Women spies have also been caught. Secret agents have been found at rail heads observing entrainments and detrainments. It is a simple matter for spies to mix with refugees who are moving about to and from their homes, and it is difficult for our troops, who speak neither French nor German, to detect them. The French have also found it necessary to search villages and casual wayfarers on the roads and to search for carrier pigeons.
Among the precautions taken by us against spying is the following notice printed in French, posted up:
“Motor cars and bicycles other than those; carrying soldiers in uniform may not circulate on the roads. Inhabitants may not leave the localities in which they reside between 6 P.M. and 6 A.M. Inhabitants may not quit their homes after 8 P.M. No person may on any pretext pass through the British lines without an authorization countersigned by a British officer.”
Events have moved so quietly for the last two months that anything connected with the mobilization of the British expeditionary force is now ancient history. Nevertheless, the following extract from a German order is evidence of the mystification of the army and a tribute to the value of the secrecy which was so well and so loyally maintained in England at the time:
“Tenth Reserve Army Corps Headquarters,
“Mont St. Guibert, Aug. 20, 1914.
“Corps Order, Aug. 20.
“The French troops in front of the Tenth Army Corps have retreated south across the Sambre. Part of the Belgium army has been withdrawn from Antwerp. It is reported that an English army has disembarked at Calais and Boulogne, en route to Brussels.”
Fighting in the Air.
[Made Public Sept. 29.]
Wednesday, Sept. 23, was a perfect Autumn day. It passed without incident as regards major operations. Although the enemy concentrated their heavy artillery upon the, plateau near Passy, nothing more than inconvenience was caused.
The welcome absence of wind gave our airmen a chance of which they took full advantage by gathering much information. Unfortunately, one of our aviators, who had been particularly active in annoying the enemy by dropping bombs, was wounded in a duel in the air.
Being alone on a single-seated monoplane, he was not able to use his rifle, and while circling above a German two-seated machine in an endeavor to get within pistol shot he was hit by the observer of the German machine, who was armed with a rifle. He managed to fly back over our lines, and by great good luck he descended close to a motor ambulance, which at once conveyed him to a hospital.
Against this may be set off the fact that another of our flyers exploded a bomb among some led artillery horses, killing several and stampeding the others.