Lady Harriet Jephson

Altheim, Germany

Altheim, Germany

I went out early in quest of news, and looked in at K—— and L——’s. A young clerk, pale with excitement and anger, in reply to my question: “Gibt es etwas neues?” literally hissed at me: “England hat Krieg erklärt” (England has declared war). It was an awful moment, although one was prepared for it in a measure, feeling sure that England would be faithful to her bond.

Next came the Press announcements, “Das[15] unglaubliche ist Tatsache geworden” (The unbelievable is become an accomplished fact). “England, who poses as the guardian of morality and all the virtues, sides with Russia and assassins!” Abuse of Sir Edward Grey, of our Government, and of all things English, follows. When vituperation fails, the “Frankfurter Zeitung” reminds its readers that, after all, such conduct is only what may be expected from “Die historische Perfide Albions.” That it is a blow none the less is shown by more than one newspaper beginning “Das Schlimmste ist geschehen.” (The worst has happened.) Miss M——, Miss H——, and I went to the “Prince of Wales’s Hotel” to see Mr. S——, who had made out a list of the English in Altheim, and tried to telephone to our Consul in Frankfort to ask what he was going to do for our rescue. The telephone people refused to send the message because we were English! Mr. S—— and other men here are doing all they can to secure a train when the mobilisation is over. He advised us to pack up and be ready to start, also not to show ourselves out of doors much, as there is the greatest fury and indignation at present against the English, and to be careful what we said and did. We are all terribly anxious, and it is rather trying for me, as I am the only woman in the place quite alone.

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