That I was "wanted" is proved by the fact that two persons have had the greatest trouble because they were mistaken for the Mokveld-Correspondent of De Tijd. My colleague Kemper passed a fortnight in prison in Brussels, accused of having written various articles in De Tijd, which were written by me, and I relate, in the chapter "Round about Bilsen," what Mr. Van Wersch, another Netherlander, suffered for the same reason."ENOUGH DESTROYED, ENOUGH DISTRESSED!"1. Who surrender to the enemy, either German troops or fortified bulwarks, trenches or fortified places, or defences, as also parts or belongings of the German army.
The German artillery had taken up their positions here, and bombarded the forts in their immediate neighbourhood. These did not fail to answer, and rained shells on the enemy's batteries. One heard their hissing, which came nearer and nearer, until they fell on the slopes or the tops of the hills and burst with a terrific explosion. Many a time we saw this happen only a few hundred yards away. Then the air trembled, and I felt as if my legs were blown from underneath me. Broken windows too fell clattering on the "stoeps.""Don't you think you could find me some hotel, or private people who might put me up?"The bridge-command at the pontoon-bridge near Lixhe allowed me to cross, after requesting me very pressingly to make very clear what swine these Belgians were, who fired so treacherously at unsuspecting soldiers, put out the eyes of the wounded, cut off their hands and genitals. When I asked where all these things had happened, the answer was: "Everywhere!" Of course, I promised them to do everything they wanted.
From the side of Brussels many soldiers arrived at the station, who had all been wounded near Antwerp.2. Never seen anyone who was arrested as a franc-tireur.It was self-evident that very few were keen to offer themselves as temporary substitutes for the clerics.
In Sluys I also got to know by friendly intercourse the character of the Belgians, so open, so straightforward, and so bright.From the side of Brussels many soldiers arrived at the station, who had all been wounded near Antwerp.A short time after the destruction I was even obliged to accept it for a whole week, as on the same day on which I arrived in Louvain for another visit there was renewed fighting round the town. The Belgians had advanced as far as Rotselair, where the next day they held their ground against overwhelmingly superior numbers; but at last they had to retire, leaving a great many dead behind. The Belgians had even got on to the road Tirlemont-Louvain, and blown up the railway line in two places.
CHAPTER IXGerman officers told me, with full particulars, how the inhabitants of those burning villages had offered German soldiers poisoned cocoa, coffee, and cigarettes, for which crime three hundred civilians had been shot during the night in a Li猫ge square.As I went a patrol marched out鈥攔einforcements had again come from Tongres鈥攚hose task was to clear the district of the enemy. The patrol consisted of six Death-head hussars, about forty bicyclists, and the rest infantry, altogether about four hundred men, who were able to keep together, because the hussars and the cyclists proceeded very slowly and cautiously in the direction of Lanaeken. I went with them, chatting with one of the officers. As soon as they had got to the road, the greatest caution188 was observed. The hussars went in front, followed by some of the infantry, all in loose formation, continually looking about in all directions, with the finger at the cock of the rifle.
"The orders issued by Monsieur Collins remain valid."Hm! Hm! All right. So you intend to write friendly about us?"He was back in The Netherlands before me.
"Have you got anything for me to eat?" I asked, not heeding his words."But really, madame, that is only senseless gossip of the people. You need not be afraid, the Germans will not be so cruel as all that!"I pitied him from the bottom of my heart, and tried to console him by remarking that it was all a misunderstanding, and that I would see to it that he would soon be released.
The names of many priests will be found in the register of Belgian martyrs. I have mentioned already some who, although innocent, gave their life for their country. During my week's stay at Louvain I heard of other cases. The priest of Corbeek-Loo, for example, was simply tortured to death on account of one of his sermons in which he said that the fight of the Belgian army was beauti142ful "because it lawfully resists an unlawful invasion," and further for announcing a Holy Requiem Mass for the souls of the "murdered" citizens.Although I had got farther on my way than I had dared to expect, my journalist's heart longed for more. If I could get to Li猫ge, which was said to have just been taken! But my passport stated that I was only allowed to go to Vis茅. I thought the matter out, and the longer I thought, the stronger became my desire to go on; and at last I decided to do it.The next day I got to The Netherlands with my small prot茅g茅e, after a tiring walk from Herstal to Eysden, where we could take the train to Maastricht. Here the father of the little girl came to meet his daughter, and took her to Amsterdam, to her "Mummy," of whom she had been speaking during the whole journey with so much longing.
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"Pardon me, it is perhaps better not to say a word about that for the moment. We are living through difficult times.""I am a Netherland journalist, and want to ask the commander's permission to go to Li猫ge."LOUVAIN UNDER THE MAILED FIST
After a long time we were able to enter a train taking numerous new troops to Antwerp. We occupied a first-class compartment, which looked like a cattle-truck: pieces of bread, paper, cigar-ends, and tobacco were lying on the floor and the seats; the ledges of the windows were full of candle-grease."This? Nothing, sir, nothing.""I am a Netherland journalist, and want to ask the commander's permission to go to Li猫ge."详情
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