His duties were to feed the men three times a day with food, and all day and night with ammunition, to guard them against attacks from gases, burning oil, bullets, shells; and in counter-attack to send them forward with the bayonet across hurdles of barb-wire to distribute death. These were only a few of his responsibilities. Captain Gabriel Puaux, of the General-Headquarters Staff, and Mr.
But as there were no reserves available at that first Battle of the Marne, he exemplified his other principle that conditions must be met as they arise. "I still seem," says René Puaux, "to hear General Foch telling us, one evening after dinner at Cassel several months later, about that maneuver of September 9.
And through all this stress he had the personal anguish of being unable to get word of his only son, Germain Foch, or of his son-in-law, Captain Becourt, both of whom had been fighting on the Belgian front. "It was not, however," M. Puaux says, "the time for personal emotions. The father effaced himself before the soldier. There was nothing to be thought of save the country."
"Not at all," said the unhappy young man, testing the eye to discover if he could see through it. "I am sure His Royal Highness meant no harm." M. Puaux went out, with his handkerchief to his eye. He turned at the door and bowed, but as no one was paying any attention to him, he made two bows. One was to Hedwig's picture.
He put his shiny foot over the paper wad. "Paper!" said Miss Braithwaite. "Why did you throw paper? And at M. Puaux?" "I just felt like throwing something," explained His Royal Highness. "I guess it's the sun, or something." Nikky dropped his glove, and miraculously, when he had picked it up the little wad was gone.
"Those who lived through these tragic hours near him," says René Puaux, "recall the chief questioning the liaison officers who did not know exactly where the different units were, punctuating his questions with: 'You don't know?
While arrangements were being made to visit the batteries, Lieutenant Puaux explained to me a method they had established at that point for measuring the altitude of hostile aëroplanes for the guns. "At some anti-aircfaft batteries," he explained, "they have the telemeter for that purpose. But here there is none. So they use the system of visée laterale, or side sight, literally."
How was he to know the treasury of strange things that the Crown Prince had tapped the previous afternoon? But, after a glance around the room, Nikky's eyelid drooped also. He slid the paper wad into his pocket. "I am afraid His Royal Highness has hurt your eye, M. Puaux," said Miss Braithwaite. Not with sympathy. She hated tutors.
But for the grace of God, your son and mine lying there in the spring sunlight on the muddy battlefield of Ypres! I was taken to see the battlefield of Ypres by Captain Boisseau, of the French War Academy, and Lieutenant René Puaux, of the staff of General Foch. It was a bright and sunny day, with a cold wind, however, that set the water in the wayside ditches to rippling.
Some day, when you are older, I'll tell you about it. I has the Princess Hedwig been having tea with you, as usual?" Carelessly spoken as it was, there was a change in Nikky's voice. And the Crown Prince was sensitive to voices. Something similar happened to Monsieur Puaux, the French tutor, when he mentioned Hedwig. "Not yesterday. We went to the fortress. Nikky, what is it to be in love?"