"Yes, but you see they may be forged, you see. They may shoot me, you see, but a traitor, you see, no, then I would knock you down, you see....""Oh, quite nice people, sir!" 像平 "'5. My pertinent declarations are now opposed by the German official contradiction; but how weak is the argument! I have already pointed out that only comrades of the accused men have been heard, but not the accuser, nor, as is evident, the victims, nor other witnesses. There is more: "Crowding of two to three hundred soldiers near a wagon cannot occur"—thus says the communiqué—"because the station-guard's duty is to keep free the path along the train." Does anyone understand the weakness of this contradiction? It is as if one should say: "It is impossible that anything has been stolen in a town because it is the duty of the police to guard it." "Moreover there is also always an officer of the station-guard present at the departure of a train of wounded," the communiqué proceeds. But again I ask: What does this prove? It is a fact that this officer, if he was present, did not prevent what happened. "It is impossible that the soldiers aimed their rifles at the British, because the men who get their food in the dining-hall, and those of the military who distribute it, are always unarmed; no other soldiers are admitted to the station." I see that the German government simply quote the military regulations, and from them determine the facts. They cannot realise that it might be possible for their regulations not to be obeyed always. That the book was not published sooner is because I could not foresee more than others how terribly long the war would last; and I should have preferred to wait till the end in order to insert several reports which I know are being kept in the occupied part, in order to acquaint the whole world with the full truth about the behaviour of the Germans. As long as the Germans keep the upper hand in Belgium, such a publication cannot take place without danger to several persons. During the week of my compulsory stay in Louvain I had also the privilege of making the acquaintance of two brave compatriots; I mean Professor Noyons and his wife.
Yes, Sluys will always live in my memory. How well have been received the thousands of Belgians who went there for shelter and how much misery have I seen relieved by the effectual mutual help of the Belgians and that of the civil and military Netherland authorities. The burgomaster in particular seemed to be the right man in the right place, and it was chiefly due to his sagacity that everything went so regularly in that small town, which had to maintain the proportionately greatest number of refugees. 了白 As I was listening to that hymn the storms in my heart subsided—storms raised by so many scenes witnessed during the day; but as soon as the sonorous voices were still, I heard again the dull boom ... boom ... boom ... of the guns. That dire reality!... Many civilians had been put to death, accused of having shot from the houses, and others for refusing to give up requisitioned food. Probably they had none, as preceding military divisions had already taken away all there was. Then some civilians were killed for refusing to work for the enemy. The houses of all these "condemned" had been burnt, and everything the soldiers fancied was looted. As a matter of fact, nearly all the soldiers I met later on were drunk, and they worried me constantly. Only when I had proved to be a Netherlander, they behaved a little better, and started abusing "the cursed Belgians," who, according to them, were all francs-tireurs. Many things had happened at Visé since my first visit. Under the pretext that the church spire could indicate to Fort Pontisse in which direction to shoot, paraffin had been poured over church and spire and fire set to them. It was a venerable ancient structure, built ten centuries ago, the fine stained windows of which were well known.
Already from a distance with much fuss they signalled to me to stop, and of course I obeyed at once. Two men dismounted, came to me in a perfect rage, and, without asking who I was or what I was doing, cut my tyres to pieces in several98 places; they abused me with wild gesticulations and threats, jumped on their horses, and rode off. I dragged my wretched vehicle with its stabbed tyres a little distance, but then met a second patrol, who showed still greater indignation, and destroyed it altogether. 臂当 105 Argenteau was not damaged much, but the inhabitants remained quietly inside their houses, or probably stayed in their cellars, for fear of the shells that tore through the air constantly. 40
孩家 "3. Grégoire, permanent deputy. Probably more than one hundred civilians had been shot, whereas many perished in the cellars. The heads of the municipality and several priests had at first been taken as hostages. Bail of ten million francs was asked for their release, but after much haggling they consented to accept one and a half millions, which sum was forthcoming from the various local banks.”
I said in a few words who I was, and showed one of my German permits. He had scarcely seen the many German stamps on it when he let me go and went on with his men. I then pinned on my coat two permits which had the greatest number of stamps, and in consequence had no further trouble. 奇闻 He told me a good many other instances of ill-treatment, but as I gave him my word of honour not to mention them, my mouth is sealed. He himself was visited a few days later by the German commanding general, who offered his apologies. 126 Having got them, several officers examined my credentials, and their faces showed that the horizon was a little clearer for me.”