"It's an odd thing," said he "another miracle, if you like but I believe we are safe reasonably safe. I have reason to think that this fellow learned about La Lierre only last evening from some one who left Paris to-day to be gone a long time. And I also have reason to believe that the fellow has not seen the one friend who is in his confidence, since he obtained his information.
Nearly a week before the surrender of the city, the municipal waterworks, near Lierre, had been destroyed by shells from the German siege guns, so that when the Germans entered the city the sanitary conditions had become intolerable and an epidemic was impending.
And could I take you for Malines, Not knowing the nobler thing you were? O Pearl of all the plain, and queen, The lovely city of Lierre. "Through memory's mist in glimmering guise Shall shine your streets of sloppy sheen. And wet shall grow my dreaming eyes, To think how wet my boots have been Now if I die or shoot a Dean "
Nicholas comes to the house he may find something for his donkey or horse to eat, and in return leave presents for them. Having made these preparations, the children ought to sing or repeat verses addressed to the saint. Here is one of them the one they sing at Lierre: "Sinte Niklaes, Nobele Sinte Niklaes! Werpiet in myn Schoentjen Een Appeltjen of een limoentjen!"
He described for her old David Stewart and the man's bitter grief, and he told her about the will, about how he had begun to suspect Captain Stewart, and of how he had traced the lost boy to La Lierre.
They are the symbols of an innocence that once was ours, the tokens of a contact with the unseen world for which we in our blindness grope longingly in vain. VIII. Lierre When, years hence, some historian looks back upon the present war, and from the confusion of its battles tries to frame before his mind a picture of the whole, one grim conclusion will be forced upon his mind.
We did not speak again until we had left Lierre, in its sacred cloud of rain, and were coming to Mechlin, under a clearer sky, that even made one think of stars. Then I leant forward and said to my friend in a low voice "I have found out everything. We have come to the wrong star." He stared his query, and I went on eagerly: "That is what makes life at once so splendid and so strange.
Bruges, usually so empty, is always crowded on that day. Seven or eight years ago at Lierre, a town near Antwerp, I saw three processions in one month, each of which showed the Belgian fondness for such things. One was the procession of St.
Lierre and Waelhem and Duffel were like sieves dripping blood. Corpses were strewn everywhere. Some of the dead were spread-eagled on their backs as though exhausted after a long march, some were twisted and crumpled in attitudes grotesque and horrible, some were propped up against the walls of houses to which they had tried to crawl in their agony.
He gave careful directions as to how the place was to be reached, and he asked Hartley to come as soon as possible by night to that wall where he himself had made his entrance, to climb up by the cedar-tree, and to drop his answer into the thick leaves of the lilac bushes immediately beneath an answer naming a day and hour, preferably by night, when he could return with three or four to help him, surprise the household at La Lierre, and carry off young Benham.