September 8

Such freaky weather; cool and rainy nearly all day. Chaplain Roberts of the Sixth Vermont, has called this afternoon. He's a fine man. I have been reading East Lynne. It's very dull in camp. I've written to Aunt Thompson this evening. The papers state the North is jubilant over our recent victories, and well they may be.

September Eighth

Ere Time's horizon-line was set,
Somewhere in space our spirits met,
Then o'er the starry parapet
Came wandering here.
And now, that thou art gone again
Beyond the verge, I haste amain
(Lost echo of a loftier strain)
To greet thee there.
John B. Tabb
(Ave: Sidney Lanier )

 

Battle of Eutaw Springs, S. C., 1781

 

 

September 8

September 8, 1870 (Zurich ).--All the exiles are returning to Paris--Edgar Quinet, Louis Blanc, Victor Hugo. By the help of their united experience will they succeed in maintaining the republic? It is to be hoped so. But the past makes it lawful to doubt. While the republic is in reality a fruit, the French look upon it as a seed-sowing. Elsewhere such a form of government presupposes free men; in France it is and must be an instrument of instruction and protection. France has once more placed sovereignty in the hands of universal suffrage, as though the multitude were already enlightened, judicious, and reasonable, and now her task is to train and discipline the force which, by a fiction, is master.

The ambition of France is set upon self-government, but her capacity for it has still to be proved. For eighty years she has confounded revolution with liberty; will she now give proof of amendment and of wisdom? Such a change is not impossible. Let us wait for it with sympathy, but also with caution.

September 8, 1863

Tuesday. We are just over the bar inside of Sabine Bay. The light of camp-fires can be seen on the Louisiana side, but whether of friends or enemies we know not.

The captain of the boat told us to-day what he says is the object of this expedition. Through his scouts, General Banks has learned that the Rebels under General Dick Taylor are at Vermillionville with 20,000 troops. That Banks had sent about as large a force up the Red River to Marksville, from which place they were to march upon Vermillionville. Another force had been sent by rail to Brashear City, and then up the Bayou Teche (pronounced Tash) to get at Taylor from the other side, while Franklin with his expedition is to land and cut off the retreat. I don't know enough about the geography of the country to know whether any or all of this can be true, but that is the way it is given to us. We had a rough night of it. The horses and mules on the lower decks had hard work to keep their footing and could not have possibly stood up on the deck we are on. There were times when it seemed as if we were going over, but the sailors didn't seem scared and so I tried to act as if I was not. We came through all right, and that is the main thing.

September 8, 1862

Monday morning. Our first night in Baltimore is over. We had roll call, to see if we were all here, and then spread our blankets on the ground and were soon sound asleep. Walt Loucks and I each having a blanket, we spread one on the ground and the other over us. With our knapsacks for a pillow, we slept as sound as if in the softest bed. The dew, however, was heavy, and only for the blanket over us we would have been wet through. As it was, our hair was as wet as if we had been swimming. Sleeping on the ground, in clothing already wet with sweat, and the night being quite cool, has stiffened our joints, so we move about like foundered horses. Had the Rebs come upon us when we first got up we couldn't have run away and we certainly were not in a condition to defend ourselves. But this wore off after a little, and we were ourselves again. As it was in Hudson, so it is here. All sorts of rumors as to what we do next are going the rounds. I have given up believing anything, and shall wait until we do something or go somewhere, and then, diary, I'll tell you all about it.

Night. We put in the day sitting around and swapping yarns, etc. None of us cared to go about, for we were pretty tired, after our hard day yesterday. Shelter tents were given out to-day. One tent for every two men. They are not tents at all, nothing but a strip of muslin, with three sticks to hold them up. There are four pins to pin the corners to the ground. Then one stick is put in like a ridge pole, and the other two set under it. The ends are pinned down as far apart as a man is long, and then the middle raised up. They may keep off rain, if it falls straight down, but both ends are open, and two men fill it full. We have got them up, each company in a row. It is a funny sight to stand on the high ground and look over them. Lengthwise, it is like a long strip of muslin with what a dressmaker calls gathers in it. Looked at from the side it is like a row of capital A's with the cross up and down instead of crosswise.

Tuesday, September 8th.—Orders came last night to each Matron to provide three or five Sisters who can talk French for duty up country with a Stationary Hospital, so M. and I are put down with two Regulars and another Reserve. It is probably too much luck and won't come off. The duties will be "very strenuous," both for night and day duty, and we are to carry very little kit. The wire may come at any time. So this morning M. and I and Miss J——, our Senior Regular, and very nice indeed, got into the train for St Nazaire to see about our baggage, and had an adventurous morning. The place was swarming with troops of all sorts. The 6th Division was being sent up to the Front to-day, and no medical units could get hold of any transport for storing all their thousands of tons of stuff. One of the minor errors has been sending the 600 Sisters out with 600 trunks, 600 holdalls, and 600 kit-bags!! The Sisters' baggage is a byword now, and we could have done with only one of the three things or 1-1/2. We have been out nearly a month now and have not been near our boxes; some other hospitals have lost all theirs, or had them smashed up. We at last traced our No.— people and found them encamped on the wharf among the stuff,[1] trying to get it stored with only one motor transport lent them by the Flying Corps. They were very nice to us, offered us lunch on packing-cases, and Major —— cleaned my skirt with petrol for me!

[1]Each hospital contains 78 tons of tents, furniture, stores, &c.

They sorted out the five kit-bags and boxes for us from the rest, as we have to go in to-morrow and repack for duty,—only sleeping kit and uniform to be taken, and a change of underclothing. They said we'd have to make our own transport arrangements, as the 6th Division had taken up everything. So in the town we saw an empty dray outside a public-house, and after investigating inside two pubs we unearthed a fat man, who took us to a wine merchant's yard, and he produced a huge dray, which he handed over to us! We lent it to the Matron of No.—, and we have commandeered the brewer for No.—'s to-morrow. Then we met a large French motor ambulance without a French owner, with "Havre" on it, which we knew, and sent Miss —— in it to the Asturias  to try and collar it for us to-morrow. She did.

There were a lot of Cavalry already mounted just starting, and Welsh Fusiliers, and Argyll and Sutherlands, and swarms more. We had another invitation to a packing-case lunch from three other M.O.'s at another wharf, but couldn't stop.

We saw three German officers led through the crowd at the wharf. The French crowd booed and groaned and yelled "Les Assassins" at them. The Tommies were quite quiet. They looked white and bored. We also saw 86 men (German prisoners) in a shed on the wharf. Some one who'd been talking to the German officers told us they were quite cheerful and absolutely certain Germany is going to win!

16. John Adams

Philadelphia, 8 September, 1774.

When or where this letter will find you I know not. In what scenes of distress and terror I cannot foresee. We have received a confused account from Boston of a dreadful catastrophe. The particulars we have not heard. We are waiting with the utmost anxiety and impatience for further intelligence. The effect of the news we have, both upon the Congress and the inhabitants of this city, was very great. Great indeed! Every gentleman seems to consider the bombardment [46] of Boston as the bombardment of the capital of his own province. Our deliberations are grave and serious indeed.

It is a great affliction to me that I cannot write to you oftener than I do. But there are so many hindrances that I cannot. It would fill volumes to give you an idea of the scenes I behold, and the characters I converse with. We have so much business, so much ceremony, so much company, so many visits to receive and return, that I have not time to write. And the times are such as to make it imprudent to write freely.

We cannot depart from this place until the business of the Congress is completed, and it is the general disposition to proceed slowly. When I shall be at home I can't say. If there is distress and danger in Boston, pray invite our friends, as many as possible, to take an asylum with you,—Mrs. Cushing and Mrs. Adams, if you can. There is in the Congress a collection of the greatest men upon this continent in point of abilities, virtues, and fortunes. The magnanimity and public spirit which I see here make me blush for the sordid, venal herd which I have seen in my own province. The addressers, and the new councillors [47] are held in universal contempt and abhorrence from one end of the continent to the other.

Be not under any concern for me. There is little danger from anything we shall do at the Congress. There is such a spirit through the colonies, and the members of the Congress are such characters, that no danger can happen to us which will not involve the whole continent in universal desolation; and in that case, who would wish to live? Adieu.

Footnotes:

[46]Dr. Gordon says that the rumors spread of the seizure of the gunpowder, and of General Gage's measures to fortify himself against surprise, rapidly swelled into a story that the fleet and the army were firing into the town. As a consequence, in less than twenty-four hours a multitude had collected from thirty miles around, of not less than thirty or forty thousand people. Nothing could be more absurd in itself, considering that Boston was the only place Gage could hope to hold as a refuge for the royalists flying from all the other towns, yet the alarm had a very decided effect in hastening the action of the collected delegates at Philadelphia, and in uniting the sentiments of the people in the other colonies.

[47]These were the persons nominated as councillors by mandamus, under the new act for the regulation of the province charter. Most of them were compelled by the people to resign their places, and some were driven from home never to return.

59. Abigail Adams

Braintree, 8 September.

Since you left me I have passed through great distress both of body and mind, and whether greater is to be my portion, Heaven only knows.

You may remember Isaac was unwell when you went from home. His disorder increased, till a violent dysentery was the consequence of his complaints. There was no resting-place in the house, for his terrible groans. He continued in this state near a week, when his disorder abated, and we have now hopes of his recovery. Two days after he was sick, I was seized with the same disorder in a violent manner. Had I known you were at Watertown, I should have sent Bracket for you. I suffered greatly between my inclination to have you return and my fear of sending lest you should be a partaker of the common calamity. After three days an abatement of my disease relieved me from anxiety. The next person in the same week was Susy; her we carried home,—hope she will not be very bad. Our little Tommy was the next, and he lies very ill now. There is no abatement at present of his disorder. I hope he is not dangerous. Yesterday Patty was seized, and took a puke. Our house is a hospital in every part; and what with my own weakness and distress of mind for my family, I have been unhappy enough.

And such is the distress of the neighborhood, that I can scarcely find a well person to assist in looking after the sick. Mrs. Randall has one child that is not expected to live out the night. Mrs. Belcher has another; Joseph Bracket, another; Deacon Adams has lost one, but is on the recovery himself, and so are the rest of his family. Mr. Wibird lies bad; Major Miller is dangerous, and Mr. Gay is not expected to live.

So sickly and so mortal a time the oldest man does not remember. I am anxious for you. Pray let me hear from you soon. I thought you would have left me a letter at Watertown, as you stayed so long there. I was disappointed that you did not. As to politics, I know nothing about them. The distresses of my own family are so great that I have not thought of them. I have written as much as I am able to, being very weak. I hope to add a more pleasing account ere I close.

Sunday, 10 September.

'Tis now two days since I wrote. As to my own health, I mend but very slowly; have been fearful of a return of my disorder to-day, but feel rather better now; hope it is only owing to my having been fatigued with looking after Tommy, as he is unwilling any one but mamma should do for him; and, if he was, I could not find anybody that is worth having, but what is taken up already for the sick. Tommy, I hope, is mending. His fever has abated; but were you to look in upon him, you would not know him. From a hearty, hale, corn-fed boy, he has become pale, lean, and wan. Isaac is getting better, but very slowly. Patty is very bad, her situation very dangerous. Mr. R. and one of his children are taken with the disorder. I shall write every day if I am able.

Pray let me hear from you often. Heaven preserve both your life and health, and all my suffering will be but small. By the first safe conveyance be kind enough to send me one ounce of Turkey rhubarb, the root, and to procure me one quarter of a pound of nutmegs, for which here I have to give 2 s. 8 d. lawful; one ounce of cloves, two of cinnamon. I should be glad of one ounce of Indian root. So much sickness has occasioned a scarcity of medicine.

Destroy this. Such a doleful tale it contains can give no pleasure to any one. Our other children are well, and send duty to papa. Bracket has been complaining, but has got better. The small-pox in the natural way was not more mortal than this distemper has proved in this and many neighboring towns. Eighteen have been buried since you left us, in Mr. Weld's parish. Four, three, and two funerals in a day, for many days. Hitherto our family has been greatly favored. Heaven still preserve us. 'Tis a melancholy time with us. I hope you will not think me in the dismals; but public and private judgments ought to be noticed by every one.

I am, most affectionately, yours,     Portia.

209. John Adams

Philadelphia, Monday, 8 September, 1777.

There has been a very general apprehension during the last week, that a general action would happen as on yesterday, but we hear of none. Our army is encamped between Newport and White Clay Creek, on advantageous ground. The General has harangued his army, and published in general orders, in order to prepare their minds for something great, and has held up the example of Stark, Herkimer, Gansevoort, and their troops to animate his officers and men with emulation. Whether he expects to be attacked, or whether he designs to offend, I can't say.

A general action which should terminate in a defeat of Howe would be complete and final ruin to him. If it should terminate only in a drawn battle, it would be the same thing. If he should gain a victory and maintain possession of the field, he would lose so many men killed and wounded that he would scarcely have enough left to march to Philadelphia, surrounded as he would be with militia and the broken remains of the Continental army. But if there should be no general battle, and the two armies should lounge away the remainder of the campaign in silent inactivity, gazing at each other, Howe's reputation would be ruined in his own country and in all Europe, and the dread of him would cease in all America. The American mind, which, I think, has more firmness now than it ever had before, since this war began, would acquire a confidence and strength that all the efforts of Great Britain afterwards would not be able to relax.

You will see by the papers inclosed that we have been obliged to attempt to humble the pride of some Jesuits, who call themselves Quakers,[179] but who love money and land better than liberty and religion. The hypocrites are endeavoring to raise the cry of persecution, and to give this matter a religious turn, but they can't succeed. The world knows them and their communications. Actuated by a land-jobbing spirit like that of William Penn, they have been soliciting grants of immense regions of land on the Ohio. American independence has disappointed them, which makes them hate it. Yet the dastards dare not avow their hatred to it, it seems.

The moments are critical here. We know not but the next will bring us an account of a general engagement begun, and when once begun, we know not how it will end, for the battle is not always to the strong. The events of war are uncertain. All that we can do is to pray, as I do most devoutly, that we may be victorious; at least, that we may not be vanquished. But if it should be the will of Heaven that our army should be defeated, our artillery lost, our best generals killed, and Philadelphia fall into Mr. Howe's hands, still America is not conquered. America would yet be possessed of great resources, and, capable of great exertions, as mankind would see. It may for what I know, be the design of Providence that this should be the case. Because it would only lay the foundations of American independence deeper, and cement them stronger. It would cure Americans of their vicious and luxurious and effeminate appetites, passions, and habits, a more dangerous army to American liberty than Mr. Howe's.

However, without the loss of Philadelphia we must be brought to an entire renunciation of foreign commodities, at least of West India produce. People are coming to this resolution very fast here. Loaf sugar at four dollars a pound, wine at three dollars a bottle, etc., will soon introduce economy in the use of these articles. This spirit of economy would be more terrible to Great Britain than anything else, and it would make us more respectable in the eyes of all Europe. Instead of acrimonious altercations between town and country, and between farmer and merchant, I wish that my dear countrymen would agree in this virtuous resolution of depending on themselves alone. Let them make salt and live without sugar and rum.

I am grieved to hear of the angry contentions among you. That improvident act for limiting prices has done great injury, and in my sincere opinion, if not repealed, will ruin the State and introduce a civil war. I know not how unpopular this sentiment may be, but it is sincerely mine. There are rascally upstarts in trade, I doubt not, who have made great fortunes in a small period, who are monopolizing and oppressing. But how this can be avoided entirely, I know not, but by disusing their goods and letting them perish in their hands.

Footnotes:

[179]General Sullivan in one of his excursions had seized some papers which implicated many of the society of Friends in and around Philadelphia, to such a degree as to call for severe measures of repression on the part of Congress and the authorities in Pennsylvania.

September 8, 1914.


This morning everything and everybody was astir early. It was another gloriously beautiful day. The birds were singing as if to split their throats. There was a smell of coffee all over the place. Men were hurrying up and down the hill, to and fro from the wash-house, bathing, washing out their shirts and stockings and hanging them on the bushes, rubbing down horses and douching them, cleaning saddles and accouterments. There is a lot of work to be done by an army besides fighting. It was all like a play, and every one was so cheerful.

The chef-major did not come down until his orderly called him, and when he did he looked as rosy and cheerful as a child, and announced that he had slept like one. Soon after he crossed the road for his coffee I heard the officers laughing and chatting as if it were a week-end house party.

When Amelie came to get my breakfast she looked a wreck—I saw one of her famous bilious attacks coming.

It was a little after eleven, while the chef-major was upstairs writing, that his orderly came with a paper and carried it up to him. He came down at once, made me one of his pretty bows at the door of the library, and holding out a scrap of paper said:—

"Well, madame, we are going to leave you. We advance at two."

I asked him where he was going.

He glanced at the paper in his hand, and replied:—

"Our orders are to advance to Saint-Fiacre,—a little east of Meaux,— but before I go I am happy to relieve your mind on two points. The French cavalry has driven the Uhlans out—some of them were captured as far east as Bouleurs. And the English artillery has come down from the hill behind you and is crossing the Marne. We follow them. So you see you can sit here in your pretty library and read all these nice books in security, until the day comes—perhaps sooner than you dare hope—when you can look back to all these days, and perhaps be a little proud to have had a small part in it." And off he went upstairs.

I sat perfectly still for a long time. Was it possible that it was only a week ago that I had heard the drum beat for the disarming of the Seine et Marne? Was there really going to come a day when all the beauty around me would not be a mockery? All at once it occurred to me that I had promised Captain Simpson to write and tell him how I had "come through." Perhaps this was the time. I went to the foot of the stairs and called up to the chef-major. He came to the door and I explained, asking him if, we being without a post-office, he could get a letter through, and what kind of a letter I could write, as I knew the censorship was severe.

"My dear lady," he replied, "go and write your letter,—write anything you like,—and when I come down I will take charge of it and guarantee that it shall go through, uncensored, no matter what it contains."

So I wrote to tell Captain Simpson that all was well at Huiry,—that we had escaped, and were still grateful for all the trouble he had taken. When the officer came down I gave it to him, unsealed.

"Seal it, seal it," he said, and when I had done so, he wrote, "Read and approved" on the envelope, and gave it to his orderly, and was ready to say "Good-bye."

"Don't look so serious about it," he laughed, as we shook hands. "Some of us will get killed, but what of that? I wanted this war. I prayed for it. I should have been sad enough if I had died before it came. I have left a wife and children whom I adore, but I am ready to lay down my life cheerfully for the victory of which I am so sure. Cheer up. I think my hour has not yet come. I had three horses killed under me in Belgium. At Charleroi a bomb exploded in a staircase as I was coming down. I jumped—not a scratch to show. Things like that make a man feel immune—but Who knows?"

I did my best to smile, as I said, "I don't wish you courage—you have that, but—good luck."

"Thank you," he replied, "you've had that"; and away he marched, and that was the last I saw of him.

I had a strange sensation about these men who had in so few days passed so rapidly in and out of my life, and in a moment seemed like old friends.

There was a bustle of preparation all about us. Such a harnessing of horses, such a rolling-up of half-dried shirts, but it was all orderly and systematic. Over it all hung a smell of soup-kettles—the preparations for the midday meal, and a buzz of many voices as the men sat about eating out of their tin dishes. I did wish I could see only the picturesque side of it.

It was two o'clock sharp when the regiment began to move. No bands played. No drum beat. They just marched, marched, marched along the road to Meaux, and silence fell again on the hillside.

Off to the northeast the cannon still boomed,—it is still booming now as I write, and it is after nine o'clock. There has been no sign of Amelie all day as I have sat here writing all this to you. I have tried to make it as clear a statement of facts as I could. I am afraid that I have been more disturbed in putting it down than I was in living it. Except on Saturday and Sunday I was always busy, a little useful, and that helped. I don't know when I shall be able to get this off to you. But at least it is ready, and I shall take the first opportunity I get to cable to you, as I am afraid before this you have worried, unless your geography is faulty, and the American papers are as reticent as ours.

September 8, 1915

You have the date quite right.

It is a year ago today—this very 8th of September—since I saw the
French soldiers march away across the hill, over what we call the
"Champs Madame"—no one knows why—on their way to the battle
behind Meaux.

By chance—you could not have planned it, since the time it takes a letter to reach me depends on how interesting the censor finds it— your celebration of that event reached me on its anniversary.

You are absolutely wrong, however, to pull such a long face over my situation. You write as if I had passed through a year of misery. I have not. I am sure you never got that impression from my letters, and I assure you that I am writing exactly as I feel—I have no façade up for you.

I own it has been a year of tension. It has been three hundred and sixty-five days and a fourth, not one of which has been free from anxiety of some sort or other. Sometimes I have been cold. Sometimes I have been nervous. But all the same, it has been fifty- two weeks of growing respect for the people among whom I live, and of ever-mounting love of life, and never-failing conviction that the sum of it is beauty. I have had to fight for the faith in that, but I have kept it. Always "In the midst of life we are in Death," but not always is death so fine and beautiful a thing as in these days. No one would choose that such things as have come to pass in the last year should be, but since they are, don't be so foolish as to pity me, who have the chance to look on, near enough to feel and to understand, even though I am far enough off to be absolutely safe,—alas! eternally a mere spectator. And speaking of having been cold reminds me that it is beginning to get cold again. We have had heavy hailstorms already, hail as big and hard as dried peas, and I have not as yet been able to get fuel. So I am looking forward to another trying winter. In the spring my coal-dealer assured me that last winter's situation would not be repeated, and I told him that I would take all the coal he could get me. Having said that, I took no further thought of the matter. Up to date he has not been able to get any. The railroad is too busy carrying war material.

I was pained by the tone of your last letter. Evidently mine of the Fourth of July did not please you. Evidently you don't like my politics or my philosophy, or my "deadly parallels," or any of my thoughts about the present and future of my native land. Destroy the letter. Forget it, and we'll talk of other things, and, to take a big jump—

Did you ever keep cats?

There is a subject in which you can find no offence, and if it does not appeal to you it is your own fault.

If you never have kept cats, you have missed lots of fun, you are not half educated, you have not been disciplined at all. / A cat is a wonderful animal, but he is not a bit like what, on first making his acquaintance, you think he is going to be, and he never becomes it.

Now I have been living a year this September with one cat, and part of the time, with two. I am wiser than I used to be. By fits and starts I am more modest.

I used to think that a cat was a tame animal, who lapped milk, slept, rolled up ornamentally on a rug, now and then chased his tail, and now and then played gracefully with a ball, came and sat on your knee when you invited him, and caught mice, if mice came where he was.

All the cats I had seen in the homes of my friends surely did those things. I thought them "so pretty," "so graceful," "so soft," and I always said they "gave a cosy look to a room."

But I had never been intimate with a cat.

When the English soldiers were here a year ago, Amélie came one morning bringing a kitten in her apron. You remember I told you of this. He was probably three months old—so Amélie says, and she knows all about cats. She said off-hand: "C'est un chat du mois de juin." She seems to know what month well-behaved cats ought to be born. So far as I know, they might be born in any old month. He was like a little tiger, with a white face and shirt-front, white paws and lovely green eyes.

He had to have a name, so, as he had a lot of brown, the color of the English uniform, and came to me while the soldiers were here, I named him Khaki. He accepted it, and answered to his name at once. He got well rapidly. His fur began to grow, and so did he.

At first he lived up to my idea of what a kitten should be. He was always ready to play, but he had much more originality than I knew cats to have. He was so amusing that I gave lots of time to him. I had corks, tied to strings, hanging to all the door knobs and posts in the house, and, for hours at a time, he amused himself playing games like basket-ball and football with these corks. I lost hours of my life watching him, and calling Amélie to "come quick" and see him. His ingenuity was remarkable. He would take the cork in his front paws, turn over on his back, and try to rip it open with his hind paws. I suppose that was the way his tiger ancestors ripped open their prey. He would carry the cork, attached to the post at the foot of the staircase, as far up the stairs as the string would allow him, lay it down and touch it gently to make it roll down the stairs so that he could spring after it and catch it before it reached the bottom. All this was most satisfactory. That was what I expected a cat to do.

He lapped his milk all right. I did not know what else to give him. I asked Amélie what she gave hers. She said "soup made out of bread and drippings." That was a new idea. But Amélie's cats looked all right. So I made the same kind of soup for Khaki. Not he! He turned his back on it. Then Amélie suggested bread in his milk. I tried that. He lapped the milk, but left the bread. I was rather in despair. He looked too thin. Amélie suggested that he was a thin kind of a cat. I did not want a thin kind of a cat. I wanted a roly-poly cat.

One day I was eating a dry biscuit at tea time. He came and stood beside me, and I offered him a piece. He accepted it. So, after that, I gave him biscuit and milk. He used to sit beside his saucer, lap up his milk, and then pick up the pieces of biscuit with his paw and eat them. This got to be his first show trick. Everyone came to see Khaki eat "with his fingers."

All Amélie's efforts to induce him to adopt the diet of all the other cats in Huiry failed. Finally I said: "What does he want, Amélie? What do cats, who will not eat soup, eat?"

Reluctantly I got it—"Liver."

Well, I should think he did. He eats it twice a day.

Up to that time he had never talked even cat language. He had never meowed since the day he presented himself at Amélie's and asked for sanctuary.

But we have had, from the beginning, a few collisions of will-power. The first few weeks that he was a guest in my house, I was terribly flattered because he never wanted to sleep anywhere but on my knees. He did not squirm round as Amélie said kittens usually did. He never climbed on my shoulders and rubbed against my face. He simply jumped up in my lap, turned round once, lay down, and lay perfectly still. If I got up, I had to put him in my chair, soothe him a bit, as you would a baby, if I expected him to stay, but, even then, nine times out of ten, as soon as I was settled in another chair, he followed, and climbed into my lap.

Now things that are flattering finally pall. I began to guess that it was his comfort, not his love for me, that controlled him. Well—it is the old story.

But the night question was the hardest. He had a basket. He had a cushion. I have the country habit of going to bed with the chickens. The cat came near changing all that. I used to let him go to sleep in my lap. I used to put him in his basket by the table with all the care that you would put a baby. Then I made a dash for upstairs and closed the doors. Ha! ha! In two minutes he was scratching at the door. I let him scratch. "He must be disciplined," I said. There was a cushion at the door, and finally he would settle' down and in the morning he was there when I woke. "He will learn," I said. H'm!

One night, while I was in my dressing-room, I neglected to latch the bedroom door. When I was ready to get into bed, lo! there was Khaki on the foot of the bed, close against the footboard, fast asleep. Not only was he asleep, but he was lying on his back, with his two white paws folded over his eyes as if to keep the lamplight out of them. Well—I had not the heart to drive him away. He had won. He slept there. He never budged until I was dressed in the morning, when he got up, as if it were the usual thing, and followed, in his most dignified manner, down to breakfast.

Well, that was struggle number one. Khaki had scored.

But, no sooner had I got myself reconciled—I felt pretty shamefaced— when he changed his plans. The very moment I was ready for bed he wanted to go out. He never meowed. He just tapped at the door, and if that did not succeed, he scratched on the window, and he was so one-idea-ed that nothing turned him from his purpose until he was let out.

For a time I used to sit up for him to come in. I was ashamed to let Amélie know. But, one night, after I had been out in the garden with a lantern hunting for him at midnight, I heard a gentle purring sound, and, after looking in every direction, I finally located him on the roof of the kitchen. Being a bit dull, I imagined that he could not get down. I stood up on a bench under the kitchen window, and called him. He came to the eaves, and I could just reach him, but, as I was about to take him by a leg and haul him down, he retreated just out of my reach, and said what I imagined to be a pathetic "meow." I talked to him. I tried to coax him to come within reach again, but he only went up the roof to the ridgepole and looked down the other side and said "meow." I was in despair, when it occurred to me to get the step- ladder. You may think me impossibly silly, but I never supposed that he could get down.

I went for the key to the grange, pulled out the ladder, and hauled it along the terrace, and was just putting it up, when the little devil leaped from the roof into the lilac bush, swayed there a minute, ran down, scampered across the garden, and dashed up a pear tree, and—well, I think he laughed at me.

Anyway, I was mad. I went in and told him that he might stop out all night for all I cared. Still, I could not sleep for thinking of him—used to comfort—out in the night, and it was chilly. But he had to be disciplined.

I had to laugh in the morning, for he was playing on the terrace when I opened the door, and he had a line of three first-class mice laid out for me. I said: "Why, good morning, Khaki, did mother make him stay out all night? Well, you know he was a naughty cat!"

He gave me a look—I fancied it was quizzical—rolled over, and showed his pretty white belly, then jumped up, gave one look up at the bedroom window, scampered up the salon shutter, crouched on the top, and, with one leap, was through the bedroom window. When I rushed upstairs—to see if he had hurt himself, I suppose,—he was sitting on the foot of the bed, and I think he was grinning.

So much for disciplining a cat.

However, I had learned something—and, evidently, he had also. I had learned that a cat can take care of himself, and has a right to live a cat's life, and he learned that I was dull. We treat each other accordingly. The truth is—he owns me, and the house, and he knows it.

Since then he asks for the door, and gets it when he asks. He goes and comes at his own sweet will. When he wants to come in, in the daytime, he looks in at all the windows until he finds me. Then he stands on his hind legs and beats the window with his paws until I open it for him. In the night, he climbs to the bedroom window, and taps until he wakens me. You see, it is his house, not mine, and he knows it. What is the drollest of all—he is never one minute late to his meals.

He is familiarly known to all my neighbors as "the Grand Duc de Huiry" and he looks the part. Still, from my point of view, he is not an ideal cat. He is not a bit caressing. He never fails to purr politely when he comes in. But he is no longer playful. He never climbs up to my shoulder and rubs against my face as some of Amélie's commoner cats will do. He is intelligent and handsome—just a miniature tiger, and growls like a new arrival from the jungle when he is displeased— and he is a great ratter. Moreover Amélie has decided that he is an "intellectuel."

One morning, when he had been out all night, and did not return until almost breakfast-time, he was sitting on my knee, making his toilette, while I argued the matter with him. Amélie was dusting. I reproached him with becoming a rôdeur, and I told him that I should be happier about him if I knew where he was every night, and what he did.

He yawned as if bored, jumped off my knees and began walking round the library, and examining the books.

"Well," remarked Amélie, "I can tell you where he goes. He has a class in Maria's grange, where the wheat is stored—a class of mice. He goes every evening to give conferences on history and the war, and he eats up all the stupid pupils."

I had to laugh, but before I could ask her how she knew, Khaki jumped up on top of the lowest line of books, and disappeared behind.

Amélie shrugged her shoulders, and said: "Voila! He has gone to prepare his next conference." And he really had chosen a line of books on history.

You see Amélie knows beasties better than I do. There really is a sort of freemasonry between certain people and dumb animals. I have not a bit of it, though I love them. You would adore to see Amélie play with cats. She knows how. And as for her conversation with them, it is wonderful. I remarked the fact to her one day, when her morning salutations with the cats had been unusual. She replied, with her customary shrug: "Eh bien, Madame, toujours, entre eux, les bêtes se comprennent."

So much in brief for cat number one. Number two is a different matter.

In the spring, four kittens were born at Amélie's. They were all sorts of mongrels. There was a dear little fluffy, half angora, which I named Garibaldi, and Amélie, as usual, vulgarized it at once into "Didine." There was a long-legged blue kitten which I dubbed Roi Albert. There was a short-legged, sturdy little energetic striped one which I called General Joffre, and a yellow and black fellow, who was, of course, Nicolas. I regretted there weren't two more, or three.

Garibaldi was about the dearest kitten I ever saw. He attached himself to me at once. When he was only a round fluffy ball he would try to climb into my lap whenever I went to see the kittens. The result was that when he was still very young, he came to live with me, and I never saw so altogether loveable an animal. He has all the cat qualities I ever dreamed of. As Amélie says: "II a tout pour lui, et il ne manque que la parole." And it is true. He crawls up my back. He will lie for hours on my shoulder purring his little soft song into my ear. He will sit beside me on my desk, looking at me with his pretty yellow eyes, as if he and I were the whole of his world. If I walk in the garden, he is under my feet. If I go up to Amélie's he goes too.

His attachment has its drawbacks. He tries to sit on my book when I am reading, and longs to lie on the keyboard of my machine when I am writing. If I try to read a paper when he is on my lap he immediately crawls under it, and gets between my eyes and the print. I am terribly flattered, but his affection has its inconveniences. Needless to say, Khaki hates him, and never passes him without growling. Luckily Didine is not a bit afraid of him. Up to date they have never fought. Didine has a great admiration for Khaki, and will tag him. The difference in their characters is too funny. For example, if Didine brings a mouse into the garden Khaki never attempts to touch it. He will sit apart, indulgently watching Didine play with his prey, torment it, and finally kill it, and never offer to join in the sport. On the contrary, if Khaki brings in a mouse, Didine wants to join in the fun at once. Result—Khaki gives one fierce growl, abandons his catch and goes out of the garden. Difference, I suppose, between a thoroughbred sport and, well, a common cat.

I could fill a volume with stories about these cats. Don't worry. I shall not.

You ask me if I have a dog. Yes, a big black Caniche named Dick, a good watch-dog, but too fond of playing. I call him an "india-rubber dog," because when he is demanding' a frolic, or asking to have a stone thrown for him—his idea of happiness—he jumps up and down on his four stiff legs exactly like a toy woolly dog on an elastic.

He is a good dog to walk with, and loves to "go." He is very obedient on the road for that reason—knows if he is naughty he can't go next time.

So now you have the household complete. I'll warrant you won't be content. If you are not, there is no satisfying you. When I pour all my political dreams on paper, and shout on to my machine all my disappointments over the attitude of Washington, you take offence. So what can I do? I cannot send you letters full of stirring adventures. I don't have any. I can't write you dramatic things about the war. It is not dramatic here, and that is as strange to me as it seems to be to you.