I found that charming old American friends of mine, the W——s, were here, and I went to see them at the Grand Hotel. They have been to a Nach Kur in Thuringia, and have had most alarming and unpleasant adventures coming back. However, being American their pains and penalties are nearly over. A special train is to take them and their compatriots to the Hague on Wednesday next. They go to the flesh-pots of Egypt, and we are left to eat manna in the wilderness! They can drive in the country, while we poor Britishers may not go outside the town, and oh! how sick we are of the avenues and streets of the red-roofed Bath Houses and shop windows whose contents we know by heart. Mr. W—— told me a good tale of the chef of a Hotel here, who was obliged to obey his country’s call and join the French forces. When he found German bullets whizzing about him at Mülhausen, he said to himself (so the story goes), “What is my duty? Is it best for me to let these cursed Germans make an end of me, or live to cook another day for my country?” He decided that living was his game, threw his rifle away, lay flat on his face, and let the bullets whistle over him. He was taken prisoner to his great relief, and now lies in Frankfort prison where his German brother chef has visited him! The French of course are a brave nation, but I daresay the poor cook was more at home with his pots and pans than with bayonets and rifles!
No papers! no letters! no news! no chance of escape! Two men were put in prison yesterday for laughing at Germany. Two Russians were stopped in a motor car, and when arms were found upon them they were put up against a wall and shot.