War journalism in Brussels & France.
our papers paid us large sums.
On such a night as this, the night of August 18, strange folk in wooden shoes and carrying bundles, and who looked like emigrants from Ellis Island, appeared in front of the restaurant. Instantly they were swallowed up in a crowd and the dinner-parties, napkins in hand, flocked into the Place Rogier and increased the throng around them.
"The Germans!" those in the heart of the crowd called over their shoulders. "The Germans are at Louvain!"
That afternoon I had conscientiously cabled my paper that there were no Germans anywhere near Louvain. I had been west of Louvain, and the particular column of the French army to which I had attached myself certainly saw no Germans.
"They say," whispered those nearest the fugitives, "the German shells are falling in Louvain. Ten houses are on fire!" Ten houses! How monstrous it sounded! Ten houses of innocent country folk destroyed. In those days such a catastrophe was unbelievable. We smiled knowingly.