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M' > - 5 if* V v m ***£ kkx. . m* : >:***•• /if* ' '5 ■ .. Comtesse de Bryas is a Frenchwoman, who came to America last April to represent the American committee for devastated France, and is now en | ®a«ed in an extensive tour of the United States, ; speaking about her experiences in the war-ridden districts. The comtesse s father is French, but her l mother was a Philadelphian who went to Europe Ï when a small child and was brought up there. • Her great-grandfathers, George Clymer and Thomas J Willing, and her granduncle, George Read, were all signers of the Declaration of Independence, and one of them, George Clymer, was among the six who helped to frame the Constitution.—Editor's Note. By C OMTESSE MADELEINE DE BRYAS. SOMETIMES meet, in the course of my travels, people who say: "Ah, poor France! Tragic, Invaded coun try I" But to these people I would say: "No, no! You do not know your France. It Is not poor France, but noble France. Not tragic France, but heroic France!" I can best explain my meaning by describing an incident which took place on the occasion of one of the «cent air raids on Paris. An air raid is a nerve acking time. The newspaper accounts and the nagazine stories do not tell you one-hundredth if the anguish lived through by the people who rouch in their cellars, listing to bombs that ex ilode close by and expecting all the tfme that the iext missile will demolish the house over their leads. The favorite gathering places for civilians dur ng air raids is In the cellars. During the raid of rhich I speak, one of these underground places ras crowded with refugees. But they were not loping or trembling. Instead, they were con tautly joking and laughing about their predica îent. They did not for one second lose their ine courage and stanclmess. When the bombs had ceased to fall, they came p to the street level once more. But they did ot breathe great sighs of relief and thank their icky stars for not being hit. Not they! Their yes glowed with the fire of unquenched spirit, nd they shook their fists in the direction of the eparting German airplanes. "Those fools!" they shouted. "Those fools! hey think they can break us ! They do not know s! Never shall we yield! Never!" This is not the only splendid exhibition of ■rench devotion that I have seen with my own yes. The people In the rural regions are no less etermined In their ardor. Although nearly one fth of France has been invaded by a ruthless nemy and some portions invaded the second !me, these country folk would die rather than Ive themselves up to the foe. Jn a village of the devastated district I found little old woman who was living alone. She ras working at washing linen for the soldiers rho were in trenches not far away. Her own oose had been burned down by the Germans, he told me her pathetic story, ft seems that a German officer who had a very ad reputation for molesting the civilians had een quartered in her house. After he had been »ere for a few hours he went to the small stove filch heated the house and opened it to put » some wood. But when he put in the stick of ood he allowed the end to protrude, so that, as »on as it began to Tburn, the fire blazed outward »to the room. He then placed a screen near »is blazing wood so that it would catch fire, tie old woman saw what he was doing and knew »at It was his design to burn down her house. Ee had already burned a house in the next street t the same manner. Knowing that she was p<*v rless to prevent him, and being filled with des alr. she fell on her knees before him. "Spare me!" she entreated of him. "Spare Us house and allow me to live here in peace. Phat have I ever done to you !" But she had hardly uttered these words when lame overcame her because she was abasing eraelf before a German. In another instant she ad risen to her feet. "What am I doing!" she exclaimed. Je sml» erdu ! I am disgraced. I have entreated a fafor rom the foe of my native country." Then she crossed the room before the aston shed officer and took up his gun. Placing it in Is hands she told him to kill her. "I deserve no less than death," she said, ave disgraced France by kneeling to ask a favor f one of her enemies." Probably the German officer would have killed he woman, but at that moment one of his brother ffieers came into the house. He must have had lore tender heart, for he took pity on the old nan and nut a ston to the Droceedings. So her & till house escaped for the time being. But later on it was burned by other Germans. When I found this woman she was working 18 hours each day washing for the soldiers. I asked her why she worked so hard and she told me that it was because she had nothing left to her in the wide world, and the only way to keep herself from heartbreak w'as to be always occupied. The conditions under which most of these peo ple have been living are horrifying. Their houses are heaps of ruins. You can hardly be lieve the systematic way in which the Germans proceeded to destroy their dwellings. A bomb was thrown into every house along the line of march. The furniture was all broken up or burned, fruit trees were cut down, and the wells polluted. Yet, when the invading tide was swept back these villagers came back at once to their former homes. This devotion of the French peas ant to his little home is something which Ameri cans can hardly appreciate. He loves it ardent ly ; it is almost a part of him ; he cannot bear to leave it. _ During the time when they were struggling to rebuild their shattered homes, these peasants had to live in cellars and dugouts. Of course these places were most unhealthy and not tit to remain in. I once went down into a cellar in which an old couple was living. The roof of the cellar was so low that when I was seated on a little plank talking to the old people I had to stoop. The floor was entirely mud, and the water seeped in through the walls and trickled down in tiny streamlets. In the corner was the straw bed which had been furnished the old couple seven months before. It was Indescribably filthy and so damp that one could twist it and wring water out of It. Yet the chief desire of the old woman was for a plate to eat off. The Germans had destroyed their crockery and household utensils and they had only one old metal skillet, in which they cooked and from which they ate. In one village I saw a mother who had gone back to live In a little shelter which she had built for herself in the corner formed by the only two remaining walls of her dwelling. Over the top of this place she placed planks. One Side was open to the weather. The cold, raw weather made it difficult to exist in such a place. I my self have lived In a little wooden building near the front, similar to the barracks in which the soldiers live, and I know the cruel winter weath er of these parts of France. The hardship has been greatest on the little children. Oh, the poor children ! They no longer play. They have forgotten all their games. They do not know what it means to run and laugh and be gay. As they walk along the streets you will see them start suddenly and look over their shoulders in a frightened way. So great has been the terror instilled into them by the Ger mans. An officer told me of seeing two little «'hlldren standing against a wall In the town of Malssin, in the north of France, one day in August, 1914. Across the road was a burning house. When the French officer asked them why they were waiting so patiently, they replied that a German had shut their father and mother up In that house and had told them to wait there until they com« back to fetch them. The treatment of children during the German occupation was very terrible. Little tots of four and five, and children on up to the ages of thir teen and fourteen, were forced to work all day for their enslavers. They were taken Into the fields at five in the morning and were not al lowed to come back until seven in the evening. During all that time they were given only one meal. Their tasks were to dig potatoes, cut away the barbed-wire entanglements and pick up unexploded shells. After the Germans went away there was no milk to be got because ull the cows had been either killed or driven away. In one district there were 500 children who existed for months without a single drop of milk. I met one little girl who had been kept lor 20 days on a diet consisting of nothing but bread and soup, the latter being watery and scarcely ut all nourish ing. . . The destruction of the schoolhouses has made it impossible for the young children to gain any education. It is no strange thing to encounter a boy or girl of eleven who can neither read nor write. In their hideous thoroughness, the Ger mans destroyed books, pencils, desks and all. Not a thing was left. After the American relief work ers came into the devastated regious they estab lished schools and built little wooden buildings in which to carry on the work. At one school they told a story of a little girl who was brought in with the other children to learn to read. As soon as she discovered an old chair in one of the comers she immediately got into it and curled up in utter enjoyment and relaxation. She could not be persuaded to get out of that chair. The teacher inquired why sho was so pleased with the chair and learned that the household in which the child lived had not boasted a single chair since the first invasion of the Germans. The separation of the children from their par ents Is another very tragic occurrence. In the months and years before they are reunited the children grow and change so that they are not recognizable to their parents when they meet again. Some of them, to be sure, wear ou a chain about their necks little gold baptismal gifts on which their names are inscribed. But this Is exceptional. It is one of the confessed schemes of the Germans to divide and scatter families as much as possible. My heart bleeds for the children of France! Oh, that they should suffer this unmerited abuse and tribulation ! The deportation of young girls has been sys tematically practiced. A German officer comes to the front door of a house and orders the entire family to assemble outside on the door step. Then he picks at random a number of the younger women of the family. "I will take you . . . and you . . . and you !" he- says, indieating the chosen ones with his forefinger. At this sum mons they must leave their homes at once. They are not allowed to pack their belongings nor to carry much baggage. They are permitted only so much as they can carry wrapped in a hand kerchief. After they are taken into Germany they are put to work cultivating the fields, doing the hardest and most menial kind of labor. They are forced to live with the soldiers, and are rudely treated by them. They can send no word to their families, and it is almost as though they were dead. The relief work in the invaded districts has been tireless. Great credit is due to the Amer ican committee for devastated France, organized by Miss Anne Morgan. Over 1,000 children have been turned over to this committee to be cared for. One of Its most useful works has been in assisting the stricken people to leave their homes so long as there Is danger from the Germans in the vicinity. Pitiful stories are told of the flight fcf these people. One old woman refused to be separated from her goat in transit, and would only consent to go when she could be assured that another goat could be got In case her own was lost. France has been hard-tried, but she is not broken. Never has the morale of the French people beeq more unshaken than it is today. France haIL$ with joy the arrival of the Ameri cans. It is piost Atting that these great sister republics should be fighting side by side In this hour of stress. Victory will be won ; It is in evitable! p.nt ah, the pain, the woe and the un necessary degradation that have followed In the wake of the invaders! Will the world ever for get these? >San the bitter memory ever be effaced? THE END OF THE WAR. A soldier at Camp Grant asked a French lieu tenant, who was there as instructor, how much longer the war would last. The Frenchman calmly answered : "Well, I am not sure, but the tenth year will surely fee the worst, and after that every seventh year will be bad." The Way She Dressed Him. I "What do you want to be when you J grow up?" was asked of a small boy j by the visitor. "Oh," said he, "I want to be a man. j but 1 think mamma wants me to be | a lady."—Buffalo News. I Don't Poison Baby. F ORTY YEARS AGO almost every mother thought her child PAREGORIC or laudanum to make it sleep. These drugs will P Bleep, and a FEW DROPS TOO MANY will produce the FROM WHICH THERE IS NO WAKING. Many are the children woo have been killed or whose health has been ruined for life by paregoric, . num and morphine, each of which is a tarcotic product of opium. Drugg are prohibited from selling either of the narcotics named to children at a , * to anybody without labelling them "poison." The definition of 4 nar< ^! is : "A medicine which relieves pain and produces sleep, but which, in P 0 ™ ' ous doses produces stupor, coma, convulsions and death.' The taste an smell of medicines containing opium are disguised, and sold under the na - of " Drops," " Cordials," " Sootning Syrups," etc. You should not permit any medicine to be given to your children without you or your physician ano of what it is composed. CASTORIA DOES NO 1 CONTAIN NARCOTICS, if it bears the signature of Chas. H. Fletcher. Genuine Castoria always bears the Signatare i t you I NOT M Packers' Profits —Large or Small Packers' profits look big— when the Federal Trade Commission reports that four of them earned $140,000,000 during the three war years. Packers' profits look small— When it is explained that this profit was earned on total sales of over four and a half billion dollars —or only about three cents on each dollar of sales. This is the relation between profits and sales: Profits I If no packer profits had been earned, you could have bought your meat at only a fraction of a cent per pound cheaper? 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