From warehouses and from shops bales of corn, flour, sugar, and other goods were taken, thrown in heaps and then placed on all sorts of carts and motors. In the most frequented parts military bands had taken their stand, and played amidst the loud jubilation of the soldiers.
"According to Clause 58, Section 1, of the Military Penal Code, sentence of capital punishment for treason will be pronounced against those who, intending to assist an enemy army, or to injure the German army:"All right; you may go!""No, sir, I am returning from there."And all at once the straw began to move, a head popped out, and a weak voice exclaimed:
"I am a Netherland jour....""Lies, gossip? Ask the proprietor.""In which street?"At Thourout all convents and large buildings had been turned into hospitals, and the streets on both sides were full of big wagons. Hundreds of soldiers went off, and large convoys of carts were standing243 in the meadows and on the roads, where officers and men were also practising riding. We were here in the rear, where there was a continuous going and coming from the front. Most soldiers were in a more or less excited mood; some did not hide their discontent, or sat musing dejectedly, asking themselves how these terrible days would end for them? Others again seemed to have got into a sort of frenzy in consequence of the continuous fighting and were not able to think logically at all. They told excited stories about the British whom they had killed, and chased away from the 42 c.m. guns, who, according to them, were also at work in the swampy soil near Nieuwpoort, and also told about the shooting civilians, and those cursed Belgians, who cut open the bellies of their poor wounded, or sliced off their noses, hands, and ears. Of course pure fairy tales, but recited with much power of conviction."So am I; I am a Netherlander!""Ah well, be you a Fleming?""Ah, so you are a Netherlander, aren't you? Then we are friends. The Netherlands remains neutral, does she not? What news have you from there; are you already at war with Britain?"It was self-evident that very few were keen to offer themselves as temporary substitutes for the clerics.Adventures incite to ever more risky undertakings, and we long constantly for more sensation. Such an experience prompted me to an arrangement with Mr. Tervooren, editor of Het Leven, to try to motor to the French frontier.
- "'3. I published the facts and insisted upon an impartial inquiry, in order to prevent, if possible, that only guilty soldiers should be heard should a complaint about the occurrence be lodged with the highest military authority.
- "Oh—oh ... I don't understand you ... let me go ... my little boy ... we have nothing to eat ... we are innocent ... I do not know the gentleman ... oh ... oh!"
- "Really, in all sincerity," he said, "no danger need be feared. I should be very grateful if the newspapers in The Netherlands would draw attention to the following promises which the German authorities gave me, and authorised me to make in their name:—
- The shelling went on during the night, and all that time the inhabitants remained in their cellars.
- "Please be good enough to have a look at my papers, and then...."
- By what accident had I not been disturbed? The height, perhaps, at which my miserable little garret-room was situated.
- 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.
- Women and children had frequently been ill-treated in a most atrocious manner, aged and sick people were dragged out of the houses, and flung down in the street. This happened, for example, to an old man, who lay dying in his cellar. In spite of the supplications of his wife and two sons, he was flung on the cobbles, where he died soon. The sons were taken prisoners and sent away. His widow assists at present nursing other unfortunates at Professor Noyons' hospital.
- The inhabitants looked upon the church as a special sanctuary, as the bones of St. Hadelin were kept there. Before the fire these relics had been removed to the vicarage secretly, and then to St. Hadelin College, the only large building that escaped the general destruction next day.
- Visé had not been burnt yet, as had been reported in The Netherlands. Only here and there had the shells done some damage, and hundreds of window-panes had been burst by the vibration of the air. As a token of submission to the invader, small white flags hung from all the windows, and these, along the whole length of a street, made a decidedly lamentable impression. 更多 CPK 推荐