What can be done will be done
11 Aug 1914
Think of all of the places that you can think of, and realize that in 1914, there were many fewer of them. Are now there are buildings and façades, then there was open meadows, and strange brooks, and 1000 ways that things were nature rather than artifice. Realized to, most people lived in villages, not aligned in city streets. It was a very different era, and people did not realize just what a change century would make. Also realize that in the middle of this century, there was a gap, where people on the extreme ends were very much like each other, but in the middle day were completely different. This was, again, not going to be seeing from this end, and wasn't the allowed to be seen from the other. That being the difference: rich people at the end of this century new that the wealth and power could be changed. And that was different, people in the early part of this century did not know that, where has had the end of the century, they had fought for it to be the same as it was before. And they fought to hide this fact from virtually everyone else. Churchill knew that this could happen, Roosevelt did not know but he would after he had been afflicted. But no such people were alive in the waning parts of this century.
That is the difference between elder rich, who did not know, and younger rich, who saw that it could very well happen. And would stop it had all cost. And when this writer was writing, they had done on excellent job, Pairing one reactionary party and one conservative party, and making it so there was an even interchange. And crushing out, the radical party. This had taken along time, and again it wasn't easy to do.
But here in the joys of the sun, people thought that it would go on forever like this. Though there was foreboding, at the center, and with guns which appeared gloomy from the edges. But also at the edges were gay, as young men were strutting their stuff in uniform. Coquettishly, young women looked up and down, sizing up who would be back again. This was not obvious, too proud and would be shot to pieces, this is for those women who wanted one and only one child, and then lived there lives, too crafty, and he would get several pregnant, and choose the best one, with every of too chance, knowing at least a would have something to offer for the next generation. All of the scenarios played out, again and again, with small variations.
Out over the plains north of Paris, where fields drain north in to the English Channel, and fields are lined with hedgerows, that crisscross based on the dashes and the dots in the church book ledger, not based on any form or clue on the land. They had formed since the beginning, back in the 700s when Charlemagne throughout the map. Then they divided, and re-divided, as each son came to each son equally. And so it changed from generation to generation, sometimes gaining, but most times losing. They would not know that this pattern was going to be broken, or at least bent, has many branches were extinguished. But that is what has happened, because alone of all the lands in France, this is one course that has fewer numbers than it did in 1300s. This one was the bread basket, and then it would soon be gone. And still people will die hungry.
Their homes were slight and gradual in their climb, they did not know that over four short years they would be decimated, and destroyed. This was the deflowering of one of the richest lands in all the world. They would not see another crop, another bushel, another harvest. They were dead and the vines would not come again, they would have to the reassembled, from berries and branches, coming all the way from America, fertile fields of France were in actuality from new forms over the sea. The people here knew that and were scrambling, and clawing, they new that it was them that the German throat wanted to spill on the ground. Whole towns were denuded of people, setting off to other places. This part of France was no more, and they, at least, knew it. Thus while France had a delusion that it would stand, this part of France new that it would not survive the war. The German armies would make sure down to the Chateau de Coucy which was famous in its time. It would know only a smattering of greatness, because when the German guns came through, they would level, brick by brick, place that was. Even the English kings would not dare break the place. Such was the Chateau de Coucy. It was such a famous place, that a writer from America wrote the book, and told the world just what a place it was.
She described all of many facets, and told any who would listen, about the exploits that she found. First she told of its recent past, in “The Guns of August”, and then she told the agent history in her book on Engerrand VII d'Coucy, “A Distant Mirror”. It was the same story stretched out over two books, the last part of the story first, and of course the first covered last. She must have loved this place for her to spend lifetime living it. I was one of the generation that ate up the tail, and mourned that there would be no third book, and then realized there was no need for. Her metaphors were confused, she was trying to fit one piece of the puzzle on top of another one which would not fit. World War I, and late medieval France had some similarities, it was land that held her dancing. What she found instead, was one piece of France which had its heyday in the medieval period, and no one had bothered to tell it. There were similarities, eras which were tormented, and ripe with bitter fruit. A third book would have been lost in time, perhaps other storyteller might be people to loss the beginning in 700, to go with the middle period of “a distant mirror”, and collapse of “guns of August”, but it would not be her voice. But think on one thing, place in history which fell to an onslaught, first, is not Normandy, but right in the center, at a little known town: Dieppe. And on September 1914, it was occupied, and destroyed later in the war, in 1917.
In such a place as this, people were running hither, backing up, and moving on. The knew that this would be over for them, in a way that people in the rest of friends did not know. But what was the source of this information? There seemed no way for them to have known what was going to happen. Unless they were getting reports from the inside of German intelligence. But who spoke? Who knew? And who spread the news, not to the government, but ordinary people? Seemed strange that these people knew, when other people are there up the chain did not. There was confidence in the ranks, there was confidence in the government, there is confidence in almost everyone, but not here, not now. Why do these people know more about their governments actions than their owned government did?
One first has to look at one household, anyone at all. One would see that they were not planning in any tangible way, instead they were scurrying about, catching what may. Let us take for example, Mme des Desparde, whom was no one in particular, but had lost her husband a few weeks ago. She was rushing around, fitting together her best pots and pans. Why would anyone do this, miles away from the front? It is because she had what she thought of as a vision. She was alone in the house, with her curled up in a ball. She did not think that she had gone to sleep, when the door ran. Not the outer door, but the inner door, to her bedroom. Then she was completely awake, and startled. There are one of two reactions, either one sits up and takes notice, or you are like de Desparde, and boroughs further in two ones sheets, mind you these were good sheets and three layers of blankets. But that was not of course why she did it.
She was under the sheets when she felt something on her shoulder. She turned her around because the touch was soft but all the way through the covers. This was strange, and made her believe that she was still asleep.
But then she was touched again, this time on her back.
She closed her eyes. Only finally to open one of them. What she saw frightened her, it was a single eye staring at her. At this point, she was awake, and expected to see someone outside of the bed.
But nothing was there. Instead she had a deep dark feeling, and it pushed her in to action, gathering things, and moving things, and in general one and get out of this house. If you would stop her, and calm her down, you might just be able to make some sense with her that nothing was wrong and she could go back to bed. The same thing was happening around the village. What was going on? The people running around did not know, but you maybe able to guess. Just before the eye was seen, something happened to a man just beyond the grave, he did not have too much energy to expend, just enough to make himself known. He was, of course, a ghost, but not one with too much essence to expand. So he made his way in to the house and tried to alert his one time ex-wife. This was the same in every part of the district, and it is what spiraled the energies of living to do something. Then once the living who had a deceased past, everyone else the next morning had seen that they too were passed.
So that is the story, first those that had family past would see something very much like what des Deparde saw, and then other families simply copied the actions of the night before. And then more from families did the same thing.
The house from a few houses who had lost someone, it became a panic that struck everyone in a few days. On 11 August Fort d'Evegnee fell, and the way was opened up. The next morning Einem saw reinforcements, in the form of “monstrous” siege guns. From the little .305 mm each comes to the great Big Bertha, these were grade on 12 August. The way was clear all the way into France, which is why the recently dead were awoken, and though their powers were not great, there were none of them to raise a racket. Hence living were roused from slumber, and driven to put up roots, and go. And so go they did, and living followed them.
Thus the trickle grew to a stream, then to a gush, then to a torrent which had no measure of French people storming out. When it became time for the French infantry to advance, this part of Flanders was basically on occupied.
All for the want of people like des Desparde.