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Fall is about new beginnings, and in this The Pre-launch Issue of GIlDeD was an un- issue you will find a bevy of beginning stories, qualified success, and I hope the official first issue ranging from the debut of Lady Cynthia Asquith will exceed its achievement. (née Charteris), to the surprising origins of pet food, and many things in between. And so, with Since going to press a great many things have changed, mostly pertaining to my goals for out further ado, I welcome you to the FALL 2010 Edwardian Promenade. The site began in August issue of GILDED. of 2007 as a repository for all of the information I’d research for three years before that. At that time the Edwardian era was uncharted territory, and to some extent is remains so, but I wanted to carve a niche for myself in the online history blogosphere as well as create a platform for my novels. Needless to say, I’ve had a blast discovering new things on which to blog and I’ve made a number of friends. Unfortunately, I spent more time blogging and conducting research than on writing!
Evangeline Holland September 28, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
As a result I realized I needed to step back and take time for my own writing—and to stop giving away my trade secrets, lol! The desire became more pressing when I entered a Mills & Boon writing contest (I didn’t final, but que sera sera) and received a lot of positive feedback and a few constructive comments that backed up my gut instincts about my submission. When I took the plunge and entered the contest, I grew excited about writing again and about putting my expertise in the Edwardian era to practice. After all, what is the point of forming Edwardian Promenade if I have no books to promote?! Of course I won’t abandon the site or my readers, but the content won’t be as voluminous in the future. And perhaps GIlDeD will become a monthly magazine!
THE CULT OF THE CHAFING DISH
The luxury item which changed cooking
The chafing dish (from the Old French chauffer, “to make warm”) gained a certain cache in the Edwardian era, morphing from a simple brazier in which to gently cook dishes away from fire, into a luxury item made of copper and silver. Its roots were in the 16th century, as early cookbooks recognized the delicacy of such items as eggs, cream, and fish, and it was used to keep food warm before serving. Today, chafing dishes are quite expensive, since they are mostly used in catering, but I have seen some in the $50-100 range. If you manage to track one down (though I think a small skillet on low heat can be substituted), here are a few dainty recipes from popular Edwardian cooks:
By the 1890s, the chafing dish became indispensi- Fannie Merritt Farmer’s Chafing Dish Possibilities ble to hostesses, and it became synonymous with (1898): elegant entertaining at luncheon, tea, and supper. Moreover, with the rise of DEVILED CRABS the “servant problem”—that dreaded issue plaguing Melt two tablespoons upper and middle-class (tbs) of butter, add two women, who were unable tbs of flour, and pour on to keep help—it behooved gradually 1 1/4 cups of housewives to learn to chicken stock. As soon cook, and with the chafing as mixture thickens, dish deemed fashionable by add one cup crab meat, social arbiters, Mrs. Knickerone-fourth cup finely bocker or Mrs. Boston Brahchopped mushrooms, min eagerly rolled up her one-half teaspoon (tsp) sleeves and set to empress salt; one-fourth tsp of her friends with her culinary talents. paprika, two tbs of sherry, the yolks of two eggs, and one tsp of finely chopped parsley. Cook. The chafing dish also found favor with bachelors Serve with saltine crackers. and bachelor girls. The latter of limited time, and the former of limited experience, the chafing dish SAUTED BANANAS made fixing meals economical, quick, and simple. In tandem with this use was the midnight supper, Remove skins from three bananas, cut in halves where a bachelor or bachelor girl played host or lengthwise, and cut again in halves crosswise. Put hostess in their apartment, and entertained their one tbs butter in blazer; when hot add bananas co-ed group of friends with a meal cooked in the and cook until soft, turning once. Drain, sprinkle device. To meet the insatiable demand for chafing with powdered sugar, and a few drops of lemon dishes, dozens of cookbooks published especially juice; orange juice or sherry may be used if prefor the chafing dish were published, and existing ferred. cookbooks were hastily updated to include sections on using the chafing dish. The cookbooks not only inspired new meals with its emphasis on dainty treats, but new eating patterns, the average American adding teas, luncheons, and suppers to their mealtime schedule.
Alice J. James’s The Chafing Dish (1912) SHERRY OMELETTE WITH WHIPPED CREAM Beat four eggs with four dessertspoonfuls of sherry, turn into the blazer in which is a tbs of hot butter. When ready to folk, sprinkle on two pinches of salt and when folded, dredge generously with powdered sugar. Serve with a ladleful of whipped cream on each portion, sweetened to taste. H. L. Sawtelle’s What One Can Do with a ChafingDish (1890) CURRY OF COLD ROAST BEEF Cut some slices of cold roast beef into rather small, square pieces, and dredge them with flour. Chop a small onion fine, and fry it in two tbs of butter in the chafing-dish; add a gill (1/2 pint or 1/2 cup) of stock, and one tbs of curry powder. Put in the pieces of beef, and let all simmer ten or fifteen minutes. BEIGNETS DE POMMES Take some soft, tart apples, peel and remove the pips; cut in round, thin slices; plunge them in a mixture of brandy, lemon juice and sugar, until they have acquired the taste; drain them, dust them with flour. Put in the chafing-dish three tbs of butter; when very hot, fry the slices on both sides, sprinkle powdered sugar and cinnamon, and serve very hot. Louis Muckensturm’s Louis’ Salads & Chafing Dishes (1906) BLUEBERRIES AU VERMOUTH Take a cupful of blueberries, wash and dry them, add a tbs of powdered sugar and a wine-glassful of French Vermouth. Ornament with sliced pineapple.
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A DEBUTANTE
Excerpt from REMEMBER & BE GLAD by Cynthia Asquith Lady Cynthia Asquith (1887-1960) was born Lady Cynthia Charteris, the daughter of the 11th Earl of Wemyss (pronounced Weemz) and Mary Constance Wyndham, a noted member of The Souls. She made her debut at age seventeen in 1904 and married Herbert Asquith, son of H. H. Asquith, in 1910. She made a lasting friendship with D. H. Lawrence and during the Great War, took a position as secretary to J. M. Barrie. The bulk of Barrie’s estate, minus Peter Pan, was left to her, and she continued her literary associations by writing a number of novels and ghost stories, and edited prestigious anthologies. “Remember & Be Glad” (1952), was the sequel to her first book of memoirs, “Haply I Remember” (1950). ON COMING OUT: The transformation of a child into a young woman was dramatically sudden: yesterday her golden hair was hanging down her back; today it was “up”, coiled into what she called a Grecian knot, and her brothers called a tea-pot handle. Simultaneously the hem of her skirt fell to the ground. knees cracked snapping like dry twigs when I bent them?) Then there were endless wearisome hours of trying-on. Shifting my weight from one foot to another, I stood twitching with boredom while portentously solemn women, with their mouths full of pins, and tape-measures slung round their necks, knelt at my feet, conferring with one another and from time to time appealing to the not wholly atI still remember the thrill of hearing the whisper tentive lady of the house. of my first long dress pursuing my heels down the stairs, and the queerness of suddenly no longer The drive from Cadogan Square to Buckingham being able to see my own feet. I remember too, Palace seemed eternity. One of an endless line of the pang of saying goodbye to that badge of ir- conveyances, our hired coupe crawled through the responsibility, my pigtail; the long earnest family unbroken avenue of sightseers, many of whom acconfabulations for mothers then had ample leisure tually pressed their noses against the glass just as to discuss really important matters as to how my though we were a shop-window display, and made long heavy refractory hair should be dressed, and personal remarks rich in cockney wit. At length we the ensuing anxiety as to whether it would stay up, arrived at the Palace. Then came the long suspense which despite some fifty hairpins it very seldom of waiting wedged into two gold chairs for our did. I was saddened was this morbid--as well as own turn to be ushered into the Royal Presence. excited--by these outward signs of promotion, for Ghoulish dowagers froze my young blood by rethough in some steeple of my soul the bells rang citing disasters that had befallen debutantes. They merrily enough for the future, yet through their did not even spare us the story of the wretched chime I distinctly heard a knell for the past. girl who from extremity of nerves had been sick in her SHOE (what commendable presence ofmind The metamorphosis called Coming Out was sup- to take it off!) on the very footsteps of the throne. posed to be effected when you were presented at Court, where the wand was officially waved over At last I find myself one of a long single file slowly your head. The picturesque rites of this social bap- moving forward flourish of music; blaze of unitism were preceded by weeks of trepidation weeks forms; backward-stepping, white-wanded courtbusied with long lessons in deportment from Mr. iers; dazzle of light. . . . Suddenly I seem to be all by D’Egville, the Mr. Turveydrop of the day, and panic- myself in that fierce light. A small floodlit, isolated stricken rehearsals of my curtsey. (Why couldn’t I figure, I am advancing towards Their Majesties. Of curtsey as I had so often seen it done on the stage? course I forget everything Mr. Turveydrop has Would the King hear how loudly my wretched taught me. Heaven knows what my feet do,
but the voluminous folds of my dress conceal their fumblings. At least I don’t topple over, and however loudly my knees may crack, the strains of the orchestra prevail. ... I have passed into, through, and out of the Royal Presence. . . . King Edward and Queen Alexandra have both smiled most graciously, giving me even if only for one split second after all those long, long hours of pebble-on-thebeach deflation the lovely illusion that the whole magnificent ceremony has been for ME ! . . .
conscious of being the subject of speculation “Is she making any headway?” I seemed to overhear. The converse of an eligible was called a “detrimental”. Nearly all my friends were “detrimentals”.
Sometimes the row of chaperons round the wall at dances got badly on my nerves. Provided I was enjoying myself, I was oblivious of their presence, but in disenchanted moments I would become heavily oppressed by these onlookers with their fender tiaras, diamond dog-collars, bristling aigrettes, long So that’s over. “Cincie”, officially now quite a new kid gloves, and uplifted, appraising lorgnettes. person called Miss Charteris, has been launched like a ship. Then there were some distressingly worried-looking women with tight lips—evidently frowns, not : smiles had furrowed their faces—who seemed to I hated, too, the idea of being expected to treat watch their own daughters with the anxious eyes all young men impartially. Girls had to try to make of the trainers of performing animals, and other themselves--I never could--equally agreeable to people’s daughters with a vague hostility. In ill-atany potential dancing partner. The humiliating fact ease moments I used to feel that these Mammas, was that in a ballroom any man was better than no so unlike my own Mamma, were eyeing “that Charman. If she had no partner for a dance a girl felt teris girl” with disapproval. “What a pity,” I would for all the world like Andromeda chained to a rock; hear or fancy I heard one remark to another; and so much so that any man, no matter how little per- I would wonder whether the pity was that my hair sonally prepossessing, or how brainless, who res- was so unfashionably parted in the middle, that I cued her from this predicament, was as welcome had put my foot through my dress, or that I was as Perseus. So great, indeed, was the stigma at- yet again dancing with the same young man with tached to being a wallflower that rather than be whom I had already danced thrice—a young man seen standing out, wretched girls would brave the “with no money and no prospects”. sneers of its attendants by repeatedly returning to the cloakroom for repairs to their obviously intact However tired you might feel after dancing five dresses, or to re-powder their already overnights running until four in the morning, you had whitened noses. to keep going and be bright and animated. To look as if you weren’t enjoying yourself was considered I remember a very narrow escape of my own from very rude to your hostess. this public humiliation. One evening I happened to find myself at a ball where I knew no one. The ON CONVENTIONS AND RULES: Merry Widow valse was already in its full I think we derived no little enjoyment from these enticing swing, and I could scarcely keep my feet very rules, which supplied the excitements of an still, but as yet no one had asked me to dance. I was obstacle race. The docile could enjoy being obedibeginning to despair, when a complete stranger ent; while those who liked occasionally to disobey presented himself with the mumbled recommen- could do so without needing to break either a law dation, “I am a member of the Bath Club. Will you or a commandment. Have not the wholly emandance with me?” On the strength ofthis startling cipated been deprived of the fan of harmless forcredential I did dance with him most gratefully. bidden fruit? The chief convention was the indispensability of a chaperon in any public place. To be ON THE TYPICAL LIFE OF A DEBUTANTE: seen at a theatre, a picture gallery, a restaurant or An occasional embarrassment was being sent in to in a hansom cab alone with a young man was tandinner with what was odiously called a “Parti” an tamount to announcing your engagement to him, eligible young man. This made me painfully or openly advertising that you had decided to
throw your cap over the windmill.
The qualifications that constituted a chaperon always seemed to me comically arbitrary. No spinster, however mature and sober, counted as one, whereas any flighty chit of eighteen years of age automatically acquired this status directly a gold ring encircled her fourth finger. Some debutantes were not even allowed to have a young man to tea unchaperoned. My friends and I were, but quite The most Marathon-like dancing I ever enjoyed a few mothers considered the practice definitely was in Commemoration Week at Oxford, where for what was then called “fast”. four nights in succession we danced in vast tents on floors swung on chains. One night we kept it up But any Edwardian girl who coveted a reputation till six in the morning, and then went on the river for being mildly fast, or, as it was more flattering- until it was time to attend a breakfast-party given ly put, “dashing”, could easily indulge this simple by some kindly don. You blotted your escutcheon taste without laying any heavy burden on her con- if you ever stopped dancing for a single bar. science. Just to be seen smoking a cigarette or out alone with a young man was quite enough. Clothes suffered catastrophic damage at dances. I would recognise some wisp of material swathed ON A DANCES: round a pair of feet at the other side of the room Often, I would feel deadly tired at about midnight, as a fragment torn off my own frock, and with a but later on a sort of second wind usually enabled gasp of terror picture the expression on my maid’s me to go on and onto any hour ; and mind you, in face next morning. those days dancing was real exercise. Faces crimsoned. Some dancers were classified as “Two collar” or “Three collar men”. Balls usually began very sedately, but as the room thinned, the dancing became wildly Corybantic. Elaborate variations were improvised. Disengaging ourselves from our partners in the Merry Widow valse fashion, we would sway round the room in fantastic passeuls; now rippling our arms like so we flattered ourselves Maud Allan; now flinging ourselves about like Apaches, or dancing the Cake-Walk. Threading their separate ways through the maze of dancers, disunited partners would put the utmost possible distance between one another; then converging from the opposite ends ofthe ballroom, join up together again to spin furiously round and round until at long last the two halves of the teetotum reeled apart. Kitchen lancers were riotously rowdy in fact positively dangerous. Our favourite figure Ladies to the Centre converted us into a living Giant’s Stride. The girls were all lifted right off their feet and swung by their four partners who with arms interlocked revolved in a ring.
Higher and higher we were swirled, until our legs hurtled through the air on a level with our partners’ shoulders. I once saw the tiara knocked clean off an onlooker’s head by the whirring heels of a swung girl; another time my own hefty feet caught an unfortunate man in the diaphragm, so completely winding him that he was obliged to lie on the floor for several minutes.
Excerpt from: “The End of Books” by Octave Uzanne
Uzanne, born Octave Uzanne Louis (1851-1931), was a man of letters, journalist, and ardent bibliophile of the Belle Epoque. Among his contributions to literature—novels, fantasy books, and literature reviews—he is most known for his works on women’s fashion. In the following article, published in an 1894 issue of Scribner’s Magazine Illustrated, Uzanne laments the decline in appreciation for books and reading through a variety of technological devices. With the rise in e-books and the so-called decline in reading, the article is incredibly relevant for today! Read the original here. “I take my stand, therefore, upon this incontestable fact, that the man of leisure becomes daily more reluctant to undergo fatigue, that he eagerly seeks for what he calls the comfortable, that is to say for every means of sparing himself the play and the waste of the organs. You will surely agree with me that reading, as we practise it today, soon brings on great weariness; for not only does it require of the brain a sustained attention which consumes a large proportion of the cerebral phosphates, but it also forces our bodies into various fatiguing attitudes. If we are reading one of our great newspapers it constrains us to acquire a certain dexterity in the art of turning and folding the sheets; if we hold the paper wide open it is not long before the muscles of tension are overtaxed, and finally, if we address ourselves to the book, the necessity of cutting the leaves and turning them one after another, ends by producing an enervated condition very distressing in the long run. The art of being moved by the wit, the gayety, and the thought of others must soon demand greater facilities. I believe, then, in the success of everything which will favor and encourage the indolence and selfishness of men; the elevator has done away with the toilsome climbing of stairs; phonography will probably be the destruction of printing. Our eyes are made to see and reflect the beauties of nature, and not to wear themselves out in the reading of texts; they have been too long abused, and I like to fancy that some one will soon discover the need there is that they should be relieved by laying a greater burden upon our ears. This will be to establish an equitable compensation in our general physical economy... books will have lived,’ as for the novel, or the storyograph, the author will become his own publisher. To avoid imitations and counterfeits he will be obliged, first of all, to go to the Patent–Office, there to deposit his voice, and register its lowest and highest notes, giving all the counter-hearings necessary for the recognition of any imitation of his deposit. The Government will realize great profits by these patents.”
“At every open place in the city little buildings will be erected, with hearing tubes corresponding to certain works hung all around for the benefit of the studious passer-by. They will be easily worked by the mere pressure of a button. On the other side, a sort of automatic book-dealer, set in motion by a nickel in the slot, will for this trifling sum give the works of Dickens, Dumas pére, or Longfellow, on long rolls all prepared for home consumption. I go even farther: the author who desires personally to bring his work to the public knowledge after the fashion of the trouvéres of the Middle Ages, carrying them about from house to house, may draw a modest but always remunerative profit by renting to all the inmates of the same apartment-house a sort of portable organ, which may be slung over the shoulder, composed of an infinite number of small tubes connected with his auditory shop, by means of which his works may be wafted through the open windows to the ears of such lodgers as may desire amusement in a moment of leisure, or cheer in an hour of solitude.”
“The kinetograph will be the illustrator of daily life ; not only shall we see it operating in its case, but by a system of lenses and reflectors all the figures in action which it will present in photochromo may be projected upon large white screens in our own homes. Scenes described in works of fiction and romances of adventure will be imitated by appropriately dressed figurants and immediately recorded. We shall also have, by way of supplement to the daily phonographic journal, a series of illustrations of the day, slices of active life, so to speak, fresh cut from the actual. We shall see the new pieces and the actors at the theatre, as easily as we may already hear them, in our own homes; we shall have the portrait, and, better still, the very play of countenance, of famous men, criminals, beautiful women. It will not be art, it is true, but at least it will be life, natural under all its make-np, clear, precise, and sonietimes even cruel.”
The Feline Cuisine
The Care and Feeding of Cats in the Edwardian Era
If you are a cat lover like me, one of the greatest pleasure found in owning a cat is when they cease their caterwauling around the house to be fed! It’s amazing how quiet a rambunctious cat can be once you pour a can of wet food or scoop a handful of dry food into their dishes, but it’s even more amazing that up until the turn of the century, cats and dogs existed on table scraps, prey, and what they could beg from butchers and fishermen. Even more appalling is the lament in one “cat lovers” book of the period, over the custom of “feed[ing] the house-cat in a very irregular manner, and, through negligence, often not at all: hence the reason why one sees so many half-starved cats about.” With his successful maneuvering to the forefront of the dog food market, Spratt began manufacturing cat food, with testimonials proclaiming “Of the solid foods sold...the least generally said the better...some of it is simply rubbish; the chief efforts of the vendors being the extraction of cash... The only exception is Spratt’s Cat Food.” Spratt began to sell his products in the United States, also targeting sportsmen, kennel clubs, and dog shows, and after his death in 1880, the company set up an American branch first in New York City, and then in Newark, New Jersey, where it continued to file patents for improved business.
Pushing the company further into the public eye as the only With so many cats and dogs destination for healthy, tasty and left to starve, even those nutritious pet food, the company owned by the wealthy and went public and became known well-to-do, it is no wonder as Spratt’s Patent, Limited, and that American electrician and Spratt’s Patent (America) Limentrepreneur, James Spratt, ited. Marketing Spratt’s was saw an opportunity when he aggressive, with product recogvisited England in the 1860s. Though a few writers nition developed through a logo, billboards and stressed the need for separate food for domestic ads in magazines and cigarette cards, and the cats and dogs prior to this period, and some Eng- novel concept of pets requiring different food for lish companies did sell dog biscuits, Spratt was each of their life’s stages. By the 1890s, Spratt’s the first to take a patent on dog food. was able to boast of a “Special Appointment” to Queen Victoria, as well as its aristocratic clientele. He entered the market in the 1870s with his patented dog biscuit, “Patented Meat Fibrine Dog In England, Spratt’s expanded its offerings to Cake,” consisting of blended wheat meals, vegbecome a one-stop shop for anything pet owners etables, beetroot and buffalo meat, was manuneeded, from supplies and appliances, to boardfactured on the premises of London-based firm, ing, quarantine, and shipping servives, show and Walker, Harrison and Garthwaite, who claimed exhibition servives, and informational brochures to have baked the first dog cake. Spratt actively and magazines. courted the business of English sporting gentlemen, who no doubt realized the need to care and feed their dogs as well as they did their horses.
The company further made its mark at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, where its display was tiled entirely in dog biscuits. By the turn of the century, Spratt’s remained a by-word for top-notch cat and dog food, but competition was nipping at its heels. The manufacture of pet foods had become so widespread--which naturally lowered prices-owners were advised to feed their pets three to four times a week!! The biggest competition Spratt’s faced was the emergence of F. H. Bennett’s “milk bone biscuit.” Though Bennett’s other pet food didn’t catch on, his fortune was made, and soon, other manufacturers stepped up, such as P. M. Chappel with his canned dog food “KenL-Ration,” in the 1920s, and Clarence Gaines with his dry formula. Spratt’s and its competitors held on until the post-WWII period, when consumers began to educate themselves on proper nutrition and health for their beloved pets. Most pre-war companies were swallowed by national conglomerates, or faded away into obscurity, but had it not been for such companies as Spratt’s, cats and dogs probably would have turned on humans a long time ago! Read more about pet food in the following books: Pet fooD natIon: the smart, easy, anD healthy way to feeD your Pet now by By Joan Weiskopf feeD your Pet rIGht: the authorItatIve GuIDe to feeDInG your DoG anD cat by Marion Nestle & Malden Nesheim
The Orient Express:
The Birth of a Legend
On a certain morning in 1883, only the keenest of eyes would have found interest the small paragraph in the Times, detailing the inaugural voyage of the new, quick railway service linking Paris and Constantinople. To most people living in the 1880s, the debut of a new railway line incited the barest of curiosity; however, this was no ordinary train, this was the Orient Express. This train, in which resided all the glamour and mystery of the first half of the 20th century, emerged from humbler origins as the brainchild of a young Belgian banker, Georges Nagelmackers. NAGELMACKERS’ DREAM Nagelmackers was born in 1845 to a well-to-do family with close ties to the Belgian royal family. As he came of age, he dreaded the stuffy, monotonous life of a banker, and began to dream of trains. Not just any sort of train, but a luxurious, elegant train that would combine the highest levels of comfort with travel to exotic destinations. Over the course of the 19th century, trains rapidly changed the way people traveled. From royalty to farmhand, the railway enabled travel for all, in a moderately comfortable and expedient manner. He wished to take train travel another step: a transcontinental railway. But would Europe, politically complex and mutually suspicious, relax their guard to welcome his proposed railway line? A trip to America, primarily to mend his broken heart after a failed love affair, sparked Nagelmackers’ imagination. At the time of his trip, the Civil War had ended, and prosperity was in the air, and with it, the newly-built transcontinental railway linking America “from sea to shining sea.” He traveled everywhere, dazzled by the cooperation of rival companies and fascinated by the new experience of big passenger cars built as saloons. In cars decked out with mirrors, carved woodwork and ingenious methods of turning upholstered seats into sleeping bunks for night travel, the Americans, unlike their European counterparts, were building specially designed vehicles for comfort and luxury. He spent just over a year in America before returning to Liege, full of plans. His father was just as enthused and amazed by Nagelmackers’ impressions, and together, they proposed the organization of a railway company to King Leopold II. Combining the methods of American ingenuity and European elegance, Nagelmackers et Cie was formed. With the King’s name heading the list of subscribers, and a letter of introduction from Leopold, it was guaranteed that relatives of the King—and every social climber in Belgium—would eagerly contribute to either the subscription or to the purchase of stock in the company. Before his plans reached fruition, Nagelmackers experienced another series of setbacks, this time that of a war, and a disreputable and wily American business partner by the name of Colonel Mann. But he soon recovered, and the company was reborn as La Compagnie Internationale des Wagon-Lits. He now negotiated running rights for Wagon-Lits over various lines, linking Paris to other capitals, such as Rome and Berlin, and Calais, for the British trade. He introduced his first dining-car on a trial run from Marseilles to Nice. Despite its tiny kitchen and saloons set aside for both sexes, it was a huge success, and Nagelmackers felt ready to achieve his dream.
THE ORIENT EXPRESS The fashionably-dressed, obviously wealthy crowd milling about Paris’ Gare de l’Est the evening of October 4, 1883 were waiting to be awed. Heavily advertised by Wagon-Lits months in advance, newspapers christened it a “land liner” and a “grand hotel on wheels”--one headline colorfully proclaiming it “The Magic Carpet to the Orient.” Grandiose names for train it seems, but this was the sort of publicity Nagelmackers’ deserved, as a reward for the painstaking journey to this inaugural trip. Previous years found him personally following the tortuous routes around Europe to find the best possible way to link Paris and Constantinople, and negotiating rights for a train made entirely of Wagon-Lits to cover the journey, via Strasbourg, Vienna, and Bucharest, forming the Orient Express. Now, the magnificent train was making its debut. Amongst the selected dignitaries invited aboard the train’s first trip were novelist and journalist Edmond About, and Henri Opper de Blowitz, Paris Correspondent for the Times. Both have left delightful accounts of their trip aboard the train, and that night, as they mingled with other important guests, they were ready to be impressed. As the Orient Express chugged into the station, resplendent in “gleaming, royal-blue livery picked out with gold,” its glorious interiors were lit by gas lamps from within, allowing those standing on the darkened quay a peek inside the magnificent vehicle in which they were to travel. The passengers entered the train and met further splendors. Each car accommodated twenty passengers, and the compartments, paneled in teak and mahogany with inlaid marquetry, featured plush, leather-embossed seats which by night, were converted to beds and covered with silk sheets, the finest wool blankets and counterpanes filled with the lightest of eiderdown. About accounted his delight in the train, testing the speaking tube providing communication with the conducteur, and the toilet cabinet, which featured “Italian marble fixtures and decorated porcelain basins.” During his explorations he noticed a servant stationed outside the door. His duty?
To clean the cabinet after each use in preparation for its next occupant. What most impressed passengers was the dining car. Gas chandeliers cast light on a scene of opulence: at one end ,for ladies, a double compartment fitted with delicate Louis XV furniture and wall tapestries imitating Watteau, and at the other, an ornately furnished gentleman’s smoking room, filled with bookcases laden with reading matter from England, France, Germany and Austria. Between them was the dining salon. Scarcely a surface was free of carved scrolls, cornices and scallops, curlicues and swags of flowers in marquetry and gilt. Tables laid with snowy damask cloth, with napkins folded to form butterfly patterns, were completed by settings made up of the finest Baccarat crystal, solid silver cutlery and plates of the finest porcelain, gold-rimmed and adorned with the crest of the Compagnie. Waiters attired in powdered wigs, tailcoats, breeches and stockings circulated through the car. The conducteurs and their attendants were scarcely less elegantly-appointed in peak cap, goldbraided uniform and highly-polished boots in the Compagnie’s signature royal blue. As the train made its way across France towards Bavaria, male passengers quickly discovered a most important amenity as they shaved for supper. Wagon-Lits were equipped with brand-new bogies, enabling European men to shave without fear of cutting their throats for the first time. In the tiny, cramped quarters of the kitchen placed at the end of dining-car, the chef de cuisine and his staff aboard the train worked miracles. Not only were they expected to provide the rich, heavy dishes favored by passengers, but cultural norms, such as kosher or halal meals, were to be accommodated--even at the last minute, as one chef discovered when a Maharajah traveling with his wives desired spiced lamb during a storm. Passenger quirks were to be catered to, as in the case of an Austrian archduchess who would feed her three poodles only on slices of milk-fed calf, or a British financier who only ordered a light soufflé with dry biscuit and a morsel of cheese.
SPIES’ TRAIN The Orient Express, running through the Continent’s most sensitive areas, became a perfect mode of travel for the secret agents of many nations, and the channel used for the collecting and passing of intelligence. The Queen’s Messengers of England, and the couriers diplomatiques of France forged contracts with Wagon-Lits for the provision of reserved compartments once a week on the train, cost paid whether accommodation was used or not. Nearly always retired officers up to the rank of colonel, and distinguished war veterans, QM’s could be recognized by sight: each wore a badge with the emblem of a silver greyhound, the elaborately sealed bag handcuffed to their wrist for added security. In contrast, French couriers traveled inconspicuously, impeccably dressed and sometimes accompanied by a beautiful woman, allowing them to easily pose as a wealthy, idle passenger. Other, more sinister passengers who kept alive the dangerous, mysterious aura that surrounded the train were Basil Zaharoff, and Calouste Gulbekian. The former, an Anatolian arms dealer, used the Orient Express to complete his illicit transactions; the latter, an Armenian oil tycoon, also known as “Mr. Five Percent,” due to the practice of taking only that amount from every oil concession he brokered. , used the train to combine pleasure trips and intelligence gathering. Rumor had it, a woman was provided for his use
solely for the duration of the journey, upon when it ended, she was well-paid and never seen again. A natural result of the tensions and intrigues not only aboard the train, but in embassies and royal courts of Europe, was the First World War. Wagon-Lits found its service curtailed and then interrupted for the duration of the war. A consolation to the seizure of the remaining cars behind the Western front by Germany—who promptly consolidated them into a line named “Mitropa” and connecting Berlin with Constantinople—was the use of car No 2419 as the site of the Armistice Convention in 1918, where the Allies accepted German surrender. However, twenty-two years later, that same car was hauled out to Compiegne by Hitler, where he accepted French surrender. The car was shipped to Berlin and then detonated in 1944 when the Axis powers began losing the war. HEY-DAY OF THE ORIENT EXPRESS The last thing on anyone’s mind at the end of the modern world’s first catastrophic was the pleasurable, frivolous train service linking Paris with the decadent Orient. Foremost in thought was the drastic transformation of Europe’s map: mighty empires had fallen, and out of them, unstable republics and socialist states carved. Miles of tracks lay mangled and Wagon-Lits’ missing trains curtailed a new beginning. But politicians, eager for a return to a past peace included an article in the Treaty of Versailles, addressing the need for an international train service.
To avoid Germany, the Orient Express transformed to the Simplon-Orient Express by use of the tunnel built in Italy prior to the war and completed in 1932. This new route connected Paris to the newly-renamed Istanbul, via Milan, Venice and Yugoslavia. Despite its inauspicious beginnings, the interwar period was to create and cement upon popular culture, the glamour and mystery of the Orient Express. Most of that myth was promoted by Agatha Christie’s mystery, Murder on the Orient Express. In it, Christie’s dapper detective, Hercule Poirot, solved a mystery aboard the train while trapped in a snowdrift. But this calamity did befall the Orient Express! On a trip occurring late January 1929, the train was lost in the snow just over the Turkish border. Weather conditions in Europe that winter had been appalling and a blizzard set in, freezing major rivers, ports and canals, and swift winds swept from Russia to Austria. All motion had frozen, except the Orient Express. Wagon-Lits’ concern for their reputation forced the train to press on despite worsening weather and after reaching Turkey, the train shuddered to a halt. It remained that way for six days, until Turkish troops, laden with provisions and a motorized sledge came to the rescue. Fictionalized portrayals of the train abounded, including Graham Greene’s Stamboul Train and Eric Ambler’s The Mask of Dimitrios, while Hitchcock immortalized the train in his classic thriller, The Lady Vanishes. Even James Bond made an appearance aboard, Fleming using the train as the scene of the secret agent’s near-fatal
encounter with SMERSH. Through these mediums, the Orient Express was now immersed in popular culture. Little did anyone know a train of its kind would never be seen again. REQUIEM FOR A TRAIN The introduction of cheap, non-stop flights from Europe’s major capitals, and the arrival of the Boeing 707, confirmed the dawn of a new age in travel. No longer was the journey considered a part of vacation; it simply was the quickest route between two points. The Orient Express limped on in the post-war years, shuffling routes and shortening them in effort to compete with airlines. Though travel by train was less expedient, it was most convenient for avoiding long lines and waiting periods. But the sort of passenger who could afford—and desire—this mode of travel diminished quickly over the next decades until Wagon-Lits could afford the line no more. When a final journey was announced and the line broken up, with select cars sold at auction, those who remembered the train were only left with hazy memories and the knowledge that never again will there exist such a train to capture our imaginations.
The Golden Age of Travel and the origins of an international Jet Set.
The wealthy and well-born have always had their Grand Tours and foreign processions, but the Age of Steam and Electricity, if not the explosion of colossal wealth born from these two elements, made traveling for leisure a class-wide pasttime. Thomas Cook opened travel to middle-class Britons, and Baedeker’s guide-books brought sophistication. However, it was the ties between the major cities of the United States and the courts of Europe (I hypothesize that the seige laid by the American heiress on European nobles created these links), and between the British Empire, which created a Society on a scale never seen before. By the end of the Edwardian era in 1914, it was common for Americans, Britons, and Europeans to live in a continuous state of Social Seasons! And all of this was facilitated by the ocean steamship. 1819 and arrived in Savannah, Georgia April 8th. The ship then left the Georgia port May 20th-with no passengers, as people probably feared the journey--for Liverpool, which it reached June 30th, a sailing time of 29 days and 11 hours. Needless to say, this successful trip sparked the beginning of the transatlantic trip, as well as travel to England’s far-flung colonies by steam.
A TRULY TRANSATLANTIC SOCIETY
The 1890s saw the construction of “Ocean Greyhounds,” which pulled the focus towards luxury and comfort on the high seas, as well as speed. Now steamships were equipped with staterooms, lounge areas, amenities such as pools and libraries and gyms,and costly decor. For the top ocean liner companies, such as Cunard, White Star, Hamburg-Amerika, and so on, competed for transatlantic travel (as well as The roots of the steerage passengers steamship reaches headed from Europe back to the 16th for America) and the century, when Blue Ribbon--a prize there arose a awarded to the fastgrowing need for est steamship across a power other than the “fickle wind” or “laboring the Atlantic. By the 1910s, the average duration of oar.” However, this demand did not reach fruition a crossing was 6-9 days. until the early 19th century, when shipping magnates grabbed any steam-powered invention in With so much passenger traffic from New York to search of one which would push them and their Liverpool, Southampton to Cape Town, Le Havre ships ahead of the competition. Success came to Genoa, Marsailles to Bombay, Singapore to Sydabout in the 1820s, when the first steamers plied ney, Tokyo to San Francisco, and all the way back their trade between Dublin and Holyhead, and Do- again, order was definitely needed, and a number ver and Calais. of guide books written specifically for ocean travel flooded the book market. Cook’s guides were The first vessel to cross the Atlantic was the Savan- old standbyes, as were Bradshaw’s Routes, but a nah, a ship which crossed old and new technolo- number of inviduals produced charming and thorgies, being fitted with a steam-engine and paddle- oughly-written books concerning traveling aboard wheels, but also sails. It left New York on March 29,
a steamship , and what to do upon reaching one’s rooms. Inside there might possibly be telegrams destination. waiting, or flowers and fruit baskets sent from friends--though to combat sea-sickness, passenThe best season for traveling across the Atlantic gers were advised to tell their friends not to send towards Europe was between April and November, food aboard. The trunks marked “Not Wanted” which were, naturally, the months during which were sent to the hold, and the unmarked lugthe social seasons were at their height. Though gage, save tags with the stateroom number, neither passports nor visas were necessary dur- was promptly unpacked and put away by the ing this era, a passport was required for travel in steward(ess). Russia (and one was liable to be turned away if Jewish), and it was customary for lodgers in Prus- Clothing for steamship travel was supposed to sia to submit their identification papers and their be simple and sturdy, to keep one warm and to object for residing in Berlin, however temporary. cause as little fuss as possible in case of accident. Otherwise, travelers had to worry only about their A list of essential attire for a woman included one luggage, their through-tickets, and customs when tailor made suit, one pair of thick silk or woollen arriving in Europe. tights, four sets of combination undergarments, shirtwaists, a sweater, a woollen wrapper for goThe top steampship lines, all of which were fully ing to the bath, a dressy bodice for dinner, a pair equipped with luxurious first and second class ac- of shoes with rubber soles or heels, and three comodations. elegant restaurants and dining ar- pairs of pajamas. A man required a black coat eas, and a number of amenities such as swimming for dinner, with the necessary shirts for evening pools and gymnasiums, were Cunard, White Star, attire, an old suit, woollen underclothing, a genHamburg-America, North German Lloyd, and the erous supply of handkerchiefs and socks, several Holland-America line. Lesser, but equally comfort- pairs of pajamas, a bathrobe and slippers, and the able lines were American, Leyland, and Red Star. requisite ties and collars. For first class travelers sailing from New York, suites and cabins on the top steamship lines could Life at sea could vary in enjoyment, depending on range from $75-300 (about $1800-7100 in 2010), one’s temperament, experience at sea, and conwhile the same accomodations on the second tier genial passengers, though amusements could be of steamships could run between $40-125 (~$950- limited. Most steamers carried an excellent library, 3000 in 2010). Lower fares would of course be from which books could be obtained by applying found during the off-seasons: westbound between to the steward in charge. Many boasted of ample November 1st and April 30th; eastbound between deck room, where all sorts of athletic games were October 1st and March 31st. devised, and shuffleboard and the ring-toss were popular amusements. Card playing was another Once the steampship was chosen, and the berths pasttime, with bridge-whist being favored--and paid for, passengers were advised to visit their ship passengers were advised to look out for cardthe day before sailing, unless one was familiar with sharps plying their trade. The ship’s concert was the line. This made travel much easier, as one could always a feature of on the last day of a transatlaninspect the rooms, and befriend one’s steward or tic voyage, during which money was collected for stewardess before the crush of fellow passengers different institutions, both American and foreign, in order to secure a nice bath time and have your erected for the benefit of sailors. On German steamer-chair (cost: $1) placed in a choice area on ships the concert was replaced by the captain’s the deck. dinner, during which the first-class dining saloon was lavishly decorated and the menu top-notch. Sailing day was next, and the docks were full of well-wishers, newspaper reporters, steamship em- The bane of shipboard life was sea-sickness. ployees, and passengers. It could be a chaotic time, There being no cure of the ailment (and there still but those who took the time--and money--to ease is not), passengers took precautions before the their entry aboard sailed right ahead to their date of departure. A variety of cures were: cotton
in the ears, a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, powdered charcoal after each meal, and sniffing ammonia each morning. Drinking plenty of hot water was another cure, as well as a diet of well-masticated beef for the first three days at sea. Remedies of a more reliable bent were exercise, careful eating, and drinking either Vichy or Arpenta water, or a mild purgative. Mothersill’s Seasick Remedy, a powder in gelatine capsules, was vouchsafed by Bishop Taylor-Smith, Chaplain General of the British forces, Lord Northcliffe, doctors, bankers, scientists, and all manner of influential people, and The Shredded Wheat Company advertised Triscuits as “the perfect Toast, the ‘traveler’s delight,’ a satisfying, sustaining food on land or on sea.” .
be plombé. On leaving the country, the seal was removed by an official and the duty was refunded. This was expensive, but not as expensive as hiring a car overseas, which could be priced as high as $500 per day! For many--particularly newly wealthy Americans barred from the nation’s most exclusive circles-the cost was worth it if one could rub elbows with royalty and aristocratic luminaries and thumb your nose at those who snubbed you back at home. Others found that it strengthened the bond between upper class societies, mirroring the familial ties between the royal families of Britain and Europe.
Ultimately, the lines could blur between nationAfter six to nine days at sea, depending on the alities, forming a social group based on wealth speed of the ship, the end of the journey was and class rather than country of origin, which neigh. Perhaps new friends were made, or relathen diluted the importance of one social circle tionships broken by the forced proximity, perhaps or another. Transatlantic society was now broken one’s destination was anticipated or dreaded, up into sets dependent upon one’s interests and or one spent the entire time in misery, laid up friends. So independent did this make Society, the with seasickness or another unfortunate ailment. ever important London season was in danger of Whatever one’s experience aboard, the hassle of losing its place in the annual social round!! travel was far from over once the ship docked, with customs, luggage, and through tickets to Nevertheless, the meeting of and socializing with take care worry over. Foreign countries had difothers of a like mind and background solidified ferent customs procedures, with the English the significance of the well-born and well-placed. being very lenient (spirits, tobacco, silver plate, Moreover, this constant moving about sparked copywrighted books, and music being the only the rise of photojournalism and society columns, things asked for), to very strict (as in France, Rus- which fed the need of the less fortunate public to sia, Egypt and Constantinople). Train tickets could feast on the adventures, exploits, and activities of be booked in advance, speeding up the process their “social betters” prior to the advent of Holof customs, and if traveling to the Continent, lywood cinema stars (the first of which was Florone was advised to mark the itinerary of the trip ence Lawrence, the Biograph Girl). At what price, quite clearly (though, Thomas Cook was trusted we all know now, but at the time, in the words of because of the company’s efficiency in arranging Mrs. Hwfa Williams, “It Was Such Fun!” extended travel). The popularity of motor tours created a need for automobile accomodations, and arrangements for taking a motorcar abroad (the packing [$3075] and freight included), was between $200-300, all of which could be handled by American Express. England required no duties for automobiles entering their ports, but in France and Germany, the cost was $12. Once the duty was paid in France, a seal would be attached to a conspicuous part of the car; the machine was then said to
Leaves From My Research Library
When I first began to research the Edwardian era, my first interest--other than the clothing and personalities--was the automobile. I didn’t know much about the early days of motoring, much less that we’ve been driving cars for a little over one hundred years, and when I discovered this book, I found it to be one of the best resources available on both the technology of early motoring and the social aspects of the motorcar. And an added bonus is that BEHIND THE WHEEL is co-authored by the 3rd Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, whose father, the 2nd Baron, was an early pioneer of British motoring and had close ties with Henry Royce and Charles Rolls. In this book you will find plenty of photographs, stellar information, and a great number of personal ancedotes, as provided by Lord Montagu. Since the motorcar was essential to the well-to-do Edwardian, BEHIND THE WHEEL is essential to all fans of the period. And my readers are in luck, for there are many copies available at Amazon.com, starting at one cent. CONTENTS enGlIsh-amerIcan Glossary Knobs anD levers: Layout of control for hands and feet GoInG for a DrIve: Starting a car in the early days tenDer lovInG care: Caring for the automobile behInD the wheel: Learning to Drive eccentrIc Dress: What the early motorist wore to keep clean and warm bIts anD PIeces: Equipment of the early motorcar at home anD abroaD: The pleasures of touring by car the roaD unfolDs: History of the development of roads
Somewhere in France: A Short Story by Richard Harding Davis
Davis (1864-1916) was a journalist and novelist, known best for being the first war correspondent to cover the Spanish-American War (1898), the Boer War (1899-1902), and WWI (1914-1918), and as the model for Charles Dana Gibson’s “Gibson Man.” Full of derring-do and dashing adventure, he helped mold the legend surrounding the Rough Riders, and cemented the “American” ideal of masculinity for the Gilded Age.
Marie Gessler, known as Marie Chaumontel, Jeanne d’Avrechy, the Countess d’Aurillac, was German. Her father, who served through the Franco-Prussian War, was a German spy. It was from her mother she learned to speak French sufficiently well to satisfy even an Academician and, among Parisians, to pass as one. Both her parents were dead. Before they departed, knowing they could leave their daughter nothing save their debts, they had had her trained as a nurse. But when they were gone, Marie in the Berlin hospitals played politics, intrigued, indiscriminately misused the appealing, violet eyes. There was a scandal; several scandals. At the age of twenty-five she was dismissed from the Municipal Hospital, and as now—save for the violet eyes—she was without resources, as a compagnon de voyage with a German doctor she travelled to Monte Carlo. There she abandoned the doctor for Henri Ravignac, a captain in the French Aviation Corps, who, when his leave ended, escorted her to Paris. The duties of Captain Ravignac kept him in barracks near the aviation field, but Marie he established in his apartments on the Boulevard Haussmann. One day he brought from the barracks a roll of blueprints, and as he was locking them in a drawer, said: “The Germans would pay through the nose for those!” The remark was indiscreet, but then Marie had told him she was French, and any one would have believed her. The next morning the same spirit of adventure that had exiled her from the Berlin hospitals carried her with the blue-prints to the German embassy. There, greatly shocked, they first wrote down her name and address, and then, indignant at her proposition, ordered her out. But the day following a strange young German who was not at all indignant, but, on the contrary, quite charming, called upon Marie. For the blue-prints he offered her a very large sum, and that same hour with them and Marie departed for Berlin. Marie did not need the money. Nor did the argument that she was serving her country greatly impress her. It was rather that she loved intrigue. And so she became a spy. Henri Ravignac, the man she had robbed of the blue-prints, was tried by court martial. The charge was treason, but Charles Ravignac, his younger brother, promised to prove that the guilty one was the girl, and to that end obtained leave of absence and spent much time and money. At the trial he was able to show the record of Marie in Berlin and Monte Carlo; that she was the daughter of a German secret agent; that on the afternoon the prints disappeared Marie, with an agent of the German embassy, had left Paris for Berlin. In consequence of this the charge of selling military secrets was altered to one of “gross neglect,” and Henri Ravignac was sentenced to two years in the military prison at Tours. But he
was of an ancient and noble family, and when they came to take him from his cell in the Cherche-Midi, he was dead. Charles, his brother, disappeared. It was said he also had killed himself; that he had been appointed a military attaché in South America; that to revenge his brother he had entered the secret service; but whatever became of him no one knew. All that was certain was that, thanks to the act of Marie Gessler, on the rolls of the French army the ancient and noble name of Ravignac no longer appeared. In her chosen profession Marie Gessler found nothing discreditable. Of herself her opinion was not high, and her opinion of men was lower. For her smiles she had watched several sacrifice honor, duty, loyalty; and she held them and their kind in contempt. To lie, to cajole, to rob men of secrets they thought important, and of secrets the importance of which they did not even guess, was to her merely an intricate and exciting game. She played it very well. So well that in the service her advance was rapid. On important missions she was sent to Russia, through the Balkans; even to the United States. There, with credentials as an army nurse, she inspected our military hospitals and unobtrusively asked many innocent questions. When she begged to be allowed to work in her beloved Paris, “they” told her when war came “they” intended to plant her inside that city, and that, until then, the less Paris knew of her the better. But just before the great war broke, to report on which way Italy might jump, she was sent to Rome, and it was not until September she was recalled. The telegram informed her that her Aunt Elizabeth was ill, and that at once she must return to Berlin. This, she learned from the code book wrapped under the cover of her thermos bottle, meant that she was to report to the general commanding the German forces at Soissons. From Italy she passed through Switzerland, and, after leaving Basle, on military trains was rushed north to Luxemburg, and then west to Laon. She was accompanied by her companion, Bertha, an elderly and respectable, even distinguished-looking female. In the secret service her number was 528. Their passes from the war office described them as nurses of the German Red Cross. Only the Intelligence Department knew their real mission. With her also, as her chauffeur, was a young Italian soldier of fortune, Paul Anfossi. He had served in the Belgian Congo, in the French Foreign Legion in Algiers, and spoke all the European languages. In Rome, where as a wireless operator he was serving a commercial company, in selling Marie copies of messages he had memorized, Marie had found him useful, and when war came she obtained for him, from the Wilhelmstrasse, the number 292. From Laon, in one of the automobiles of the General Staff, the three spies were driven first to Soissons, and then along the road to Meaux and Paris, to the village of Neufchelles. They arrived at midnight, and in a château of one of the champagne princes, found the colonel commanding the Intelligence Bureau. He accepted their credentials, destroyed them, and replaced them with a laisser-passer signed by the mayor of Laon. That dignitary, the colonel explained, to citizens of Laon fleeing to Paris and the coast had issued many passes. But as now between Laon and Paris there were three German armies, the refugees had been turned back and their passes confiscated. “From among them,” said the officer, “we have selected one for you. It is issued to the wife of Count d’Aurillac, a captain of reserves, and her aunt, Madame Benet. It asks for those ladies and their chauffeur, Briand, a safe-conduct through the French military lines. If it gets you into Paris you will destroy it and assume another name. The Count d’Aurillac is now with his regiment in that city. If he learned of the presence there of his wife, he would seek her, and that would not be good for you. So, if you reach Paris, you will become a Belgian refugee. You are highborn and rich. Your château has been destroyed. But you have money. You will give liberally to the Red Cross. You will volunteer to nurse in the
hospitals. With your sad story of ill treatment by us, with your high birth, and your knowledge of nursing, which you acquired, of course, only as an amateur, you should not find it difficult to join the Ladies of France, or the American Ambulance. What you learn from the wounded English and French officers and the French doctors you will send us through the usual channels.” “When do I start?” asked the woman. “For a few days,” explained the officer, “you remain in this château. You will keep us informed of what is going forward after we withdraw.” “Withdraw?” It was more of an exclamation than a question. Marie was too well trained to ask questions. “We are taking up a new position,” said the officer, “on the Aisne.” The woman, incredulous, stared. “And we do not enter Paris?” “You do,” returned the officer. “That is all that concerns you. We will join you later—in the spring. Meanwhile, for the winter we intrench ourselves along the Aisne. In a chimney of this château we have set up a wireless outfit. We are leaving it intact. The chauffeur Briand—who, you must explain to the French, you brought with you from Laon, and who has been long in your service—will transmit whatever you discover. We wish especially to know of any movement toward our left. If they attack in front from Soissons, we are prepared; but of any attempt to cross the Oise and take us in flank, you must warn us.” The officer rose and hung upon himself his field-glasses, map-cases, and side-arms. “We leave you now,” he said. “When the French arrive you will tell them your reason for halting at this château was that the owner, Monsieur Iverney, and his family are friends of your husband. You found us here, and we detained you. And so long as you can use the wireless, make excuses to remain. If they offer to send you on to Paris, tell them your aunt is too ill to travel.” “But they will find the wireless,” said the woman. “They are sure to use the towers for observation, and they will find it.” “In that case,” said the officer, “you will suggest to them that we fled in such haste we had no time to dismantle it. Of course, you had no knowledge that it existed, or, as a loyal French woman, you would have at once told them.” To emphasize his next words the officer pointed at her: “Under no circumstances,” he continued, “must you be suspected. If they should take Briand in the act, should they have even the least doubt concerning him, you must repudiate him entirely. If necessary, to keep your own skirts clear, it would be your duty yourself to denounce him as a spy.” “Your first orders,” said the woman, “were to tell them Briand had been long in my service; that I brought him from my home in Laon.” “He might be in your service for years,” returned the colonel, “and you not know he was a German agent.”
“If to save myself I inform upon him,” said Marie, “of course you know you will lose him.” The officer shrugged his shoulders. “A wireless operator,” he retorted, “we can replace. But for you, and for the service you are to render in Paris, we have no substitute. You must not be found out. You are invaluable.” The spy inclined her head. “I thank you,” she said. The officer sputtered indignantly. “It is not a compliment,” he exclaimed; “it is an order. You must not be found out!” Withdrawn some two hundred yards from the Paris road, the château stood upon a wooded hill. Except directly in front, trees of great height surrounded it. The tips of their branches brushed the windows; interlacing, they continued until they overhung the wall of the estate. Where it ran with the road the wall gave way to a lofty gate and iron fence, through which those passing could see a stretch of noble turf, as wide as a polo-field, borders of flowers disappearing under the shadows of the trees; and the château itself, with its terrace, its many windows, its high-pitched, sloping roof, broken by towers and turrets. Through the remainder of the night there came from the road to those in the château the roar and rumbling of the army in retreat. It moved without panic, disorder, or haste, but unceasingly. Not for an instant was there a breathing-spell. And when the sun rose, the three spies—the two women and the chauffeur—who in the great château were now alone, could see as well as hear the gray column of steel rolling past below them. The spies knew that the gray column had reached Claye, had stood within fifteen miles of Paris, and then upon Paris had turned its back. They knew also that the reverberations from the direction of Meaux, that each moment grew more loud and savage, were the French “seventy-fives” whipping the gray column forward. Of what they felt the Germans did not speak. In silence they looked at each other, and in the eyes of Marie was bitterness and resolve. Toward noon Marie met Anfossi in the great drawing-room that stretched the length of the terrace and from the windows of which, through the park gates, they could see the Paris road. “This, that is passing now,” said Marie, “is the last of our rear-guard. Go to your tower,” she ordered, “and send word that except for stragglers and the wounded our column has just passed through Neufchelles, and that any moment we expect the French.” She raised her hand impressively. “From now,” she warned, “we speak French, we think French, we are French!” Anfossi, or Briand, as now he called himself, addressed her in that language. His tone was bitter. “Pardon my lese-majesty,” he said, “but this chief of your Intelligence Department is a dummer Mensch. He is throwing away a valuable life.” Marie exclaimed in dismay. She placed her hand upon his arm, and the violet eyes filled with concern. “Not yours!” she protested. “Absolutely!” returned the Italian. “I can send nothing by this knapsack wireless that they will not learn from others; from airmen, Uhlans, the peasants in the fields. And certainly I will be caught. Dead I am
am dead, but alive and in Paris the opportunities are unending. From the French Legion Etranger I have my honorable discharge. I am an expert wireless operator and in their Signal Corps I can easily find a place. Imagine me, then, on the Eiffel Tower. From the air I snatch news from all of France, from the Channel, the North Sea. You and I could work together, as in Rome. But here, between the lines, with a pass from a village sous préfet, it is ridiculous. I am not afraid to die. But to die because some one else is stupid, that is hard.” Marie clasped his hand in both of hers. “You must not speak of death,” she cried; “you know I must carry out my orders, that I must force you to take this risk. And you know that thought of harm to you tortures me!” Quickly the young man disengaged his hand. The woman exclaimed with anger. “Why do you doubt me?” she cried. Briand protested vehemently. “I do not doubt you.” “My affection, then?” In a whisper that carried with it the feeling of a caress Marie added softly: “My love?” The young man protested miserably. “You make it very hard, mademoiselle,” he cried. “You are my superior officer, I am your servant. Who am I that I should share with others—” The woman interrupted eagerly. “Ah, you are jealous!” she cried. “Is that why you are so cruel? But when I tell you I love you, and only you, can you not feel it is the truth?” The young man frowned unhappily. “My duty, mademoiselle!” he stammered. With an exclamation of anger Marie left him. As the door slammed behind her, the young man drew a deep breath. On his face was the expression of ineffable relief. In the hall Marie met her elderly companion, Bertha, now her aunt, Madame Benet. “I heard you quarrelling,” Bertha protested. “It is most indiscreet. It is not in the part of the Countess d’Aurillac that she makes love to her chauffeur.” Marie laughed noiselessly and drew her farther down the hall. “He is imbecile!” she exclaimed. “He will kill me with his solemn face and his conceit. I make love to him—yes—that he may work the more willingly. But he will have none of it. He is jealous of the others.” Madame Benet frowned. “He resents the others,” she corrected. “I do not blame him. He is a gentleman!”
“And the others,” demanded Marie; “were they not of the most noble families of Rome?” “I am old and I am ugly,” said Bertha, “but to me Anfossi is always as considerate as he is to you who are so beautiful.” “An Italian gentleman,” returned Marie, “does not serve in Belgian Congo unless it is the choice of that or the marble quarries.” “I do not know what his past may be,” sighed Madame Benet, “nor do I ask. He is only a number, as you and I are only numbers. And I beg you to let us work in harmony. At such a time your love-affairs threaten our safety. You must wait.” Marie laughed insolently. “With the Du Barry,” she protested, “I can boast that I wait for no man.” “No,” replied the older woman; “you pursue him!” Marie would have answered sharply, but on the instant her interest was diverted. For one week, by day and night, she had lived in a world peopled only by German soldiers. Beside her in the railroad carriage, on the station platforms, at the windows of the trains that passed the one in which she rode, at the grade crossings, on the bridges, in the roads that paralleled the tracks, choking the streets of the villages and spread over the fields of grain, she had seen only the gray-green uniforms. Even her professional eye no longer distinguished regiment from regiment, dragoon from grenadier, Uhlan from Hussar or Landsturm. Stripes, insignia, numerals, badges of rank, had lost their meaning. Those who wore them no longer were individuals. They were not even human. During the three last days the automobile, like a motor-boat fighting the tide, had crept through a gray-green river of men, stained, as though from the banks, by mud and yellow clay. And for hours, while the car was blocked, and in fury the engine raced and purred, the gray-green river had rolled past her, slowly but as inevitably as lava down the slope of a volcano, bearing on its surface faces with staring eyes, thousands and thousands of eyes, some fierce and bloodshot, others filled with weariness, homesickness, pain. At night she still saw them: the white faces under the sweat and dust, the eyes dumb, inarticulate, asking the answer. She had been suffocated by German soldiers, by the mass of them, engulfed and smothered; she had stifled in a land inhabited only by gray-green ghosts. And suddenly, as though a miracle had been wrought, she saw upon the lawn, riding toward her, a man in scarlet, blue, and silver. One man riding alone. Approaching with confidence, but alert; his reins fallen, his hands nursing his carbine, his eyes searched the shadows of the trees, the empty windows, even the sun-swept sky. His was the new face at the door, the new step on the floor. And the spy knew had she beheld an army corps it would have been no more significant, no more menacing, than the solitary chasseur à cheval scouting in advance of the enemy. “We are saved!” exclaimed Marie, with irony. “Go quickly,” she commanded, “to the bedroom on the second floor that opens upon the staircase, so that you can see all who pass. You are too ill to travel. They must find you in bed.” “And you?” said Bertha. “I,” cried Marie rapturously, “hasten to welcome our preserver!”
The preserver was a peasant lad. Under the white dust his cheeks were burned a brown-red, his eyes, honest and blue, through much staring at the skies and at horizon lines, were puckered and encircled with tiny wrinkles. Responsibility had made him older than his years, and in speech brief. With the beautiful lady who with tears of joy ran to greet him, and who in an ecstasy of happiness pressed her cheek against the nose of his horse, he was unimpressed. He returned to her her papers and gravely echoed her answers to his questions. “This château,” he repeated, “was occupied by their General Staff; they have left no wounded here; you saw the last of them pass a half-hour since.” He gathered up his reins. Marie shrieked in alarm. “You will not leave us?” she cried. For the first time the young man permitted himself to smile. “Others arrive soon,” he said. He touched his shako, wheeled his horse in the direction from which he had come, and a minute later Marie heard the hoofs echoing through the empty village. When they came, the others were more sympathetic. Even in times of war a beautiful woman is still a beautiful woman. And the staff officers who moved into the quarters so lately occupied by the enemy found in the presence of the Countess d’Aurillac nothing to distress them. In the absence of her dear friend, Madame Iverney, the châtelaine of the château, she acted as their hostess. Her chauffeur showed the company cooks the way to the kitchen, the larder, and the charcoal-box. She, herself, in the hands of General Andre placed the keys of the famous wine-cellar, and to the surgeon, that the wounded might be freshly bandaged, intrusted those of the linen-closet. After the indignities she had suffered while “detained” by les Boches, her delight and relief at again finding herself under the protection of her own people would have touched a heart of stone. And the hearts of the staff were not of stone. It was with regret they gave the countess permission to continue on her way. At this she exclaimed with gratitude. She assured them, were her aunt able to travel, she would immediately depart. “In Paris she will be more comfortable than here,” said the kind surgeon. He was a reservist, and in times of peace a fashionable physician and as much at his ease in a boudoir as in a field hospital. “Perhaps if I saw Madame Benet?” At the suggestion the countess was overjoyed. But they found Madame Benet in a state of complete collapse. The conduct of the Germans had brought about a nervous breakdown. “Though the bridges are destroyed at Meaux,” urged the surgeon, “even with a detour, you can be in Paris in four hours. I think it is worth the effort.” But the mere thought of the journey threw Madame Benet into hysterics. She asked only to rest, she begged for an opiate to make her sleep. She begged also that they would leave the door open, so that when she dreamed she was still in the hands of the Germans, and woke in terror, the sound of the dear French voices and the sight of the beloved French uniforms might reassure her. She played her part well. Concerning her Marie felt not the least anxiety. But toward Briand, the chauffeur, the new arrivals were less easily satisfied. The general sent his adjutant for the countess. When the adjutant had closed the door General Andre began abruptly: “The chauffeur Briand,” he asked, “you know him; you can vouch for him?”
“But, certainly!” protested Marie. “He is an Italian.” As though with sudden enlightenment, Marie laughed. It was as if now in the suspicion of the officer she saw a certain reasonableness. “Briand was so long in the Foreign Legion in Algiers,” she explained, “where my husband found him, that we have come to think of him as French. As much French as ourselves, I assure you.” The general and his adjutant were regarding each other questioningly. “Perhaps I should tell the countess,” began the general, “that we have learned—” The signal from the adjutant was so slight, so swift, that Marie barely intercepted it. The lips of the general shut together like the leaves of a book. To show the interview was at an end, he reached for a pen. “I thank you,” he said. “Of course,” prompted the adjutant, “Madame d’Aurillac understands the man must not know we inquired concerning him.” General Andre frowned at Marie. “Certainly not!” he commanded. “The honest fellow must not know that even for a moment he was doubted.” Marie raised the violet eyes reprovingly. “I trust,” she said with reproach, “I too well understand the feelings of a French soldier to let him know his loyalty is questioned.” With a murmur of appreciation the officers bowed and with a gesture of gracious pardon Marie left them. Outside in the hall, with none but orderlies to observe, like a cloak the graciousness fell from her. She was drawn two ways. In her work Anfossi was valuable. But Anfossi suspected was less than of no value; he became a menace, a death-warrant. General Andre had said, “We have learned—” and the adjutant had halted him. What had he learned? To know that, Marie would have given much. Still, one important fact comforted her. Anfossi alone was suspected. Had there been concerning herself the slightest doubt, they certainly would not have allowed her to guess her companion was under surveillance; they would not have asked one who was herself suspected to vouch for the innocence of a fellow conspirator. Marie found the course to follow difficult. With Anfossi under suspicion his usefulness was for the moment at an end; and to accept the chance offered her to continue on to Paris seemed most wise. On the other hand, if, concerning Anfossi, she had succeeded in allaying their doubts, the results most to be desired could be attained only by remaining where they were. Their position inside the lines was of the greatest strategic value. The rooms of the servants were under the roof, and that Briand should sleep in one of them was natural. That to reach or leave his
room he should constantly be ascending or descending the stairs also was natural. The field-wireless outfit, or, as he had disdainfully described it, the “knapsack” wireless, was situated not in the bedroom he had selected for himself, but in one adjoining. At other times this was occupied by the maid of Madame Iverney. To summon her maid Madame Iverney, from her apartment on the second floor, had but to press a button. And it was in the apartment of Madame Iverney, and on the bed of that lady, that Madame Benet now reclined. When through the open door she saw an officer or soldier mount the stairs, she pressed the button that rang a bell in the room of the maid. In this way, long before whoever was ascending the stairs could reach the top floor, warning of his approach came to Anfossi. It gave him time to replace the dust-board over the fireplace in which the wireless was concealed and to escape into his own bedroom. The arrangement was ideal. And already information picked up in the halls below by Marie had been conveyed to Anfossi to relay in a French cipher to the German General Staff at Rheims. Marie made an alert and charming hostess. To all who saw her it was evident that her mind was intent only upon the comfort of her guests. Throughout the day many came and went, but each she made welcome; to each as he departed she called “bonne chance.” Efficient, tireless, tactful, she was everywhere: in the dining-room, in the kitchen, in the bedrooms, for the wounded finding mattresses to spread in the gorgeous salons of the champagne prince; for the soldier-chauffeurs carrying wine into the courtyard, where the automobiles panted and growled, and the arriving and departing shrieked for right of way. At all times an alluring person, now the one woman in a tumult of men, her smart frock covered by an apron, her head and arms bare, undismayed by the sight of the wounded or by the distant rumble of the guns, the Countess d’Aurillac was an inspiring and beautiful picture. The eyes of the officers, young and old, informed her of that fact, one of which already she was well aware. By the morning of the next day she was accepted as the owner of the château. And though continually she reminded the staff she was present only as the friend of her schoolmate, Madame Iverney, they deferred to her as to a hostess. Many of them she already saluted by name, and to those who with messages were constantly motoring to and from the front at Soissons she was particularly kind. Overnight the legend of her charm, of her devotion to the soldiers of all ranks, had spread from Soissons to Meaux, and from Meaux to Paris. It was noon of that day when from the window of the second story Marie saw an armored automobile sweep into the courtyard. It was driven by an officer, young and appallingly good-looking, and, as was obvious by the way he spun his car, one who held in contempt both the law of gravity and death. That he was some one of importance seemed evident. Before he could alight the adjutant had raced to meet him. With her eye for detail Marie observed that the young officer, instead of imparting information, received it. He must, she guessed, have just arrived from Paris, and his brother officer either was telling him the news or giving him his orders. Whichever it might be, in what was told him the new arrival was greatly interested. One instant in indignation his gauntleted fist beat upon the steering-wheel, the next he smiled with pleasure. To interpret this pantomime was difficult; and, the better to inform herself, Marie descended the stairs. As she reached the lower hall the two officers entered. To the spy the man last to arrive was always the one of greatest importance; and Marie assured herself that through her friend, the adjutant, to meet with this one would prove easy. But the chauffeur commander of the armored car made it most difficult. At sight of Marie, much to her alarm, as though greeting a dear friend, he snatched his kepi from his head and sprang toward her. “The major,” he cried, “told me you were here, that you are Madame d’Aurillac.” His eyes spoke his admiration. In delight he beamed upon her. “I might have known it!” he murmured. With the confidence of one who is sure he brings good news, he laughed happily. “And I,” he cried, “am ‘Pierrot’!
Who the devil “Pierrot” might be the spy could not guess. She knew only that she wished by a German shell “Pierrot” and his car had been blown to tiny fragments. Was it a trap, she asked herself, or was the handsome youth really some one the Countess d’Aurillac should know. But, as from his introducing himself it was evident he could not know that lady very well, Marie took courage and smiled. “Which ‘Pierrot’?” she parried. “Pierre Thierry!” cried the youth. To the relief of Marie he turned upon the adjutant and to him explained who Pierre Thierry might be. “Paul d’Aurillac,” he said, “is my dearest friend. When he married this charming lady I was stationed in Algiers, and but for the war I might never have met her.” To Marie, with his hand on his heart in a most charming manner, he bowed. His admiration he made no effort to conceal. “And so,” he said, “I know why there is war!” The adjutant smiled indulgently, and departed on his duties, leaving them alone. The handsome eyes of Captain Thierry were raised to the violet eyes of Marie. They appraised her boldly and as boldly expressed their approval. In burlesque the young man exclaimed indignantly: “Paul deceived me!” he cried. “He told me he had married the most beautiful woman in Laon. He has married the most beautiful woman in France!” To Marie this was not impertinence, but gallantry. This was a language she understood, and this was the type of man, because he was the least difficult to manage, she held most in contempt. “But about you, Paul did not deceive me,” she retorted. In apparent confusion her eyes refused to meet his. “He told me ‘Pierrot’ was a most dangerous man!” She continued hurriedly. With wifely solicitude she asked concerning Paul. She explained that for a week she had been a prisoner in the château, and, since the mobilization, of her husband save that he was with his regiment in Paris she had heard nothing. Captain Thierry was able to give her later news. Only the day previous, on the boulevards, he had met Count d’Aurillac. He was at the Grand Hôtel, and as Thierry was at once motoring back to Paris he would give Paul news of their meeting. He hoped he might tell him that soon his wife also would be in Paris. Marie explained that only the illness of her aunt prevented her from that same day joining her husband. Her manner became serious. “And what other news have you?” she asked. “Here on the firing-line we know less of what is going forward than you in Paris.” So Pierre Thierry told her all he knew. They were preparing despatches he was at once to carry back to the General Staff, and, for the moment, his time was his own. How could he better employ it than in talking of the war with a patriotic and charming French woman? In consequence Marie acquired a mass of facts, gossip, and guesses. From these she mentally selected
selected such information as, to her employers across the Aisne, would be of vital interest. And to rid herself of Thierry and on the fourth floor seek Anfossi was now her only wish. But, in attempting this, by the return of the adjutant she was delayed. To Thierry the adjutant gave a sealed envelope. “Thirty-one, Boulevard des Invalides,” he said. With a smile he turned to Marie. “And you will accompany him!” “I!” exclaimed Marie. She was sick with sudden terror. But the tolerant smile of the adjutant reassured her. “The count, your husband,” he explained, “has learned of your detention here by the enemy, and he has besieged the General Staff to have you convoyed safely to Paris.” The adjutant glanced at a field telegram he held open in his hand. “He asks,” he continued, “that you be permitted to return in the car of his friend, Captain Thierry, and that on arriving you join him at the Grand Hôtel.” Thierry exclaimed with delight. “But how charming!” he cried. “To-night you must both dine with me at La Rue’s.” He saluted his superior officer. “Some petrol, sir,” he said. “And I am ready.” To Marie he added: “The car will be at the steps in five minutes.” He turned and left them. The thoughts of Marie, snatching at an excuse for delay, raced madly. The danger of meeting the Count d’Aurillac, her supposed husband, did not alarm her. The Grand Hôtel has many exits, and, even before they reached it, for leaving the car she could invent an excuse that the gallant Thierry would not suspect. But what now concerned her was how, before she was whisked away to Paris, she could convey to Anfossi the information she had gathered from Thierry. First, of a woman overcome with delight at being reunited with her husband she gave an excellent imitation; then she exclaimed in distress: “But my aunt, Madame Benet!” she cried. “I cannot leave her!” “The Sisters of St. Francis,” said the adjutant, “arrive within an hour to nurse the wounded. They will care also for your aunt.” Marie concealed her chagrin. “Then I will at once prepare to go,” she said. The adjutant handed her a slip of paper. “Your laisser-passer to Paris,” he said. “You leave in five minutes, madame!” As temporary hostess of the château Marie was free to visit any part of it, and as she passed her door a signal from Madame Benet told her that Anfossi was on the fourth floor, that he was at work, and that the coast was clear. Softly, in the felt slippers she always wore, as she explained, in order not to disturb the wounded, she mounted the staircase. In her hand she carried the housekeeper’s keys, and as an excuse it was her plan to return with an armful of linen for the arriving Sisters. But Marie never reached the top of the stairs. When her eyes rose to the level of the fourth floor she came to a sudden halt. At what she saw terror gripped her, bound her hand and foot, and turned her blood to ice. At her post for an instant Madame Benet had slept, and an officer of the staff, led by curiosity, chance, or suspicion, had, unobserved and unannounced, mounted to the fourth floor. When Marie saw him
he was in front of the room that held the wireless. His back was toward her, but she saw that he was holding the door to the room ajar, that his eye was pressed to the opening, and that through it he had pushed the muzzle of his automatic. What would be the fate of Anfossi Marie knew. Nor did she for an instant consider it. Her thoughts were of her own safety; that she might live. Not that she might still serve the Wilhelmstrasse, the Kaiser, or the Fatherland; but that she might live. In a moment Anfossi would be denounced, the château would ring with the alarm, and, though she knew Anfossi would not betray her, by others she might be accused. To avert suspicion from herself she saw only one way open. She must be the first to denounce Anfossi. Like a deer she leaped down the marble stairs and, in a panic she had no need to assume, burst into the presence of the staff. “Gentlemen!” she gasped, “my servant—the chauffeur—Briand is a spy! There is a German wireless in the château. He is using it! I have seen him.” With exclamations, the officers rose to their feet. General Andre alone remained seated. General Andre was a veteran of many Colonial wars: Cochin-China, Algiers, Morocco. The great war, when it came, found him on duty in the Intelligence Department. His aquiline nose, bristling white eyebrows, and flashing, restless eyes gave him his nickname of l’Aigle. In amazement, the flashing eyes were now turned upon Marie. He glared at her as though he thought she suddenly had flown mad. “A German wireless!” he protested. “It is impossible!” “I was on the fourth floor,” panted Marie, “collecting linen for the Sisters. In the room next to the linen closet I heard a strange buzzing sound. I opened the door softly. I saw Briand with his back to me seated by an instrument. There were receivers clamped to his ears! My God! The disgrace. The disgrace to my husband and to me, who vouched for him to you!” Apparently in an agony of remorse, the fingers of the woman laced and interlaced. “I cannot forgive myself!” The officers moved toward the door, but General Andre halted them. Still in a tone of incredulity, he demanded: “When did you see this?” Marie knew the question was coming, knew she must explain how she saw Briand, and yet did not see the staff officer who, with his prisoner, might now at any instant appear. She must make it plain she had discovered the spy and left the upper part of the house before the officer had visited it. When that was she could not know, but the chance was that he had preceded her by only a few minutes. “When did you see this?” repeated the general. “But just now,” cried Marie; “not ten minutes since.” “Why did you not come to me at once?” “I was afraid,” replied Marie. “If I moved I was afraid he might hear me, and he, knowing I would expose him, would kill me—and so escape you!” There was an eager whisper of approval. For silence, General Andre slapped his hand upon the table. “Then,” continued Marie, “I understood with the receivers on his ears he could not have heard me open the door, nor could he hear me leave, and I ran to my aunt. The thought that we had harbored such an animal sickened me, and I was weak enough to feel faint. But only for an instant. Then I came
here.” She moved swiftly to the door. “Let me show you the room,” she begged; “you can take him in the act.” Her eyes, wild with the excitement of the chase, swept the circle. “Will you come?” she begged. Unconscious of the crisis he interrupted, the orderly on duty opened the door. “Captain Thierry’s compliments,” he recited mechanically, “and is he to delay longer for Madame d’Aurillac?” With a sharp gesture General Andre waved Marie toward the door. Without rising, he inclined his head. “Adieu, madame,” he said. “We act at once upon your information. I thank you!” As she crossed from the hall to the terrace, the ears of the spy were assaulted by a sudden tumult of voices. They were raised in threats and curses. Looking back, she saw Anfossi descending the stairs. His hands were held above his head; behind him, with his automatic, the staff officer she had surprised on the fourth floor was driving him forward. Above the clenched fists of the soldiers that ran to meet him, the eyes of Anfossi were turned toward her. His face was expressionless. His eyes neither accused nor reproached. And with the joy of one who has looked upon and then escaped the guillotine, Marie ran down the steps to the waiting automobile. With a pretty cry of pleasure she leaped into the seat beside Thierry. Gayly she threw out her arms. “To Paris!” she commanded. The handsome eyes of Thierry, eloquent with admiration, looked back into hers. He stooped, threw in the clutch, and the great gray car, with the machine gun and its crew of privates guarding the rear, plunged through the park. “To Paris!” echoed Thierry. In the order in which Marie had last seen them, Anfossi and the staff officer entered the room of General Andre, and upon the soldiers in the hall the door was shut. The face of the staff officer was grave, but his voice could not conceal his elation. “My general,” he reported, “I found this man in the act of giving information to the enemy. There is a wireless—” General Andre rose slowly. He looked neither at the officer nor at his prisoner. With frowning eyes he stared down at the maps upon his table. “I know,” he interrupted. “Some one has already told me.” He paused, and then, as though recalling his manners, but still without raising his eyes, he added: “You have done well, sir.” In silence the officers of the staff stood motionless. With surprise they noted that, as yet, neither in anger nor curiosity had General Andre glanced at the prisoner. But of the presence of the general the spy was most acutely conscious. He stood erect, his arms still raised, but his body strained forward, and on the averted eyes of the general his own were fixed. In an agony of supplication they asked a question. At last, as though against his wish, toward the spy the general turned his head, and their eyes met. And still General Andre was silent. Then the arms of the spy, like those of a runner who has finished his race and breasts the tape exhausted, fell to his sides. In a voice low and vibrant he spoke his question.
“It has been so long, sir,” he pleaded. “May I not come home?” General Andre turned to the astonished group surrounding him. His voice was hushed like that of one who speaks across an open grave. “Gentlemen,” he began, “my children,” he added. “A German spy, a woman, involved in a scandal your brother in arms, Henri Ravignac. His honor, he thought, was concerned, and without honor he refused to live. To prove him guiltless his younger brother Charles asked leave to seek out the woman who had betrayed Henri, and by us was detailed on secret service. He gave up home, family, friends. He lived in exile, in poverty, at all times in danger of a swift and ignoble death. In the War Office we know him as one who has given to his country services she cannot hope to reward. For she cannot return to him the years he has lost. She cannot return to him his brother. But she can and will clear the name of Henri Ravignac, and upon his brother Charles bestow promotion and honors.” The general turned and embraced the spy. “My children,” he said, “welcome your brother. He has come home.” Before the car had reached the fortifications, Marie Gessler had arranged her plan of escape. She had departed from the château without even a hand-bag, and she would say that before the shops closed she must make purchases. Le Printemps lay in their way, and she asked that, when they reached it, for a moment she might alight. Captain Thierry readily gave permission. From the department store it would be most easy to disappear, and in anticipation Marie smiled covertly. Nor was the picture of Captain Thierry impatiently waiting outside unamusing. But before Le Printemps was approached, the car turned sharply down a narrow street. On one side, along its entire length, ran a high gray wall, grim and forbidding. In it was a green gate studded with iron bolts. Before this the automobile drew suddenly to a halt. The crew of the armored car tumbled off the rear seat, and one of them beat upon the green gate. Marie felt a hand of ice clutch at her throat. But she controlled herself. “And what is this?” she cried gayly. At her side Captain Thierry was smiling down at her, but his smile was hateful. “It is the prison of St. Lazare,” he said. “It is not becoming,” he added sternly, “that the name of the Countess d’Aurillac should be made common as the Paris road!” Fighting for her life, Marie thrust herself against him; her arm that throughout the journey had rested on the back of the driving-seat caressed his shoulders; her lips and the violet eyes were close to his. “Why should you care?” she whispered fiercely. “You have me! Let the Count d’Aurillac look after the honor of his wife himself.” The charming Thierry laughed at her mockingly. “He means to,” he said. “I am the Count d’Aurillac!” FINIS
1. At what time and location was the Prince of Wales born? November 9th in Buckingham Palace. 2. Name his known mistresses in the order in which they conducted their liaisons with Bertie. Lillie Langtry, Daisy Greville (Lady Brooke, later Countess of Warwick), Alice Keppel, and Agnes Keyser. 3. What was the first scandal to bring attention to the wild ways of the Marlborough House Set? The Mordaunt divorce case. 4. Who was known as the “Double Duchess” and to which dukes did she marry? Louise van Alten, who married the Duke of Manchester and then the Duke of Devonshire. 5. Harry Cust’s love affairs garnered infamy when which current lover humiliated which past lover? Which famous late Edwardian child did he sire? Gladys de Grey vs Theresa Londonderry. Lady Diana Manners. 6. Fill in the blank: The members of the “Fourth Party” were Lord Randolph Churchill, Arthur Balfour, John Gorst, and Henry Drummond-Wolff 7. What events marked the beginning and the end of the London Season? The Private View at the Royal Academy and the Glorious Twelfth. 8. To whom is attributed the quote: “You all sit around discussing one another’s souls. I shall call you ‘The Souls’.” Lord Charles Beresford. 9. What year did the Prince of Wales’ horse win the Derby, and what was the horse’s name? 1896. Persimmon. 10. Name a few of the relatives which garnered Edward VII the name “Uncle of Europe” and how he was related to them. His nephews the Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire and Nicholas, Tsar of Russia. His nieces Queen Ena of Spain, Queen Marie of Romania, and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia. 11. In which royal house did Edward VII prefer to spend his time? Sandringham 12. What hotel did Rosa Lewis make famous? What was the king’s favorite dish? The Cavendish Hotel on Jermyn Street. Quail Pudding. 13. What are the names of Daisy, Countess of Warwick’s youngest two children and who was their father rumored to be? Maynard and Mercy. Joe Laycock. 14. What are professional beauties? Beautiful socialites whose photos and presence were highly sought-after in the 1880s. 15. List the garments, in order, which Edwardian ladies had to put on before their gowns. Combinations, bustle pad, chemise, under-corset, corset, corset-cover, stockings, and petticoat. 16. When did MP’s obtain a salary, and how much was it? In 1911. £400 per annum. 17. Joseph Chamberlain rose to prominence from which northern city, what party did he lead, and what was his pet reform? Birmingham. Tariff Reform. 18. What 1907 novel by Elinor Glyn shocked society? What doggerel was composed for it? Three Weeks. Would you like to sin With Elinor Glyn On a tiger skin? Or would you prefer To err with her On some other fur? 19. Jennie Jerome married three times--who were her husbands and what was uncommon about each marriage? Lord Randolph Churchill--that she was an American; George Cornwallis-West--that he was twenty years her junior; Montagu Porch-that he was younger than Winston! 20. Name the Edwardian era’s wealthiest American heiresses and their dowries. Consuelo Vanderbilt: $2.5 million; Mary Leiter: £1.5 million; May Goelet: £2 million; Anita Rhinelander: $2.5 million; Anna Gould: $6 million; Flora Sharon: $2 million; Anita Murphy: $2 million.
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