时间：<2020-07-11 16:25:42 作者：IQ5hb 浏览量：9777
"Ah, there comes Mister Tijd, and heOn the road from Borgloon to Thienen I had a chat with an old crone, who stood weeping by the ruins of her miserable little cottage, which she refused to leave. This little house, which strenuous zeal had enabled her to buy, was all she possessed on earth besides her two sons, both fallen through the murderous lead of those barbarians, and buried in the little garden at the back of their ruined home. Of another family, living close by, the father and two sons were murdered in the same way.
"You are a journalist?"Nearly every hour another proclamation was posted; and this made the people still more nervous. One of them brought the information that the province of Liège had to pay a war-tax of fifty million francs. Another forbade the people to be out in the streets after six o'clock p.m.; the doors must remain open, the windows show the lights. Burning and shooting were threatened if any more arms should be found, and all houses were to be searched."How much is it, madame?"
"I have been arrested."They took me to two officers who stood near the bridge, and told them that I "pretended" to be a Netherland journalist. Having proved this by my papers, the officers gave me an escort of three men, who conducted me to the bridge-commander, on the other side of the Meuse."Here, swine!"
139I witnessed Pastor Claes's labours for a moment only, for the smell was unbearable even at a somewhat considerable distance. The good pastor persevered in the work after having started it, with the assistance of some faithful helpers, who all of them had sealed their mouths with a sponge soaked in some disinfectant. The corpses were taken from the cave, money and documents put away in separate bags, and the unfortunate owners coffined and blessed.What distressed me most was that among those two to three hundred soldiers in front of that open cattle-truck was not one man who wanted to take the part of these unfortunate British; no, not one!
"Yes."At the Café Quatre Bras, near Tervueren, the innkeeper told me that the Germans had asked the Netherland Government for permission to place a 42 cm. on Netherland territory in order to be able to shell Antwerp also from that side, but that the Netherland Government had refused. I tried as hard as possible to explain to the man that all stories of such requests were mere gossip. When more and more people entered the café I withdrew into a corner. They were all very excited, and some of them had drunk more than was good for them. They related with violent gesticulations that the Allies had surrounded Brussels and might be expected to enter the town at any moment, that all was over with the Germans, and so on. Shouts of "Vive la Belgique!" and "Vive notre roi!" sounded until suddenly I drew their attention. They looked me up and down critically, and one of them asked:Towards evening the major returned with his men, who in loud voices sounded forth all sorts of patriotic songs, elated because they had driven away the enemy. As he entered I addressed the major, who with a grand sweep of his arm called out to me: "You may go now; I have cleared the whole district."
CHAPTER IX"Our editor has moreover interviewed young Miss Antoinette de Bruijn here, whom our correspondent brought from Louvain to Maastricht. In the presence of her mother she told how she had been in a train full of wounded, that there were armed soldiers on the platform, and that some wounded soldiers had been teased by offering them steaming soup which was not given to them. The father of this girl, Mr. de Bruijn, also assured us that when he met his daughter at Maastricht, our correspondent, Mr. Mokveld, was still very much under the impression of what he had witnessed."The other eleven miles of the road to Thourout were quite deserted, and only in one place did I see a man working in the field. We only saw now and again a small escort which overtook us. From afar a trooper approached us; after having heard who we were, he told us that he had been on the way already three days and three nights from the trench lines, and how fierce the fighting was there. The German losses had been immense; he pointed to the unoccupied horse by his side, and said: "My chum, whose horse this was, fell also." He took a couple of strong pulls at his pipe, and, spurring his mount, rode off with a: "Keep well."
From Ostend I went a few days later to Thourout, a townlet to the north of the centre of the Yser-line. I was accompanied by two Netherland colleagues whom I had met at Bruges. Everything was quiet there; the commander of the naval region, Admiral von Schroeder, had made himself slightly ridiculous, by informing the population in a proclamation that he had ordered the British citizens in the coastal region to leave the country, in order to protect them from their fellow-countrymen of the British fleet, who, by bombarding Ostend, had endangered their lives.During the night only a few houses were burnt down; the general destruction followed the next morning, Sunday, August 16th, and just as I reached the little town the flames were raging all over the place in a fierce blaze.So we went from street to street, without any result. He rang the bell at many houses where he knew that acquaintances lived, but always in vain, and at last the kind man had to give it up.
INTRODUCTIONI said it quite innocently, without any other desire beyond that of taking off the edge of my really trying hunger. But the effect of my question was surprising indeed. He looked at me dumbfounded, and asked:On the hot afternoon of August 7th, 1914, the much-delayed train rumbled into the station at Maastricht. A dense mass stood in front of the building. Men, women, and children were crowded there and pushed each other weeping, shouting, and questioning. Families and friends tried to find each other, and many of the folk of Maastricht assisted the poor 16creatures, who, nervously excited, wept and wailed for a father, for wife and children lost in the crowd. It was painful, pitiful, this sight of hundreds of fugitives, who, although now safe, constantly feared that death was near, and anxiously clutched small parcels, which for the most part contained worthless trifles hurriedly snatched up when they fled.
Between my tours through the Liège district I made a trip in the direction of Tongres, because I wanted to know what had become of all those Germans who had crossed the Meuse near Lixhe. It was remarkable to notice how friendly the Flemings of that district behaved with regard to the Germans. Although they criticised the violation of the country's neutrality sharply, and every family was proud of the sons who had taken up arms in defence of their Fatherland, yet they judged quite kindly the German soldiers who passed through their district. I often heard expressions full of pity toward those men, who could not help themselves, but were compelled to do whatever their superiors commanded them."I am a Netherland jour...."They have not been able to maintain that story for very long; the truth overtook the lie.
In the immediate neighbourhood of the railway station a house was being built, of which only the foundations were laid. The place showed nothing beyond a huge cavity. I had noticed already several times that there was an atrocious stench near the station, which at last became unendurable. Pastor Claes, who courageously entered all destroyed houses to look for the dead, had discovered the victims also in this place. In the cave just mentioned he found sixteen corpses of burghers, two priests among them. In order to remove them from the street the Germans had simply thrown them into that cave, without covering the corpses in any way. They had been lying there for days, and were decaying rapidly.Near Lanaeken I met suddenly a Belgian soldier, who did not trouble me after I had shown him my papers. I was quite astonished to find that man there all by himself, whilst so many Germans were only a few miles away. When I asked whether he knew this, he answered:ON THE WAY TO LIèGE