Rilla of Ingleside HTML version

VII. A War-Baby And A Soup Tureen
"Liege and Namur--and now Brussels!" The doctor shook his head. "I don't like it--I don't
like it."
"Do not you lose heart, Dr. dear; they were just defended by foreigners," said Susan
superbly. "Wait you till the Germans come against the British; there will be a very
different story to tell and that you may tie to."
The doctor shook his head again, but a little less gravely; perhaps they all shared
subconsciously in Susan's belief that "the thin grey line" was unbreakable, even by the
victorious rush of Germany's ready millions. At any rate, when the terrible day came--
the first of many terrible days--with the news that the British army was driven back they
stared at each other in blank dismay.
"It--it can't be true," gasped Nan, taking a brief refuge in temporary incredulity.
"I felt that there was to be bad news today," said Susan, "for that cat-creature turned
into Mr. Hyde this morning without rhyme or reason for it, and that was no good omen."
"'A broken, a beaten, but not a demoralized, army,'" muttered the doctor, from a London
dispatch. "Can it be England's army of which such a thing is said?"
"It will be a long time now before the war is ended," said Mrs. Blythe despairingly.
Susan's faith, which had for a moment been temporarily submerged, now reappeared
"Remember, Mrs. Dr. dear, that the British army is not the British navy. Never forget
that. And the Russians are on their way, too, though Russians are people I do not know
much about and consequently will not tie to."
"The Russians will not be in time to save Paris," said Walter gloomily. "Paris is the heart
of France--and the road to it is open. Oh, I wish" --he stopped abruptly and went out.
After a paralysed day the Ingleside folk found it was possible to "carry on" even in the
face of ever-darkening bad news. Susan worked fiercely in her kitchen, the doctor went
out on his round of visits, Nan and Di returned to their Red Cross activities; Mrs. Blythe
went to Charlottetown to attend a Red Cross Convention; Rilla after relieving her
feelings by a stormy fit of tears in Rainbow Valley and an outburst in her diary,
remembered that she had elected to be brave and heroic. And, she thought, it really
was heroic to volunteer to drive about the Glen and Four Winds one day, collecting