The next morning the roar of the cannon woke us up, and soon we heard how the fighting stood, for when we went to the commander for a permit to go to Dixmuiden, the sympathetic major absolutely refused it, and haltingly added that he himself did not yet know how things stood there. Well, that was enough for us. At last he gave us a permit for Ostend, and we noticed very soon that now we were in the rear of the front. Whilst the guns were thundering on continuously and the shrapnel exploded in the air, we passed continuously large contingents, who actually formed one long line. The fight was going on only a few miles away, and incessantly the unhappy wounded came out of the small bypaths, stumbling on in their heavily muddied clothes.?