I often think of those poor lads in Germany and wonder what has become of them, and if those far-off mothers all think their sons are dead. If so, what a joyful surprise some of them will have some day—after the war.
THE RETURN TO BRUSSELS
This seemed a favourable moment for me to go to Brussels for a day or two to visit my flock. The Committee gave me leave to go, but begged me to be back in two days, which I promised to do. A laissez-passer had been obtained from the German commandant for a Red Cross automobile to go into Brussels to fetch some supplies of dressings and bandages of which all the hospitals in the neighbourhood were woefully short. And I was also graciously accorded a ticket of leave by the same august authority to go for two days, which might be extended to three according to the length of stay of the automobile.
The night before I left, an aeroplane which had been flying very high above the town dropped some papers. The doctor with whom I was lodging secured one and brought it back triumphantly. It contained a message from the Burgomaster of Antwerp to his fellow-citizens, and ended thus: “Courage, fellow-citizens, in a fortnight our country will be delivered from the enemy.”
We were all absurdly cheered by this message, and felt that it was only a matter of a short time now before the Germans were driven out of Belgium. We had had no news for so long that we thought probably the Antwerp Burgomaster had information of which we knew nothing, and I was looking forward to hearing some good news when I got to Brussels.