all. However, I must say 
that on Wednesday night, when Ambassador 
Herrickand Sir Austin Lee of the British Embassy 
had dined with us, they were pretty blue. Mr 
Herrick thought a general war was inevitable ; it 
1 



2 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

would be impossible to keep it between Austria 
and Servia ; that Russia would surely interfere if 
Servia was attacked, and then France must fight. 
Friday afternoon we drove about Paris in all 
directions. Here in our part of the town and in 
the Champs Elysees, all was quiet enough, but 
the boulevards were crowded. In front of the office 
of the Matin that issued an extra about 7 o'clock, 
a long line of people stretched half-way across 
the boulevard. All threw themselves on the paper, 
those who could not get one reading over the 
shoulders of those who had one. A perfectly 
quiet, well-dressed crowd, a great many women, 
a great many Americans, all most eager for news. 
Austria's declaration of war to Russia, the only 
news — speculations of all kinds in the crowd ; 
"Austria has gone mad," we heard an English- 
man say ; everybody wondering what France 
would do ; all the men looked grave, but there 
was no excitement. The Petit Temps, which 
comes about 9 o'clock, didn't give anything more, 
so I decided to come down here, as we had agreed. 
As soon as I got into the Gare de l'Est this 
morning, I realised how serious the state of affairs 
was. The station was crowded with officers, 
soldiers, recruits, and baggage. They gave me a 
return ticket, as I had told Henrietta 1 I would take 
the afternoon train back and get home for late 
dinner. I asked an officer what it all meant : 
Merely a measure of precaution, he told me — all 
the men, officers, soldiers, and recruits joining their 
corps. There was perfect order, the trains starting 

1 Madame Waddington's sister. 



FIRST SIGNS OF WAR 3 

at their regular hours, but anxiety was in the air. 
At every station there were soldiers. 

On getting- here, I found only the gardener to 
receive me. He told me Francis 1 had received his 
convocation this morning, and had gone to Paris 
with Charlotte, but would be back for dinner. 
It was extraordinary to see soldiers at our little 
station. I lunched quietly with Madeleine Sal- 
landrouze and the children. We walked about 
the garden, the boys showing me their potager 
with much pride, and then settled ourselves under 
the trees, discussing the situation and trying to 
persuade ourselves that there would be no war. 

Suddenly, about 4 o'clock, we heard the drum, 
an ominous sound in these days. In all the big 
towns, the mobilisation, or a great fire, or accident, 
is announced by the bells — a " tocsin " ; in the 
villages by a drum. We all rushed to the gate. 
The men came running in from the fields (we are 
in full harvest time), leaving their horses and 
placid w r hite oxen on the road, anywhere. Women 
ran out of the cottages, their babies in their arms, 
and children tugging at their skirts, and the 
drummer, escorted by the whole population, us 
also, put up his affiches at the Mairie and the 
station, for instant mobilisation. The whole 
village was in a turmoil. Some of the men were 
to start at once — at 9 that night. The chef de 
gare had his orders ; nothing but military trains 
were to pass — you will remember that we are in 
the direct line to Germany, five hours' rail from 
the frontier. He told me it was impossible for me 

1 Madame Waddington's son. 



4 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

to get back to Paris to-night ; the train would 
probably not start, might wait on a siding all 
night, or perhaps arrive in the middle of the 
night. It would be most imprudent for me to 
risk it alone. I tried to telephone — already cut ; 
sent a telegram which never arrived, and Henrietta 
went nearly mad with anxiety waiting for me and 
imagining every possible misfortune. 

Mme. Sallandrouze came down at 6 o'clock 
alone. Francis and Charlotte 1 had breakfasted 
with her and promised to meet her at the gare, 
but they didn't appear. I suppose he had too 
much to do, as he had to buy all sorts of things — 
army shoes and flannel shirts, knapsack, flask, etc. 
Hers was the last passenger-train that left the 
Gare de l'Est. She thought Francis must start 
to-morrow morning. 

All the evening from 6 o'clock, military trains 
passed ; mostly cavalry — horses and men in the 
trains, all cheering and singing. Our boys were 
wild with excitement, but we finally got them to 
bed. When I went upstairs to say good-night 
to them, they were saying their prayers, kneeling 
before a little shrine with a statue of the Virgin 
and some flowers — Mme. S. and Madeleine kneel- 
ing just behind them. When they had finished 
their little childish prayer, " Bon Dieu, benissez 
Papa, Maman, Bonne Maman, Danny, tout ceux 
que nous aimons," there was a pause, and then . 
" Bon Dieu, preservez la France." I think, per- 
haps, that simple baby prayer will be listened to 
as much as the superb proclamations of the 

1 Madame Waddington's daughter-in-law. 



ARRIVAL IN PARIS 5 

Kaiser to the "God of our fathers, who is always 
with us! " 

All night the trains passed. About 9.30 we 
heard the sound of cheering-, and ran down to the 
edge of the garden to see the soldiers. We thought 
the boys were sound asleep in their beds, but we 
suddenly saw two little figures in their white night- 
gowns, running over the lawn and the tennis-court, 
barefoot, waving their flags and shouting: "Vive 
l'armee! Vive la France!" at the top of their 
voices. They climbed upon the wall and no one 
had the heart to send them away. I have sent 
again to the last train, which did not come, and 
the chef de gare assures me there is no chance 
of our getting away to-morrow. I am perfectly 
miserable. I must see Francis before he goes. I 
may never see him again. I don't think any one 
is sleeping much to-night, in this house or in the 
village. 

Paris, Sunday, 2nd August. 

Have arrived, but such a journey. I was up 
at 6 this morning, as the chef de gare sent me 
word a train might perhaps come at 7 o'clock, 
and I had better come at once to the station and 
wait for it, but that everything was very uncer- 
tain ; he could not guarantee that it would reach 
Paris. I went as soon as I could get ready, and 
waited at the station until the train arrived about 
8 — a very long one, almost entirely military, only 
one or two passenger carriages, which were 
crowded. 

We were fourteen in our carriage (which in 
ordinary times seats eight), ten seated, four stand- 



6 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

ing, and three children. We stopped at every 
station, soldiers on our train, and all the trains we 
passed, singing and cheering. At one of the small 
stations, many of the soldiers got out and were 
transferred to the Chateau-Thierry line, and from 
there, directly to the front. A pretty girl was 
saying good-bye to her soldier and crying. She 
was instantly taken to task by one of his comrades 
on our train. "Voyons, petite, du courage; ne 
pleure pas ; nous reviendrons ! ' ; She looked up 
at me through her tears, saying : " Tous ne revien- 
dront pas, Madame." And that is what we all 
are saying in these awful days. Who will be miss- 
ing at the final roll-call? However, all the men 
are going off cheerfully, and sure that they are 
going to win this time. 

We had a nice family in the compartment, a 
refined, clever-looking young man, a professor 
from Alencon, with his wife and two babies. 
They had been travelling since 5 o'clock yesterday 
afternoon, and the poor little things were so hot 
and tired, but wonderfully good. They had been 
at Verdun, close to the frontier, for their holidays, 
and took the last train that left, as the professor 
had to start instantly with his regiment. He said 
the mobilisation was being wonderfully carried 
out. One hour after the order was posted, trains 
were leaving every half-hour — men and horses 
in perfect condition, and the spirit of the men 
excellent. 

I am frightened at the superiority in numbers 
of the Germans. They say they have three men 
to one over us. One man, however good he may 
be, cannot hold his own against three. 



INCIDENTS OF THE JOURNEY 7 

They had left in such a hurry that they had 
no baggage. Couldn't have taken it if they had 
had it. All their belongings were tied up in a 
nice clean linen sheet. When we got to Paris I 
said to her: "I hope you and your babies will 
get safely to Alencon, and that happier days are 
in store for you." Then she broke down, kissed 
me, and said: "Ah, Madame, my troubles are 
only beginning. At Alencon my husband leaves 
at once for his regiment at the frontier!" I said 
to him : " I mustn't say ' Bonne chance,' but I can 
say 'Courage.' This wicked war has been so 
forced upon us that we must win." He answered : 
" I hope and believe it, Madame, but how much 
blood must flow, how many lives be sacrificed, 
before we get to the end of our struggle!" He 
did not look as if he could stand much, a slight, 
delicate figure, but his fighting blood was up, as 
it is in every man in France to-day. 

We had to wait a few minutes in the train, 
when we got to Paris, to let a military train pass. 
It was pathetic to see the young soldiers, some of 
them looked mere boys — all were brave and gay, 
trying to keep up. One nice fair-headed child 
(for that is what he looked like) was saying good- 
bye to his mother and sisters. The women were 
smiling and talking until the last moment, when 
the train started, and the young fellow jumped 
on to his carriage. Then the poor mother broke 
down and sobbed. The girls pushed her back, 
saying : ' Don't let him see you cry ; wave your 
handkerchief! " 

The whole aspect of the place was changed 
since I left yesterday morning. Then all the 

13 



8 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

trains and autobuses were running - as usual ; nor 
were there many people outside the station ; it 
was only when I got inside and saw the crowd 
of soldiers and reservists that I had realised that 
war was not only possible, but probable. This 
morning it is absolutely deserted — no tramways, 
no autobus. They were all taken off at 10 o'clock 
last night, and utilised at once for the army. 
Very few cabs, and they were instantly taken 
by officers. I had to walk to the church of St 
Augustin before I got one ; such a broken-down 
old nag, he could hardly get along. The coach- 
man told me that all the good horses had been 
taken at once for the army. 

I was completely exhausted, body and mind, 
when I got to the house, and poor H. was almost 
as tired. She had waited dinner until nearly 10 
o'clock, imagining all sorts of things. Francis 
and Charlotte had been to see her, saying they 
were going down to Mareuil at 4 o'clock. Then 
came the news of the mobilisation, and all the 
people who came in to see her, told her there was 
no chance of any train leaving Mareuil that night. 
The whole "ligne de l'Est" was taken for the mili- 
tary. I found nothing from Francis ; but a telegram 
came later from him, asking me to meet him at the 
Gare de l'Est to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock. He 
was to join his regiment at Caen that afternoon. 

The M.'s and De C. F. dined, all saying that 
the spirit and attitude of the French were splendid. 
No declaration of war yet from Germany. I 
wonder what she is waiting for. We are still 
doubtful about England. If she comes with us, 
I think Germany is finished — but will she ? 



FRENCH RED CROSS 9 

Monday, $rd August. 

I was at the Gare de l'Est at 9, getting: there 
with difficulty with Arsene, who still has his 
horses. He asked me to bring my coupe-file, 1 as 
he had been stopped once or twice the other day 
by officers who wanted his horses. I waited until 
1 1 for Francis, sitting; in the carriage — I didn't 
dare get out for fear some one would take it. 

The street was most interesting, crowded with 
people, soldiers, army wagons, every now and 
then a squad of recruits passing with their sacks 
on their backs, the crowd following and carrying- 
their bundles. Two equipes d'infirmiere de la 
Croix Rouge in uniform, in private autos, driven 
by their owners and going at full speed. Their 
Red Cross flag gave them the right to pass every- 
thing-, like the pompiers. They were, of course, 
wildly cheered : ' Vivent les Femmes de France!" 
There was a great demand for conveyances, and 
I suppose the cochers de fiacre asked exorbitant 
prices, as we heard a row going on between an 
officer and a coachman, who evidently had refused 
to take him. (Officers and Croix Rouge nurses 
needn't pay if they haven't the money.) However, 
the crowd would have settled that matter by break- 
ing the carriage to pieces. They were beginning 
to demolish it when he gave in. As they passed 
us, he was scowling- and muttering to himself, the 
officer standing up in the carriage, his sword out 
of the scabbard, unpleasantly near the back of 
the coachman's neck. One of the young- reservists 

1 Police-pass. 



10 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

stopped alongside of my carriage, saying civilly 
enough: "C'est mal, Madame, de rester assise 
seule dans votre voiture ; vous devriez la donner 
aux militaires ! " "Que voulez-vous, mon ami, 
j'attends mon militaire ; je l'emmene a. la gare pour 
partir rejoindre son regiment." 

He appeared at 1 1 o'clock, my militaire, look- 
ing' very well and fit ; his hair cut short, a sack on 
his back, another in his hand, good stout shoes, 
and a flannel shirt. He was rather blue, having' 
left his wife and children at Mareuil — had put 
his house on a war footing". There are only maids 
in the house, and two boys of eighteen, a young 
footman, and gardener. Mme. Sallandrouze and 
Madeleine stay with Charlotte. He gave his wife 
a Browning and revolver, showed her and the 
English nurse how to use them ; gave strict orders 
that the house should be shut and barred every 
night at 8 o'clock, and should show as little light 
as possible. The farmer next door promised to 
come in every day and look after them. The 
miller, also a friend of the family, promised sacks 
of flour. Francis was not afraid of Germans 
getting anywhere near this time, but of tramps 
or a wandering population who might get roused 
if we should have a reverse at first, which is quite 
possible. 

He came up to breakfast with us, and then I 
went to the station. They would not let me go 
in ; no women were allowed inside, but a great 
many had come with their men, and the leave- 
takings were trying — though I must say, as a 
rule, the women behaved beautifully. I was glad 
when it was over and my boy with his bright 



DECLARATION OF WAR 11 

smile had disappeared under the voute. Still he 
was not going directly to the front as so many of 
his cousins are — Walter and John Waddington, 
Pierre Guerard, all cavalrymen, who will bear the 
first brunt — but such partings leave their mark. 
Two women in a shop looked at me so sympa- 
thetically, saying: " Pauvre dame, c'est son fils 
qui part ! " There were quantities of people in 
the place, but perfect order. Not a cry of "A 
Berlin!" or of "A bas les Allemands ! " merely 
1 Vive l'Armee ! " as the train steamed out of the 
station. 

We had visitors all the afternoon, all sorts of 
rumours flying about. There are thousands of 
Americans stranded here, without money, and 
without any means of getting home! The Am- 
bassador has his hands full. The Embassy and 
Chancellerie are besieged. Schon, the German 
Ambassador, is still here and very blue. Ger- 
many has not yet declared war on France; wants 
to provoke France into declaring it first, but she 
won't move — only mobilised as a measure of 
prudence, as other nations were doing the same. 

Tuesday, \ih August. 

The declaration of war from Germany came 
this morning. Such a trivial, lying message, 
given verbally by Schon, the Ambassador, to 
Viviani, Foreign Minister — in substance that 
French troops had invaded German soil, and that 
aeroplanes had dropped bombs in Germany — 
which they knew was perfectly untrue. Viviani 
listened in perfect silence, merely saying the 



12 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

accusations were quite false, and that preparations 
would be made at once for the Ambassador's 
departure. He left this evening- in a special 
train, with all his staff, without a hostile demon- 
stration of any kind — absolute silence when he 
made his way to his carriage. Mr Martin, 
Directeur du Protocole, was on the platform to 
see that all the arrangements were well carried 
out. Mr Herrick takes over the German interests, 
and I think will have plenty to do, as there are 
many women, wives of workmen and employees, 
who could not get away with their men. 

The headquarters of the Croix Rouge is almost 
next door to us in the rue Francois I er , and the 
activity there is wonderful — autos, carriages, 
camions all day at the door. Officers and nurses 
in uniform, coming and going, and boy scouts 
starting off in all directions, carrying messages. 
I rather protested at the boys being enrolled, but 
some of our men friends explained that they could 
do an excellent service ; a strong, intelligent boy 
of twelve or fourteen years could carry verbal 
messages perfectly well, and also get in and out of 
places where a full-grown man couldn't pass ; also 
that they are so eager to go and be of some use. 
I suppose we ought not to hold them back. At 
an open window of the rez-de-chaussee, two ladies 
are taking down the names and addresses of the 
scores of girls and women who stand all day in 
a long line, asking to be employed in some way. 

While I was standing outside, waiting to speak 
to Henry Outrey, I met my niece Marguerite 
Delmas — one married daughter, whose husband is 
with the army, and her son with her. She had 



THE DEPUTIES AND JAURES 13 

come up from the country where she is installing 
an ambulance in her chateau, and was waiting in 
hopes of getting a nurse whom she would take 
down with her. Her auto has been requisitionne\ 
but she had managed to find another, and was 
anxious to get away as soon as possible. I 
brought them all back to breakfast. The husbands 
of both her daughters are gone, but the girls 
are very brave, going back with their mother to 
do hospital work. They started at 3 o'clock with 
the nurse. 

The seance in the Chambre des Deputes was 
splendid to-day — all the deputes standing when 
Deschanel, the President of the Chamber, made 
a panegyric of Jaures. After all, according to 
his lights and conscience he was a patriot, was 
dead, assassinated, and all party feeling should be 
stilled before his tragic end. The President's 
proclamation and Viviani's statement, showing 
how France had been forced into the war, were 
enthusiastically received, all the deputies standing 
and cheering, and turning to the diplomatic 
tribune, where were the British and Russian 
Ambassadors. 

I went late to the U.S. Embassy. Quantities 
of people were waiting in the anterooms and 
gallery. The Ambassador and Mrs Herrick were 
in his library, with several American women and 
his secretaries coming and going all the time with 
despatches, telegrams, and cards of people who 
wanted to see the Ambassador. He had seen 
Schon before he went. Some one of the Germans 
had suggested that Herrick should put up the 
German llag at the American Embassy — a most 



14 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

brilliant idea, but not very practical — which, 
naturally, was immediately rejected. The Amer- 
ican Embassy would have been demolished at 
once. The French are behaving wonderfully well, 
so calm and dignified, but one must not ask too 
much of them, and the sight of the German flag 
floating amicably alongside of the Stars and 
Stripes would have been too much for their 
nerves. 

Various men came in this afternoon. The 
principal news that Germany has violated Belgian 
territory — her troops having invaded Belgium. I 
don't think England will stand that ; still she has 
not moved yet, except to say that she would protect 
the French seacoast. 

Wednesday, $th August. 

Great news this morning! Hurrah for old 
England! She declared war on Germany at 12 
o'clock last night. She had waited until then for 
an answer to her ultimatum saying Germany must 
respect the treaty and not invade Belgium. The 
answer was perfectly unsatisfactory when it came, 
and war was declared at once — instant mobilisation 
of army and navy ordered. It is an immense 
relief to us, as now Great Britain can blockade 
Germany's ports and not only take her ships and 
stop her commerce, but eventually starve her, if 
the war lasts long. This will be a great blow to 
the German Emperor, who never believed that 
Britain would go against him ; that the two great 
Protestant powers would fight each other. 

Accounts from Berlin say the Kaiser is quite 
demoralised, shut up in his palace, not showing 



EAGER VOLUNTEERS 15 

himself, the triumphant "War Lord," to his 
people. De Courcy told us to-day that he heard 
from friends in Berlin that there had been very 
stormy scenes between the Kaiser and the Crown 
Prince before the declaration of war, the Crown 
Prince insisting that war was necessary, the 
Kaiser resisting. Finally the son said: "You 
must fight ; if not, it is the end of the Hohen- 
zollerns!" After a few moments' hesitation, the 
Kaiser answered: "We will fight; but it will be 
the end of Germany ! " 

I passed the Croix Rouge on my way down- 
town. Still the same crowd, autos filled with 
bags and bundles, and the long file of women 
waiting patiently at the window. I talked to a 
nice-looking countrywoman of uncertain age, who 
wanted to speak to some one in authority. I 
said to her : " What do you want ? You are 
too old to start as a nurse." 'Not I, Madame, 
but my daughter, who is young and strong; there 
must be work for women." I talked to the girl, 
a nice, healthy-looking young peasant, with good, 
honest blue eyes — evidently very poor, almost 
in rags. ' Do you know anything about nurs- 
ing?" ' No, Madame." "Canyousew?" "No, 
Madame; but do help me to get to the front." 
I read her from the notices posted up that the 
Croix Rouge had so many offers of service they 
couldn't even answer them. They would only 
take doctors, surgeons, or medical students of 
both sexes. It didn't make the least difference; 
she remained standing in the file, saying : " There 
must be something for me to do as I am young 
and strong. I can scrub floors, make beds, lift 



16 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

heavy things, run messages. Oh, Madame, do 
help me to go ! " 

I had not then seen Viviani's proclamation 
to the women of France, calling upon all those 
who were young and strong to replace the men in 
the fields, ensure this year's harvest, and prepare 
the next. 

There were a great many people and great con- 
fusion inside the Croix Rouge. I wanted to see 
the Comtesse d'Haussonville, the Presidente. She 
is indefatigable, there all day, from 8 in the morning 
till 8 at night, attending to everything, sending 
off bands of nurses (her own daughter with one 
group at Rethel on the frontier), stores of all 
kinds, and organising work in all the arrondisse- 
ments of Paris. She looks very tired, and yet 
this is only the beginning of the war. 

I wanted to speak to her about starting an 
ouvroir with one of my friends, Mrs Mygatt, who 
has lived a great deal in Paris, and is very anxious 
to give some help to the poor women of France. 
Mr Mygatt will give us rooms in his office in the 
Boulevard Haussmann, and we can dispose of 
one or two competent maids, sewing women, and 
sewing-machines ; but we must find out what 
are the things most needed, and get patterns of 
shirts, calecons, bandages, etc. I waited some time, 
but couldn't see Mme. d'Haussonville; shall try 
another day. 

People are in and out of our house all day, and 
we hear all sorts of rumours. The papers are sen- 
sible ; don't have too many foolish stories, and the 
minimum of war news. The Germans have had 
a good repulse in Belgium. They believed with 



ENGLAND DECLARES WAR 17 

their usual arrogance that they could march 
straight through Belgium directly to Paris, make 
a great coup at once, knock Paris to pieces, get 
large sums of money, then turn their attention 
to the Russians, who are slow in moving and have 
great distances to cover and few railways. They 
never dreamed that Belgium would resist, or that 
Great Britain would fight against them. The 
defence of Liege has been heroic, their forts hold- 
ing out splendidly. 

I have a letter from Charlotte this morning ; all 
well, and living as quietly as possible. They have 
suppressed all luxuries in their daily life ; black 
coffee, afternoon tea, cakes, etc. If any one is 
hungry in the afternoon, they can have dry bread 
and cheese ; but they only have two good meals a 
day, not always meat. All day long military trains 
pass, soldiers always gay and cheering. As soon 
as they will give me a pass I will try and get 
down there and take them some provisions, but 
as one can only take a hand-bag I couldn't carry 
much. 

There is a certain detente in the air since 
Britain's attitude. At some of the cafes in the 
Champs Elysees people were sitting outside taking 
their aperitifs and reading the papers. The city 
is pavoise ; flags are flying everywhere, quite a 
number of British flags with the Tricolour, a few 
Russian. Gery Cullum walks about the streets all 
day with a Tricolour cockade and a small British 
flag pinned on his coat. He says lots of people 
come up to him and shake hands violently — one 
man saying to him the other day: " C'est beau, 
mon vieux, la France et l'Angleterre ensemble ; 



18 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

rien ne tiendra contre nous ! " Dieu le veuille ! 
It is such an iniquitous war, has been so forced 
upon us, that I can't think we can be beaten. 
Even for Germany's masses of troops, the coalition 
of France, Great Britain, and Russia must be a 
formidable one. 

Friday, 7th August. 

The Belgians are fighting splendidly. Their 
great forts at Liege, with the guns encased in steel 
turrets as on battleships, are making havoc with 
the Germans, who didn't expect any resistance. 
The French have not taken any part as yet, but 
troops are being hurried to the Belgian frontier. 

I have a telegram from Francis this morning, 
from Octeville, a suburb of Cherbourg. He says 
he is well and busy. 

Daisy Cameron came in before breakfast, and 
we went to the Affaires Etrangeres to see if we 
could get any news of her niece Mary whom she 
had left at Heidelberg with a German governess. 
We saw the Chef de Cabinet, who told us no com- 
munication was possible with Berlin. I thought 
that as the American Ambassador there, Mr 
Gerard, had taken on the French interests, he 
would probably have means of communication 
with Paris ; but he said there was no way of getting 
at Berlin. She might get information, perhaps, 
through Rome. If Mr Herrick would telegraph 
to the United States Ambassador in Rome, he 
could communicate with his colleague in Berlin, 
but that France could do nothing. Daisy was 
very worried, as she was afraid the child with her 
governess might have left Heidelberg, trying to 



FIGHTING AT MULHAUSEN 19 

join her in Paris ; and of course a German would 
never have been allowed to enter France. 

Saturday, 2>th August. 

I went to the bank yesterday, which was 
crowded with Americans, all wanting money, and 
the bank giving very little. They did give me 
some, but no gold. Then I went to the annex of 
the Croix Rouge in the rue Charron, to see about 
starting an ouvroir, giving work to the hundreds 
of women who are utterly destitute — but I don't 
find any one very competent. I will try another 
day. 

Daisy came in late and we walked down to the 
American Embassy, where the American com- 
mittees, Repatriation and Ambulance, seem to be 
sitting in permanence. The Ambassador told me 
the news was excellent : the French had advanced 
in Alsace and had taken Miilhausen. He thinks 
the Germans are going to be badly beaten. 

Sunday, qt/i August. 

Good news this morning. French at Miilhausen 
enthusiastically received by the entire population. 
Germans driven off at the point of the bayonet, 
and pursued by French cavalry. No names given 
of killed and wounded. The loss of life must have 
been terrific. I went to the American church, 
which was crowded. They sang splendidly the 
hymn "O God of Battles!" which rather upset 
me. Of course all one's nerves are on end. 

I went to breakfast with the Carrolls. It was 
so cool and peaceful sitting on their terrace opening 



20 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

on the garden, with birds singing, and the scent of 
flowers all around us, that it was hard to believe a 
fierce battle was raging just over the frontier. 
They live in an old-fashioned part of Paris in the 
Faubourg St Germain, a quiet street, few houses 
and big gardens, very little passing at any time — 
nothing to-day. Charlie Carroll is very busy on 
the Repatriation Committee sending Americans 
home, and she is on the Executive Committee for 
the buying of material for the American Ambulance. 

The Ambassador, in the name of his com- 
patriots in Paris, has offered to the French 
Government an ambulance entirely equipped with 
a competent staff of surgeons, doctors, and nurses, 
and sufficient funds to run the whole thing. They 
have taken the Lycee Pasteur, a large new building 
at Neuilly, near the American Hospital, under 
whose supervision the ambulance is put. The 
building is enormous, high, large rooms and courts, 
plenty of air and space. They can put in two 
thousand beds, but are beginning with five hundred. 
It is a most generous contribution, and is much 
appreciated by the French. 

I stayed at home all the afternoon as it was 
very hot. We had a great many people at tea- 
time. They only got tea and pain de menage^ — 
no such luxuries as cakes in war-time. There is 
little news. Very angry letters from Americans 
and English stranded in Germany, who are being 
outrageously treated. Jusserand, who is here on 
leave, wants to get back to America. He and 
his wife, Joe Stevens, and other friends are at 
Havre, hoping to sail on the France. They have 
been there for several days, but the steamer does 



THE AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR 21 

not dare venture out, as German battleships are 
still cruising in the Atlantic. 

Jusserand was afraid the enormous German 
population in America would create a hostile feel- 
ing toward France; but I don't think he need 
worry himself on that score. The Germans them- 
selves are rapidly alienating" all sympathy from 
the United States. Everyone is speculating' and 
commenting on the attitude of the Austrian 
Ambassador, Count Szecsen, who still remains 
here — must, I suppose, until Austria declares war 
upon France, or sends troops to reinforce the 
Germans before Liege, which apparently she is 
doing quietly, without saying anything. He 
doesn't seem to realise his position. 

He went to dine at the Union Club the other 
night and asked Lahovary, the Roumanian 
Minister, to dine with him. They had just sat 
down when a message came to Lahovary saying 
some one wanted to speak to him upon urgent 
business. When he got out of the dining-room, 
he found several of the clubmen who told him he 
must tell the Ambassador to go. They didn't 
want to be rude to him, or make a scandal, but 
they would certainly turn their backs on him, 
and not speak to him. Lahovary went back to 
the Ambassador, saying, " I have a disagreeable 
communication to make to you," and gave his 
message. Szecsen was furious, said: "I thought 
I was with gentlemen!" "So you are," said 
Lahovary, "but with French gentlemen who are 
unwilling to meet you at present, and would prefer 
y<>u should leave the club quietly and not make 
a scandal." He was most unwilling to go — wanted 



22 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

Lahovary still to dine with him, which he absolutely 
refused to do. He departed at last in a rage, 
saying: "Where can I get my dinner? I can't 
run the risk of being insulted in a restaurant!" 
He is still here ; wants to oblige France to give 
him his passports, as that would force Italy to 
move, France being the aggressor. But France 
will not be quite so foolish as that. I think when 
the Italians move, which they must do eventually, 
it will not be against us. They are most out- 
spoken, even the Embassy men. In their hearts 
all Italians must hate Austria; her rule in Italy 
was so cruel. 

Loubat came to see us late before dinner, and 
was very interesting. He was here in 1870, saw 
all the troops go off, many of them already hostile 
to the Emperor before starting, and even those 
who were not, so nervous and excited and doubtful 
of their generals — soldiers as well as officers — 
and the talk at all the clubs so violent and wild. 
Now the whole of France marches like one man. 
No excitement, no cries of "A Berlin!" the men 
grave, but cheerful, the women splendid, saying 
good-bye to their men without a tear, and 
encouraging them to the last moment ; but all 
feel what a terrible struggle is before us. 

Monday, 10th At/gust. 

It has been frightfully hot all day. There was 
very little war news this morning. All the move- 
ments of troops have been kept very quiet. It 
is awful to wake up every morning with such a 
weight on one's heart. The stillness of the city, 



PREPARING FOR THE WOUNDED 23 

too, is so awful, so unlike Paris. Very little 
passing, no loud talking or laughing-, not a sound 
of singing or whistling since the declaration of war. 
I would give anything to hear the workmen singing 
and chaffing in the big house they are building 
opposite to us, but there are none left ; all have 
gone to the front. The only note of gaiety are 
the boy scouts attached to the " Red Cross," who 
breakfast every morning at the cafe on the corner ; 
they range from twelve to sixteen, look as lively 
as possible, such eager young faces and so im- 
portant. I often stop and talk to them and ask 
for news. 

I tried again to-day at the annex of the Red 
Cross to get some models of garments for the 
sick and wounded, and to know what were the 
things most needed, but no one seemed to know 
anything. They sent me from one room to another. 
Everywhere ladies were working, rolling bandages 
and hemming handkerchiefs. They asked me if 
I had come to work, and would I hem handker- 
chiefs ; that I declined absolutely. Really not 
worth while to waste my time that way. Any 
school-child would have been delighted to earn 
a few sous and hem all they wanted. When I 
was finally told I had better see the Mayor of my 
arrondissement and ask for permission, my temper 
and patience gave way, and I expressed myself 
vigorously to the very mild old gentleman — a 
tapissier in ordinary times, who was the last person 
1 was sent to. It is really too bad, at such a 
time, the amount of talking and writing and red- 
tape generally one must go through before 
accomplishing anything. I wanted their models, 

c 



24 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

because some of the shirts that have been sent to 
the hospitals could never have been put on any- 
human figure — the neck so small that the head 
of a new-born babe could hardly pass, and long - , 
narrow sleeves that hung- like strings from the 
shoulders. 

However, one must not criticise, for the Red 
Cross is doing splendid work, and they must be 
driven crazy with all the inane offers of service 
they receive. 

We had a good many visits this afternoon — 
some of the ladies connected with the American 
ambulance. Forty ladies meet at the Embassy 
every day. Mrs Herrick is president, and she 
will certainly get all the money she wants. People 
are all so fond of her. She came in late, looking 
rather exhausted, but revived with a cup of tea ; 
said the meetings were very tiring, so many 
suggestions and opinions, and forty women all 
talking at once. 

Charlie Forbes and Gery Cullum dined with us. 
We warned them they would have a very frugal 
repast. No one has anything else these days — 
but they didn't mind. They had dined last night 
at one of the big cafes on the boulevards — dinner 
very good, a great many people ; diplomatists and 
strangers. At 9 o'clock two policemen appeared, 
saying the doors must be closed. No one made 
any objection ; all trooped out into the street and 
walked about a little. At 10 o'clock the boulevard 
was as deserted and quiet as any provincial town. 

The troops have been sent off very quietly, 
either at night or by the underground railway. 
We have seen no regiments marching through the 



DEPARTURE OF COUNT SZECSEN 25 

streets, flags flying - , music playing, followed by 
an enthusiastic, excited crowd. I have never 
seen Paris so calm. 

Tuesday, nth August. 

Another very warm day — no particular news in 
the paper. The allied armies seem to have joined 
forces, but no big battle has taken place yet. It 
is awful to think of these two great armies facing 
each other, and of the terrific loss of life there 
will be when the fighting really begins. I don't 
know how the German Emperor dared take such 
a responsibility. 

The Austrian Ambassador has finally departed. 
It seems the Austrian explanations were vague 
when our Foreign Office asked if Austrian troops 
were moving quickly to Alsace to reinforce the 
Germans. War is not declared between the two 
countries, but there is a diplomatic rupture. Both 
Ambassadors in Paris and Vienna recalled. I 
imagine Szecsen was glad to go. His position 
cannot have been very agreeable these last days. 
Mr Herrick takes over the Austrian interests. 
He will have his hands full, as he already has the 
Germans and all his own people. He is quite 
equal to the task, is perfectly quiet and prudent, 
and is winning golden opinions. America is lucky 
to have had such a man here at this time. 

It is extraordinary how the Germans have 
managed to put everyone against them. I fancy 
the sympathy for France in the United States 
has been a disagreeable surprise for them. 

I have no further news of Francis, merely his 
first telegram from Octeville ; if he had been 



26 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

moved I think he would have told us. Charlotte's 
letters come pretty regularly. She writes they are 
all well but a little short of provisions. I hope I 
shall be able to get down to Mareuil for two days, 
now that the mobilisation is nearly over. 

Wednesday, \2th August. 

Another very hot day ; still no fighting. I don't 
know if the delay is good. It gives the French 
more time to concentrate their forces, and also 
for Russia to advance. 

I made another attempt to get patterns this 
morning, and finally succeeded. I went to the 
principal office of the Croix Rouge and saw 
D'Haussonville who did all I wanted, and sent 
Henry Outrey (who is working at the Red Cross 
until he is called to the colours) with me to the 
"lingerie." There I found the Duchesse de 
Trevise and some ladies whom I knew, and got 
all sorts of patterns and measures, carrying off a 
shirt which I promised to send back at once, as 
they had very few. They told me they particularly 
wanted old linen sheets for bandages and com- 
presses, also new cotton sheets and pillow-cases. 
H. had some old sheets and we sent them off 
at once. 

I went about 5 to the Embassy to pick up 
Daisy Cameron, who has just taken charge of the 
ouvroir for the American Ambulance. Baronne 
Castelli — an American born — has put her apart- 
ment in the Champs Elysees at the disposal of the 
American Ambulance ; and Daisy is going to 
organise her work-rooms. The Embassy gates 



SETTLING DOWN 27 

and doors were open. Quantities of people about 
inside and outside. I waited in the gallery as 
Daisy was still in the Committee-room. I saw 
George Munroe and Fred Allen, both of whom 
are working" hard at the relief fund to send back 
Americans. Herman Harjes, too, I saw in the 
distance. The bankers are doing all they can 
to relieve the money pressure, and have a hard 
time, as of course every one is short of funds. 
The war came so suddenly. 

George Munroe has his son at the front. 

Daisy and I walked down-town late. Every- 
thing quiet ; almost all the shops shut ; on many 
of them a notice posted up : ' Fermee ; le propri£- 
taire est sous les drapeaux." We went as far as 
Colombin's, where we had a cup of tea, cakes, and 
sandwiches as usual. There were quite a number 
of people — almost all Americans. The caissiere 
told us they had several tables taken every day 
for luncheon. I was astonished to see cakes. 
Our baker and others in our quarter for the last 
four or five days have made no more cakes, nor 
even rolls and croissants. We have pain de 
menage, which is a little tough but more healthy, 
I fancy, than finer bread. We don't mind it ; one 
gets accustomed to everything. 

11 Les journees passent et se ressemblent." The 
heat is awful, but they say it is better for the 
soldiers than rain or damp. Great heat dries up 
the microbes. We have got our work-room 
started, and it will be a great help to us to feel we 
are doing something. Nothing but occupation of 
some kind can keep up the courage of the women 
who sit at home and wait. Mrs Mygatt and I 



28 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

went to the Croix Rouge and had a long - wait at 
the lingerie, carrying off a bundle of shirts, belts, 
bandages of every possible shape. 

I had a letter from Francis this morning from 
Octeville. His regiment is doing garde-cote, and 
he is secretaire-cycliste to the Colonel ; carrjes 
despatches. He says he has a very good room 
and bureau. As soon as the Mayor heard his 
name, he put himself at his disposal and does all 
he can to make him comfortable. They are on 
a hill with a splendid view of the port and sea, 
and delightful sea air. They have a very good 
mess (the sous-officiers). A chef from Paris, 
from the Cercle Volney, looks after them. He 
says their journey from Caen was one long marche 
triomphale ; they were showered with fruit, wine, 
flowers, and cigarettes all along the route. 



Paris, Saturday, i$th August, 
Assumption Day. 

It is generally such a gay day here; bells ring- 
ing, churches open, everybody out in holiday attire. 
This morning it is quiet enough. No one feels 
very cheerful with this awful war-cloud hanging 
over us, and the dread of what the morrow may 
bring, when those two great armies meet. I 
enclose a scathing sonnet to the Kaiser, published 
by the Times. 

I have been all the afternoon at the ouvroir. 
We are beginning very modestly, but hope to get 
more funds as we go on. We have two capable 
women, Mrs G.'s maid and a dressmaker, out of 
work now, who buys our stuff much cheaper than 



THE BELGIANS 29 

we can, and cuts out shirts and dresses ; also two 
sewing-machines. There is quite a pile of flannel, 
cotton, coarse linen, and old shirts on the tables. 
I worked all the afternoon basting hems of shirt- 
tails for the machine. I certainly have not done 
anything of that kind for thirty-eight years, and 
I was quite tired when I got home. 

They asked me at the Croix Rouge what I 
wanted to do : had I any aptitude medicale, or 
any experience of nursing? I answered promptly : 
" None whatever ; " knew nothing about sickness, 
and hated a sick-room, but of course I would do 
what I could, and offered to start an ouvroir with 
my friends, which they accepted with joy. 

We had an interesting woman this afternoon, 
an Alsatian, a trained nurse, who will come and 
work with us until she is ordered off to some hos- 
pital ; she looks tired to death, has already been 
nursing, but won't hear of resting ; also a Belgian 
couple, who will work regularly with us. They 
are so proud of their country, as they well may be, 
and France should be eternally grateful to the 
Belgians, as that first repulse of the Germans at 
Liege has given them time to get up their troops, 
and has also made a moral effect which has been 
splendid for us. If we had had a first defeat at 
the frontier (which we all expected), there might 
have been a panic in the country. They read us 
interesting letters from their parents who are in the 
country in Belgium, about three miles from Liege. 
Their three children are with them, all wildly 
excited about the war and against the Germans. 
They write that they will certainly have the 
Germans at their place, if they advance at all into 



30 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

the country, and that his father was exhorting the 
children and servants to be perfectly civil to them 
when they came. They can't help having them, 
and any rudeness might make serious complica- 
tions for them, and end in his being shot, as those 
barbarians make short work of any who stand in 
their way. What a wicked war in these days of 
education and Christianity! 

Charlie Forbes came to tea with us. Mrs 
Mygatt gives us tea always, and the slices of 
bread and butter made of the perfectly plain pain 
de menage (which some of our pampered servants 
don't eat in ordinary times) were very good. 
Charlie was most amiable — let us try all our 
shirts, hospital and convalescent, on him. We 
were particularly asked to make the arm-holes 
wide, and the sleeves loose. He is such a big 
man that what went on easily over his coat was 
quite large enough for any one. 

One of the party read aloud the curious prophecy 
of Madame de Thebes, that appeared in her 
calendar at the beginning of this year, and An- 
nunzio's splendid Ode pour la Resurrection Latine. 
I wonder if Italy will move. 

I went to see Mrs Herrick after leaving the 
work-room, and happily found her alone, not 
surrounded by her forty women of the American 
Ambulance Committee. She says her Ambas- 
sador is very well, very busy, and very tired, 
but very pleased with the way in which all his 
American friends have stood by him and helped 
him. 

Daisy Cameron came in before dinner, much 
relieved at having had news of Mary, who is safe 



SIR JOHN FRENCH IN PARIS 31 

in Berlin with the Gerards at the Embassy. I 
didn't go out this morning except for a few minutes 
to the Croix Rouge, to ask if we must do anything 
about putting their flag on our building, but I 
found no one who could tell me. They are over- 
whelmed with business, one hardly likes to ask a 
question. 

I went to the ouvroir about 2.30 and met 
Olive Tiffany coming in. She is a capital worker ; 
said she would do anything that was wanted, so 
she was instantly given a pile of shirts and asked 
to make buttonholes, three in each. They sug- 
gested that I should sew on buttons, which I quite 
refused to do. After all, people must work accord- 
ing to their limitations, and I preferred basting 
hems. I think I must have basted miles of shirt- 
tails so far. 

Comtesse de Franqueville (nee Lady Sophia 
Palmer) came in at tea-time ; so pleased that 
France and England were fighting together. She 
had been standing in the crowd near the British 
Embassy to see Sir John French arrive; said he 
was most enthusiastically received, and looked 
very well and soldierly in his tenue de campagne. 
They are going to have ten thousand sheep in the 
park of their Chateau de la Muette, just at the 
entrance of the Bois ; and a large flock has just 
been put on the race-course at Longchamp, cows 
on the Auteuil course, and an immense enclosure 
in the Bois, railed off for oxen. I suppose these 
are necessary precautions, but at the present 
moment we are feeling not the slightest incon- 
venience from the state of siege. The markets are 
supplied as usual, and no increase of prices. One 



32 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

day chickens were dear — a very small one, frs. 14 
—just double the ordinary cost. We declined it, 
and I fancy everybody else did the same, as they 
have returned now to their normal price. 



Paris, Monday, i^th August. 

We are still living our quiet life in a dead city. 
News this morning of fresh French successes. 
Germany repulsed on the Meuse, many drowned 
in the river, and we hope it is true, and wish there 
are many more Meuses and many more Germans 
drowned in them — which is an awful state of mind 
for a Christian woman to be in. But the sooner 
the war is over and the more Germans disappear 
from the face of the earth, the better for civilisation 
and the whole of Europe. 

I walked about the Trocadero and near the 
Tour Eiffel this morning, and there one realises 
that the situation is serious. There are cannon 
and soldiers in the Trocadero grounds, and a 
strong guard and mitrailleuses at the Tour Eiffel. 
All the sentries with fixed bayonets and looking 
very grim. I went as usual to the ouvroir, which 
begins to look very businesslike. One of our 
workers, a small dressmaker, had been applying 
to various maids and small people she knew, and 
had got a pile of fairly good linen sheets for one 
franc apiece. Of course they ought to be given at 
such a time, but every one is glad to earn a little 
money. There are so many women and girls 
thrown out of employment by all the big shops 
shutting, and business generally stopped, that 
there is great misery already, and the war not 



RUMOURS OF NAVAL RATTLE 33 

really begun. The wives and mothers of men 
sous les drapeaux are being looked after by the 
Government, but it is only private initiative that 
can help the others. 

It is pathetic to see the little midinettes, generally 
so smiling and well-dressed, often with a little bunch 
of violets on their coats, looking so sad and pale 
and hungry. And one knows that they are hungry, 
but they don't complain. 

The Americans living in Paris are most 
generous, but they all have to look first after their 
own compatriots stranded here with no money and 
no shelter— and have besides organised their ambu- 
lance on a grand scale. 

Our teas are rather amusing; every one con- 
tributes something. Mme. del M., our Belgian 
friend, brought a pot of strawberry jam to-day, 
I a plain cake made at home, some one else a loaf 
of English bread, which makes better tartines than 
thick pain de menage. Every one else does the 
same thing. 

. Henry O., who is working at the War Office, 
dines often with the Jean Sallandrouzes and brings 
a ham or a round of cold beef with him. Palma 
Ruspoli brought a rumour which she said, however, 
was not confirmed at the Embassy, that there had 
been an awful naval battle in the North Sea. 
Eight British battleships sunk, twenty - eight 
Germans, and a great number of the merchant 
ships sunk. There is no mention of it in to-night's 
papers. 

I am writing late, 1 1 o'clock. The street is 
perfectly quiet, not a sound nor a light ; I should 
not think there was anybody left in the street 



34 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

except on the entresol opposite, where we see a 
light every night, which looks friendly. There are, 
however, many people in town. Quite a number 
of autos were running- up and down the Champs 
Elysees yesterday when I came home at 7 o'clock. 



Paris, Wednesday, igfk August 

We lose almost the count of the days, they go 
on so monotonously. We pore over the papers, 
but they give so little news. The weather is en- 
chanting, bright, beautiful summer days ; rather 
cooler this morning. Report says that the 
German Crown Prince charged with the Imperial 
Guard at Dinant and was badly wounded, but it 
was not confirmed in the official communique this 
afternoon. The War Office issues a bulletin every 
afternoon at 5 o'clock, and somebody always comes 
in to tell us the last news. 

Mr Herrick and Sir H. Austin Lee dined this 
evening. Both are most interesting. Our repast 
was frugal — war rations, soup, a piece of beef, salad, 
a vegetable and a compote — not exactly an ambas- 
sadorial banquet. Fruit is plentiful and cheap. 
Mr Herrick said the young American army men 
who were out here, either for the manoeuvres or 
instruction in some of the French Corps d'Armee, 
were astounded at the order and quickness with 
which the mobilisation was carried out — also that 
they had been very intelligent and useful in help- 
ing him to handle the mass of Americans who con- 
gregate every day at the Chancellerie, begging to 
be sent home. The American Ambulance is going 
splendidly ; they get all the money they want. 



NEWS FROM MAREUIL 35 

I had a long letter from Charlotte this evening, 
the first in many days. Of course, being on the 
line of the Est, she sees a great deal of the 
movement of troops, and writes: "Tuesday, we 
went to La Ferte-Milon to give the soldiers 
flowers. They love it, and all the carriages are 
covered with branches and flowers given to them. 
The soldier Madeleine gave the bouquet to, kissed 
her, then me, and then my mother on both cheeks. 
I gave my bouquet to a nice little young soldier 
who was quite touched by it, so much so that 
when the train started, he called an employe" of 
the station and asked him to give me ' de sa part 
sa medaille de la Sainte Vierge,' a very pretty one 
in silver. I think it was so sweet of that young 
man, and so delicately done. I shall keep it as a 
souvenir 'd'un inconnu.' I gave my cotisation 
(subscription) for the drinks of the soldiers ; they 
made a collection in the town to buy absinthe. 
They put a litre of absinthe into thirty litres of 
water, and the young women and girls of La 
Ferte-Milon give it to the soldiers in their tin 
cups when the train stops. As they passed every 
twenty minutes for eight days, we were very busy. 
The men are delighted to drink something cool. 
Some of them had travelled twenty-four hours 
in those horse-vans, poor creatures. One lot of 
prisoners has already passed here, Uhlans. 

' We have very little news from the war, the 
Petit Journal being the only paper we receive. 
It is quite difficult to get about, no trains, no 
carriages, as all the horses have been taken, and 
we have to have a laissez-passer every time we stir 
out of Mareuil. We cannot even go on the Meaux 



36 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

or Fleury roads. They are very severe because 
of the railway-line, as espions have already tried 
several times to blow up bridges and tunnels. 

"We work hard for the Croix Rouge — shirts, 
bandages, sheets, etc. I have organised a ' garderie 
d'enfants ' to allow the mothers to go to the fields 
for the harvest ; and we have in the courtyard 
every day, from 8 to 10, and from i to 6, fifty or 
sixty children. I assure you it is a piece of work, 
and I hope it counts as charity. ' Monsieur le 
Cur6' rings every night at 8 o'clock the special 
prayers for time of war, and we all go. The boys 
are flourishing — much excited when the trains 
pass. I put the newspaper every day on the 
garden wall, near the gate, so that people who 
have no paper can read the news. Ever so many 
have thanked me." 

Paris, Friday, 21st August. 

I went this morning to the service of the 
English church for their naval and military forces 
now engaged in war. It was very solemn, almost 
all women, some oldish men. Two boy scouts 
distributed the leaflets with the special forms. 
Mr Cardew asked every one to think of the 
sailors when singing the hymn " For those in 
peril on the sea." 

The papers are always interesting with all the 
various letters and experiences of unfortunate 
travellers — British or Americans trying to get 
home. It is lucky that the French are a non- 
travelling race. I don't know what would have 
happened if four or five thousand French people 
had been travelling in Germany or Switzerland. 



POVERTY IN PARIS 37 

Charlotte came up yesterday, looking- very well. 
We went to the Croix Rouge to see if Comtesse 
d'Haussonville would like to have an ambulance at 
Crouy. They can offer one hundred beds with 
their sheets and blankets in a big old chateau with 
a large garden and terrace, but no staff except 
some volunteer nurses, and no money to run it. 
Mme. d'Haussonville told us at once that want of 
funds was the great difficulty ; that they had been 
offered quantities of houses and beds, but without 
money to run the thing, they could not be 
accepted. The President of the Croix Rouge, the 
Marquis de Vogue, has just issued an appeal, 
which is placarded everywhere, asking every one 
to contribute what they can — money, clothes, 
blankets, anything. 

We were at the ouvroir all the afternoon, and 
things are gradually getting into shape. But 
again we are stopped by want of funds. We don't 
want to work ourselves, but give work to hundreds 
of women who are absolutely penniless, not only 
soldiers' wives, but quantities of young women 
and girls left with no work and no money. Nearly 
all the big shops and business establishments are 
closed. I saw two nice-looking girls this morning, 
premieres at one of the big dressmakers of the rue 
de la Paix, who told me they had just one franc 
between them. It is always the same story with 
that class in Paris. They spend all they earn on 
their backs. Three or four of them club together 
and have a good room, and they live au jour le 
jour, putting nothing aside for illness or dark 
days. In our rooms we could easily employ sixty, 
perhaps more:, women, give them fr. 1.50 a day, 



38 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

and one good meal. They could work all day, 
making clothes for the sick, the wounded, and the 
refugees — these last are no small item now in the 
Paris population. 

Charlotte carried off various patterns, as she 
has also a work-room at Mareuil. She will surely 
have many refugees as we are so near the Belgian 
frontier. We stopped at one or two work-rooms 
on our way up to the rue de la Pompe, to ask 
about prices, meals, hours, etc., as all this sort of 
work is new to us, and everywhere heard the same 
story — the quantity of women begging for work. 

Daisy Cameron came to dinner, and was most 
amusing with the account of her work-room for 
the American Ambulance. She has volunteered 
as nurse, and I am sure she should be an excellent 
nurse — she has seen so much illness and so many 
operations in her own family. 

Paris, Saturday, 22nd August. 

Charlotte lunched with the Tiffanys at their 
hotel. She left all her bundles, a fine collection, 
with me, and I went to get her to take her to the 
train ; I could hardly get in the cab, and I don't 
know now how the two of us managed it ; but we 
did. It looked strange to see that busy Gare 
de l'Est almost deserted, entirely under military 
control — soldiers on all the platforms. They were 
much interested in all Charlotte's bundles, asked 
her if she was going to the front, as she had on 
the Red Cross badge. 

Some of the empty carriages that have come 
back from the frontier were rather amusing, with 



APPEAL TO AMERICANS 39 

all sorts of rough drawings in chalk on the 
outside. Various heads of " Guillaume " with 
enormous mustaches, and rather a pretty girl's 
head on one — "ma gosse" (my girl, in village 
patois). I stayed till the train started. I think 
the two days in town rather cheered up Charlotte. 
She saw a good many people, and heard more 
news, such as it was. It is rather an austere life 
at Mareuil in war-time, and she feels a certain 
responsibility with the children and the people of 
the village, who all come to her. If her mother 
were not with her I should have to go to Mareuil 
— and yet I cannot leave H. altogether. Charlotte 
is very brave, but misses her husband so awfully 
and has so little news. 

I went straight to my ouvroir and worked all 
the afternoon. Olive brought me an attractive 
woman, one of the New York Times corre- 
spondents. She interested herself at once in our 
work, and between us we wrote an appeal to some 
of the American papers, which she cabled over at 
once. So many Americans, perfect strangers to 
me, names I didn't know at all, wrote to me from 
the west — Kentucky, Wisconsin, Arizona, about 
my book on France — Chateau a?id Country Life 
in France — saying they had read it with so much 
interest, that I thought they might, perhaps, come 
to our assistance. This is what I w r rote : 

APPEAL 

"So many Americans have seemed interested in what I 
wrote of France and my life there in happier days, that I think 
they may be inclined to help her in her hour of dire need. 

D 



40 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

We women of France must do something for the hundreds of 
women who are left absolutely penniless, their sons and 
husbands at the war, they without any resources — as almost 
all the big shops and business establishments have closed — I, 
with some of my friends, am organising a work-room where 
we give fr. T.50 and one meal a day to any woman who 
comes. They work all day, making garments for the sick and 
wounded, for which we furnish the material. We have many 
more applicants than we can employ, and are in desperate 
need of funds. Can you help us ? " 

I hope I shall get some money. 

Paris, Monday, 24th August. 

These are awful days. There is a terrific battle 
going on in Belgium. Yesterday, one was ill 
with apprehension ; the day was warm and trying ; 
the very air seemed heavy with presentiments. 
I went to the English church. The special prayers 
for time of war bring it home to one. As on the 
other day, two boy scouts were handing books 
and the plate. I stayed in all the afternoon. We 
had a great many visits — some of them most 
depressing, the men more than the women. Such 
rumours : that we were being badly beaten ; nothing 
would prevent the Germans from entering Paris ; 
the scum of the population would rise in a frenzy 
if the fighting went on without any news ; that 
the Government would go to Bordeaux ; that the 
German Zeppelins would drop bombs all over 
Paris and set fire to the city ; and though my own 
common sense told me not to pay the slightest 
attention to all the rumours, one can't keep being 
a little impressed by them. It was a relief to have 



PAINFUL SUSPENSE 41 

one of the Dutch secretaries, Baron de G., come 
to dinner quietly with us, who told us not to mind 
any such reports ; that at his legation the report 
was : " Situation grave but satisfactory." 

While we were talking, all the windows open, 
we heard cavalry passing, and rushed to the 
balcony, as did every one else in the street, but it 
was only a detachment of the Garde Republicaine, 
which patrols Paris every night. All our nerves 
are on edge, and yet one must be perfectly cool 
and keep up the courage of the people. We didn't 
hear any news at the ouvroir, but every one looks 
grave, and all throw themselves upon the special 
editions of the papers that come all day with 
nothing in them. 

The communications from the front are very 
brief, and have become much more so as the 
battle rages. 

Paris, Wednesday, 26th August. 

Still no news, and our days are exactly alike. 
I had a letter from Francis this morning from 
Octeville. He is very busy, but says the life is 
monotonous. He had seen a convoy of German 
prisoners arrive. They were received in perfect 
silence — not a word, nor a sound. The General 
Commanding at Cherbourg had given strict orders 
to treat them with respect. They were soldiers, 
doing their duty to their country, as we were to 
ours. Francis talked later to one or two of them ; 
said they were famished, and not at all enthusiastic 
about the war. 

I went to see Mine. Sallandrouze on my way 
me She had come up for two days from 



42 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

Mareuil ; looked exhausted. She had been five 
hours on a journey which usually takes two. 
They were fourteen in their compartment, and 
a solid mass of people, with their valises and 
bundles, standing - in the couloir. She would 
like to come to Paris. They say there will cer- 
tainly be bands of Uhlans all over our part of 
the country, and there are wild rumours of auto- 
mobiles blindes dashing at full speed through the 
villages, shooting any one they meet. We are 
only three hours from the frontier, and she can't 
take the responsibility — would never forgive herself 
if anything happened to the children. 

All our minds are full of the brutalities of the 
Germans in Belgium, who in one of the villages 
shot a boy of seven years who aimed his toy gun 
at them. 

Our boys play about the garden all day with 
their flags and guns, shouting "Vive l'armee," 
and "Vive la France." If they heard cavalry 
passing on the road, they would certainly dash 
out of the gates, and anything might happen. 
The Germans would not hesitate to shoot down 
two boys shouting "Vive la France." I think 
they had better come up. I will try to go down 
there on Saturday. 

The new ministry which is announced this 
morning, has been an excellent move. It is 
certainly the moment to sink all political feeling, 
and call upon the best men of all parties to come to 
the front. I think it will give the country great 
confidence, especially Millerand at the War Office. 
The army, which criticised his first appointment to 
the War Office some time ago, ended by liking 



REFUGEES IN PARIS 43 

him very much. Though a civilian, he under- 
stood the French soldiers, and knew how to keep up 
their military enthusiasm. The Radicals have done 
much harm with their anti-military campaign. 

Paris, Thursday, 27M August. 

It was cool, a lovely morning. I went to the 
bank with the Mygatts, to discuss our Relief 
Fund — as Harjes will receive any money that is 
sent. I rather demurred to the name : " Mme. 
Waddington Relief-Fund." It seemed so very 
personal. But the gentlemen said as I had made 
a direct appeal in my own name, the money must 
be sent to me. I shall be very grateful for any- 
thing I get, as the misery is going to be awful — 
not only the quantities of Frenchwomen without 
work, but all the Belgian refugees. One of my 
friends saw a lot of them the other day, all huddled 
together in a court of the Chemin de Fer du Nord. 
He said they looked exhausted, the women carry- 
ing their babies, the men all old, well past middle- 
age, carrying the bundles, with all sorts of things 
in them — evidently put together in a hurry at the 
last moment — pots, boots, some clothes, bird- 
cages (one man had a saddle from which he 
absolutely declined to be parted), perfectly useless 
things. People were bringing food and wine to 
them, milk for the babies, which they accepted 
most gratefully. They didn't complain ; seemed 
stunned by the appalling misfortune which had 
come upon them so suddenly. Some of them 
were perfectly prosperous farmers with large, 
comfortable houses, plenty of beasts of all kinds. 



44 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

The Germans took away the animals, burned the 
houses ; they saw them in flames behind them 
when they were flying for their lives. It is too 
horrible to think of the misery that pretty, 
prosperous little country is going through. 

I am getting a little nervous about the children. 
I am fairly brave, but can't help being impressed 
with all I hear. Mareuil is directly on the line 
from Meaux to Rheims, and a household of women 
would be helpless against an invasion of such 
barbarians. 

Paris, Friday, *%th August. 

Francis' birthday. We sent him a telegram. 
Have heard nothing from him for some days. 

I dined last night with H., an ex-Conseiller 
General of the Oise. He asked me to come — 
"pas un diner, une reunion de dames, en toilette 
d'ambulance." Of course no one dresses in these 
days. I put on my red cross medal over my 
plain black dress, and walked over (it is only 
two blocks off) in the rain, under an umbrella. I 
found four or five men — two Conseillers d'Etat, an 
ex-Prefet, one of the Directors of the Banque de 
France, and a young woman, daughter of one of 
the Conseillers, whose husband is at the front. 
The Director of the Bank had just come back from 
Rennes, where he had deposited a large amount 
of gold — I dare not say how many millions — in 
the bank. The youngest Conseiller d'Etat had 
also just returned from a tourn^e, a mission he 
had made in the north of France, with one of the 
generals. He said that the condition of the men, 
physically and morally, was excellent, and the 



MONSIEUR POINCARE 45 

food supply abundant and marvellously carried out. 
They had their two meals a day, quite hot and good. 
They all spoke most warmly of the ministry ; 
said they were doing splendid work, and also of 
Poincare ; say he is wonderful, very cool, knows 
all about everything ; where each corps d'arm^e 
is — that of course — and every regiment, and who 
commands it ; has no doubt as to the final result, 
but thinks France will lose half her army. It is 
awful to think of the mournings — a whole genera- 
tion wiped out. . . . 

Paris, Sunday, $of/i August. 

Still the same beautiful weather. When one 
thinks of what France ought to be at this time, 
with a splendid harvest — all the people in the 
country, men, women, and children working in 
the fields, coming in at night so pleased with their 
day's work, it is terrible to feel that the country 
is being devastated by the Germans. I was 
miserable all day yesterday ; I had quite made up 
my mind to go down to Mareuil for twenty-four 
hours and bring up the children, but everybody 
told me I mustn't go ; it would only complicate 
things for them, make one more person in the 
train ; so I sent a telegram to Charlotte, telling 
her to come at once. Jean Sallandrouze sent one 
to his mother, saying the same thing. He came 
in just before dinner to say he had just had a 
telegram from Mareuil, saying they would start 
this morning, but would probably arrive late in 
the evening, as there was "du retard dans le 
service." 

I went to the American church ; there were not 



46 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

many people. One young woman, just in front 
of me, was crying- almost all the time. I suppose, 
like all the rest of us, she had some dear ones at 
the front. I didn't go out again until late, and 
then went with the Mygatts to the Bois de 
Boulogne, which has been transformed into a 
wholesale provision camp. The two race-courses, 
Auteuil, Longchamp, filled with cows and oxen, 
sheep at the Tir aux Pigeons, and quantities of 
hay and food in great stacks. There were, as 
usual on a Sunday afternoon, many people dining 
al fresco on the grass — whole families, from grand- 
mothers to babies, sitting on the grass and making 
their evening meal ; but there were no games, no 
tennis, no football, nor any gaiety. Every one 
looked grave. 

I stopped at the rue d'Artois to see if there was 
any news of the children, but they hadn't come. 
The Segurs dined with us. They had come to 
Paris for his Conseil General, which is usually 
held at Melun, but in these agitated days it was 
judged more prudent to have it in Paris, and they 
met in the Palais Bourbon (Chamber of Deputies). 
They were both rather sad, having between them 
eighteen nephews and grand-nephews at the front, 
and no news of any. Segur is always so moderate 
in all he says. He has no sympathy with the 
Republic, but thinks the Government is doing 
splendidly. 

About 10 o'clock L. de R. came in and told 
me that the Mareuil party had arrived well, but 
exhausted, having left Mareuil at 7 in the morning, 
and only arrived at Paris at 10 o'clock at night. 
It was a great relief to me. 



A TRYING JOURNEY 47 

Paris, Monday, $ist August. 

It has been again a very hot day, and I am 
worn out to-night with heat and emotion. At 
9.30, before I was dressed, Mme. Jean S. came 
to see me, to say that they were all starting before 
12 for Orleans in autos, en route for Tours. I 
went straight over to the rue d'Artois where 
Charlotte had gone to her mother's apartment. 
Ours in the rue de la Pompe is shut up ; it would 
not have been worth while to open it for one 
night, and Mme. Sallandrouze could take them 
in, and found them all exhausted, but so pleased 
to be out of the fighting zone. 

They were told Saturday evening that they 
must leave at once. La Fert£-Milon, the place 
next to us, was being evacue, and there were 
reports of bodies of Uhlans at Laon. They all 
worked hard Saturday night, hiding silver, valu- 
ables, etc., and started at 7 Sunday morning. 
When the train drew into the station from 
Rheims, crowded with wounded and refugees, 
they didn't want to take them at once. But the 
chef de gare, who knows us well, insisted, and they 
got in, scattered about the train — the two boys 
and their nurse in a fourgon (baggage-wagon) with 
some soldiers — the others in third-class carriages 
—anywhere. They had long waits all along the 
route, being shunted all the time, to make way 
for military trains. At Meaux the Red Cross 
ambulance was stationed at the gare, all the 
women occupying themselves with the wounded, 
and giving food and clothes to the refugees. 
They gave the children's Nanna, who is an excel- 



48 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

lent nurse, a bowl of water and a towel, and asked 
her to wash some of the wounded men. The boys 
were so tired that Charlotte, who is a Red Cross 
herself, asked for a cup of milk for each of them. 
The woman said to her : " We shouldn't give it, 
Madame ; your children look strong and well. 
We ought to keep the milk for the babies and 
little ones." C. couldn't insist, but the woman 
was evidently sorry for the two little boys and 
gave one cup of milk for the two. 

Charlotte thought she had better go with her 
mother ; Mme. de R., who has a place near Tours, 
would take them in for a week or ten days, and 
she might then perhaps join Francis at Cherbourg. 
I quite agreed, as I should not have liked to keep 
them in Paris. They came here to say good-bye 
to H., the boys much excited at all they had seen 
and heard. "You will never see Mareuil again, 
Danny ; those wicked Germans are going to burn 
it." Perhaps, but I don't feel as if that was before 
us, and was rather comforted with what Percy 
Tiffany said — that Mareuil, being a stone house, 
would be difficult and long to burn. A band of 
Uhlans would not stay long enough. 

I went back with them to the rue d'Artois, and 
saw them all start at 12 punctually, in four large 
autos. The chauffeurs said they would get them 
to Orleans at 6. They couldn't bring any baggage, 
and had a wonderful collection of bags and bundles. 
I was delighted to see them go. Poor Mme. S. 
looked quite white and exhausted. It had been a 
great responsibility for her, as Francis left his wife 
and children in her charge, and I couldn't leave 
Henrietta. 



GOVERNMENT MOVING TO BORDEAUX 49 

Parts, Tuesday, is/ September. 

It is again very warm to-day, and we hear all 
sorts of rumours, that a great battle is going on at 
La Fere, at St. Quentin. The war news is so 
insignificant and I suppose it is right not to give 
details ; but it is awful to think of battles going on, 
and not to know where any one is. 

I was all the afternoon at the ouvroir. We are 
sending off a pile of shirts and bandages to Meudon, 
where Mme. Marchand has the direction of an 
ambulance. Our Belgian friends are awfully down. 
No news of their children ; many of their friends' 
chateaux burned, and probably their own. They 
always bring bad news ; reduced Mme. G.'s maid 
to tears, saying that Sedan (her town) was burned, 
also Mezieres. I tried to reason with her, as it is 
not possible that something would not have filtered 
through the lines if two such important places had 
been destroyed. 

Palma M. came as usual to work with us, and 
told us the Government was leaving that evening 
for Bordeaux, all the Diplomatic Corps going with 
them. I am afraid it will frighten people. Their 
Ambassador, Tittoni, goes. He need not, as he 
is not representing a puissance belligerante, but 
he prefers to go and Ruspoli remains. Palma will 
stay with him. 

We walked, quite a band of us, the Mygatts 
and Olive Tiffany, down the Boulevard Hauss- 
mann, as far as Potin's, to see what was going on. 
Just as we got to the place we heard two or three 
loud explosions, then several rifle-shots. Every- 
body rushed out, and we saw a German aeroplane 



50 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

with German flags disappearing - over the barracks 
of La P^piniere. There was great excitement in 
the streets, or rather curiosity, but no one seemed 
at all nervous. A policeman told us they had 
thrown their bombs on the Gare St Lazare, but 
not much harm was done — one or two people hurt, 
no one killed. It is a curious sensation, all the 
same, to be walking about a quiet city in the 
waning evening light, with the possibility of a 
bomb falling on your head. I must confess it 
made me a little nervous. This was the first one 
I had really seen and heard. They have been 
coming for several days. 

After dinner the Ambassador and Mrs Herrick 
came to see us, on their way to the station to say 
good-bye to their colleagues who are starting at 
10 o'clock for Bordeaux. The President left this 
afternoon by automobile. Mr Herrick says the 
situation is grave, but he doesn't think the Germans 
will get into Paris. He intends to remain and see 
the end of the war. 

Paris, Wednesday, 2nd September. 

I went to the Red Cross this morning, but could 
not find Outrey. I wanted to ask him what he 
thought about our going away. It is so difficult 
to know where to go. There doesn't seem to be 
any room anywhere. Orleans, Bordeaux, Caen 
crowded — the PreTet of Calvados has put an 
official communication in the paper from Caen, 
saying that there is literally not a bed to be had 
at Caen. People are sleeping at the station, and 
in the courts of some of the public buildings. 
Marie suggests that we should go to Les Aulneaux, 



THE AMERICAN AMBULANCE 51 

a small hamlet in the department of La Sarthe — 
hardly a village, though it has got a mayor — 
where her daughter Fernande is schoolmistress 
and adjointe to the mayor. She has a nice 
house with a big court and garden, and two 
rooms, where she could make us very com- 
fortable — about four hours from Paris. I talked 
it over with H., who does not want to leave 
Paris. 

I had a line from Charlotte, from Tours. They 
made their journey very easily to Orleans, arriving 
before 6. But their night was trying. No rooms 
in any of the hotels, nor yet chez l'habitant (the 
peasant or workman). They finally got a small 
room in a hotel, where Mme. Sallandrouze, Char- 
lotte, and Madeleine slept. The jeune menage 
(Jean's) in a dressing-room. Maggie (the English 
nurse) with the two boys, and three Sallandrouze 
servants, slept in one room, on mattresses on the 
floor, with ten other people — the boys, of course, 
enjoying it madly. Everything a delightful novelty. 
Frank said to Henrietta on Monday: "It's such 
fun to be travelling in a fourgon (baggage-wagon) 
with soldiers ; you would like it." They had got 
to Tours, and C. was leaving at once with the 
children for Cherbourg, to be with Francis. If 
only he can stay there, but they are moving 
Territorials to the front. 

I went with Mr Herrick in the afternoon 
to the American Ambulance. All the arrange- 
ments are perfect, large, high rooms and cor- 
ridors, and wide courts. I should think there 
was almost too much space. The work will 
be heavy on the nurses — all American and 



52 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

British, and all voluntary. We went all over 
the building - , wards, operating" -rooms, lingerie, 
kitchen. There were no wounded yet, and they 
won't have any until the fighting near Paris 
begins. I wanted a model of a sort of loose, 
sleeveless flannel jacket I saw at the lingerie. It 
looked so comfortable for men sitting up in their 
beds ; they only had one, and would have lent it 
to me, but the Ambassadress said she would send 
me one from the rectory, where they sew every 
afternoon. 

I found the ouvroir very blue. The Mygatts 
think they must go. He has business in America, 
and is afraid he might not get out of Paris if he 
remained much longer. Every day the papers say 
it is the last day that automobiles can get out of 
Paris — but I think one could always get a pass. 
They don't want to leave us, but I don't think H. 
can undertake a long journey either in an auto or 
in a crowded train. Mygatt had found a man 
with a camion (a dray) of one horse, which would 
take him, his family, and his baggage out of Paris. 
They have their auto and have found a good 
chauffeur, very well recommended. But they must 
have a special permit to take the auto out of Paris. 
They quite saw that it would be impossible for H. 
to go any distance in an ordinary cart ; and as we 
decided it was out of the question for us, they said 
they would propose it to the Tiffanys. He, too, 
has business, and wants to get out of Paris. H. 
and I talked it over after dinner without arriving 
at any conclusion. The Tiffanys came in the 
evening to say they were going — so our friends 
seem deserting us. 



GERMANS ADVANCING 53 

At 10 o'clock a line came to me from the 
Embassy, telling Mygatt the Ambassador would 
see him at 9 the next morning. He had written 
to the Ambassador to ask if he could get the pass 
for him, so I sent it to him at once. 



Paris, Thursday, $rd Septeniber. 

The news doesn't seem very good this morning". 
There are reports that the Germans have blown 
up the Pontoise bridge over the Seine, and that 
we have done the same at Sevres. I don't feel 
very happy, though in my heart I don't believe the 
Germans will come into Paris ; but a cannonade 
near, with possible shells falling about promiscu- 
ously, wouldn't make Paris a very pleasant place 
to stay in. While I was hesitating", Henry 
Outreycame in with a man from the Croix Rouge, 
who had helped a good many people to get away, 
and who strongly advised our going — Henry, too. 
He would take our tickets and places in the last 
special train that leaves to-morrow. I consulted 
H., who didn't want to go at all, was not in the 
least nervous, and dreaded the journey ; but I was 
uncomfortable, and we decided to start to-morrow 
morning. Marie had written and telegraphed to 
her daughter that we might perhaps come. We 
couldn't take any baggage — merely bags and 
bundles ; but the man said he would send our 
trunks on by Grande Vitesse, with the Red Cross 
labels, which always pass first. 

We were very busy all the afternoon, making 
our preparations. We only packed two small 
trunks as wc did not think wc would need much 



54 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

in the way of toilettes at Les Aulneaux ; but there 
were things to be put away in the apartment. 
We leave no one in it, but the Ambassador will 
have a notice put on the door, saying - it is 
inhabited by Americans, and the Concierge has 
also a paper to show. That is another of the 
many small things Mr Herrick has done to help 
such of his compatriots as were obliged to stay in 
Paris. All property owned by or let to Americans 
has been marked. The only thing he couldn't do 
was to put such marks on people walking about 
the streets. We must all take our chance with 
bombs. 

About 5 o'clock I walked over to the ouvroir in 
the Boulevard Haussmann, stopping a moment at 
the Church of St Philippe, where there are always 
women kneeling at the little chapels. The poor 
ouvroir looked quite deserted, but there were piles 
of shirts, calecons, and bandages ready to be sent 
off. I gave the woman in charge directions where 
to send them. She has some money in hand, and 
will go on with her work until I come back — I 
hope in about three weeks. Mme. Mygatt must, 
of course, be longer away, as she is going to 
America. 

As I walked home the streets were full of 
people looking out for the German aeroplanes, 
but none had appeared — either the Ambassador's 
remonstrances to the Government at home, asking 
them to protest at Berlin against such traitorous 
modes of warfare, or else the sight of the French 
armed aeroplanes had frightened them. The 
crowd wasn't at all nervous, remarking cheerfully : 
"Ah, l'Allemand ne vient pas ce soir ; on l'aurait 



LEAVING PARIS 55 

bien recu pourtant ! " (" The German isn't coming 
this evening ; anyhow he would have had a good 
reception ! ") 

After dinner Outrey came, and we walked down 
to the Embassy, where there were a good many 
people coming and going — among others, Mr 
Bacon, 1 just arrived. He belongs to the Franco- 
American Committee, and has come over to help 
us in whatever way he can. The Ambassador 
said there was no later news. He thought we had 
better leave Paris. We had nothing particular to 
keep us here. If there should be a long siege we 
\\ ( >uld be weeks without hearing from Francis, and 
might be greatly inconvenienced by want of proper 
food. All the old stories of the horrors that 
people ate in '70 came back to me — cats, rats, 
and glad to have them ! 

It was perfectly dark when we came out of the 
Embassy, not a light anywhere, only the search- 
lights from the Tour Eiffel and the Automobile 
Club, throwing a weird, yellow gleam for an 
instant over everything. Our street absolutely 
black. We groped our way along. 

Paris, Friday, 4//1 September. 

We are quite ready — start at 12.30. I wonder 
what sort of a Paris we shall find when we get 
Lack — and I also wonder if we are right to go. 
There is every conceivable rumour in the air. 
Germans ;it St Germain — Paris fortifications 
weak on that side. Paris population discouraged 

1 Whu was Ambassador jusi before Mr llcrrick. 

E 



56 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

— yet in my heart I don't believe the Germans 
will get into Paris. 

Les Aulneaux, Dimanche, 6 septembre. 

I leave the mairie paper, Dear ; by that you 
may see where we are. It all seems an awful 
dream. The sudden decision to leave Paris (I 
don't know now if we did right), and the long, 
tiring journey ; the emotion at meeting soldiers all 
along the route — these going to the front, cheering 
and laughing, promising German bullets and 
sword-belts to the women who crowded around 
the trains ; the young recruits, just twenty, of 
the class of this year called out, some of them 
looking mere children — they too, gay, with one 
or two exceptions — but I must begin at the 
beginning. 

H. did not want to leave Paris — dreaded the 
journey, and is convinced the Germans will never 
get into Paris (and I think she is right), nor ever 
near enough to make life difficult ; however, all 
our friends were going. Every day we saw the 
official order that after Friday no one could leave 
Paris by auto, nor perhaps by train. Henry 
Outrey, who is working with one of the generals 
in Paris, and also at the Croix Rouge, advised us 
to leave when we could ; he would arrange for 
tickets, places, etc. 

I can't say our lives had changed very much 
since the declaration of war. The market was 
just as good ; we could get everything we wanted 
and no dearer than in ordinary times, in fact, 
fruit and certain vegetables cheaper, as the 
maraichers (market-gardeners) wanted to sell at 



GETTING PERMISSION TO GO 57 

any price. We had made no extra provisions. 
The street was gloomy at nights ; no more lights, 
and hardly any one in the houses, we the only 
people left in ours. It was rather sad looking 
down from our balcony on the perfectly dark street 
— empty, no sounds of life. I haven't heard a 
laugh for weeks, and it was a relief to hear the 
hoofs of the horses of the cavalry patrol which 
passes every night in the rue Francois I pr . I went 
on Wednesday to ask xA.mbassador Herrick for 
a pass for a friend of mine, Mr M., who wanted 
to get his auto out of Paris, and he advised us to 
go to the Invalides, where the military governor 
of Paris lives, and show his card. M. came for 
me, and it was most interesting to see the Esplanade 
des Invalides ; at one end rows of autos drawn 
up which are being requisitioned for the army, 
quantities of officers in every direction looking 
very busy, but perfectly cheerful, notwithstanding 
the reports that we had heard in the morning 
that the Pontoise bridge was blown up by 
the Germans, and the Sevres bridge by the 
French. 

We waited some time in spite of the 
Ambassador's letter and my Red Cross badge, 
but were finally received by the officer in charge. 
We explained that we wished to go out of Paris 
that afternoon in the auto. "In what direction, 
Madame?' "Chartres." "Then go as quickly 
as possible." "You really think that?" "I have 
no doubt of it, and beg you will go at once." 

Mr M. had already made his arrangements to 
leave He had chartered two drays of one horse 
each for himself and his family (they were four) 



58 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

and his luggage, from which he would not separate 
himself, as he was going" to America and hoped to 
get down to the coast eventually. He wanted us 
to take his auto, but it had not been going" very 
well lately. He had a new chauffeur whom he 
knew nothing about. I didn't dare venture, we 
three women alone, H. hardly walking; so, most 
reluctantly, they started without us. We decided 
to leave Friday at 2 o'clock by special train for 
this place, stopping the night at Conches or 
Laigle. We had no baggage, only what we could 
carry. H. was very plucky — didn't want to leave 
Paris — but I was nervous. I went out to our 
ouvroir late Thursday afternoon to give certain 
last instructions to the woman Mrs M., whom I 
left in charge, telling her to send the garments 
which were already made to one or two ambulances 
where we had promised them, and left her some 
money to go on with the work. After dinner I 
went to the Embassy to say good-bye to the 
Herricks in case they should leave before we got 
back. There were a good many people there 
coming and going. Mr Bacon just arrived to 
give us what help he can in our dark days. Mr 
Warren remains too, having sent his wife and 
children home. The Americans have all been so 
sympathetic to France since the war began. It 
must be a most disagreeable surprise for the 
Kaiser, one of the many, I think, that are in 
store for him. Mr Herrick is wonderful, quite 
cool, thinking of everybody, and not sparing him- 
self in the least, working as hard and as late 
as any of his secretaries. Neither French nor 
Americans will ever forget what he has done here, 



DIFFICULTIES OF TRAVELLING 59 

and, of course, his remaining in Paris has reassured 
people very much. 

We started Friday at 1 2 o'clock from the 
house (the train started at 2.15 from the Gare 
St Lazare). Henry came to take us to the station, 
and I really think our bays and valises were very 
creditable for ladies accustomed to travel with 
everything they wanted. We took as little as 
possible, but, of course, had to provide for the 
possibility of never seeing - our trunks again. 
They — two small ones — were sent by Grande 
Vitesse, with Red Cross labels. The Gare St 
Lazare was a curiosity, crowded with people, 
Quantities of children, and the most remark- 
able collection of bags, bundles, and household 
goods possible. We found already six people 
in our carriage and a child. Marie was obliged 
to take a place in a second-class carriage (she 
had a first-class ticket) to be near us. It is a 
long pull down the platform to the train. H. 
was very nervous, but got along pretty well, 
sitting clown whenever she could. We hoped 
to get to Laigle or Conches about 7 o'clock ; 
telegraphed for rooms at both places. Henry 
recommended us warmly to the people who were 
already in the carriage. There were two parties — 
father, mother, and son going to Brittany, and a 
young mother, child, and two grandparents bound 
for Houlgate. 

We started at 2.15, having been in the train 
since 12.30, and remained in it till 8 the next 
morning. It was an awful journey. We changed 
our direction many times, backing, turning (at 
one time we went back nearly to Versailles), and 



60 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

waiting at the stations to let pass the military 
trains. We met a great many — sometimes soldiers 
going to the front, sometimes wounded, and always 
refugees at all the stations, and we stopped at 
every one. There were crowds of people sitting - on 
their valises, or on the floor, clamouring for seats. 
I was afraid we would have many more people 
standing (all the seats were taken) in our compart- 
ment, but we managed to keep them out. At 
Mantes we crossed a train of English troops, and 
very well and fresh and young they looked in their 
khakis. They fraternised instantly with the 
French soldiers, and ran across the track to speak 
to us. I asked them where they came from : from 
the frontier, on their way to Rouen for provisions 
and ammunition. There were great cheers and 
waving of caps and handkerchiefs when the train 
started. As the evening went on it became most 
evident that we could not get to Conches or Laigle 
at any possible hour, and we all made up our minds 
that we must stay the night in the train. The 
chefs de gare looked anxious and overworked 
wherever we stopped, but were perfectly good- 
humoured, as was everybody, answering civilly 
and as well as they could all the questions. All 
the gares were occupied by soldiers, and the 
line guarded. We got to Dreux about i in the 
morning, and backed and stopped and were 
shunted for more than an hour. Some distracted 
English pursued the chef de gare with questions. 
" Monsieur, quand arriverons-nous a Caen ! " " Ah, 
Madame, si vous pouviez me le dire!" They told 
us the town was full of people, no room anywhere, 
people sleeping in the gare and outside on the 



A TRYING NIGHT JOURNEY 61 

platforms. The station was as animated as if it 
were i o'clock in the afternoon. Everybody got 
out, even the twenty-months-old baby, who played 
about and was wide-awake and perfectly good. 
Happily it was a beautiful, warm summer night, 
with a full golden September moon, the harvest 
moon. That makes me think of one of the 
numerous prophecies which encourage the people 
in these awful days : 

' Les hommes commenceront la moisson, les 
femmes la finiront ; les femmes commenceront 
les vendanges, les hommes les finiront." ("The 
men will begin the harvest, the women will finish 
it ; the women will begin the vintage, the men will 
finish it.") 

They are getting in the harvest quickly. All 
along the route women and children are working 
in the fields. The weather is so beautiful, warm 
and dry and bright, that they can work long hours 
and not have too much time to think of the 
mournings that surely are coming to some of 
them. 

We got through our night well. The baby was 
perfectly good, slept all night in its grandmother's 
arms. She could hardly move her arm in the 
morning. The poor woman was so warmly 
dressed she was most uncomfortable. Like all 
the rest of us, she too had started suddenly and 
could take no baggage, so she had two extra 
petticoats and another cloth skirt under her 
ordinary dress and petticoat ; she said the weight 
was awful. Everybody shared whatever they had, 
water, biscuits, chocolate, but none of us were 
hungry. At Evreux, where we waited a long 



62 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

time, a train went off with soldiers to the front, 
all singing the "Marseillaise," and laughing and 
cheering. Some of the Red Cross nurses were 
on the quai, but there were no wounded while we 
were there. They told us a train of wounded 
had passed in the night. H. was as plucky 
as possible ; I was worried to death about her. 
She is kept so carefully and watched over so at 
home that I didn't see how she could stand all 
those hours sitting bolt upright in the carriage, 
but she did, and is none the worse for it. 

We got to Laigle at 9 Saturday morning ; 
walked over to the hotel opposite the gare and got 
a nice clean room with hot water, where we could 
arrange ourselves a little. We had very good 
cafe au lait and pain de menage on the terrace, 
with soldiers, refugees, and people leaving Paris. 
Everybody talked to everybody, but no one knew 
any more of the war than we did. We left H. 
sitting on a very hard stone bench with her 
knitting, and Marie and I went for a stroll. It is 
a pretty little town with a fine market-place, and 
a modern chateau standing in a wood at the top. 
In the eleventh century there was a fine chateau- 
fort built by the first Marquis de Laigle, which 
was destroyed by the English in 1419- This one 
is built on the site of the old one. The park has 
been cut up, but some of the old trees remain and 
are splendid, and we had charming glimpses of the 
river in the distance. There are handsome, 
coloured-glass windows in the church of St 
Martin. We didn't see many soldiers, though 
they told us they had four to five hundred wounded, 
but we met many Belgian refugees, looking so sad 



WAR RATIONS 63 

and weary, with a pathetic, half-dazed expression 
in their blue eyes. They try to give both men 
and women work in the fields. 

While we were at the gare after breakfast, 
trying to get some information about our train, we 
heard the drum, the generate, which means 
something serious. In an instant the little place 
was black with people. All one's nerves are on 
edge, and we saw instantly bands of Uhlans in the 
distance. However, the announcement was not 
tragic, though significant : " Defense de porter le 
pain dans la ville." ("Carrying bread in the city 
forbidden.") It tells that one is put upon war 
rations and everybody must go and get his bread, 
which, in the big cities, means standing for hours 
in the crowd at the baker's door. 

We started at 4 for Mortagne, where, in ordinary 
times, one arrives in two hours, but we only got 
there at 8. We were told we could get good 
accommodation there for the night. Again a 
great crowd at the station — whole families of 
women and children, and travellers sitting on 
their bags ; military trains and long provision and 
forage trains passing in rapid succession, every- 
thing making way for them. It is curious to 
travel when the country is under martial law. 
Most of the employees of the railways are with 
the army, their places taken by soldiers who 
guard the stations. We had a number of young 
recruits on board — the class of 191 4, which, 
properly, should only have been called to the 
colours this October. At all the stations we picked 
up others, their fathers and mothers and families 
generally coming to wish them good-bye and good 



64 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

luck, all the boys as gay and lively as if they 
were going- off to a country fair ; all manner of 
jokes about "Guillaume" and promises to bring 
back buttons and cartouches from Germany. One 
young fellow came into our compartment. He 
looked refined and delicate (I shouldn't think 
he could stand much hard work), of good birth 
and manners, and evidently didn't care for the 
rough jokes of his companions. He told us he was 
just twenty, a Parisian, only child of his parents, 
had nine first cousins in the war. One saw he 
was accustomed to the good things of the world. 
He made a very good meal from a nice basket he 
had with him, winding up with bonbons and a 
large piece of cake. He helped us to take down 
our bags when we arrived at Mortagne and looked 
perfectly miserable when we shook hands and 
hoped he would get along all right. Poor child ! 
I am sure he cried a little when he was alone in 
the carriage. If we think twenty is young - , what 
must the German mothers feel whose sons are 
called out at sixteen ? 

There were just the same scenes when we 
arrived at Mortagne — people everywhere, not a 
room to be had at any hotel or any house in the 
town. I must confess to a moment of profound 
discouragement when Marie and one of the 
soldier-porters went off to see what they could 
find. H. and I remained at the station, she seated 
on a baggage-truck in the middle of the bag's. 
We waited some time, nobody reappearing-, and 
I saw the moment when I must ask the chef de 
gare to let us sleep in a first-class carriage in the 
station. When they finally came back, Marie 



AT MORTAGNE 65 

and the two men, they said there was nothing to 
be had in the town, but the men knew a lady — 
une brave dame — who kept a small pension for the 
railway employees ; they thought she could take us 
in, but it was at a little distance from the town. 

Then came the difficulty of transporting H. 
There were no carriages of any kind ; she couldn't 
walk. It was late, 9.30; perfectly dark; a "petit 
bout de chemin" might mean anything, from one 
kilometre to three. However, somebody had a 
brilliant idea. The men said they would get 
another porter who would carry our baggage, and 
they would wheel H. on the truck. She didn't 
like it much, poor dear, but they promised to go 
carefully, so we started, one porter in front, carrying 
a lantern, another alongside with all our bags, 
the third wheeling the truck, Marie and I on each 
side, so that H. couldn't fall off. It was a wonder- 
ful procession. We crossed the track, followed 
the road for a short time, and then began to go 
down a steep, rough path, the man asking both 
me and Marie to hold the truck back. It was 
such a ridiculous plight that we couldn't take it 
tragically, but I was thankful when we stopped. 

At the end of the path we came to a garden and 
a nice house with open windows and lights which 
looked friendly. A nice-looking, gray-haired 
woman, attired in a black-and-white dressing- 
gown, opened the door and showed us into a small 
room where a man was supping. She said she 
could only give us one little room, as her best one 
was given to two wounded soldiers she had taken 
in, but she would give us two clean beds, and find 
sumething — a mattress on the floor perhaps — for 



GG FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

the maid, and would give us something" to eat. 
We had a good omelet, bread and butter and cider, 
and talked to the man, who was an inspector of 
telegraphs. The poor old lady was very worried 
at the very little she could give us, but Marie 
reassured her, and after hearing a great noise of 
moving furniture over our heads she reappeared 
with nice clean linen sheets, and Marie went 
upstairs with her to help make the beds. We 
consulted the porter who wheeled H. down about 
the way of getting to Le Mele the next day (one 
train was at 4.30 in the morning, another at 9 at 
night, arriving Heaven knows when). He advised 
taking an auto ; knew the patron of one very 
well ; would go at once and ask him if he would 
take us direct to Les Aulneaux, and would come 
back with the answer. He returned before we 
went upstairs, saying the man would come for 
us the next morning at 10 o'clock. 

I was so tired I was asleep, sitting up in a 
straight-backed chair. H. and I had a very nice 
clean room, a lovely garden smell coming in from 
the open window, and not a sound except trains 
moving all night. We slept perfectly well. Marie 
had a mattress on two chairs in the corridor just 
outside our room, with her dog, a wise little fox- 
terrier, to take care of her. I was up early and 
had very good cafe au lait, a fresh egg f and bread 
and butter, and talked a little to the man of the 
telegraph, who was most hopeful about the war — 
said wherever he went in any class, there was the 
same spirit of dogged resistance to the Germans ; 
they would fight to the last man and woman. 

When he had gone the old lady appeared with 



WOUNDED SOLDIERS 67 

many apologies for the poor accommodation she 
had given us ; she would like to present her 
two blesses to us; so as soon as H. appeared 
she brought them — two fine, good-looking young 
fellows, fantassins (infantry), about twenty-six 
and thirty ; one married just six months ago. 
They had been wounded in the Ardennes, not very 
badly, each in the arm, and were dying to go 
back. The younger one can soon go ; the other's 
case was more serious. They had just come from 
the hospital at Rheims (which is near Mareuil), 
as the hospital had been evacuated. We asked 
them if they had plenty to eat when they were 
fighting. They said always plenty and very 
good, and wherever they passed on their way 
back everybody was good to them, bringing them 
wine, cigarettes, flowers. They told us a funny 
story about one of their comrades here, in one of 
the Algerian regiments. He appeared after the 
fight slightly wounded, but with a very good 
bicycle, explaining in his funny French: " Moi 
tue quatre Prussiens, puis pris bicyclette." He 
was in great request with his bicyclette as he got 
better. He had been wounded in the head ; 
'petite chose," he said, but was able to go about 
the country and do errands. I walked about the 
garden while we were waiting for the auto, and 
when I saw by daylight the steep, stony path we 
had taken last night I really wondered how II . 
and her truck ever got down and how she ever 
stayed on it. 

The auto with the patron himself driving came 
at 10 o'clock and we went first to the town to 
lay in some provisions. Fernande had not an- 



68 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

swered any of her mother's letters, and this is 
such an out-of-the-way place that it would not 
have been safe to arrive without certain pre- 
cautions. The main street was full of soldiers ; 
there are six hundred wounded and walking - about 
with arms in slings and bandaged legs and heads, 
all most cheerful. We met the two of our house, 
who waved to us in the most friendly fashion. 
We had a charming drive, about an hour to 
this little place, through lovely country- — all green 
fields, hedges, and fine trees ; few villages ; almost 
all farms and grazing country — cows, horses, and 
colts in the fields. We arrived about 11.30 just 
as the congregation was coming out of church, 
and you can imagine .the sensation we made in 
the auto, crammed with bags and parcels of every 
description. Fernande was quite bewildered, as 
she had received none of her mother's letters, 
and three extra people in a small house is a serious 
thing. 

Les Aulneaux, Monday, >jth September. 

It is an enchanting summer day. We all seem 
living in a dream. Fernande is the daughter of 
H.'s Marie, who has been with her for over 
nineteen years. She is a schoolmistress here 
and is adjointe l to the maire, and lives in the 
mairie. It is a very nice house, with three big 
rooms, a courtyard, and a garden, and a high airy 
class-room which we used as a salon. All day 
yesterday they were arranging two rooms for us. 
Everybody in the village, from the cure, who lent 

1 Assistant. 



LES AULNEAUX 69 

a fauteuil, to the mayor, who lent a bed, contrib- 
uting something. A farmer's wife brought a 
bottle of fresh milk, and everybody gave a helping 
hand. Fernande went to the nearest big town, 
Mamers, yesterday with a long list — two straw 
armchairs, portemanteaux to hang up our skirts 
and hats (if ever we see our trunks again and 
have anything to hang up), and some stuff t<> 
cover tables (boxes ! standing up on one end), 
etc. In all my experiences, which have been 
many and varied, I have never lived before in 
two rooms in a mairie, but I think we shall be 
perfectly comfortable and so quiet. There isn't 
a sound, except the angelus, which rings twice a 
day, and makes us stop for a moment in what 
we are doing to think, and pray for all our men in 
the thick of the fight. 

Les Aulneaux, Wednesday % g?/i September. 

It is a most primitive little hamlet, about 
fourteen houses, a church, mairie, and schoolhouse, 
one shop, just off the highroad to Mamers, the big 
town of the neighbourhood, about ten kilometres 
away, almost hidden on the great stretches of 
fields and orchards which open out in all direc- 
tions. It is a great grazing country; there are 
plenty of cows, horses, and long-legged colts in 
all the fields, and even the smallest farmer has 
eight or ten beasts. They sell the horses very 
well — one thousand live hundred or two thousand 
francs — which makes them a very good income, 
independent of what the farm brings. Now, of 
course, there are no men anywhere. The women 
and old men do all the work. 



70 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

I went to see the cure this afternoon. He has 
a nice house with a big - garden and orchard next 
the church. He opened the door for me and 
asked me to come in — into the kitchen, where a 
bright wood-fire was burning" and a nice-looking 
woman sitting sewing at the window, whom he 
introduced as his aunt. He is tall, slight, a 
gentleman in manner ; had on an old soutane, 
with a gardener's blue apron over it. He excused 
himself for receiving me in such dress, but he was 
working in his garden. I sat there about ten 
minutes telling him all I knew, which wasn't 
much, but my news from Paris was more recent 
than anything he had heard. I asked him if 
I might play on the harmonium ; he said as much 
as I liked, but he was afraid a Parisienne would 
not find it very good. It had been seventeen 
years in the church and a good deal knocked 
about by people who did not know how to use it. 
I thanked him for the fauteuil, and he asked me if 
I would like to have a sofa ; he had one in his 
salon, which we went to see, but I don't think I 
shall indulge in such a luxury as a red velvet sofa 
in my room. Another time he will show me his 
house and garden and orchard. The house looks 
large and roomy. It seems he has four very good 
rooms upstairs which he would let, but there is 
no furniture ; we would have to hire it from 
Mamers, which wouldn't be worth while if we 
only stay to the end of the month, which I hope. 
Besides, we should be less free staying at the 
Presbytere. Here we are perfectly comfortable 
with three women to look after us — Marie, 
Fernande, and a cousin from Belfort — an In- 



COUNTRY LIFE 71 

spectrice d'Ecoles, such a nice woman, obliged 
to leave Belfort, which was threatened at one time 
— her husband with the army. However, I don't 
think the Germans will tackle Belfort this time. 
They know quite well how strongly it is fortified, 
and they need all their troops to stand the desperate 
resistance they will meet before Paris. We talked 
a little, of course, of the state of France and how 
this awful war had been sprung upon her, the cure 
saying she deserved it as a chastisement for the 
wickedness and immorality of the country. I 
didn't pursue that conversation, as it seems hard 
to visit the iniquities of the big - towns which have 
always existed upon the thousands of brave, 
honest men, good husbands and fathers, leaving 
all they have in the world and fighting bravely 
and cheerfully for their country. 

Les Aulneaux, Friday, nth September. 

We are settling down to our life in this quiet 
little corner of France. If only we had more com- 
munication with Paris and the rest of France. I 
get a walk every morning and already know all 
the village. I stopped to talk to a nice-looking 
girl the other day who had a baby in her arms, its 
father, her brother, at the front. She invited me to 
me in and I found a nice, clean peasant's house ; 
her father and mother very respectable, speaking 
quite intelligibly. Sometimes their French — not 
exactly a patois, but with a curious accent — is 
hard to understand. They knew all about us; 
had seen us arrive at the schoolhouse in the auto- 
mobile, and were most curious for news from Paris. 

l- 



72 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

They offered me a drink — wine, milk, or cider — 
but I excused myself on the plea of its being early 
in the morning. The country is lovely, like walk- 
ing through an English park ; no fences anywhere ; 
green banks, high hedges, and splendid pasture- 
fields. I don't see much cultivation ; I fancy horses 
and farm products are the principal resources. H. 
and I go every day about 6 o'clock to the church, 
which we have to ourselves, and have arranged a 
little service. I play and sing some hymns or bits 
of Beethoven. The harmonium isn't bad, only I 
have so little the habit of playing an organ that I 
forget the pedals sometimes, and then the music 
stops with a sort of wheeze. I always finish with 
the evening hymn: "Sun of my soul, Thou 
Saviour dear," "God save the King," and the 
Russian hymn. I don't dare play the "Marseillaise" 
in the church. It would upset the cure dreadfully, 
and yet it is too bad not to play sometimes for our 
soldiers. The next time any one goes to Mamers 
I will ask them to bring me back the famous marche 
of " Sambre et Meuse," which our troops love to 
march to. 

We had a good mail this morning : letters a 
little old, and papers the second day from Paris ; 
also a telegram from Charlotte, from Cherbourg, 
where she has joined Francis. She is trying to 
find a small house there — says the boys are highly 
excited seeing their father in uniform. The war 
news is good, the Germans retreating. For the 
moment they seem to have given up their march 
on Paris ; I wonder why. 



THE RUSSIANS IN ENGLAND ! 73 

Les Aulneaux, Sunday, \ith September* 

Yesterday was rather a wild day, raining and 
blowing. However, I got out between the showers. 
Still nothing of our trunks, which were sent off two 
days after us (just a week ago). We manage 
pretty well. Our next-door neighbour washes 
our linen, and our serge dresses hold out. We 
each had an extra blouse in our bags. We hear 
all sorts of reports. In a letter to-day from Anne 
Morgan, written from her convent in England, 
she says : " The great event in our quiet lives has 
been the passing of the Cosaques at our little 
station at Norton Bridge. I am sorry I could not 
go and see them ; all the countryside was much 
excited." They are a wild lot, particularly the red 
Cosaques. They are dressed in red, have long red 
lances, and ride small, red bay horses. We saw 
them in Moscow at the coronation of Alexander 
III. They patrolled the streets to keep the crowd 
back — such a patient, long-suffering crowd. Some- 
times they backed their horses vigorously into the 
mass of people ; no one seemed to mind ; the ranks 
thinned out a little but formed again instantly. 
Sometimes they charged down the street full 
gallop, brandishing their lances and yelling in 
the most awful way. Even in times of peace it 
was enough to strike terror into the stoutest heart. 
The Russians seem to have annihilated the 
Austrians, who certainly have not proved them- 
selves a very formidable foe. I don't think they 
will find it so easy with the Germans, who will 
certainly make a desperate resistance before Berlin. 
For some reason we don't know, the Germans are 



74 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

not advancing- on Paris and are retreating steadily 
toward the south-east — sixty kilometres — pursued 
by the French and English, who have taken cannon 
and prisoners. The fighting must have been awful, 
day after day, and even the very meagre official 
reports say there were great losses on both sides. 
It is heart-breaking to think of the mournings there 
will be in France when the lists are published. A 
whole generation in the flower of their strength and 
youth cut down on account of one man's wicked 
ambition. 

The mayor, who comes to see us every night, 
brought a report yesterday that two of the 
Emperor's sons were terribly wounded and the 
Empress gone out of her mind. If it is true, as 
many people say, that she wanted the war, and 
arranged it all with the Crown Prince while the 
Emperor was cruising, her punishment has come 
quickly. 

This morning I went to church, a simple country 
service ; more men than I expected to see. The 
melodeon was played by a small boy with one 
finger, but he did sound the notes. The chantre, 
having gone to the war, was replaced by an elderly 
gentleman who did his best, but wasn't always of 
the same key as the instrument. Then the cure 
intervened and brought him back to the right note. 
The congregation looked respectable and well-to-do. 
Fernande says there are no poor in the village. 
All the little girls had their hair neatly braided in 
pigtails down their backs, tied with a blue or white 
ribbon. All the women wear the coiffe of the 
country, a white muslin cap with a very full crown 
falling" low at the back of the neck, a bow of muslin 



WOMEN FARMERS 75 

on the top. Some of the rich farmers' wives have 
four or five in their trousseau, which last all their 
lives and go to their daughters after them. When 
they are hand-embroidered they are quite expensive. 
A young woman came to see Marie the other day 
with a very pretty one which was given to her 
when she married, and which cost seventy-five 
francs. Marie asked her if she wouldn't like to 
wear a hat, but she said not at all, and that her 
husband wouldn't let her. " Une fermiere doit 
porter la coiffe du pays." The girls wear hats but 
simple ones, not so many flowers and feathers as 
our girls in Mareuil. Some of the farmers are 
very rich. One of them married his daughter 
some time ago and gave her a trousseau, linen 
sheets and table-linen, and beasts, which would 
have been a fortune in Paris. The wedding 
festivities went on for a week, all the countryside 
feasting at the farm. He is said to have spent five 
thousand francs on the entertainment. 

Les Aulneaux, Thursday, 1 7th September. 

We are having beautiful, golden September 
days, but the evenings are chilly. I walk about 
in the mornings. All the women come to the 
doors of their cottages and ask me to come in. 
It is curious to see no men except very, very old 
ones, the women doing all the work. Every morn- 
ing I meet a girl about twelve years old, mounted 
astride on a big farm-horse ; a little later she 
appears on another ; evidently takes the horses to 
the field, which the women plough. It is only in 
the country that one realises the war and the 



76 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

difficulty of transport and provisions. The farmers 
are afraid even their poor old horses will be taken 
away ; all the best ones have already gone. 

Our trunks have arrived and we are more 
comfortable. Until they came we didn't like to go 
out in the rain, as, if we got our skirts wet, we had 
nothing to change. We are rather short in books. 
I read so much to H. that we are very dependent 
upon books and papers. Fernande has put the 
44 Bibliotheque Scolaire" at our disposition, and 
that may keep us on a little. I have found a 
history of France by Lavisse, much abridged and 
simplified. Still it will put the main facts back 
in our heads, and I shall be able to answer the 
boys' questions when we all of us get back to Paris 
again. I was very embarrassed when they were 
beginning their Bible history to find how little I 
remembered about the misfortunes of Tobit and 
various Kings of Judah. There is also in the 
library a translation of 44 Uncle Tom's Cabin" and 
the 4 ' Last of the Mohicans," so you see we are not 
very modern in this quiet little corner of France. 
The happy days in Mareuil seem so far off. We 
have had such beautiful September days there, 
the men shooting partridges all day, we women 
joining them at tea-time in the keeper's cottage, 
and the lovely walk home across the fields, the 
soft evening light making everything a picture — a 
peasant woman crossing the field, her baby tied in 
a red shawl on the back, the man ploughing, his 
white oxen standing out against the sky-line, and 
always in the distance the purple line of the Villers- 
Cotterets forest. 

In a letter from Tours from Madame Sallan- 



SCARCITY OF NEWS 77 

drouze, received this morning, she spoke of the 
constant passage of wounded soldiers, both French 
and English, at the station. All the ladies take 
them fruit, wine, cigarettes, and above all postcards. 
Both Renee and Madeleine speak English well, and 
they say the poor men were so grateful to have 
postcards sent to their families. One young 
fellow said most respectfully to Madeleine : " Might 
I kiss you, mademoiselle?" She instantly gave 
him her cheek. One regiment had been to La 
Ferte-Milon and Mareuil the night of the 31st 
(the day Charlotte and her family left) pursuing 
German cavalry who also passed through. As the 
Germans were retreating they probably didn't 
have time to stop and pillage or burn our house ; 
however, we know nothing. Francis may have 
some news perhaps, but his letters are very rare, 
postal communication is very long, and the soldiers 
are forbidden to give any details about anything. 

Les Aulneaux, Sunday, 20th September. 

We get through our days as well as we can, 
but it is terrible to have so little news. They are 
fighting hard over all parts of the country — 
Germans perfect barbarians, burning, pillaging, 
shooting perfectly innocent people. There will be 
a fearful reckoning when the time comes. At 
church this morning the cure read us the bishop's 
letter announcing the election of the new Pope, 
Benoit XV, and ending with the prayer that he 
might be the means of restoring peace among 
nations. The service is the most primitive I have 
ever seen. The poor little boy who plays the 



78 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

harmonium with one finger got nervous this 
morning, lost his place completely. Every one 
waited — the cure" turning round, saying, "Try the 
Alleluia," but no sound was forthcoming. The 
cure" and the chantre had it all their own way — 
and a very curious plain-chant it was. The chantre 
also made the quete. He had neither plate nor 
bag— held out his hand and every one put the 
offering in the hollow of the palm. 

It has been a beautiful day, a gorgeous sunset, 
but the evenings are decidedly chilly. I am getting 
a little nervous about staying much longer with H. 
If it begins to rain or we have a series of foggy 
days — already a mist rises in the fields after 
sunset — this little house would be very damp — 
besides, I seem to get more news, such as it is, in 
Paris. Little things always leak out, and the few 
diplomatists who are left keep us well informed. 

Les Aulneaux, Monday, 21st September. 

To-day Marie and I made an excursion to 
Mamers, the nearest big town, where there is a 
Sous- Prefecture, big hospital, and famous market. 
Monsieur le Maire drove us in his dog-cart, a most 
primitive little country equipage, with very high, 
broad wheels, and rather narrow seats. However, 
it was only twelve kilometres and he had a good 
little mare (just over two years old, too young to 
be requisitioned — all his good farm-horses being 
taken). He took us along at a fair rate. We 
picked up a friend, a nice-looking peasant woman, 
on the road ; she was trudging along to market 
carrying a heavy basket in each hand — eggs in one, 



MAMERS 79 

and pots of fresh yellow butter in the other. The 
route was charming, bordered on each side by 
high green banks and hedges. We ran for some 
time along M. d'Allieres's property (the man who 
stood against Caillaux in the last elections), in 
fact through his property, as he owned the land on 
each side. We went through fine oak woods, 
growing very thick, a clearing every now and then 
giving a beautiful far view over the plains. The 
mayor is a shrewd little man ; talked a great deal ; 
told me all he knew and I told him all I knew (with 
certain limitations). One of his remarks rather 
astonished me. We were talking, of course, about 
the war, and how Germany had been preparing 
quietly and mobilising for months, while France, 
apparently, was quite unprepared. That, he 
remarked, was the fault of our Ambassador in 
Berlin, who ought to have known what was going 
on — that was what Ambassadors were sent to 
foreign countries for. 

Mamers is a pretty little country town, most 
animated to-day, market-day, and a most tempting 
market it looked, all the women busy and energetic- 
looking, so nice with their clean stiff white coiffes, 
standing guard over their stalls. I never saw so 
many eggs and tubs of fresh yellow butter before 
in my life. There were quantities of soldiers 
everywhere, one regiment of chasseurs passing 
through on their way to the Marne, and some of 
the wounded walking about with heads and arms 
bandaged. The hospital is full ; if there are any 
English wounded I will go and see them. We 
made variuus purchases and then went on to the 
gare — quite a walk — to ask about trains and the 



80 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

possibility of getting back to Paris. In the main 
street, just out of the market, I saw an Infirmiere 
of the Croix Rouge in uniform. I went to speak 
to her to ask if there are any English at the 
hospital. She was rather an attractive-looking 
woman, a pretty smile and nice blue eyes. She 
was very civil, said there were no English at this 
moment, but that they were expecting a convoi. 
She would let me know if I would tell her where 
I was. I said it wasn't worth while ; I was not 
at Mamers, but at a little village some distance 
from Les Aulneaux. She said that would make 
no difference, she could easily send word. I gave 
my name and we parted. The mayor said to me : 
" Madame sait a qui elle a parle ? " " Non, pas du 
tout." "C'est Madame Caillaux, Madame." 
I was rather annoyed. All that affair was so 
disgraceful. One felt ashamed of being a French- 
woman. However, the conversation was of the 
briefest and most impersonal description. It was 
curious to come upon the lady the one day I was 
at Mamers. We walked through the Place de 
la R£publique on our way to the station, a broad, 
handsome avenue, with fine trees, good houses 
with gardens at the roadside, and quite an 
imposing Sous-Prefecture, with iron gates and 
good entrance. The station looked deserted — 
no sign of traffic, but the chef de gare told us that 
the trains ran regularly twice a day to and from 
Paris. He advised us to go at night. We would 
certainly have no trouble about seats, and it would 
be better to arrive in Paris at 6 or 7 in the morning 
than at 12.30 or perhaps later at night, so I think 
we shall do that and leave Sunday. We went 



BOMBARDMENT OF RHEIMS 81 

back to the market to pick up our bundles, and 
found everybody reading" the Paris papers, and 
half-mad with rage. The Germans have bom- 
barded and reduced to ruins the Cathedral of 
Rheims ; there were explosions of indignation 
everywhere. Their conduct is inexplicable, to 
destroy for the pleasure of destroying and putting 
the whole civilised world against them. One can't 
imagine Rheims without that splendid old 
cathedral, so full of beauty and mystery and the 
old traditions of France — all her history. The 
mayor and one of his military friends with whom 
we took coffee before starting back, in a cafe" filled 
with soldiers and small farmers, were furious, and 
suggested that we would do well to burn the 
Cologne Cathedral when our troops get into 
Germany. One can't quite do that, but one 
might destroy the Royal Palace in Berlin and 
a few of the other hideous buildings which adorn 
the city. 

There was no special news from the war zone, 
but one serious measure — all the men up to forty- 
eight years old have been called out. Certainly 
life is made up of contrasts here. As I was 
jogging along very contentedly with the mayor, 
talking about the relative merits of oaks, which 
he knew about, and poplars, which I knew about, 
as a source of income, I asked myself if it could 
have been I who drove into the Kremlin in a 
gala carriage attired in "a white satin gown, all 
finished off with a golden crown," as the old song 
says. 



82 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

Les Aulneaux, Tuesday, 22nd September. 

Another beautiful day. One ought to be so 
happy merely to live in such weather, and when 
one thinks of all those who will never see their 
homes and woods and fields again, it is heart- 
rending. We have had a very good mail to-day, 
all the papers, of course, full of the bombardment 
of Rheims, the English and Americans most out- 
spoken. I shouldn't think Von Bernstorffs 
position in America was a very enviable one. 
I have a nice letter from Charlotte from Octeville, 
where she has found a nice little farmhouse, very 
clean, with four rooms, kitchen, sitting-room, and 
two bedrooms ; orchards, big garden — potager — 
a cow, chickens, and all sorts of vegetables. It is 
close to the cantonnement, so that Francis can 
come to dine and sleep every night. She is so 
happy, poor child, to be with Francis again. 
She has also found a nice, strong country girl to 
do the cooking and general work. Says the boys are 
quite well and happy, playing all day in the fields 
and gardens. She has friends and relations at 
Cherbourg — twenty minutes' walk, and curiously 
enough it was at Cherbourg that she made 
Francis' acquaintance, when her father, Admiral 
Sallandrouze, commanded the Atlantic squadron 
and was stationed at Cherbourg. She and Nanna 
are going to work regularly at the Cherbourg 
hospital. 

I left off as I heard the boulangere's corne. 
She generally has news, and stops at the gate 
for a little talk. She hadn't any news, but gave 
her customers a disagreeable piece of informa- 



LE MELE 83 

tion — she must raise her prices, and ask in the 
future twenty-four sous instead of twenty-three 
for the long loaf of bread which she supplies. The 
women protested, but she said her bags of flour 
had increased in price and diminished in size. 
She couldn't make both ends meet if she didn't 
ask more for her bread. She is mistress of the 
situation, as there is no other baker in the 
neighbourhood. I suppose at the big" farms they do 
make bread, but there would be no way of getting 
it ; the men are all away, and the women too busy 
to go and get it. Every clay women come to 
the mairie to ask for news of their husbands and 
sons. One poor young thing with four small 
children is quite hopeless. Her husband was in 
all the fighting in Belgium ; wrote or sent messages 
at first ; since three weeks she has heard nothing. 
The nights are beautiful, the sky as blue almost 
as in the day, and myriads of stars. I wonder 
what horrors they look down upon. 

Les AULNEAUX, Wednesday, 2$rd September. 

To-day Marie and I and the maire have been 
to the other big town, Le Mele ; just the same 
lovely country, but more farms and fields than 
toward Mamers. I should think there was more 
culture. We passed one big farm where there 
were quantities of stacks of wheat ; the mayor said 
they had been there for a long time ; there was no 
one to take them in ; each man had as much as he 
could do to work his own farm. A sign of the 
times was the women carting. We saw certainly 
three or four heavy carts drawn by two old horses, 



84 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

filled with bags of flour or potatoes, with women 
walking alongside with their long whips, just like 
the men. Le Mele is a pretty little town, the river 
Sarthe flowing through it. Just at the entrance 
there is a picturesque old house, now a mill, with 
courtyard and towers ; it had been a chateau. 
Usually they did a most flourishing business, the 
mayor told me, but to-day it was almost deserted 
— a few old men and boys staggering along with 
heavy bags on their shoulders. It was market- 
day and the town was full, but evidently a great 
many strangers — "des Parisiens," one woman told 
us. " Le Mele is on the highroad from Paris to 
Brest, and hundreds of people passed through at 
the time of the panic (when the Germans were 
near Paris), on their way to some quiet little place 
in Brittany. For two days, the patronne of our 
little hotel told us, two hundred autos a day filled 
with women, children, and baggage passed through 
the town. There are no soldiers, no wounded, 
there now. The only two doctors had gone to the 
front ; no traces of war — a busy little country 
town. When I went into a shop to ask for a 
pattern of cale^on militaire, the woman said to me, 
seeing my Red Cross badge, "Ah, Madame is 
come to open a hospital." All the women in the 
shop were making garments for the soldiers, some 
of them knitting stockings as they walked along 
the streets. There were several autos with nice- 
looking people in them standing about. The 
market was crowded — always the same nice- 
looking women, so active and alert, standing at 
their stalls, their arms akimbo, smiling and eager 
and so intelligent in understanding what one 



A SUSPICIOUS AUTOMOBILE 85 

wanted. I always say Frenchwomen of all classes 
are the best business women in the world. There 
was just the same tempting array of eggs, cheeses, 
chickens, and butter as at Mamers, but we get all 
these from the farms. We wanted some meat, 
which we only get once a week from the butcher. 
The great feature was fat little pink pigs, really 
quite pretty — their long hair, carefully combed, 
like silk. The mayor told us they were much in 
demand, cost forty francs apiece. I shall become 
an expert in farms and woods. I always said I 
ought to have lived in the country and have 
managed a model farm. It was really more my 
vocation than the life I have led in courts and 
embassies, though that had its charm too. 

The poor mayor was rather worried when we 
got home. He found despatches advising him 
of the passage of a certain black automobile, filled 
with men dressed as women, flying at top-speed 
over the country — spies certainly — who must be 
arrested. Such extraordinary rumours get about. 
He was going to communicate with the gendarmes, 
as he alone — he is a little man — could do nothing. 
Usually nothing passes — some children, a few 
carts and wagons, and a great many geese, who 
are as good as watch-dogs. It seems they hate 
strangers, fly at the children sometimes, and 
always cackle and flap their wings when any one 
passes. They are enormous in this country, as 
big as swans. It really is a lovely view I have out 
of my window when I open the shutters wide early 
in the morning and look straight across the narrow 
country road to a high green bank and hedge, 
behind it pear and apple trees loaded with fruit ; 



86 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

just around the corner a little white house with a 
red roof, with a small garden in front, where 
a red-cheeked, white-haired old woman sits all day 
in the sun, and invites one in to pick some of her 
ilowers. They make their cider here much more 
with pears than apples, and very good it is, 
though very strong- ; I add a great deal of water. 



Les Aulneaux, Friday, 2$th September. 

Still beautiful, bright days. We sit out all 
day ; take our meals (except dinner) in the garden. 
Yesterday I went with Marie to one of the famous 
farms near here. The fermiere came for us in her 
little trap — a clean, energetic little woman, dressed 
like all the peasants in a short black skirt, and 
wide, blue-and- white check apron, which hid her 
dress entirely, but no coiffe, her hair very neatly 
done. She has eight children — seven boys, three 
at the war, and one girl, and now they do all the 
farm work themselves, as they can't get any 
labourers. The court looked very clean and 
sunny, all the buildings in good order. We saw 
everything conscientiously. It was amusing when 
the boys drove in the brood-mares (which have just 
begun to work a little). They let out the colts, who 
all galloped madly to their mothers. The farm is 
very well known. They got the second prize for 
the best-kept farm, and would have had the first, 
if there hadn't been a bottle of cornichons in the 
dairy, which the judges said was not in its proper 
place. She gave us milk, cider, everything she 
had, and we carried home a pot of thick yellow 
cream. 



GERMANS AT MAREUIL 87 

This afternoon's mail has brought us bad news 
from Mareuil. I was sure it would come, but it 
has distressed me very much. One of our friends, 
M. Pernolet, was en tournee in our part of the 
country and stopped at Mareuil to give us news. 
This is what he writes: "The ist of September 
the English arrived and did a little harm, but they 
only passed through. Then came the Germans, 
who stayed eight days. They have entirely 
demolished the inside of the house, stolen linen, 
dresses, all the batterie de cuisine, twenty-nine 
lamps, the silver broken, and spoilt all the furniture. 
In the cabinet stolen medals, arms, ransacked and 
thrown about all the papers ; all the bedding 
spoilt ; one new automobile taken ; an old one 
left; the outside is intact." 

I don't think we could have prevented it. I 
could not leave Charlotte there alone with her 
boys to face these savages, and even if I could 
have left H., I don't think I could have prevented 
anything, a woman alone, but it is awful to think 
of our house ruined and so much of value taken. 
All my husband's papers were there, locked and 
padlocked in a case, but that, of course, was easily 
smashed. I must get back to Paris and then 
down to Mareuil. I have written to our woman 
down there who went away with all the rest when 
they were told to £vacuer, and also to the cure\ but 
I must get there. It would have been a miracle 
if we had escaped, as our place is directly on the 
highroad from Meaux to Rheims. We had also 
a letter from Comtesse Gyldenstolpe (n£e Norah 
Plunkett), wife of the Swedish minister, from 
Bordeaux. She says : ' I shall never forget our 

G 



88 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

hurried departure from Paris that night, that end- 
less train, crowded with people of all nationalities, 
from a small Chinese baby up to the most im- 
portant Ambassador, everybody divided up by 
countries. I never knew we had so many colleagues 
before. As we travelled through the night we 
passed one train militaire after the other, crowds 
both of soldiers and evident refugees all along the 
line, so many wounded too. I shall never forget 
it ; everybody so anxious and preoccupied, and at 
the same time each one asking for his baggage 
and wondering how he could caser himself when 
one got there. The heat too ; there are no words 
to describe what it was ; no words either to describe 
the crowd, soldiers, political people, diplomats, 
stray foreigners, who really had nothing to do 
here, and anxious relatives, who wished to be 
at headquarters to obtain news. . . ." 

I think the crowd has diminished a little now, 
but, of course, as long as the Government is at 
Bordeaux it will always be the great centre. We 
have been up to the church for the last time, and 
I went to say good-bye to M. le Cure. He received 
me in his salon this time — really quite a nice 
room, with a red-velvet sofa and armchairs, a 
bookcase, and a big window opening on a pretty 
garden. I told him if I had been more familiar 
with the chants of his church I would have offered 
to play for him. He said he hadn't dared ask 
me. He was much interested in all I told him 
about Mareuil and how our house had been saccage. 
It was a beautiful evening, soft, pink sunset clouds ; 
the yellow moon just rising over the trees; not 
a sound in the quiet little place until the evening 



BACK IN PARIS 89 

angrelus. I shall miss the bells ; they seem to speak 
of peace and hope. 

Paris, Monday, 2&th September. 

We arrived this morning- after a long night in 
the train, the carriage full. However, we had no 
adventures. We left Les Aulneaux looking quite 
charming in the sunshine about 3 o'clock yesterday 
afternoon. I had sent for a carriage from Mamers 
for H., as I was afraid she would appreciate neither 
the Mayor's conveyance nor his conversation, but 
his trap followed with our luggage and the two 
women. The drive was charming ; our old horse 
went quite fast enough. The harness was a little 
casual ; the driver got down once or twice to 
arrange something, finally asked Marie if she had 
a pair of scissors and a piece of string. She 
produced both, and he mended whatever was 
wrong, and we got to Mamers without any ad- 
venture. The town was full cf soldiers — many 
wounded, a group of Turcos sitting in the sun. 
Two of them looked badly, stretched out on 
couvertures ; they couldn't speak — just smiled 
when we talked to them. These fierce fighters 
that caused such havoc with the Germans, and 
are such a wild, formidable enemy, had good 
simple faces, almost childlike. We stopped at the 
Hotel du Cygne on the Place de la Republique, 
and sat on the terrace till nearly 9 o'clock, much 
interested in all that was going on. There was 
evidently a general or superior officer staying in 
the house, as orderlies were going and coming 
all the time with despatches. I asked a nice- 
looking old colonel if there was any news. " Cela 



90 FIRST DAYS OF THE WAR 

va bien, Madame ; nous n'avons qu'attendre ; nous 
attendrons." ("All is going well; we have only 
to wait. We will wait.") The dinner was good, 
served by women ; was entirely military — one long 
room rilled with sous-officiers, the other reserved 
for the officers and the few passing travellers. 
There was a great jingle of spurs and sabres when 
they all trooped in — and a very good-looking lot 
of officers they were — and then a flow of conversa- 
tion ; all were most cheerful. We had a little 
table at one end of the room, too far to hear any 
of the talk, which I was sorry for. Some of them 
were evidently just from the front, some very 
smart chasseurs with their light-blue tunics and 
red trousers, which showed distinct signs of wear. 
I caught every now and then the names of familiar 
places in my part of the country : La Ferte-Milon 
— Villers-Cotterets. They might perhaps have 
given me news of Mareuil, but I didn't like to 
ask. Our carriage came a little before 8 to take 
us to the station, where there was again a great 
crowd — as many people apparently wanting to 
get into Paris now as there were who wanted 
to get out three weeks ago. We took a little 
country train to Connerets and there got the rapide 
de Brest for Paris. Any illusion we had had of 
a carriage to ourselves — or even a comfortable 
seat — was quickly dispelled. The train stopped 
for a very short time ; we were hurried into the 
first-class carriage (there were only two on the 
train) and found one seat (we were four) for H. 
I began my night sitting on my valise in the 
couloir, but after a little while the people in the 
carriage where H. was made room for me, and 



PARIS AGAIN 91 

I got through the night fairly comfortably, though 
it is years since I have sat up straight all night 
in a crowded carriage. I was thankful when we 
arrived at 7.30 at the Gare Montparnasse, and 
I hope I won't have to take another railway journey 
while the country is under martial law. 



OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Paris, $th October. 

I have been ill for two or three days. The 
visit 1 to Mareuil upset me entirely. However, I 
have got my nerve back. Thing's might have 
been worse, and after the war, if all goes well with 
us, it will be interesting to reconstruct our house 
and our lives. Nothing can ever be the same 
again. 

After breakfast, I walked down to the Embassy 
to thank the Ambassador for having given us an 
auto and an officer to go down to Mareuil. I 
found there the new Spanish Ambassador, Mar- 
quis de V., a fine soldierly-looking old man. He 
remains in Paris, having stopped a few days in 
Bordeaux to present his credentials. 

They were both much interested in all I told 
them of the state in which I found my house and 
the village ; and they rather comforted me, saying 
that any troops would have taken blankets, 
coverlids, and saucepans out of an uninhabited 
house. I couldn't have refused them, naturally, 
to our own soldiers ; but they wouldn't have taken 
pictures and silver and souvenirs of all kinds. 

1 This visit is described later; see page no. 

92 



NEWS FROM THE FRONT 93 

It is beautiful weather. I enjoy the walk over 
to the ouvroir ; should enjoy it more if there were 
not occasional Tauben flying" about. No one 
seems to mind them. Every one runs out into the 
middle of the street when they hear one coming, 
though people have been warned to stay indoors. 
One hears them from a long distance. 

Mrs D. came in late to the ouvroir, rather 
afraid she may be evacuee a second time, as the 
Germans are unpleasantly near the ambulance. 
She carried off a large parcel of sheets and pillow- 
cases we had made for her. I went to dine with 
her at the Hotel Crillon. There was no one but 
ourselves in the dining-room, but the gerant told 
us there were several people in the house. 

They had an Englishman with them whose 
name I didn't catch, a tall man, dressed in khaki, 
with the Red Cross brassard on his arm. He had 
been to the front in his motor to look for his son, 
reported missing, whom he didn't find. He said 
people were very kind, trying to help him, but that 
it was impossible to get anywhere near the front : 
all sorts of vehicles, provision-wagons, munition, 
cannon, and autos — squads of cavalry crowding 
on the roads, which are getting very bad and cut 
up with so much passing ; a few heavy motors 
struggling helplessly on the side of the road — and 
in the fields. 

I came away early as I didn't like driving about 
in the dark. The Champs Elysees are scarcely 
lighted. It is now a long, black avenue, the trees 
on each side making a high dark wall. 



94 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Paris, Thursday, %th October. 

I was at the ouvroir all the afternoon. We 
want now to make packages to send to the front. 
We have many more applicants for work than 
we can employ, and it is hard to send the women 
away. They look so utterly miserable ; but we 
can't increase our expenses. I stopped at the 
Automobile Club, who send off autos filled with 
warm clothes once or twice a week. All the 
packages were piled up in the courtyard, and each 
one was weighed, as they must not exceed a 
certain number of pounds. They were all kinds : 
An old woman came in with such a small packet, 
wanting to send it to her son, and the soldier in 
charge, a smart-looking young reserviste, was so 
nice with her, looking to see if the name, company, 
and regiment were distinctly marked. I asked 
her what it was. " Only a flannel band, Madame; 
I have nothing to send and he asks for nothing, 
but he always liked his flannel belt." They are 
very useful ; we make dozens of them, some in 
flannel, some knit or crochet. 

I am going to ask the women in our street, the 
epiciere and the patronne of a little cafe at the 
corner where the Croix Rouge employes and 
Boy Scouts breakfast, if they won't knit me 
cache-nez and stockings, if I supply wool and 
needles. 

I dined out to-night — a rare occurrence in these 

times — with Sir Henry to meet Lord and Lady 

Robert Cecil. He is over here with the British 
Red Cross Society. There was also an English 
banker who is banker for all the British officers. 



DARKENED STREETS 95 

The talk was interesting. I really think the British 
hate the Germans more than we do. We spoke 
of old times, and Hatfield, of course, when all 
were young men, unmarried and at home, and a 
very cheerful, united family party they were ; 
and all so clever. Lord R. told me his brother 
Edward had lost his only son. The mother came 
over to see if she could find his body. He was 
reported missing after the battle of the Marne. 
She went down to Rheims, made all sorts of in- 
quiries — heard of many good-looking- young 
Englishmen killed — even had some of the graves 
opened (the clothes and belongings of each dead 
man are put in a bundle at his head), but could 
find no trace of her boy. She is one of a million 
mothers who will never hear anything more of 
their sons. 

The drive home is always disagreeable ; so 
dark and the streets so deserted ; I think our 
street is the darkest of all. It doesn't seem like 
Paris when one crosses the avenue du Trocadero, 
usually so light and so many carriages dashing 
about, and the trams a long line of light which are 
seen at a great distance. Now it is quite black. 
Suddenly a figure emerges out of the darkness, 
quite close to you. A little further on one just 
gets the glint of the bayonet of the sentry at the 
foot of the hill. I don't believe a creature has 
come back. There is no sign of life ; no lights 
anywhere. As long as the Germans are still near 
Paris and the Tauben flying overhead, people 
won't come back. 



96 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Paris, Saturday, 10th October. 

It is beautiful summer weather and the days 
slip by. We were quite a large party at the 
ouvroir this afternoon. Madame de Sincay, who 
is infirmiere at the British Red Cross hospital 
installed at the Hotel Astoria, asked me for some 
"Nightingales." I didn't know what they were, 
but the boys' English nurse told me: a loose, 
sleeveless jacket which the men like on their 
shoulders when they can sit up in bed to read or 
write. They were invented by the famous English 
nurse, Florence Nightingale, in the Crimea, and 
called after her. We went at once for some flannel, 
and will have some made as quickly as possible, all 
the ladies working hard. 

At 7 o'clock C. came for me and we went to 
dine at La Rue's, one of the most popular cafes in 
the rue Royale, to see the aspect of the boulevards 
at night. There were a good many people dining 
— a very good dinner. One long table filled with 
British officers, who attracted much attention from 
some of the pretty young women, dames seules, 
who were dining quietly in the corner — almost all 
with the badge or brassard of the Croix Rouge. 
Women of all classes have formed that society, 
and some of the best nurses are young actresses 
and dancers from the Paris theatres. 

D. dined with us. He goes every day to the 
Jockey Club and hears their view of the way things 
are being done, and how now, after the first burst 
of patriotism, politics are beginning to play a part. 

I think the Government is doing very well ; 
and if there are individual cases of treachery (it 



GERMAN CHARACTERISTICS 97 

seems an awful word to use in connection with any 
French soldier or minister) it will have no effect on 
the public. 

War always brings out the best qualities of 
people of all classes — except the Germans, who 
have developed such barbarity and cruelty that 
we ask ourselves how they were ever considered 
a Christian, civilised power. They imposed upon 
all the world with their Familienleben and their 
sentimental music and poetry. 

A little after 9, the waiters began to bring the 
hats and coats of the diners, and gradually to put 
out the lights. At 9.30 two policemen appeared at 
the door, and in ten minutes the cafe" was empty. 

We walked about a little, but the boulevards 
were depressing ; very dark, and one needs as 
much outside light as possible in these sad days. 

Paris, Wednesday, \\th October. 

The days are so alike that one hardly realises 
that the autumn is slipping away. The weather 
is beautiful still. I went up to the rue de la Pompe. 
Maggie is there, and we went to the hospital in- 
stalled in the Lycee Janson, just opposite our 
apartment, to see an English soldier, a nice- 
looking young fellow, not wounded, but almost 
dead with rheumatism and pneumonia. He had 
been four days and nights on his gun (he was an 
artilleryman), sometimes in a pouring rain. He 
said everyone was good to him at the hospital, 
some ladies even bringing him tea and buns every 
day. We promised him some warm clothes as he 
was to go back to the front in a day or two. He 



98 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

was dying- to get on his gun again and have 
another shot at the Germans. Told us horrors 
he had seen ; but said the Germans were drunk 
(he was near Rheims) ; their officers had no control 
of them. 

Paris, Friday, 16th October. 

Maggie came in after lunch with the gunner 
who was to leave for the front the next day. He 
looked better but delicate still ; was dressed in the 
clothes we gave him, and had had a good " English " 
lunch at one of the restaurants. The Medecin- 
Chef had allowed Maggie to take him out until 
5 o'clock. The Mygatts were here, and we were 
all much interested in all he told us. He never 
had his clothes off from the 20th August until the 
15th September. His boots had to be cut off, 
they were so hard and stiff. When they wanted 
to give him another pair at the hospital, he refused 
absolutely ; said he would never put on boots again 
— went for days in felt slippers. 

Paris, Saturday, l'jth October. 

Our beautiful sun has gone in. To-day it is 
grey and damp. Mrs Mygatt and I went to see 
the mayor of our arrondissement to speak about 
some poor women who wanted work. He was 
not there, but we saw a lady, very important, 
who was in charge of the ouvrieres sans travail. 
She recommended two women, soldiers' wives, one 
a culottiere (woman who makes trousers), and the 
other a piqueuse de machine a coudre. They 
would be very pleased to come every afternoon 



TIDINGS FROM BELGIUM 99 

from 2 to 6 for fr. 1.50. Poor thing's, it is nothing 
for clever Paris workwomen. One gained 10 francs 
a day, with two meals, at one of the good tailors ; 
the other about the same. We don't say we will 
give any meals, but we will give tea and thick slices 
of bread and butter, and later a bowl of soup. 

Mme. del Marmol, our Belgian friend, came in 
quite happy, poor thing, as she had had news of 
her children in the country in Belgium, for the first 
time since the siege of Liege. She is just starting 
an ouvroir for the Belgian women ; says their 
misery is appalling ; some of the children have 
no shirts or underclothes of any description, only 
a dress or a coat over their skin. One woman 
came to the ouvroir with her baby, a month old. 
They put it in a basket near the fire, and the little 
thing was quite happy and slept peacefully, all the 
other women crowding around it. She says they 
don't complain ; seem half stunned by the awful 
catastrophe that has fallen upon them. 

Poor, pretty, smiling little Belgium, with 
gardens and farms and thriving, busy, happy 
population! It is sickening to think of black 
burned plains, and whole villages smoking ruins ! 

Mme. de Singay came in about 6 o'clock to beg 
for garments for a military hospital at Villers- 
Cotterets, where they were in need of everything. 
Some one down there asked her if she knew me ; 
said Mr Waddington had represented so long 
that part of the country that they were sure I 
would help them. She carried off a fine bundle of 
flannel shirts, warm calec/jns, red flannel ceintures, 
and rolls of bandages of all sizes. 

I found M. sitting with H. when I came home. 



100 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Her husband is an infirmier at the American 
Ambulance, works there every day from 8 in the 
morning until 7 at night. She says he is tired out, 
stoops like an old man ; has his dinner as soon as 
he comes in, and goes at once to bed. She had 
just seen her eldest boy (22), who is in a French 
cuirassier regiment. He is a Russian subject, was 
in Canada when the war broke out, and couldn't 
get back in time to enlist in a Russian regiment, 
so joined the French army, as did the son of 
Isvolsky, Russian Ambassador in France, who was 
also too late to get to Russia. 

Paris, Sunday, \Zth October. 

There was an innovation in the American 
church this morning — almost all the boys and 
young men of the choir have been called away either 
as soldiers or scouts, and they are replaced by 
girls dressed in black with white surplices, and 
little white caps on their heads, only a few older 
men remaining. 

We had a few visits in the afternoon. Mrs 
Watson, the rector's wife, came late. She was 
most interesting, telling curious stories of Americans 
of all classes stranded here at the beginning of the 
war. The Ambassador and Mrs Herrick, Sir 
H. L., and Pauline de B. dined. Lt. G., the 
young officer who took me down to Mareuil, came 
in after dinner. Lt. G. had just come back from 
the front, where he had picked up wounded and 
brought them back to the hospital. He said shells 
were flying about in a pretty lively manner. 

The Harjes have done a most generous thing : 
fitted out and equipped entirely — nurses, doctors, 



A FIELD-HOSPITAL 101 

and ambulance — a field-hospital in a chateau close 
to the firing-line. Everything is arranged so that 
the zvhole hospital can move on to another place in 
two hours, if there came a serious attack. 

I thought the Ambassador looked tired ; he 
does so much and sees so many people — not only 
his own colony, but many of his colleagues, who 
go to him for advice. 

He is reading the Life of Washburne, who was 
United States Minister here in 1870, and remained 
in Paris all through the siege and the Commune. 
He said it was most interesting to read it just 
now, when he was doing the same thing, but under 
such different circumstances. 

Paris, Tuesday, 20th October. 

A. H. came to breakfast this morning, and we 
went after breakfast to see Mrs W. at the rectory. 
She had promised to show us her ouvroir. I had 
never been inside of the house. It is pretty and 
original, very comfortable for two people. No 
clergyman with a family could get into it. She 
showed us some of the upstairs rooms over the 
church, which had been most useful at the time of 
the American invasion, as they had put beds and 
mattresses everywhere, in the library, in the corridor, 
and even in the cloisters. The weather was so 
warm and beautiful all those first days of the war. 

The ouvroir was very well arranged, a large 
light room — cupboards all around the walls ; about 
twenty women, all French, working at a long table, 
some by hand, some with sewing-machines. There 
were two women in charge — a surveillante who 
gave out and examined the work, and another who 



102 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

had the caisse, received any money that came, 
and paid the women. It was most orderly. In 
some of the cupboards were all sorts of clothes, 
both men's and women's, sent in trunks to Mrs 
W. by people who were going" back to America 
and were willing to leave their contents for less 
fortunate compatriots who couldn't get away with 
the first rush, and who had no clothes except what 
they had on their backs. 

Most of the useful things had been given away, 
but there were still some evening cloaks, one or 
two pretty dresses with fichus and sashes, fancy 
shoes and blouses, and petticoats with lace and 
embroidery. Mrs W. told me that one woman 
carried off a pair of white satin slippers. She 
rather protested, thought it foolish, but the woman 
persisted. She returned three or four days 
afterward with a pair of nice black shoes on. She 
had covered the white satin slippers with some 
black stuff, and had a very neat pair of shoes. 

We carried off some patterns, a plastron, and 
some loose stockings to go over swollen or bandaged 
feet. Nothing is lost in the ouvroir. They use 
the selvage as it is cut off the flannel. It makes 
strong twine to tie up packages. 

Paris, Wednesday, 21st October. 

There is very little war news. I wonder if it 
is right to keep the public in such ignorance. The 
Germans have not succeeded in getting either 
Calais or Dunkirk, but we haven't dislodged them 
from their trenches near Soissons, and as long as 
they are in France one can't breathe freely. 



VISITING THE WOUNDED 103 

I went with the M.'s this afternoon to visit a 
hospital of the Petites Soeurs des Pauvres in the 
rue Lafayette, near the Gare du Nord. We 
passed a house which had been destroyed by bombs 
dropped from a German Taube. Roof, windows, 
facade gone, a crowd in front of it. The hospital 
looked very peaceful and well ordered in a convent 
on one side of a big- courtyard. The church at 
the bottom. The Superieure, a good, kind, helpful 
woman, took us into the wards. They only have 
twenty beds — as they have very little room and no 
surgical cases, for they have no surgeons or doctors 
in permanent attendance. They are very poor ; 
depend entirely upon what people will give them. 
When the first wounded came they had nothing 
— gave up their own beds, and made first bandages 
out of their own chemises. 

We saw one young officer with his right arm 
amputated — twenty-eight years old — with a wife 
and child, another one on the way. He had been 
moved there as soon as possible after his operation. 
I stopped to talk to him a little when the party 
moved on. I am very shy about talking to the 
men. I think they must hate a party of sightseers, 
who come to inspect the hospital and say a few 
banal words to each man. He looked so sad, I 
said to him : " It is melancholy to see you like this 
at your age." " I don't complain, Madame, it might 
be worse. I am glad to have been able to serve 
my country; but I am a cripple for life." The 
Mere Superieure told me his wife didn't know yet 
that his arm had been cut off. They were going 
to tell her the next morning. I said: "Don't tell 
her yet, poor thing, in the state she is in; wait 

ii 



104 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

until her baby is born." But the good nun 
answered, putting her hand on my arm : " Oh, 
yes, Madame, she must be told ; she must bear her 
cross like so many women in France to-day. She 
must be thankful to have him back even a cripple ; 
many women will never see their husbands again." 
I was haunted all night by the poor fellow's 
eyes, so big in his white, drawn face. 

Paris, Saturday, 24M October. 

Our work is going on well. The mayor sends 
us women every day, but we can't employ all, 
and it is hard to send them away. Some of the 
women who asked at first to work at home have 
now asked to come to the workroom, where they 
have fire, lights, and company. Usually nine or 
ten French girls working together chatter all the 
time ; but now one scarcely hears a word except 
something to do with the work. They all look sad, 
and what is worse, they all look hungry. I suppose 
a good bowl of cafe au lait and a slice of bread 
helps a little, but it isn't a meal for working, 
growing girls. 

We have had no Taube for several days, but 
French aeroplanes are always hovering over Paris 
— which of course the Germans know, as they 
know everything. They are bombarding Lille 
and Arras. Soon northern and eastern France 
will be as completely devastated as Belgium. 

Paris, Sunday, 25M October. 

I didn't go out at all to-day, though the sun 
was shining brightly. We had visitors all the 



GERMAN PRISONERS 105 

afternoon, and Mrs B. and Lord W. dined with 
us. Lord W. had brought our despatches and 
had been to the front ; said everybody seemed 
quite satisfied, but all the same the fighting- in 
the north is terrible, and the wounds ghastly. 
Some of the German prisoners tell stories of hunger 
and of being forced to fight, and show no enthusiasm 
for the war or the Kaiser. But the officers as a 
rule are reserved and arrogant. There is always 
a note of gaiety even in these tragic days, when 
one talks of the Kaiser and his intimate relations 
with God. An Englishman who happened to 
be at Potsdam on Good Friday, was surprised 
to see the Imperial flag on the Palace at half- 
mast — hadn't seen in the papers that any member 
of the Royal Family was dead. He asked the 
driver (of the fiacre he was in) what it meant ; 
who was dead ? The man grinned, and pointing 
to the flag, remarked: " Familientrauer " (family 
mourning). 

Paris, Monday, 26/h October. 

The weather is beautiful, and there are a few 
more people about in the daytime, but the streets 
are melancholy at night, quite dark and deserted. 
When we come back late — 7 o'clock — from the 
ouvroir, we generally come en bande, walking ; 
but if it rains, we take a taxi between us, which 
takes each one home. Everybody walks ; no one 
has a carriage. There are only Red Cross and 
military aut< 

Mine. Marchand came to tea with us, and we 
promised to send her a packet for the front where 
her husband has a command. He has many 



106 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Turcos in his brigade, and says they are shivering. 
Poor fellows ! how will they ever stand the real 
cold weather when the winter begins ? 

Very nice-looking women came to ask for work 
this afternoon ; one with such good manners, 
looking and speaking like a lady, implored us not 
to send her away. We gave her some work. 
She told the caissiere she hadn't 50 centimes in 
her purse. 

Paris, Thursday, 29th October. 

B. and M. came in this morning. They are 
installing an ambulance in their chateau, which 
means putting in chauffage central — extra bath- 
rooms and various other changes ; so that for the 
moment the house is not habitable — as B. says, 
there are holes in the walls everywhere — they are 
in Paris for a few days. 

She read me a charming letter from J. (my 
godson), who is corporal in a regiment of cuirassiers 
somewhere in Belgium. She didn't know where, 
as the soldiers are not allowed to put any address 
on their letters, but "at the front." When he 
wrote, he was acting as interpreter for the 
British. He says they are wonderfully equipped, 
have plenty of warm clothes and excellent food. 
He had tea with them sometimes in the trenches, 
and they gave him some jam. Half of his regiment 
is now a pied in the trenches, as they have no more 
horses. There is nothing for the cavalry to do 
now. Their turn will come when the Germans 
retreat and we drive them out of France. Those 
who are dressed for it manage pretty well, but he 
is still in his cuirassier's uniform, high boots, spurs, 



QUEEN MARY'S LETTER 107 

cloak and casque, and doesn't find that very 
convenient for crouching in the trenches. As he 
is very tall — over six feet — the trenches are not 
much of a shelter for him. 

He says, as they all do, that the British fight 
like lions ; but they are most independent ; can't 
stay in the trenches. When they hear the noise 
of any explosion, they start up and get killed at 
once. 

I went to the Embassy for a few minutes after 
breakfast ; found people there, of course. They 
keep open house always ; have people lunching 
and dining. Dr H. was there, who was American 
Ambassador in Berlin some years ago. I asked 
him if he wasn't surprised at the brutality of the 
Germans. He said he couldn't understand them, 
above all the Kaiser. He had often talked to 
him about all sorts of things ; found him intelligent, 
well-informed, with a strong sense of his position 
and responsibilities. He had raised his country 
to such a height of prosperity ; everything — army, 
navy, commerce, colonies, so firmly established — 
that it seemed incredible he should have sacrificed 
it all for his own insane ambition. 

Mrs Herrick had a charming letter from Queen 
Mary, thanking her for all she had done for 
British people. It was a pretty, womanly letter. 
Both she and the Ambassador will have many 
more before the war ends. Their staying here 
through all the darkest days will never be forgotten. 
The big gates and doors of the Embassy were 
always wide open, and there was a continuous 
stream of people pouring in, asking for advice 
and help. 



108 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Paris, Saturday, 31st October. 
Always the same meagre war news, but one 
feels that things are going well with us. I have 
again letters from the cure of Mareuil and Mme. 
Gaillard, my concierge, begging me to come down. 
Mme. G. says she has soldiers quartered always 
at the house, and that they are very exacting, 
must have fires of course ("Madame sait comme 
le bois est cher"), and would like blankets — but 
as the Germans took all mine, I can't give them 
any. I must take some down when I go. This 
is the list of the necessary things I must bring 
down, Mme. G. says : Coal, petroleum, lamps, 
candles, table-cloths, napkins, towels, blankets, 
china, knives, forks, spoons, sugar and salt, 
pillows — batterie de cuisine. She hasn't got a 
kettle or a saucepan in the kitchen. Also, will I 
bring down some warm clothes for the women 
and children? People have been very kind in 
sending me clothes. Mrs Watson sent me a good 
package from her ouvroir, and I will take some 
men's shirts from mine. 

They also write from La Ferte-Milon for 
hospital shirts, warm clothes, and bandages. The 
sisters have wounded men at the Hotel- Dieu, and 
very few resources. La Ferte was occupied by 
the Germans, and the town had to pay a heavy 
indemnity to prevent them from bombarding and 
destroying their beautiful churches. 

Paris, Monday, 2nd November 
{/our des Morts). 

We have had two beautiful days, and I have 
been so homesick for Mareuil. The Toussaint is 



LE JOUR DES MORTS 109 

such an important day in our little village. Early 
in the morning- the children come to get flowers 
to decorate the church and the tombs. I seemed 
to hear the clatter of sabots and the shrill voices 
of the children as they trooped into the courtyard, 
and to smell the chrysanthemums which they 
carried off in quantities. Then came the sacristan 
with two choir-boys, carrying with much pomp 
the pain benit we always gave on that day — an 
erection of brioches, going up in a pyramid, with 
a wreath of flowers at the base. The church was 
always full the next day (Les Morts). I never 
went. The black draperies and funeral service, 
and the names of all who died in the year read out, 
made such an impression upon me the only time I 
went, that it left a haunting memory that lasted 
for weeks every time I went to the church. But 
I always went to the cemetery, after the service, 
and stood with the village people who were praying 
for their dead. It never seems quite the same day 
in the city. 

Paris, Wednesday, ^th November. 

We are going to Mareuil to-morrow. Maggie 
will go down with me. We were busy making our 
packets all the morning, and went in the afternoon 
to get my sauf-conduit. They always make a 
difficulty about it. My pieces d'identite are not 
sufficient. They want my certificat de mariage, 
which is at Mareuil — and are most unwilling to give 
any sauf-conduit for a village in the war zone. I 
wanted to get a permanent pass from the Governor 
of Paris, but he won't give me that, as I am not con- 
nected with a hospital or ambulance at the front. 



110 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Mareuil, 
Thursday, ^th November 19 14. 

I am writing in my own room, in one corner of 
our house which has been disinfected and thor- 
oughly cleaned. The servants have made it as 
comfortable as they could with the chairs and 
tables the Boches have left me. I have an 
excellent lamp which I brought down with me, 
and a bright, crackling wood-fire, with pieces of 
wood about as big as matches which come from 
the saw-mill opposite. The little girl brings them 
in her apron. It is the first time I have fully 
realised what the German occupation meant, and 
how much can be taken out of a house, and how 
much dirt left in in eight days. 

Mareuil is a peaceful, sleepy little village of 
about five hundred inhabitants, in the heart of the 
great farming country of France. It is directly 
on the highroad between Meaux and Soissons, 
about twenty miles from each. It is surrounded 
by big farms and woods. The fields stretch away 
to the horizon, on one side ; on the other to the 
great forest of Villers-Cotterets. There are no 
local industries, no factories ; the men work in the 
fields and woods. The women do nothing but 
look after their houses and children. 

Of course all the men, except the old ones, left 
in the first days of the mobilisation. My daughter- 
in-law with her two boys, aged eight and nine, had 
remained in the house. 

The farmer next door and the miller promised 
to look after the women of the family, and the 
month passed quietly enough. Toward the end, 



ORDERED TO LEAVE 111 

there were rumours of the Germans having- broken 
through the "wall of steel," and small parties of 
Uhlans were said to be hovering about Rheims 
and Laon, also armed autos were reported dash- 
ing through the villages, firing at every one they 
met. 

Suddenly on Saturday night, the 29th of 
August, Charlotte was told she must leave the 
next day as early as possible. The village was to 
be eVacue by ordre militaire — every one to leave, 
mayor, Conseil Municipal, cure\ women. They 
spent Saturday night hiding all the valuables they 
could — papers, medals, etc., and left at 7 o'clock 
Sunday morning, with the greatest difficulty. 
The train was crowded with refugees and wounded 
soldiers. They could not have got seats even in 
one of the fourgons (baggage-wagons) if our chef 
de gare had not insisted. 

They had an awful journey, taking fourteen 
hours to travel a distance which usually takes two. 
They were shunted at almost all the stations, to 
make way for military trains going to the front, 
filled with soldiers cheering and singing. The 
passengers got out, and the wounded were attended 
to, sometimes on the roadside, sometimes at the 
stations. At Meaux there was an ambulance of 
the Croix Rouge, the nurses dressing the wounds, 
giving food to the soldiers and refugees, children 
frightened and crying. 

The whole party were exhausted when they 
got to Paris, but a night's sleep restored them, 
and they started the next morning for Tours by 
automobiles. 

I was glad to see them out of Paris, which was 



112 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

no place for children, with the great heat and 
Tauben going - about. I wanted to come straight 
down here. I had a feeling of shirking responsi- 
bility, and leaving the village to its fate, which was 
very disagreeable to me ; but all my friends pro- 
tested vigorously ; besides, I could not get a pass 
to go directly into the fighting zone. I was very 
uncomfortable, but there was nothing to be done. 
I heard nothing for weeks, but gathered from the 
communiques, and the few people one saw who 
knew anything, that fierce fighting was going on 
in that part of the country — chateaux, houses, 
and villages sacked and burnt. It wasn't possible 
we should escape with our house standing so 
invitingly on the highroad. 

About the end of September we heard, through 
a friend who had been there, that our house was 
completely sacked, the four walls standing, but 
everything taken out *of it. 

We had gone to the country, to a quiet little 
village in the Sarthe, for three weeks, but as soon 
as I got to Paris I determined to come down 
here. It wasn't easy — impossible by rail, as the 
bridges were blown up and no private conveyances 
were allowed on the road. I applied to Ambassador 
Herrick, who, as usual, did all he could to help 
me, and gave me one of his automobiles with 
a young American officer as escort, Lt. G. I 
asked the Tiffanys to come too, as they had 
stayed so recently at Mareuil, and Olive and 
Charlotte had moved all the furniture and pictures 
and rearranged the rooms. We started about 
9.30, couldn't get a sauf-conduit all the way 
to Mareuil, only to the next village, but Lt. 



MEAUX 113 

G. said he would certainly bring us here, and he 
did. The journey from Paris to Meaux was 
almost normal, except for the absolute lack of 
traffic or movement of any kind. There were 
the same long- stretches of straight white roads, 
bordered with rows of poplars which always 
mark the highroads in France. Nothing passing 
but military autos, long trains of munition and 
provision wagons, and ambulances with wounded 
soldiers. The villages were empty, a few very 
old men, women, and children standing in the 
doorways or at the well, the resort of all the 
women in the country when they want to gossip 
a little. No one in the fields, no sign of life, and 
above all, no sounds of life. No loud talking, nor 
singing, nor whistling. 

Meaux looked just the same, the beautiful old 
cathedral untouched, and the old mills on the 
river intact. I was afraid they had gone. They 
are so picturesque, built on a bridge. Every one 
goes to see them ; they are quite a feature of 
Meaux. The other bridges were destroyed. 

About half-way between Meaux and Mareuil 
we began to see signs of fighting ; all the big trees 
down, their branches blown off, lying on the road 
— roofless houses, holes and gaps in stone walls, 
fields cut up and trampled over, barricades across 
the roads, trenches and mounds in the fields, a 
few dead horses. Soldiers everywhere, the whole 
road guarded. 

We were stopped once or twice, but the officer's 
pass and the Embassy carriage were all-powerful, 
and we came straight to our gates. From the 
outside one saw nothing changed. The four 



114 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

walls were intact, the iron gates standing, but 
inside. . . . 

We had not been able to send word to the con- 
cierge, neither telegraph nor telephone worked 
(don't yet for civilians), and the post was most 
irregular. She heard the auto and came to the 
gates, not knowing who it was. The poor woman 
looked twenty years older. She and her son, a 
boy of eighteen, had gone away with all the village. 
Sometimes a farmer's wife would give her a lift, 
but mostly she walked, for miles, weary and foot- 
sore, sleeping in the fields, under the hedges, occa- 
sionally in a barn ; no clothes but what they had 
on their backs, and hardly anything to eat, fright- 
ened to death, seeing a Uhlan in every creature 
that passed, and tormenting herself as to what 
was going on at home. She was so agitated at 
first that I could do nothing with her — assuring 
me that she had not deserted the place, that she 
only left when all the village did. I comforted 
her as well as I could. After all I had not come 
down myself to set the example, and could not 
expect others to do what /didn't do. 

We began our tournee d'inspection at once. 
In the garage Jean Sallandrouze's auto had been 
taken, ours left, but smashed. It seemed they 
could not make it go at once, so they broke it. 
They had also left a light trotting wagon. 

The inside of the house was a desolation. It 
had been cleaned — four women working hard. 
Mme. G. said the dirt and smells were something 
awful. The bedding was in a filthy state. For 
twenty-four hours after they had begun to clean, 
they couldn't eat anything. "Si Madame avait 



GERMAN BRUTALITIES 115 

vu la salete, jamais plus Madame n'aurait mis 
pied a la maison ! " 

Perhaps it is just as well that Madame didn't 
see all, as the actual state was bad enough. 

She had sent me by a messenger a first state- 
ment of what was missing. Everything in the 
kitchen (except the range, which they couldn't 
move), twenty-nine lamps, china, silver, forks, 
spoons, and a tea-pot that were forgotten in the 
hurry of moving, glass, sheets, and blankets, cover- 
lids, pillows, rugs, pictures, old English engrav- 
ings, family miniatures, linen — all my son's and 
daughter's clothes ; and what they did not take 
they spoilt. A satin dress and lace dress of C.'s 
on the floor with great cuts in them. 

They evidently were of a practical turn of mind 
— took all the useful, solid things, cloth dresses, 
cloaks, two excellent Burberry waterproofs, canes. 
They took the billiard-balls, broke most of the 
cues, but did not break the table — neither the 
piano, an Erard grand. I rather expected to 
see it standing out in the fields, as some of my 
friends found theirs. 

In the drawing-room chairs and tables were 
broken, drawers pulled out, their contents scattered 
over the floor, quantities of papers and letters 
torn. I hadn't time that day to verify— put them 
all in a box upstairs. 

Mme. G. had left two rooms, C.'s boudoir and 
Francis' dressing-room, just as she found them 
when she came back after her ten days' wandering. 
The flours were covered up to our ankles with papers 
and books. In some of the books pages were torn 
i »ut in the middle — such useless, wanton destruction. 



116 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

I had no time to look into everything, but of 
course I went all over the house. Some of the 
hiding-places had not been discovered. We found 
the silver and some old china just where C. had 
hidden it. It seems the officers slept in the 
house, the men on straw in the garage. The 
names Schneider, Reisnach, etc., were written on 
the doors of the bedrooms, and on the shutters of 
the drawing-room, in German writing, "Geschafts- 
zimmer" — with the names and number of the 
regiment. In another part, "zwanzig Manner." 
I told Mme. G. to leave the writing so that when 
Francis comes back — if he comes back — he can 
see in what state the Germans left his house. 

After we had been through the house, Mme. 
G- weeping alongside of me, and telling me all 
she had gone through, we went into the garden, 
which was too awful. They had kept their horses 
there. Lawns and flower-beds all trampled over and 
destroyed, a few climbing roses left on the walls. 

It was a beautiful day, a clear blue sky, yet all 
the time we seemed to hear the rumbling of thunder. 
I said to the young officer : " How extraordinary to 
hear thunder with that cloudless summer sky ! " 
"Don't you know what it is, Madame? — cannon 
— about twenty miles away." 

I had visits from the cure, the mayor, and one 
of the conseillers municipaux — all full of their 
exodus and the weary days and nights of tramping 
along the road. 

No other house in the village seems to have 
been treated like mine — except the poor peasants', 
where they stole and broke everything, When a 
French peasant marries, his first investment is a 



WANTON DESTRUCTION 117 

large wooden bedstead and armoire, which is the 
pride of his heart. These the Boches couldn't 
carry away, but they broke them up for firewood, 
and carried off every poor little pot and pan they 
possessed. 

The women are sleeping on straw. I made a 
turn in the village, went into the two shops. 
Nothing left — empty shelves, the floors still covered 
with the remnants of broken pots of cereals, pates, 
dried fruit, grains of all kinds, the entire stock 
of a country shop. The women were standing 
about helplessly, not knowing what to do. 

I saw a pile of berets and jerseys in one corner ; 
was surprised they had left anything so useful ; 
when I touched them they all fell apart, had been 
cut and slashed in every direction — again such 
useless destruction. 

No harm was done to the church, a fine old 
twelfth-century specimen, and no houses burned 
nor shelled. The outside intact everywhere, but 
everything gone inside. 

The mayor was very blue, and I don't know 
how we shall get through the winter with all these 
women and children, with no work nor money, 
and no clothes. 

\Yc started back about 5 o'clock, so as not to 
be too late on the road, and the impression was 
melancholy ; such intense stillness, as if the war- 
cloud was hanging low over us. We met three 
or four farm-wagons between Mareuil and Meaux, 
with women and children, and odd bits of furniture 
— poor people going back sadly to their homes. 

It was tragic to see some of the villages we 
passed through Vareddes, May, etc. — the black, 



118 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

roofless cottages told their own tale, as well as 
the mounds in the fields where many soldiers are 
buried. Little is left of the peaceful, happy little 
hamlets we know so well ; no more women standing 
smiling at the doors of their cottages, nor men 
ploughing the fields with their fine teams of big 
white oxen — utter desolation everywhere ! 

I promised to come down again as soon as pos- 
sible, but I could not manage it until to-day : now I 
can add to my earlier account of the havoc wrought. 
I could not come alone ; was obliged to wait until 
I could find some one willing to go into the "war 
zone," and was not sure if the railway would 
accept the quantity of luggage I would have. 
Everything had to be brought from Paris. I 
couldn't come by our usual line, the Est, as the 
bridges are not yet mended, and the journey was 
much longer by the Nord. I went to the Gare 
du Nord, and had some difficulty in getting the 
necessary information. I found a capable, intelli- 
gent woman, however (there are, of course, 
numbers of women employed at all the gares, as 
the men have all gone). She was much interested 
in my journey down to a village which had been 
devastated by the Germans, and we found that 
I could take as much luggage as I wanted, if 
I could get a sauf-conduit, which she seemed to 
think doubtful. 

I did have some trouble with the Commissaire 
de Police in Paris, who didn't at all want to give me 
a sauf-conduit, and was not satisfied with my pieces 
d'identite. I hadn't got my certificat de manage, 
which is at Mareuil. When he finally made up 
his mind that I was Mme. Waddington, he still 



COLLECTING STORES 119 

hesitated to give me the sauf-conduit. "Mais, 
Madame, pourquoi aller a Mareuil ; it is absolutely 
in the zone militaire ; it is no place for women — it 
is not really reasonable to go there." And when I 
insisted again on going: "But why do you want 
to go just now?" "Because, Monsieur, I live 
there ; my house has been completely sacked, so 
has the entire village. I must go down and take 
clothes and provisions to the poor people." 

That mollified him a little, and he made out 
the paper, grumbling to himself all the time, saying 
when he finally handed it to me: "I really ought 
not to give it to you. It is no time for women 
to travel about in that part of the country — and 
at your age." 

YVe started this morning. Maggie, the boys' 
English nurse, who is now nursing at the American 
Ambulance, and an Englishman, one of our humble 
friends, out of place for the moment, and very glad 
to do any odd job. He speaks French well, 
having lived many years in Paris. We had two 
cabs — Barling in one, with piles of bundles and 
cases around him, as we had to take down every- 
thing — among others, a large case of Quaker oats, 
which Dr Watson sent me, a basket of china, 
another of groceries, two big bundles of blankets 
and linen ; a trunk of clothes which friends had 
sent me, also one from my ouvroir. Maggie and 
I in another, with a bundle of clothes Mrs Watson 
had sent me from her ouvroir, cartons with lamps 
and shades, a basket of vegetables, another of 
saucepans and kitchen things, a valise of knives and 
forks and spoons, and a hold-all full of things sent 
at the last moment — bandages, woollen socks, etc. 

i 



120 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

There was a great crowd at the station. The 
Belgian refugees are still there in one of the covered 
courts, where couchettes, a sort of bed made of 
planks, and covered with rugs and blankets, had 
been arranged, and big marmites to cook their 
food. People flock to see them, bringing them 
clothes and food. 

There was a great deal of confusion, as there 
was not half the usual number of porters — soldiers 
everywhere. Everyone made way for Nanna in 
her nurse's dress, and the porters were much 
interested in the ladies who were taking down 
food and clothes to one of the ruined villages. 

It has been a beautiful day, clear and warm, 
and the route through the Villers-Cotterets forest 
was lovely. We went very slowly, stopping at 
every station, a long crowded train. We had a 
long wait, two hours at Ormoy, in the heart of 
the forest. From there to Mareuil there were 
traces of war everywhere — almost all the little 
forest stations completely wrecked, roofs off, no 
doors nor windows, nothing but the four walls 
half tumbling down. 

They are repairing now as much as they can, 
but it is difficult to get workmen ; the soldiers 
give a helping hand when they can. I should 
have thought some of the Belgians would have 
been glad of the work, but there are few able- 
bodied men among the refugees ; they are all old, 
old men. 

Mareuil is occupe militairement — soldiers at the 
gare, and a poste on the highroad, just at the 
entrance of the village. They stopped me and 
wanted to know where I was going, and who I 



A PITIABLE SIGHT 121 

was, but the brigadier de gendarmerie, who was 
lodged at our house, and had seen me at the 
station, hurried up and explained. 

Mme. G. had not received my letter, and was 
much flustered at the arrival of three people. 
However, it was quite early in the afternoon — 
2.30. She had plenty of time to make fires (it 
was not at all cold — a bright, beautiful sun), and 
beds, and prepare our dinner. 

I walked about the garden while they were 
unpacking. The lawns are entirely cut up ; horses 
were tethered there. The flower-beds quite spoilt ; 
but there was one bed of chrysanthemums left — 
some of the big yellow ones, which gave quite 
a touch of colour and life to the wasted garden. 

The dining-room and fumoir were fairly comfort- 
able though very bare ; still there were chairs and 
tables. I dined alone and am finishing my evening 
in my own room. The stillness and darkness are 
oppressive. There is not a light in the village or 
station — no trains passing — not a sound on the 
road. I am haunted by the thought of those 
brutes in our house. 

Markuu, Friday, 6/// November. 

It has been a beautiful bright, mild day — 
extraordinarily clear, hardly any mist on the hills 
and woods. One sees a great distance. I have 
had a procession of visitors — first the cure with a 
list of the most miserable people, and all day the 
women and children. It is a pitiable sight. They 
have no clothes but what they stand in, as they 
went away at very short notice, and could only 
take -1 very few things tied up in bundles (which 



122 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

some threw away en route, as they could not 
carry them). 

There is nothing left of their cottages but the 
four walls. The village houses are all stone, not 
easy to burn. But the Germans took all they 
could carry off, and destroyed what they couldn't 
take — broke furniture, chairs, tables, all the beds. 
The women sleep on straw and club together to 
make their soup in a marmite, like the soldiers. 
They have no clothes. When the woman washes 
her chemise, she lies in bed (on the straw) until it 
dries. One of them said to me : "Would Madame 
please give her a casserole" (saucepan)? " Vous 
etes bonne, ma fille. Les Allemands m'ont pris 
toutes les miennes ; je suis arrived avec deux ou 
trois dans ma poche pour faire ma cuisine ici ! " 

Some of the boys — strong, handsome boys often 
and twelve — had nothing on but the linen jacket 
they went away in (it was warm, beautiful summer 
weather when they left) and no shirt nor tricot, the 
jacket over their bare skin. Thanks to my friends 
and my ouvroir, I can supply the first necessities, 
but to clothe a whole village requires time and 
money. 

All the afternoon we spent going over the house 
and seeing what was left. They seem to have 
made a clean sweep of all the small things that 
accumulate in a house — pens, pencils, scissors, 
frames, pincushions, fancy boxes and bags. Some 
of the trunks in the garret are untouched. They 
were locked, but of course could easily have 
been forced open. All the silver things that had 
not been hidc'en have gone, inkstands, frames, 
vases. 



PILLAGE AT MAREUIL 123 

The concierge has lost everything, even her 
wedding- wreath carefully preserved under a glass. 

I went into the billiard-room and salon, opening 
the windows wide to let in the last rays of the 
sun. In the salon drawers pulled out and broken 
— books taken — great gaps in the rows — music 
torn and scattered over the Moor, but the piano 
not hurt. I tried to play a little in the twilight, 
but it makes me so homesick for the children ; 
I seemed to hear their little voices singing their 
Christmas carols ; and always saw that awful 
German writing on the shutters, " Geschafts- 
zimmer" — but I must leave it for Francis to see. 

We still hear 'he cannon, but more faintly. I 
don't feel now as if ever I could be gay or happy 
again in the place, but perhaps that feeling will 
pass when the war is over, and 'the troops are 
marching home again with gay and gallant tread " 

— but when ? 

Mareuil, 

Saturday, 7th November 19 14. 

It was foggy but not cold ihis morning. I 
walked about the village a little after breakfast ; 
always the same story of pillage and misery. 
Most of the women and children have no clothes 
left, and no money to buy any. Everybody was 
very sad, as a funeral service was going on for 
one of the village boys, twenty years old, a little 
shepherd, tue a l'ennemi. Of course we all think 
of our own at the front, and hardly dare to pray 
that they may come back. 

Th- cure has made me a first list of a hundred 
children, ranging from one year old to twelve, boys 
and girls, all wanting warm clothes. I found some 



124 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

flannel in the village which will make shirts and 
petticoats ; that will give the women something 
to do ; they will be glad to earn a little money ; 
and it will be easier for me than buying the things 
in Paris, particularly as they don't send anything 
yet by rail. 

We had sent for a carriage from Thomas at 
La Ferte, but at 3 o'clock nothing had come, and 
after 6 no equipages are allowed to circulate. We 
tried to find one in the village, but there are 
scarcely any horses left. Finally the farmer next 
door lent us his little country dog-cart, and we 
started off with our sauf-conduit. Nanna and I 
sat behind, and Barling in front with a package 
of hospital sheets and bandages. 

The road was absolutely deserted except for 
military automobiles, and there were soldiers 
everywhere. It was really dark when we got to 
La Ferte at 4 o'clock, and I was rather worrying 
over our return, as we had no lights. La Ferte" is 
quite changed. I should never have recognised 
the dull little provincial town, with no movement 
of any kind except on market-day, when a few 
carts were drawn up on the mall, and the neigh- 
bouring farmers jogged along on their funny old- 
fashioned cabriolets. Now it is full of soldiers ; 
cannon and munition - wagons on the mall ; the 
bridge over the canal blown up and replaced by 
a temporary rickety wooden structure. The shops 
were open and lighted, I should think doing good 
business. 

I had some difficulty in getting some petroleum. 
I was received with enthusiasm ; everybody wanted 
to talk, to tell me their experiences and to hear 



AT LA FERT6 125 

mine. The town had suffered very little during 
the German occupation, thanks to the cure, the 
Abbe Detigne, who remained all the time, and 
certainly saved the town by his courage and 
coolness. 

I went to the Presbytere to see him. He was 
out, but his sister told me she would find him in 
the town and send him to the Hotel- Dieu. I 
went there to see the sisters and leave my parcels, 
stopping on the way at the butcher's to buy a 
i^igot, as I had asked our cure to dinner. I had 
>i nice talk with the sisters, who asked me if I 
would give them some wool as they have taught 
the girls to knit socks, but can't get any wool in 
the country. They had only a few wounded 
Germans. 'Madame voudrait les voir?" No, 
Madame didn't feel as if she could see a German, 
coming directly from Mareuil where they worked 
such havoc. The old Mere Superieure did not 
insist; merely remarked: " Ce sont des soldats, 
Madame, qui font leur devoir comme les notres." 
It is quite true — all the same I didn't want to see 
them. 

The abb£ came in just as we were starting. 
He was very preoccupied about our return in the 
dark, along the lonely road, with a child driving, 
and wanted us to stay the night at the Presbytere 
— couldn't imagine that it was possible to stay at 
Mareuil ; at any rate we had better dine with him. 
He evidently thought I had no shelter or food, 
and nothing to cook it in if I had any. However, 
I reassured him ; told him we had our dinner in 
the cart, and the cure de Mareuil was coming to 
dine with me. All I wanted was a lantern. The 



126 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

sisters procured me one, and wanted to give me 
hot wine and biscuits to eat on the way — but that 
was really not necessary, as it is not more than 
eight kilometres and the road was fairly good — 
not too much cut up. 

It was a mild evening, a little damp, but we 
had warm cloaks, and Barling held the lantern up 
high, swung on a cane. It was pitch-dark, nothing 
on the road except military automobiles, which 
dashed by at full speed, their great lanterns lighting 
up the road for a few seconds. No one molested 
us, nor asked for our papers, though we didn't get 
home until 7 o'clock. 

Mme. G., rather anxious, was at the gate. 
The cure came to dinner, and he sat afterward for 
about an hour in the fumoir, and he told me of 
their hurried flight from Mareuil, and the fatigues 
of the journey, the whole party sleeping in the 
fields, under haystacks, with very little to eat or 
drink, hardly daring to stop at night for five or six 
hours to rest, for fear of being caught by the 
Germans. In some of the villages the Germans 
forced the fugitives they met on the road to go 
back to work for them. One poor old man in our 
village was not quick enough, nor strong enough 
to carry some wood. They pricked him with the 
bayonet, telling him he wouldn't die yet ; he would 
live long enough to become a German. 

The inhabitants of the village were away for 
thirteen days, wandering along the roads, de- 
lighted when they could get a bundle of straw in 
a barn to sleep on. 



WITHIN SOUND OF CANNON 127 

MAREUIL, Sunday, 8/// November. 

I didn't go to church as the service was early, 
8 o'clock, but I walked about the village and found 
more flannel and cotton which I can leave here. 
The women can make chemises and petticoats for 
themselves. The poor people look dreadfully 
depressed without work or money. It is very 
difficult to know how to help them. However, 
I promised to come down about Christmas and 
bring some warm clothes. I would like to start 
a knitting" class, but the cure tells me so few people 
knit. 

We leave at 2.30. I have made an exhaustive 
tour in the garden with the boy and the gardener 
who works for us occasionally. It must all be dug 
up ; lawns, flower-beds — and in the spring, if the 
Germans are out of France, we will see what can 
be done. As long as they are so near us there is 
no use doing anything, as they will certainly burn 
and ruin all they can as they leave. 

I couldn't find out anything about the people in 
the neighbourhood in the different chateaux. It 
is a curious feature in this war, no one knows 
anything about any one. Unless you are in the 
country and pass a house or farm that was burned 
or knocked to pieces, no one knows. 

The cannon was loud and incessant this 
morning. I ask myself all the time : Am I really 
;it Mareuil, our quiet little village, or is it all a bad 
dream 2 Ah, what a wicked war! 



128 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Paris, Thursday, 12th November. 

We got back Sunday, to dinner. A tiring- 
journey, and I must have caught cold as I have 
been stiff and rather miserable ever since. Didn't 
go to the ouvroir until to-day. Mr Mygatt has 
brought over excellent stuffs and wool from 
London, better and cheaper than anything he can 
get here. The big room looked very business-like 
with its piles of cloth and flannel. Mme. del 
Marmol brought us a doctor (soldier) who was 
starting a field-hospital near Chalons, just behind 
the last line of trenches. He came to ask for help 
for his hospital. " What do you want ? " we asked 
him. "Everything," was his prompt reply; and 
we made him two enormous bundles with every- 
thing we had in stock, from sleeping-bags to socks. 
Unfortunately we had no hospital stores, but he 
thought he could get them from the Croix Rouge. 
He helped make the packages, kneeling down on 
the floor, and carried them off in a cab. 

The righting is terrible on the Yser, the Germans 
attacking furiously, making no progress ; but the 
loss of life on both sides is awful. They say the 
Yser runs red with blood in some parts. The 
lines of the Scottish poet, Thomas Campbell, 
about the Bavarian Iser, which I learned as a 
child, come back to me all the time : 

"On Linden, when the sun was low, 
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow, 
And dark as winter was the flow 
Of Iser, rolling rapidly." 






PETITES SCEURS DES PAUVRES 129 

Paris, Tuesday, \~th November. 

It has been a bright, beautiful day, just enough 
crispness in the air to remind one that autumn 
was coming to an end. It was really a pleasure 
to be out. I always walk over to the ouvroir. It 
takes one about twenty minutes. Little by little 
the shops are opening - , quite a number in the rue 
de la Beotie. Almost all, except the grocers and 
bakers, have soldiers' things : waistcoats, jerseys, 
passe-montagnes of every description. We are 
always looking for models of the simplest kind, 
with as few buttons, strings, and pockets as 
possible. 

The equipment of our poilus is much simpler 
than that of the Tommies. Some of the older, 
old-fashioned French officers are astounded at the 
baggage which follows the British army. 

About 3 o'clock I went with the Mygatts to 
one of the hospitals of the Petites Sceurs des 
Pauvres, in the rue Lafayette. Cardinal Amette, 
the Archbishop of Paris, was coming to see the 
wounded. We took over ten of our paquets 
militaires and bundles of pansements, as the 
hospital is very poor. The sisters have given up 
their beds. They had so few extra ones. 

The paquets are very good, shirt, drawers, 
jerseys, socks, and passe-montagne, a sort of 
helmet which goes over the kepi, and protects the 
back of the neck ; everything in wool. We prefer 
to give fewer things but in good quality. It is 
useless to send cotton to men in the trenches. 

There was quite a stir in the street when we 
arrived at our destination. The church at the 



130 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

end of a long narrow court, with its big doors 
open, the altar brilliantly lighted ; the body of 
the church dark, outlines of kneeling figures just 
visible ; quite a number of people waiting at the 
door of the convent. 

The Cardinal came very punctually. (It was 
a pleasure to see the red cap and robes.) He is a 
good-looking man, tall, rather the military type — 
spoke charmingly to the Mere Superieure, who 
was waiting at the door — and went with her into 
all the wards, speaking to each man. A Sen6- 
galais convalescent, black as ink, standing in 
the row of white beds, was a curious sight. I don't 
think he understood anything the Cardinal said, 
but he smiled and showed all his dazzling white 
teeth. 

The Cardinal said he would come and benir 
notre ouvroir. 

Mrs Herrick came in late and was charming, 
always so ready to help and doing it all so simply. 
She thinks they will go soon, but I can't think the 
Government could make such a mistake. 



Paris, Thursday, \^th November. 

I had a line from Mrs Herrick last night 
saying they were leaving on the 28th. It doesn't 
seem possible. I went to the Embassy after 
breakfast ; there were several people there, all 
much disturbed by the Ambassador's sudden 
departure. He was quite smiling and composed. 
I think he is deeply sorry to go while things are 
in such a serious state. He has been so interested 
in France and all she has been going through in 



THE BATTLE OF THE MARNE 131 

those tragic months that it will be a wrench to 
leave it all just now. Of course, once the break 
is made and he has got back to America, he will 
find so much to do that France and the war will 
gradually recede into the past. 

I think Mrs Herrick is glad to go back to her 
children and grandchildren, though she enjoyed 
the life in France. They have made quantities 
of friends over here. 

Paris, Sunday, 22nd November. 

Another enchanting day. I walked about a 
little after church and sat on a bench in the 
avenue de l'Alma, and talked to three wounded 
soldiers who were sitting there in the sun. They 
all had crutches, but told me they were getting 
better, and none had lost arms or legs. They 
had all been wounded at the battle of the Marne ; 
were not in the least discouraged, and were pining 
to get back and have another shot at the Boches. 
One of them, with quite an educated voice and 
language, said: "They thought they were going 
to get Paris, Madame! They will never have it, 
our beautiful Paris. They would have to walk 
over bodies, not only of soldiers, but of women 
and children, before they could get in ! " 

One or two passers-by stopped and joined in 
the conversation, and we ended by discussing 
the battle of the Marne: "A miracle," some one 
said. 

It is astonishing the camaraderie this war has 
brought about ; everybody talks to everybody ; and 

rybody helps. 



132 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Paris, Monday, zyd November. 

I lunched at the U.S. Embassy this morning, 
and went afterward with the Ambassadress to 
the American Ambulance, where I had given 
rendezvous to two French ladies, Duchesse de T. 
and Princess d'A., who wanted very much to see 
it. They made a most thorough inspection, and 
were delighted with the order and beautiful cleanli- 
ness of everything. The big ward looked most 
cheerful, brightly lighted. The rows of beds 
spotlessly clean and tidy. All the nurses in white, 
many ladies we know ; some professionals, and 
quite a number of young men of society who were 
unable for some reason or other to join the army, 
but were anxious to do something to help. They, 
too, were in white, the regular infirmier's dress, 
and the wounded seemed quite at ease with them, 
evidently liked to have them about. 

I talked a little to two young Irishmen, each of 
whom had lost a leg. They were quite smiling 
and ready to talk. Sometimes it is not easy to 
make conversation ; the men are shy or tired. 
The doctor asked me if I would go into one of the 
small rooms where there were some grands blesses 
— four in one room. I didn't want to, very much, 
as I am very impressionable, and could do nothing 
to help them — but I didn't like to refuse. Two 
of the men buried their faces in their pillows, 
evidently didn't want to be talked to, and the 
others tried with such a pitiful smile to answer 
and be grateful for our sympathy ; but what can 
one say to them. 

We went down afterward to the tea-room. 



THANKSGIVING DAY 133 

Every afternoon, three or four ladies provide tea 
and cakes for the nurses and various functionaries 
of the Ambulance. We found the tea-room quite 
full of white -aproned nurses and infirmiers, and 
big, burly chauffeurs of automobiles, and three or 
four boy scouts. The ladies behind the long 
table were kept very busy, and teapots and plates 
of buns and good heavy substantial plum cakes 
were being constantly replenished. 

My French friends were much interested in the 
hospital. Such abundance of everything, so much 
given, and so wonderfully light and clean. No 
detail escaped them, not even a corner of a 
corridor, where some women were washing and 
preparing green vegetables. 



PARIS, Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. 

I went to church, as I feel I have much to be 
thankful for, in this awful year which has brought 
mourning to so many homes. We had a quiet 
dinner — very unlike our Thanksgiving dinners at 
Mareuil, where we had always that day a regular 
American menu : Turkey, cranberry sauce and 
pumpkin pie for those who liked it. No French 
of any category ever tasted the pie. They are 
just as conservative about their food as they are 
in everything else, and only eat what they are 
accustomed to. 

I wonder what next Thanksgiving will bring 
us. France has held her own wonderfully, so 
far, and has shown such quiet, steady determina- 
tion, besides her splendid fighting qualities. 

There must be so many changes all over the 



134 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

world after the war, and surely a change of 
mentality. The men who have fought such an 
awful fight, and the women who have lived through 
the suspense and trials of these terrible days, can 
never shake off those memories and take up the 
old, easy life again. 

Paris, Friday, 2'jf/i November. 

I had a long afternoon at the ouvroir. We had 
a great many soldiers, and some of the older men 
looked sad! It is terrible for the men of the 
pays evacues. They have been for months with- 
out news of their families. 

I went later to say good-bye to the Herricks, 
who leave to-morrow. Their salon was full of 
people, all deploring their departure. I waited 
until nearly 8 o'clock to see the Ambassador, but 
he didn't come in. I walked home in the dark, 
thinking regretfully that I should never cross 
their hospitable threshold again. . . . 

Paris, Tuesday, ist December. 

Quiet day at the ouvroir. We are getting 
through a great deal of work, and have at last 
arranged to get our wool and stuffs from England. 
Here everything is hors prix, and besides, taken by 
the Government. One of my friends went to buy 
some wool the other day, and would have taken 
a large amount, but while the woman was getting 
it together, two men with military brassards 
on their arms came in and forbade the woman 
to give it. They took all she had for the army. 
My friend remonstrated, saying she too wanted 



INDER MARTIAL LAW 135 

hers fur the soldiers, but they wouldn't let her 
have any. It is comfortable in one way being 
under martial law. One feels so absolutely 
protected, but there is no appeal possible if they 
tell you a thing can't be. 

I found a telegram from Charlotte when I came 
home this evening. Francis' regiment is ordered 
to the front. She and the boys come to Paris on 
Thursday. 

Rue de la Pompe, 
Paris, Thursday, $rd December. 

It seems strange to be here again in my apart- 
ment, but I can't leave Charlotte quite alone. I 
have divided my time between here and the rue 
de la Tremoille. C. and the boys arrived at 7 
o'clock. I went to the Gare St Lazare to meet 
them. They all look perfectly well ; boys splendid. 
We sent the luggage straight up here, and dined 
at la Tremoille with Henrietta. The boys have 
grown so much older, with so much to tell They 
had seen the regiment start, and " Papa armc with 
his rifle and revolver!" Poor little things! they 
have seen so much sadness since the beginning 
of the war. The regiment is at Aulnay, near 
Paris, for a lew days only, en route for the front. 
Where, they don't know — Belgium, I suppose. 

I thnk we shall be comfortable here. We 
shan't use the salon and my room, but live all 
together in Francis' part, where we each have a 
bedroom, with dining-room and fumoir. 



K 



136 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Rue la Tremoille, 
Paris, Friday, \th December. 

We all lunched here and went afterward to 
the ouvroir, where we had the visit of Cardinal 
Amette, Archbishop of Paris. We had asked 
several ladies who knew him to come: Duchesse 
de Trevise, Comtesse de B., Comtesse de B — nes, 
etc. He wis quite charming". Two or three 
priests came with him, and he looked at our 
stuffs and was so simple and interested in every- 
thing" ; said, as every one does, that the soldiers 
needed warm things. He spoke very nicely to 
the women, all soldiers' wives and refugees, who 
were working in one of the rooms. It was nice 
of him to come, as he has so much to do. I was 
so glad to see the red robes again. They always 
recall Rome and the happy days there — so long 
ago — when I think that we all saw Pio Mono. 

Rue de la Pompe, 
Paris, Monday, 7th December. 

The boys began school this morning. Charlotte 
went with Mrs Mygatt to see about some stuffs 
for the ouvroir. She had a telegram from Francis 
asking her to come and see him at Aulnay. She 
went off about 3.30. It is close to Paris — would 
take about half an hour by train in ordinary 
times, but the service is very irregular — so many 
employees are at the front, and the passenger 
trains are constantly stopped to let troops pass. 

I came up here after the ouvroir and dined 
with the boys. C. came in about 9.30; said 



VISIT TO AULNAV 137 

Francis was very well, had a very nice room, and 
wanted us to go and see him to-morrow. We can 
only go late as women are not supposed to go 
out there, but after dark no one pays much 
attention, and the officers shut their eyes. It is 
so near Paris, only an hour by train, that they 
would certainly have not only the soldiers' wives, 
but women of a certain class, which would not 
be desirable. 

Paris, Tuesday, Sfk December. 

We had two hours with Francis to-day. C. and 
I took the 4 o'clock train, stopping at a patissier's 
on the way to buy two large tarts for the mess 
of the sous-officiers. Soldiers are such children. 
They always want bonbons and cakes, cigarettes, 
or picture papers. We were in a very long train, 
had German prisoners on board, the first I have 
seen. They got off at Le Bourget. Quite a 
crowd assembled on the platform to see them 
pass as they walked down guarded by a few 
French fantassins. 

The men looked young — tired, but their uni- 
forms were clean — didn't look as if they had been 
fighting lately. Nobody said anything or made 
a hostile demonstration of any kind. There was 
absolute silence. 

Francis met us at the station as it was dark. 
It was the first time I had seen him in uniform. 
He looked very well, very sombre ; wears no longer 
the red culotte. All the men at the front wear 
dark blue, even the buttons of his coat were dark. 
He took us to his room in the only hotel near the 
station, where he had made himself very comtori- 



138 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

able, and was on the best of terms with his 
patronne. He gave us tea and chocolate. The 
patronne made us very good toast, and smiled 
all over when he complimented her on her tea. 
We had a nice white nappe. There were only 
two chairs in the room, so Francis sat on the bed. 
He was very cheerful, said there was no chance of 
his getting to Paris. We hoped he might have 
come for Christmas. He didn't think they would 
stay long at Aulnay. Had no idea where they 
would go. He is so pleased to get to the front and 
see something of the fighting. It was nice to see 
him again. He looked well, but older and graver. 
We left about 7. The streets of the little place 
were full of soldiers and their wives, who apparently 
had managed to get out to the regiment. 

Paris, Thursday, 10th December. 

I was at the ouvroir all the afternoon. C. took 
the boys out to Aulnay. While we were at dinner 
she came in, looking rather white and upset. 
Regiment ordered to the front, somewhere between 
Rheims and Soissons ; starts to-morrow morning, 
4 o'clock. 

Francis and Charlotte went shopping at Aulnay. 
He had to buy himself flannel shirts and drawers 
as his things were at the wash. Poor little Willy 
was quite nervous and tearful, as his father told 
him he was going to the front ; might never come 
back, and that he must be very good and take 
care of his mother and little brother and D. How 
many soldier-fathers all over France have said 
the same thing to their boys! 



BACK TO MAREUIL 139 

Paris, Monday, 14th December. 

We have decided to go down to Mareuil, 
Charlotte, the boys, and I, on the 18th. I have 
written to Mme. Gaillard to have the house well 
warmed. We shall take down a provision of warm 
clothes. Thanks to our friends, we have been able 
to get a lot of things. 

Paris, Wednesday, 16/// December. 

We were very busy at the ouvroir fitting- out 
the children of Mareuil. We have very long lists 
from the cure and the schoolmistress. When I 
went over just now, I found Charlotte established 
in one of the small rooms, and surrounded by 
piles of coats, costumes, dresses, petticoats, shirts, 
drawers, socks of all sizes, from a baby of eight 
weeks to an old woman of ninety-five. Mile. 
Jeanne was sorting the things and pinning tickets 
with the names on the garments. Our bundles 
will be huge, but Mr M. has lent us his auto- 
camion, which will take the things from door to 
door. 

Paris, Thursday, 17th December. 

We filled the camion this afternoon, as the man 
wants to start early to-morrow morning. The 
boys wildly excited, helping put in the packages, 
and suggesting that they should go, too, in the 
camion. 

Mareuil, 
Friday, 18M December 1914. 

1 am writing at night. Although it is only 
10 o'clock, the whole household is wrapped in 



140 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

slumber, as we have had a tiring day. We left 
Paris, Charlotte, her boys, the maid, and I, at 
9.30, still with a fair amount of packages, pro- 
visions mostly, as Mme. Gaillard wrote us we 
could not get anything at Mareuil but bread, 
butter, and apples. She thought the butcher from 
La Fert6 would come when he knew we were 
there, but wasn't sure. 

We had a tiring journey, a long, cold wait at 
Onnoy ; and the boys were much impressed by 
the various traces of the war. In one field we 
saw three graves with a little French flag to mark 
the spot. A little farther on, quite a row with a 
cross made of sticks at one end. They looked so 
lonely in the middle of the bare field. 

From Ormoy to Mareuil, at almost all the 
stations, roofs were off, the houses — doors and 
windows gone — bare walls. We got to Mareuil 
about 2 o'clock. Of course Mme. G. hadn't 
received either letter or telegram, but the camion 
had arrived and prepared them for our coming. 
It was so much more convenient to load it 
directly at the ouvroir. We had no trouble 
about trunks, or tickets, or weighing. Bundles 
of all kinds and sizes were crammed into the 
car; some blankets and thick coats just tied up 
with a string, as the auto went from door to 
door. We loaded it yesterday afternoon late at 
the ouvroir, and I was quite astonished when all 
the packages got in. 

The chauffeur, the faithful Marius, had already 
unloaded boxes and trunks, which had been carried 
into the house. He started straight back, as he 
wanted to get into Paris before dark. It was a 



CHRISTMAS GIFTS 141 

bright, lovely afternoon, and the boys clashed at 
once into the garden to see if the Boches had 
spoiled their garden and gymnasium. The poor 
garden looked awful, all dug up, only two or three 
pots of chrysanthemums were left in the tool- 
house. 

The cure came to tea, and we plunged instantly 
into lists : warm clothes, blankets, etc. He had 
two hundred and odd children on his list. (He 
had been to every cottage in the village to make 
sure that no child was left out.) Also about 
sixteen or eighteen young mothers, with babies in 
their arms, girls and boys up to eighteen — all the 
old people. It seemed rather an undertaking to 
clothe so many people, but our bundles and trunks 
held a great deal. 

We decided to make our distribution on Sunday, 
as we really needed all day Saturday to sort out 
the things ; besides I had promised to go to La 
Ferte" in the afternoon to see the Abbe" Detigne, 
and take some wool to the sisters. The house was 
cold though there were fires everywhere — but such 
fires! still no coal, only little blocks and ends of 
wood we got from the sawmill, and it has 
naturally an empty, uncomfortable look. 

We put all the rugs and blankets we possessed 
on the beds. There weren't many, as the Germans 
had carried everything off. 

Mareuil, 
Saturday, igfk Decetnber 19 14. 

It has been again a lovely day, the sun shining 
in at all the windows, showing us more distinctly 
even than yesterday all that has been taken. Still 



142 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

we are comfortable enough in our corner, and I 
suppose ought to be thankful that we have anything 
left. 

We had people all the morning asking for warm 
clothes, and looking, I must say, utterly wretched, 
half-starved, and frozen. Our village was not so 
perfectly miserable, but some of the refugees from 
the environs of Soissons and Rheims were in a 
pitiable condition, weary and cold and terror- 
stricken. They had been chased out of their 
villages, their cottages burned, all the old people, 
grandfathers and grandmothers, left to die probably 
on the roadside. Even in our village some people 
have never come back. No one knows what has 
become of them. The children had a frightened 
look in their eyes, which was heartrending to see. 
The mothers didn't complain ; were very grateful 
for anything we gave them, but they all had a 
hopeless expression on their faces, a quiet, half- 
dazed acceptance of the ruin which had come upon 
them. 

We breakfasted early and started for La Ferte 
before 10 o'clock (we had to have sauf-conduits 
from the mayor) in the tapissiere of Bourgeois, 
the grocer — a most primitive vehicle, a cart with 
a canvas cover, no springs, and very hard, narrow 
seats. The cover was so low that Charlotte had 
to take off her hat and hang it on a nail on one 
side of the curtain. The road looked exactly the 
same as when I was here the last time — nothing 
passing but military autos, a few officers riding. 
At Bourneville there is a sentry-box just outside 
the gate; a service de ravitaillement is stationed 
there. 



DISTRIBUTION OF GIFTS 143 

There was a good deal of movement at La 
Ferte\ soldiers, cannon, and munition-wagons 
everywhere. We went first to the Presbytere to 
see the abbe. He wasn't at home, but we saw his 
sister, and asked her to tell him we hoped he would 
come and lunch with us on Monday. Then we 
went to the Hotel- Dieu and left a good package of 
clothes and wool with the sisters. The old Mere 
Superieure, who has been there for forty years, 
was so pleased to see us — told the boys she 
remembered their father when he was a baby in 
long clothes. She gave them a German knapsack 
which they were delighted to have, as they are 
making a collection of all the German war material 
they can find to make a musee de guerre. 

It was lovely coming home; except for the 
unnatural quiet — not a sound, no children playing 
on the road. The cure came to dinner with a 
supplementary list, and we worked hard all the 
evening. It was not easy to sort and mark all the 
garments. The boys helped at first, sitting on the 
floor among the heaps of blankets, rolling them 
and pinning on tickets until they were dropping 
with sleep ! 

We have only two bedrooms. I have one, my 
own room, and Charlotte and the boys are next to 
me. We moved two beds into the room, and they 
are quite comfortable. 

MAREUIL, Sunday, 20//1 December. 

We have made our distribution, and I think 
have not only given pleasure, but encouraged the 
people. We went to church this morning and the 
cure announced from the pulpit that there would 



144 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

be a distribution of warm clothes at the chateau 
— to which every child in Mareuil was bidden, 
also the girls and young men still in the village. 
He hoped they would all assemble quietly and 
punctually in the courtyard, at a quarter to 3, 
directly after vespers. 

We had cleared the dining-room, taken every- 
thing, carpet, chairs, and tables, out of it, then 
opened the folding-doors into the fumoir, and 
put a table across. Charlotte stood in the fumoir 
behind the table. On one side there was a pile 
of clothes which Mme. G. passed to her, telling 
her the names. On the other, two large baskets 
filled with cakes and chocolates which our maid 
and the little lingere from the village distributed. 
We couldn't undertake a gouter with hot chocolate 
and brioches. We hadn't any cups and saucers 
except the few we had brought down with us, 
and we couldn't have found a hundred in the 
whole village. 

By 2.30 the courtyard was filled with children 
and their mothers. In fact the whole village — 
but we only allowed the children inside. 

First came the schoolboys, marshalled by the 
cure\ (The schoolmaster is mobilised, but a 
youth of nineteen comes every day from a village 
near and takes the class.) The boys were rather 
shy and awkward ; didn't say much, but I think 
they were pleased. Every one got a pair of 
trousers or warm cape with a hood, like what they 
all wear here. The little ones got a suit, and all 
got two cakes and a big piece of chocolate. Then 
came the schoolgirls led by the schoolmistress and 
her adjointe — about a hundred. They, too, got 



GIFTS FOR THE CHILDREN 1 45 

each one a dress, cloak, or warm petticoat. Then 
they trooped out, and another hundred arrived 
— boys and girls mixed — mostly little waifs and 
strays — not schoolchildren ; and at the same time 
young - mothers with babies in their arms. Then 
there was a fine pandemonium. The women 
talked, the babies cried ; various children whose 
names were on the list didn't appear, and there 
were several quite unknown children, refugees, or 
from the neighbouring hamlets, who had heard 
of the distribution. They were in rags, sorely 
needed clothes, and all got something. 

Then came boys and girls from twelve to 
seventeen. Some of the boys looked like men, so 
tall and broad. C. said she felt quite shy offering 
them chocolate and cakes, but they all took them. 

It was after 5 when the distribution was over. 
C. was very tired, having stood ever since break- 
fast. She did it very prettily and graciously. 
She knew all the children, having had them in the 
garden all the month of August. She had organised 
a garderie, where the children could come every 
day while their mothers were working in the fields, 
getting in the harvest. They had games for the 
little ones, and the older girls worked at socks 
or shirts for soldiers. 

The cure announced that the blankets for the 
old women would only be distributed the next 
day, also the wool for the tricoteuses, who were 
told to come at 10 o'clock Monday morning. 

The children had all remained in the courtyard, 
and there was a fine noise of clattering sabots and 
shrill little voices. The air in the dining-room, 
with the smell of muddy boots and damp clothes, 



146 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

was something awful. We opened all the windows 
wide, and dined in the fumoir. 

We heard the cannon all the afternoon. 



Mareuil, Monday, 2 isf December. 

Charlotte had her tricoteuses this morning- 
early — about twenty. Of course we supplied the 
needles and wool, which was carefully weighed, 
each woman receiving the same quantity. Some 
of the older ones knew how to knit socks, but 
the younger ones were a little unwilling — could 
make cache-nez, but that we absolutely refused. 
Charlotte was very severe with them ; told them 
she didn't know either how to knit stockings until 
the war, but she had learned, and now made all 
her husband's socks. One of the ladies of the 
village said any woman who wanted a lesson 
could come to her any day between 1 and 2, and 
she would help her- — and Charlotte left a sock as 
a model. 

The Abbe" Detigne, cure" de la Ferte, came to 
breakfast, and was most interesting. He is a 
very clever, cultivated man, a good earnest priest, 
devoted to his church, but very large-minded, 
understanding beliefs he doesn't share, and never 
intolerant. He behaved splendidly all through 
the German occupation. They had Germans for 
ten days at La Ferte\ Almost all the official 
people- — Conseil Municipal, percepteur — went 
away. The mayor was arrested at once, kept in 
prison, and the cure and one conseiller municipal 
had all the responsibility. He said on the whole 
they behaved well ; but their revolvers were always 



PRINCE EITEL FRITZ 147 

pointed at one if there was the slightest discussion 
or delay. 

They began by asking" a ransom of frs. 20,000 — 
which the little town couldn't possibly pay. The 
cure asked for a little patience, said he would 
do what he could, and, escorted by four German 
soldiers with fixed bayonets, made the round of 
the town, knocking at every door. He got frs. 
7000 — with which they were satisfied. He had 
soldiers at the Presbytere and in his churches 
(there are two fine old churches at La Ferte), 
which he asked them to respect, and they did ; 
remained at the bottom of the church, didn't go 
up to the high altar. He thought once or twice 
his last hour had come when some of the officers 
either didn't understand all he said (though he 
said most of them spoke French well), or were not 
satisfied. Instantly the revolver was pointed at 
him, and a curt order given to the men. He 
waited calmly and bravely, merely thinking that, 
if he was to be shot, he would ask to be shot on 
the Calvaire, the cross near the woods — which we 
all know well — have often sat and rested on the 
steps after a walk in the woods — until he heard 
the welcome words: "Vous etes libre, Monsieur 
le Cure." 

The last day, while the soldiers were getting 
ready to start, a young officer came in whom 
he hadn't seen before. He saw at once that he 
was a personage. The men seemed petrified. He 
gave a few instructions, then turned to the cure, 
drew up an armchair and sat down, saying : 
"Causons un peu, Monsieur le Cure" ("Let us 
have a chat"), and instantly plunged into a 



148 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

discussion on the war. "What do you think of 
the war, M. le Cure?" " Monsieur, what do you 
expect a priest to say? A war is a wicked thing." 

' Yes, but war is war, and you would have it. We 
didn't want the war." Then turning to his men : 

' That is true, isn't it, my men ? We Germans 
didn't want the war; it was forced upon us." 
There was a growl of assent from the men. He 
then continued: "War always brings horrors, 
and misery. Have you any complaints to make 
of my men?" "None whatever; they respected 
my church, didn't molest the women and children." 

' I am glad to hear you say that, M. le CureV' 
Then he got up and put out his hand, saying, 

'Au revoir"; but that was too much for the 
abbe\ ' That, Madame, I could not do — give my 
hand to a German. I stood up, looked him full 
in the face, and made the salut militaire. He 
stepped back, hesitated a moment, and then gave 
the military salute, very stiffly, saying, "Je vous 
comprend?, Monsieur l'Abbe," turned on his heel, 
and left the room. 

He heard afterward that it was Prince Eitel 
Fritz, whom he had never seen — the first time in 
his life, probably, that any one had refused his 
hand. 

The boys, of course, sat speechless, their eyes 
fixed on the abbe. He told us hundreds of details 
too long to write ; but said there were no atrocities 
nor violence of any kind at La Ferte\ though in 
some of the farms and villages near awful things 
had been done — but he personally had not seen 
any acts of cruelty. He has certainly made a fine 
record. When the war is over, all his friends will 



GRATITUDE OF THE PEOPLE 149 

try to have some public recognition of what he 
has done for La Ferte. 

After he had gone Charlotte and the boys went 
to the poste des gendarmes, and gave them what 
we had left in the way of socks. Just as we were 
starting for the train we had the visit of an officer 
du train de ravitaillement, to thank us for what 
we had sent his men. He told us he was the 
firbt person to come into our house after the 
Germans had left, and that no words could 
describe the filth. His men put things into a 
little order, and picked up and put in drawers 
some of the papers that were lying about. 

Among other things that the Germans took 
was all the writing-paper stamped " Mareuil-sur- 
Ourcq, Oise." I had just got over a lot from 
England. One wouldn't think that would be 
very useful in Germany! 

The cure came in after dinner, and we made 
all our arrangements for the women's work, 
sewing and knitting. He says the village is very 
pleased with our coming down — not only the 
material help, but the encouragement. One old 
woman, the widow of a carpenter, who had done 
much work for us, came to say that she would 
cut out the shirts. Her father had been a 
chemisier in the rue de la Paix, and she knew all 
about it ; would also look over the women's work 
and see that it was well done. She wanted no pay 
(at our Paris ouvroir we give a tailor 5 sous for 
cutting out a shirt), was very happy to do that 
for the soldiers. We leave to-morrow, early. 



150 OCTOBER TO DECEMBER, 1914 

Paris, Thursday, 24th December. 

Charlotte and I went out this morning to do 
a little, very little shopping. She won't have a 
Christmas tree, which the boys quite understand. 
" War times " explains everything. But they have 
their creche as usual, as all the animals and rois 
mages are there ; and hung up their stockings — 
one for father, and we will send him a Christmas 
paquet, with a plum-pudding. 

Paris, Christmas Day. 

I went to an American church this morning. 
I felt I must hear " Hark the herald angels sing." 
There was quite a large congregation ; several 
soldiers in uniform. Our dinner was as cheerful 
as it could be under the circumstances. We had 
the Sallandrouzes, Madame and Madeleine, Jean 
and his wife, the W.'s, and C. and the boys. We 
had a small tree in the middle of the table, just 
to mark the day. We tried not to miss Francis 
too awfully ; choked a little when we drank to 
our men at the front. I wonder what next 
Christmas will bring us, and how many places 
will be empty at the Christmas dinner. But we 
mustn't look forward, only be thankful that after 
five months of war none of our men are touched. 

Paris, Sunday, z*]th December. 

It was cold and bright this morning. I went 
to the English church in the rue Auguste 
Vacquerie. I like Mr Cardew so much — always 
stay for his sermons ; they are so simple, suited to 
everybody, and yet so scholarly and thought out. 



THE END OF 1914 151 

Paris, Tuesday, igth December. 

The days are so exactly alike. Time slips 
by without our realising; how fast it goes. The 
English papers are amusing this morning: All 
the Tommies so pleased with their plum-puddings 
and Christmas gift from the Queen and Princess 
Mary. 

I am writing late, just to see the old year out. 
The street is perfectly quiet and dark. No balls, 
no rdveillons. This tragic year finishes in dark- 
ness and silence. Certainly if Paris had become 
too frivolous and pleasure-loving, she is expiating 
it now. The people themselves are so changed. 
They are not sad ; that isn't the w.^rd, but serious, 
engrossed with the men in the ranks and the 
women and children left behind them. 

Paris is caring well for all her children. There 
are ouvroirs and free meals (very good) every- 
where. 



JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

Paris, Saturday, 2nd January 19 15. 

It was bright and cold this morning". I had an 
interesting visit from a Quaker lady, Miss Fellowes, 
whom Sir H. Austin Lee sent me. She has come 
over with friends to do what good they can to the 
civil population of the north of France, and is now 
working" in the department of the Aisne, which 
has been frightfully devastated. Their religion 
forbids them to have anything to do with soldiers, 
or the fighters of the world. They will find much 
suffering and distress in all the country where 
the Germans have passed. 

Paris, Friday, 2>th January. 

To-day is Willy's tenth birthday. We couldn't 
let the day pass without some little rejoicing. 
They didn't want a party or any little friends, 
but he had his cake and candles, and whatever 
money he got was put away for " Papa's soldiers." 
Francis begs us to send clothes and blankets for his 
regiment whenever we can. 

Paris, Sunday, 10th January. 

Still no war news. The communiques are very 
meagre. I suppose it is right not to give too 

152 



GERMAN DEMANDS 153 

many details, but one long's for something: from 
the front. 

Two days ago the Germans bombarded Soissons 
furiously, and tried to advance to our trenches, 
but were beaten back. 

I went to tea this afternoon with the Duchesse 
de T. Only about eight people. Mines, de B. 
and d'A. were there. Neither of them has had 
a line from their chateaux or villages since some 
time in September. Comte de B. remained in his 
chateau — is practically a prisoner there — as he 
has a German general with his staff in his house. 
He would not leave; sent his wife away, but said 
it was his duty to stay in his place and keep his 
village from being burned, and the women and 
children shot. It has been reported once or twice 
that he was shot ; but the news has filtered out 
that he is alive. The Germans told him he might 
write to his family if he would use a German 
stamp, and date his letter " Folambray [the 
name of his village], Deutschland," but that he 
refused absolutely to do. 

In all the countries occupied by the Germans, 
they have established their own post-office, and 
use German stamps. 

The Comtesse d'A.'s chateau is also occupied 
by Germans. None of her family are living there. 
She is a widow, her two sons in the army. 



PARIS, Saturday, \bt/i January 1 9 1 5 . 

We had a nice letter from Francis this morning. 
II' is getting used to the shells; doesn't mind 
them so much. The first two or three times that 



154 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

he carried despatches at night over impossible 
roads, deafened by the cannon — quite dark ; the 
only light the shells bursting all around him — he 
didn't like it much, particularly being alone. 
When there are two of them it doesn't seem so 
awful. 

Paris, Monday, i8t/i January. 

The cure came to breakfast, giving us all the 
Mareuil news. He brought up forty pairs of socks 
our tricoteuses had made, and wanted more wool, 
which we will give him to-morrow, when he goes 
back. He says the village is trying to readjust 
itself and take up its normal life again. If only 
we would come down and settle in the country ; 
but that is not possible. 

I dined quietly with the Segurs. I don't much 
like going out at night ; the streets are so dark and 
empty, but they promised to send me home in 
their auto. They have still no news of Claude 
Perier. They have had a letter from one of his 
men who saw him fall at the head of his company, 
but he thinks he was not killed, only wounded 
and a prisoner. 

We sat in S.'s library (no one opens their big 
rooms) and we two women knitted, and he read 
the paper to us. It would have been a peaceful, 
happy evening if we hadn't been so oppressed 
with the thought of what might still come to us. 

Paris, Saturday, 23rd January, 

It was beautiful this morning. I walked over 
to Mme. de J.'s for lunch. She had Mmes. S. 



A PROCESSION OF SOLDIERS 155 

and M. We all talked war and ouvroir hard. 
The ladies asked me why Francis was not with 
the British army as interpreter, knowing - French 
and English as well as he does. It seems that 
some of the Frenchmen who have gone as in- 
terpreters speak such extraordinary English that 
the British officers can't understand their orders. 

M. d'H. came in after breakfast. He is fright- 
fully chang-ed since the war. His chateau has 
been entirely destroyed — bombarded, burnt, 
pillaged. He and his wife and daughters had just 
time to get away. Mme. d'H. arrived in England 
without a hat. The poor man is almost crazy, 
but puts all the fault on this infect gouvernement 
— but one can't discuss with him. He is quite 
unbalanced for the moment. 

We had a procession of soldiers at the ouvroir, 
starting - for the front and wanting warm clothes. 
There were eight gunners, conducteurs d'automo- 
biles blindes, fine, strong young fellows. All had 
been wounded, but were quite well and eager to 
go back. After them, some reservistes. That 
was rather pitiful, as all had wives and families ; 
some of them looking as if they could not stand 
much hard work. However, the spirit was just 
the same as in the younger men. All quite ready 
to go, and confident that their wives and children 
would be looked after. 

It seems some of the reservistes have developed 
into capital soldiers after four or five months of 
training. 

Francis' captain is a patissier de Montmartre; 
didn't look very military at first, but has become 
a smart, well set-up officer. I think they are all 



156 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

anxious to do well, and prove to their country 
that she can count upon all her sons in her hour of 
need. 

Francis' own position is amusing, as he is only 
a simple soldat ; no rank at all. He can't live with 
the officers ; but when off duty the officers and 
men all call him Monsieur Waddington, and the 
Colonel invites him to breakfast. 



Paris, Friday, 29M January 191 5. 

We didn't have many people at the ouvroir. 
Mmes. Seilliere et Simeon — the last always most 
interesting. Francis couldn't get her any news 
of her house at Rheims. They haven't been 
allowed to go there lately, as the Germans shell 
the town furiously every now and then. 

Our stuffs are giving out, and our poor women 
increasing in number. Some of them look too 
awful, half starved and half clothed. I didn't like 
to ask one poor thing who came with two children, 
both practically babies, four weeks and one year 
old, if she had any clothes on under her dress — I 
don't think she had. She knew nothing of her 
husband ; had had no news since the beginning of 
December. 

We must start a Women and Children's 
Department — and have ordered from London a 
thousand yards of flannel and a thousand of cotton. 
We get it quickly enough. It is sent over through 
the British Red Cross direct to us at the ouvroir. 

The Tiffanys and Charlotte dined. C. had an 
interesting letter from Francis. He is getting 
accustomed to the shells, learns how to dodge 



QUAKERS 157 

them, but says the heavy cannonading- is terrific 
— seems to take his head off. 

Tiffany is always interesting - , as he sees so 
many business men, both British and Americans ; 
says there is no doubt of the American sympathy 
for the Allies, though they are struggling' to remain 
neutral. . . . 

Paris, Sunday, 31s f January. 

The Quakers came to see me at the ouvroir 
to-day ; they couldn't say enough of the Abbe" 
Detigne, our cure of La Fert6-Milon, and all he 
had done for them. They were obliged to give 
up the farmhouse they had taken between St 
Quentin and Soissons (it was too near the firing- 
line), and had established themselves at La Ferte\ 
They have spent a great deal of money, and have 
distributed many clothes and blankets to the 
miserable people of the pays envahis. They don't 
do any hospital work, care exclusively for the civil 
population. They don't wear the Quaker dress, 
and don't use the "thou" and "thee" that I 
remember as a child in some parts of America. 
But the women have earnest, gentle faces. They 
left us quite a large order. Of course we are 
delighted to sell a little. We have sent off so 
many paquets militaires that our funds are getting 
low. 

Rue de la Pompe, 
Paris, Tuesday, 2nd February 1915. 

Charlotte and I took our paquet for Francis to 
the Invalides this morning, which was accepted at 
onco. The last one was refused. We heard the 



158 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1916 

explanation later. We took over two enormous 
paquets one day, much over the regulation size, 
but as we said they were clothes and blankets for 
the soldiers, they took them. It is much the best 
way to send packages, as they go through in one 
day by the military autos. All we send by rail, 
goes first to Caen, the d£pot of the regiment, and 
from there to Francis, near Rheims, which makes 
an enormous loss of time. When there are any 
eatables (he clamours for green vegetables and 
fruit) the trajet is long. 

It seems that the two big packages, instead of 
being delivered to Francis at his regimental bureau, 
were sent to the Division Headquarters, and 
dumped in the General's anteroom. He went 
into a rage at seeing these packages for " Soldat 
Waddington" in his anteroom; and an aide-de- 
camp, a friend of Francis, motored over in hot 
haste to Francis to see what it meant. Francis 
was much disgusted, and explained that the ballots 
contained clothes and blankets for the regiment, 
sent by his mother from her ouvroir. The aide-de- 
camp said he would make that all right, and started 
off for Headquarters. He reappeared with the 
ballots and a message of thanks from the General, 
and the hope that Mme. Waddington would send 
some more warm clothes for the men. But in the 
meantime, the young officer at the Invalides had 
been hauled over the coals probably. All's well 
that ends well, however ; and now they take our 
packages. 



THE AMERICAN CLEARING-HOUSE 159 

Paris, Thursday, 4th February. 

I didn't stay long at the ouvroir, as I was going 
to dine with the W.'s at their hotel. Two nice 
people came to their salon after dinner — a M. 
Perritet and his mother. He is from New Orleans, 
speaks French well, and goes often to the front, to 
a hospital organised by Mine, de P., n£e MacMahon 
(the Marshal's daughter). He is going again soon, 
and expects to take a great many things. 

He says the American Clearing- House is 
wonderfully filled with every imaginable thing, 
from bedsteads to boxes of Quaker oats. 

It was a bright, cold moonlight night. W. 
walked home with me. The streets are perfectly- 
dark and deserted. A footfall on one of the 
narrow streets quite startles one. I think ours is 
the darkest of all. Hardly any one has come back. 
There are no lights in the houses, and only one 
lamp at the bottom of the street. 

PARIS, Saturday, 6th February. 

I was rather tired at the ouvroir to-day. There 
were so many women, and they all talked so much, 
and knew so much ; apparently every one had 
constant and confidential communications from 
General Joffre. 

I met Henry Outrey at the door and told him 
he must take me somewhere for a cup of tea. I 
was tired with so much female conversation. 
Outrey is working at the Croix Rouge ; goes 
three or four times a week to the station at 
Aubervilliers, near Paris, where the trains of 



>, 



160 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

wounded soldiers arrive. They stop there to have 
their wounds dressed. There is a hospital on the 
quay. The Red Cross nurses always there. He 
stays all night (so do the women), and says the 
sights are awful ; some of the men too badly hurt 
to go on are taken out of the train and laid on 
mattresses or piles of straw, on the quay, until 
they can be attended to. They never complain ; 
try to smile and thank when any one brings them 
a bowl of soup or a cup of hot coffee. 

Henry says they are terrible objects, their 
uniforms filthy with dust and blood, which stiffens 
on the thick cloth of their capotes, unwashed, 
unshaven. I suppose one must go on to the bitter 
end ; but I ask myself sometimes, if it is worth 
the frightful sacrifice of life. I often stop at the 
church of St Philippe du Roule on my way home. 
Already there are so many women in deep 
mourning — what will it be later? 

Paris, Tuesday, gt/i February. 

Mme. Thenard (de la Comedie-Francaise) gave 
a conference on Deroulede this afternoon at the 
ouvroir. She is always interesting, and though 
she has lost her wonderful voice, she uses such 
beautiful language and speaks with so much 
emotion that the audience, quite numerous, was 
moved to tears. She recited the Clairon, and 
wound up with an appeal to the women of France 
to lead more earnest, simple lives. Men are what 
women make them, and the mothers and wives 
have a terrible responsibility in these awful days. 
There was a wounded officer in the audience, just 



MR GERARD AT BERLIN 161 

from the Yser, with his arm in a sling-, and a 
Belgian boy scout sixteen years old, who had been 
nineteen times through the enemy's lines, and had 
been decorated by the King' of the Belgians, who 
pinned his medal himself on his coat. He was, 
of course, surrounded and questioned after the 
conference, but looked very shy and uncomfortable 
on finding himself the object of general attention 
However, I don't think any one kissed him, which 
sometimes happens in these emotional days. 



Paris, Thursday, nth February. 

There is startling news this morning. Gerard, 
U.S. Ambassador, insulted at a Berlin theatre — 
most angry, hostile demonstration. Of course we 
have it only in the papers. It may be exaggerated. 
I can't think that Germany wants to quarrel with 
America. It would be about the last blunder she 
could make. 

I don't know Mr Gerard, but I hear that he is 
a cool, clever lawyer, who would resent the least 
slight to America. 

Paris, Friday, 12th February. 

We were busy all the afternoon at the ouvroir, 
making paquets militaires. We sent off a good 
one to Mme. Machery, the "Mayor of Soissons." 
My husband knew Soissons well in earlier years 
when he was Senator for the Aisne. Mme. M. 
has shown wonderful courage ever since the war 
broke out, and for the last two or three days there 
have been appeals in the papers for the refugees, 
who are leaving it en masse. Half the town is in 



162 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

ashes. Such a typical old French cathedral town, 
with its broad, quiet streets, with old-fashioned 
houses behind high walls — the beautiful ruins of 
the St Jean des Vignes — and on market-days the 
main street and hotel (the "Cheval Blanc") 
crowded with farmers and country people. What 
all that country will look like when the Germans 
finally retreat one can't imagine ; they will certainly 
burn and destroy all they can. It will take years 
to restore any kind of trade or prosperity. 



Mareuil, 
Saturday, \^th February 1915. 

We got down yesterday at 2.30. The boys 
had a holiday for Mardi Gras, and of course 
wanted to come to Mareuil. It was a cold, boring 
journey. We had the same long wait at Ormoy, 
but we did not mind it so much this time as the 
station was crowded with soldiers. Two military 
trains with dragoons and cuirassiers arrived just 
after us ; all of them, officers, men, and horses, 
looked very well and cheerful. They had come 
from Amiens ; hadn't had much fighting yet, and 
were on their way to the front. They didn't know 
where. The little station was in an uproar at 
once. The officers asked for papers. There were 
none at the station, nor at the cafe just across the 
road, so we told the boys to give ours, which they 
accepted gladly. 

The fatigue-dress of some of the officers was 
most remarkable — brown corduroy breeches, a 
khaki coat — and one big, rather red-faced man had 
a knitted polo-cap, green and yellow, on his head. 



MAREUIL IN WAR-TIME 163 

The country looked still very desolate, and the 
work of repairing goes very slowly ; but there was 
a little more movement — some women in the 
fields, one with a plough and a donkey, trying to 
turn up the ground a little. Soldiers, of course, 
everywhere. Even the little country line from 
Ormoy to Mareuil is strictly guarded, particularly 
at all bridges and tunnels. I think they must be 
afraid of spies still, for no troops pass on that line. 

We found the house fairly comfortable. Mme. 
Gaillard had received our letters, and she and 
Lucie had worked hard to make the rooms habit- 
able, collecting all the whole chairs and tables from 
all over the house. It was not oppressively hot, 
though there were fires in our rooms and the big 
stove in the hall was lighted — but as we cannot 
get any coal, of course we can have no great heat 
with the very small pieces of wood they send 
from the usine. 

We found quite a pile of shirts, drawers, and 
socks in the lingerie — really very well made ; the 
socks much better than we expected. There were 
two or three pairs that were a little eccentric as 
to shape — heels a little wide — but I fancy our 
poor soldiers in their trenches, half full of water, 
won't be very particular as to shapes, so long as 
they have something warm to put on. 

We have very few Belgians in the village, 
though we are so near the frontier, and they are 
all very quiet and grateful for whatever is done 
for them. In Paris, we heard complaints. At 
one big Belgian ouvroir the refugees declined the 
clothes that were given to them, wanted to go to 
the vestiaire and choose for themselves. 



164 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

Mareuil, 
Sunday, i^th February 1915. 

It was lovely to-day — a bright sun. It was so 
cold in the church we had to change our seats, 
and even then could hardly stay. A large pane 
of glass is out in the window just over our pew, 
and there is no glass in the country, and no work- 
man to put it in if there was any. 

We took a long walk after breakfast through 
the big quarries on the La Fert£ road, coming out 
on the Montigny hill. We had the fields to our- 
selves. Not a soul to be seen. The quarries are 
enormous, stretching far into the woods, and one 
can understand perfectly how strongly the Germans 
are intrenched in the Soissons quarries, which we 
stupidly and thoughtlessly put at the disposal of 
a delightful German en civil (some people say it 
was General von Kluck), who settled some time 
in Soissons. He took a house there, made him- 
self charming to all the inhabitants, rode all over 
the country, and finally obtained permission to 
grow mushrooms in the quarries. Of course, as 
one looks back now, our naivete seems colossal, 
to use the German's pet word. 

They have carried off many French women and 
children, who live with them in the quarries, cook 
for them, and go into Soissons to buy food, the 
Germans threatening them with terrible reprisals 
if they don't come back, keeping their children 
as hostages. One of the difficult questions after 
the war will be what to do with the German babies 
born in the trenches. One Belgian priest said 
from the pulpit that they ought to be killed at 
once, or not allowed to be born ; but I suppose 



EXPELLED VILLAGERS 165 

one can't resort to such drastic measures. They 
will be allowed to live probably, but sent to the 
"Assistance Publique," and then to the colonies. 
It was warm walking, and the sunset lovely. 
The cure came to dinner and told us more details 
of their wanderings, which seem already ancient 
history — events have gone so quickly since. He 
told us that for nights after their return to Mareuil, 
he couldn't sleep ; all night he heard the trample 
of cattle and the roll of heavy cart wagons on the 
hard roads. He said the women were wonderful. 
Many of the farmers' wives led their caravan of 
women, children, and beasts. The village travelled 
for days alongside of one large, well-known farm. 
The fermiere led the procession in a cabriolet with 
an old horse the Germans didn't think worth 
taking ; beside her an equally old contremaitre 
(overseer) ; oxen, cows, sheep, and geese directly 
behind. Then a train of farm-wagons filled with 
women and children. When they came to a 
carrefour (a square place where several roads 
meet), she made signs to her troupeau (flock) with 
a red parasol 'over the top of her cabriolet. 
They halted at night — all drawn up on one side 
of the road, and she and her contremaitre went off 
to see if they could find food or shelter in a hamlet 
or farm — happy if they could be taken in, in a 
barn or a wood-shed. My poor women slept two 
nights in a field under the hay-stacks. 



MAREUIL, Monday, \$th February 

It was an awful morning, hail and frozen snow 
;ind an icy wind. We all shivered even with our 



166 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

coats on, and an expedition to La Ferte seemed 
impossible ; but it cleared up bright and mild at 
1 2 o'clock, and we started directly after breakfast 
— always in Bourgeois's tapissiere — the only 
available vehicle. Charlotte, remembering her 
last experience, when she had to hang her hat on 
a nail on the side, had put on a soft felt with only 
a ribbon around the crown, and we all managed 
to get in and jolted along very uncomfortably. 
We met nothing on the road until we got to 
Marolles. There we fell in with an army of 
autobuses and big lorries, taking up the whole 
road and making it very difficult for us to pass. 
It was the service de ravitaillement. Their head- 
quarters are at the Chateau de Bourneville and 
La Ferte\ There were three hundred lorries at 
La Ferte. They radiate from there in all direc- 
tions. The town was crowded with soldiers and 
officers. 

We didn't see the Abbe Detigne. He wasn't 
at home, and his sister didn't know where to look 
for him. We went to see one of our friends, Mr C, 
and rang a loud peal at the door-bell, not observing 
— as the door was wide open — that a notice was 
posted up : " E tat- Major." 

There were one or two soldiers in the court- 
yard, and two officers came running up to ask 
what we wanted. We explained that we wanted 
to pay a visit to Mr C. They said he was not 
there, and that the staff were occupying his house 
— but wouldn't we come in and pay them a visit, 
and what could they do for us ? That we declined, 
but talked to them a little while, and asked them 
if there was any news. We met them again as 



GERMANS AT LA FERTE 167 

we were talking- to some of the lorry-drivers, who 
told us the lorries were all American, marvellously 
light and easily managed ; turned so well in the 
narrow streets- They were evidently very curious 
to know who we were, suddenly appearing in La 
Ferte, where certainly no femmes du monde were 
to be seen in these days. One of them made 
friends with Frank, and carried him off to his 
rooms over the barber's to get some chocolate. 
They brought out a box of Marquis chocolates 
and distributed them freely to us all, filling the 
boys' pockets. 

We had gouter at the Sauvage — very good 
chocolate, cafe au lait, bread and butter and jam, 
but none of the cakes for which the house was 
famous in the old days. The son of the house, 
who is an excellent pastry-cook, is at the front. 
Mme. Thomas was so pleased to see us, telling the 
boys she remembered their father quite well when 
he was much smaller than they. She wouldn't 
let us pay anything, brought in the gouter herself, 
and sat at the table with us and talked. She just 
remembered '70, and seeing the Germans in La 
Ferte. However, she said they behaved well 
this time, paid for what they took, and did not 
molest the women and children. 

We went into all the shops, buying what we 
could, and hearing each one's experience during- 
the German occupation. They really didn't suffer 
very much. They had time to hide money 
and valuables of every kind, as the British passed 
through twenty-four hours before the Germans, 
and told them they were coming. It was more 
the dread of what might happen. Some of the 

M 



168 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

people left, and their houses were sacked, but 
nothing- was done to those who remained. 

One of our friends left her cook in her house. 
The woman preferred staying - . When the Germans 
arrived, the officer in command sent for her, ordered 
all doors to be opened, and asked her where her 
mistress was ; knew all about her, that she was 
a widow living - alone with her servants. When 
the cook answered that she had gone away, he 
said she was wrong. "We don't hurt women and 
children." The cook replied indignantly : "Perhaps 
you don't hurt them, you kill them ! " Upon which 
she was told to hold her tongue and leave the 
room. 

We left about 4.30. It was curious to hear 
such a racket of military life in the quiet little 
town — a continual rumbling of heavy munition 
and provision autos, small detachments of cavalry, 
every now and then a military auto filled with 
officers dashing full speed through the narrow 
street ; men carrying large marmites of soup and 
baskets of bread, and girls standing at the doors, 
laughing and talking with the soldiers. I rather 
tremble for the morals of La Ferte with so many 
g-ood-looking young soldiers about, but it is difficult 
to do anything: "On ne peut rien refuser au 
soldat! " is the phrase on everybody's lips. 

We were decidedly exhausted when we got 
home, cramped and stiff from sitting so long on the 
hard, narrow seats of the tapissiere. The village 
was perfectly dark — only a light flashed for a 
moment on the bayonet of the guard at the bridge, 
who stopped us to see if we had our pass. 



OUR DEVASTATED GARDEN 1(39 

MAREUIL, Mardi Gras, i6/7/ February. 

It has been a bright, beautiful day. One could 
hardly believe it after the cold rain and hail of 
yesterday. We walked about the garden in the 
morning — if garden it can be called, All the lawns 
and flower-beds have been dug' up. The house 
stands in the middle of ploughed fields. We are 
debating what we shall plant — potatoes and beans, 
I think, so that we can have our vegetables in 
winter, as well as improve the earth. They say 
potatoes purify the soil, and perhaps next year, if 
the war is over, we can have new lawns, but we 
shan't do anything to the house and garden until 
the Germans are out of France — when ? 

After breakfast, we walked up the Montigny 
hill. The boys wanted to see what was left of a 
German aeroplane which had caught fire and 
burned on the hillside. The sun was really too 
hot on our backs. We had to take our coats off. 
As we were passing a field where a very old man, 
with a very old horse, was ploughing, he called out 
to us. We couldn't hear what he said, thought he 
wanted something, and told the boys to run across 
the field to see. They raced off as fast as they 
could, talked to him for a few moments, then 
dashed up the hill across the ploughed field. We 
saw them poking at something with their sticks ; 
then they came galloping back with red cheeks 
and eyes shining with excitement, calling out to 
us: 'Mother, Danny, come and see; there is a 
dead Boche up there ; they have just turned him 
up with the plough." We were silent for a moment, 
declining their proposal to go and see ; and then 



170 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

Charlotte said: "Ah, think, boys, perhaps some- 
where in Germany, far away, a mother and her 
two boys are walking along the road, just like us 
to-day, talking - of the father whom they may never 
see again." The boys were not in the least moved 
— -rather surprised. "Why, mother, it is only a 
Boche" — as if it were a rat. I suppose all the 
ugly sights they have seen, bridges and houses 
blown up, and the quantities of miserable, half- 
starved, half-clothed children, have hardened their 
childish hearts. I wonder if all this will have an 
effect upon the mentality of the young generation. 
Will they grow up hard and cruel? 

There are many Germans buried in the fields 
around us, quite close to the surface. Sometimes 
one sees a rustic cross made of sticks, sometimes a 
stick standing straight up, just to mark the spot. 
There will be thousands of those lonely soldier 
graves all over France. 

We found the wreck of the aeroplane on the 
top of the hill. There wasn't much left — some 
linen and bits of steel which the boys carried away 
as a souvenir. 

Souvenir makes me think of the British troops. 
They carried off a good many things, but I 
suppose all soldiers do. Their reasoning was 
simple, logical : ' Nous prenons souvenir ; si 
prenons pas, Allemands prennent ! " The Germans 
were about twenty-four hours behind them. 

It was lovely sitting on the hillside; the sun 
through the trees making little patterns of light on 
the white roads, and the beautiful valley of the 
Ourcq stretching away into the blue distance ; it 
should have been a peaceful, happy scene, but 



A LOOTED HOUSE 171 

the country is quite deserted ; no passing, no 
workers in the fields, nor children playing- about 
while their mothers worked. A cloud of sadness 
hovers over everything 1 , and we always hear the 
dull, steady growl of the cannon, which means 
mourning and anguish for so many of us. 

It seems centuries since I galloped over those 
hills with YV., listening to his recollections of '70, 
and the first time he saw a Pickelhaube (German 
helmet) appearing in the twilight at the window of 
his library at Bourneville — a disagreeable moment. 

We were rather tired after our scramble up the 
hill, and didn't have a very long evening. The 
fumoir is perfectly comfortable, heats easily, even 
with the modest wood-fires, but it looks bare and 
strange ; no sign of habitation, nothing but the 
newspapers and our work. 

We always have socks and jerseys on hand. 

Mareuil, 
Ash Wednesday, 17M February. 

We have had a cold, raw day, which we didn't 
expect after the beautiful summer afternoon yester- 
day. The night, too, was beautiful, bright starlight. 
I love a starlight night in the country ; the stars 
always seem so much nearer than in town. 

It didn't rain, so we turned the boys loose in 
the garden, and made a depressing and exhausting 
tour of the upstairs rooms, missing something at 
every turn. The wardrobe where we keep our 
reserve of poor clothes had been opened, and 
everything taken. We both of us feel so strongly 
that our house has been soiled, can never be the 
same to us again. I hope the feeling will pass. 



172 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

We have been so fond of our quiet country home 
— have had so many happy hours there. Perhaps 
when the war is over and Francis comes home, 
it will be different. 

We decided to move the best furniture and 
trunks, boxes, etc., into two of the rooms and lock 
them. I don't think we shall have any more 
Germans. We are not on their way home ; but 
perhaps British and French. One must be pre- 
pared for any surprises. 

The Abbe Detigne came to breakfast. It 
seemed almost the old times to see his little cart 
coming to the gate. He was, as usual, most in- 
teresting. He was amusing over a "belle dame 
de la Croix Rouge," who came down to La Fert£ 
to take charge of an ambulance established in the 
Ecole Maternelle. She looked very nice in her 
infirmiere dress, and gave a great many orders, 
and didn't find any of the arrangements satisfac- 
tory ; but she wouldn't touch a wounded soldier, 
neither wash him nor dress his wounds, nor take 
off his rags — for clothes they could hardly be 
called — when the poor fellows were just out of 
the trenches, or had been lying for days on straw 
in a shed, waiting to be taken to a hospital. 
Whenever there was a badly wounded man or a 
fever patient, she wanted him sent to the Hotel- 
Dieu, where the poor sisters had more than they 
could attend to ; when the abbe" and the mayor 
remonstrated the lady's husband appeared on the 
scene, saying : " Ma femme n'est pas habitude a 
retirer les chaussettes des pieds sales d'un soldat, 
ni de leur laver les pieds ! " Then their patience 
gave out. They had the sick and wounded men 



MONSIEUR PROFIT 173 

wrapped up in blankets and carried them off to 
the Hotel-Dieu, where the sisters gave up their 
refectoire and lingerie — and then the authorities 
closed the hospital. 

We gave the abbe some warm shirts and 
drawers, and said we would go and see them the 
next time he came down. 

The Croix Rouge has done and is doing such 
splendid work that one is sorry such disagreeable 
incidents occur ; but of course in all large societies 
there must be all kinds, and alongside of some of 
the volunteer nurses who have given their time 
and their strength, and sometimes their lives, 
there are women who only want the notoriety and 
right to wear the nurse's dress, which is becoming. 
The poor abbe was quite put out. 

While we were at breakfast they brought us 
the news that Mr Profit, a young farmer of the 
village, was wounded; they said, "grievement 
blesse." It will be a great loss if he is killed, as 
he is one of the best men in Mareuil, has had a 
very good education, and has travelled a little. 

I was quite surprised when he dined with us 
<>ne night when the Bishop of Beauvais was staying 
with us, to hear how easily and intelligently he 
talked. They are a family of perfectly respectable, 
well-to-do farmers, who have big farms in this part 
of the country. I have often heard it said that the 
Profits could walk from Mareuil to Paris without 
going off their own ground. 

We went to see Mine. Profit after the abbe 
went. She was very agitated, but brave and 
helpful ; was going off at once. We went after- 
ward to see the miller's wife, also one of our 



174 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

friends. They had had Germans in their house, 
but they hadn't done much harm ; drank up all 
the wine they could find (they had hidden their 
best), and carried off blankets and coverlids. 

Our cure came to dinner, as we are leaving 
to-morrow morning early, and we spent all our 
evening making lists and prices of the work to 
be done. We had brought down several pieces of 
stuff which we left with Mme. Gaillard to be cut 
out and given to the women, we also weighed the 
wool so that each woman might have the same 
amount for her stockings. 

We leave to-morrow morning at g o'clock, and 
by the Est, this time taking the military road, 
which will be very interesting as it was made to 
suit the convenience of the army, and passes 
recklessly, they tell us, through gardens, farm- 
yards, and orchards. 



Paris, Thursday, i%th February*. 

We got back this morning from Mareuil, taking 
the military line as far as Tr6port ; it was made 
apparently with an absolute disregard of people's 
property, running through farmyards, orchards, 
gardens, sometimes close down to the river, some- 
times close under the windows of a small manoir. 
Soldiers still working on it, and keeping the 
rickety little wooden bridges in order. We went 
naturally very slowly — a light train. They say 
all military roads go straight from one point to 
another, and this one is certainly no exception to 
the rule. 

I found H. rather anxious, as people had told 



THE DARDANELLES 175 

her we could not get back for several days, for 
there was a great movement of troops and cannon 
on the Chemin de Fer de 1'Est. We couldn't tele- 
graph her (the telegraph only works for the military 
authorities), and our letters arrived after us. 



Paris, Saturday, 20th February 191-, 

There is news this morning. Yesterday the 
allied fleets, French and British, appeared sud- 
denly in the Dardanelles and began shelling the 
Turkish forts. It was a great surprise to the 
general public. The move was so quietly made. 
I am afraid they have a difficult task before them ; 
still, in the end, Constantinople must fall, and 
there will be one of the many difficult problems 
to solve when the war is over. 

This is always a busy day at the ouvroir. The 
women bring back their work and ask for more. 
We had, too, a good many soldiers. 

We like it much better when the men come for 
their paquets. Then we are sure that they get 
them. So many people complain that the packages 
they send never arrive at their destination. 

It is amusing to see Mrs M., who is a tall, 
handsome woman, measuring the men across the 
chest, to see if the shirt and jerseys are broad 
enough. 

I went for a few minutes to the American 
rectory to see Mrs Watson. I found her in her 
Belgian room at the ouvroir. It was piled high 
with cases and packages of every description. 
She is doing an immense amount of good, helping 
so many people. 



176 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

Paris, Tuesday, 2 ^rd February. 

The days are all alike, but somehow or other 
the time passes. There is a lull in the fighting-. 
Every one predicts fierce struggles with the 
advance of spring and the mild weather. Until 
the Germans get out of France I can't feel quite 
happy. I don't see how they are ever to get them 
out of the trenches near Soissons. Report says 
the trenches will be blown up by the British. The 
French can't, as there are many of their women 
and children in them. 

Some one read aloud at the ouvroir to-day 
some letters filled with German atrocities. I 
suppose some things are true, but they can't 
have committed all the horrors laid to their 
charge. 

I dined quietly with the S£gurs, with our old 
friends the Savoyes. No one dresses ; the men 
wear smoking or redingote, with black ties, the 
women high dresses. S6gur had seen some one 
at the club — a diplomat — who had just come back 
from Berlin. He said the city was absolutely nor- 
mal. Shops and theatres open ; streets well lighted ; 
plenty of people walking about, almost cheerful. 
He had a very good dinner at one of the good 
restaurants. There were several German officers 
in uniform dining. He thought they were attached 
to the War Office in Berlin. He didn't see any 
black bread, nor any want of white. Said the 
soldiers and people certainly had black bread, but 
that didn't mean anything, as the German peasant 
always eats black bread. 



A WOUNDED SOLDIER 177 

Paris, Sunday, ph March. 

It was cold and rainy this afternoon, a day to 
stay at home by the fire. We dined early, 7.30, 
so that Willy could come down and dine with his 
mother. Ever since his father said good-bye to 
him at Aulnay, when he was starting for the front, 
and told him he must be a big" boy and take care 
of his mother, he has felt a great responsibility. 
He misses his father awfully, like all of us ; but we 
try to be brave, though the sight of the young 
men walking about with legs and arms amputated 
takes all my courage away. 

Yesterday I met Mme. de G., an aunt of 
Charlotte's, in the rue La B£otie ; so changed I 
almost passed her. Last year she was fresh, ani- 
mated, interested in everything. She has grown thin 
and pale, with a wistful look in her eyes that rather 
haunts one. Her eldest son, an officer, is at the 
front ; her baby — just twenty years old, a simple 
soldier — is a prisoner in Germany. He has sent 
her three or four post-cards saying he is fairly well 
treated. But so many people say they don't dare 
tell the truth on open post-cards that she is not 
quite happy. While we were talking, a soldier, 
young — not more than twenty-two or twenty- 
three, with his leg amputated just above the knee 
— the empty trouser hanging loose — looking thin 
and pale — came along on his crutches — a woman 
with him. Everybody spoke to him : " Bon jour, 
MOM ami ! " A little girl detached herself from a 
group of children, ran across the street to shake 
hands with him, and gave him a bunch of violets, 
saying: "Bon jour, Monsieur." He looked so 



178 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

pleased. It was a pretty sight. For a few 
moments there was nothing- but the wounded 
soldier in the street. 

Rue de la Pompe, 
Paris, Monday, Wi March 191 5. 

A horrid day, snow falling at intervals. I came 
up early to dinner. C. had a nice letter from 
Francis. He had been for the first time in the 
trenches, found officers' quarters very comfortable, 
seats, tables, fire, books and papers. The soldiers' 
not quite so good, but very fairly comfortable. 
He started back in the dark ; said it was rather 
melancholy passing graves of some of the men of 
his own regiment, He met some officers in autos, 
who told him to be very careful crossing the bridge 
over the canal, as the Germans were watching it 
very closely, and sent shells at anything they saw 
crossing. He waited until one shell had fallen, 
then dashed over as hard as he could — a shell 
falling just behind him. It was a serious perform- 
ance, but he seems to have grown accustomed 
to shells. 

He says the Colonel and all the officers beg for 
his books. We send him every week some illus- 
trated papers for his men. Hanotaux's pictorial 
history of the war {Histoire de la Guerre\ the 
Revue de Paris, which has very good war and 
foreign articles, and the Times. Walter W., who 
is quartered about ten miles further back, asks 
him for books — Walter being his cousin, Walter 
Waddington, who is Lieutenant-Colonel of a 
regiment of cuirassiers. 



ZEPPELINS 179 

Paris, Sunday, 21st March. 

We had an agitated night — our first experience 
of Zeppelins. For some days the police have been 
very strict about lights, not only in the streets, but 
in the houses. If the slightest gleam escapes 
through barred shutters and closely drawn curtains, 
they come up at once and protest vigorously. 

I was sleeping quietly, didn't hear the 
avertissement (pompiers, rattling through the street, 
not ours but the rue Francois I or at the corner, 
sounding the alarm, "garde a vous," which we all 
know too well now), and was astonished when the 
maids appeared in my room much excited. The 
little one who sleeps au sixieme, had been waked 
up by the appel and the noise in the street — our 
concierge ordering all lights out. She saw the 
Zeppelins quite distinctly from her window, 
ssing over the barriere de l'Etoile, and heard the 
cannon and mitrailleuses from the Eiffel Tower. 
However, by the time she got downstairs the 
danger was over. The street and house were 
quiet, and she returned to the sixth floor. I put 
on a warm cloak and stood on the balcony a little 
while, but saw nothing; the street was perfectly 
quiet and dark, except when the search-light threw 
a long yellow ray. 

About an hour later there was another alarm, 
but it was nut serious, though the pompiers with 
their "garde a vous" rattled under our windows 
this time. 

It was too much for the poor little maid; she 
rushed downstairs quite unnerved and frightened, 
and slept in the lingerie all night. Almost all the 



180 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

locataires of the 5 {kme spent the night in the 
concierge's lodge. 

Before 9 o'clock this morning Charlotte arrived, 
quite white and trembling. They had been waked 
out of a sound sleep by the noise : First the bombs 
— one fell in the avenue Malakofif, near the rue 
de la Pompe — and then the firing from the Tour 
Eiffel, and the few French aeroplanes that were 
flying. The children and maids were terrified, so 
they all went down to the concierge's lodge, 
getting quickly into whatever clothes they could 
find, groping about in the dark, and spent the rest 
of the night there. Various other locataires did 
the same, the concierge making occasional excur- 
sions into the street, which was black as ink, to 
see if anything more was happening. 

Evidently there was much more disturbance in 
their part of the town. They are so close to the 
Tour Eiffel. Charlotte felt rather better when she 
had had a glass of Marsala, and talked it all over 
with us ; and she went back to the house to bring 
the boys here to breakfast. They looked a little 
pale when they arrived, but were much excited, 
having been waked out of their sound sleep by the 
noise and the autos, and then being hurried into 
their clothes and passing the night sitting up in the 
lodge. Poor little things, they have had various 
experiences since their hurried flight from Mareuil 
at the beginning of the war. They will never 
forget "war-times." All they do and all they don't 
do is subservient to the one absorbing idea : 
"War." 

We had quite a number of visits at tea-time, all 
of course full of the alarm. The T.'s, sleeping 



ZEPPELINS AGAIN 181 

peacefully in their rooms on the court of their 
hotel, heard nothing, and read the news in the 
papers this morning - . In almost all the hotels people 
were waked up and told to come downstairs. 
They say the assemblage at the Ritz was wonderful, 
though most o\ the women had made themselves 
presentable with long cloaks and fichus tied over 
their heads, but some had been too frightened ; had 
only one idea, to get downstairs, and nature stood 
revealed most unbecomingly. 

Rue de la Pompe, 
Paris, 22nd March 1915. 

We had a second Zeppelin alarm last night about 
9 o'clock. We had just finished dinner, all lights 
were ordered out, and the pompiers dashed through 
the street sounding their "garde a vous." The 
shrill, strident notes set every nerve on edge. There 
wasn't a sound to be heard ; no cannon nor noise 
of falling bombs. We sat by the window, making 
occasional excursions to the balcony, but there 
was nothing to be seen. No one in the street ; 
a few men standing at the doors of their houses ; 
one just saw them like shadows when the search- 
lights played around. 

A little before 1 2 the pompiers passed again 
more slowly, playing "danger over," and calling 
out: 'Danger over; you can light." They were 
cheered all along the streets. Willy called from the 
window: " Sont-ils partis, les sales Bodies ?" 
" Oui, mon petit, oui. Vous pouvez vous coucher." 

There was another alarm after we had got to 
bed, about 12 o'clock, but it didn't amount to 
anything. Still these arc agitated nights. 



182 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

Paris, Wednesday, 24th March. 

I was at the ouvroir all the afternoon. Mme. 
M. had seen the Zeppelin quite distinctly. It passed 
over the house ; she said it looked extraordinary, 
all lighted, brilliant shells bursting around it in all 
directions from the mitrailleuses and French 
aeroplanes. 

Paris, Tuesday, $oth March. 

The Duchesse de Bassano and Lady Lee came 
in late this afternoon. They were just back from 
Versailles, where they had been to the British Red 
Cross Hospital at the Hotel du Trianon. They 
say it is wonderfully installed, so clean and spacious, 
and under strict military discipline. The Duchesse 
took flowers and tobacco and picture papers to the 
soldiers, and said they were very pleased — just like 
children — particularly with the flowers. 

Lady Lee occupies herself very much with the 
hospitals, not nursing, but seeing that they have 
all they want, and writing letters for the soldiers. 

Versailles is quite changed with so many British 
about — officers in khaki, sometimes with their 
wives and children ; British Red Cross nurses and 
automobiles. The two little tea-shops are doing 
a thriving business. We went into one the other 
day and might have thought ourselves in London : 
British at every table, all having tea and muffins. 
Our boys are always taken for English, as they are 
fair and speak English with their English nurse — 
which makes them most indignant. "We are 
French boys; father is a French soldier!" 



LADY PLUNKETT 183 

Paris, Good Friday, 2nd April 1915. 

The churches were crowded yesterday and 
to-day ; a great many women in mourning, a great 
many wounded soldiers. At one of the churches, 
in a little chapel where the Christ was exposed with 
an abundance of flowers and candles, a young- 
soldier, not more than twenty-two years old, with 
one leg off, looking very white and weak, came 
in, but couldn't get a seat. He stood for a few 
minutes leaning on his crutches. A child got up, 
ran over to him, saying : " Viens, mon ami, 
mets-toi la a cote de Marxian." He demurred, 
but the lady made a sign to him to come. He 
took the seat, and the little girl knelt alongside 
of him on the stone pavement. 

Paris, Easter Sunday, 4//1 April. 

I went to the American church. C. and the 
boys came to breakfast. We had coloured eggs for 
them, and they had already had a fine collection 
at their own house — useful gifts from Bonne 
Maman and Danny : carnets, pencils, gloves, etc., 
and a big chocolate bell from Lady Plunkett. 
She is here with Nellie, staying with Norah G., 
and nursing at the British Red Cross Hospital at 
the Hotel Astoria. I fancy she is an excellent 
nurse. She has had capital training at Lausanne, 
at one of the great hospitals there ; and besides, 
has a real vocation, is thoroughly interested in all 
medical work. 



N 



184 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

Paris, Friday^ gtk April. 

The week has been very quiet, everybody 
following - the action of the fleets in the Dardanelles. 
Thing's have not gone as quickly and easily as 
one expected. Before Easter, Mr de P. told us 
they were betting at the clubs that Constantinople 
would fall for Easter. He wasn't quite so sanguine, 
thought it might perhaps fall by the Sunday after, 
but thinks he will lose his bet. 

It is astonishing how the time slips away"when 
one does the same thing every day. The 
communiques don't tell us much about the war, nor 
private letters either. Francis writes fairly often, 
but except when he has a night in the trenches or 
a reconnaissance with the General, or some of his 
officer friends, there is not much to tell. 

Walter Waddington is about ten kilometres 
from Francis' cantonment. He and his officers 
are very comfortably lodged in a small chateau, 
and Francis goes over to lunch and dine with him 
sometimes. The other day he took over one of 
the sergeants of his regiment — a singer from the 
Opera-Comique, who has a charming voice, and 
sings very well. There was quite a good piano at 
the chateau, and they made music all the evening, 
Francis accompanying his friend. Then Francis 
played the national airs and our famous march of 
" Sambre et Meuse," winding up with " It's a long, 
long way to Tipperary," all the officers joining in 
the chorus. 

When Francis and his friend were starting back 
the cannon was going again, hard, and shells were 
whistling through the air. The men told Francis 



SENLIS IN RTTNS 185 

to be very careful at a certain bridge, which the 
enemy always aims at. They don't seem to mind 
the shells more than tennis-balls, yet men are killed 
around them every day. 

I am going out to Mrs Depew's to-morrow. 



Chateau d'Annel, 

\oth April 1 9 15. 

We had a lovely afternoon yesterday ; leaving 
the Hotel Crillon at 4 and getting here about 6.30. 
The road, as usual, was deserted. We met no 
private conveyances of any kind, merely military 
autos, which go an awful pace, particularly the 
British ones — and occasionally convoys of muni- 
tion-wagons or food — the fields empty, no plough- 
ing nor work of any kind going on, women and 
children standing at the doors of their cottages. 

We passed through Senlis, which is tragic. In 
the one long street, all the houses in ruins — roofs 
off, windows out, walls fallen, heaps of stones and 
charred beams everywhere. It quite reminded 
me of Pompeii ; and over all this black ruin, the 
beautiful blue summer sky, and the great stillness 
of the country. We were stopped several times, 
but only for a moment, as the car with its English 
chauffeur, dressed in khaki, is well known on the 
road. Then we got to the bridge of Compiegne, 
where we were stopped again. There were a great 
many people much excited, pointing to the sky, 
where I saw nothing, but the others did. It was 
a French aeroplane being fired upon by German 
shells. Mrs D. saw the aeroplane quite distinctly, 
as well as the little puffs of smoke looking like 



186 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

white clouds, made by the German shells. The 
officer at the bridge told us we could go on ; there 
was no danger, as the aeroplane was some distance 
ahead, and we were behind the firing-line. 

It is curious how in war-times everything 
seems natural, even to taking an afternoon's 
turn in the country with shells flying over your 
head. 

In one of the small villages we passed through, 
close to Annel, a regiment of Spahis was quartered. 
They looked most picturesque with their bright 
red cloaks and white turbans ; were tall, dark, 
handsome men. I suppose they are not allowed 
to fight in that costume ; they would make a fine 
target for the enemy, even for the old gentlemen 
of the Landsturm, who don't seem very efficient 
with a rifle. 

Our evening was pleasant. The hospital staff 
— about eight men, doctors, gentlemen chauffeurs, 
etc. — dined with us. All were in khaki. We heard 
the cannon quite distinctly until 9.30, and went 
out on the terrace to see if we could distinguish 
any rockets, but all was quite dark. 

As soon as the lights are lit in the chateau, 
heavy black curtains are lowered over all the 
windows, which give a ghastly impression in the 
house, as not a gleam of light must be visible. 
They are too near the front, only ten miles from 
the German trenches. 

It all seems very comfortably arranged. The 
family lives in one wing, quite apart from the 
hospital. Mrs Depew will take me over the 
wards to-morrow. 

It is lovely this morning ; I shall go for a stroll 



AN IMPRESSIVE SERVICE 187 

in the park, and at 1 1 o'clock there is mass in the 
small convalescent ward. 

Mareuil, i i o'clock. 

We have had a most interesting: day. I had a 
nice walk with Mr D., who showed me the grave- 
yard in the park, at some little distance from the 
chateau, where the soldiers who have died in the 
hospital are buried, until the end of the war, when 
their families can come and claim their bodies. 
It is very well arranged. There are about thirty 
graves, a simple wooden cross at the head of each, 
flowers on the graves, and a little hedge of box 
around the enclosure. 

We went in at 1 1 to the mass. It was held 
in the old music-room, now turned into a con- 
valescent ward. There were eight beds ; most of 
the men propped up on pillows, and several nurses 
and doctors in their white uniform. Mrs Depew, 
in her nurse's dress, played the organ ; Francis the 
violoncello. It was an impressive scene; and at 
the end the aumonier, with the vetement over his 
uniform, finished with the prayer that we hear in 
all the churches now : " Prions pour nos soldats 
au front, pour nos blesses ici, pour tous nos morts 
dans toute la France ; et que Dieu donne aux 
meres et aux femmes le courage d'accepter avec 
resignation les sacrifices que le pays leur demande." 
And all to the sound of the cannon, which had 
been growling again since 10 o'clock. 

After lunch I went into the big ward with Mrs 
Depew. The men looked most comfortable and 
well cared for. The room is large and bright (the 
old ballroom), oil the ground floor, doors and 



188 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

windows opening on the fine old courtyard, and a 
flood of sunlight streaming in. 

Then we went for a turn in the motor to a 
village some little distance off, nearer the front. 
We went up to the top story of the doctor's house, 
from where we had a fine view of the plain and our 
trenches and barbed-wire entanglements. We 
saw very far beyond the line of our trenches, a 
long stretch of plain ; then a wood, and behind 
that, the German trenches. 

When we got back to the chateau, all the 
patients were out in the courtyard, in the sun, 
their beds wheeled out. Various French officers 
came in to tea, and it was a real pleasure to see 
the pantalon rouge and light-blue tunic of the 
chasseurs, after all the khaki, which is, of course, 
more serviceable in campaign than the bright 
colours, but it doesn't look military. Everybody 
wears it : chauffeurs, orderlies at hospitals, etc. 

They are giving all our men other uniforms, a 
sort of blue-grey, for the front, but the men hate 
it ; they love their red trousers. 

I saw for the first time that afternoon, painted 
horses. All the horses of the Chasseurs d'Afrique 
are light grey horses, which, of course, made them 
a fine mark for the enemy. One orderly, who 
came with his officer, was riding a pink horse, 
which, they said, with time and exposure in all 
weathers would turn a bai rouge. Another had 
a bright yellow one, which would become alezan 
(chestnut) by the same process. They looked 
funny in the present stage, with the men's red 
trousers. 

We had a pleasant dinner ; made a little music 



HOMELESS SOLDIERS 189 

in the evening", singing - "Tipperary," which is a 
good marching - tune, and another regular silly, 
catchy English song": "Susie's sewing" shirts for 
soldiers." I am leaving to-morrow morning". 



Paris, Wednesday, \\th April. 

The days pass quietly. We don't hear much 
news. All interest now is centred in the Darda- 
nelles. Every one seems to think that Russia will 
be most exacting when settling-day comes, and 
she will, of course, want Constantinople ; but I 
don't think Great Britain would mind that now 
with the Suez Canal and the firm footing she has 
in Egypt. 

Paris, Saturday, 2\th April. 

We had a procession of soldiers at the ouvroir 
to-day, coming out of the hospital with four or five 
days' leave before joining their regiments. Most 
of them were men from the pays occup£s, with no 
friends in Paris and no money — the fr. 1.25 they 
got from the Government being quite insufficient 
to give them food and lodging. There must be 
houses or shelter of some kind for them, but we 
don't know where. One poor fellow had had no 
word from wife or children since September. He 
was a small farmer from near Laon ; had had no 
time for preparations of any kind. He was on the 
first roll-call. The order for mobilisation came 
on Saturday afternoon, 1st August, at 4 o'clock. 
He was at the market in a little town not far 
from his farm ; had just time to get back, kiss 
his wife and children, and take the first train at 



190 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

9 o'clock that evening-. Had heard nothing of 
any of his belongings. There are hundreds in the 
same plight, yet they don't complain. 



Paris, Tuesday, 2 l ]th April. 

Antoinette, Charlotte, and A. H. lunched with 
us to-day. Antoinette was interesting, telling all 
the work she had done at Dinard. She is quite 
miserable about her German companion, Fraulein 
Pauline, whom we all know, and who had been 
with her for years (twenty, I think). The poor 
thing had never been back to Germany, had no 
relations there — a sister married here to a French- 
man, and two nephews in the French army. 
Antoinette kept her as long as she could, but it 
wasn't possible to go on any longer. The people 
in the village — even the servants in the place, who 
had known her for years — she had nursed them 
when they were ill, and taken care of their children 
 — got excited. After all, she was a German, 
probably a spy. At last the mayor and cure told 
Antoinette she must go ; they couldn't protect her 
if some sudden fury seized the people — a piece of 
bad news, a reverse of the French ; some new 
German atrocity might happen at any moment, 
and they couldn't hold the people. So most tear- 
fully and reluctantly the poor woman started for 
Germany. 

We talked a little of old days in Rome, so long 
ago. Will Italy move? I doubt it. 



CHOOSING A NEW LINE 191 

Paris, Friday, 30/// April. 

We had a nice letter from Francis this morning. 
He had made an interesting expedition with his 
General to the trenches to choose where a new 
line was to be made. They went in motors to the 
entrance of a long- tunnel leading into the trench, 
stayed there a little, talking to the soldiers, who, 
he said, looked most comfortable — had made 
themselves chairs and tables out of old boxes and 
planks — had lamps. Then their party — about 
eight or ten men — left their shelter and came out 
on the plain. They were told to throw away their 
cigars, not stay too close together, also to talk 
as little and as low as possible. 

He said it was a curious situation ; the night 
quite dark, very still, except for the shells which 
came screaming through the .air, and every now 
and then a great roar from the big guns. They 
walked about for an hour, choosing the ground for 
the new line of trenches and dodging the shells 
which generally flew over their heads and fell at 
some little distance off. They heard the Germans 
distinctly, talking in their trenches ; spoke very 
little and very low themselves. 

He fretted so at O. all summer, seeing nothing 
of the fighting and never hearing the cannon. He 
hears it enough now. 

Paris, Tuesday, 4th May 1915. 

We had a little concert to-day, at the Swedish 
church, for the benefit of the hospital and ouvroir 
which Comtesse G., wife of the Swedish Minister 
to France, organised as soon as she got back 



192 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

from Bordeaux. The church was very prettily 
decorated with plants and flowers, and very full. 
All the Swedish colony, of course, which is quite 
large. Mme. Delcasse, wife of the Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, Mme. M., wife of the Minister 
of War, and a good many of Comtesse G.'s personal 
friends. All the soldiers who were well enough 
were seated on benches close to the chancel. 
Some of them looked very young, mere boys. 
The music was very good. Two Swedish singers 
with that high, clear northern voice — so unlike 
the rich, full Spanish and Italian voices — sang 
very well. 

After the concert was over we went into the 
hospital, which is very well arranged, in a large 
high room on the ground floor, very light and 
airy. The beds were partitioned off with screens, 
making nice little rooms. The men looked very 
smiling and comfortable ; they were all con- 
valescents, no grands blesses. All the ladies had 
brought picture papers, tobacco, and chocolate- 



Paris, Wednesday, ^th May. 

I lunched to-day with a country neighbour, 
Conseiller General of the Oise. He has a charm- 
ing chateau, just touching the Villers-Cotterets 
forest. It has been occupied ever since the month 
of September 1914 ; first Germans, now French; 
and the French, I think, have done and are doing 
more harm than the Germans ! — horses and heavy 
camions all over his park ; walls knocked down, 
the men finding the big gates too narrow to allow 
six or eight horses to pass abreast — and the inside 



INTERPRETERS 193 

in an awful condition. He was most unfortunate 
in the regiments that fell to his share. 

In some of the chateaux the French soldiers 
mended the furniture and took care of the gardens. 

Among other people we had at breakfast Mr 
P., Chef de Cabinet of the Minister of War, at 
this moment I should think the most overworked 
man in France. I was quite ashamed to ask him 
for anything, but I did. Francis wants to go as 
interpreter on the staff of one of the British 
generals. He says he feels he could be very 
useful, as he knows English, of course, as well 
as French, and is accustomed to English ways 
and life. Some of the interpreters on both sides 
have been utter failures. They say the English- 
man who knows a little French gets on better 
than the Frenchman who knows a little English. 
The Frenchman is accustomed to hearing his 
native tongue badly spoken, and understands more 
quickly ; the Englishman, on the contrary, is slow 
to understand ; must have very precise orders. 

The breakfast was quite a war breakfast, 
served by a parlour-maid and a soldier in uniform, 
with his arm in a sling. He was our host's valet 
de chambre, had been wounded, and was finishing 
his period of convalescence in his master's service. 

The general talk at table was interesting ; very 
little criticism on what either Government or 
Army was doing, and an absolute certainty of 
ultimate victory — "qui nous coutera cher ; toute 
notre jeunesse y restera ! " That is the tragic 
side of this awful war. 

When we see a regiment starting for the front, 
all the young faces so flushed and smiling and 



194 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

eager for the fray, we think of the hundreds who 
will never come back, and of whom their families 
will never know anything — merely "missing," in 
the long lists of casualties. 

Paris, Thursday, 6th May. 

Mrs M. came to breakfast, and we went after- 
ward to the Japanese hospital, installed at the 
Hotel Astoria. It looked perfectly well ordered 
and beautifully clean. We asked for the Directrice, 
Mme. de L., whom we know, and she took us 
over the hospital. The pharmacie was quite 
wonderful — so neat and orderly ; all the bottles 
and packages wrapped up in soft white paper, and 
the curious Japanese signs or letters that one sees 
on all their packages of tea. Mme. L. introduced 
the head of the pharmacie to us. She said he 
knew very little French, but English well ; would be 
so pleased if we would talk to him. Accordingly 
we had one of those halting, one-sided, impossible 
conversations one has sometimes with people who 
know a little (very little in this case) of a language. 
I understood very little of what he said to me, 
and, judging from his answers, he absolutely 
nothing of what I said to him. 

We saw several of the nurses all in white, with 
a curious high square cap. They are a funny 
collection of little yellow women, very polite and 
smiling and curtseying. I can't imagine that our 
soldiers like to be nursed by such ugly little yellow 
creatures, even though they dress the wounds 
most skilfully. They say their touch is very light, 
and they work much more quickly than our 
nurses. All the same I should think the men 



THE LUS1TANIA 195 

would prefer a nice white payse, even if she was 
a little rough. 

I didn't go into the operating-rooms, but Mrs 
M. did. She said they were splendid, at the top 
of the house, large and airy, with every modern 
scientific invention. There were several ladies, 
nurses, in the wards and corridors — French and 
Americans. I don't know exactly what they do, 
as the Japanese nurses do all the dressings — don't 
allow any foreigners to touch the patients. 



Paris, Saturday, 8t/i May. 

There is awful news this morning: the S.S. 
Lusitania torpedoed and sunk by the Germans 
off the Irish coast. I didn't think even they 
would have dared to do such an awful thing. 
The first account says only six hundred people 
saved ; the boat went down in twelve minutes. 
I should think this would rouse England and 
America. Still, the Americans were warned ; 
they came at their own risk ; a certain number 
of passages were cancelled. 

Paris, Friday, i^th May 191 5. 

Nobody talks of anything but the Lusitania, 
and wonders what America will do. There was 
an animated discussion at the ouvroir this after- 
noon between Col. B. — a wounded French officer 
still on his crutches — and Mr H. W., a clever 
Englishman with French relations, married to a 
Frenchwoman. I think in his heart, though he 
wouldn't own it, the Englishman thought the 



196 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

Frenchman was right : "that Britain should have 
protected her ship, not braved the Germans." 
Of course she never thought, nor did any one else, 
that Germany, even Germany, would do such a 
cowardly act. However, she has set the whole 
civilised world against her now. Many of the 
Americans here, particularly the women, hope 
that America will fight. I hope she won't. 



Paris, Sunday, i6//z May. 

I went to the English church. The rector 
didn't officiate, and the clergyman who took his 
place asked the prayers of the congregation for 
the rector and his family. Their eldest son, a 
soldier, is reported "missing" since Tuesday. I 
went to the rectory directly after the service, and 
the servant told me it was true — a boy only 
eighteen, as she said. " He was a child last 
year, Madame, when he came home for his 
holidays and asked me for cakes." I remember 
all the boys perfectly ; didn't think they were old 
enough to be soldiers. 

We had a good many people at tea-time, among 
others Professor Hall of Harvard with his wife 
and daughter — clever, sympathetic people, all much 
interested in France and the terrible struggle she 
is going through. He sent me a generous contri- 
bution to my ouvroir. I so rarely see American 
men of that type that it was a great pleasure to 
me to hear an impartial opinion from the outside 
world. 



ITALY DECLARES WAR 197 

Paris, Saturday, 22nd May 1915. 

I dined this evening with the Segurs. Quite 
like old times, with all the nieces and nephews, 
M.'sand H.'s. Young Merode is at the Ministere 
de la Guerre (was in uniform, the new colour, "bleu 
horizon," which they say is very good, blends 
perfectly with sky and trees). He knows German 
well, translates the letters found on prisoners or 
dead. M. says they are not very interesting, the 
wives in Germany finding the war very long, the 
cost of living very high ; not much enthusiasm. 



Paris, Sunday, 2$rd Afay. 

We had a few people at tea-time ; Bessie much 
excited over Italy's moving. She will have three 
grandsons and two nephews in the war : five 
Ruspolis ! The Duchesse de Bassano, Stuers 
(Dutch Minister), and the Gyldenstopes dined. 
We all talked war, of course. They were hard on 
Biilow and his fiasco in Rome — but it really was 
an ungrateful mission. He was beaten even before 
he began to negotiate. There was a splendid 
patriotic demonstration in the Roman Chamber 
yesterday. 

Paris, Mo// day, 24th Afay. 

Italy has declared war upon Austria only (not 
on Germany). People are afraid for Venice; 
think Austrian aeroplanes will throw bombs on 
St Mark. It would be too awful. 

We had rather a disagreeable communication 
from Mareuil this morning, saying our house had 



198 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 



been requisitioned by the military authorities, and 
theofficer in commandof thegroupofautomobilistes 
had asked for seven rooms and the use of the 
kitchen and dining-room. It is a great bore, as 
we want to go down ourselves for a week or ten 
days ; but we can't refuse in war times, with the 
whole country under martial law. We talked it 
over with C, who had come in from Versailles for 
Comtesse Foy's funeral — and gave Mme. Gaillard 
her instructions. She could give six rooms in the 
new house, and the use of the kitchen. I reserved 
the dining-room and old house until we were able 
to come down and see what arrangements we 
could make. 

Paris, Thursday, z^th May. 

Went out to the American Ambulance this 
afternoon. There were a great many people there, 
as it was visiting-day. All the doors and windows 
were open, the convalescents sitting out on the 
terrace and perrons ; almost all had friends and 
presents — flowers, cigarettes, illustrated papers. 

Therese de Segur, who is at the head of one of 
the great Paris hospitals, was delighted, thought 
everything from wards to kitchen was so splen- 
didly clean and airy. 

We stopped at Charlotte's ouvroir on our way 
down, and she was much interested in all the 
garments the ladies were making. There are two 
sewing-machines, a cutting-out table, and they 
really get through a great deal of work. It is 
quite different from our ouvroir, where we don't 
work ourselves, merely give work to women, and 
see the soldiers who come and ask for clothes — 



BLIND SOLDIERS 199 

always shirts ; and a great many, even in this 
warm weather, still prefer woollen socks to cotton 
ones. 

Paris, Friday, 28M May. 

I went up to rue de la Pompe to see the contents 
of a box just received from the Clearing- House. 
All good things. We had a quiet afternoon at the 
ouvroir, but one or two blind soldiers, so sad — one 
quite young man, a tall, broad-shouldered, good- 
looking fellow, led in by a comrade. I talked to 
him a little, asking him what he wanted. He said 
to me : " Je ne puis pas vous voir, Madame. Etes- 
vous jeune, ou mere de famille ? " " Non, mon ami, 
je ne suis pas jeune ; je suis mere de famille — 
meme grand'mere, et j'ai un fils au front, comme 
vous." " Que Dieu vous le garde, Madame ; je ne 
verrai jamais plus les miens." But not a word of 
complaint. I couldn't make any phrases to him of 
losing his sight in a glorious cause — a young, 
strong man, not thirty years old, in total darkness 
for the rest of his life ! I put my hand on his sleeve, 
saying: 'Mon pauvre ami!" — and then the poor 
fellow broke down and cried, and I beat a hasty 
retreat, feeling a choke in my throat. Of course 
the Government will look after them, and they will 
all be taught trades, but it is pitiful to see them. 

It seems there was a group of wounded and one 
blind man on the terrace of one of the hospitals one 
day, all rejoicing in the bright sunlight that gave a 
touch of warm light to everything; the Seine, the 
hills in the distance, and pointing out to each other 
the fortifications and trenches of the camp retrench^. 
The blind man stood apart, looking sad and lonely. 

o 



200 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

A young - nurse went up to him, took his arm and 
led him into a corner where he could feel the sun, 
and holding his fingers, pointed out the various 
points the men were talking about. By degrees, 
all the other men joined them, explaining and 
talking to the blind soldier, who was quite excited 
as the nurse moved his hand backward and forward, 
and almost seemed to see the various points ; 
forgot for a while his misfortune and fought his 
battle over again with his comrades. 

It seems that some of them were so miserable 
when they realised their sight was gone that they 
did not tell them at once, waited until they were 
strong enough to bear the blow ; let them think it 
was a temporary deprivation of sight. 



Mareuil, Thursday, ^rd June. 

We came down yesterday. For the last week 
we have been getting letters from the cure\ from 
Mme. Gaillard, telling us the house was always 
full of French soldiers, who behaved very badly ; 
the officer, ordering all the rooms opened, established 
himself in my bedroom, and wished to put his 
orderly in one of the good chambres d'ami next to 
him. They wanted extra blankets and lamps, and 
Mme. G. to do their cooking. At last the poor 
woman came up to Paris, saying she couldn't take 
such a responsibility and face the situation alone. 
Her son has just been mobilise. She is alone with 
one young maid in the house. That morning's 
mail had brought me a letter from an officer, 
saying my servants were very impolite, etc., so we 
thought we had better go down. 



SOLDIERS AT MAREUIL 201 

I wrote to the officer and the mayor, saying 
what rooms I would give and, above all, what 
rooms I wouldn't ; and agreed to go down as soon 
as I could. I also gave Mme. G. a letter that she 
could show to the officer, telling her what rooms to 
give, and that we were coming down as soon as 
I could get away from my work in Paris — and here 
we are. 

We took the 5.30 train in the afternoon and 
got down a little before 8. Though we are no 
longer in the military zone, we still had soldiers at 
the station, and had to show our sauf-conduits. 
Our first surprise was seeing Mme. G. at the 
station with a. rather smart- looking ordonnance 
and her wheelbarrow — the well-known wheelbarrow 
which we always use for carrying the small parcels 
backward and forward. 

The courtyard of the station was full of big 
American lorries and autobuses. It seems the 
Corps de Ravitaillement is stationed here, and 
our militaires are the gentlemen chauffeurs of the 
autos. We walked to the house, rather wondering 
what we should find, and were met just inside 
the gate by a young officer in uniform, who 
introduced himself as Lieutenant D. (the gentleman 
with whom I had corresponded). He asked me 
if he could do anything for us. He had wanted to 
send his automobile to the station, but Mme. G. 
told him we always walked, but that his ordonnance 
had gone. He thanked us for our hospitality ; 
said he and his comrades would give us as little 
trouble as possible, and retired by the garden 
entrance. It was too dark to see his face, but he 
had a gentleman's voice and manner. All the 



202 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

same, it seemed funny to be welcomed in our own 
courtyard by a perfect stranger, and to see the 
garage and kitchen lighted, and silhouettes of 
soldiers everywhere. 

We went into the house to see what arrange- 
ments we could make. The table was laid for us 
in the dining-room, and Mme. G. told us the 
gentlemen hoped we would allow them to send us 
some filet de bceuf and asperges for our dinner, 
also a bottle of good wine. I wanted some soap 
and went into the office to see if my bag was there 
— a very good-looking young soldier, tall, fair, 
rather like an Englishman, was standing there, 
lighting a lamp. He came forward, introducing 
himself; had a very good, easy manner. What 
could he do for me ? Would I allow him to send 
me some soap ? I said I had plenty, was looking 
for my bag. He went to see if it was in the hall, 
and through the half-open door I saw several 
soldiers in the kitchen, and there seemed to be 
about seven or eight officers dining in the small 
courtyard, just outside the office. 

We made the best arrangements we could for 
the night, and when we went down to dinner 
found the boys in a wild state of delight. They 
had made acquaintance with all the seven soldiers 
who were dining. My eldest grandson, aged ten, 
said: "They were all very polite, Danny, got up 
when we came into the court, and Mme. Gaillard 
told them we were 'les jeunes maltres de maison,' 
and the Lieutenant introduced all of them to us." 

After dinner Charlotte and I went out to speak 
to them. They are a nice-looking set of young 
fellows. We asked them all to dine with us 



SOLDIERS IN OUR HOUSE 203 

to-morrow. We are comfortable in the old house. 
I sleep in the nursery, which is my old room, and 
is still full of the boys' toys and books. The 
Germans didn't take anything from there, except 
one charming little statue of the Virgin which 
Charlotte had had all her life. It is certainly 
many years since I have slept with a hoop over my 
head, but it seems solidly hung. I hope it won't 
come down in the night. The boys will sleep 
to-night on their mattress on the floor, in 
Charlotte's boudoir. She is in her own room. 
To-morrow we will settle ourselves better. 

The house is very still ; we don't hear a sound ; 
would never imagine it was full of men. 

It has been a lovely warm day. It was delicious 
to be waked up in the morning by the smell of 
roses climbing into the windows. The roses are 
lovely — quantities of them, and all the trees and 
bushes grown enormously — but the lawns, planted 
with potatoes, beans, and peas, look too awful ; 
but there was nothing else to do. They had been 
so cut up and trampled upon with horses picketed 
on them, that the only hope of ever having decent 
lawns again was to dig them all up and plant 
potatoes. 

By 7 o'clock the boys were in the garden, 
playing about with some of the young men. 
They sent us their chauffeur to help move some 
of our heavy furniture. We shall settle ourselves 
for the present in the old house, as we shall always 
be liable to have French troops or British, so long 
as the war lasts. 

We have put up a curtain at the end of the 



204 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

corridor, in the wing-, so we are quite shut off, and 
none of the men ever come up the big staircase 
or into our part. The Lieutenant uses Francis' 
fumoir as his bureau, and they take all their meals 
outside on the children's lawn or playground, the 
only one which has not been cut up, under the big 
pear-tree. 

It is beautiful weather. If it rained, of course 
they would have to come inside. I suppose one 
office could be arranged as a dining-room for them. 
They certainly don't deprive themselves of any- 
thing in the way of food, seem to have the best of 
everything, and are constantly asking what they 
can send us. It is always a filet de bceuf, as the 
army lives on beef. 

The chauffeur has also mended our motor 
which pumps the water upstairs. We sat in the 
garden all day, being- quite lazy and quiet. The 
boys played about with the soldiers. They have 
quite taken possession of the premises ; have a 
pig — "Anatole," and chickens. There was wild 
excitement at one moment when Anatole escaped 
from his house and trotted about among the young 
potato-plants. I sent for one of the men and 
explained that I couldn't have the pig running 
about the garden ; he must be shut up. 

We invited all the gentlemen to dine to-night. 
We had brought down chickens and ham, vege- 
tables and fruit from Paris, and they accepted with 
pleasure, sending us word by Mme. G. that they 
had a filet de bceuf, which they begged we would 
accept. We asked them, all seven, and the two 
little maids were rather nervous as to how they 
could serve so many people. We would be eleven, 



OUR DINNER PARTY 205 

and we were rather nervous too, as to knives and 
forks and spoons, as we have not replaced what 
the Germans had taken — bringing down merely 
what we wanted ourselves. But about four o'clock 
the Lieutenant sent us word there would only be 
four of them, the others were de service. (The 
maids told us they were too shy to come.) 

The dinner went very well. The chauffeur 
helped in the office. The Lieutenant was the only 
regular officer. He had been wounded at Char- 
leroi, left rather delicate and a little deaf, and had 
been given this place for a rest. The other men 
were sons of rich industriels, two from Lille, which 
is now occupied by the Germans. They have had 
no news of their families for months — one, a nice 
young fellow — Pinto d'Arringo, son of a Brazilian 
naturalised Frenchman, with an English grand- 
mother. They had all seen a little service. One 
broad-shouldered, nice young man had been in the 
fighting all around us at Vareddes-Barcy. They 
were a little shy at first, but the boys helped us. 
They asked so many questions, and were so 
intensely interested in everything the young men 
said, that it put them at their ease. 

We went into the big salon after dinner, which 
looked ghastly ; no table-covers, nor cushions 
anywhere, and bare spaces on the walls where the 
Germans had taken pictures. We had a wonderful 
collection of lamps, some old ones that Mme. G. 
had found in the garden, one borrowed from the 
grocer, and one or two small ones belonging to the 
soldiers ; but in war-times it didn't matter. The 
piano was not too bad, and we made music. One 
man played the violin well, and Pinto sang quite 



206 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

prettily. We sang various choruses, ending with 
the national airs and "Tipperary" and the famous 
march of " Sambre et Meuse." 

Mareuil, Friday, tfh June. 

It has been very hot all day. Charlotte and 
I were busy upstairs putting away all sorts of 
things, as we shall lock up two rooms. The 
present lot of soldiers are perfectly civil and 
reasonable, but one never knows what the next 
may be. 

After tea we walked up to the church to see the 
statue of the Virgin and Child the cur6 has had 
put up in gratitude for the saving of his church. 
When the Germans were approaching Mareuil, 
and the village was 6vacu6e par ordre militaire, he 
went to the church before leaving, to take a last 
look. He had hidden all the vessels and archives. 
Kneeling at the altar, praying that his church 
would not be bombarded nor desecrated, he made 
a vow that if it was untouched (it is a fine old 
church of the twelfth century) he would put up a 
statue to the Virgin. Nothing was touched, and 
as soon as the village settled down a little after 
fourteen days of exile, he began his work. 

The statue stands very well at the back of the 
church, on the hill overlooking the canal. It is 
very well done, very simple, and can be seen at a 
fair distance from below, and from the canal. 

We walked home by the canal, stopping to 
talk to all the women — and seeing soldiers every- 
where. I don't know what will happen with all 
those good-looking warriors about, quite changing 
the usual aspect of Mareuil. The war will be 



VISIT TO YILLERS-COTTERETS 207 

answerable for all sorts of incidents. I think the 
cure - is very anxious. 

Paris, Saturday, ^th June. 

We had a most strenuous and interesting day- 
yesterday. With much difficulty we got sauf- 
conduits to go to Villers-Cotterets, about fourteen 
miles from us. We heroically decided to take 
again the grocer's tapissiere — that most uncomfort- 
able, narrow, springless four-wheeled cart, but he 
had a good horse, and we thought we were quite 
safe with our sauf-conduits — but the grocer hadn't 
any ! We hadn't thought of him. We consulted 
our Lieutenant, suggesting that he might perhaps 
take us in his auto. But he was overwhelmed 
at the mere idea. He couldn't take any civilian 
in his car, and above all, no woman — not even 
his own wife if she were there, or a Red Cross 
nurse. However, he did what he could ; said he 
was going into Villers-Cotterets on duty Saturday 
morning, and would come back as soon as he 
could; but not before 10.30. So we gave him 
rendezvous at the bottom of the Bourneville hill, 
where the poste des gendarmes is stationed, and 
started at 10 in our most ramshackle vehicle. 

It was rather amusing waiting at the poste. 
The gendarmes knew us well. Two of them had 
been quartered for some weeks at our house, and 
I presented them each with blankets when they 
went away. They brought us chairs, and we 
sat on the bank, under the trees, and saw all the 
people (not many, only military) who passed ; 
the consigne was very strict ; every auto, even 
with officers in it, was stopped. There was a barri- 



208 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 



cade across the road with a narrow opening - , just 
wide enough to let one carriage pass. As soon as 
the gendarmes saw a carriage coming 1 down the 
hill, one of them stepped forward, holding up his 
gun horizontally, to bar the way. One unfortun- 
ate young- woman was most indignant. She had 
bicycled all the way from Meaux, twenty-five 
miles, in the boiling - heat, and thought her papers 
were all right ; but the Captain of gendarmes 
was very stern, and wouldn't let her pass. They 
are still afraid of spies, and unfortunately some 
of the worst are women. 

Our Lieutenant appeared very punctually at 
10.30 with the grocer's sauf-conduit, and we 
started. It was very hot creeping up the long 
hill, just out of La Ferte ; but once in the forest 
it was delightful. The big trees made a perfect 
thick shade. It was very still, not a sign of life 
or culture. We met nothing but military autos 
and trains of lorries and autobuses, which made 
long trails of dust, and filled the air with the smell 
of petroleum. We were certainly the only civils on 
the road. At the entrance of the town, just before 
we crossed the railroad, two mitrailleuses, most 
sinister-looking objects, were stationed. Villers 
was bristling with soldiers, as it is the headquarters 
of the 6 me armee. 

We went first to the Hotel du Dauphin, where 
we always used to breakfast in the old days, 
when we hunted in the Villers-Cotterets forest, 
but it does not exist any longer as a hotel — is 
turned into a military administration of some kind. 
An officer who was at the door advised us to go 
to the Hotel de la Chasse, some little distance 



NEAR THE FRONT 209 

off, and quite unknown to me. It looked rather 
nice, with a large courtyard and Mowers in the 
garden, which was filled with officers breakfasting, 
who were all much interested in the sudden appear- 
ance of two ladies and two children so near the 
front. They listened hard while we explained to 
the patronne that we had come from Mareuil, and 
were very hungry. She gave us a very good 
breakfast, and then we started off to see if we 
could find an officer of the E tat- Major, and get 
a permission to go nearer the front behind the 
last line of trenches, and distribute some clothes 
and food to the poor people. Many of the peasants 
went back to their ruined villages once the 
Germans were out of them, and were encamped 
there in absolute misery, living in wagons or 
sheds — any sort of shelter they had been able 
to find. We wanted very much to get to them, 
but the officer whom we interviewed wouldn't 
hear of it. He was much surprised at seeing us 
at Villers-Cotterets, and thought that we should 
not have been given a sauf-conduit. "It was no 
place for civils, nor women and children." "Had 
we come from Paris?" "No, by road from 
Mareuil." That surprised him still more. "Did 
we meet any civils on the road?" "No, not 
one." He again repeated that it was no place for 
women, and advised us to get back at once before 
nightfall ; said there was no possibility of getting 
any nearer the front, these days, with fighting 
going on all around us. 

We meant to go to the hospital to see what they 
wanted there (we had already sent several boxes 
of bandages and hospital shirts from the ouvroir), 



210 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

but were advised not to, as there were several 
cases of typhus, and it was very hot. We loitered 
a little in the town, hearing the cannon much 
nearer and louder than at Mareuil. 

The people say they are accustomed to it now ; 
don't mind it. What they don't like are the shells. 
We talked to some of the shop people, and bought 
pens and briquets made by the soldiers in the 
trenches out of pieces of German shells. As a 
rule the people did not complain of the Germans ; 
said they behaved well when people remained in 
their houses ; but it was a reign of terror ; all the 
mothers terrified to have their boys playing about, 
as they made short work with boys if they got in 
their way, or didn't instantly guide them to any 
place they wanted to go to, or answer their questions 
— they shot so many in Belgium — boys of eight to 
ten years, who certainly did them no harm. 

The drive home was lovely. The country looks 
beautiful, but one felt so strongly the tragic 
stillness and absence of life and movement. We 
stopped at La Ferte\ and had tea with the abbe 
in his garden, which was green and quiet and 
peaceful, such a contrast to the street, quite 
choked up with lorries and heavy carts and wagons, 
and all the paraphernalia of war. 

Our cure came to dinner — a most frugal meal. 
We sat until 10 o'clock in the garden, and our 
militaires came and talked to us. They were 
interesting, telling their experiences and the 
horrors they had seen. One young man, son of a 
rich bourgeois, was much impressed by the war ; 
said he could never forget the first dead he saw 
after the battle of the Marne, in a village near us ; 



HORRORS OF WAR 211 

fifty Germans lying- dead in the fields — and that 
was nothing to what he felt when he came a little 
later upon forty or fifty Frenchmen lying in heaps, 
some with such expressions of suffering' on their 
faces. He said he could hardly get past the bodies ; 
as he turned into a courtyard of an old chateau, he 
suddenly came upon a German soldier who was 
terror-stricken, unarmed, throwing up his hands, 
begging for life. ' I couldn't kill him, Madame, 
there in cold blood, a perfectly helpless, unarmed 
man — though I suppose I should have done it 
with the bodies of my comrades lying so near. 
But I couldn't. I took him prisoner and handed 
him over to the authorities." 

They all said what we often do, that no one 
who had been through this war could ever be the 
same again ; the entire mentality must change. 

The boys listened with rapt attention, and 
later, when he was g"oing to bed, the eldest one, 
Willy, said to me : ' Why didn't he kill the wicked 
German, Danny, who had killed so many French- 
men r 

This morning we hear the cannon distinctly, 
about twenty miles away, the militaires say. They 
went off early, at 4 this morning, to take food to 
the men in the trenches near Soissons, and said it 
was infernal— the sky a blaze of fire, and the steady 
roar of the big guns. And here it is the Fete-Dieu ; 
the children came early to the garden and carried 
off as many roses as they could find, and one 
or two reposoirs dressed with flowers have been 
arranged on the road on the route of the procession ; 
and the girls in their white frocks will scatter roses 
before the sacrament. ' Le Bon Dieu qui passe" 



212 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

as they say in the country, and all ought to be 
peaceful and smiling. 

During the mass every time there was a silence 
in the church, we heard the long, steady growl of 
the cannon, and we wonder who will be missing at 
the roll-call. 

We are taking the last train this evening for 
Paris. It would be impossible to travel in the 
daytime in this heat. 

I am writing in my room, leaving written 
instructions to Mme. G. and the mayor as to what 
rooms I will give. I hear voices and laughter in 
the garden, and see the boys having a fine game of 
ball with Pinto, and Charlotte being photographed 
under the little "pergola C." by one of the young 
men. It has been curious and interesting living 
there three or four days with the army. It has 
brought us into such direct contact with the 
soldiers. We have thought and talked of nothing 
but the war. The autos and motor-cycles came in 
and out of the courtyard all day, and we always 
heard the rumble of the big autobuses as they 
went backward and forward. 

We sent our letters off by the military autos. 
They passed twice a day and took our letters, if 
we left them at the poste. The postal service is 
very irregular, the telephone cut entirely, and the 
telegraph reserved for the army. It was Mareuil 
under a very different aspect. 

Our soldiers told us they expected and hoped 
to remain still ten days or a fortnight at Mareuil, 
and they would certainly take care of the property. 
We begged them to use the dining-room when we 
had gone. As long as we were there they dined 



MR WADDINGTOVS PAPERS 213 

outside in the courtyard under the office windows ; 
but it didn't disturb us at all as they dined much 
earlier than we did. Mme. G. and the chauffeur 
did their cooking, and I imagine the chauffeur did 
ours too. They were all on the best of terms. 

I wonder what the next turn of the wheel will 
bring, and when and how we shall see Mareuil 
again ! 

Rue de la Pompe, 
Paris, Tuesday, x^th June. 

I was busy in the morning, looking over and 
putting into boxes Willy's papers — finished with 
the Congres de Berlin and the Coronation of the 
Emperor Alexander. It all seems another life 
so far away. 

All the Aisnc letters and newspapers were most 
interesting. I found some sauf-conduits (passes) 
from German officers, written in German, in 1870, 
and various letters about prisoners, wounded 
soldiers, and francs-tireurs, of whom the Germans 
were always afraid — some letters from mayors 
and farmers, all about Bourneville, from where W. 
had sent soldiers to join Bourbaki's army. 

I have put all the papers of that time together, 
and when the war is over and Francis comes back, 
we will arrange a book with the reminiscences of 
the father and the son, of the two wars. 

It is warm this evening. C. and I sat in the 
small salon with open windows and no lights, 
trying to make some sort of plans for the summer. 
We give up this apartment on the 15th, and are 
literally dans la rue. The doctor says we mustn't 
establish ourselves at Mareuil ; there are so many 



214 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

dead men and horses buried near us, in the fields, 
that it would not be possible. We must let a 
winter and cold weather pass before settling there 
again. 

The street is perfectly quiet and empty ; we 
might be in any small provincial town — only the 
search-lights from the Tour Eiffel sweep over it 
from time to time. 

Paris, Wednesday, \6thjune 191 5. 

Many soldiers came to be dressed before going 
back, and some of them brought wives and children ; 
but the greater part of them were from the pays 
£vacu£s, hadn't heard anything of their families 
since the beginning of the war, in August. It is 
very difficult to get any news from the departments 
that are occupied by the Germans. 

We had one or two people to dinner. Dr and 
Mrs Watson, who have been untiring in their 
work and sympathy for the fighting nations, 
Mr H., the novelist, and Comte H. de P. The 
last two men stayed on a little while, talking after 
the others left. 

Mr Herrick was just from Venice ; said the 
enthusiasm there when war was declared and the 
troops left was extraordinary, and the old hatred 
of the Austrians flared out like fire. He was 
much interested, too, in all Portes told him of 
the feeling in the country, in France, which so 
few foreigners ever get really to know — that 
curious, respectful intimacy that exists in the 
country, between the grand seigneur, the owner 
of the chateau, and the village people, the butcher, 
the farmer, the cantonnier, all with their opinions, 



THE BOIS DE BOULOGNE 215 

and all delighted to talk politics and agriculture 
with the chatelain. 

Paris, Thursday, x-Jh Jinn. 

Another lovely summer day. H. and I went 
late to the Bois ; had tea at the Chalet des Gauf- 
fres, close to Paillard's. It was lovely sitting there 
under the shade of the big trees, but so quiet and 
empty. One would almost forget the war except 
that every now and then a wounded soldier would 
pass, sometimes head bandaged and arm in a 
sling, and often a poor fellow limping along on 
crutches, the trouser hanging loose from the knee, 
a nurse In uniform walking with him. Everybody 
had a " Bon jour, mon ami ! " for the soldiers, and 
they seemed pleased at the sympathy. 

Mine, de G. and Bella V. dined, and Bella was 
most interesting. She had been to Nancy and 
Luneville to see her husband, who commands a 
cavalry regiment In those regions. It was the 
first time she had seen any of the horrors of war, 
as she was in England when the war broke out, 
and couldn't get back to her home in Cambrai, 
which is occupied by the Germans. She was 
horror-stricken at the sights — ruined villages — 
nuthing but heaps of ashes — desolated fields, with 
every now and then a small mound and a rustic 
cross of sticks, showing somebody was buried 
there; one or two chateaux completely destroyed, 
no roof, no windows, nothing but the four walls 
standing, and great holes in them. The I.'s have 
lost everything — all the inside of their beautiful 
old chateau burned, and everything of value taken 
.iway— accumulations of centuries, pictures, tapes- 

i' 



216 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

tries, books, nothing left. I wonder how many 
more will be in the same condition before the end 
of the war. The Germans will certainly burn 
and plunder all the country behind them when 
they begin their retreat — when ! . . . 



Paris, Saturday, igt/i June. 

We have been very much taken up with patterns 
of masks at the ouvroir to-day. Something must 
be found to protect the soldiers from the terrible 
asphyxiating gas used by the Germans. The 
nurses who have taken care of some of the poor 
fellows who were caught in those vapours, said it 
was awful to see them gasping and choking their 
lives away. Our doctor says we ought to have 
masks. If there should be a great Zeppelin raid 
with poisoned bombs, and our windows got broken, 
we should certainly need masks to protect our- 
selves. I wonder if we would ever put them on. 
I don't think there is much danger for us au i er , 
but the maids on the sixth floor would feel 
happier — so we will procure them for all the 
household. 

To-day has been a day of rumours, street 
rumours, which all the maids hear and believe. 
The metro (underground railway) — a tunnel 
pierced through from Soissons to Paris — Paris to 
be blown up! I think there should be a severe 
punishment for the spreading of such reports. 
Some people are easily frightened, and a panic in 
the civil population might have had a bad effect 
at the front. 

I don't like the Zeppelin alarms myself, the 



WORK OF AMERICAN LADIES 217 

pompiers dashing through the streets with that 
sinister "garde a vous," gets on my nerves. 



Paris, Monday, 21st June 1 9 1 5. 

I went with Anne B. this afternoon to help her 
with her tea at the American Ambulance. Among 
the many good things the Americans have done 
since the war broke out, is their voluntary service at 
the Ambulance, not only as nurses — many women 
can't nurse, have no vocation, and are not young 
enough, nor strong enough — but in many other 
departments : bandage-room, lingerie, etc. Every 
afternoon from 3 to 5 there is a tea provided by 
American ladies for all the employes of the 
Ambulance — nurses, doctors, orderlies, chauffeurs, 
boy scouts. The ladies serve the tea themselves, 
and it is no sinecure, as everybody takes two cups 
of tea, some three. There are cakes and buns 
unlimited. 

It was interesting to see the different types of 
nurses, some ladies, some professionals, of every 
age and nationality, though, of course, most of 
them are Americans. Some o( the young ones 
(and very young some of them were) looked very 
nice in their short skirts, long, white blouse 
d' infirm iere, and a pretty little cap of tulle or 
muslin on their heads ; some middle-aged, serious- 
looking women, simply dressed in black or dark 
blue with the white apron, who were extremely 
glad to have a cup of tea, looked like good, steady 
workers. It was amusing to see tall, broad- 
shouldered chauffeurs asking for Lea not Leo stroll 
One young fellow asked to have his very strong. 



218 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

I said to him: "It is very bad for your nerves 
to drink such strong tea." "I've done it for over 
twenty- eight years, Madame, and it has done me 
no harm yet." We talked a little (he was English), 
and he told me he was the eldest of six brothers, 
all soldiers at the front. "How old is the 
youngest ? " "Just eighteen, Madame." "It was 
wicked to let him go — a child!" "Couldn't keep 
him, Madame; all his friends went.'" He had 
just come back from the front where he had spent 
twenty-four hours with four of his brothers, and 
they had been photographed in the trenches. 
" Have you got a father or mother in England 
to send them the picture? " " Oh, yes, Madame ; 
they have got the picture of the five of us, all 
well." 

Paris, Thursday, 24th June. 

It is very warm. Agnes Welsh and I went to 
the concert for the English Catholic church of 
St Joseph. It was well done : girl and boy scouts 
sold programmes, and made a background with 
the flags of the Allies, when all their national airs 
were sung. An Englishman with a pretty voice 
sang " God Save the King." He sang two verses, 
then requested the public to sing the last one with 
him, and very well it sounded — every one singing, 
including some wounded soldiers, French and 
British, of whom there were a good many in the 
salle. They ended by the "Marseillaise," very 
well sung by Mme. H. of the Opera; and then, 
too, all the public joined in at the last verse, and 
the enthusiasm was frantic. 

The " Star-Spangled Banner," under the head- 



THE CHAMPS PI \ >PL> 219 

ing of " Ndtional Airs o( the Allies," was also very 
well sung by Miss M. (Let us hope it is a good 
presage, and that the sympathies of the United 
States are with the Allies, en attendant something- 
more tangible.) 

Paris, Saturday, 26/// June 191 5. 

It was lovely this afternoon, though warm; 
and H. and I went across the Champs Elys^es to 
have tea at Laurent's. Charlotte and Frank met 
us, and we had a pleasant hour sitting- under the 
trees. It was quite a new aspect of the well- 
known cafe to me. I have lunched and dined 
there so often in the old days. I remember a 
dinner there only last June, the garden filled with 
pretty women, very much dressed or undressed, 
in that extraordinary fashion of last year, just 
before the war, when all the women wore trans- 
parent, clinging garments — Tziganes playing, 
jeunesse doree smoking expensive cigars and dis- 
cussing the winner of the Grand Prix. Paris at 
its gayest at the end of a brilliant season. All 
those men have gone now, some in the ranks as 
simple privates, facing the awful days in the 
trenches, and all sorts of privations, without a 
murmur. Many have fallen, many come back 
crippled for life, and many more must fall before 
this awful war is over! 

There were few people in the garden — women 
and children — some nurses in their uniform, with 
soldiers and officers, all taking tea. 

We asked a young officer, evidently on the 
Staff, if the news was good (there is so much 
Camaraderie now, everybody speaks to everybody). 



220 JANUARY TO JUNE, 1915 

" Mais oui, Madame, nous les repoussons lentement, 
bien lentement, mais iis reculent ! " 



Paris, Sunday, 21th June 191 5. 

Again a lovely summer day. I met Comtesse 
de Franqueville (nee Lady Sophia Palmer) coming; 
out of the English church, and we walked home 
together. She was funny over her own people ; 
says the English are just waking up to facts after 
eleven months of war, and realising that they 
have a terrible fight before them, and a cruel, 
vindictive enemy who must be crushed. She also 
said all her people couldn't say enough about the 
French, not only of their fighting qualities (they 
are a righting race), but of their quiet, steady 
determination to go on to the bitter end. 



Rue de la Pompe, 
Paris, Monday, 2%th June. 

Anything so perfectly uncomfortable as my 
apartment can't be imagined. One salon is 
crammed with furniture, chairs standing on tables 
— trunks and boxes everywhere ; the large salon 
and the smoking-room filled with garments, 
blankets, etc., for the refugees. 

Charlotte has done very well with the ouvroir 
pour la vallee de l'Aisne. People have sent most 
generous contributions from England and America, 
and the ladies themselves have made a great many 
things. The young women of the U.S. Embassy 
have worked with her, and they have a very good 
collection of clothes, from babies' shirts to men's 



THE BISHOP OF SOISSONS 221 

waistcoats and trousers, also sheets and blankets. 
She has filled several strong" linen bags, also made 
at the ouvroir, with clothes, and is sending - off a 
large envoi to the Bishop of Soissons, who has 
made an appeal for help for the unfortunate 
peasants in his diocese, where hundreds of villages 
have disappeared entirely, nothing- left but a black, 
charred plain. 

The bishop remained at Soissons through 
many bombardments, living in a cellar with his 
parishioners. He only came away when the 
bombardment ceased a little, as he felt he could do 
more for his people if he could move about and 
tell of their wretched situation. 



JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

Paris, Friday, 2nd July 191 5. 

It was very warm this morning - . I lunched with 
Mme. de G. and Bella ; Arthur and Charlotte were 
there. Arthur was very interesting", telling - us 
about his usines (factories). He was asked to 
remain at his place. (He had a brother, brother- 
in-law, a nephew, and three cousins at the front — 
five Wadding-tons "sous le drapeau "), and keep his 
factories going to make as much material as he 
could for the army. But how? with whom? All 
his best workmen had gone to the front. It is in 
such cases that one realises what mobilisation 
means in France — all the nation in arms. He 
decided to risk it with some of the old workmen 
and women, and is doing - very well, the women 
working - perfectly. 

The women have been up to the mark every- 
where, working in the fields, driving cabs and 
ambulances, and now there are several woman 
conductors on the big tramways. They look very 
well in a long, black blouse, which completely 
covers their dresses, the regulation sacoche (black 
leather bag) slung over the shoulder, with a leather 
strap, and a bonnet de police on their heads. 

The other day, when I was going by the tram 

222 



WOMEN TRAM -CONDUCTORS 223 

to the rue de la Pompe, a man in the tram was very 
rude to the woman conductor, who was young", 
evidently quite new to her work, and who wasn't 
quite sure of the stops at the street corners. He 
spoke very roughly and rather jostled her, so that 
she nearly fell out of the car. The men in the 
train remonstrated vigorously, and the man had 
to get out. 

Paris, 4/// July. 

A very hot day. C. and I and the boys went 
up to the Bois to lunch at the " Racing Club " with 
the M.'s. There were not many people; the 
breakfast good, though the service was slow. 
There were only two waiters for about half a 
dozen tables. We had ours outside, under the 
trees, and were quite cool and comfortable. The 
club is in the middle of the Bois, quite shut in 
by big trees. No one was playing tennis except 
some Japanese, who were playing extremely well, 
as they do everything. They were correctly 
dressed in white flannels, used all the English 
terms, but looked perfectly exotic. It was curious 
to see their yellow faces, with keen, narrow eyes and 
yellow hands coming out of the white flannel shirt. 

We had the papers, but they are not interesting, 
the war news very brief, each day's communique 
exactly like its predecessor, and will be, I suppose, 
until some great battle or the defection of one of 
the Middle Empires gives a real result. 

PARIS, Friday, gilt July. 

Charlotte took the little gold she still had to the 
Banque de France this morning. The country has 



224 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

called upon every one to take their gold to the 
bank, where it will be exchanged for notes. We 
hadn't much, as we had given all ours to Francis. 
In the beginning of the war people said all the men 
must have gold on them, as in case they were made 
prisoners, the gold would be useful ; so they all 
had louis sewn in a belt, which they always wear. 
Now they say just the contrary, that they must 
have no gold, and as little money as possible, 
as the Germans take everything. One didn't 
realise until the war had really lasted some time, 
what a large part lying and stealing play in the 
Teuton's idea of a glorious and wonderful war. 

C. said it was most interesting at the bank. 
Quantities of people, a great many guichets open, 
and everything done quickly and with the greatest 
order. One man next to her, brought a little 
chamois bag, out of which he shook ten thousand 
francs in gold. Next to him was a boy with a 
ten-franc gold piece — his last etrenne (New Year's 
gift). A great many women bringing twenty to 
forty francs. Everybody received notes in ex- 
change and a ticket : 

BANQUE DE FRANCE 

Versement pour la Defense Nationale 

" La Banque de France constate que Madame Wadding- 
ton a verse ce jour en or, la somme de . . . en ^change de 
billets de banque. Le 12 juillet 19 15." 

We will keep the ticket as a souvenir of the war. 



AMERICAN AID 

PARIS, Saturday, \oth July t 9 1 5 . 

A nice-looking" young Belgian officer came to 
see me this morning, to collect some money which 
friends in America had sent me for an English- 
man who is organising a field-kitchen at the 
Belgian front. He says what America has done 
in Belgium is superb. Thousands of people would 
have starved to death if America hadn't come to 
the front so liberally. She is now extending her 
work to the north of France, where the misery is 
appalling. 

Charlotte and I did some shopping for Francis 
in the afternoon. He asked for a big cake, iced, 
for their 14th July banquet, to be sent to a 
Champagne merchant in whose house they are 
living, and who was going - down to Rheims. We 
made him a fine paquet of cakes, cigars, bonbons, 
jam, etc. They are so pleased at the front to 
have a few douceurs. 

As we had gone to Colombin's for the cakes, 
we stayed to tea. I hadn't been there since last 
summer. There were a few people, among others 
.Mrs Bacon, whom I was delighted to see again ; 
every one liked them so much when they were 
at the Embassy here. 

PARIS, Tuesday, i$th July. 

It has poured, a regular downfall all day, but 
we are all delighted as the country was drying up 
for want of rain. When I was starting to meet 
Bessie Talleyrand, with whom I had made an 
appointment to go to the Italian Hospital, H. 
said : ' I suppose you will take yuur waterproof?" 



226 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

I wished I could, but some German Frau is prob- 
ably walking about very happily in it, as all the 
cloaks and rugs that were in the hall at Mareuil 
were stolen. 

I found Bessie at the Gare des Invalides, 
Josephine with her, just arrived from Rome. Both 
her sons are at the front with the Italian army, 
and she has passed her examination as nurse, and 
is enrolled at the Italian Red Cross, but there are 
no wounded yet in Rome, so she asked for a week's 
leave to come up and see us all here. 

We found Palma, Princess di Poggio, Sousa, 
Bessie's daughter Comtesse Simeon, at the hos- 
pital, which is very well arranged — large, clean 
rooms opening on a garden. The men looked 
well cared for and as comfortable as they could 
be. One poor young fellow, with a refined artist's 
face, a sculptor, had his leg off. Bessie had 
arranged to give him an artificial leg, one of the 
good ones, light and articulated, and he was so 
grateful. 

He and two others were in the same room, all 
moving about convalescents. Two had been at 
the battle of the Marne, and couldn't say enough 
about General Maunoury, who was in command. 

My nephew, a colonel of dragoons, said the 
other day the battle of the Marne was a miracle, 
... a miracle that saved Paris. 

We went all over the hospital, ending at the 
two upper floors which the Duchesse de C. directs 
and runs entirely at her own expense. The rooms 
are quite beautiful, high and light and white ; not 
a hospital smell of any kind, and even on this 
dismal afternoon they looked bright. Eight or 



A FETE DAY 227 

ten men, all convalescent (one with his left arm 
amputated), were sitting at a table in the big 
window at one end of the gallery — an infirmiere — 
and M. C who is devoted and so kind to the 
men, teaching them to make artificial flowers out 
of mie de pain (bread-crumb). The infirmiere, 
who turned out to be Mme. Boni, the famous 
danseuse from the Opera (Italian-born), was 
showing them, and talking so easily and nicely 
to the men. It seems they all adore her, and 
sometimes she dances for them. 

1 1 is curious how all professions, dancers, singers, 
lecturers, find work among the soldiers. 

We had tea in the officers' and infirmieres' 
dining-room — no one there but ourselves. 

Paris, Wednesday, 14th July. 

Such a quiet fete ; no illuminations, no flags, 
no dancing in the streets at the principal carrefours. 
There was quite a display of military. To mark 
the day in some way, they had transported the 
body of Rouget de Lisle (author of " La Marseil- 
laise") to the Invalides. A fine regiment of 
cuirassiers passed and were wildly cheered by the 
crowd. Some of the women saluted the flag by 
the military salute. It looked rather pretty. It 
is difficult for the infirmieres to return the salute. 
All the officers and soldiers salute an infirmiere 
ill Red Cross uniform, and I think it would be 
petty if all the women could answer in the same 
way. 

A great many wounded soldiers were walking 
about the Champs Elysees, and many people gave 



228 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

them cigarettes and tobacco. I was so sorry I 
hadn't any with me. One hardly likes to give 
money. 

Paris, Friday, \6thjuly. 

I was at the ouvroir all the afternoon. Pro- 
fessor Hall with his wife and daughter came in. 
They are so interested in France and the war, 
and appreciate so thoroughly how splendidly 
France has come out since the war (nearly a 
year now) that it is a pleasure to see them. 

Paris, Saturday, x^th July 191 5. 

I had a nice afternoon at Versailles. C. met 
me at the station. We went first to see the rooms 
at the hotel, which are charming, large and airy, 
giving on the boulevard de la Reine. Then we 
found the boys in the park and sat there for 
some time. It rained at intervals, little summer 
showers, but one is completely sheltered under the 
big trees or little recesses cut out in the high, stiff 
box-hedges. Soldiers in uniform were doing the 
gardening, clipping, watering, etc. We had tea 
at an "At Home," one of the numerous new tea 
places on the place d'Armes, which have developed 
since two or three years. Mrs Bliss and Mrs 
Hall came in. They had been to see a colony of 
French and Belgian children, orphans. It seems 
that there are thirty or forty babies of two years 
of whom no one — not even the two Belgian nuns 
who brought them — knows anything — neither 
their names nor parents. They were found in 
cellars with a lot of miserable children. 



\ SOLDIERS' "CANTINE* 229 

P vris, S iay\ \%thjuly. 

I went to the Gare du Nord this morning to 
send off some packages to Soissons, and to ask 
about some that had been announced to me from 
England (They, of course, hadn't come. I 
wonder who gets all the packages that I don't.) 

I wanted, too. to see the cantine where 
Charlotte works. She was just starting for the 
English train. She is one of the queteuses, which 
is rather hard work, as they go into all the 
carriages, just a few minutes before the train starts, 
and have to scramble out in a hurry when they 
are told. Occasionally the ladies don't get off in 
time, and are carried off to the next station. 

She looked very nice in her white dress and 
coiffe, and absurdly young. She has had some 
funny experiences. She heard two young men 
saying in English: " We must give ten francs to 
that pretty girl," and when she thanked them in 
English, they were much surprised. "Oh, we 
didn't know you were English," and much more, 
when she said : ' I am not English, I am French ! " 

She generally gets a very good collecte. 

I went over the cantine with her afterward, 
which is very well arranged. Two long wooden 
tables spotlessly clean — and an excellent meal — 
all served by ladies, who wipe the table each time 
a plate or dish that has been used is taken off. 
At the end of the hall there are about fifty beds, 
where the poor men who are too ill or too tired 
to go on can rest. 

I talked to some of the men. As a rule they 
looked well. Almost all, as they went out, put 



230 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

a sou in the box that was at the door, marked : 
"Pour les repas du soldat." I said to our men: 
"C'est bien 9a?" "Oh, yes, Madame, we have 
had a good meal ; we must leave something - for 
our comrades who, perhaps, will need it more." 



Versailles, Monday, iqtkjufy. 

I came out yesterday for Frank's birthday. 
We spent all the afternoon in the park, down by 
the canal, where there is a very good little 
restaurant. We brought out the birthday cake, 
which the patissiere explained she could not make 
as she would like, with his name and age in 
beautiful coloured letters on the white icing — as 
she was so short of hands. But she did put a bow 
of ribbon and a flower. 

There were a great many people at the 
restaurant, French and British officers with pretty, 
well-dressed women under the red umbrellas which 
made charming little niches under the trees. 

There were boats of every description on the 
canal, and autos waiting on the road. All the 
warriors are enjoying themselves immensely. We 
stayed in the park until 7 o'clock. There was 
nothing but uniforms to be seen. The soldiers 
come out from 6 to 8, and every one had a girl 
hanging on his arm. They foretell an extraordinary 
increase of population. I would certainly prefer 
English babies to German, if we are to have 
a great infusion of foreign blood. 

The chateau looked beautiful as we walked up 
to the terrace, all its great fagade of windows a 
blaze of light from the setting sun ; and in the 



AT THE GARE DU NOKD Sol 

distance, over the trees and canal, that soft blue 
mist that one sees so often in Versailles at the end 
of the day. 

As it was a birthday we made a great exception 
and dined at the Reservoirs. There were a good 
many people, pretty women and officers dining. 
We walked back to our Hotel Vatel, and it rather 
reminded me of Marienbad — people dining outside 
at all the cafes, and women walking about alone, 
quite independent. 

It is C.'s ouvroir day. I am sorry to leave. It 
was so cool and fresh this morning, and so resting 
to the eyes after the pavement of Paris. Our 
rooms are on the third floor, and we look straight 
into the big trees of the boulevard de la Reine. 

PARIS, Thursday, 29/// July. 

I went with Agnes Welsh this morning to see 
Charlotte at the cantine of the Gare du Nord. 
Mr Washburn met us there. He is very keen 
about everything connected with the war, and 
wants to see everything and help where he can. 

There were a great many people on the quais, 
and I left Agnes to look for Charlotte while I went 
to the cantine to see if she was there. She wasn't. 
The old man who presides told me she was making 
her quete. The room was full of soldiers ; every 
table taken, and there were a great many waiting 
outside — all their hats and rifles piled up, and on 
each knapsack a big loaf of pain du soldat — such 
nice-looking rye bread, pain de seigle, they call it 
here. I went back to the quai, where I found 
Charlotte. She was on the best of terms with 

Q 



232 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

all the railway officials, who were all smiling at 
her. She still had two more trains to make, and 
we waited on the quai. 

The crowd was interesting - , quantities of soldiers 
of all kinds — permissionnaires, who were met 
and embraced by wives, mothers, and sisters ; 
squads of fresh young men starting off to the 
front, and melancholy groups of one-armed, one- 
legged men, cheerful in spite of their mutilation, 
and so proud still of the uniform. When they are 
finally out of the hospitals and unfit for active 
service, they must, of course, give up the uniform, 
which is a great blow to them. Even those who 
have only worn it a few months, who were wounded 
early, hold to their pantalon rouge. I think the 
Government must give a badge or medal of some 
kind to the men who were wounded in the war. 

When C. had finished, we went back to the 
cantine, and Agnes gave medals and tobacco to 
the soldiers. There was an interesting man there, 
just from Arras, with one shoulder badly hurt. 
He had seen horrors. Germans packed into a 
Red Cross ambulance, calling for help. When the 
French soldiers went forward to open the door, 
a mitrailleuse, hidden inside, mowed them down 
like grass. 

They give the men an excellent meal : soup, 
very good, a dish of meat and vegetables, cheese, 
fruit, coffee, and wine or beer. 

Charlotte came back to breakfast and went off 
immediately to Versailles. 



FALL OF WARSAW 233 

Paris, $th August. 

We are having beautiful summer days, and 
usually at this season are established either at the 
seashore or else at one of our favourite summer 
resorts, at Marienbad — but this year it is difficult 
to know where to go. All the hotels at the sea- 
side are used as military ambulances, or else closed 
altogether, and besides we are all so busy that it 
doesn't seem right to leave Paris. 

It isn't very warm. I go up to the Bois some- 
times in the morning. It is empty, a few old 
gentlemen sitting on the benches reading the 
papers — nurses and children — not many. 

Warsaw has fallen, but I don't think it is a very 
brilliant victory for the Germans. The Russians 
stripped the town of everything before leaving, 
and retreated in perfect order. I fancy we shall 
hear no more of the grand triumphal entrance 
the Kaiser was to make with the Empress, who 
was said to be waiting at Hindenburg's head- 
quarters, with splendid robes and jewels for the 
grande rentree. . . . 

Paris, Monday, yt/i August. 

It has been grey and warm. I went to the 
cantine of the Gare St Lazare after dinner to 
get Charlotte, who was de service there — had been 
there since 4 o'clock. Both she and Mine. d'A., 
who was working with her, seemed rather ex- 
hausted with the heat and fatigue. However, 
both ladies were carrying about trays with bowls of 
hot bouillon, and huge pieces of bread and sausage. 

They don't give an entire hot meal at the can- 



234 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

tine after 7.30 (dinner), but they have hot bouillon, 
coffee, bread, cheese, and cold meat at night. The 
military trains arrive at all hours and always after 
the appointed time. 

There were quite a number of soldiers ; some of 
them looked too tired to eat. Two young ones 
with fever could hardly stand. They were given 
beds to have a good rest for their early start the 
next morning. 

They have ten beds and a bath in a room along- 
side of the dining-room. An infirmiere is always 
there, day and night. The cantine is supported 
by the quetes (collections) the ladies make in the 
trains. They go in couples to all the outgoing 
trains, at the last moment, when the passengers 
are all seated. Madeleine got twenty francs the 
other day from a lady in the English train, who 
was very frightened and nervous about the cross- 
ing, and hoped the louis would bring her good 
luck with all the mines and submarines. 

It certainly isn't a pleasant moment to cross 
the Channel with the danger of being sunk — and 
always the interminable waits at the douane and 
passport bureaux. 

All the service at the cantine is voluntary. 
No one is paid except the cook and a boy who 
washes the dishes. They give a very good meal 
— soup, meat, vegetables, cheese, as much bread 
as they like, and beer, wine, or coffee — whichever 
they prefer, all gratis, of course. The meals cost 
the cantine fifty centimes a head. I can't imagine 
how they can do it so cheaply, but Mme. de B., 
who runs it, is an excellent manager. She is there 
every day, sometimes twice a day. 



POLYGLOT TROOPS 235 

The quete entirely covers the expenses, in fact 
more than covers them, as they have a fair sum 
in reserve. 

I stood at the door some little time, watch- 
ing- the crowd of soldiers of all arms, ages, and 
colours. There were some Senegalese, black as 
ink, and yellow Moroccans who passed. Many 
looked wistfully at the open door and the two 
long tables filled with soldiers, and all were told 
to come in. They deposited their kits outside, 
waiting their turn, and were so pleased to talk a 
little and smoke a cigarette. I had a provision 
with me. They respond instantly to any mark of 
interest. Even the black Senegalais who couldn't 
speak French, broke into a broad smile when 
C. appeared in her infirmiere dress, and said : 
' Merci, ma sceur : moi manger!" So she in- 
stalled him at one of the tables and brought him 
his soup. 

We came away about 10.30 ; soldiers were still 
coming. The infirmiere in the medical room and 
her two young fellows were asleep — couldn't eat 
anything, but they would have a good breakfast 
in the morning. 

I left C. at her hotel, where she had some 
difficulty in getting in. The staff of servants is 
considerably reduced. The hall porter is a child 
twelve years old, who naturally was fast asleep in 
a big chair, and didn't hear anything. 



Paris, Saturday, \^th August. 

I went down again to Mareuil for twenty- 
four hours on Thursday. We still have French 



236 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

soldiers in the house, some of the officers very 
exacting- ; and Mme. G. felt unable to cope with 
them. 

It was dark when we arrived, at 9 o'clock, and 
we had to grope our way across the track and 
into the little salle, where every one was obliged to 
show their sauf-conduits ; eight or ten unfortunate 
people were not en regie, hadn't the necessary 
papers, and were sadly preparing - to spend the 
night at the station in the dark. One woman, 
well dressed and speaking in an educated voice, 
came to ask me if I was also kept, and did I know 
Mareuil ; was there any hotel or auberge of any 
kind where she could go for the night. Mme. G., 
who had come to meet us with her lantern, said 
she thought there were good clean rooms at the 
only hotel in the village. We all walked off to- 
g-ether in the dark, and the poor woman looked 
so forlorn, I told her she had much better stop 
at my house. I could give her a bed and a meal. 
She was very shy, and when I named myself, that 
seemed to make matters worse. She couldn't think 
of intruding-. I insisted a little, but she evidently 
couldn't make up her mind to come. I couldn't 
see her very well in the dark, but I think she was 
a boutiquiere of a good class, or the wife of a small 
farmer. Her voice and language were perfectly 
good, like so many women of that class, who 
express themselves well and have very good 
manners. 

One of the railway men was walking behind us, 
so I told him to take the lady to the hotel and see 
that she got a good room. We parted at our gate. 
I told her if she couldn't find a decent room, to 



UNPLEASANT INMATES 237 

come back, but she didn't, and I suppose found 
what she wanted. 

I found no officers at the house except a 
corporal de gendarmerie who is always there, and 
whom we are glad to have, as it is a certain 
protection. 

Mme. G. was very eloquent over her last band 
of soldiers: the officer most disagreeable, wanting 
to make various changes in the room — among 
other things, to knock down a cloison (partition). 
When she protested, he answered: " C'est la 
guerre ! Mme. Waddington a bien donne" sa maison 
aux Allemands ; elle ne peut pas la refuser aux 
Francais ! " " Donne" " is perhaps not exactly the 
term to use, as the Germans took forcible possession 
of an empty house. 

Naturally, I shouldn't dream of refusing the 
house to French soldiers, and wouldn't want to! 

Francis is very comfortably lodged in a small 
chateau with a good library and plenty of books, 
and a large airy room. 

However, that unwelcome officer didn't stay 
very long, though he told Mme. G. the place 
suited him, and he should stay a month ; but he 
was sent on after two or three days. 

The cure came to dinner, and we sat out 
afterward. I tried not to see the potatoes and 
only smell the roses, which are beautiful. I have 
never seen them so lovely, climbing ones, of course. 
The whole side of the house is covered with such 
lovely white roses, but only the climbers. All the 
flower-beds were trampled over by the German 
horses, also the herbaceous border around the boys' 
lawn. 



238 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

I told Mme. G. to lock certain rooms, and left 
a note for the mayor, who didn't come to see me, 
asking him to insist upon the soldiers occupying 
only the rooms I indicated in the old house. 

We heard the cannon distinctly all the afternoon. 
The cure says the passage of the troops is awfully 
hard on the poor people, as they carry off every- 
thing — blankets, mattresses, etc. Of course one 
can understand the poor fellows, cold and wet, not 
being able to resist taking a blanket when they 
can get one. And I imagine all soldiers do the 
same, but it is awfully hard on the village people, 
who have not yet replaced all the Germans took. 
Many of them are still sleeping on straw, covered 
with sacks. 

He says, too, that the troops of refugees are 
melancholy. The big salle at the mairie is never 
empty. They put down fresh straw every day, 
and the village takes bread and milk to the 
unfortunate women and children, who rest a day 
or two, then start off on their long, weary tramp 
to find homes that have ceased to exist. 



Paris, Wednesday, 18 th August. 

I was at the ouvroir early, then stopped to see 
Charlotte, who was starting for the Gare de l'Est 
with the boys and a camp-stool, to meet Francis. 
The train was due at 6, but there was sure to be 
a delay. She had already been there Tuesday, 
thinking he might perhaps come, and said it was 
interesting to see the long file of women — mothers, 
wives, and children, waiting for their men. The 
line stretched out nearly across the great court- 



ON LEAVE 239 

yard ; some had brought camp-stools, but most of 
them sat on the ground. She said it was pretty 
to see how each permissionnaire was welcomed as 
he arrived, his whole family embracing him, children 
clinging to his coat-tails, and carrying his bag. 

Our soldier got here about 8.30, looking very 
well and gay, so pleased to be with us all again. 

Mine. Sallandrouze and Madeleine dined, and 
we were a very happy family party. 

He wears his uniform very well, quite as if he 
had been accustomed to it all his life. The boys 
couldn't keep off him. They all went off early, 
as he had had a long night's journey. He stays 
until next Wednesday, a short week ; but one is 
grateful for very small favours in war-time, and it 
is everything to have him back, well and gay, and 
confident that things are going well with us. 

Paris, Thursday, 19/// August 1915. 

We all lunched with Mme. Sallandrouze, who 
was delighted to have her two military menages, 
as the R.'s are here too. He is on sick leave, 
having had trouble with his heart. Both men were 
most cheerful, telling us all sorts of experiences. 

Francis went off directly after luncheon with 
Charlotte, to order himself shirts and a new tunic. 
I insisted on the whole party coming to have tea 
with me at Laurent's in the Champs Elysees. 

I met Norah G., who wanted very much to see 
Francis, and told her to come too, and we had a 
very pleasant afternoon, sitting under the trees — 
the two men making quite a pretty bit of colour in 
their bleu horizon. Every garcon in the place was 



240 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

around our table, fascinated by the stories both 
men were telling. 

Francis, Charlotte, and the boys dined with us, 
and he played a little after dinner. It seemed quite 
the old times, except for the talk and the change 
in him. He has grown older, graver, with a curious 
steady look in his eyes. The conversation was 
exclusively war. He said such curious things 
happened with so many men of all kinds serving in 
the ranks, particularly in the Territorials. His 
commandant (major) said to him one day that he 
had just done such a stupid thing. He was 
superintending the unloading of a camion filled 
with heavy rough planks. He thought some of 
the soldiers were slow, lazy, and called out to them 
rather sharply: "Voyons, voyons, il faut que cela 
finisse ; un peu plus d'energie!" Still there were 
one or two who seemed awkward, didn't know how 
to handle the heavy planks, one particularly, a 
man about thirty-five years old. Finally he 
apostrophised him directly, saying: "Don't you 
know how to work ? You look strong enough ! 
What did you do before the war?" "Mon 
Commandant, I was professeur au College de 
France." 

One of Francis' comrades is the son of a well- 
known big Paris grocer, like Potin — a very nice 
fellow. They were very good friends. One day 
he came in looking rather glum, didn't seem dis- 
posed to talk. Francis couldn't understand what 
the matter was. At last the young fellow said : 
" I hear you are the cousin of the smart Colonel 
of Cuirassiers who was stationed here, with the 
same name." "Yes, he is my first cousin." "Oh, 



FRANCIS WADDINGTON 241 

I hear, too, that you are the son of an Ambassador!" 
"Yes, my father was ten years Ambassador in 
London." Still silence; then: "I suppose that 
after the war you won't want to see me any more ; 
we shall never meet ; you won't know me." " That 
is not at all nice of you to say. I shall always be 
delighted to see you, and after the war is over, if 
we both come out of it, I hope you will come to 
see me often, and we will talk over war-times and 
life in the trenches, and all the days of close 
camaraderie we spent together." He was rather 
mollified, but it was some time before he could 
quite get back to the old footing. 

Paris, Sunday, 22nd August 1 9 1 5 

To-day was lovely, a bright sun, but cool. 
Francis, Charlotte, and the Tiffanys dined. 
Francis had been to the club where his friends 
(the old gentlemen) were delighted to see him. 
There are no young ones left in town, and the 
embusques who work at the Minist£res or Etat- 
Major don't show themselves at the club. 

We had very good champagne, which Francis' 
friends had sent for him to drink while he was 
en permission. When he is at Rheims he lives 
with these Champagne people, who are devoted 
to him. Madame, who has had six sons, took 
care of him when he was ill. 

We drank " France, et les Allies" standing, and 
sang all the national airs after dinner. We tried 
to be gay, but with such heavy hearts, not daring 
to face the future. 



242 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

Paris, Tuesday, 24M August 191 5. 

It has been warm all day. Francis came up to 
Charlotte's ouvroir for the valine de l'Aisne. He 
was much pleased at the way she had managed 
the thing - , and decidedly impressed with all the 
trunks and wardrobes full of clothes. 

The Welshes came to dinner for his last evening 
and were so interested in all he told them. The 
two boys are on his back all day, and Charlotte 
looks radiant, her eyes like stars. 

Paris, Wednesday, 25^// August 1915. 

I went to the hotel before breakfast to see if 
Francis had all he wanted, and to decide upon a 
small apartment for Charlotte, and another school 
for the boys. They came to breakfast, then went 
off for last commissions. Everybody gave him 
things — a pipe, cigars, two bottles of old brandy, 
books, kodak. He went off at 5. Charlotte went 
with him to the station. I took the boys for a 
turn in the Bois. They were rather tearful when 
he bade them good-bye and told them they were 
big boys now, and must take care of their mother 
and " Danny." For me there was nothing more 
to do, only a kiss and "God bless you, Mother!" 
and he was gone. The partings are hard when 
the last moment really comes. 

Paris, Saturday, 28M August 19 15. 

Charlotte said that the scene at the Gare de 
l'Est on Wednesday night, when Francis left, was 



RUSSIAN NAVAL VICTORY 243 

wonderful. Hundreds of women and children 
saying good-bye to their sons and husbands, and 
all so courageous, smiling, and making all sorts of 
plans for apres la guerre ; not a tear, as long as the 
train was there. When it moved off, the soldiers 
cheering and singing, and all the people on the 
quais cheering, some of them broke down. 

I always think of the poor little girl in the first 
days of the mobilisation, trying to be brave, when 
the gars told her not to cry : " Nous reviendrons ! " 
— looking up at me through her tears: "Tous ne 
reviendront pas, Madame ! " 

We are all delighted with the Russian naval 
victory at Riga ; it seems as if the tide was turn- 
ing. The Germans may find a winter campaign 
ill Russia as fatal as Napoleon did. 

We have just heard of d'Agoult's death — such 
a charming fellow. He was for some time naval 
attache at London with us, and we liked him and 
his wife both so much. They have had so much 
trouble, have lost three sons. 



1'akis, Friday, yd September 1915. 

A letter from Francis to-day, saying the order 
has come from General Headquarters for him to 
pass his examination of Interpreter at last ; that 
looks as if he would be named. He is so anxious 
for it, is tired of carrying despatches. I wonder 
where he will go. 

It has been very cool to-day. Some people had 
tires. 



244 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

Paris, Saturday, \th September 19 15. 

It is still cold to-day. I went late to see 
Comtesse d'Agfoult. Poor thing, she looks miser- 
able ; heard the news from a friend of d'Agoult's, 
a naval officer sent from the Ministere de la 
Marine, to tell her. She thought he had come to 
see her about a bicycle, welcomed him most cheer- 
fully until she saw his face. " Madame, I have 
not come to speak to you about the bicycle. I 
have bad news for you. M. d'Agmilt is wounded, 
severely wounded." She said his face told her 
the truth. She merely asked: "When was he 
killed?" "How?" "By a shell." " He died in 
two hours ; never regained consciousness." 

It was a melancholy visit. We went back to 
the old days when he was naval attache in London, 
and we were all so fond of him. They had a fine 
little family, three boys and one girl. All the 
boys are dead, and now he, the last of his name. 
He needn't have gone to the front, was over fifty ; 
but he said he had no sons to fight for France ; 
he must go himself. 

As I was walking across the bridge I met Mrs 
Watson, who picked me up and we went for a 
turn to the lakes. The Bois was almost deserted ; 
but the Champs Elysees looked fairly alive with 
some lights in the avenue and the various 
hospitals. 

I hope Charlotte and the boys are enjoying 
the seashore. The children have been so long in 
Paris and were pining for a beach where they 
could run all day, and not be told all the time 
not to make a noise and break furniture and 



PRESIDENT WILSON 245 

gallop over people's heads in a hotel. Town is no 
place for strong, cheerful boys, country-bred. 



Paris, Sunday, 5/// September. 

A beautiful warm day. I went with Bessie to 
Bagatelle to see the Russian Field-Ambulance they 
have just sent to France, and which starts for the 
front to-morrow morning - . It looked most com- 
plete — the operating-room on wheels. There were 
a great many people there, in fact all over the 
Bois, and uniforms and languages of every 
description. 

Paris, Wednesday, 8t/i September. 

The days are so exactly alike that one loses all 
count of time. Many of the Americans here are 
very hard on Wilson and the ridiculous position 
in which he has placed the country: "America, 
the laughing-stock of the world ! " I should think 
D. must go (and Bernstorff long ago) ! When one 
remembers how Sackvillc- West was given his pass- 
ports for so much less important reasons! 

Paris, Friday, iot/1 September. 

Still lovely warm weather. We had a great 
many soldiers and soldiers' wives at the ouvroir 
to-day. Some of the women look so absolutely 
miserable All want work, but we can't ^ive to 
all. Our funds are getting exhausted. The 
ouvroir has been working since the beginning of 
the war (August 191 4). People have been most 
generous. There was a magnificent elan at first, 



246 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 



but of course no one thought the war would last 
so long - . The Kaiser said he should sleep in Paris 
on the 2 ist August 191 4. Apparently he changed 
his mind! . . . 

Paris, Tuesday, \\th September. 

There is no especial war news. The Russians 
seem doing better. We see a good many people 
at the ouvroir, but no one really knows anything 
of what is going on. 

I have decided to go to Petites Dalles for ten 
days. Outrey will take me down. He told me 
I could not go with an ordinary sauf-conduit, as 
it was a watering-place on the coast, and the 
whole coast was infested with spies. I must have 
two witnesses to say they know all about me, and 
to certify that I was a respectable woman, not a 
femme legere! He could be one witness, and I 
asked my friend the restaurateur at the corner 
of the street to be the other. He looked so 
respectable and well-dressed when I picked him 
up at the cafe, and was beaming at the idea of 
testifying to the respectability of "Son Excellence 
Madame l'Ambassadrice." 

The Commissaire de Police knows me perfectly 
well, as I have to get a sauf-conduit every time 
I go down to Mareuil. The officer looked at all 
my papers, then remarked : " Madame, you are 
not a Frenchwoman born ! " " Monsieur, you can 
see that on my certificat de manage." " Were my 
American parents living?" Then: "How tall 
are you?" "I should think you could see that 
as I am standing before you." But it wasn't 
enough. I had to stand up under a measuring- 



AMERICAN OPINIONS 247 

board (like a criminal), and he took down my 
exact height. It was really too stupid. But all 
French people love red - tape, and the smaller 
officials revel in their authority. 

My two witnesses were also subjected to a strict 
examination, though their papers were en regie. 

I had an interesting visit after breakfast from 
.i Chicago man, Mr K., a friend of Ambassador 
I Ierrick, who gave him a letter to me. As it was 
my day at the ouvroir, I was obliged to go out at 
once, and suggested to him that he should come 
with me and see our work. He was interested in 
all he saw, and promised to try and help us when 
he got back to America. It was quite interesting 
to hear an impartial, intelligent American man 
discuss the war. Some of the Americans here, 
particularly the women, are quite hysterical when 
they talk about Wilson's policy, and war in the 
United States between Americans and Germans ; 
they say they are ashamed of being Americans. 
He laughed at the idea of any revolution in 
America; said the Germans talked very senti- 
mentally about their Kaiser and their "Vater- 
land," but that, if it came to the point, not one 
of them would leave their good solid business, 
bankers and brewers, and throw in their lot with 
Germany. 

Petitks Dallas, 23^/ September. 

We have had some lovely bright summer days 
in this pretty little Norman village. It consists of 
one street running down to the beach, a small 
stretch of galcts (pebbles), very little sand, and 
shut in by high cliffs at each side. There are a 

R 



248 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

few shops and houses in the street, but most 
people take one of the villas on the cliff, or else 
a little back in the country, which is lovely — broad 
roads with splendid old trees. 

There is a hotel on the beach which has been 
turned into a hospital. No one in it now, but 
they are expecting wounded and refugees every 
day. The other hotel, where we are, is at a little 
distance from the beach, up a hill, has a nice 
terrace where we sit and have our coffee after 
lunch, and get a view of the sea. 

It was curious to be in a place where there was 
no sign of war ; no sick or wounded soldiers, no 
Red Cross flags anywhere, no nurses in uniform, 
no men except old ones, quantities of nurses and 
children. The only thing that made one think of 
war was the crowd of people (the whole village) 
waiting at the little fruit-stall for the papers, 
everybody talking to his neighbour and discussing 
the communiques. 

There is no especial news these days ; the 
Russians have evacuated Vilna — always the same 
tactics — removing everything of value and retreat- 
ing in good order. 

Bulgaria is inquietante ; she is mobilising, and 
no one knows what that crafty Ferdinand means 
to do. It all seemed unreal when we were talking 
on the beach, watching the sun dip down into the 
sea, and the lovely sunset clouds that threw a soft, 
beautiful light over everything. 

The weather got much cooler about the end of 
the month, and we were glad to leave. We were 
the only people left in the hotel. The big dining- 
room looked forlorn with no table but ours. 



IVETOT 249 

We had a beautiful day to leave — a big omnibus 
with three Norman posters with high red collars 
and bells came over from Ivetot to get us. We 
went through lovely country, sometimes passing 
chateaux with great wide avenues with the double 
border of trees one sees so often in Normandy ; 
sometimes little farmhouses, with gardens and 
orchards, a few cows grazing placidly in the fields. 
Scarcely any horses and no men. Everywhere 
the women were working in the fields. 

Our horses took us at a very good pace, trotted 
steadily up and down hill, so that we really made 
our journey quite rapidly. It was a pleasant 
change to be in a horse-vehicle, and not to dash 
through everything in clouds of dust in a motor- 
car. 

At Ivetot there was a complete change. The 
little town and the station were filled with soldiers, 
" Tommies," most of them evidently fresh arrivals, 
their uniforms quite smart and new, showing no 
signs of campaign. 

There were several pretty young English 
nurses, evidently on the best of terms with the 
warriors. 

While we were waiting on the platform for the 
Paris Express, a train drew in with German 
prisoners. We saw the officers quite distinctly, 
in a lighted carriage, smoking and playing cards. 
The men were in luggage-trucks. No one said 
anything or made any hostile demonstrations ol 
any kind — except a few of the soldier railway 
porters, who scowled (so did the Germans), and 
muttered " Sales Boches! " under their breath. 



250 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

Paris, Sunday, 3rd October 1915. 

A lovely warm day. I walked up to the avenue 
Malakoff after lunch, to see Mme. de Laumont, 
whose husband and son were buried yesterday 
(at least the husband was) ; the boy, twenty-four, 
killed in action, was buried where he fell. They 
had got with difficulty a permis for the son to 
come to Paris for forty-eight hours to go to his 
father's funeral. When the estafette arrived with 
the permission, the boy was killed. He wrote a 
charming letter to his sister, just before the attack, 
saying, " If this reaches you, I shall be dead. We 
attack to-morrow morning. I am in the first 
line," and telling her to do all she could for 
his mother and father. The father was already 
dead. 

I didn't see Mme. de Laumont, but her mother, 
who adored her grandson. Mme. de Laumont 
had gone to see a friend, Mme. de P., whose 
son, eighteen years old, has also been killed. Is 
this cruel war going to take all our loved ones 
away? 

We had a good many visitors at tea-time. No 
especial news ; Russians holding on well. 

Paris, Tuesday, $th October 1915. 

I had an interesting morning which changed 
my ideas a little. They revolve in a circle — the 
men at the front and the work of the ouvroir. I 
seem always to be calculating how many shirts, 
how many calecons, two thousand metres of 
flannel will make, and how and where to get the 



OLD PARIS 251 

woollen stuffs. Everything has more than doubled 
in price, and besides, the Government buys every- 
thing for the army. 

I went with Mr B., a charming American who 
knows Paris well (and all the rest of the world — 
has been everywhere), to see a little bit of old 
Paris. The rue de l'Ancienne Comedie, the 
famous Cafe Procope, where Voltaire, Mirabeau, 
and dozens of other well-known writers and grands 
politiques used to meet and discuss questions and 
proclaim theories which inflamed the minds of the 
young generation and upset the civilised world. 
We went into a little back room and saw the 
painted ceilings, and the Voltaire and Mirabeau 
tables. We really had a delightful hour in the 
past, standing under an archway where Danton, 
Marat, Desmoulins, and Charlotte Corday had 
passed, with hearts beating high with patriotism 
and ambition, scarcely realising the power that 
was in their hands. 

We walked through the cour de Rohan, a 
beautiful little square, very old-fashioned court 
with wonderful doorways and iron gratings. One 
could hardly believe one was in modern Paris with 
the busy, crowded boulevard St Germain five 
minutes off. 

We lunched at the Palais de Justice. I was the 
only woman, and it was interesting to see all the 
avocats coming in with their gowns and square caps. 
The cafe was lower than the street, and we walked 
up the three broad worn steps that Marie 
Antoinette walked up to get into the fatal tumbrel 
that carried her to the scaffold. I don't know why, 
but the old, worn stone steps say so much to me. 



252 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

I seem to see the thousands of weary feet that 
have tramped over them. 

Paris, Wednesday, 6fh October. 

I was at the ouvroir all the afternoon. We 
didn't have as many soldiers as usual, and only a 
few visitors. One lady had been to St Sulpice ; 
where there is an enormous colony of refugees, 
French and Belgian — all most comfortably 
installed. Where there are families, they have two 
rooms and can do their own cooking and washing. 
The nuns look after them and beg for clothes — no 
matter what kind ; they can always disinfect and 
clean, mend and find good pieces in any quite worn 
garments. It seems that some of the children's 
frocks are a curiosity, all patchwork. They get a 
great deal, as we all send them things that we can't 
use. I have had one or two cases of old clothes 
that I had unpacked in the courtyard, and even 
then the smell was something awful. 

Mme. W. arrived there just as a large party was 
being sent off to the country. She said it was a 
wonderful sight. They were dressed evidently in 
all the second-hand garments that had been given 
to them. Some of the men had top hats and dress 
coats and redingotes of black broadcloth — poor 
things ! 

We are sending troops to Salonica, which seems 
rather hard with so many Germans still in France. 
It is extraordinary how the Balkan states embroil 
the whole of Europe. 



THE BALKAN STATES 253 

Paris, Friday, 8/7/ October. 

We are all much delighted with the first result 
of the Allies' offensive, but a little nervous over 
Bulgaria. I wonder if Ferdinand really believes in 
Germany's promises and the readiness with which 
she disposes of other nations' property. 

Paris, Sunday, lot/i October. 

Our visitors to-day were rather blue over the 
Bulgarian attitude. The Due de L. and Sir H. L. 
very nervous, say there is no use of sending" a 
small force . . . that was the mistake of the 
Dardanelles ; and yet the Allies, if they mean to 
follow up their dash at the German trenches, can't 
weaken their front in France. 

Paris, Monday, nt/i October. 

I lunched with Comtesse D. at Ritz, where 
there were quite a number of people. We heard of 
Casteya's death — severely wounded and died in 
the hospital — another of Francis' friends, one of 
those who danced at the house. He leaves a young 
wife and child. 

The loss of young' lives is something awful, and 
for what? There must come a heavy reckoning 
some day to the Kaiser, but that won't give us 
back all those who are gone ! 

After lunch we went to see the German cannon 
at the Invalides. There were quantities of people, 
many soldiers of all grades. To the uninitiated, one 
cannon looks very like another, but they all showed 



254 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

traces of battle. Some of the anti-aircraft guns, 
with their muzzles pointed up in the clouds, were 
curious. What interested me much more than the 
cannon were the people looking at them. There 
was no boasting - , no expressions of triumph, but a 
quiet steady look on all the faces. One felt the 
determination to go on to the end. "Nous les 
aurons ! " I heard several men say. 



Paris, Sunday, I'jth October. 

Every one was much excited this afternoon 
over the Zeppelin raid in London. Mr B. read us 
a letter from a friend who was coming out of a 
theatre, when one near was struck by a bomb. 
They had been warned at the Savoy Hotel, half an 
hour before the Zeppelin arrived, but didn't heed 
the warning, didn't think it was possible. A great 
deal of harm was done, quite two hundred people 
killed and wounded. No details have been in the 
papers. 

It seems incredible that the British avions can't 
get at them. A strict guard is kept over Paris. 
Several Zeppelins have been announced, but so far 
none have come. It is much easier for them to 
get to London, as the Channel fog prevents their 
being seen. 

Paris, igt/i October. 

I went to the atelier in the ruede Chateaubriand 
this afternoon, where our Comite International de 
Pansements Chirurgicaux is temporarily installed. 
Mr W. was there, very busy unpacking cases, and 
making big parcels to be sent off to the hospitals. 



MURDER OF MISS C A YELL 255 

It is entirely an American work. All the panse- 
ments, blankets, old linen, etc., are sent direct 
from America. They send splendid things, which 
are most appreciated. All that I sent to some of 
my hospitals were very acceptable. 

The Paris hospitals are well supplied, but those 
nearer the front — even in big" towns like Dun- 
kerque and Calais — are in great need. 

There is always friction between the Croix 
Rouge and the autorites militaires. 

I went to see the Comte de B. afterward, who 
has come up ill from the country. He was so 
depressed, saw everything so dark, that I was 
quite unhappy. Not only the actual moment 
with this awful fighting going on, but the apres 
la guerre France with no men left, no money, and 
no credit. Of course he criticised the Govern- 
ment, and still more the diplomatists. (He is an 
Ambassador's son.) They ought to have fore- 
seen what was going to happen, and made suit- 
able provision — as if any one could foresee what 
that mad Kaiser was going to do. 

Paris, Friday^ 22/id October. 

The Mygatts leave this morning for America, 
via Bordeaux. They are not at all nervous. I 
must say I should be, and would certainly not 
take a French or English steamer if I was obliged 
to go to America. I hope they will send a wireless 
as soon as they are out of the danger zone. 

Several people came in to tea at the ouvroir — 
all much excited over the murder of Miss Cavell, 
the English nurse. I wonder how even the 



256 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

Germans dared to cover themselves with such 
obloquy. The details are too awful. She behaved 
magnificently ; knew all the time she was helping 
the men away that she was risking her life. 

The Balkan news is bad. It doesn't look as if 
the Allies could arrive in time to save Servia. It 
is awful to think of our young men giving their 
blood and their lives for those savages. I am 
afraid our diplomacy has not been very brilliant 
in the Balkan negotiations. " Some one has 
blundered." 

Paris, Sunday, 24/// October. 

Things don't look cheerful in the Balkans. 
Greece declines Britain's offer of Cyprus. I 
suppose she couldn't accept such a palpable bribe. 

We had a nice letter from Francis, the first 
for several days. He was in the thick of the last 
offensive in Champagne ; says the noise of the 
cannon andi the quick-firing guns was awful. He 
had to piloter des convois de munitions in his 
brigade (show the way to munition-lorries), and 
was thanked by his colonel for his coolness and 
promptitude. 

Their regiment lost a great many men, and a 
great many hors de combat from the asphyxiating 
gases. 

He writes at night, says : " I am writing at the 
window. It is a beautiful moonlight night. The 
noise of the cannon has ceased for the present. 
We don't hear a sound except the rumble of the 
motor-ambulances bringing in the wounded ; except 
for that and a few columns of smoke and sparks 
going up over Rheims, at which the enemy are 



SURGICAL DRESSING COMMITTEE 257 

still throwing" incendiary bombs, we should never 
dream a war was going on." 

I suppose one gets accustomed to everything, 
and in a way we lead a normal life — eat, drink, 
and go out to see our friends. But at night, when 
the streets are perfectly dark, not a creature pass- 
ing, no sound of life anywhere, a great sadness and 
terror of the future comes upon us. 



Paris, Tuesday, 26/// October 1915. 

To-day we have had a thick yellow fog. Shops 
and trams lighted, quite like London, except for 
the blacks. I walked over to the temporary in- 
stallation of a new "Surgical Dressing Com- 
mittee" in a rather dark, cold studio in the rue 
Chateaubriand. I found three or four of the ladies, 
Princesse R., Comtesse S., Mrs. P., working very 
hard, the rooms filled with cases, some of them 
not unpacked. The ladies were sitting on boxes 
and working at tables (a plank put across boxes) 
and looked very businesslike and very cold in their 
white infirmiere blouses. There is a small stove, 
but it doesn't heat enough ; the place is really not 
comfortable, and not nearly large enough for all 
the boxes that are arriving all the time from 
America. 

Mr W., our secretary, tells us many cases have 
arrived at Bordeaux. How long they will stay 
there I don't know. It seems that several con- 
signments of cases and packages have crossed the 
Atlantic once or twice. Of course they are very 
short of hands at Bordeaux, and the unloading is 
a very long affair. When the vessel has to start 



258 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

back and not all the cases have been unloaded, 
they remain on board, go back to America, and 
hope for better luck next time. 

The Clearing- House does very good work ; and 
the Government takes a great deal of trouble to 
see that the parcels are properly distributed. 

I went late to tea with Mrs P. to meet Mr 
Powell, the war correspondent. I think his book, 
Fighting in Flanders, the best of the quantity of 
war books that have been written. It is so natural 
and tells all his adventures so simply and frankly. 
He has been everywhere and seen everything since 
the beginning of the war. It was most interesting 
to listen to him. Of course his point of view was 
absolutely American, but I think his sympathies 
are quite with us. He says the French are fine 
fighters. He was all through the last Balkan War, 
and didn't think another one would have come so 
soon, though he felt the smallest spark would start 
mischief there. 

Paris, Sunday, $ist October 19 15. 

We had a good many people at tea-time, all 
talking of two things : the new Ministry and King 
George's accident. I imagine Gallieni is a very 
good appointment. It must be better to have 
un homme du metier at the War Office. Still I 
fancy Millerand will be regretted in the army. 
The soldiers liked him very much. I should think, 
too, the continuation of Jules Cambon and Briand 
at the Foreign Office was excellent. Cambon is 
very clever, not easily humbugged, not even by 
the Kaiser, who made a great fuss over him when 
he was Ambassador in Berlin. 



KING GEORGES ACCIDENT 259 

Sir H. L. came in late; said the King was 
doing well, no bones broken ; but it was a narrow 
escape. His horse slipped and rolled on him, 
bruising him terribly. For one awful moment the 
officers thought he was dead. It is too unfortu- 
nate, as his visit to the front has been such a 
success. The soldiers were delighted with him. 
He was so simple and kind. Several people told 
me he reminded them so much of his father — so 
interested in everything. Certainly King Edward 
had an extraordinary gift of sympathy, and knew 
exactly what to say to people and how to say it. 
I wonder what he in his wisdom would have 
thought of this war. He understood his nephew 
perfectly. I don't think any insanity on the part 
of the "War- Lord" would have surprised him; 
but for a whole nation to go suddenly mad and 
fancy themselves chosen by God to chastise the 
civilised world would have astonished him. 

Paris, Tuesday, 2nd November 1915. 

These have been melancholy days, though 
there were quite a number of people in the streets 
carrying bunches of flowers, and the churches 
were crowded. A good many men, a good many 
soldiers. I got a chair for one poor one-legged 
young fellow. He was so glad to get it ; said he 
wasn't accustomed yet to walking with crutches, 
was SO afraid of slipping on the wet crossings. 
We are getting quite used to seeing the mutilcs 
at work again. All the big shops have taken 
back their employes who have been wounded but 
arc still able to work. 



260 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

At the Trois-Quartiers there is such a good- 
looking young man at the ascenseur (lift). He 
has lost his right arm, and limps a little, but he 
looks very smiling ; has two crosses, the croix de 
guerre and the Legion d'Honneur. Every one 
knows him, and I fancy he has to tell his battles 
over again many times. 

The papers are full of the new Ministry. I 
think Gallieni's appointment gives great satis- 
faction. 

The Servians are making a gallant fight, but I 
am afraid the poor little country is doomed. 



Chateau-Ambulance d'Annel 
(8 kilometres from the front), 
Sat i/ relay, 6th November 1915. 

We got down here last night. I decided quite 
suddenly late Thursday evening to come. Mrs 
Depew had breakfasted and would bring me down 
in her motor if she could get me a sauf-conduit. 
She couldn't, but I asked the U.S. Ambassador, 
Mr Sharp, where I was lunching Friday, if he 
could do anything for me. He couldn't give me 
an official passport as I am not an American 
subject, but gave a letter with the Embassy seal. 
Mme. D. was rather doubtful if I could get 
through, but I thought I would risk it, and I 
had, too, my pieces d'identite. 

We started at 4 o'clock, Mrs D. and I and her 
English chauffeur, the motor filled with packages 
of all kinds, from hospital dressings to a "quetch" 
pie, which we stopped for at Henri's, and which 
was very difficult to transport. It slipped off 



ANNE1. 261 

the seat once or twice. However, it arrived 
safe. 

It was a beautiful evening", still and bright, the 
road as usual, deserted except for military autos 
and ambulances. It was quite dark before we 
arrived at P., our first halt, and we were getting 
a little nervous. Suddenly we saw a bright light ; 
a blue-coated soldier sprang up before us, his 
musket held up horizontally, barring the way. 
The chauffeur showed his pass, also Mrs D. The 
man asked no questions and we passed. It was 
a relief, as it would have been a bore to have been 
obliged to stay the night in a little village. I don't 
know if the Ambassador's letter would have 
helped me ; but as no questions were asked, 
I didn't show any papers. 

We passed the other sentry in the same way, 
and were quite pleased when we turned into the 
great courtyard of Annel. 

We passed through one village where Spahis 
are quartered. It looked weird to see the tall 
figures in their white turbans and long scarlet 
cloaks, emerge from the shadows and disappear 
again in the darkness as the auto dashed past. 

We were quite a large party at dinner: Mrs 
D., her daughter, the daughter's governess, and 
the medical staff, very cosmopolitan. The head 
surgeon was English, the second American, 
and a French medecin en chef; also a young- 
English chauffeur with his ambulance, and a 
Frenchman who knows English well, as a sort of 
surveillant. 

The Englishmen don't speak much French, but 
enough to get on. We had a quiet evening. 



262 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

To-day it has been beautiful, the sun shining 
in at all the windows, and the park lovely with the 
changing autumn tints, the poplars too beautiful, 
the long avenues like a wall of gold. 

I walked about a little in the courtyard in the 
sun. It was most animated, soldiers, motors, 
orderlies coming and going. Mrs D. and I went 
for a stroll in the park, heard an avion over our 
heads, but didn't pay much attention, so many 
pass all the time. Suddenly we heard our batteries 
at O. and the villages near firing hard, and little 
white puffs of smoke, like clouds in the sky. The 
men came running out. It was a German avion 
making for Compiegne, and passing directly over 
the chateau. We stood a few minutes under an 
abri (there are several in the park), but thought 
we might as well go back to the house. We 
didn't run, but we walked fast. One or two 
bombs were dropped in a field, but didn't do any 
harm. 

The cannonading has been incessant all day, 
the windows shaking and the house trembling 
when one of the big guns roared. Before tea 
we walked to the end of the park to see the 
trenches and barbed-wire entanglements they are 
making there. We are so close to the front here 
that they are taking every possible precaution 
in case the Germans should advance in this 
direction. Of course one gets accustomed to every- 
thing, but it is unusual to live in an atmosphere 
of avions and trenches. 



A SOLDIERS' CONCERT 263 

Annel, Tuesday, yth November. 

It has been beautiful again to-day. There was 
to have been a concert this evening, but late last 
night there came a telegram saying it must be 
postponed : " Impossible d'avoir sauf-conduits pour 
les artistes!" It was a great disappointment and 
a great bore for Mrs D., as she had invited all 
the officers of the neighbouring cantonnements 
(who don't get much distraction down here). In 
the course of the afternoon we heard laughing 
and singing in the courtyard. We went out to 
see what was going on. A piano which Mrs D. 
had sent for, for her concert, had arrived in an 
ambulance ; a big zouave was playing, and four 
or five soldiers inside were singing. 

As the concert was postponed Mr D. suggested 
some music in the convalescent ward, which used 
to be the music-room, where there is a fine organ. 
She played the organ, Frances the cello, and the 
men sang solos and choruses. Some of them had 
very pretty voices. They finished, of course, with 
the "Marseillaise." One poor fellow, an officer, 
who could hardly stand on his crutches, had been 
helped in and settled in an armchair, making a 
great effort for the 'Marseillaise," dragged him- 
self up and stood as straight as he could, while 
the famous chant de guerre was being sung. 

Frances was charming with the men, so simple 
and gay. I can't think it is a good thing for a 
girl of her age to be in such an atmosphere of 
suffering and misery, but all the conditions of 
life are so changed by this awful war that ordinary 
rules don't exist. 

s 



264 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

We had several officers to dinner (among others, 
the Due de Rohan) just out of the trenches, not 
having had their clothes off for nine days and 
nights, and all so en train and confident. Yet it 
is for these men between thirty and forty that the 
life is so difficult, brought up in every comfort 
and luxury, thrown suddenly into such a rough, 
dangerous life. Many of the best names in France 
are serving as privates in line regiments. It is 
different for the peasants, the young ones 
especially, who don't know what war means, and 
go off full of illusions. 

I am thinking of a little shepherd, eighteen 
years old, who went off from my village — a child 
who knew nothing of life but fields and animals 
and sun and air, and who slept every night on 
a heap of straw in a warm grange alongside of his 
beasts. He was so proud to handle a gun and 
be a soldier. His regiment was in Flanders, he 
was rushed at once to the front, was struck by 
a shell fragment the very first days, died in agony, 
poor child, and begging for his mother ; and there 
are hundreds in the same case. The nurses tell 
me there are so many of the young ones who call 
for their mothers. One poor boy, half out of his 
head with pain and fever, called always for 
"Maman." She said to him, putting her hand 
on his head : " Mais oui, mon petit, maman est 
la!" and the boy was quite satisfied and went off 
to sleep. 

Paris, Wednesday, xoth November. 

It is a beautiful morning. Many of the con- 
valescent soldiers are walking about in the park 



COMPIEGNE 265 

with canes and crutches and bandaged arms and 
legs. Every day I stop and speak to such a sad 
little couple — father and sister of a poor young 
fellow who is dying — wounded in the spine, 
paralysed. The old man is a type, small with 
red cheeks, many wrinkles, and white whiskers. 
He is dressed in stiff, black broadcloth ; the clothes 
hang loosely on him. I should think he had 
borrowed them to come. The sister looks a little 
more modern. It seems that the boy wanted to 
be a Capucin monk. The doctor says there is no 
chance for him. They know it quite well, and 
are waiting here for the end. 

After breakfast, Mrs D. and I went in to 
Compiegne in the auto. It looked melancholy 
enough. Half the shops shut ; nobody in the 
streets. Usually at this season Compiegne is full 
of people, hunting and shooting, and the famous 
patissier jammed. I would hardly have believed 
it was Compiegne. 

We went to see the house knocked to bits by 
a bomb from a German avion, which also killed 
three nurses. 

We had some I J rench officers to tea; the Due 
de Rohan, Noailles, and one other. They were 
interesting enough. Rohan was at the battle of 
the Marne, gave a most graphic account of it ; 
said their orders were categoric : " Mourir sur 
place, resister jusqu'a la fin." He never thought 
he would get out alive, nor that Paris could be 
saved. 



266 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

Paris, Thursday, nth November. 

We came in this morning. A lovely day. The 
woods looked beautiful, but the country is dead ; 
nobody in the fields or in the woods. They are 
making trenches everywhere. I don't know why. 
Perhaps they think the Germans may still make a 
last desperate dash on Paris. 

Paris, Monday, 15/// November, 

I have taken up my regular Paris work again. 
We have had such miserable-looking soldiers these 
days at the ouvroir — men just out of the hospital 
and going back to the front. Some didn't look fit 
to go back, but they were all quite ready to begin 
again. 

Paris, Friday, igf/i November. 

It was lovely yesterday. Charlotte, Willy, and 
I walked about a little and went to Emile Paul to 
have some books sent to Francis. He writes he 
hardly has time to finish them. The Colonel and 
all his comrades clamour for them. 

We had a nice musical evening last night, 
almost the old times. The Wolffs and Mr B. 
dined and we played all the evening. I was 
delighted to accompany Wolff again, though I was 
rather nervous as I never touch the piano now 
except to make the boys sing the "Chant du 
depart" and the "Marseillaise." Wolff played 
divinely. It was a real pleasure, almost made me 
forget the war and the haunting terror always in 
my heart of what may come to us. 



AN ENGLISH NURSE 267 

Paris, Saturday, 20th November. 

We had a meeting" of our committee of bandages 
and hospital dressing's this afternoon at Mrs W.'s, 
an American lady who kindly put her apartment 
at our disposal. An interesting English nurse was 
there, who was very practical in her suggestions. 
She said what we all realise, that the American 
dressings were not all such as are used here. 
Evidently not only each country has its own special 
dressings and habits, but each surgeon as well. 

However, the things from America are excellent, 
arrive in perfect condition, and as everything is 
given, it is a fine thing to offer to the French 
hospitals. Some of the poor ones in the country 
need everything, and even some of the military 
hospitals — they have just the strict n^cessaire — 
are grateful for anything. 

Paris, Monday, 22ml November 1 91 5. 

Poor Admiral Boggs died this morning. He 
was a fine type of a sailor and a gentleman. I 
went to the house before breakfast — just saw 
.Anna a moment. She looks badly. It has been 
a long strain for her. 

After breakfast I went with Fanny de M. to 
a meeting of the French-American Committee for 
the Belgian Croix Rouge. There were quite a 
number of ladies. Comtesse Greffuhle presided. 
Mrs Sharp, American Ambassadress, was there. 
They decided to have a gala matinee at the Grand 
Opera, the first time it has been opened since the 
war. A Belgian deputy made a short speech, 



268 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

very grateful for everything- that was being- done 
for Belgium, but so sad. He spoke with much 
emotion. It is awful to think that there are 
children whom no one knows about, not even what 
their names are ; a lot of them were picked out of 
cellars in the Belgian towns and villages that were 
burned and destroyed — huddled together like little 
animals. 

Paris, Friday, 26th November 19 15. 

I went to the Credit Lyonnais this morning, 
but couldn't cash my small cheque. There were 
long lines of people subscribing to the Government 
bonds. The employes, mostly women, some mere 
girls, perfectly bewildered with all they had to do. 
The cashier told me they would not close as usual 
at 4 o'clock, would go on all the evening. There 
were all sorts and kinds — poor, bent old women 
buying one bond, soldiers of all grades — one young 
sergeant, good-looking, evidently a gentleman, 
making a big investment, and three or four very 
dressy young ladies, that is to say, dressy for war 
time ; very short skirts, leather gaiters, short coats 
like the soldiers, with big pockets, and all carrying 
a fairly big leather bag. 

We all carry bags with papiers d'identite, permis 
de sejour, Croix Rouge medals, etc. At any 
moment one is liable to be stopped by a policeman 
and asked for papers — particularly all English- 
speaking people, as the very zealous French official 
can't always see the difference between English 
and German spoken fast. 



SUFFERINGS OF SERVIANS 269 

Paris, Monday, 29/// November. 

An awful day- — cold, rain. Charlotte and I 
went to tea with M. H., a bachelor friend and 
country neighbour. There were only twelve to 
fourteen people, and lovely music. It was a rea 
pleasure to be distracted for an hour from all the 
anxieties and misery of these awful days. 

There was a man there just back from Servia 
who told us horrors of the miserable peasants flying 
in cold and snow from the terrors of the Bulgarian 
invasion — women carrying- babies, one on each 
arm, smaller children tugging at their skirts and 
dropping off to fall down and die on the roadside, 
in the snow. We were haunted all night by the 
awful pictures he gave us. 

We are all working hard here for the Servians, 
but the little we can do seems nothing when a 
whole people has to be cared for. I ask myself 
sometimes why such suffering is allowed. We are 
taught always to believe in a God of mercy, who 
does not willingly afflict nor grieve the children of 
men ! Surely if the whole world has sinned 
grievously, it is expiating now. 

Abbe D., my Catholic cure and friend, says we 
musn't question the decrees of Providence — but 
we can't help thinking. . . . 

The news from Francis is good. He hopes we 
are thinking of Christmas and plum puddings for 
himself and his men. He also wants warm waist- 
coats — as many as we can send ; says the men 
from the pays envahis are in desperate need, as 
of course their families can send them nothing. 



270 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

Paris, Wednesday, ist December 1915. 

It has rained hard all day. Bessie and I went 
to a meeting- of the Belgian- American Committee. 
Mr Allen is going- back soon to America, and 
thinks it might be a good thing to take over 
some films, and start some Allied cinematographs 
over there, and counteract the wonderful propa- 
ganda the Germans are making with theirs. It 
seems they have splendid ones ; all sorts of pictures, 
showing the Kaiser in full uniform, the "War- 
Lord " speeding his generals on their way ; taking 
patriotic leave of his children and grandchildren. 
Certainly we could send some terrible records of 
havoc and murder, whole villages destroyed, both 
in Belgium and France, and bands of unhappy 
refugees tramping along the deserted roads, trying 
to carry some of their household goods, but obliged 
to throw them away as the heavy march went on. 
All of them needn't be tragic. 

I often think of the description of the Queen of 
the Belgians going to parliament the day of the 
mobilisation — very pale, very quiet, her sons on 
each side of her. When she appeared in the royal 
box, there was a dead silence for a moment (she 
is a Bavarian princess), and she grew visibly 
agitated, her hands trembling. Suddenly there 
were bursts of cheers, all the deputies standing, 
waving hats and handkerchiefs, shouting: "Vive 
la Reine ! " It would make a pretty picture. 






HOSPITAL AT DRANCY 271 

Paris, Thursday, 2nd December. 

harlotte, Frank, and I went out to a military 
hospital at Drancy, near Le Bourget. It rained 
all the time, which was a pity, as the hospital is 
established in the old chateau, which stands in a 
large park. There are over 100 men, all very well 
taken care of by French doctors, and the Sceurs 
de St Vincent de Paul, but no luxuries nor little 
refinements. The good sister who took us through 
the wards, said the men were not spoiled by visits 
or presents — was much pleased that we had 
brought cigarettes and chocolates. 

Some poor fellows were too badly hurt to care 
about anything, but they tried to smile. One 
followed Frank with his eyes. I said to him : 
" You have children? " "I don't know, Madame, 
1 had two, but I have heard nothing since the first 
days of the war. We come from a village close 
to the Belgian frontier. Had a little farm which 
we worked, and which gave us all we needed — 
but now!" And the poor fellow's voice broke. 
" If I could only know they had a roof over their 
heads and were not starving!" We took his 
name and address, and will try to get some in- 
formation, but it is very difficult. 

Paris, Sunday y 5/// December 19 15. 

We had a good many people at tea-time, all 
discussing Kitchener's journey east. B. says he 
hears the troops are coming back from Salonica. 
I can't believe it ; having made the effort, I think 
they ought to stay. 



272 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

Paris, Monday, 6th December. 

Charlotte and I went shopping - this morning-, 
getting a Christmas dinner for Francis and his 
comrades. They are ten at the mess ; we wanted 
to send a turkey, but the man at Potin's advised 
us not to. It would certainly spoil in the eight or 
ten days it takes to arrive at the front ; so we did 
what we could with pates de foie gras, hams, con- 
serves and plum puddings. The puddings are 
made in tins expressly for the soldiers, and were 
as heavy as lead to pack. I hope they will get 
there. 

Francis, now being at some distance from 
Rheims, will not have the Christmas dinner with 
turkey and champagne he would have had with his 
friends the Champagne people. 

This afternoon we had a meeting of our 
Bandage Committee, and then went to look at 
rooms which some one told us the American 
Radiator Company would let us have for our 
ouvroirs. They are beautiful big rooms, quite 
unfurnished. The company is doing very little 
business, so I hope they will let us have them. 
Everybody talking Salonica. Say the French and 
British troops will leave. 

Paris, Friday, 10th December. 

I went up late to see Charlotte, who has a 
soldier staying with her — a man from St Quentin 
(pays occupe), who has arrived in Paris with a 
permission of six days — knowing no one, no friends 
nor family here. Charlotte heard of him through 
his brother, a young fellow badly wounded, whom 



OUR POILU 273 

she had known at the B. hospital. The man, a 
gunner, looked very nice. Frank seized my hand 
as soon as I got into the house, and dragged me 
to the lingerie, saying: " Viens, Danny, viens voir 
le poilu de Maman ! " 

He looked rather sad, having just seen his 
twenty-two-year-old brother at the hospital badly 
wounded in the arm. They hope they can save 
it, not amputate ; but it will always be paralysed. 
He can never use it. 

Paris, \2tli December. 

Charlotte, the boys, their little friend Alice 
Dodge, and the poilu came to breakfast. The 
poilu looked very nice ; had had a bath, been 
shaved and all new underclothes, and the maids 
had cleaned and mended his uniform. He was a 
very good-looking young gunner, and the children 
were delighted to have him. C. took the whole 
party, including the wounded brother (whom they 
picked up at the hospital), to the circus. 



Paris, Monday, x^tli December. 

I dined at the Crillon with Mr and Mrs Depew. 
Mr Bacon came and sat with us. He rather 
reassured me about America and the German 
element. He doesn't think the Government's 
policy very spirited, and does consider the situa- 
tion grave, but laughed at the idea of civil war, or 
the Germans giving any real trouble in America. 
Says the Germans couldn't stand for a moment 
against the Americans if it came to a crisis. 

One or two English officers came and sat with 



274 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

us. I asked them what Kitchener had come over 
for. They replied, naturally, that they didn't know 
— and wouldn't have told us if they did. Some 
one said he looked very grave, but he always has 
a stern face. 

Paris, Wednesday, 15/// December. 

I went to tea with the Watsons, to meet an 
American nurse who has just come back from 
Servia. She says the misery there is too awful 
for words. The flight of the wretched women 
and children in the cold and snow over the 
mountains is something- not to be imagined. Old 
people, and little children too big to be carried, 
too small to struggle through the snow and cold, 
left to die on the roadside. 

She is going home to rest, but wants to come 
out again in the early spring. 

Dr Watson read us a charming letter from a 
French cure de campagne — so large-minded, and 
so convinced that the religious feeling is coming 
back in France. 

Paris, Thursday, 16th December 1915. 

I went to tea at the Ritz, where Mrs Depew 
had organised a sale of pelotes fleuries, to give a 
Christmas present to the soldiers in the trenches. 
They were very pretty little cushions of velvet 
and satin, with a wreath of artificial flowers around 
them, and a fall of lace like an old-fashioned 
bouquet. They were very well arranged in the 
hall at the Ritz, and I should think a great many 
were sold. Mrs D. and some of her friends had 
invited people to tea, and it was a very gay scene. 



APPEAL TO AMERICANS 275 

I hadn't seen so many pearls and velvet dresses 
for a long time. The company was mostly foreign, 
which explains the dressing. None of the French- 
women here wear anything but black or dark 
tailor suits. 

Paris, Sunday, ig/A December. 

We had an interesting breakfast. Mrs and 
Mr Willard (no relation to each other) and 
Charlotte came. Mrs Willard, who is connected 
with every important and international working 
o >mmittee in America, has just come over, and 
is going to organise the French branch of the 
"Surgical Dressing" Committee. She was amus- 
ing over the trousers she had brought over for 
me. In one of the cases sent us from America 
were twenty dozen woollen waistcoats, but no 
coats nor trousers. It seemed impossible to get 
any, though my men friends were very generous. 
One or two, instead of sending me flowers, sent 
me several pairs of trousers. I said one day at 
the ouvroir, that if I didn't get any more soon, I 
should put a notice in the papers in big headlines : 

"MADAME WADDINGTON WANTS 
TROUSERS" 

Mr Willard said if I would write him a letter 
saying exactly what I wanted, he was sure he 
mid '^ r et me some from America. 

The result was must gratifying. Some began 
to come at once, and Mrs W. brought me over 
one big bag full of trousers. She said she was 
pursued by them. Some packages arrived on the 
Steamer the day she left. 



276 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

Paris, Thursday, 23rd December. 

I breakfasted with the Segurs. He was* rather 
blue about the war news, and we are all unhappy 
about Salonica. It seems so awful to have our 
soldiers sacrificed for those brigands in the Balkans. 
We have no interest there, nor in Egypt either. 

1 wish the French could have stayed at home 
and driven the enemy from our soil, and not 
risked themselves in the East. 

Segur also criticised America and Wilson's 
policy very severely. I couldn't say she was play- 
ing a very spirited part. Of course it isn't her 
fight ; but she might have protested in the name 
of Humanity, and made herself a fine position 
as the generous young neutral power across the 
sea. 

Charlotte and Mrs Dodge came for me there at 

2 o'clock, and we went out in Mrs D.'s motor to 
the Military Hospital at Drancy. The two ladies 
had been there once or twice taking douceurs to 
the wounded men, and they decided to make them 
a Christmas tree. The Superieure, the Sceur 
Recamier, a charming woman, was delighted when 
they told her what they wanted to do. Though 
it was pouring, she insisted upon going at once 
into the park to choose a tree, put on her black 
knitted shawl and sabots, and chose a very good 
one, promised to have it put up and ready 
for them to-day. The motor was so full of 
packages of all kinds that it was rather difficult 
for us three women to get in, but we didn't mind. 
We found the tree very well installed in a corner 
of the big dining-room. The good sisters were in 



A CHRISTMAS TREE 277 

quite a flutter of excitement. One or two con- 
valescent soldiers and a soldier-priest, the Pere 
Lausan, just from the front, were waiting to help 
us. The pere mounted on a ladder to put the 
star quite at the top of the tree. It was very high, 
and as he had been badly wounded in the stomach, 
the Sceur Recamier was most unwilling he should 
go up ; but he assured her his legs and arms were 
solid, and two tall soldiers held the ladder. 

The tree was quickly dressed with so many 
willing hands ; but they hadn't brought enough 
candles. While they were dressing the tree, I 
inspected the harmonium, as Charlotte thought 
I could, perhaps, accompany the soldiers if they 
sang anything, or play a march when they came 
in. I could do nothing with it ; no matter what 
stop I pulled out, it always responded grand jeu, 
and roared through the hall. 

The sister who plays in the chapel came down 
and managed it better, though she said it was old 
and out of order. She was a charming, refined- 
looking woman, seemed hardly to touch the notes, 
and brought such a pretty sound out of the old 
instrument. The Superieure told me she was a 
beautiful musician — premier prix piano Conser- 
vatoire — but that she had given up her music. 
It \v;is a sacrifice she was obliged to make to the 
Bon Dicu. ' Hut why, ma sceur? Surely music 
is a beautiful and elevating thing!" "Yes, but 
it was too much of a pleasure for her, and took 
time which should be devoted to other things. 
They must all make that sacrifice when they give 
themselves to God. We have also a young- 
violinist — premier prix Conservatoire. She, too, 



278 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

never touches her violin. It was difficult for her 
at first." 

The pere asked Charlotte if she would like the 
men to sing something' — a Noel quelconque — 
which she, of course, agreed to with pleasure. 

We had a quiet evening. The news seems 
good. Everything quiet at Salonica. 



Paris, Friday ; 24th December 1915. 

I did a little Christmas shopping after we came 
out of the ouvroir. I had thought I would go, 
perhaps, to Potin's and get some chocolate and 
little things for the boys' stockings, but there was 
such a crowd even outside the shop, a long line 
stretching out into the street — one or two soldiers 
permissionnaires, with their babies on their 
shoulders, while the mother held the bag for the 
provisions — that I instantly gave up that idea, 
and got my things at another place. It looked 
quite like Christmas. The shops were open and 
well lighted. Some of the fleuristes had a beautiful 
show of flowers. People were apparently buying. 
One lost for one evening the impression of the 
dark, empty streets we have lived in so long. 

The patronne of the confectioner's shop, which 
was quite full, told me they were doing a fairly 
good business — much better than last year. 

I took the things up to the boys. They wanted 
me to stay to dinner and go to midnight mass 
with them, but that was not easy to arrange, 
with no carriage, nor even a footman — so H. 
and I had a quiet dinner at home. 



CHRISTMAS DAY 279 

Paris, Saturday ', 25/// December 19 15. 

I went to the American church and was dis- 
appointed not to hear " Hark the herald angels 
sing - ." C. and the boys stopped to say " Merry 
Christmas" on their way to breakfast with their 
Bonne-maman. Outrey appeared about 2 o'clock 
with a taxi, and we went over to get Mme. 
Sallandrouze and one boy. Charlotte and the 
other one went with Mrs Dodge in her auto. 
It was a cold, drizzling rain, but we didn't mind, 
and it didn't take more than an hour to get 
to D. 

We found the hospital under arms, sisters, 
nurses, and various women employed in the 
lingerie and kitchen waiting in the hall. We 
lighted the tree at once, the two big convalescent 
soldiers helping — all the others had been kept 
carefully away, so as to have a surprise. 

The tree was really lovely, all white, nothing 
on it but white candles and shining silver orna- 
ments. The packages, one for each soldier (120), 
were piled up on a table. Each package contained 
a pair of woollen socks, a knife, tobacco, chocolate, 
a pipe, and pencil with a long chain to go in their 
pockets, which they all like, two handkerchiefs, 
and a notebook, agenda, with a picture of Joffre; 
oranges, cakes, and an enormous cheese were also 
spread out on tables. 

When the last candle was lighted the doors 
were opened and the men came in, the grands 
blesses first, on crutches, with canes — heads and 
arms bandaged. Three or four carried by their 
comrades <>n their backs, putting them down so 

T 



280 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

gently on the long cane chairs provided for them. 
A soldier-priest (they have been wonderful in this 
war) just from the front, with his vestment over 
his uniform, made a short prayer, and blessed the 
tree. The men sang very well the old Noel of 
Adam. Then Charlotte's youngest boy, Frank, 
recited very prettily the Noel of Theophile 
Gauthier, and Willy, holding the flag taller than 
he was, sang the verses of the " Marseillaise," the 
whole assembly joining in the chorus. Willy was 
a little timid at first, but the men encouraged him. 

Then the distribution began. The boys had two 
of their girl friends to help them — Alice Dodge and 
Mrs Sherman's granddaughter. The packages 
were all numbered, and it was pretty to hear the 
little childish voices calling out the numbers, 15, 
20, 50. Each man (that could) stood up when his 
number was called and saluted, saying : " Present." 
It was funny to see all the big men eating cakes 
and chocolate like schoolboys. 

The good sisters hovered over them all, taking 
such good care of the wounded men, lest they 
should slip or fall. 

When all the candles were burning low, the 
Pere Lausan made a short address, thanking the 
ladies in the name of the men for the pleasure they 
had given them — not only the material part, the 
packages, but also for the thought in making the 
fete for them, sick and wounded, spending their 
second ''war Christmas " in a hospital. The tree 
would always remain a bright spot in their hearts 
and memories. 

Charlotte and Mrs Dodge were very pleased ; 
they had taken a great deal of trouble, and were 



ON THE BOULEVARDS 281 

quite repaid by the smile on the men's faces as 
they all filed out. Poor fellows ! I wonder where 
they will all be next Christmas? 

We had a quiet family dinner with the Sallan- 
drouzes and Henry Outrey. Drank the health of 
all our soldiers at the front, and tried not to miss 
Francis too awfully, nor to think of the other 
Christmases when we were all happy, and war 
never crossed our brains. 



Paris, Wednesday, 29M December 1915. 

I rlaned a little on the boulevards this afternoon. 
The poor little boutiques were not doing a very 
brilliant business ; but the boulevards looked gray. 
A good many soldiers, permissionnaires, with their 
families, were walking about ; some blind ones — 
such a sad sight — were being led through the crowd, 
and the patronnes of the boutiques tried to explain 
the toys to them. A good many people gave them 
flowers, violets, and Christmas roses, and that they 
seemed to like. They look very sad ; but the 
people who take care of them say they are cheerful. 

Some one told me a pretty story the other day 
— a lady who is a beautiful musician plays quite 
often for the blind soldiers at one of their hospitals 
— the other day she had played all sorts of things, 
marches, popular songs, national airs. Almost 
unconsciously she started a waltz, and in a moment 
they were all dancing. 

PARIS, 31s/ December 19 15. 

Paris is certainly looking up a little. There 
was such a crowd again at Potin's this morning 



282 JULY TO DECEMBER, 1915 

that it was useless to attempt getting in, and in 
the afternoon some of the famous chocolate shops, 
the Coupe d'Or and, I think, Marquis, put up their 
shutters. They had nothing left ; were quite 
unprepared for such a demand. 

I dined at Mine. Sallandrouze's with Charlotte 
and the boys. We have dined there for years on 
New Year's Eve, and as usual, the boys helped us 
through the evening, as we played games with 
them. I came home early to finish the evening 
with H., taking Charlotte and the boys home first. 
The streets were perfectly dark. No sounds of 
activity anywhere. It is just after midnight. I 
hear no bells but some clocks striking the hour. 
This tragic year has finished with anguish and 
mourning for so many ! I don't know what 191 6 
may have in store for us. Hardly dare to hope. 
But if a great sorrow comes to us, we must bear it, 
as so many women have in France — proud to give 
their sons and husbands to the country, but always 
carrying the ache in their hearts. 



JANUARY TO FEBRUARY, 1916 

Paris, 8/7/ January 191 6. 

Another tragic year is beginning with not many 
changes. Thousands of homes desolate, thousands 
of young lives sacrificed. Germans still in all 
our most prosperous northern provinces; still in 
their trenches at Soissons near Compiegne, eighty 
miles from Paris. In spite of that we lead an 
almost normal life, and have got accustomed to the 
horrors of war. Of course, one is busy and 
absorbed. 1 really only see the people who work 
with me at my different ouvroirs. I went to tea 
one afternoon in my ouvroir dress at the Swedish 
legation. There were not many people there. 
Countess Granville, of the British Embassy, also 
in her plain working dress. It seemed curious to 
see lights and men-servants, and a pretty tea-table. 
One has got so entirely out of any social life of any 
kind. M. de Stuers, Dutch Minister, was there. 
He had just seen Reinach, one of our clever 
political men, arrived from Salonica, and much 
pleased with all he had seen. The Allies' camp 
splendid. They will never be attacked. He also 
spoke most admiringly of Sarrail, the French 
General in command, a dashing, independent 
officer. 



284 JANUARY TO FEBRUARY, 1916 

Paris, 14th January. 

There are all sorts of reports to-day about the 
Kaiser's illness. One doesn't know exactly what 
to wish. If his death would end the war sooner, 
one would welcome the news. But will it ? To 
us the Crown Prince seems absolutely incompetent, 
but some people say he is strongly supported by 
the "War Party" and "Junkers" (young noble- 
men). 

Paris, 20th January. 

I went to the ouvroir this afternoon — found our 
caissiere (cashier) rather nervous at being" late, 
having just arrived. I thought she had had bad 
news of her husband, who is at the front, but she 
explained why she was late. She was standing at 
the door of her house, with only a shawl on her 
shoulders, no hat, when she saw a hearse pass, 
with a small coffin, evidently a child, and a soldier 
walking behind it quite alone, crying. She said 
something, she didn't know what, moved her, her 
feet carried her out into the street. She ran out, 
slipped her arm in the soldier's, and walked along 
with him. A fat old concierge next door did the 
same thing, stopping and buying a few pennies' 
worth of flowers from a cart as she hurried on, to 
put them on the coffin. Several other people 
joined them, and by the time they got to the 
cemetery, there were about a dozen people walking 
behind the hearse. The poor man was too dazed 
at first to speak, but finally told them it was his 
only child, his wife was ill, and he had twenty-four 
hours' leave to come and bury the child. He gave 



A CHILD'S FUNERAL 285 

his name and address, would be so grateful if 
some one would look after his wife. He was 
going back to the front that night. Jeanne went 
over the next day, found the poor woman in a 
miserable little room, ill and depressed. A 
neighbour looked after her. Of course the ouvroir 
will see that she is properly cared for, and try and 
find some work for her when she gets stronger. 



Paris, 24th January. 

The Duchesse de Vendome, sister of the King 
of the Belgians, came to the ouvroir to-day with 
the Infanta Eulalie of Spain. She was much 
interested in our work. Thought the sleeping- 
bags very good. They were designed by Mrs 
Mygatt herself, and are much better and more 
solid than those one finds in the shops. She was 
very interested in all the soldiers who came for 
clothes, talked to them, and shook hands with 
them all. Was much amused with a little Zouave, 
who looked about fifteen years old, with his open 
collar and fresh young face. He had been detailed 
to guard some German prisoners. Had protested, 
saying he wouldn't keep them — would kill them 
all. No one paid any attention to his protesta- 
tions, and he was sent off with a squad of men to 
look after the Germans. In the night, he and 
one of his comrades got up and cut off the ears 
of six of them. 'Would Madame like to see the 
ears? I have some in my pocket," diving down 
into his pocket and producing a brown paper 
parcel. That the Duchesse hastily declined, 
telling him it was wrong and unsoldierly to 



286 JANUARY TO FEBRUARY, 1916 

mutilate unarmed men. "Yes, I know that, 
Madame ; they have all told me so, and I have 
been punished ; but I shall do it again. I will 
always hurt and kill a Boche when I can. Ah, if 
Madame could have seen the things I have seen," 
the colour all coming into his face like an angry 
child while he was talking, and keeping tight hold 
of his grim parcel. I think he got a very good 
package. We heard him still talking to our 
women as we went back to the big room, and his 
last words were : " Au revoir, Mesdames. Je ferai 
mon devoir, mais je tuerai tous les Boches que je 
rencontrerai." ("Good-bye, Mesdames; I will do 
my duty, but I will kill all the Boches I meet.") 

Francis came for a short leave last night. He 
looks very well. Was too much taken up the 
first twenty-four hours with the pleasure of seeing 
his wife and boys again, and being in his own 
house (with a bathroom), to tell us many of his 
experiences at the front. However, that will come 
later. I think, too, it is a trait of the Waddington 
men, perhaps of all men, never to tell anything 
when they are asked questions. When they feel 
like it they will talk easily enough. We had a 
Zeppelin alerte last night about 10 o'clock, just 
as we were leaving the salon. The firemen dashed 
through our street sounding the "garde a vous," 
but it didn't seem to trouble the people very much. 
All lights in the street (there were only two very 
dim ones) and houses went out, but the people 
came out on the balconies. Marie and I did the 
same, but we couldn't see anything, and no one 
seemed at all excited. Our concierge and our 



L'AMBULAKCE AM^RICAINE 287 

humble friend, proprietor of the restaurant at the 
corner of the street, told us there was no danger in 
our quarter. We might g'o to bed. The restaura- 
teur (proprietor) has occupied himself with us ever 
since the beginning- of the war, when the first 
Taube flew over Paris. Had his cellar well 
arranged with rugs and lamps, and always told us 
not to be afraid, he would come and take us to his 
cellar, where we would be perfectly safe if there 
should be any real danger from Taube or Zeppelins. 
I always meant to go and see his installation, 
but never seemed to find time. 

Paris, $xst January. 

The days go on regularly and monotonously. 
I went this afternoon with Mrs Boggs to the 
Ambulance Americaine. She with three or four 
other ladies gives tea there every Monday. Every 
day some ladies give tea, which is evidently much 
appreciated, as they sometimes give three or four 
hundred cups. They give tea, bread, butter, 
and cakes. There are no invitations. Any one 
employed at the Ambulance is welcome. It is a 
curious mixed crowd. Doctors, nurses (ladies 
and professionals), chauffeurs, ambulance-drivers, 
orderlies — no wounded — their tea is taken up to 
them. There is every variety of type from the 
young, pretty American girl in a spotlessly white 
dress, bright-coloured silk jersey, and a little lace 
butterfly doing duty for a cap, on her head, to 
the comfortable middle-aged nurse in the ordinary 
Red Cross uniform, sitting down for a few minutes 
to have her tea, and then going directly back 
to her work. They are almost all English and 



288 JANUARY TO FEBRUARY, 1916 

American nurses, volunteers, though there are 
some Swiss, and I saw one or two Dutch women. 
The men, too, are of all classes. Yesterday Abbe 
Klein was there. He is the chaplain of the 
Ambulance, and a charming man, clever, cultivated, 
refined, devoted to the soldiers. The doctors 
come sometimes, the orderlies often in their white 
jackets, and always drivers and stretcher-bearers. 
We stayed there until 5 o'clock, when there were 
no more people, happily, as there were no more 
cakes or bread. We passed through one of the 
big wards on our way out. It looked beautifully 
fresh and clean, and there seemed to be plenty of 
people to attend to the wounded. But, oh, the 
pitiful sight of those long rows of beds, and the 
pale drawn faces that one passed, the men trying 
to smile or say something if one stopped a moment ! 
Francis and his family, all four, came to dinner 
— the boys sitting on each side of their father. He 
had been shopping all day, renewing all his clothes 
from socks to cap. He says they wear their 
uniform so constantly, night and day, that they 
never have time to get anything washed or mended. 
He told us many things of life in the trenches, 
up to his knees in water, or carrying despatches 
along bad country roads at night, with shells 
bursting all around him. He says it is melan- 
choly to go back to some of the villages that have 
been shelled. The Germans always seem to pick 
out the churches, which stand there roofless, all 
windows gone, merely the four walls remaining. 
A ghastly souvenir of this horrible war. Can we 
ever give back to them a tenth part of the harm 
they have done us ? 



AN IMPROMPTU PARTY 289 

Paris, ist February 1916. 

It seems natural to have Francis at home, 
coming" in and out, and always bringing some 
friend for a meal. Last night we had a banquet. 
We began with a small dinner, which grew until 
I wondered how we ever could serve so many 
people. It is impossible to get an extra man to 
serve ; there are none left ; but the two parlour- 
maids did very well, and of course the meal was 
of the simplest description — menu de guerre. We 
had Francis, Charlotte, and the two boys ; Comte 
and Comtesse Louis de Segur, very old friends (he 
was one of Francis' witnesses when he married) ; 
Comte and Comtesse Bernard de Gontaut, with 
their son, a lieutenant of dragoons, also home on 
leave ; Marquise de Talleyrand, who gave Francis 
his first rocking-horse when he was about four 
days old ; and Baron de Grotestin, of the Dutch 
Legation, an old friend. Segur has fifteen 
nephews and great - nephews fighting ; one is 
killed, two badly wounded. Francis and Guy 
de Gontaut told us all sorts of things about their 
trench experiences. It is astounding how men 
brought up as they have been in every comfort 
can stand the life — take it quite as a matter of 
course. We made music, of course, winding up 
with all the national airs and patriotic songs. 
Poor Madame de Gontaut was reduced to tears. 
She is very sad since the war — Guy, her youngest 
child and only son is the apple of her eye. They 
stayed very late, and the two little boys were so 
tired that they went sound asleep on a sofa in the 
ante-room, and we had great difficulty in rousing 



290 JANUARY TO FEBRUARY, 1916 

them, and getting- them into hats and coats to go 
home. 

Paris, February. 

Francis has gone back to the front. He and 
Charlotte dined at a hotel not far from the Gare 
de l'Est, and I took the boys for a run in the Bois. 
Poor little things, they are always upset when their 
father goes off, and it is pretty to hear them promise 
to be good and take care of mother when the last 
good-byes are said. The partings are hard. I 
wonder how many more we shall have. Now the 
long days of waiting begin again. We hear so 
little — are days without letters. Just now all our 
hopes and prayers are centred at Verdun, where 
the fighting is terrific. All the great chiefs, Joffre, 
Castelnau, are there, and we have seen one or two 
officers who have come back wounded. They say 
the slaughter of the Germans is terrible ; they go 
down in masses under the great French guns, but 
come steadily on, marching over the bodies of their 
comrades. Our men think they are given ether or 
alcohol of some kind, which goes to their heads 
and makes them crazy— they come on laughing 
and singing like madmen. Our losses, too, are 
very heavy, but we don't see any lists of killed or 
wounded. Very few Verdun wounded have come 
to Paris. 

Charlotte looked rather white when she came 
back from the gare. However, she is a soldier's 
daughter, her whole heart is with "Fighting 
France," and she wouldn't have her husband 
anywhere but at the front. She said the trains 
were crowded, hundreds of soldiers going back and 
saying good-bye to their womankind, and that 



BELGIAN REMINISCENCES 291 

all the women were brave, no fear, no murmurs. 
The French women have been wonderful ever 
since the first awful days of mobilisation, when 
suddenly in a few hours their lives were completely 
changed — all their men called to arms — but after 
the first shock all accepted the inevitable, and set 
to work to replace the men in farms, gardens, mills, 
shops, and in small trades of every kind. 



Paris, Sunday, z$rd February. 

I went over to lunch with Bessie Talleyrand 
to-day. The Seine looked bright and dancing as 
I crossed it. A few flowers are coming up in the 
garden. The sun streaming through the big 
windows of her salon. A young Belgian officer, 
Prince de C, lunched and was most interesting, 
telling us of much that happened in Belgium in 
the beginning of the war. Their chateau is almost 
in Germany, so close to the frontier. He joined 
the army at once, but his sister remained at the 
chateau with a younger brother, where she estab- 
lished an ambulance with French, English, and 
German wounded. She also had a few French 
and English soldiers hidden in a tower at the 
bottom of the garden. She and her young brother 
were in the hall one afternoon when three or four 
German motor-cars, filled with officers, drove up. 
They all got out, came into the hall, and one of 
them, a tall, good-looking man, introduced himself 

the l)uke of \Y. (a royal title), said they would 
like to dine, had their own food, but would like the 
use of the kitchen and dining-room ; also that they 
must search the house as they knew English 



292 JANUARY TO FEBRUARY, 1916 

soldiers were hidden there. She said there were 
none in the house, trembling- at the thought of the 
four or five who were in the tower. They insisted 
upon searching the whole house, and left a guard 
at the door of the hall, forbidding the sister and 
brother to leave it. However, they found no one, 
and she heard nothing more of them until late in 
the afternoon a young officer appeared with a 
message from the Duke, inviting her and her 
brother to dine with them. This she refused 
curtly, without giving any excuse, which rather 
surprised and disconcerted the young officer, who 
retired. In a few minutes the Duke appeared, 
already in a temper. Why had she refused his 
invitation to dine with them? "It is quite im- 
possible," she answered, "which you will surely 
understand when you think about it." He 
wouldn't listen to her, insisted upon a reason — 
so then she replied that it would be impossible for 
her to break bread with people whom she despised, 
soldiers who burned churches and villages, and 
killed helpless women and children. He flew into 
a rage, told her to hold her tongue, and banged 
out of the hall. Her.young brother was frightened, 
thought they would do something awful to her, so 
a little later when one of the younger officers asked 
him to dinner, he thought he had better go. The 
Germans all behaved perfectly well at dinner, said 
nothing about the war, talked weather, roads, and 
farming prospects. He said the dinner was very 
good. They drank a great deal of wine. They 
left directly after dinner, with a great noise of 
clanking sabres, spurs, and snorting autos. Some 
days later they were warned that they were being 



THE GERM \N> IN BELGIUM 293 

watched, and the young man was advised to get 
out of the country. He succeeded in getting 
across the frontier, having all sorts of adventures. 
He ended by swimming across the canal. Soon 
after the sister was carried off to Brussels by the 
German military authorities, who told her she was 
only wanted to give evidence in the case of Miss 
Cavell, that unfortunate English nurse who was 
murdered ; would be brought back at once to 
her chateau. She never got back, was sent to 
prison in Germany, shut up in a cell, and obliged 
to wear prison uniform, allowed to go out for half 
an hour every day in the courtyard, and she is still 
there. She writes occasionally to her brother. 
Lately, thanks to one of the Cardinals, she has 
obtained certain mitigations of the strict prison 
discipline, can receive books — no papers — and 
material for working. One of her greatest de- 
privations was the want of light. All lights were 
put out in the cells at 8 o'clock, and those long 
hours of darkness were almost unbearable. What 
a life for a refined, delicate woman! However, 
those brutes didn't murder her as they did the 
poor English nurse. One must be thankful for 
small mercies in times like these. 

Paris, 28//; February. 

Our only idea is Verdun, where the French 
are fighting magnificently, the Crown Prince still 
hurling masses of his best troops on the French 
guns. 

We have letters from the cure at Mareuil 
begging us for food, clothes, everything for refugees, 
from some of the villages near Soissons, and ask- 



294 JANUARY TO FEBRUARY, 1916 

ing us to come down for a day or two. We can't 
— we have no motor, and all passenger-trains are 
stopped on the Chemin de Fer de l'Est, as they 
are rushing troops to Verdun. 

These are the last pages of my War Diary. 
There is so little to say. Even the splendid 
defence of Verdun doesn't mean the end of the 
war, and so many books about the great war 
have been written and will be written that the 
simple details of a family life are hardly worth 
recording. 

When my grandsons come to manhood and 
have sons of their own, when the world is at peace 
and the cannon hushed, and women are busy and 
smiling in the little hamlets where their mothers 
spent long months and years of suspense and 
anguish and mourning, they perhaps would like 
to read "Granny's" remembrances of the Great 
War. 



WITH THE 
BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 

Hazebrouck, October iqi6. 

Sitting at my window, in a rather dark pro- 
vincial hotel, looking out on a courtyard where one 
tree stands up against the grey northern sky, the 
wind always howling - dismally, and the tree sway- 
ing in a perfect tempest — I ask myself if I am the 
same person who, a few days ago, was spending 
long happy hours at a lovely island just off the 
coast of Vendee. I used to lie out on the warm 
dry sand, my head on a heap of seaweed, seeing 
nothing but the blue sky overhead, the sea at 
my feet, a few pleasure-boats drifting leisurely 
along. There were no fishing-boats, for the men 
are mobilised, and now the women do a great 
deal and replace their husbands In many ways. 
I have not heard of any who have ventured 
forth oil a fishing cruise, which was the great 
occupation and resource of the island. 

Except for the total absence of men (save very 
very old ones), there is nothing to indicate that 
a great war is going on. There are no soldiers, 
no wounded, no hospitals. The women all knit, 
trudging alongside of their donkeys ; and life in 
all classes flows as easily and placidly as possible. 

»6 u 



296 WITH THE BRITISH 

I left suddenly, called away by the illness of a 
grandson, to this place in the extreme north of 
France. Even now, it all seems a dream. The 
long, weary journey with so many changes of 
vehicles that I think a balloon would not have 
seemed unnatural, the long wait at Nantes, in 
the dark station (the only lights being' at the office 
of the chef de gare and the ticket-office), for a 
crowded train so taken by assault at once by 
travellers and above all soldiers returning from 
their leave, that it seemed useless even to think of 
getting in. However, thanks to Mr P., whom 
we met at the station, and who really pushed us 
on to the platform, we did manage to find our two 
places, the only unoccupied ones. 

The couloir was crowded with people sitting up 
all night on bags, rugs, the bare floor. We rather 
remonstrated with the railway official who came 
for the tickets and who looked harassed and 
depressed. He said they could do nothing; 
everything was in the hands of the military ; every- 
thing for the army came first, men, munitions, 
and that it was not a time for civilians to travel. 
He was quite right. It is not! But when we 
suggested that they might put on another carriage, 
or at least not sell tickets, when he knew there 
were no more places, he jeered at us ; said they 
had no "extra carriages," and if, when the train 
arrived at Nantes, it was requisitionne by the 
military authorities, all the civilians would be 
put out and left on the quai — at 10 o'clock at 
night. 

I had two hurried days in Paris trying to get a 
passport and sauf-conduit for Hazebrouck (which 



ON THE HO AD TO CALAIS 297 

I didn't get), but they were very kind at the 
Foreign Office, and gave me a laissez-passer, 
which I think would have carried me through 
even without the famous blue paper of the Grand 
Quartier General. 

Mr Cambon said he would telephone at once 
to one of his friends at the Grand Quartier, to tell 
the military authorities at Calais to let me pass. 
It was a long journey ; takes five hours in ordinary 
times, but I was en route for thirteen hours ; 
left Paris at 9.30 in the morning, and got to Haze- 
brouck at 10.30 the same night. 

The train, a very long one, was crowded with 
British soldiers. After Amiens, we really went 
through an enormous British camp, thousands of 
tents and barraques. It was a fine day, and we saw 
every variety of English life ; nurses walking about 
in couples, officers playing lawn tennis, soldiers 
at football. Long lines of cavalry with very good 
horses. A military funeral ; men marching with 
arms reversed ; endless fourgons with munitions 
and food and cannon. The men generally very 
fine-looking, very smart in their short jackets 
(so unlike our long French tunics), which give 
them an extraordinary length of limb. 

They were principally young men ; I don't 
think they had done much lighting yet. Their 
uniforms and boots looked clean. 

We got to Calais about 5, and had two hours' 
wait there. The station was a curiosity — a solid 
mass of khaki-dressed men coming and going, 
whistling gaily, making all sorts of jokes with 
every one I didn't hear " Tipperary." That 
seems to have passed for the moment. 



298 WITH THE BRITISH 

We had to go at once to the room where all 
papers were examined by the military authori- 
ties, who were very stiff and curt. I was a 
little uncomfortable, knowing - mine were not en 
regie. 

There were two trains, just one for Dunkerque 
and later Hazebrouck. A nice-looking - woman, 
a lady, who was going to Dunkerque, was not 
allowed to pass ; her papers not right. She pro- 
tested vigorously ; said the commissaire de police 
had told her everything was quite en regie. But 
the officer was inexorable. " We have our orders, 
Madame ; we cannot let you pass ! " 

The poor thing was bitterly disappointed ; 
didn't know where to go in Calais for the night. 
She asked me if I was going to Dunkerque. " No, 
to Hazebrouck." "You will never be allowed to 
pass, Madame ; " but I told her I thought I was 
all right. 

I gave the maid, who had her sauf-conduit, my 
laissez-passer and papiers d'identite, but I didn't 
feel quite happy until I heard the officer say : 
" C'est tres bien ; nous avons re9u des ordres de 
faire passer Mme. Waddington." 

We had two hours to wait ; couldn't go out of 
the gare ; but the buffet at Calais is very good, 
and we had a very nice simple dinner. 

When I asked for cold chicken, the man was 
much taken aback, saying they hadn't had any 
chickens for weeks. 

There was a big table d'hote for British officers. 

I started again about 7. Again a very long 
crowded train, stopping at all the little stations. 
None of them were lighted. People scrambled out 



AT HAZEBROUCK 299 

in the dark as well as they could, carrying bags 
and bundles. 

One poor woman with a wounded son with her, 
who was going to St Omer, thought they had 
arrived at their destination, and got out at one of 
the small stations ; was much put out that " Jean," 
whom she called, was not there to meet her ; and 
had just time before the train started to climb 
in again. St Omer was two stations farther 
on. The poor boy looked so weak and tired, 
as if he couldn't stand much more. However, 
at St Omer, Jean with a lantern and quite a 
group of friends were waiting, and he seemed all 
right. 

We didn't move as we had been told the train 
didn't go any further than Hazebrouck. It was 
not quite so dark there, but it was such a long 
train that we had some little distance to walk before 
we were hailed by Francis (whose voice told me at 
once that the boy was better, before I could ask 
any questions), and one or two officers, who took 
our papers and passed us at once, without making 
the long wait at the bureau where the sauf-conduits 
and other papers are examined. 

The hotel was just opposite the station, and 
we walked across. Mme. S. was waiting for me. 
My room was next to hers ; we all talked together 
for a few minutes. Then Francis came into my 
room and we talked until midnight. The child 
has been desperately ill, and the poor parents have 
had a terribly anxious ten days. They say nothing 
can describe the kindness of the British doctors 
and nurses, of everybody, in fact. The infirmieres 



300 WITH THE BRITISH 

and religieuses of the Croix Rouge have been very- 
good to them. 

My first visit to the hospital was sad enough. 
The French Croix Rouge have their salles on the 
first floor of the College St Jacques, and on the 
story above, up a very steep flight of steps, our 
little Frank and his mother are installed in two 
bare, high, comfortless rooms, with windows so 
high that we had to get a chair to look out. 
However, they were very glad to have even 
them, as it was very difficult to find anything. 
The town is crowded with British troops and 
refugees. 

I found the poor little boy much changed, so 
thin. 

He has nice English nurses, day and night, and 
likes them very much with their helpful ways and 
gentle voices. 

Dr S., the English doctor, is perfectly devoted 
to him, comes three times a day, and is so gentle 
with him. His room opens into a dortoir (awful), 
with its rows of beds, and stools without any backs 
at the side of each bed. A long table runs down 
the middle of the room. 

They had cleared off one end, and there 
Charlotte made her tea, and the English nurses 
the little soups and jellies which the boy likes. 

The first few days were bewildering. I saw so 
many people. It is still a confused memory — the 
doctors, the infirmieres, the abbe, directeur of the 
College St Jacques, the religieuses, the infirmieres- 
majors. One of them, a tall, fine-looking woman, 
one of the important ladies of the place, in the 



AN ENGLISH GARRISON 301 

white nursing dress and coiffe and beautiful 
diamonds in her ears — the day-nurse, Sister P., 
passing backward and forward in her grey dress, 
the little cape bound in red. The directress of all 
the British nurses (some Red Cross, some 
Territorial, some Military) is Sister S. R., an 
absolute femme du monde, with a charming manner 
and most energetic and capable. One or two 
visitors from the town who came to see Charlotte. 
The visitors always remained in the dortoir, some 
sitting on the stools, some on the beds. And the 
wonderful femme de menage, a refugiee from 
Armentieres. She looked like a savage; had no 
particular features — lumps all over her face, and a 
gruff voice like a man's. 

We are in the firing-line, but are not bombarded. 
The place is not important enough, but from 
Armentieres and the neighbouring villages, which 
are bombarded all the time, groups of refugees 
come almost every day, and they tell us the misery 
is appalling — the town overcrowded with frightened, 
helpless women and children. 

We left the hospital generally a little before 6 ; 
and I think I shall never forget those first walks 
back to the hotel. Quite dark ; the great place 
just lighted enough to see how dark it was, and 
always autos and big lorries dashing about. 

As the days went on and I felt happier about the 
child, I found much that was interesting. It was 
curious to live in this quaint little northern French 
town, really more Flemish than French, with its 
narrow, pointed houses, red roofs, and canal 
wandering through low green meadows — and yet 
to feel oneself in an English garrison. The town 



302 WITH THE BRITISH 

is under British martial law. They control 
everything-. Big soldiers with M.P. ("Military 
Police") on their caps, stand in all the main streets 
to direct the traffic ; and it is funny to see them 
standing - absolutely calm and imperturbable when 
torrents of invectives are hurled at them by 
indignant natives in their country carts, in an 
absolutely unintelligible jargon. 

I asked one of them the other day if he had 
learned any French. " Not much, but it doesn't 
matter, Madame. We make them understand ; 
and we don't mind their talking ; we are accus- 
tomed to it." 

The shops are what one would find in any 
English provincial town — food (jam, of course, 
of all kinds), clothes, rugs, carpets, furniture, 
illustrated papers. The "Tommies" seem on 
the best of terms with the townspeople. They 
pay well for everything they take ; and the 
doctors are very kind to the refugees, sick and 
wounded. 

There are a great many Anzacs (Australians 
and New Zealanders) in the streets. They are 
not so military-looking as the correct, well set-up 
"Tommy" — but they are a fine lot of men, 
generally tall, broad-shouldered and young. They 
swing along at an easy pace, their big hats turned 
up on one side, their jackets rather loose, high 
boots, and enormous spurs. They say they are 
splendid fighters. Their record is a fine one ; but 
they are pretty hard to manage, with no idea of 
military etiquette or "difference of rank." 

One of the officers (they are generally English, 
the higher ones) remonstrated with a soldier the 



COLONIAL TROOPS 308 

other day for not saluting" a colonel. The man 
promptly replied : " He would not salute any 
more colonels ; he had saluted two the other day 
who had not returned it, and he was going" to salute 
no more ! " 

I was amused with some of them I met the 
other day in a shop. I and several other people 
were buying 1 fruit, grapes, pears. The patronne 
showed us a fine bunch of "white grapes. They 
looked very good, firm and yellow where the sun 
had touched them. "How much?" said one of 
the men. ' Three francs fifty," replied the woman. 
Upon which the man broke into a loud peal of 
incredulous laughter, saying : ' You won't sell 
any at that price. In my country, we get a big 
basket full for one shilling," and he and his 
companions went off whistling and laughing, but 
declining absolutely any purchases. 

Our hotel is opposite to the gare. Every day 
we see troops coming and going. The other day 
quite a large contingent of British and Australians 
arrived. The British waited quite still — a long 
khaki line just outside the station, while their 
officers parleyed with the railway men. The 
Australians, hardly a second ; they jumped over 
the barriers, pushed aside the employes, and were 
in the middle of the street and in all the cafes like 
lightning. They are as agile as monkeys ; vaulted 
over the fences and slipped in and out of the 
quantities of motors and big carts without slacken- 
ing their pace. They ran as hard as they could out 
of the station. 

The gare is always crowded all day and all 
night, as there is a constant passage of troops. 



304 WITH THE BRITISH 

When they stop for three or four hours only to 
rest and eat, the streets are most animated, and 
the shops, patissier, tobacco, postal-cards and 
picture-papers, do a roaring - business. But it is 
quite different when the trains with wounded 
arrive. The grey Red Cross ambulances are 
drawn up close to the station, and one sees the 
ghastly burdens that the big" "Tommies" bring- 
out so gently. 

One day the station was shut all day. No 
passenger-trains (there is only one, morning- and 
evening) were allowed to start. Some one told 
us afterward that "tanks" were passing - . I don't 
suppose we should understand much ifwedidsee 
some — still one likes to have an idea of all the 
new infernal war engines, and these seem terrible. 

When one remembers the old days when one 
spoke of a possible great continental war, every- 
body said all would be over in a few months. 
The new killing inventions were so awful that in 
a few weeks there would be no men left on either 
side. And now, in October 1916, we are getting 
ready for a third winter in the trenches, making- 
warm clothes and trying to keep up our courage. 
But at night, when we are comfortable in bed, 
and the rain and wind are beating against the 
window-panes, we wonder how much more our 
poor men can stand ! 

Hazebrouck. 

To-day, it is bright and mild, the sun not too 
pale, really shining, and Hazebrouck appeared 
quite different. It is market-day, and the great 
place is covered with stalls and vehicles ; and the 



HAZEBROUCK CAFES 305 

British and Anzacs are wandering about and 
buying - . 

It is certainly the great day here. Our patronne 
asked us last night if we would please breakfast 
somewhere else this morning, at one of the cafes 
on the place, or perhaps with M. l'Abbe" at the 
College St Jacques (Charlotte took all her meals 
in the refectoire of the College as long as they 
were living there, at the abbess table, on a platform 
from which he could dominate the classes when 
the boys were there), as she couldn't give us the 
private dining-room we always had. 

For years, twenty I think she said, certain 
clients had always breakfasted in that room on 
market-days. The poor lady was quite worried 
in her mind ; but we compromised by saying that 
we would breakfast early, at eleven. 

We stopped at the patissiere's, a very good one, 
to order some brioches for tea, and she showed 
us, with much pride, a table in the inner room 
covered with most appetising cakes. She said 
she was always very busy on market-days, and 
made a great many cakes and tarts. But that 
now, since the English were here, she made twice 
as many, and often had to shut her shop at 6 
o'clock when she had nothing left. 

She advised us to take our cakes at once, as 
she knew she could not keep them : " Ces messieurs 
prennent tout et ne raisonnent Pas" ("These 
gentlemen take everything without discussing"). 

We thought her advice good, and carried off 
our cakes. 

As usual, the English impose their habits 
wherever they are : their church services, 5-0'clock 



306 WITH THE BRITISH 

tea in all classes, their lawn tennis, their football, 
quite simply, with an absolute disregard of the 
customs of the country. 

I suppose there are no two nations so unlike 
as the French and the British ; but I think this 
war will bring about a better understanding 
between the two countries, each one recognising 
the other's qualities, the splendid fighting and en- 
durance on both sides. But they fight differently, 
as they do everything else. 

We have finally found charming rooms for 
Charlotte and her boy. She couldn't remain any 
longer in her garret at St Jacques, as the holidays 
were over and the boys are coming back to school 
(poor little wretches, to sleep in that awful dortoir). 
We all, including Mme. de L., who came in from 
her place two or three times to see C. before 
she went off to Paris, saw all the houses and 
lodgings that were left in the town, but nothing 
was at all tempting. One clean little bourgeois 
house down by the canal, well exposed (when 
there was any sun, it would come there), we 
had almost decided upon, but Dr S. objected so 
vigorously that we didn't like to go against his 
opinion. 

There are some very nice houses with a long, 
low facade on the street, and very big gardens 
running off at a great distance behind ; but, of 
course, they were all occupied by British officers. 
However, Dr S. had one in his head, where 
Major L., the British "Town Major," lives. 
Francis and Charlotte went to see it, and were 
delighted. A good large house, with a lovely 



■LA PETITE NICE" 307 

garden, but they didn't think they would be able 
to get it. Finally, after many negotiations, the 
thing was arranged. C. saw the Town Major and 
the proprietaire, a nice woman — and she has four 
good rooms. Major L. most kindly gave up his 
office, a large high room opening on the veranda 
and the garden ; said his things should be taken 
away at once. 

There is a sort of a serre, or winter garden all 
closed in with glass on one side of the bureau, 
and two good bedrooms upstairs. 

The English officers, staff, interpreter, etc-, 
occupy the rest of the house. It is very well 
situated in an open part of the town ; and to-day, 
as I am sitting writing in C.'s salon, one couldn't 
want anything prettier. The garden is full of 
flowers, all in bloom, roses, begonias, geraniums, 
with a very good stretch of lawn and a tennis- 
court. It is really a very sheltered spot. They 
call it in the town " La petite Nice." 

It was a little difficult at first making the winter 
garden comfortable, but people lent some tables 
and screens, the major a chaise longue and we 
added small tables and chairs ; and with some 
Turkey red table-covers, photographs, and a 
writing- table it really looks quite nice. 

C. has made friends with the gardener, who 
keeps her well supplied with flowers and a few 
vegetables. 

It is interesting to live, so to speak, with the 
army. All day, soldiers and civilians pour into 
the courtyard and veranda. The English offices 
are quite at the other end of the veranda, and 
the men and visitors don't get near our end. 



308 WITH THE BRITISH 

We only see tall soldiers moving" about and don't 
hear anything - . One can hardly believe one is in 
a house full of men. C. feels very well guarded. 
The gas burns all night in the corridor, and there 
are always people about. Francis, who is twenty 
miles away, nearer the front, comes about once a 
week for twenty-four hours, sometimes on horse- 
back, sometimes on a bicycle. But he is very 
busy : all sorts of local questions come up all the 
time, and of course his Anzacs don't speak one 
word of French. There is a stable in the court- 
yard where he puts his horse. 

The first time he came without letting us know, 
so, naturally, nothing was ready. However, some 
of the English orderlies brought straw and water, 
and C.'s beautiful femme de menage went out for 
oats and hay. 

He always dines at the British mess, as the 
cooking arrangements in the villa are of the most 
elementary character. 

One end of the winter garden (it is a very long 
room) is cut off with a high wooden screen, and 
behind that C. has a gas-stove (which the pro- 
prietress of the villa left here when she went away) 
and a big petroleum-lamp, two long tables, and a 
variety of kettles and saucepans. 

Her woman and Sister D. make all the little 
jellies, and cook an occasional chop which the 
boy wants. 

She has also made great friends with the 
bouchere across the street, who told her one day 
she would make her dinner and send it over to 
her. She had been a cook herself, knew all about 
it. Would Madame come and see her kitchen ? 



ENGLISH NURSES 309 

C. said it was beautifully clean, so she accepted, 
and the woman sends her over very good soup, 
chops, filet, anything she wants. 

Francis dined one night (for a wonder didn't 
ask any one) and said he hadn't had such a good 
dinner since the war. 

There is a large old-fashioned Flemish kitchen 
opening into the courtyard, as they all do here, 
with a fireplace big enough to roast an ox. But 
the English have it. Enfin, a la guerre comme a 
la guerre! They are camping and not at all badly 
off. The boy is very happy in his big room. His 
bed is drawn up to the open window, and he loves 
to see the flowers and the gardener at work. 
When it gets too dark to see anything, he knows 
all the steps : the doctor who is very good to 
him, his father's horse in the courtyard, and above 
all the quick light step of Sister D., his English 
nurse. 

I can't say enough about the English nurses, 
particularly the military nurses. In fact, the 
whole English equipment is wonderful ; all the 
details so well carried out. What they have done 
since the beginning of the war is admirable, 
when one thinks that they had practically no 
army, and that everything had to be organised! 

Francis had great difficulty in getting a nurse. 
He telegraphed to Lord Bertie, the British Am- 
bassador, and to various people in Paris, but the 
formalities were endless. It seems the British 
are very strict about having their lines entered. 
Finally one of the high officers here telegraphed 
for a military nurse from London. She was told 
one afternoon she must leave the next morning 



310 WITH THE BRITISH 

for France to nurse a serious case at Hazebrouck. 
She crossed to Boulogne in a troop-ship, stood all 
the way over — they were packed like sardines- 
found an ambulance waiting for her at Boulogne, 
and came straight off to Hazebrouck — three hours' 
run. Francis was standing at the door of the 
hospital ; saw the nurse arrive ; couldn't believe 
it was his nurse — as she had only been telegraphed 
for the day before, but went to see if he could help 
her as she seemed to have some difficulty in 
making herself understood in French. 

She told him she was Sister D., had left London 
that morning, and was told to come to Hazebrouck 
to nurse a serious case in Mr Waddington's family. 
" I'm Mr Waddington," he said; "and you are 
to nurse my boy." He took her directly upstairs 
— said in half an hour she was installed — didn't 
mind apparently the very primitive, uncomfortable 
surroundings, hardly wanted a cup of tea. 

They are mobilised like soldiers. She came 
with her rations and her kit-bed ; had no idea if 
she was coming to a camp or a tent or a hospital. 

She hadn't been half an hour in the room when 
a soldier appeared, bringing her her billet de loge- 
ment for the next day. She is a night-nurse. She 
got all her instructions from the doctor, arranged 
herself on the table in the dortoir all she might 
need for the night, made friends with the child ; 
and his poor mother went to bed with a feeling 
of comfort and security she hadn't known for 
days. 

The day-nurse too (she is a Territorial, not Red 
Cross) is most competent, and they are both so 
cheerful. They have all passed an examination 



SISTER S. R. 311 

for simple cooking, and can make the soups and 
jellies that an invalid wants. 

I wish we had such an organisation in our 
military hospitals ; but those schools of trained 
nurses don't exist in France. Of late years it has 
been rather the fashion for the femmes du monde 
to pass examinations for the Croix Rouge, and I 
believe there are some excellent nurses ; but they 
are not numerous and all voluntary. The French- 
woman ought to be a good nurse. She occupies 
herself so much with her household and her 
children, going into every detail. 

It was pouring the other day. I believe it 
always rains in these northern towns. The big 
place was like a lake. I tried in vain to get a 
pair of india-rubbers but couldn't, and was very 
uncomfortable in my wet shoes. 

Sister S. R., the head of the British nurses, 
came to see us — wonderfully equipped. She had 
on a long black mackintosh (tarpaulin, like what 
the sailors wear), with big pockets and a hood, 
and high rubber boots. She left her mackintosh 
outside, and came in in her white clothes, looking 
as clean and dry as if it were a sunshiny June day. 
She told us she had done all the campaign of the 
Yser in a field-hospital, at the front, and that she 
never could have done it without the rubber coat 
and particularly the boots. The soft black mud 
was something awful ; they really went in up to 
their knees. They lived in tents, and had to go 
backward and forward to the hospital and the 
sanitary trains. 

She said she never could have imagined any- 
thing so awful as the wounded men who were 

x 



312 WITH THE BRITISH 

brought in. Bundles of mud, their clothes stiff 
with blood and dirt of all descriptions. Those 
who had been only lying out one night in the 
battle-field, in good condition compared to those 
who had remained sometimes forty-eight hours. 

She was most interesting, and I couldn't help 
thinking as she sat there on a bed, or a stool, in 
the dortoir, with her fine profile and "grand air," 
that, after all, blood tells, and that the gently- 
born lady accommodates herself better than the 
ordinary woman to all the discomforts and dangers 
that a field-nurse is exposed to. Of course there 
must be the vocation, or else the strong faith that 
one's life is not one's own at such a time, but 
in God's hands, to be sacrificed when the time 
comes. 

I am thinking of a nurse we were all so fond of, 
who left Paris to go and take charge of a hospital 
at Mosch, where shells were falling freely. She 
had a young religieuse with her who was nervous, 
frightened of the shells, couldn't make up her mind 
to leave the shelter of the house and venture out 
into the open. Our good sister encouraged her, 
and one afternoon they left the house together. 
Our sister was struck instantly, killed at once by a 
passing shell. They gave her a soldier's funeral, 
with the flag covering the coffin. Her memory 
lives in many hearts. 

We never go out at night. No civilians are 
allowed in the streets after 9.30 o'clock. I stopped 
at the patissiere's one morning to order some cakes 
for tea, and found there three young Tommies 
trying to get something to drink. They couldn't 
understand the woman, and the woman couldn't 



« TOMMIES'' 313 

understand them. But she divined that they were 
hungry, and gave them each a small brioche which 
they didn't want. I came to the rescue, asking 
what they wanted : " Something to drink, 
Madame ; we have been travelling since 12 o'clock 
yesterday, and have had nothing to eat or drink." 
11 What do you want ? Beer, whisky ? " " Oh, no, 
Madame, tea; but we can't get it." I asked the 
woman if she couldn't give them some tea and 
bread and butter, but she hadn't any tea, only 
chocolate and cakes, and was, besides, expecting 
British officers to breakfast ; had an elaborate 
table spread with cakes and jam. 

They looked so disappointed that I thought I 
would carry them off to the cafe of our hotel, where 
they would surely get something ; so I told them 
to come with me, and we all walked off together. 
" I think you must be an English lady, Madame, 
as you are wearing the English Red Cross medal." 
"No, I am not English, but I love the soldiers, 
and all my men are fighting." 

We walked on very amicably : one or two 
passers-by looked rather amused at the party, and 
they tried to tell me where they had come from, 
but their British pronunciation of French names 
made it impossible for me to understand. 

When we got to the cafe I told the patronne to 
grive them a good breakfast, saying to them : " But 
don't you want more than bread and butter? 
Would you like some ham and eggs?" "Oh, yes, 
Mum," with a broad smile on each young face. 
They thanked me very nicely and respectfully, 
and I left them in Mme. M.'s hands. 

Francis says his life is not always very inter- 



314 WITH THE BRITISH 

esting, but it is a change from the trenches and 
carrying despatches, and I think it is just as well 
to see every side of the war. 

He is astounded at the British equipment ; 
such wonderful organisation, and such abundance 
of everything. They had had a "church parade" 
on Sunday, which he said was most impressive, 
in a half-ruined church — almost the whole roof off, 
windows gone, floor too, in places. The padre (as 
they call all the priests and clergymen) brought a 
small harmonium with him, which Francis played. 
They gave him a book, as of course he doesn't 
know the English hymns ; and he said the men 
sang very well. They finished with "God Save 
the King." He was in a deadly terror lest he and 
the harmonium should topple over, the floor was 
so rickety ; but they got through all right. 

The townspeople are very civil and most service- 
able, but they are a little bewildered by the British 
occupation and all the things the English want 
which the French soldier knows nothing of. 

Everybody knows us, as we are the only 
strangers in the place. 

I had a visit the other day from Mile, de B., 
the type of the good old French bourgeoise, with 
a very polite, old-fashioned manner. She has a 
charming house in the rue de l'Eglise, one of the 
best streets in the town, with a beautiful garden at 
the back, and pretty, heavy, old-fashioned furniture 
in her rooms. Almost all her house is taken by 
British officers. She is Presidente de la Croix 
Rouge for this part of the country, and also of 
the Belgian Relief Committee. She had seen my 
name on one of the Franco-American Belgian 



REFUGEE MISERY 315 

committees, and came to see if I could put her 
in touch with the Paris committee. They have 
quantities of refugees here, and among" them 
civilian wounded, women and children. 

I thought I had seen every stage of refugee 
misery at Mareuil, with those first miserable bands 
that passed through our villages the first year 
of the war, but there were no wounded. I saw 
a group of refugees, women and children from 
Armentieres, the other day — six women, young, 
strong, not over thirty, and a little girl of eight — 
each with a leg off, hit by a fragment of shell. 
They had no crutches, not even canes, merely 
sticks, like what the boys cut in the woods, with 
a notch at one end to prevent them from slipping ! 
They looked utterly miserable, huddled together 
in a corner of the Place. It made one ill to see 
them. Happily it was not cold, nor raining. 

I said to one of the women: "Why did you 
stay ? You were warned to leave, as any day 
Armentieres would be bombarded." " But, 
Madame, where can we go? It is our home, our 
only home; no one wants us here or anywhere. 
We have no clothes, no food, no shelter!" It 
is perfectly true. They don't want them in the 
towns. They have already more than they can 
take care of. 

Another woman said : " I don't complain, 
Madame, I have only lost a leg. I am a washer- 
woman and can still stand at my tub and use my 
arms. There are others worse off than me — but 
I would like a pair of crutches." 

Mile. D. says the town is doing all it can, but 
they must have some help. 



316 WITH THE BRITISH 

Happily the British occupation is pouring 
money into Hazebrouck. The soldiers of all 
ranks don't deprive themselves of anything - , and 
pay well for all they want. One of the girls at 
the Bazaar in the Place, a sort of general shop 
where you can get anything, from tennis-rackets 
to fine Flemish lace, told us she had learned 
English quite well, so as to be able to understand 
what the soldiers wanted. Said she liked the 
Australians very much — "de beaux gars." They 
all had money, all wanted to spend it, and buy 
presents for their girls at home. 

We assisted at one of the purchases, which 
was most amusing. A very good-looking young 
Australian was buying a handkerchief edged with 
lace. He was very particular about the lace, that 
it should be good, pas imitation, and wanted it 
put in a white box tied with a ribbon. He paid 
for it, and carried it off under his arm. The girl 
told us they had sold dozens of fine handkerchiefs 
and cravates trimmed with lace. 

These warriors from over the sea are evidently 
most amiably disposed toward all the jeunesse 
feminine. When I came into the hotel one after- 
noon, five or six soldiers — Tommies and Anzacs — 
were sitting on benches outside the cafe. Quite 
a pretty girl came along, carrying rather a heavy 
basket. The soldiers all smiled up at her, crowded 
nearer together on the bench making a place for 
her to sit down, saying, " Bon jour, Mamzelle, 
asseoir!" But the girl laughed and nodded and 
passed on. I had the impression though that she 
had sometimes accepted invitations to asseoir. 

They are a cheerful lot, always whistling and 



ANOTHER WAR EASTER 317 

singing - , and so pleased to talk to any one who 
will talk to them. I fancy they are like the 
American cowboys — perhaps not quite so rough 
in their language. They are generally tall, fair, 
clean-shaven, with nice blue eyes. They are all 
volunteers as there is no compulsory service yet in 
Australia, though I suppose it will come, as I 
think it will come in all countries after this dreadful 
war. There are all sorts and conditions of men, 
just as there are in our Territorials. One of 
Francis' colonels is a leading lawyer in Melbourne. 

We talked one day to some of the men who 
had been fighting on the Somme. They said it 
was awful. They don't like the trenches and the 
long-distance guns where the man fires mechani- 
cally at something he doesn't see. The shells, 
at least, they can see and protect themselves 
sometimes ! 

They don't like the Germans and their way of 
fighting. An angry look comes into their boyish 
blue eyes when they tell you of some of the 
German atrocities. 

Hazebrouck, 
Easter Sunday, April 191 7. 

Another War Easter, "will it be the last?" 
in such different scenes and so unlike any I have 
ever spent before. I have seen splendid Easters 
in Rome, at St Peter's, with all the pomp and 
ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church ; 
beautiful solemn ones at Westminster Abbey 
in London — joyous too — the hallelujahs of the 
Easter hymn ringing out in the fresh young 
voices of the boys' choir and echoing far down 



318 WITH THE BRITISH 

in remote corners, bringing the Easter message 
to all that vast assemblage of the mighty ones 
of the world — King's soldiers, statesmen, now 
peacefully taking their rest ; quiet simple Easters 
in our country church at Mareuil, the altar 
covered with all the white flowers that could be 
found in our garden, all the school children with 
new hats and coats, ''terrible hats, with flowers 
and features," singing lustily the Cantique de 
Paques. The men of the village who only come 
to church three times a year — at Easter, the Jour 
des Morts, and the Midnight Mass on Christmas 
Eve — carefully dressed in black broadcloth and 
top-hats, and the good cure making a short simple 
sermon, which all could understand. These were 
happy, careless Easters, no fears or visions of 
the dark war-clouds hanging over us. One War 
Easter at the Chateau d'Anuel close to the front, 
transformed into an ambulance by my friend, 
Mrs P. A short service in the convalescent ward. 
Many of the men were in bed, those who could, 
standing and kneeling. The military chaplain, 
just from the front, his surplice over his uniform, 
Mrs P. playing the organ, her daughter the cello, 
almost all the men singing, a very short sermon, 
and then the prayer we hear every Sunday for 
all our soldiers all over France, dead and wounded, 
those fighting at the front who might be called 
upon at any moment to give their lives to their 
country, and for those at home to bear with 
courage and resignation the sacrifices they would 
have to make. There wasn't a sound in the ward 
for a few seconds after the benediction except 
the booming of the cannon. Then, silently, all 



AN IMPRESSIVE SERVICE 319 

that white-robed assembly, nurses and doctors, 
went back to their work. To-day I have been 
at the English service, held in a large bare white- 
washed room at the top of the Hotel de Ville. 
At one end a screen and small table with a few 
flowers and two silver candlesticks, three flags — 
the tricolor, Union Jack, and Red Cross — floating 
over the table, a chancel-rail with no cushion, a 
strip of carpet, and a harmonium very well played 
by an English soldier. The room was full of men 
in khaki, officers and soldiers. I was the only 
woman, which rather surprised me. I thought 
there would have been some English nurses. The 
chaplain had his surplice over his uniform, with 
a long black stole with M.C., " Military Chaplain," 
embroidered on the ends. There was an Army 
prayer-book on each chair, with only the Liturgy 
and a few psalms and hymns. The men sang 
well, the hallelujahs rolled out in fine style. It 
made me choke a little to think how many might 
never see another Easter. Hazebrouck is only 
a resting-place. There is no large concentration 
of troops ; the men pass through on their way 
to the front, and such terrific fighting is going on 
now at this front. There were two young officers, 
babies, just in front of me, smooth-faced, red- 
cheeked boys, looking as if they were just out 
of the playing-field at Eton. They followed the 
service very reverently, kneeling on the hard 
stones, and I wondered if far away in England, 
across the sea, their mothers were listening to 
the same Easter hymn, hoping and praying that 
the next Easter would see them all at home again. 
The padre — they call all the ecclesiastics, regardless 



320 WITH THE BRITISH 

of their sects or nationality, padres — made a short, 

simple address ; there was another hymn ; and 

then, just before the blessing - , he advanced to the 

front of the chancel-rail, saying- "The King." 

The harmonium gave the opening chords of 

"God Save the King," all the congregation, men 

and officers, standing at attention and singing 

with a will. It was most impressive. When I 

came out, I saw two dogs waiting for their masters 

at the door. They were quite good, not tied nor 

making a sound of any kind. As I walked along, 

two squads of men overtook me, marching back 

to their barracks with a light quick tread, their 

sergeants alongside swinging their canes. The 

congregation of St Eloi, the big church, was just 

coming out as I passed. There were a great 

many children dressed in white, with white bows 

in their hair, and quite a number of British 

soldiers, some Highlanders among them. The 

sun came out, which was lucky for us, as Charlotte 

had asked some of the officers to come to tea, and 

hunt for coloured eggs in the garden. I met Francis 

and one of his officers riding into the courtyard 

as I came in. While we were waiting in the 

verandah for luncheon, Francis asked me where 

I had been. I told him to the English service — 

I felt I must hear the Easter hymn. "Which 

one?" asked Major A. "Won't you play it on 

the piano?" "With pleasure." I began to play 

and sing, and they all joined in. Major A., 

thanking me most warmly, said it reminded him 

of home and his wife and children. He hasn't 

seen them, of course, since the beginning of the 

war. He is a good specimen of the Colonial, 



COLONIAL OFFICERS 321 

simple, gay, a good soldier, proud of England, 
but a great deal prouder of Australia. Charlotte 
photographed his horse after lunch : he is a beauty. 
All the Australian and New Zealand officers are 
splendidly mounted. I liked his wanting to sing 
the hallelujahs, it was so simple. Our afternoon 
was pleasant and warm. About a dozen officers 
came to tea, and all looked for eggs, occasionally 
kicking a football across the lawn. It was funny 
to see the tall soldiers bending down and looking 
in the grass and flower-beds, announcing it with 
pride when they found any. It was a cheerful 
afternoon though the big guns roared incessantly. 
If one stops to think what that ominous sound 
means, one could hardly bear it ; but all the men 
who come from the front beg their friends behind 
the lines to be gay and not to dwell all the time 
upon the horrors they have been through. I have 
heard so many say, like poor Rohan, 1 " But we 
must be gay, it is the French character. We 
want to be distracted when we come out of the 
trenches, and forget all the horrors we have 
been through. It won't prevent our fighting and 
dying game when the time comes." Poor fellow, 
he was killed three or four days after that dinner 
when we were discussing the subject. Capt. S. 
came to dinner, bringing a bottle of champagne. 
.Major A. and he drank the health of the United 
States, and sang the "Star-spangled Banner" and 
'God Save the King" after dinner. The piano 
is a resource. It is rather bad, very bad really, 
and all the notes don't sound, but we have had 

1 Due de Rohan. 



322 WITH THE BRITISH 

it tuned and broken strings mended, and it does 
for accompanying - . We can only play the Russian 
hymn, not sing - it, as none of us know the words. 
The guns have been very heavy all day, making 
the old house and windows shake. 

I was awake early this morning. My room 
looks out on the street, and since the first grey 
streaks of dawn I had heard a great rumble of 
heavy carts and lorries passing under the windows 
and distant strain of music. When I opened the 
windows I let in great clouds of dust. A whole 
English division was passing, and had been for 
over an hour. The heavy lorries had already 
passed, but the artillery was moving up. Each 
gun-carriage had six horses or mules, a man 
riding one horse and leading the others, two 
on the seat of the carriage, and the big guns 
looking grim and deadly. Both men and horses 
looked well. After the guns came boats on 
camions, from which we inferred they were going 
towards the Yser, and long carts loaded with 
planks to make bridges, Major L. told us. Then 
came field kitchens, chimneys smoking, soup 
evidently being made as they marched. Then 
long lines of infantry, a procession of carts 
carrying all sorts of things, luggage, food, etc. 
On some of them were dogs, on one a goat with 
blue ribands on his horns, the " Mascot of the 
Regiment." The music was very good, three or 
four full military bands, which struck up as soon 
as they got into our street (our house is at the 
end, giving on the Grand Place), some with 
drums and fifes only, which I liked very much. 
It sounds so martial. The cavalry came last, 



GERMAN BRUTALITIES 323 

their horses very good, and again I was struck 
with the extreme youth of the officers. The troops 
are very well received by the townspeople. The 
women and girls stand at the doors and windows, 
nod and smile and wish them "Bonne chance" 
or "Au revoir, mes amis." The men nod and 
smile in answer, but don't say anything. They 
are not so gay as our Poilus, who always have 
something to say. Their marches too are less 
inspiriting, there is often a note of sadness. They 
don't seem to play the old tunes any more we 
used to know: "The British Grenadier" and 
"The Girl I left behind Me." 

We are overrun with refugees. As the British 
advance, the Germans retreat, burning and 
destroying everything behind them, and driving 
the unfortunate peasants away at the point of 
the bayonet. They arrive here in bands, and the 
town does all it can for them, but there is 
literally no more room. Even the small farms 
and hamlets are full of English troops. They 
seem to be massing a large force here, in view, 
I suppose, of the great offensive which is announced 
for the late spring. We have some families in 
some wretched rooms, garrets, which the town 
has given. There is no furniture, except a bed 
with a bag filled with straw as mattress, a table 
and chair, neither sheets, blankets, clothes, nor 
food. Charlotte is quite unhappy over the 
children, and has sent over what she could, but 
our relief fund is getting very low, the demands 
are so incessant and so urgent. One can't let 
the children die under one's eyes. Two of them 
are dead. They had been living for weeks in 



324 WITH THE BRITISH 

a cellar without air or light or food, frightened 
to death besides. One mother is quite dazed ; 
she hasn't seen her husband since the beginning 
of the war ; saw her father shot for refusing to 
give information as to the whereabouts of the 
English, and her sister, a girl of 14, carried off 
in a cart by German soldiers, crying and struggling, 
and begging her sister to take her away from 
them. The doctor says it is better the children 
should die, they can never grow up to be strong 
men and women capable of earning their living. 
One poor woman whose little girl died (she arrived 
absolutely naked, wrapped in a bit of old carpet) 
wanted a pretty funeral in the big church of St 
Eloi, and the girls with their white veils walking 
behind the coffin. Of course, Charlotte arranged 
it for her, and gave her mourning for herself and 
her two remaining children. The doctor thinks 
one of them too will die. The poor thing seemed 
quite resigned and satisfied after the funeral. 
Charlotte will try and get her some work, but 
must just provide brooms and soap and a tub, 
as no one would give her any work until the 
room is cleared up. 

It has snowed all day quite hard. The snow 
lies on the ground, the lawns are white. The 
little red-brick houses opposite my windows look 
almost pretty with the snow on the roofs and 
framing the windows in their red setting. Francis 
started back this morning; he has about 30 kilo- 
metres to ride, but I think he got back before 
the storm began. He is always loaded with 
parcels ; his saddle-bags are a curiosity, the officers 



A HEAVY SNOWSTORM 325 

always clamour for books and bonbons. My little 
friend Francis P. keeps me well supplied with 
all the new books, and they are a godsend to 
us and the various messes. 

Charlotte has had a long- day, as she wanted to 
go to her little girl's funeral, and take the mother 
and two children to an aunt who lives about 
20 kilometres away. Transportation is always 
difficult. There are no autos, very few carriages, 
and those with only one horse. However, they 
managed it, and as Francis was only a little farther 
off, she went to have tea with him at his mess. 
The officers were very pleased to have her. The 
Australian soldier-cook had made some scones, 
and the hot tea was very acceptable. She came 
home in a driving snow-storm, said she wasn't 
frozen as she had plenty of furs and rugs. She 
took her maid with her, as she couldn't run the 
risk of having an accident on those dark bad 
country roads alone. She found me installed in 
the dining-room (grill-room) ; I had been obliged 
to emigrate from the verandah. The heavy snow 
had made a steady drip on the glass roof and 
we had a running stream in the middle of the 
room. The wind or snow or something had made 
the stove smoke, and the combination made the 
salon . . . impossible. It is incredible how one 
can manage without any of the ... I can't say 
luxuries, but necessities of life, when one must, 
but of course there is but one feeling in our hearts. 
If we are uncomfortable, what must our poor 
soldiers be going through, and I am afraid with 
the prospect of another war-winter before them. 

The days are interesting; it is curious to live 



326 WITH THE BRITISH 

with the working staff of an English garrison. All 
day long there is a procession of people coming in 
and out, soldiers, civilians, women, French and 
Flemish, "these last very voluble and perfectly 
incomprehensible," as they speak an extraordinary 
language of their own which is neither French nor 
Flemish. I should think the Town Major's life 
was not all roses ; he is responsible for everything 
that goes on in the town. The women are very 
trying ; they generally have a grievance, a long 
story about a field ruined, the whole crop of the 
year lost, horses turned loose in it, or broken gates, 
and holes in floors. The Major sends one of his 
men to inspect, and generally the damage has been 
grossly exaggerated. However, the British pay 
well and money is flowing into Hazebrouck. 

The town is full of troops passing through, and 
the billeting is no easy matter. With the old 
regular British soldier things go well enough, but 
with the Volunteers and the Colonials, especially 
the Anzacs, who are quartered in this part of the 
country, it is much more difficult. They are a fine 
lot of men, young, strong, very well mounted ; are 
volunteers many of them, wealthy men, privates 
richer than their officers sometimes. Their horses 
have all been brought from Australia, a sea voyage 
of ninety days. They told me they had lost very 
few. They are splendid fighters, but utterly un- 
disciplined — quite regardless of military etiquette, 
saluting superior officers or any such trifles. We 
see big fellows striding along in their high boots 
and spurs and big hats, looking in at all the shop 
windows, smiling and nodding to the girls, and 
evidently thinking the world was made for them. 



A COOKING SCHOOL 327 

Several girls in the town have married British 
soldiers, and were obliged to go to England as 
soon as they were married. No soldiers, officers 
or men, can have their wives with them on cam- 
paign. One of the men married the daughter of a 
small shop-keeper, and her mother read us one of 
her letters the other day, in which she says she is 
quite a lady, has a servant to wait upon her, and 
has a bath every day. 

There is very little noise or drunkenness in the 
streets, which rather astonishes me. The first 
year of the war, the Tommies indulged freely, and 
we used often to see soldiers rolling along or 
sprawled on the benches in the Champs Elysees. 
I fancy Major L. is very strict. He has an inter- 
preter, as his knowledge of French is limited, who 
is supposed to know English very well, having 
lived for twelve years in Manchester in an English 
business-house, but I must confess I can't always 
understand him. It is very reassuring to live in a 
house full of soldiers whenever we have a " Taube " 
alerte, and we have had several. The Major 
orders all lights out, shutters closed, and we take 
refuge in a dark corridor in the middle of the 
house, the safest part. I am getting accustomed 
to the big guns which roar all day ; I realise that 
they are far away, but the air guns over our heads 
and a horrid little machine gun at the top of the 
hill make me nervous. 

We went one morning to see the cooking 
school. Capt. C, the officer in charge, showed 
us everything. The men were just finishing 
putting up a field oven, which takes one hour and 
a half to make with bricks, or hard earth, or bits 

v 



328 WITH THE BRITISH 

of tin boxes ; anything" which comes to hand easily. 
There has been such waste in the British Army 
that they have organised a great many cooking 
schools. They only use rations, save every crumb 
of biscuit, with which they make very good pastry. 
We tasted everything' — all excellent. A good- 
looking young New Zealander took us over with 
Capt. C. We saw some very good mutton that 
was being cooked in the stock-pot for the men's 
dinner. I said, " Is that New Zealand mutton? it 
ought to be good." " Yes, Madame, the best in 
the world," replied the young sergeant. A big 
British sergeant-major, with all sorts of medals, 
cooked for us. He put an apron over his uniform, 
also white sleeves, and made all sorts of things : 
rissoles, chester cakes, Welsh rarebit, an excellent 
tart. They presented us with a very good pate" 
made of potted beef, and a large piece of yellow 
ration cheese for Welsh rarebit. The men stay 
about two weeks, are very keen about learning. 
Francis would like to send over their Australian 
cook. He says he is very good, but none of the 
Anzacs care about very refined cooking'. They 
have plenty of food, "such as it is"; four sub- 
stantial meals a day, very strong tea with each 
meal. We have always one or two officers to dine 
on Sunday when Francis comes. Neither the 
china nor the plate are very beautiful, but the cook 
is good and willing. As Monsieur le Town * always 
dines on Sunday, his orderly serves, and the dinner 
goes fairly well and quickly. 

1 The Major is always called " Monsieur le Town " in the 
town. 



SHELLED VILLAGES 329 

We went to see Francis at his cantonment 
one afternoon. He is about 30 kilometres away, 
and the difficulty was how to get there. There 
are very few conveyances to be had in the town, 
no autos, and with the wonderful old carriage 
drawn by one horse, which was all we could get, 
we should have been hours on the road. I couldn't 
undertake such a long expedition. Thanks to the 
Major's interpreter, who knows everybody in the 
town, we got a motor lent to us, on condition that 
we should provide our own petrol. That we were 
quite ready to do, and it was not unreasonable on 
the part of the owner, who is a refugee, a cotton- 
spinner from Armentieres. His factory is burned 
and some of his machines, happily not all, and he 
goes over often to see how things are getting on. 
Sometimes the shells are flying freely through the 
streets, and he can't get into the town, at least no 
farther than the first cellars, which are all arranged 
to shelter people. 

The drive was rather a long one ; the country 
is not at all pretty, low and uninteresting. We 
passed through several villages which had been 
shelled the first years of the war ; two or three 
churches with gaping holes in walls and roof, 
cottages with neither roof nor windows. The four 
walls, sometimes a canvas or thick linen covering 
as a roof, but the people were all back, planting 
potatoes, doing a little ploughing. Some families 
living in a shed put up on the spot where their 
house had been. Francis was waiting for us at 
the mess, and as it was too early for tea (3.30), he 
suggested we should go and pay a visit to the cure" 
where he is lodged. We found a nice, refined- 



330 WITH THE BRITISH 

looking old priest, who gave us very good wine 
(it seems his cellar is famous), and we inspected 
Francis' room, which is perfectly comfortable and 
clean, but small. The cure's sister looks after him, 
washes and mends his clothes, and brings him his 
chocolate in the morning — a typical "sceur de 
cure." I know so many of her kind in the French 
villages. The cure took us to see his church, 
which is absolutely ruined ; roof, windows gone on 
the ground, heaps of ashes, stones, bits of coloured 
glass, twisted iron, broken bell and "benitier." 
The high altar untouched, also the statue of the 
Virgin, which has happened so often when the 
churches have been destroyed. The cure was 
made prisoner and obliged to look on and see his 
church burning when they set fire to it. Charlotte 
made some good photos with her Kodak. One 
was rather pathetic ; the old white-haired cure, 
standing in the middle of the church, surrounded 
by heaps of blackened broken stones. We went 
back to the mess for tea, and had a pleasant hour. 
We found about eight officers : two English, all the 
rest Australian and New Zealanders. They gave 
us very good tea, jam, tartines of bread and butter, 
cakes, and very good scones. They all beg for 
books, and we have already sent a great many. 
They also wanted to be photographed. Charlotte 
made some, which seemed very good. After tea, 
we went to see the horses. The New Zealand 
ones are splendid, big strong beasts ; the men, too, 
great big fellows. They are longing to get into 
the fight again (some had been to Gallipoli). 
I suppose they will, as soon as the offensive begins, 
and cavalry can be of any use. We had a nice 



A GRENADE-THROWING SCHOOL 331 

run home, stopping" in the woods to pick primroses, 
and rather a pretty pale-blue wild flower I didn't 
know. We didn't hear any cannon until we got 
near Hazebrouck. It was a peaceful country 
scene, the roads deserted, nothing- passing but 
the military autos, not many of them, and lorries. 
There wasn't a sound. Except for the ruined 
cottages in some of the villages, one would never 
have thought a war was going on. 

We lunched one day at the Chateau de la 
Motte, with Baroness de L. She has had 
Germans very near, but not actually in her house, 
though she is so near the front. Though she has 
had no Germans, she has plenty of British soldiers 
quartered there since the beginning of the war. 
She had an English General and his staff for a 
long time. They occupied the whole house, leaving 
her one wing with a sitting-room, dining-room, 
and a few bed-rooms. They built her a kitchen, as 
she, of course, was obliged to give up her big 
kitchen, which her cook couldn't share with the 
British cooks. Major Seddell went with us, also 
Anzac Frank's fox-terrier by special invitation. 
She came for us in her auto, and she picked up 
a British Colonel we met on the road, who is 
stationed at the village of La Motte, where there 
is a school for "grenade throwing." He lives in 
a little house in the village, and says he has never 
been so comfortable in his life. The house is 
owned by four maiden sisters, who do everything 
for him — cook, mend, wash, and look after him as 
carefully as possible. Madame L. was very 
interesting, telling of some of her experiences. 
She has remained at her chateau ever since the 



332 WITH THE BRITISH 

beginning - of the war, quite alone at one time with 
her maid and a young religieuse. The cook and all 
the other women — she had no men left, none of us 
had — went off by the last conveyance that started 
from the village. The Germans were in the next 
village, very near her, but none got as far as the 
chateau. She and the little nun used to crawl 
over the lawn close to the canal, where the guns 
were very loud, to see what was going on. She 
said it was pretty trying at night, no lights 
anywhere, not a sound except the guns, very near, 
and a haunting terror of what might come to her. 
The cure in the next village was shot. She was 
very brave and helpful. She is very good to all 
the Australians who are quartered in this region, 
often has them at the house, and lets them have 
games and concerts in the park. She had Maori 
dances the other day on the lawn, said they were 
very wild and picturesque. The men brought 
their own music. They call her Lady Anzac. 
The chateau is large, with a good park and plenty 
of water, a small lake, and the canal skirts the 
garden. The entrance hall has a great deal of 
cachet. Her husband (she is a widow) was a 
great sportsman, and there is an interesting 
collection of all kinds of stuffed birds and animals 
and curious old arms in the hall. 

It has suddenly become very warm. We are 
suffocating in our heavy black dresses. We rarely 
go into town, but spend all day in the garden, 
where we have made a fairly comfortable installa- 
tion with hammocks, straw chairs, and tables in 
a secluded corner. There is such a procession of 
people here all day that it would be like living 



THE "TOWN MAJOR v 333 

in the street if we hadn't hidden ourselves a little. 
The other day, C. and the Major thought they 
would do some painting - . The Major had made 
some standing- bookcases out of old packing-boxes, 
but they looked rather unfinished, and must be 
painted. The furniture in our verandah is very 
limited. We don't want to buy anything, as we 
may go at any moment if the town should be 
bombarded, which is quite possible. The Boches 
could reach us easily with their long-range guns, 
but Hazebrouck is not an important place. It 
would not be worth while to waste their ammunition. 
We can't hire anything, but some of the neighbours 
have lent us tables and lamps. I bought an easy- 
chair the other day, but I think it was stuffed 
with corn-cobs. I had to buy a cushion to put on 
the seat. The books our friends send us are a joy, 
as the literature one sees here is exclusively for 
Tommies. Flaming pictures of soldiers and sailors 
and wonderful titles : " The Hero of the Trenches," 
"The Victor of the Wabes," "My Blue-eyed 
Girl," etc. Major sent his orderly out for paint- 
brushes and pots of ripolin, and they established 
themselves at the bottom of the garden, each with 
a white apron, he in his shirt-sleeves. They were 
working quite happilv, rather doubtful as to the 
colour of their ripolin, which did look very red, 
when we saw a tall officer striding across the 
lawn. It was the D.P.M., "Deputy Provost 
Marshal," who had come to see the Major on 
business, and not finding him in his office, thought 
he would walk about the garden He was much 
amused to find the "Town Major" so busily 
engaged in what was perhaps not strictly official 



334 WITH THE BRITISH 

work, and I think was rather sorry that he 
couldn't sit down and paint too. However, he 
carried off the Major, who hung- his apron on 
a tree, and slipped into his tunic as he went back 
to the house. It is just as well we have a quiet 
corner, as there are frequent interruptions. 

We didn't get much sleep last night. From 
three in the morning troops passed under our 
windows, the heavy lorries, caterpillars, and big 
guns on camions making - a great noise and 
shaking the old house and our beds. There is 
a great movement of troops these days, and, for 
the first time, a great deal of cavalry. We hope 
that means Germans retreating and cavalry 
pursuing - . Francis says his Anzacs are dying to 
move ; for weeks they have been exercising and 
manoeuvring, and both men and horses are in 
splendid condition. I can't get accustomed to 
that steady roll of guns and tramping of men and 
auto-buses. I stand at the window and watch the 
long sinister procession winding down the hill, a 
long straight line with scarcely any lights, and 
when one realises that the auto-buses are filled 
with men going straight to the front, it is very 
difficult to go to sleep. We don't know anything 
of what is going on. Even our Paris letters tell 
us nothing. If they did, they would be censored. 
C. had one the other day with everything struck 
out except the address and the signature. A few 
words, ' Nous allons tous bien, il fait tres chaud," 
was all that arrived — rather like the King of 
Spain's famous letter to his Queen, "Madame, il 
fait grand vent, et j'ai tue trois loups." 

There is an aviation camp near here. We 



AVIATORS 1 RISKS 335 

see the avions start very often, about sunset, 

making - straight for the German lines, flying - low 

at first, and then rising higher and higher until 

they look like small spots upon the sky. Many 

of the men have been killed. Two or three days 

before I came, one of Francis' friends was 

killed. They were much cut up. He was a 

charming boy, only 20 ; ran away from school to 

join the "Flying - Corps," was already Captain. 

He came often to the house and was very good 

to little Frank, showing him how to work his 

toy aeroplane. C. rather protested at his taking 

so much trouble about the child's toy, he who 

had known the real thing and been in so many 

air fights ; but he said it interested him, and 

besides, he wanted to get all he could out of life, 

as he knew he would soon be killed. The loss 

of life among the aviators is terrible, 80 per cent. 

They all know it, but all want to fly. The last 

time they saw him he was rather down ; promised, 

however, to come back the next Sunday for lunch, 

and to bring some particular kind of linen they 

had at their camp to make wings for the boy's 

plane. C. and the child bid him goodbye at the 

gate, where his motor-cycle was waiting. He 

mounted his iron horse, then got down, came back 

and kissed Frank again. " I will come on Sunday, 

if I get through safely this next time." On Tuesday 

he was killed. He must have had some sort of 

presentiment to come back and kiss the child. 

The poor little boy was terribly upset when he 

heard his friend was killed. The big- English 

soldiers are very good to Frank, play with him 

so gently. The boy often interprets for the Major, 



336 WITH THE BRITISH 

and went the other day with a sergeant to one of 
the outlying farms to see about billeting some 
gunners and their batteries. The Major says he 
does it very well, very accurately, and the child 
is quite happy, feels so important. The two 
French maids are on the best of terms with the 
Major's staff. They don't speak any English, nor 
the British soldiers any French, but we hear a 
great deal of conversation, and there is an exchange 
of canteen supplies, cheese, jam, corned beef, etc., 
against chocolates, pates, which is very convenient. 
The English canteens are very well supplied, every- 
thing very reasonable. They got very good white 
bread, which we don't have. We eat the ordinary 
pain de menage, which is often heavy and 
indigestible. 

Hazebrouck, May. 

May has come in like a lamb. The garden 
changes every day and is a joy to us, we are 
always in it. We went for tea in the woods the 
other day, carrying our tea-basket and getting 
some water from a farm. It was lovely and quiet 
in the woods. We didn't hear the guns at all. 
We made a good fire to boil our water, and sat 
on the moss with periwinkles and cuckoos all 
around. We walked home across the fields, the 
aeroplanes from Marie-Capelle passing over our 
heads making straight for the German lines. 
Hazebrouck looked almost pretty as we got near, 
the steeple and towers of St Eloi standing out 
well against the bright sunset clouds. It was such 
a peaceful country stroll, that it was quite a shock 



A FIGHT IN THE AIR 337 

to hear again the sullen boom of the guns, which 
we had lost entirely in the woods. 

The lovely weather continues. We read the 
English papers every morning" under the big - tree 
on the lawn, and try to persuade ourselves that 
the Russian uprising isn't as bad as it sounds, 
but it is difficult to have any illusions about Russia. 
We don't really know what is going on, and it 
is very difficult for us, modern and practical and 
independent, to understand the extraordinary Slav 
mentality. 

Charlotte and Major and Frank have been 
to tea, and to fish with Colonel B. this afternoon. 
Most original fishing, gold-fish. The moat which 
surrounds the house where Colonel B. lives is filled 
with gold-fish. They multiply so quickly that the 
proprietor is delighted when any of his friends 
will come and fish. They had a pleasant afternoon. 
There were two or three officers there, one young 
fellow who had lost his arm, and they had good 
sport fishing with nets and lines. Colonel B.'s 
orderly came home with them, carrying the fish 
in a pail. Frank put them at once into our pond, 
where they seem quite happy. 

We had a disagreeable experience last night, 
or rather early this morning. We were wakened 
about 4.30 by a tremendous noise of guns, 
apparently just over our heads. Everyone in 
the house got up, and we stood in a dark corridor 
in the middle of the house for about fifteen minutes 
listening to the anti-aircraft guns and the mitrail- 
leuses at the top of the hill. The noise was infernal, 
and the sky an angry red with bursting shells and 
rockets. Our old house was shaken to its founda- 



338 WITH THE BRITISH 

tions ; then the fire slackened a little. M. G. 
"interpreter" went downstairs and came back 
with a piece of shell that had fallen in the court- 
yard of the house opposite us. As the firing' 
seemed to die out and be farther away, we thought 
we might as well go back to bed. I stayed a few 
minutes in C.'s room, when suddenly the guns 
began again. We all took up our position in 
the corridor, C. and I at the top of the stairs, 
when we heard a terrific crash and the sound of 
broken glass, then silence. After waiting - a few 
moments, one of the sergeants came up, telling 
us that a bomb had crashed through the glass 
roof of the verandah ; he brought up some shrapnel 
which had fallen on the floor. However, that was 
the end that night. We heard no more firing, 
the red light faded out of the sky, and the town 
was absolutely quiet. I went back to my room, 
but couldn't get to sleep for some time. I must 
frankly say that I was unnerved. I was afraid, 
and I don't like to be afraid. If the children were 
not here, I would certainly go back to Paris. 
The machine guns and the red light in the sky 
are terrifying, but I can't be more of a poltroon 
than anybody else, and if my time has come it 
won't make any difference if a fragment of shell 
or a fever carries me off. It is curious how one 
forg"ets the horrors when daylight comes and we 
take up our normal life. Several officers came 
in to tea. I said to Colonel B., " Isn't it extra- 
ordinary, here we are sitting on the lawn as 
usual, having tea and playing with the dog, and 
last night we were frightened to death ; perhaps, 
though, you weren't." "I was, indeed," he said. 



MORE NIGHT ATTACKS 339 

" I live near the station, and they always come 
there, hoping to get trains with soldiers and 
ammunition." He went on to say, " Never believe 
it, madame, when a soldier tells you he is not 
afraid of aeroplanes, it isn't true. I am an old 
soldier and could face rifles and cannon without 
flinching, but these awful things that drop down 
upon you suddenly out of the clouds are terrible. 
One is perfectly helpless, as in an earthquake, and 
nothing tells more on one's nerves." I was rather 
consoled, for I was ashamed of having been so 
completely unnerved. C. went with Major to 
see if much harm had been done in a street near 
the station ; one house had the roof off and holes 
in the sides, but no one was much hurt ; one man 
wounded, a horse killed. 

It has been a beautiful day, and since early 
morning a long sinister procession of guns, lorries, 
and big carts loaded with planks has passed ; 
two cavalry regiments with full field equipment. 
They raise clouds of dust and shake the house. 
Poor old house, with cannon always going at 
the back, a big discharge breaking panes of glass 
and making all the doors fly open, and the steady 
rumbling of lorries and camions in front. The 
men all look cheerful, have no idea where they 
are going, but always in the same direction, 
Arras. 

We had again an agitated night, and spent our 
usual anxious half-hour in the corridor. There 
seemed to be several aeroplanes just over our 
heads, and bombs were Hying about freely. I 
heard, for the first time, the scream of the shell 
as it flew over the house, and didn't like it at 



340 WITH THE BRITISH 

all. I am certainly getting a coward in my old 
age. So many things make me nervous now. 

Charlotte and Frank went off to Boulogne this 
morning. Her brother has arrived from Algiers 
on a short leave, but couldn't get permission to 
come as far as Hazebrouck, and asked her to 
meet him half-way. I am left with the British 
Army. The Major takes very good care of me. 
I dined with him at his mess this evening. We 
walked there, as they mess in Mademoiselle 
Bieswal's pretty old provincial house in the main 
street, with a big garden, almost a park behind, 
which is almost opposite to us, a few yards to 
walk. She lodges several officers, and has given 
her dining-room to the mess. It is a large, high, 
white-panelled room opening on the garden. 
There were four or five officers and two ladies — 
Madame de L., who is directress of the military 
hospital here, and a prominent worker on the 
committee "des Enfants de la Frontiere," and a 
friend of hers, Madame L. Both ladies spoke 
English well, and the talk was general and easy. 
The dinner was very good, flowers and fruits on 
the table, the orderlies serving. The British 
regular officers were amusing over the Colonials 
and Kitchener's armies, all new to their work, 
very eager but very particular about their lodgings, 
can't understand that they don't find baths in 
all the village houses. We dined without lights, 
the days are so long now. Candles were lit only 
at the last moment, when the "port" was handed. 
They are much pleased at America's coming in 
at last, and hope she will send over an Expedition- 
ary Force. She hasn't got any army, and, I should 



AMERICAS PROSPECTS 341 

think, very little in the way of arms. The Yankees 
can't fight now as they did in the great Revolu- 
tion, with sticks and pitchforks, but I think they 
will make good all the same. Madame L. li\es 
in our street, so we walked home together in the 
dark, the only light being rather a dim lamp that 
hangs over the Major's door. 

I lunched to-day with Mademoiselle Bresmal. 
More than half of her house is given up to the 
British officers. They have left her two small 
rooms and a kitchen on the ground floor. Her 
big old-fashioned Flemish kitchen, opening into 
the court, with a large furnace, and coppers and 
brasses shining and polished, is also taken by 
the British. We had an excellent breakfast, very 
good white bread made at home, which we never 
get. We talked a little after breakfast, and she 
was interested enough, telling what Hazebrouck 
was like before the great Revolution. She is 
a perfect type of the " Haute Bourgeoisie," which 
is one of the bulwarks of France, very polite, 
very charitable, is Presidente of the Croix- Rouge, 
and does a great deal of good. 

Charlotte and Frank arrived yesterday for 
tea, laden with packets of all kinds: books, clothes, 
shoes, food, toys. They had two nice days with 
her people, said Boulogne was full of English. 
Their hotel crowded with officers, food scarce, 
really not enough to eat and very dear. Before 
the war the cuisine was famous in that hotel. 
The train too was full of English officers, many 
old colonels, and even generals retired for years, 
taking up service again at the back, to let younger 
men go to the front. She said they were all very 



342 WITH THE BRITISH 

friendly and sociable, and all most enthusiastic 
about America and the prompt energetic measures 
she was taking. 

We have had some lovely warm days. The 
verandah was rather trying. We have had every 
kind of experience in our salon ; been cold and 
wet and half choked with smoke, but in war 
times one gets accustomed to everything. How- 
ever, there is always a shady corner in the garden. 

The guns are very heavy to-day — not only the 
house, but the earth trembles under our feet. 
The English papers are very blue. They have no 
confidence in Russia, are afraid Italy will follow 
her lead. They are certainly wonderful allies ; 
have been supplied with troops, cannon, and money, 
for what ? There are changes in our army. 
Petain has been named Generalissime, commands 
now in Champagne ; Neville has been set aside. 
No one seems to know why ; he did so well at 
Verdun, but doesn't seem to have managed the 
offensive as well. Always the same thing : the 
infantry making brilliant advances, not sufficiently 
supported by artillery, and terrific loss of life. 

The movement of troops is extraordinary, and 
yet we only see part of what passes here. No 
infantry, only artillery and cavalry. The big guns 
make one shiver. They are so heavy that they 
are carried in sections — three lorries with six 
horses, each carrying one part. The other day 
an enormous gun that looked like the boiler of 
a steamboat was carried by two camions, ten 
horses each. After the guns come long lines of 
wagons, a great many drawn by mules, and lorries 
loaded with every conceivable thing : poles and 



TROOPS ON THE MOVE 343 

wire for telegraph and telephones, long planks for 
building bridges and boats, cases innumerable 
with provisions of all kinds, officers' baggage, 
"sometimes tubs," then donkeys with big bundles 
strapped on each side, led, not ridden. There 
would be no place for a rider ; he couldn't put his 
legs anywhere. The roll of heavy wheels and 
tramp of horses kept me awake at first, and when 
there was a halt I went to the window and looked 
out. I couldn't distinguish anything but a long 
dark line straggling down the hill, as far as one 
could see, and almost imperceptible lights. The 
night was quite dark, no stars. A group of motor 
cyclists closed the march and halted directly under 
my windows. They seemed a most cheerful lot, 
whistled, sang: "If I were the only Girl in the 
World and you were the only Boy," got off their 
cycles, lit cigarettes, ran a few steps up and down 
the street to rest their legs, and made the street 
quite lively. However, there were no lights nor 
any sign of life in the houses. I think the 
Hazebrouck people have got accustomed to the 
noise, though the inhabitants must ask themselves 
sometimes if this is their peaceful little town before 
the war, with its dull, empty streets and sluggish 
canal, and groups of fat, prosperous Flemish 
bourgeois standing placidly in the Grand Place. 
I have always the impression of not being in 
France. The Flemish influence seems to pre- 
dominate, and one hears very little French in the 
streets. The people all speak Flemish. 

It has been a beautiful warm summer day. 
Francis came to luncheon bringing two officers 
of his brigade, a New Zealander and an Irishman. 

z 



344 WITH THE BRITISH 

We sat all day in the garden, the men sprawled 
out on rugs. Some of them went down to the 
pond and helped Frankee sail his boats. He has 
now quite a large fleet on the pond. Our dinner 
was pleasant. Major M., the New Zealander, 
couldn't stay, but the Irishman, Capt. I., did. 
Our Major always comes on Sunday, and the two 
officers were amusing, telling of some of their 
subaltern experiences. Major's orderly, a nice- 
looking man in uniform waits at table with the 
French maid ; he is a friend of the gardener, and 
helps him in his greenhouses, so he gets all the 
flowers he wants and our "grill-room" table looks 
rather festive. When the war is over and we all 
take up our normal life again, these "intermezzi" 
with the British Expeditionary Force will be 
curious to remember. The guns made a great 
noise. Capt. I. was quite astonished when a very 
heavy discharge shook the house and burst open 
the window. "Did we like it?" No, we didn't, 
but it sounded far off. What we don't like are 
the aircraft and their shrapnel falling into the 
verandah, or in the garden. 

We dined with Major last night at his mess. 
They had arranged a small dinner, as a very good 
military band was passing through the town. We 
were four ladies, Mademoiselle Bresmal and her 
niece, and eight or ten officers, some from St Omer 
and other places near. We dined punctually at 
8, so that the men could see to play without 
lights. As they played in the garden, lighting 
would not have been easy. There were thirty- 
seven men ; would have been too many in the 
dining-room, but just right for the garden. The 



A DINNER PARTY 345 

windows were open, and it made a pretty picture, 
the half circle of men in uniform against a back- 
ground of trees and tall plants in full flower. The 
talk was lively enough, though the two Hazebrouck 
ladies spoke no English, and the English not 
much French. One of the men from St Omer 
spoke French pretty well and he and Mademoiselle 
Bresmal got on very well ; but the general con- 
versation was in English, must always be when 
the great majority is English. I had a very nice 
elderly officer next to me. He had been retired 
for a long time from active service, but had come 
in as lieutenant at the beginning of the war. He 
was the father of the young Capt. B. and of 
Colonel B. who had lost an arm in the beginning 
of the war. It seems the young man's great 
delight was to meet his father in the street, who 
would be obliged to salute him as his superior in 
rank. When dinner was nearly over the Colonel 
sent for the bandmaster, gave him a glass of port, 
and we complimented him on his music. They 
finished directly afterwards with the " Marseillaise " 
and "God Save the King," everyone standing, of 
course. We sat on for about an hour, talking war, 
but they don't know any more than we do about 
what is going on. They hope everything from 
America, but she is an unknown quantity in such 
a war as this. Her cavalry raids on the plains 
and in Mexico can have given her no experience 
for trench fighting and heavy guns. We walked 
home, the streets as usual perfectly dark and 
deserted. A group of very cheerful Australians 
passed us singing, but they had a sergeant with 
them who quieted them as he caught a glimpse 



346 WITH THE BRITISH 

by the lantern of the Town Major's badge. It 
seems the mothers all make a sort of bogieman of 
the Town Major, tell the children when they are 
naughty that " Monsieur le Town " will lock them 
up in the guardhouse. 

Hazebrouck, June. 

We had a nice day at Cassel yesterday ; had to 
provide ourselves with as many sauf-conduits and 
papiers d'identite as if we were going on a long 
journey to foreign parts. No one looked at them, 
nor asked us any questions, but I suppose it was 
better to have them in case we should fall upon 
gendarmes who were not well disposed. It was a 
long drive, quite two hours, and a slow one, as we 
couldn't get an auto and had to take the one-horse 
Victoria, the only means of transport in the town. 
The country is very ugly, flat and no trees, and 
the sun beat down on our heads. It was only 
when we began to mount the steep hill, on which 
Cassel stands, that we got a little shade, had big 
trees on each side of the road, every turn of the 
wheels opening out a splendid view. Innumerable 
officers' autos, dispatch riders, and lorries passed 
us, raising clouds of dust, but we saw no civils 
of any kind. We lunched at the famous Hotel du 
Sauvage, in a window, looking over a lovely ex- 
panse of green hills and meadows. The room was 
filled with British officers, all much taken up with 
us, evidently wondering who we were. A good 
many of them stood up and saluted when we went 
out. I don't believe they see ladies often, except 
nurses, so near the front. At the table next us 
were two infants, a major and a captain. They 



CASSEL 347 

looked hardly old enough to be out of Eton. 
General P. has his headquarters here. He lives 
in what used to be a hotel, in the highest part of 
the town. 

We climbed up a very steep path and found 
ourselves in charming grounds, with trees and 
flowers and benches. The air was lovely and the 
view on all sides divine. We sat there some time 
in the shade and then walked to the edge of the 
cliff, where we had the whole plain before us ; saw 
Dunkerque and Poperinghe, and Charlotte and 
Frank made out Ypres. We made friends with 
two young officers of the Irish Guards, and with 
their powerful glasses saw very far. On a clear 
day one can see the sea quite distinctly. We felt 
it behind the dunes of Dunkerque. If Hazebrouck 
should be bombarded, which is quite possible, we 
might move up here. We did a little shopping in 
the town, bought maps and postal cards, and 
walked about in some of the queer, crooked little 
streets. The Grand Place is fine, the inevitable 
fountain in the middle, and some good old-fashioned 
houses with high windows on the ground floor, 
giving on the Place. Big courts with gates and 
windows of very good ironwork, always gardens 
running some distance back. No one seems to 
live in them now. They are all given over to the 
British Army for offices, hospitals, lodgings, etc. 
" English spoken " and " Tea-room " posted up all 
over the town. I believe it was a very important 
place at one time. The Bourgeois of Cassel was a 
big man. 

The drive home was lovely ; should have been 
much shorter than coming as it was down hill, if 



348 WITH THE BRITISH 

our driver had not put on his break at each almost 
imperceptible fall on the road. We stopped a few- 
minutes at the Aviation camp at Marie Capelle ; 
an escadrille was just starting for its nightly flight 
towards the German lines. It was pretty to see 
the planes following each other pretty closely at 
first, then gradually spreading out and mounting 
into the clouds. It always gives us a heartache 
as some never come back. They usually start 
after sunset at nightfall, and their comrades left 
in the camp count the hours until they come back. 
We often see the men. They come and tell us of 
comrades dead or missing quite quietly, as a matter 
of course, and after a few minutes given to their 
memory and recollections of various exploits done 
together, the normal life goes on again, with the 
tea-table on the lawn, and cigarettes, and occasion- 
ally a song or two at the piano. It isn't want of 
feeling or ignorance of danger ; they all carry their 
lives in their hands and they know it, but they say 
if they let themselves think they would lose their 
nerve and be quite useless as aviators. 

There is no news. Ribot made a good speech, 
refusing the Socialist deputies passports to go to 
the Stockholm Congress. He was well supported 
by both Chamber of Deputies and Press. 

There was a good military band on the Grand 
Place to-day, which was packed with soldiers, 
principally New Zealanders ; a fresh contingent 
has just arrived. Charlotte, Frank, and I went 
for a little while, but we were very warm and half- 
suffocated with the dust made by the lorries and 
New Zealand baggage-wagons, so we came home 
to our cool, quiet garden, and left Frank in charge 



COLONIAL TROOPS 349 

of an M.P. ("not Member of Parliament, but 

Military Police") who promised to look after him, 

and sent him home in a military lorry, much to the 

child's delight. He knows nearly all the police, 

as he does a little casual interpreting - for them. 

We had a quiet dinner with Francis and the 

Major. Francis was rather emu ("Not as much, 

however, as he would have been at the beginning 

of the war ; one gets hardened ") as his orderly was 

killed two days ago. He and two men went off on 

a reconnaissance. He came to say good-bye to 

Francis. They shook hands, the man hoped to 

be back and take up his service again ; two days 

later he was killed by a shell. They both told us 

great preparations were being made, and if we 

thought the guns were heavy it was nothing to 

what it would be when the great British offensive 

began. I am afraid we shall have no panes of 

glass left in the windows of our poor old house. 

I wonder what we shall do, as there is neither 

glass nor glaziers to be had. Francis says they 

expect to start now, any day. They have left D., 

their old quarters, and have moved nearer the 

front where they are sleeping in huts ; no more 

comfortable rooms at the Cure's. Their baggage 

is packed ; they can start in half an hour. Major 

M., a fine young New Zealander who commands 

two battalions, told Francis he expected to lose 

60 per cent, of men and horses when they came 

into action. They are dying to start. The 

Canadians are already in, fighting bravely, and 

the Anzacs can hardly wait for their chance. 

There is great rivalry between them and the 

Canadians. 



350 WITH THE BRITISH 

We had again a disturbed night ; were all called 
up, and took refuge in our corridor. The guns 
sounded much nearer. The soldiers told us an 
air fight was going on directly over our street. It 
lasted as usual about fifteen minutes, then stopped 
suddenly. Merely an occasional shot from our 
guns to let the Germans know we were awake and 
watching. We always sleep now with our money, 
papers, and our jewels under the pillow, warm 
coats and shoes by the bedside, in case real 
bombarding should begin and we should be 
obliged to seek shelter in the cellar or a quieter 
corner of the town. Quantities of refugees have 
come into the town to-day on foot, in farm wagons 
full of women and children and animals, pigs, 
chickens, and goats all packed in together. The 
town can't keep them, is already overcrowded ; 
they must move farther on into the interior. 
Poor, miserable creatures ! We gave them bread 
and milk, and tried to comfort them, but what can 
one say. Francis went off after breakfast with all 
sorts of things strapped to his saddle — books, 
boxes of chocolate, stuff to make a mattress. He 
says the planks are so hard he can't sleep, and is 
so stiff in the morning he can hardly get on his 
horse. He was rather emu when the last good- 
byes were said, though he hopes to get back next 
Sunday. The partings are hard ; I wonder how 
many more are before us. 

It is awfully hot. We are thankful to have 
the garden. Troops of refugees are arriving. The 
town authorities are at their wits' end. The French 
apparently depend upon the English for everything, 
and poor Major is overwhelmed with business. 



A TOWN MAJOR'S DIFFICULTIES 351 

He has people all day asking- him impossible 
things. Sometimes, when his interpreter is out 
Charlotte talks for him, and she is becoming strong 
in British military language, and those mysterious 
cabalistic letters of which I have only mastered 
three: G.H.Q. "General Head Quarters." Some 
of their experiences are funny. A rather pretty 
dressy young lady appeared the other day 
accompanied by a gendarme. She had a black 
bottle under her arm, and explained that she was 
the daughter of a woman who kept an "estaminet" 
which the Town Major proposed to shut up as 
he heard they sold alcohol to the soldiers, and 
that there were very lively doings in the establish- 
ment. She explained that there was nothing but 
menthe in her bottle, would the Major taste himself ; 
also that they were perfectly well behaved, did 
no harm. She had brought the gendarme to 
testify that the house was perfectly respectable, 
which he did ; said he knew all about them, and 
as to lively conduct, remarked like a true French- 
man : "On riait bien un peu, faut que jeunesse 
s'amuse." Another time an M.P. saying So 
refugees had arrived, where were they to be put ? 
The town was full. Then again the police. A band 
of Australians, half of them drunk, had rescued 
one of their comrades dead drunk from the hands 
of the police, and had hurt one of the men. At 
1 1 o'clock, just as we were going upstairs, 
a camion appeared at the door with food : 500 
kilos of jam, 500 of corn beef sent from the head- 
quarters of the 2nd Army for refugees here, where 
must they be sent? A letter had to be written 
in French and sent to the Sous-Prefecture, asking 



352 WITH THE BRITISH 

where the food could be put. In a few minutes 
the secretary of the Prefet arrived with a letter 
saying the food must be sent to the Museum. 
Major's messenger said the Prefecture was sound 
asleep when he arrived, he had some difficulty in 
rousing them. 

There is good news this morning. The British 
have taken Messines, made many prisoners, and 
not had very heavy losses. It was rumoured in 
the town yesterday, but we hardly dared to believe 
it, though the cannonading had been incessant 
and sounded much nearer. They say the Germans 
were surprised, which seems extraordinary, as for 
days people have been talking of the British attack, 
and quantities of troops and big guns have passed 
through Hazebrouck. Their aircraft, too, have 
been very busy in all this region. They must 
have known something was being prepared. We 
want to go late one afternoon and dine with our 
friends of " 50," who are quartered in the Trappiest 
Monastery at Mont des Cats. We can't go inside 
the Monastery, but they will give us dinner at 
the estaminet at the gate. We want to see the 
view which they say is magnificent at night. 
Mont des Cats stands very high ; one sees the whole 
plain. They say it is a wonderful sight, rockets 
and bursting shells. The difficulty as usual is a 
conveyance. No officers are allowed to take ladies 
in their car, and the lively stable man won't give 
us a carriage the hill is so steep. 

We had quite an excitement this morning. 
Major was called up about 8 o'clock. There was 
a fire in the Museum where many refugees are 
housed. Some children dropped lighted matches 



THE HOSPICE 353 

on the straw, which flamed up instantly. However, 
thanks to the British soldiers and their fire- 
extinguishing grenades, the fire was soon subdued, 
and by the time we got there nothing" was to be 
seen but smoke and showers of sparks. All the 
refugees were huddled in one corner of the court. 
Major told us it was amusing". No one seemed 
to have any authority or to know what to do. 
He picked up some soldiers as he hurried to the 
scene and mounted a ladder to see how much 
harm was done. Very little really. When the 
local fire brigade appeared all was over, but as 
they had no water it didn't matter. Major looked 
like a chimney-sweep when he finally emerged, 
face and hands quite black. We were a little 
anxious about Francis, as he quite expected to 
be in the Messines attack ; but we met a staff 
officer as we were coming" home and he told us 
the Anzacs were in but had returned safely to 
their old quarters with very few losses, no officers. 
Capt. S. came at tea-time to make arrangements 
about our going for the night to Mont des Cats, 
rather to the village at the foot of the hill. We 
can get there by train, and he will take rooms 
for us somewhere- After tea we went to the 
Hospice where there was an official ceremony. 
Madame Liouville was to receive the "Croix de 
Guerre," with a fine citation for courage under 
fire when she went to Armentieres to pick up 
her children, and shells were falling on the town, 
and also for her care of the sick and wounded. 
The court of the Hospice was quite full, a double 
line of Poilus from the gate to the big dining-room. 
We had a long wait, over an hour, for the General 



354 WITH THE BRITISH 

Medecin-Chef who was to give the Cross. All the 
notabilities of the town were there, and five or six 
British officers. It was a typical French provincial 
ceremony. The Abbe Le Mier, deputy, priest, 
and Mayor with his badge of office, the Sous- 
Prefet and his secretary, both in uniform, nurses 
from the hospital, nuns from the Orphelinat, babies 
from the "Regions devastees," bouquets, speeches, 
champagne and foie gras, sandwiches. Madame 
L. looked very well in her nurse's dress, and 
thanked the General very simply and prettily. I 
told her I was much disappointed that the General 
didn't kiss her on both cheeks. We all congratu- 
lated her most warmly. She has done splendid 
work, not sparing herself at all, and I am glad 
she has got the Cross. She wanted it very much. 
They all do. The papers announce this morning 
that Mrs Park also has the Croix de Guerre. 
She has certainly deserved it. She has done 
splendid work ever since the beginning of the war. 
She opened her hospital at Annel ("making extra- 
ordinary changes in her chateau so as to make 
it suitable in every way") in August 191 4, and 
has given her whole time and energy to her work. 
The hospital is wonderfully run, most largely, all 
the details so well carried out. 

I went as usual to the service in the English 
church. Charlotte and Frank met me in the 
Grand Place, and we waited to see the procession 
for the Fete Dieu. The old Flemish place looked 
very picturesque. Flags and draperies floated 
from all the windows and balconies, all traffic was 
suspended, and a crowd of people, civilians, and 
quantities of soldiers in every description of 



AN IMPRESSIVE CEREMONY 355 

uniform — English, Australians (" their big- slouched 
hat is very picturesque"), Highlanders with bright- 
coloured kilts, with a khaki jacket and Scottish 
bonnet, French blue-coated poilus, the big British 
military police keeping perfect order. The pro- 
cession was very effective and imposing as it wound 
around the great place, making a halt at an altar 
just in front of the Hotel de Ville. It reminded 
me of some of the processions one used to see 
in the old days in Italy, where there was much 
more colour and images and banners. All that 
appeals to the impressionable Southern nature 
one never sees in our colder soberer Northern 
towns. The entire population of Hazebrouck 
was out, a great many taking part in the 
procession. The President and Committee of 
the Croix Rouge walked in it with their banner, 
all the clergy in gorgeous vestments, and I should 
think every child and young person in the town. 
Some of the girls with gold and silver wings, 
coloured sashes on their white dresses, one pretty 
group of little girls in white, with white veils and 
wreaths of white roses, walking backwards scatter- 
ing roses as the Sacrament " Le Bon Dieu qui 
passe" was borne along. Almost everybody 
knelt at the passage on the stones, and we saw 
three or four British officers we knew who stood 
at the salute. Just before the Host the Virgin 
Mary walked in white, her fair hair flowing loose 
over her shoulders, but with a blue veil, "again 
like some of the Virgins in old Italian pictures." 
She held the Enfant Jesus by the hand, a pretty 
little fair boy with a white lily in his hand. It 
was most curious and interesting, and completely 



356 WITH THE BRITISH 

transformed the old place. There was no music 
except the chanting" of the priests and children, 
which was continuous as each group took up their 
cantique. No military band, but always the sound 
of the cannon, a sinister accompaniment. We 
rather wondered that no German aeroplanes made 
their appearance, think they couldn't have known 
that a great fete was going- on. It would have 
suited their cowardly instinct to scatter bombs on 
a crowd of women and children kneeling- at the 
altar. We had one or two officers for tea, and 
had a long conversation over the telephone with 
Capt. S. who is at Mont des Cats and wants us 
to come and dine with him and some other friends 
to-morrow night at Mont des Cats. He has got 
rooms in the little village at the foot of the 
mountain. The British officers are quartered in 
a monastery on top where no women are allowed 
to penetrate. We have wanted to go for some 
little time. Madame L. and others have been and 
said the view from the top was magnificent. The 
whole plain lit up with rockets and shells, but 
of course that could only be seen at night. We 
can go by train to Godeswerthwerk ("which the 
British call Goddy for short, and one can't blame 
them ") in about an hour, and then take a carriage 
to the top of the mountain and dine with the 
officers at an estaminet just outside the monastery. 
Francis came over to dinner. He looked tired 
but well. They had had three exciting and 
interesting days at Messines. He said the 
departure of the Anzacs was fine. They had 
a farewell banquet at the mess the night before 
they left, and started at 4 in the morning. 



DEPARTURE 357 

Me rode with the Colonel and stayed at his side 
while all the squadrons passed, all delighted to go 
and as cool as if they were on parade. He didn't 
take off his clothes until Saturday morning. They 
all slept on the ground with their heads on their 
saddles, bombs falling freely around, and British 
aeroplanes as thick as flies in the sky. Happily, 
they had beautiful warm nights. His regiment 
only lost 15 men, about 25 horses. The whole 
British loss was about 10,000 killed and wounded. 
Major L. dined as usual and was much interested 
in Francis' account. The guns were very heavy 
all the evening. 

This will be my last letter from Hazebrouck as 
I decided rather hurriedly to leave on Wednesday, 
and I am writing on scraps of paper, late, as all 
my (I can't say trunks as I haven't got any) bags 
and bundles are made. We have had a most 
delightful, but fatiguing twenty-four hours. The 
heat is terrific, and I was most uncomfortable 
in my heavy black clothes. We started at 3.30 
yesterday, Charlotte, Frank, and I, and had a 
very hot hour in the train which was crowded 
with soldiers. It is one big English camp all the 
way from Hazebrouck to Goddes. The British 
sergeant at the station was very surprised to see 
two ladies arrive. However, our passes were 
quite correct and we gave Capt. S.'s name, who 
would answer for us. We sat some little time 
outside the station as our Captain was late, and 
the poor man was very troubled, came up again, 
and said he must ask some more questions. Would 
we give him our Christian and family names? C. 
was all right with Charlotte, but when it came to 



358 WITH THE BRITISH 

Sallandroze La Mornacy, her maiden name, that 
was too much for him. She said Sallandroze 
would do and wrote it for him. Then he 
asked for mine, and was much puzzled as Mary- 
King' didn't sound very French. He remarked, 
" I can't think how you got your passes, ladies ; the 
whole place is blocked with troops, no civilians 
are allowed anywhere near. Perhaps you have 
come to inspect field ambulances." We both had 
on our medals, French and English Red Cross, 
so we smiled at that and didn't say we had no 
inspection to make or mission of any kind. At 
that moment Capt. S. appeared and relieved the 
poor man of all his misgivings. We went at once 
with him to see our rooms, in a nice clean little 
house just at the entrance of the village, saw the 
patronne, a very respectable-looking widow, and 
declined all offers of coffee or tea, as we were 
going off at once. Capt. S. and Frank went off 
to see about the carriage and C. and I walked 
about the village, which consists of one long 
straggling street, a Mairie, hotel, several nice 
houses, and a few shops. We attracted a great 
deal of attention, had a band of children walking 
behind us, and certainly saw no one of our kind. 
We could find nothing to buy but post-cards. We 
met various officers who looked at us with much 
curiosity, but all soldiers as well as officers saluted 
us. One group of staff officers standing outside 
their headquarters stared so hard with such 
evident curiosity that we were rather embarrassed, 
but they, too, saluted most respectfully. Capt. S. 
told us afterwards that they thought it was 
the Queen of the Belgians on a tour of 



A TRAPPIEST MONASTERY 359 

inspection. We found the vehicle, a most re- 
markable specimen, waiting for us at the house. 
However there were two horses, and they pulled 
us up the long steep hill very well, about an hour. 
The view was beautiful as soon as we began to 
mount a little. All the plain spread out before us, 
and not such a far view as from Cassel. The 
country, too, is prettier, more undulating, and 
more trees. The "Trappiest" monastery stands 
very well, quite at the top of the mountain, and 
there is quite a little hamlet at the gates. Certainly 
those old, old monks knew very well how to choose 
good situations for their monasteries — almost 
always high, and with enough ground around them 
to make excellent gardens. There are about fifteen 
left, and the British officers have very good rooms 
in the building. We women couldn't penetrate even 
into the courtyard, but Frank went all over it the 
next morning. It seems they are awfully strict. 
Last year two English nurses got in, only to the 
dining-room on the rez-de-chauss^e, and the monks 
were half crazy. The whole place was disinfected 
and purified and prayed for. The British officers 
were much disgusted. It must be a terrible life. 
The monks never speak, not even at meals, except 
by special permission. The only ones who have 
any communication with the outside world are the 
Pere Superieur, who goes about a little, and the 
Frere Econome, who does the marketing and 
necessary purchases. 

We dined at a small cafe, just outside the gates 
of the nv mastery, in a private room with Captains 
S. and I., and a Catholic padre who was rather 
interesting. In a room next, some officers of the 

2 A 



360 WITH THE BRITISH 

sniping - corps were dining-. We had a very good 
dinner, and naturally, wherever British officers are, 
plenty of champagne. After dinner we walked up 
to the top of the mountain and had a fine view 
over the plains, saw Bailleul, Ypres, Armentieres, 
and Messines. It was a magnificent sight, like 
gig-antic fireworks, rockets, flares of lig-ht from the 
big guns, shells bursting in all directions, and 
always the roar of the cannon, shaking the ground 
under our feet. It was so warm and dry that we 
sat on the grass, fascinated by the sight. The 
officers said it was much quieter than the night 
before, but it brought the war much nearer to us, 
as we sat there, quietly thinking of the awful loss 
of life that those deadly fireworks meant. We 
went back to Goddes, in an ambulance, and rattled 
down the hill in about ten minutes. I found it a 
most uncomfortable mode of transport, was shaken 
to pieces, but I fancy they don't go that pace when 
they are carrying wounded. It was very late, but 
our good lady had left the door unlocked and a 
candle on a table, so we found our way upstairs, 
had two rooms next to each other, sheets and 
towels very clean, and I was glad to get to bed. 
The officers said they would try to send the 
ambulance for us the next morning, so that we 
could come up to breakfast. We didn't wake very 
early, and when we came downstairs to have our 
coffee in a beautifully clean kitchen, we found that 
a message had come, saying we couldn't have the 
ambulance. It had gone off early to get some 
wounded, but wouldn't we try and find a carriage, 
and come up to breakfast. We had excellent 
coffee, bread and butter and eggs, in the kitchen 



GODDES 361 

which was really a sitting-room, beautifully tiled 
and clean, two wicker arm-chairs, and opened on 
a little garden. The cooking was done in a shed 
at the end of the garden, where there was a stove, 
and all the cooking utensils she used. The copper 
saucepans and kettles were all spread out, bright 
and shining, on the dresser of the show kitchen. 
The old lady was very talkative, showed us the 
pictures of her children and grandchildren, and 
told us all her family history. She said she had 
some difficulty in keeping the rooms for us. She 
had always lodged officers, and two came yesterday 
and wanted absolutely to have the rooms ; when 
she said they were reserved for ladies, were most 
indignant ; ladies shouldn't travel in the war zone. 
We had some difficulty in getting a conveyance ; 
apparently every vehicle in Goddes had gone to 
market somewhere, but Frank finally found us 
one, promising a good pourboire. It was a most 
remarkable two-wheeled unsteady trap. The 
driver sat on the shafts, while C. and I scrambled 
on to the back seat, a narrow plank with a strip 
of carpet on it. If he hadn't kept it balanced, it 
would certainly have collapsed with our weight. 
Frank sat on the floor ; however he had a good 
little horse which brought us up the hill very well, 
and the driver promised to wait for us if we would 
give him his breakfast, and take us down for 
2.30 train. C. and I sat in the shade, on the side 
of the hill, while Frank went into the monastery 
to tell our friends we had arrived. It was a lovely 
summer morning, and the stretch of green 
meadows at our feet, with steeples rising every 
now and then in the distance from little clumps 



362 WITH THE BRITISH 

of trees, and occasional glimpses of a silver line, 
either river or canal, made such a peaceful, sleepy 
landscape that we never could have imagined such 
a cruel war was going on, had it not been for 
the incessant growl of the cannon which sounded 
much nearer than at Hazebrouck. We had a very 
cheerful breakfast. Capt. S. told us that the 
railway sergeant had us still on his mind. He 
cycled up to the monastery early this morning 
to tell him the two stranger ladies were still there, 
and though Capt. S. told him we were leaving 
by the 2 o'clock train, I don't think he believed 
it until he saw us at the station really going away 
from Goddes. Before we started down the 
mountain, at the request of the officers, who said 
they would certainly never see us again in such 
an equipage, the vehicle with us all in it was 
photographed. The journey back was uncomfort- 
able, the train crowded with people — officers, nurses, 
a few nondescript civils — and the heat frightful. 
I have been packing all the afternoon and have 
had a last dinner in the grill-room, and have 
said good-bye to Major S. whom I hope we shall 
see again. We have been making plans for him 
and Mrs L. to come and see us at Mareuil, after 
the war. I am leaving to-morrow morning early, 
and I know I shall be homesick for Hazebrouck, 
and the guns, and even the "Taube," though I 
frankly say I was afraid of them, but at least one 
felt one was in the fighting line. Shall I ever see 
the quaint little French, Flemish town again ? 

We made our home journey quite comfortably, 
once we got started, but there was a great crowd 



BOULOGNE 363 

and confusion at the gare. We went early, and 
one of the officers took us to a small room or 
bureau of some kind where we could wait quietly 
until our papers were examined. There were a 
great many people in the room talking and asking 
for information of all kinds, principally English, 
but they didn't really talk loud or make much 
noise. 

A blue-coated French sergeant, seated at a 
table, rather peremptorily told people to be quiet, 
not to talk. I was rather astonished, and said to 
the man: "Why mustn't they talk? They are 
not noisy!" " On account of the English, Madame; 
this is their bureau, and they don't like any one to 
talk." 

Our carriage as far as Boulogne was full of 
young British, Australian, and Canadian officers 
going on leave to England. Some of the 
Australians had never seen London, and were 
most excited at the idea, and so afraid they would 
miss the boat at Boulogne, as we were late, of 
course. They were all very gay, telling all sorts 
of stories. They had a great deal to say about 
the padres, for whom they seemed to have a great 
respect ; said some of them were so human. One 
had preached a splendid sermon one day, and 
remained afterward talking to the men, still 
reminding them that at any time their lives might 
be asked of them, and they must give them 
willingly for their country. They all agreed, and 
one young fellow said : "All right, Padre, we'll all 
play the game when the time comes ; but it isn't 
for to-night. Come and have a drink!" 'Yes, I 
will with pleasure," said the padre, and a good long 

2 A 2 



364 WITH THE BRITISH 

drink he took, and then they all sang "God Save 
the King-," and felt very happy and cheerful. 

We passed again through the long lines of 
barraques and tents that reach almost to Amiens. 
At every station there were British soldiers and 
nurses. It seemed almost strange at Amiens to go 
out of the British atmosphere. 

The Gare du Nord was crowded with blue- 
coated soldiers coming home on a permission de 
huit jours, all smiling and pleased to be back, 
looking out so eagerly for their womankind, who, 
they knew,|were waiting for them at the station — 
wives and children standing for hours in the long 
line to catch their first glimpse of their hero from 
the Somme ; the children crowding around "papa," 
and carrying his bag or his bundle. 

It is tragic to think how many "papas" will 
never come back, and that we can do nothing for 
any of our men at the front. All our prayers and 
tears are unavailing if the decree has gone forth 
and their lives must be given for their country. 



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