Brussels, August 19, 1914.---Yesterday morning began with a visit from our old friend, Richard Harding Davis, who was still quite wroth because I had not waited for him to arrange for his passes and go with me on my trip. If we had, there would have been no trip, as he was not equipped until afternoon. After lunch he started off boldly for Namur, but got turned back before he reached Wavre, where there had been a skirmish with Uhlans. He was sore and disgusted.

While he was in my office, another troop arrived composed of Irwin Cobb, John McCutcheon, the cartoonist, Lewis and a few others. Later in the day, Will Irwin came in with news that he was closely followed by others. McCutcheon is a great friend of the Minister, and makes this his headquarters.

The Minister took them out to get laisser-passers. While they were away, Sir Francis Villiers came in and showed me a telegram from the Foreign Office, stating that British newspapers and news associations had, been requested to recall their correspondents, as they had already done great harm by the news they had given out. He was also to request the Belgian Government to refuse permits of any sort to the press, and get all foreign correspondents out of the country. The Belgian Government realised the importance of this, and has consequently shut down the lid tight.

There was supposed to have been a fair-sized cavalry engagement near Charleroi, in which six regiments of German cavalry were chewed up. We have no details, but it looked as though they were lured into a trap. Practically no news of the operations is leaking out. It looks as though Kitchener had remarked, "We will go into that house where William Hohenzollern is breaking the furniture, and we will close the door and pull down the blinds, and when we get through, we will come out and tell people about it."

Yesterday was just a day of work with a great deal of beating people on the back and assuring them that their lives are not in danger just because the Court has gone to Antwerp. They all seem to be convinced that their throats are going to be cut immediately.

This morning we had the usual deluge of newspaper men and correspondents. The Minister went off with the Spanish Minister to call on the military authorities, who are the only ones with whom we now have any relations, and while he was gone, Sir Francis came in and announced that he had been ordered to leave for Antwerp and place his Legation and British interests under our charge. The news is that the German cavalry in considerable force is marching toward Brussels. The military authorities are getting ready to defend the city, which is quite a futile proceeding, as the available forces are inadequate, so that the only result will be that a lot of innocent people will be killed quite incidentally. The Governor expects to resist about as far as the ring of inner boulevards, which are about four blocks farther in than we are. Our street is probably one of the principal ones by which the Germans would enter. A hundred yards farther out there is a big railroad barricade, where a stand would probably be made, so that our Legation would undoubtedly get a fair share of the wild shots from both sides. The cellar is being made ready for occupancy during the shindy, if it comes. The Burgomaster came in to say that he had a house prepared for our occupancy in the safe part of town; but we were not prepared to abandon the Legation and declined with sincere thanks for his thoughtfulness.

I went over and saw Sir Francis and the Legation staff just as they were leaving. They refused to have their plans upset by any little thing like a German advance, so had their lunch peacefully at the usual hour and then left in motors.

At seven o'clock Cobb, McCutcheon, and the rest of the crowd, were due at my house, so I gathered up Minister, the Consul-General, and Blount, and repaired thither. Davis and Morgan turned up a little late, but nothing has been heard of the rest of the crowd so far---10:30 P. M. They were to have dined here, but have not appeared or sent word.

Crowds of people are pouring in from the east in all stages of panic, and some small forces of cavalry have also retreated into the city, looking weary and discouraged. There has evidently been a rout. Further than that, we know nothing so far.

Several of the wives of high Belgian officials have come in this evening, having received word from their husbands to put themselves under our protection. There is nothing we can do for them, particularly at this time.

Brussels, August 20, 1914.---To-day has been one full of experience and the end is not yet. Last night there was a great stir in the streets, and crowds of people and weary-looking soldiers. At the Palace Hotel I found the usual collection of diplomats and some other people whom I knew, and from the crowd I elicited the fact that there had been some sort of rout of Belgian forces near Louvain, and the soldiers were falling back. That was about all they knew. I started back to the upper town in the hope of finding some news at the Porte de Namur. On the way up the hill I was stopped by half a dozen groups of Gardes Civiques and soldiers, who asked me to take them to Ghent. They were so excited and in such a hurry that they could hardly be made to realize that the car was not liable to seizure. I took advantage of the opportunity to get a little first-hand news, and learned that they had been driven back all along the line and were ordered to retreat to Ghent by any means they could find. There were no trains available; nobody seemed to know why. The last group that I talked with said that the vanguard of the German cavalry was only about fifteen miles out of town and would be in this morning. They were all tremendously excited and did not dally by the wayside to chat about the situation with me. I can't say that I blame them, particularly in view of what I have seen since.

At the Porte de Namur I found that the Garde Civique in Brussels had been ordered to disband and that the plan for the defense of the city had been completely abandoned. It was the wise thing to do, for there was no hope of defending the town with the small force of Gardes at the disposal of the military governor. It would have been quite futile and would have entailed a big loss of innocent civilian life. The governor wanted to do it purely as a matter of honour, but he would have paid for it heavily and could not have accomplished anything beyond delaying the Germans for an hour or two. The Garde Civique was furious, however, at the idea of not being able to make a stand. There was a demonstration, but the cooler heads prevailed, and the men withdrew to their homes.

German supply train entering Brussels

German infantry entering Brussels

I was out by seven this morning and looked about for news before coming to the Legation. I found that the Germans were steadily advancing and that the vanguard was about seven kilometers out of the city. They expected to begin the triumphal march about eleven. The Garde Civique had disappeared from the streets and there were very few police to he found. The shops were closed, shutters down on all houses, and posters everywhere with the proclamation of the Burgomaster urging the people to refrain from hostile acts. It was an abandoned and discouraged-looking city. On the boulevards there were long lines of high carts bringing in the peasants from the surrounding country. They are great high-wheeled affairs, each drawn by a big Belgian draught horse. Each cart was piled high with such belongings as could be brought away in the rush. On top of the belongings were piled children and the old women, all of whom had contrived to save their umbrellas and their gleaming, jet-black bonnets, piled with finery. Those who could not find places in the carts walked alongside, some of them carrying other belongings that could not be put on the carts. It was the most depressing sight so far. Lots of them were crying; all looked sad and crushed. Every one of them was probably without enough money for a week's living. Even those who have money in the banks cannot get it out at this time. They have no place to go to here and have a bad prospect even if this part of the campaign is finished quickly and they are soon able to return to their homes. Their crops are rotting in the ground and many of their homes are already in ruins. That is the hard side of the war---lots harder than the men who go out and have at least a fighting chance for their lives.

When I got down to the Legation I found that the telegraph and telephone communication had been cut off. The train service is abandoned and we are completely isolated from the outside world. I did not think it would come so soon and only hope that before we were cut off the news was allowed to get out that there would be no fighting in the city.

I had a lot of errands to do during the morning and kept both motors busy. I found time to get up signs on my door and that of M. de Leval, warning all comers that both places were inviolate. That was in anticipation of quartering of troops on private citizens, which has not been done.

We got word that the Spanish Minister had some news, so I went over to see him. He had heard from the Burgomaster as to the plans for the entry of the troops, and wanted to pass it along to us. The commanding general, von Jarotzky, was already at the edge of the city, on the Boulevard Militaire, and was expecting to start into town at one o'clock. He was to march down the Chaussée de Louvain, the boulevards, and out the other side of the city, where his men were to be encamped for the present. Other forces, comparatively small, were to occupy the railway stations and the Grande Place. At the Hôtel de Ville he was to establish the headquarters of the staff and administer the city government through the regularly constituted authorities. It was all worked out to a nicety, even to the exact measures for policing the line of march.

As the Garde Civique was withdrawn, the prisoners in the German Legation knew that there was something in the air and ventured forth into the light of day. They were not long in learning just what had taken place, and called upon us to express their thanks for what we had done for them. I suppose they will be trotting away for their own country before there is a chance to lock them up again. It must be pretty dismal for them to be locked up without any news of the outside world when they don't know whether their armies are victorious or badly beaten.

As I was about to start to see the triumphal entry, the Spanish Minister came along with his flag flying from his motor, and bade us to go with him. We made off down the Boulevard and drew up at the Italian Legation---two motors full of us; the whole staff of the Spanish Legation and ourselves. The Italian Minister bade us in to watch the show, which we had intended he should do. This did not work out well., so M. de Leval and I started off down the street together. The first of the Germans appeared as we stepped out the front door, and we saw that they were not coming over the route that had been originally planned. Instead, they were heading down the hill into the lower town. They proved to be the troops that were to occupy the Grande Place and guard the headquarters of the staff at the Hôtel de Ville. We cut across through side streets and came upon them as they were passing Ste. Gudule. There was a sullen and depressed crowd lining the streets, and not a sound was to be heard. It would have been better had the crowd been kept off the streets, but they behaved wonderfully well.

A large part of the reason for bringing the German troops through here was evidently to impress the populace with their force and discipline. It was a wonderful sight, and one which I never expect to see equaled as long as I live. They poured down the hill in a steady stream without a pause or a break; not an order was shouted nor a word exchanged among the officers or men. All the orders and signals were given by whistles and signs. The silence was a large element of the impressiveness.

These troops had evidently been kept fresh for this march, and I should not be at all surprised if it should prove that they had not seen any fighting. If they have suffered any losses, they have closed up their ranks with wonderful precision and show none of the signs of demoralisation. They had clearly been at great pains to brush up and give the appearance of freshness and strength. Nearly all the men were freshly shaven, and their uniforms had been brushed and made as natty and presentable as possible. They swaggered along with a palpable effort to show that they were entirely at home, and that they owned the place. The officers looked over the heads of the crowd in their best supercilious manner, and the men did their best to imitate their superiors.

First came some lancers---a couple of battalions, I should think; then there was a lot of artillery, rapid fire guns and field pieces. Then more cavalry and a full regiment of infantry. When the last contingent of cavalry came a long, they burst into song and kept it up steadily. There was a decidedly triumphant note, and the men looked meaningly at the crowd, as much as to say: "Now do you realise what your little army went up against when it tried to block us?" It seemed to me pretty rough to rub it in on them by singing songs of triumph as they rode into an undefended city. If they had been attacked and had succeeded in driving the invader back into his own capital, it would be understandable; but it seemed to me rather unnecessary to humiliate these people after trampling on their poor country and slaughtering half their army. It was more than de Leval could stand, so I walked home with him to the Legation.

When we got back to the Legation I decided that I ought to see all I could, so Blount and I went back in his car. First we worked our way through to the lower town and got a look at the Grande Place. There were a little more than two full battalions resting there, with their field pieces parked at the lower end of the square. Small squads were being walked around doing the goose step for the delectation of the bons Bruxellois, who were kept a block away up the side streets leading to the square. The men had their arms stacked in the centre of the square, and were resting hard---all but those who were supplying the spectacle.

From there we went down to Luna Park, an amusement place on the edge of the city. The stream was pouring by there just as steadily as it had earlier in the afternoon. We watched the passing of great quantities of artillery, cavalry and infantry, hussars, lancers, cyclists, ambulance attendants, forage men, and goodness only knows what else.

1 have never seen so much system and such equipment. The machine is certainly wonderful; and, no matter what is the final issue of the war, nobody can deny that so far as that part of the preparation went, the Germans were hard to beat. The most insignificant details were worked out, and all eventualities met with promptness. The horses were shod for a campaign in the country, and naturally there was a lot of slipping on the smooth cobble pavements. The instant a horse went down there was a man ready with a coarse cloth to put under his head, and another to go under his forefeet. so that he would have some grip when he tried to get up and would not hurt himself slipping and pawing at the cobbles. The moment he fell, all hands rushed to the rescue so effectively that he was on his feet again in no time, and the procession was barely arrested. The men's kits were wonderfully complete and contained all sorts of things that I had never seen or heard of, so I turned for explanation to Davis, who had come along and was lost in admiration of the equipment and discipline. He said he had been through pretty much every campaign for the last twenty years, and thought he knew the last word in all sorts of equipment, but that this had him staggered. I began asking him what a lot of things were for, and he frankly admitted that he was as much in the dark as I was.

A great many of the officers wore, upon their chests, great electric searchlights attached to batteries in their saddle-bags. These are useful when on the march at night, and serve to, read sign-posts and study maps, etc.

The supply trains were right with the main body of the troops, and were also carefully equipped for purposes of display. The kitchens were on wheels, and each was drawn by four horses. The stoves were lighted and smoke was pouring from the chimneys. The horses were in fine shape and in huge numbers.

The troops marched down the right side of the boulevard, leaving the left side free. Up and down this side dashed officers on horseback, messengers on motor-cycles and staff officers in military cars. There were no halts and practically no slacking of the pace, as the great army rolled in.

Here and there came large motor trucks fitted out as cobblers' shops, each with a dozen cobblers pounding industriously away at boots that were passed up to them by the marching soldiers. While waiting for repairs to be made, these soldiers rode on the running board of the motor, which was broad enough to carry them and their kits.

After watching them for a while, we moved back to the Boulevard, where we found the Minister with the ladies of the family who had been brought out to watch the passing show. We had hesitated to bring them out at the beginning for fear that there might be riots, or even worse, precipitated by the foolhardy action of some individual. Fortunately, there was nothing of the sort, and while the reception given the troops was deadly sullen, they were offered no affronts that we could see. The entry was effected quietly, and perfect order has prevailed ever since.

Afterwards we drove out to the country and watched the steady stream nearer its source; still pouring in, company after company, regiment after regiment, with apparently no end in sight. We watched until after seven, and decided that the rest would have to get in without our assistance. On the way back a German monoplane flew over the city, and, turning near the Hôtel de Ville, dropped something that spit fire and sparks. Everybody in the neighbourhood let out a yell and rushed for cover in the firm belief that it was another bomb such as was dropped in Namur. It dropped, spitting fire until fairly near the spire of the Hotel de Ville. when it burst into ten or a dozen lights like a Roman candle-evidently a signal to the troops still outside the city---perhaps to tell them that the occupation had been peacefully accomplished. We learned afterward that the Minister and Villalobar were riding down the hill and the infernal machine seemed right over their car, giving them a nice start for a moment. When I got back to the Legation, I found that the Minister had gone with Villalobar to call on the Burgomaster and the German General. They found the old gentleman in command at the city hall, carrying on the government through the Bourgomaster, who has settled down with resignation to his task. He is tremendously down in the mouth at having to give up his beautiful Grande Place to a foreign conqueror, but he has the good sense to see that he can do more good for his country by staying there and trying to maintain order than by getting out with a beau geste.

The first thing the General did was to excuse himself and go to take a bath and get a shave, whereupon he reappeared and announced his readiness to proceed to the discussion of business.

The General said that he had no intention of occupying the town permanently or of quartering soldiers, or otherwise bothering the inhabitants. He was sent there to keep open a way so that troops could be poured through toward the French frontier. They expect to be several days marching troops through, and during that time they will remain in nominal control of the city. Judging from this, there must be a huge army of them coming. We shall perhaps see some of them after the big engagement, which is bound to take place soon, as they get a little nearer the French frontier.

Brussels has not been occupied by a foreign army since Napoleon's time, and that was before it was the capital of a free country. It has been forty-four years since the capital of a European Power has had hostile troops marching in triumph through its streets, and the humiliation has been terrible. The Belgians have always had a tremendous city patriotism and have taken more pride in their municipal achievements than any people on earth, and it must hurt them more than it could possibly hurt any other people. The Burgomaster, when he went out to meet General von Jarotzky, declined to take his hand. He courteously explained that there was no personal affront intended, but that under the circumstances he could hardly bring himself to offer even such a purely perfunctory manifestation of friendship. The old General, who must be a good deal of a man, replied quietly that he entirely understood, and that under similar circumstances he would probably do the same. The two men are on exceedingly workable terms, but I don't believe they will exchange photographs after the war is over. Poor Max was going to spend the night at the Hôtel de Ville. Most of his assistants cleared out for the night, but he could not bring himself to leave the beautiful old building entirely in control of the enemy. He curled up and slept on the couch in his office, just for the feeling it gave him that he was maintaining some sort of hold on the old place.

The Minister arranged to have his telegrams accepted and transmitted without loss of time, so we shall soon get word home that we are still in the land of the living. We wrote out our message and sent it off right after dinner, but Gustave brought it back, saying that the telegraph office was closed and that he could find no one to whom he could hand his bundle of messages. Evidently the orders for the re-opening of the place did not get around in time for our purposes. We shall try again the first thing in the morning, and hope that some of the newspaper men will have succeeded in getting their stuff out in some other way. They were around in force just after dinner and wild to get an O.K. on their stuff, so that it could be sent. The General had said that he wanted the Minister's O.K. on the men themselves, and that he himself would approve their messages after having them carefully read to him. He gave them an interview on alleged German atrocities and will probably let them send through their stories if they play that up properly.

After dinner I started out on my usual expedition in search of news. I found the Foreign Office closed, and learned upon inquiry that the few remaining men who had not gone to Antwerp were at home and would not be around again for the present---thus we have no dealings through the Foreign Office, but must do the best we can with the military authorities. I went down to the Palace Hotel on the chance of picking up a little news, but did not have much luck. The restaurant was half filled with German officers, who were dining with great gusto. The Belgians in the café were gathered just as far away as possible, and it was noticeable that instead of the usual row of conversation, there was a heavy silence brooding over the whole place.

August 21, 1914.---So far as we can learn we are still as completely cut off from the outside world as we were yesterday. The General promised the Minister that there would be no difficulty in sending his telegrams, either clear or in cipher, but when we came to sending them off, it was quite another story.

The first thing this morning I made an attempt to hand them in, but found all the telegraph offices closed. At ten o'clock I went down to the Hôtel de Ville to see the General, who has taken over the duties of Military Governor, and see what was the matter. He was away somewhere and so was the Burgomaster, so I contented myself with seeing one of the Echevins, whom I had met a number of times. He could not do anything about it on his own responsibility, but made a careful memorandum and said that he would take it up with the General, through the Mayor, when they both got back. I also asked for laisser-passers for everybody in the shop, and he promised to attend to that.

By lunch time we had received no answer from General von Jarotzky, so I got in the motor with my pocket full of telegrams and went down to the Hôtel de Ville once more. It is a depressing sight. The Grande Place, which is usually filled with flower venders and a mass of people coming and going, is almost empty. At the lower end there are parked a number of small guns; in the centre, some camp kitchens, with smoke rising from the chimneys. The courtyard of the Hôtel de Ville itself, where so many sovereigns have been received in state, was filled with saddlehorses and snorting motors. The discarded uniforms of the Garde Civique were piled high along one side, as if for a rummage sale. Beer bottles were everywhere. In the beautiful Gothic room, hung with the battle flags of several centuries, there are a hundred beds---a dormitory for the officers who are not quartered at the neighbouring hotels.

The marvelous order and system which so compelled our admiration yesterday were not in evidence. There were a lot of sentries at the door and they took care to jab a bayonet into you and tell you that you could not enter; but any sort of reply seemed to satisfy them, and you were allowed to go right up to the landing, where the General had established himself in state at a couple of huge tables. Here confusion reigned supreme. There were staff officers in abundance, but none of them seemed to have the slightest authority, and the old man had them all so completely cowed that they did not dare express an opinion or ask for a decision. The General himself is a little, tubby man, who looks as though he might be about fifty-five; his face is red as fire when it is not purple, and the way he rages about is enough to make Olympus tremble.

The crowd of frightened people who came to the Hôtel de Ville for laisser-passers and other papers, all found their way straight to his office; no one was on hand to sort them out and distribute them among the various bureaus of the civil administration. Even the staff officers did very little to spare their chief and head off the crowd. They would come, right up to him at his table and shove a pièce d'identité under his nose, with a tremulous request for a visé; he would turn upon them and growl, "Bas bossible; keine Zeit; laissez mois dranquille, nom de D----!" He switched languages with wonderful facility, and his cuss words were equally effective in any language that he tried. Just as with us, everyone wanted something quite out of the question and then insisted on arguing about the answer that they got. A man would come up to the General and say that he wanted to get a pass to go to Namur. The General would say impatiently that it was quite impossible, that German troops were operating over all that territory and that no one could be allowed to pass for several days. Then Mr. Man would say that that was no doubt true, but that he must go because he had a wife or a family or a business or something else that he wanted to get to. As he talked, the General would be getting redder and redder, and when about to explode, he would spring to his feet and advance upon his tormentor, waving his arms and roaring at him to get the ----- out of there. Not satisfied with that, he invariably availed of the opportunity of being on his feet to chase all the assembled crowd down the stairs and to scream at all the officers in attendance for having allowed all this crowd to gather.

Then he would sit down and go through the same performance from the beginning. I was there off and on for more than two hours, and I know that in that time he did not do four minutes' continuous, uninterrupted work. Had it not been for the poor frightened people and the general seriousness of the situation, it would have been screamingly funny and worth staying indefinitely to see.

I had my share of the troubles. I explained my errand to an aide-de-camp and asked him to see that proper instructions were given for the sending of the telegrams. He took them and went away. Then after a few minutes he came gravely back, clicked his heels, and announced that there was no telegraph communication with the outside world and that he did not know when it would be reëstablished. I asked him to go back to the General, who in the meantime had retreated to the Gothic room and had locked himself in with a group of officers. My friend came back again, rather red in the face, and said that he had authority to stamp my telegrams and let them go. He put the rubber stamp on them and said I could take them. I said that was all very well, but where could I take them, since the telegraph offices were closed. He went off again and came back with the word that the office in the central bureau was working for official messages. I got into the motor with the Italian Secretary, who had a similar task, and together we went to the central bureau. It was nailed up tight, and the German sentries on guard at the door swore to us by their Ehrenwort that there was absolutely nothing doing.

Back we went to the Hôtel de Ville. Our friend, the aide-de-camp, had disappeared, but we got hold of another and asked him to inform himself. He went away and we spent a few minutes watching the General blow up everybody in sight; when the aide-de-camp came back, he smilingly announced that there was no way of getting the messages out on the wire; that the best thing we could do would be to send a courier to Holland and telegraph from there. I told him to go back and get another answer. When he came back next time, he had the glad news that the office had really been established in the post office and that orders had been sent over there to have our cables received and sent at once. Away we went again, only to find that the latest bulletin was just as good as the others; the post office was closed up just as tight as the other office, and the sentries turned us away with a weary explanation that there was not a living soul inside, as though they had explained it a thousand times since they had been on duty.

By this time the wild-goose chasing was getting a little bit monotonous, and when we got back to the headquarters, I announced with some emphasis to the first aide-de-camp that I could reach, that I did not care to do any more of it; that I wanted him to get me the right information, and do it right away, so that I should not have to go back to my chief and report any more futile errands. He went away in some trepidation and was gone some time. Presently the General came out himself, seething in his best manner.

"A qui tout ce tas de dépêches?" roars he.

"A moi," says I.

He then announced in a voice of thunder that they were all wrong and that he was having them rewritten. Before I could summon enough breath to shout him down and protest, he had gone into another room and slammed the door. I rushed back to my trusty aide-de-camp and told him to get me those telegrams right away; he came back with word that they would be sent after correction. I said that under no circumstances could they send out a word over the signature of the American Minister without his having written it himself. He came back and said that he could not get the cables. I started to walk into the office myself to get them, only to bump into the General coming out with the messages in his hand. He threw them down on a table and began telling a young officer what corrections to make on the telegraph form itself. I protested vigorously against any such proceeding, telling him that we should be glad to have his views as to any errors in our message, but that he could not touch a letter in any official message. At this stage of the game he was summoned to the office of the Burgomaster and rushed off with a string of oaths that would have made an Arizona cow-puncher take off his hat. The young officer started calmly interlining the message, so I reached over and took it away from him, with the statement that I would report to my chief what had happened. He was all aflutter, and asked that I remain, as the General would not be long. I could not see any use in waiting longer, however, and made as dignified a retreat. as possible under the circumstances. There were a number of cables in the handful I had carried around that were being sent in the interest of the German Government and of German subjects, and I took good care to tell the young man that while we were glad to do anything reasonable for them or for their people, we had stood for a good deal more than they had a right to expect, and that these cables would stay on my desk until such time as they got ready to make a proper arrangement for our communications. Now we shall settle down and see what happens next.

German officers and soldiers were always ready to oblige by posing for the camera.

"Mitt Gott für Kaiser und Reich." This trio had a mania for being photographed.

Count Guy d'Oultremont, Adjutant of the Belgian Court. French howitzer in the background.

From left to right: colonel DuCane, Captain Ferguson, and Colonel Fairholme

When I got back to the Legation I found the Argentine and Brazilian Ministers and the Mexican Charg´é d'Affaires waiting to hear the news of my mission. I was rather hot under the collar, and gave an unexpurgated account of what had happened. By this time I was beginning to see some of the humor in the situation, but they saw nothing but cause for rage, and left in a fine temper.

Just to see what would happen, we then proceeded to put our cable in its original form into cipher, and send it back to the General with a written request that it be sent immediately to Washington. It will be interesting to see what reply he makes. The Spanish Minister left some telegrams with him last night to be sent, and is quite sure that they were held up, as he has received no answers to any of them. To-morrow he expects to put on his uniform and make a solemn official call on von Jarotzky to demand that he be granted free communication with his government.

During the afternoon a lot of correspondents came in and gave an amusing account of what the General had done for them. He had received them cordially and had given them a very pleasing interview, making an extended statement about the alleged German atrocities. Could they send their messages through to their papers? Certainly! Of course the General would have to read the stories and approve the subject matter. Naturally! The boys sat down in great enthusiasm and. wrote out their stories, giving full credit to the German army for the orderly way they got in, the excellence of their appearance and behaviour, and the calm that prevailed in the city. They took these messages back and let the old chap read them. He plowed his way carefully through them and expressed his great satisfaction at the friendly expressions of approval. He put his O.K. on them and handed them back with the remark that they might send them. The boys ventured to inquire how. "Oh," said the General, "you can either send a courier with them to Holland or to Germany and have them telegraphed from there." Whereupon he rose and, bowing graciously, left the bunch so flabbergasted that they did not wake up until he was gone. He was most amiable and smiling and got away with it.

The General commanding the forces now coming through---von Arnim---got out a proclamation to-day which was posted in the streets, warning the inhabitants that they would be called upon for supplies and might have troops quartered upon them, and that if they ventured upon hostile acts they would suffer severely.


BRUSSELS, August 90, 1914.

German troops will pass through Brussels to-day and the following days, and will he obliged by circumstances to call upon the city for lodging, food, and supplies. All these requirements will be settled for regularly through the communal authorities.

I expect the population to meet these necessities of war without resistance, and especially that there shall be no aggression against our troops, and that the supplies required shall be promptly furnished.

In this case I give every guarantee for the preservation of the city and the safety of its inhabitants.

If, however, as has unfortunately happened in other places, there are attacks upon our troops, firing upon our soldiers, fires or explosions of any sort, I shall he obliged to take the severest measures.

The General Commanding the Army Corps,

The strongest thing so far was the series of demands made upon the city and province. The city of Brussels has been given three days to hand over 50 million francs in coin or bills. The Germans also demand a tremendous supply of food to be furnished during the next three days. If the city fails to deliver any part of it, it must pay in coin at a rate equal to twice the market value of the supplies. The Province of Brabant must hand over, by the first of next month, 450 millions of francs---90 million dollars. When you consider that the total war indemnity imposed by Germany upon France in 1870 was only five milliards, the enormity of this appears. Upon one little province of a tiny country they are imposing a tax equal to one-tenth that imposed on the whole of France. How on earth they are ever to arrange to pay it, I cannot possibly see. I do not know what is to happen if they fail to make good, but I have no doubt that it will be something pretty dreadful.

This afternoon the Germans went into the Ministry of War and the Foreign Office, and searched through the archives. It must have been an entirely futile proceeding, for all papers of any interest were removed to Antwerp when the Government left. The higher officials who were still here were kept in the buildings to witness the search---a needless humiliation. There is talk now of a search of the British Legation, but we have heard nothing of it and expect that will not be done without asking our permission first.

Brussels, August 22, 1914.---Another day with much to do and no great results.

This morning, at 7 o'clock, General von Jarotzky arrived at the Legation and was all smiles. It appears that my action, in making known my displeasure at his behaviour and that of his staff, had a good effect. We have heard, from several sources, that he blew up everybody in sight yesterday afternoon when he came out from the Burgomaster's office and learned that I had departed in bad temper. He knows that nobody dares to oppose his acts or views, but just the same he gave them fits for not having made me stay and attend to my case. Be that as it may, he appeared with his Chief of Staff, and sent up a message that brought the Minister down in his pajamas and dressing gown. He expressed great regret for the "misunderstanding" of yesterday evening, and assured the Minister that there would be no further cause for complaint on our part. He had in his hand the telegram which we had sent him the evening before---the very same telegram which we had been trying to get off ever since the German occupation of the city. He had signed each page of the message, and had affixed his stamp with an order that it be immediately transmitted. He explained to the Minister that the best thing to do was for him to take it in person to the office of the Director of the Bureau of Telegraphs, who had already received instructions on the subject.

Types of Belgian cavalrymen

Civilian volunteers going out to dig trenches about Antwerp

The King of the Belgians (centre) giving orders in the field during the battle at H---

Pass issued by General von Jarotzky, the first German commander in Brussels, to enable Mr. Gibson to go through the lines to Antwerp.

The servants were thrown into a perfect panic by the arrival of the Généraux. It took some argument to convince them that the Germans would hardly need to send two generals to take them into custody, even if they had any reason to desire them as prisoners.

About ten o'clock I was starting to go down to the telegraph office, to send the messages, when the Spanish Minister drove up in his big green car with the Spanish flag flying at the fore. We told him our story, whereupon he announced that he also had telegrams to send and that he would go with us. We drove in state to the telegraph office, and found that the entrance which had been indicated to us was the alley through which the mail wagons drive in the good days when there are any. Before an admiring crowd, we descended and made our way among Prussian troopers through the noisome alley to a small side door, where we were stopped by a sentry who stuck a bayonet in our general direction and said we could go no further. I was immediately thrust into the foreground as the brilliant German scholar; and, limbering up my heavy German artillery, I attacked him. The sentry blanched, but stood his ground. An officer came up as reinforcements, but was also limited to the German tongue; so I had to keep it up, with two full-grown Ministers behind me thinking up impossible things to be translated into the hopeless tongue. The officer, who was a genial soul, announced as though there were no use ever again to appear at that particular place, that the instruments had all been removed, and that there was absolutely no way of sending any messages-no matter from whom they came. We told him that we had come at the special request of the General himself. He replied that that made no difference whatever; that if there were no wires and no instruments, there was no possible way of sending the messages. After three or four repetitions, the Minister and I began to understand that there was no use haggling about it; but the Spanish Minister was not so lightly to be turned aside and took up the cudgels, himself bursting into the German language. He stood his ground valiantly in the face of a volley of long words, but he did not get any forrader. Prince Ernst de Ligne came in with a permit from the General to send his messages, and joined forces with the Spanish Minister; but the poor officer could only shrug his shoulders and smile and repeat what he had already said a score of times. Mr. Whitlock and I began to laugh, and had a hard time to control ourselves. Finally we prevailed upon them to return to the Hôtel de Ville. The Minister was beginning to get even madder than he was yesterday, when I got back with my story of the way I had spent the afternoon, going from one wild goose chase to another. We got the Burgomaster in his private office, and placed our troubles before him. He understood the importance of the matter and sent for the General. He appeared in short order, clicked his heels, and inquired whether we had come in regard to the matter of telegrams. The old fox knew perfectly well that we had, and was ready for us. We had come to the conclusion---which I had reached yesterday afternoon and held all by myself---that the old man was jockeying.

He listened to what we had to say, and then said that there was no means of communication with the outside world; that he had just learned it a few minutes before. It is hardly necessary to say that he had been fully posted from the minute he set foot in the town. The Spanish Minister was rather sarcastic about his opinion of a General who would venture to occupy a capital without being in possession of means of telegraphic communication. The old soldier was in no mood for argument on abstract questions, and was playing for too big stakes to stop and dicker, so he passed this over lightly and suggested that we go back and discuss with the Director-General of Telegraphs the possibilities of reëstablishing communications--- Then the Spanish Minister let loose on him, and announced that it was not consistent with the dignity of representatives of World Powers to spend their time standing in back alleys disputing with soldiers who barred the way and refused to honour the instructions of their General. He threw in hot shot until the effect told. He said plainly that the General was full of fair words and promises and agreed to anything that was asked of him, but that when we went to do the things he had authorised, we were baffled by subordinates that took it upon themselves to disregard these orders---the intimation being cleverly conveyed that their action might not be unconnected with instructions from above. The old man then dropped his bluff, and asked what we wanted. We asked that he send for the Director-General, and give him, in our presence, the instructions and authorisation necessary to enable him to reëstablish communication with the outside world, and instruct him to receive and send all official messages for the Legations of neutral Powers. There was no way out, short of flatly refusing to give us our right to communicate with our governments, so the Director-General was sent for and the Burgomaster wrote out, at our dictation, the most general and comprehensive orders to meet our wishes in all matters of official business. The General signed the order and instructed the Director-General to go ahead.

The Director-General was a poor soul who could see nothing but technical difficulties in everything that was proposed. He reluctantly agreed to everything that he was told to do, and there is no telling when our stories will get off. He told us that when the Germans had occupied the telegraph bureau, instead of simply disconnecting the instruments and placing a man there to see that communication was not reëstablished, the officer in command had battered down the door leading to the roof and had slashed all the wires with his sabre. As there were three or four hundred wires leading out of the office, it will be a tremendous job to get them all together again.

We also took occasion to arrange for the issuance of sauf conduits for all the members of the Legations and for such members of the foreign colonies under our protection as we care to vouch for. Food is getting very scarce because of the enormous demands of the Germans, and we told von Jarotzky that we should expect that be make arrangements to see that our colonies should not suffer from the requisitions---that ample food be reserved to keep them all as long as it might be found necessary for them to stay here. He agreed to this, but I don't see just how he is to arrange it in practice. There are about fifty thousand men camping within a few miles of Brussels, and another Army Corps is now marching in. The food for all the people must be supplied by---the city---all importations from the outside world have been suspended for days. It is a pretty bad situation, and it will probably get a great deal worse before long. I don't know whether we shall get down to eating horse and dog, but it is not altogether improbable. That is one of these things that it is interesting to read about afterward.

We spent nearly two hours at the Hôtel de Ville, and got in a good deal of talk that will be of service to all sorts of people. When we got back, we found the chancery full of people who were waiting for us to tell them just how they could send telegrams and letters, and get passports and permits to pass through the lines in all possible directions. Before leaving I had dictated a bulletin which was posted in the hallway, stating that there were no communications with the outside world by rail, telegraph or post, and that no laisser-passers would be granted by the authorities until conditions had changed, and that the Legation could not issue any sort of papers which would enable people to leave in safety.

About four o'clock, McCutcheon, Irwin and Cobb breezed in, looking like a lot of tramps. Several days ago they had sailed blissfully away to Louvain in a taxi, which they had picked up in front of the hotel. When they got there, they got out and started to walk about to see what was going on, when, before they could realise what was happening, they found themselves in the midst of a Belgian retreat, hard-pressed by a German advance. They were caught between the two, and escaped with their lives by flattening themselves up against the side of a house while the firing continued. When the row was over, they were left high and dry with no taxi---of course it had been seized by the retreating troops---and with no papers to justify their presence in Louvain at such a time. They decided that the best thing to do was to go straight to the German headquarters and report. They were received well enough, and told to lodge themselves as best they could and stay indoors until it was decided what was to be done with them. They were told that they might be kept prisoners here, or even sent to Berlin, but that no harm would come to them if they behaved themselves. The order had gone out that if a single shot was fired at the German troops, from the window of any house, everybody in the house was to be immediately taken out and shot. Not wishing to risk any such unpleasant end, they rented all the front rooms of a house and spread themselves through all the rooms, so that they could be sure that nobody did any slaughtering from their house. They were there for three days, and were told to-day that they might take themselves hence. They came back to Brussels in the same clothes that they had worn for the past three days, unshaven and dirty. When they drove up to the front door this afternoon, they were nearly refused admittance as being too altogether disreputable.

A Belgian machine gun battery drawn by dogs

Types of Belgian infantrymen

King Albert and General von Emmich who commanded the German troops at Liège. Taken in 1913 when General von Emmich came to Liège on a visit of courtesy.

This evening, when I went to see my old friend the General, just before dinner, he told me that he had had news of a great battle near Metz, in which the French army had been cut off and practically destroyed, with a loss of 45,000 prisoners. It sounds about as probable as some of the other yarns. In view of the fact that my friend had no telegraphic communication, I was curious to know where he got his information, but my gentle queries did not bring forth any news on that point.

The Germans now expect to establish themselves for some time here in Brussels. They are going to occupy the various governmental departments, and it is quite possible that for some time we shall have to deal exclusively with them. The Government to which we are accredited has faded away, and we, are left here with a condition and not a theory. We shall have to deal with the condition, and I am not at all sure that the condition will not require some pretty active dealing with. Functionaries are to be brought from Berlin to administer the various departments, so that it is evidently expected that the occupation is not to be of a temporary character.

Later.---After writing the foregoing, I went upstairs and listened to some of the tales of the four people who were tied up at Louvain. Now that they are safely out of it, they can see the funny side of it, but it was certainly pretty dangerous while it lasted. Monsieur de Leval is overcome with admiration for their sang-froid, and marvels at the race of men we breed.

They seem to have made themselves solid with the Germans before they had been there long; it would be hard for anybody to resist that crowd any length of time. Of course they never saw their taxi again after getting out to scout for the battle, and whenever the Major who had the duty of keeping them under surveillance came to take a look at them, Cobb would work up a sob-shaken voice and plead for liberty and permission to return to Brussels. He was always at some pains to explain that it was not his life he was worrying about, but the haunting thought of that taxi running up at the rate of fifty centimes every three minutes. After a while he got the Major's funny bone located, and then all was well. He so completely got into the officer's good graces that he promised to send us word that they were safe and well,---and then failed to do so.

While the Germans occupied the city, all inhabitants were required to be indoors by eight o'clock; a light had to be kept in every window, and the blinds left open, so that any one moving could be clearly seen from the street. The windows themselves were to be closed. Dosch said he woke up about four o'clock one morning with his head splitting; the lamp was smoking and the air vile with smoke and smell. He decided he would prefer to be shot than die of headache, so deliberately got up and opened his window. The story loses its point by the fact that after violating this strict rule, he was not taken out and shot.

They said it was really pretty dreadful. From their window, they saw, every little while, a group of soldiers lead some poor frightened Belgian to a little café across the street; several officers were sitting at one of the tables on the sidewalk, holding a sort of drumhead court martial. While they were examining the case, a squad would be marched around behind the railroad station. A few minutes later the prisoner would be marched around by another way, and in a few minutes there would be a volley and the troops would be marched back to their post; then, after a little while, a stretcher would be brought out with a body in civilian clothes, a cloth over the face. Some of the prisoners were women, and there were screams before the shots were fired. It must have been a dreadful ordeal to go through.

August 27, 1914

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