Lady Harriet Jephson

Altheim_GermanyTerrible news! A telegram was posted up in the town this morning, saying that three English “Panzerkreuzers” had been sunk by one German submarine. Of course the church bells pealed, and the flags came out, and the children sang “Nun danket alle Gott,” because 950 brave Englishmen had gone under. We are much depressed, and our depression is aggravated by the want of occupation here. We dare not sketch for fear of being “verhaftet” (arrested). It is no good writing because every scrap of paper will be taken from us on the frontier; nobody I know plays bridge, and so I read and walk all day long.

Miss H—— tells me that a rude young clerk in the “Löwen-Apotheke” refused to talk English to her this morning, “You will have to learn German now, because we shall be in London within a fortnight,” said he! No German I have yet known foresees any other result of this war but success. The Fatherland Commissariat, according to the Italian papers, leaves much to be desired. The unfortunate soldiers are almost starving, and often live for days together on raw carrots, turnips, herbs, or any other vegetable they can root up out of the ground. The doctors are puzzled because men have died of such seemingly slight wounds. One case seemed so incomprehensible that an autopsy was decided on, and a raw root with fragments of earth upon it was found in the poor creature’s stomach. The Russians left at 5 a.m. this morning, men and women. It is more than hard that our poor men should be left behind. Lady M——, who has been ill, and her daughter, an invalid lady, and her maid, were given special passes to go a couple of days ago. Miss M—— and Miss G—— went to the police station armed with these passes, and requested to have their passports back. “The Demon” curtly refused. “But you must give them to us,” said Miss M——. “Don’t say müssen to me!” said “the Demon,”  “bitten is the word!” (Don’t say must to me, beg is the word).

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