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THE SATURDAY EVENING POST 13 without food from day to day except such as the Germans gave them. There were almost no able-bodied male adults left. Some had fled, some were behind bars as prisoners of the Germans, and a great many were dead. Estimates of the number of male inhabitants who had been killed by the graycoats for offenses against the inflexible code set up by the Germans in Eastern Belgium varied. A frightened native whispered that nine hundred of his fellow townsmen were "up there"—by that meaning the trenches on the hills back of the town. A German officer, newly arrived on the spot and apparently sincere in his efforts to alleviate the misery of the survivors, told us that, judging by what data he had been able to gather, between four and six hundred men and youths of Dinant had fallen in the house-to-house conflicts between Germans and civilians, or in the wholesale executions which followed the subjugation of the place and the capture of such ununiformed belligerents as were left. In this instance subjugation meant annihilation. The lower part of the town, where the well-to-do classes lived, was almost unscathed. Casual shell-fire in the two engagements with the French that preceded the taking of Dinant had smashed some cornices and shattered some windows, but nothing worse befell. The lower half, made up mainly of the little plaster-and-stone houses of working people, was gone, extinguished, obliterated. It lay in scorched and crumbled waste; and in it, as we rode through, I saw, excluding soldiers, just two living creatures. Two children, both little girls, were playing at housekeeping on some stone steps under a doorway where there was no door, using bits of wreckage for furniture. We stopped a moment to watch them. They had small china dolls. The river, flowing placidly along between the artificial boundaries of its stone quays, and the strange formation of cliffs, rising at the back to the height of hundreds of feet, were as they had been. Soldiers paddled on the water in skiffs and thousands of ravens flickered and swung about the pinnacles of the rocks, but between river and cliff there was nothing but ruination—the graveyard of the homes of three thousand people. Yes, it was the graveyard not alone of their homes but of their prosperity and their hopes and their ambitions and their aspirations—the graveyard of everything human beings count worth having. This was worse than at Hawe or Battice or Dolhain, or any of the leveled towns we had seen. Taken on the basis of comparative size, it was worse even than Louvain, as we discovered later when we arrived there. It was worse than anything I ever saw—worse than anything I ever shall see, I think. The German Captain at the Inn JUST over the ragged line that marked the lowermost limits of the destructive fury of the conquerors, and inside the section which remained intact, we traversed a narrow street called—most appropriately, I thought—the Street of Paul the Penitent, and passed a little house on the shutters of which was written, in chalked German script, these words: "A Grossmutter " —grandmother —" ninety-six years old lives here. Don't disturb her." Other houses along here bore the familiar line, written by German soldiers who had been billeted in them: "Good people. Leave them alone!" The people who enjoyed the protection of these public testimonials were visible, a few of them. They were nearly all women and children. They stood in their shallow doorways as our automobile went by bearing four Americans, two German officers and the orderly of one of the officers— for we had picked up a couple of chance passengers in Huy—and a German chauffeur. As we interpreted their looks, they had no hate for the Germans. I take it the weight of their woe was so heavy on them that they had no room in their souls for anything else. Just beyond Dinant, at Anseremme, a beautiful little village at the mouth of a tiny river, where artists used to come to paint pictures and sick folks came to breathe the tonic balsam of the hills, we got rooms for the night in a smart, clean tavern. Here was quartered a captain of cavalry, who found time—so brisk was he and so highspirited— to welcome us to the best the place afforded, to help set the table for our belated supper, and to keep on terms of jovial yet punctilious amiability with the woman proprietor and her good-looking daughters; also, to require his troopers to pay the women, in salutes and spoken thanks, for every small office performed. The husband of the older woman and the husband of one of the daughters were then serving the Belgian colors, assuming that they had not been killed or caught; but between them and this German captain a perfect understanding had been reached. When the head of the house fixed the prices she meant to charge us for our accommodations, he spoke up and suggested that the rate was scarcely high enough; and also, since her regular patrons had been driven away at the beginning of the war, he advised us that sizable tips on our leaving would probably be appreciated. Next morning we rose from a breakfast—the meat part of it having been furnished from the German commissary— to find twenty lancers exercising their horses in a lovely little natural arena, walled by hills, just below the small eminence whereon the house stood. It was like a scene from a Wild West exhibition at home, except that these German horsemen lacked the dash of our cowpunchers. Watching the show from a back garden we stood waist deep in flowers, and the captain's orderly, when he came to tell us our automobile was ready, had a huge peony stuck in a buttonhole of his blouse. I caught a peep at another soldier, who was flirting with a personable Flemish scullery maid behind the protection of the kitchen wall. The proprietress and her daughters stood at the door to wave us good-by and to wish us, with apparent sincerity, a safe journey down into France and a safe return. To drop from this cozy, peaceful place into the town of Dinant again was to drop from a small earthly paradise into a small earthly hell. Somewhere near the middle of the little perdition our cavalry captain pointed to a shell of a house. "A fortnight ago," he told us, " we found a French soldier in that house—or under it, rather. He had been there four weeks, hiding in the basement. He took some foci(' with him or found some there; at any rate, he managed to live four weeks. He was blind, and nearly deaf, too, when we found out where he was and dug him out—but he is still alive." One of us said we should like to have a look at a man who had undergone such an entombment. "No, you wouldn't," said the captain; "for he is no very pleasant sight. He is a slobbering idiot." In the Grand Place, near the shell-riddled Church of Notre Dame—built in the thirteenth century, restored by the Belgian Government in the nineteenth, and destroyed by the German guns in the twentieth—a long queue of women wound past the doorway of a building where German noncommissioned officers handed out to each applicant a big loaf of black soldier bread. "Oh, yes; we feed the poor devils," the German commandant, an elderly, scholarly looking man of the rank of major, said to us when he had come up to be introduced. "When our troops entered this town the men of the lower classes took up arms and fired on our soldiers; so the soldiers burned all their houses and shot all the men who came out of those houses. "All this occurred before I was sent here. Had I been the commander of the troops, I should have shot them without mercy. It is our law for war times, and these Belgian civilians must be taught that they cannot fire on German soldiers and not pay for it with their lives and their homes. With the women and children, however, the case is different. On my own responsibility I am feeding the destitute. Every day I give away to these people between twelve hundred and fifteen hundred loaves of bread; and I give to some who are particularly needy rations of tea and sugar and coffee and rice. Also, I sell to the butcher shops fresh and salt meat from our military stores at cost, requiring only that they, in turn, shall sell it at no more than a fair profit. So long as I am stationed here I shall do this, for I cannot let them starve before my eyes. I myself have children." The Boast of the Invaders I WAS like escaping from a pesthouse to cross the one 1 bridge of Dinant that remained standing on its piers, and go winding down the lovely valley, overtaking and passing many German wagon trains, the stout, middle-aged soldier drivers of which drowsed on their seats; passing also one marching battalion of foot-reserves, who, their officers concurring, broke from the ranks to beg newspapers and cigars from us. On the mountain ash the bright red berries dangled in clumps like Christmas bells, and some of the leaves of theelm still clung to their boughs; so that the wide yellow road was dappled like a panther's skin with black splotches of shadow. Only when we curved through some village that had been the scene of a skirmish or a reprisal did the roofless shells and the toppled walls of the houses, standing gaunt and ugly in the sharp sunlight, make us realize that we were still in the war's tracks. As nearly as we could tell from our brief scrutiny a great change had come over the dwellers in Southern Belgium. In August they had been buoyant and confident of the ultimate outcome and very proud of the behavior of their little army. Even when the Germans burst through the frontier defenses and descended on them in innumerable swarms they were, for the most part, not daunted by those evidences of the invaders' numerical superiority and of their magnificent equipment. The more there were of the Germans the fewer of them there would be to come back when the Allies, over the French border, fell on them. This we interpreted for ourselves to be the mental attitude of the villagers and the peasants; but now they were different. The difference showed in all their outward aspects—in their gaits; in their drooped shoulders and half-averted faces; and, most of all, in their eyes. They had felt the weight of the armed hand, and they must have heard the boast, filtering down from the officers to the men, and from the men to the native populace, that, having taken their country, the Germans meant to keep it; that Belgium, ceasing to be Belgium, would henceforth be set down on the map as a part of Greater Prussia. (Continued on Page 261 Captured Preach GUAM Loaded on Plat Cara at Maubelige for John 7. McCutcheon Going Aloft in a German Military Monoplane at Laon With Transportation to Berlin Ingold, the Famous German Aviator, for a Spin Over the dillies' Lines


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