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At seven o'clock in the morning I was taken to the commanding officer, and was glad to see him again. He jumped up immediately and came to me with a charming smile, when I pointed to my escort and explained that I was a prisoner.CHAPTER VII
They never left Louvain. On August 25th information was sent to the Leo XIII Institution for Philosophy, a building turned into a hospital, that a hundred wounded men might be expected towards evening. That evening began the wild shooting and burning of houses by the Germans, and soon a large number of wounded was taken to the Institution. Suddenly Professor Noyons recognised one of his servants among the wounded who were brought to him for treatment. She had three bullets in her side. After having bandaged her wounds, he hurried away to his house, in order to see what had happened.
"And then the disaster followed suddenly. At about five o'clock a tremendous explosion shook the fort to the foundations; the powder-magazine had caught fire. It is impossible to describe the appalling results of that explosion; the entire middle-part of the fort collapsed in a stupendous cloud of flames, smoke and dust; it was an awful destruction, an immense avalanche of masses of concrete, fragments of armour, which in their fall crushed to death nearly the whole of the garrison. From this fantastical, confused mass, overwhelming clouds of suffocating smoke escaped through some crevices and holes.Near Lanaeken I met suddenly a Belgian soldier, who did not trouble me after I had shown him my papers. I was quite astonished to find that man there all by himself, whilst so many Germans were only a few miles away. When I asked whether he knew this, he answered:
The reader may notice how everything pertaining to patterns and moulding resolves itself into a matter of judgment on the part of workmen, and how difficult it would be to apply general rules.Gifford consented with outward urbanity. Few men could say no when Leona Lalage asked for a favour. With a man's coat over her gleaming black dress and ivory shoulders she sprang into the car, and the next moment she was flying round the corner. She laughed recklessly as she passed out of sight, a laugh with a ring of insolent triumph in it.
Later on people from Louvain came with carts, which we had ordered before leaving. Thirteen of these carried the wounded away, whilst a German patrol went all over the village, setting everything on fire.Prout looked keenly around him. He opened the back door into a yard that gave on to a lane at the back of the house. The bricks were damp and mossy, and on them was something that looked like the print of wheels. The door leading to the lane was wide, and on the edge on both sides something patchy glistened. Prout touched it with his fingers.