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An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution - Chapter XV

CHAPTER XV.

January 25th-26th.

It almost seems as if the terrible eye of the magician who has kept the town in bondage is beginning to lose its power. The country tied to the stake is freeing its hands from its fetters and a great awakening is stirring over the Plain.

News pours in. The Roumanians have retired before the Székler bands, and on their retreat they are robbing and destroying, but Kis-Sebes and Bánffy-Hunyad are ours again, and they are packing up in Kolozsvár. The Hungarian forces have appealed to the War Office for help. This is the moment to act, for it is now easy to repel the invading foe. Transyl-vanian Magyardom has declared a general strike. All officials of state, post office, and telegraphs have stopped work, and thirty-two thousand miners have laid down their tools in sympathy with the patriotic movement. It is so, although the Government says that it is a victory for Social Democracy; but in Transylvania it is not the Internationale which is fighting, but a people patriotically defending its very existence.

The position of the Roumanians is becoming dangerous in Transylvania and their soldiers are beginning to desert and go home. It is as though the breeze of a new awakening is coming from over the snow-clad mountains and is blowing to flame the embers that have been smouldering all over the country.

If only the Government were to help now ! But the Government won't. It stamps out the flames, strangles all words of patriotism and strikes the weapons from Hungarian hands.

The Jewish electrician, who is Minister of War, intends to leave the Hungarians of Transylvania to their fate and denounces the patriotism of our last reliable troops. When a detachment of the Budapest chasseurs went to Salgo Tarján he called it the glorious army of Social Democracy, and when the soldiers went off he said to them : " Go and defend our coal, our water, so that we may live. " Only our coal, our water... there is no need to defend the country.

Those who speak and act in our name to-day are not Hungarians. This is a life and death struggle, a desperate fight between a people bled to death and a race that has been allowed to breed too freely—a new kind of war. A short time ago our defeat seemed certain : the Hungarian people made no resistance because its faith had been killed, but now the faith has revived. Its feeble flames had been carried quietly back into the homes by women. And perhaps the time has come at last when the men will want to prove their bravery to those who expect them to be brave.

........

January 27th-February 3rd.

It is a good time for prophets just now. When life becomes unbearable and every moment a torture, in despair men snatch at prophecies and look to the future. Every day new prophets and prophetesses appear. Their oracles are published by the newspapers and spread by word of mouth. Fear longs to be alleviated. Somebody says " It is possible; " the next repeats it as " I believe; " and with the third it becomes " I know. " The sufferers are not content to stop there, however, but proceed to fix a time-limit for the realisation of their predictions. At one moment they are concerned with the impending rising of the Communists, at another with the outbreak of the counter-revolution.

The beginning of the Red Revolution was predicted for to-day, but it has been postponed. Now it is fixed for the 5th of February. People comfort each other by saying that within two hours the Spahis stationed in the neighbourhood can be brought to town and that there is no need to be alarmed. Others have reliable information that on the 6th or the 9th our party will begin its long-prepared offensive. In the streets the agents-provocateurs of Pogány ask young men : " Are you thinking of the 9th of February ? " then add in a whisper : " We meet to-night behind the Museum. " And while the surface bubbles in this fashion, both we and they are doing really serious work in the depths below.

The young people in town are ready and so are the awakening Hungarians, the Széklers and the Transylvanian Hungarians. Our liaisons with the countryside are established. We have weapons and determination and are exasperated beyond endurance. But it is vital that all these organisations should start action at the same moment, for we must not waste our ammunition on sporadic shots; it must be a volley. One hour must strike for all of us.

There is great tension in the air. In Károlyi's camp they are conscious of our surreptitious preparations and Károlyi fears them more than the constantly increasing agitation of the Communists. The possibilities of our movement are more hateful to him and cause him more anxiety than the activity of Béla Kún, although the Communists are not particular what tools they use, and are now agitating quite openly. Here in the capital they are making use of a curious trick. From mid-January on, their street orators have been advising the mob not to pay any rent to the landlords on next quarter day, i.e., February 1st. Why should they ? Are not the houses theirs ? Fortunately the majority of the people kept their heads, and only about some twenty, tenants in the suburbs refused to pay rent, so the riots and the projected Communist rising did not come off, for the present at any rate.

" It has failed this time, " said John Hock, the President of the National Council, to one of my friends, " but the Red terror is bound to come in Hungary ! It will last about two years, and then the old set, whom we kicked out in October, will have to restore order. "

The recovery of Balassa Gyarmat from the Czechs sounded like the clatter of a sword among the vague prophecies and uncertainties of our present life. The sword was drawn by Aladár Huszár and George Pongrácz, and at the cost of many heroic lives a handful of brave railwaymen, artisans, and students, and the peasants of nine villages, drove the Czechs back over the Ipoly.

But this hope did not last. Under pretence of helping, Pogány rushed down there and frustrated the progress which the Czechs had failed to stop. After a flare-up, out goes the flame again. Hope was badly wounded yesterday in Fehérvár too, where there was a county meeting at the County Hall, which, at the proposal of Károlyi's own brother, passed a vote of lack of confidence in the present Government, demanded the re-establishment of the King and the immediate convocation of the old parliament. For those who were present this meant nothing but well-intentioned waving of hats and shaking of fists, but for the country, which was out for a real fight with the forces of destruction, it was a tragedy; for it gave the alarm to the Government, clinging to its ill-got illegal power. To-morrow it will be thirsting for vengeance, and I'm afraid that the preparation of the counter-revolution will meet with new difficulties.

People talk bitterly of the Fehérvár incident, where the idea seems to prevail that a counterrevolution ought to be started to the sound of bands, with the waving of flags and the beating of the big drum. If every remaining county of the country had convoked, secretly, however illegally, a general assembly for the same day, and all these had voted against the Government, then the result would not have been this miserable fiasco.

What has been the result ? Károlyi has commissioned Joseph Pogány to crush every attempt at a counter-revolution, the country's Government delegates have been dismissed, officials have had to take the oath to the government or leave, and Károlyi's brother has had to climb down. Thus ends the affair so far as he is concerned, but for those who are working at the dangerous task of drawing the whole country into the meshes of the counter-revolution and of making its outbreak simultaneous everywhere, the consequences are disastrous. We shall have to start anew and build up what had been wantonly destroyed. One plan was that the county of Jasz-Nagy-Kún should proclaim a separate republic and secede from Károlyi's republic. This would have been the signal for the other counties to follow, leaving Budapest to itself and refusing to supply it with food, so that the starving town would have driven out its degrading tyrants of its own accord. But that is impossible now. A new way will have to be found, and the task will be heavy, for our enemies will be on the alert. At the last meeting of the Soldiers' Council Pogány proclaimed : " The revolution is in danger. Let the leaders and accomplices of the counter-revolution beware, for the well-meaning patience of the Soldiers' and the Workers' masses has been exhausted. As long as possible—patience; when necessity requires it—machine guns. " And he gave orders to his secret police to search the houses of those implicated.

Yesterday Countess Louis Batthyány mentioned to me that she had written a confidential letter to her brother, Count Julius Andrássy, in Switzerland, and my thoughts flew to this letter when I heard this morning that houses were being searched in the town. If it were found ! A Transylvanian friend telephoned to me early this morning and said : " I have had visitors, they will probably come to you too. You'd better make preparations, because they're very inquisitive; they even look up the chimney. " Again I heard that curious buzzing sound in the telephone which has happened lately whenever I have been called up. I myself can never get a connection now-a-days, for though the exchange answers it never connects me. I wrote and reported this, and an electrician came and inspected the apparatus; apparently everything was in order, yet when I wanted to call up somebody the same thing happened again.

The exchange cut off the connection while my friend was speaking to me. I did not hesitate long. I took my papers and recent correspondence and burnt everything which could have betrayed our purpose, my friends or myself. I often used to wonder why precious letters and documents of certain periods had disappeared. There are many letters of Szécsényi, Kossuth and Görgei which might well have been preserved for posterity. And while I was burning the letters addressed to me, one by one, and throwing their ashes into the stove so that no trace might be left in the open fireplace, I understood why the political correspondence of dangerous times had disappeared. There are many other details of Hungary's stormy past which have become clear to me now. Among other things I understand why we have so few diaries and memoirs. For four hundred years our noblest spirits were watched by Austrian spies; and while in other countries innumerable hands recorded freely the lives of their great contemporaries, with us, at the best, only the great political declarations have been preserved. It was like this long ago, and now it is worse still, for worse and more impudent spies are about us now than the informers of the Austrian regîme.

When I had just finished my sad task I heard the bell in the ante-room. Then I remembered these notes. I snatched them up from my writing-table and hid them between my books. But it was only my Transylvanian friend arriving. Her face, always sad of late, wore a new expression. She looked round my room : " Have they been here too ? " she asked, and then began to laugh. It was the laughter of a mischievous child who has escaped detection. " They found nothing at my place. " she said laughing again. " They came early in the morning, with soldiers. I was still in bed, and they wanted to break in the door. I shouted that I was dressing and that a revolver was lying on my table, and meanwhile I threw into a portmanteau whatever I could think of—the list of names of the Széklers' National Council, the members' list of the National Association of Hungarian Women, and their pamphlets—and through an unguarded door the bag disappeared from my room. I didn't mind the police coming in then; they searched everything—me too—but they didn't find anything of importance. "

In high spirits we went to the offices of the Association, where we found the secretary at her table, surrounded by a number of ladies. Practically everybody whose house had been searched that morning had come there and everybody had a different tale to tell. When they were searching Countess Batthyány's library a list of names fell out of a volume, a list of the lady patronesses of a ball held some years ago. They pocketed it promptly : it contained the names they were hunting for.

" How about the letter to Count Aridrássy ? "

" Fortunately the messenger came for it last evening. I shouldn't have liked them to lay their hands on that... "

The little office was filled with the spirit of winning gamblers. We concluded that the domiciliary visits had been a failure. I went home with my mind at rest. But that afternoon I had another visitor, Count Emil Dessewffy, whose house had been searched too.

" I'm glad you got over it without trouble, " I said.

" Yes, " said Dessewffy, " but, "—and he took his single eyeglass out of his eye, then replaced it suddenly—" but there has been a slight misfortune. The searchers found nothing implicating anybody. They took only one letter—yours ! "

At first I did not know what letter he referred to. Then I remembered. I had written to Dessewffy in connection with the women's memorandum, when I had been knocked off the tram and was ill, and in it I had written about Kingship, about the crown. I had passed judgment on men and events and had mentioned and stigmatised Károlyi, Jászi, Hock, Kunfi, Pogány and the whole Social Democracy of Budapest, as being the protagonists of Bolshevik world-rule. I remembered that even when I sent the letter it occurred to me that if it fell into the wrong hands it would entail retaliation.

Dessewffy seemed more upset about it than I.

" Don't worry, " I said, " at least they will know what I think of them. "

........

February 9th.

And they did know.

It happened quicker than I expected. From the hands of the Police my letter passed into those of the Socialist party's secretariat and thence to Joseph Pogány. I got reliable information of the whole thing—someone came to see me this morning. He asked me never to mention his name, and told me to be careful, as I was being watched and my telephone conversations listened to.

In town more and more requisitions are being made, and there have been many arrests, among others one of the leaders of the Awakening Hungarians, some officials of the War Office, the organisers of the armed force of the Territorial's Defence League, and Madame Sztankay, one of the bravest women of the counter-revolution; all have been sent to prison. The stone cast by the County meeting of Fehérvár has made wider and wider rings.

The Social Democrats are destroying with feverish haste everything that has been built up by generations of Hungarians. Jászi has dismissed the Rector and the Dean of the University, while Kunfi attacks the elementary and other schools. The teaching of religion is abolished, patriotism is banished from the schools, and the national anthem prohibited. The books used for the teaching of history in the schools are ' expurgated ' of everything that entitled Hungarians to take a pride in their past, and while this is going on the head of the Budapest communal schools informs the teachers by circular that : " those who cannot, or will not, conform to the spirit of these times, must take the consequences and stand aside. " It has all been done suddenly : the events of the last few days have urged the usurping powers to furious haste, and they are employing every possible shift to make sure of the future—for themselves.

Life becomes more and more difficult every day, and more and more people are taking refuge abroad. The rich Jews have long ago sent their treasures out of the country and have gone into safety themselves. It is amusing and characteristic that Countess Károlyi's pearls have emigrated too, and it has even been said of Károlyi himself that, under the pretence of furthering the peace negotiations, he also would like to go to—safer climes. But the powers of the Entente informed him that they had no wish to negotiate with him.

The mined ground trembles—anywhere is safer than here.

Count Ladislaus Széchenyi and his wife came to take leave of me, and at this parting I was conscious of the fate which they were escaping and which still hangs over me. My heart was heavy; Countess Szechenyi, who used to be Gladys Vanderbilt, had been for years one of my dearest friends, and now the town will seem empty without her. " I shall do everything that is possible, out there, for Hungary... " she told me consolingly. I knew she would, for, though she was foreign born, in the hours of our greatest trials she was more patriotically Hungarian than many of her companions who were Hungarian by birth.

" God speed you, Gladys... shall we ever meet again ? "

I got out of their carriage at a street corner and we took leave in the street. It was raining, and I suddenly felt as if myriads of thin, cold, slimy cobwebs were surrounding me and holding me captive, while their carriage broke through the threads of rain and disappeared before my eyes... They are gone...

I looked out of the window, and outside the snow was now coming down in big flakes. It is falling heavily, deep soft snow, for many, many miles around, covering the roads which lead to happier countries.

How I yearned for far-away things—roads, free roads, beauty, music, peaceful nights, warm rooms !... It lasted but an instant, and then I shook it off ; I had to go to the other shore of the Danube, where, in a dark house, behind drawn curtains, in an unwarmed room, women were waiting for me to address them.

Off I went, and behind me, just a step behind me, there came the new law. From this day on, any person attempting to change the republican form of Government is liable to fifteen years' hard labour; the instigators and leaders of such a movement will go to penal servitude for life. But those who report matters in time shall go free and be duly rewarded.

A white whirlwind swept over the frozen Danube. I went on. The road was long... the law followed and caught me not.

........

February 10th.

The door of my room opened quietly, and the little German maid looked in frightened.

" They've come again. I have tried to send them away, but they won't go... "

This is quite the usual thing nowadays. I jumped up from my writing-desk and went across the cold drawing-room. There was no lamp in the ante-room, and in the gloom I saw two soldiers and a civilian near the door.

" What do you want ? Me ? From the Housing Office ? But you have been over our flat before ! "

They refused to be denied. Fortunately my mother was out of the way and did not meet them while they were looking over the place. When we reached my room the civilian produced a note-book and bent over it in the lamplight on the writing-table. For some minutes he searched for something in his book, then turned to me suddenly with suspicion in his eyes :

" Is this your room ? "

" Yes. "

" We come from the police. We must search it. "

An unpleasant tremor went through me.

" By what right ? " I was on the point of asking, but I thought better of it. I remembered the hidden silver. The best thing would be to show no opposition— " After all, if those are your orders... " and I handed him my keys. One went in this direction, another in that, and I had to keep my eyes on the hands and pockets of all three. Meanwhile I remembered with extraordinary rapidity everything I had forgotten to burn. In awful anguish I thought of these notes, behind the books. What if they found them ? I was thinking so intently about this that I was afraid they might read my face. Suppose my thoughts were to guide them !... One of the soldiers looked into the stove and at the same moment I caught sight of the other extracting cigarettes from a small box and stuffing them into his pockets. The civilian sat down at the table and pulled out a drawer.

" Do you know anything about the organisation of the counter-revolution ? "

" Yes, " I answered... " I got it from the columns of ' The People's Voice.' " (this is the Socialist's own paper.)

The stupid round eyes of the man stared at me and suddenly I began to feel dangerously gay. I took heart and was almost grateful to them for being so conveniently superficial. Why not give them all my cigarettes ? What nonsense ! I pulled myself together and straightened my face.

A bundle of letters lay on my table and the man took them up one after the other. Then he turned the pages of a little book which mother had been reading yesterday, Albach's Heilige Anklange. Suddenly I was seized with disgust. I wanted to be rude. How dare these strangers touch my things like this and obliterate the contact of beloved hands ! They come in, open the cupboards, fumble, search, and all this in " the golden age of the people's liberty, " just because I am Hungarian.

When the three varlets left after searching in vain I felt hopelessly tired. I opened the window and kept it open all the evening just to air the room.

........

February 11th-13th.

Even in my dreams my worries pursue me. I know it, because when I wake with a start I find myself planning, planning, planning. Why can I never rest in peace ?

How people's minds alter nowadays ! In October it was all dazed depression. In November black despair. In December something that was distantly akin to hope. Then came the period of words, I made speeches, spreading my own fire. Later the order of the day was action. Now the sphere is more restricted. We must do something, quickly, unanimously, because if we don't act they will, and all that the Hungarian politicians do is to hold meetings, consult, think of their party, of themselves; even in this awful storm it is impossible to create unity. Don't they feel how they have sinned in the past against the nation ? Don't they realise that they owe it reparation ?

Count Stephen Bethlen's plan, the idea of a great, national collaboration, has suffered shipwreck after a lot of talk. Instead of unfurling the great flag of unity the number of little flags has been increased by one : the camp of Bethlen has been isolated from the others.

The Hungarian people are snipping tiny flags from the three national colours, while against them the Internationalists hoist a single flag dipped in blood, and round us, over all our frontiers, the Czechs, Serbians and Roumanians pour in, each united under its own single banner.

In this great, hopeless discord, the women, be it said to their honour, have found a bond of union, not only in the capital but in the country-side too. The post-office refuses to forward our appeals, but they are carried by hand by brave women, honest railway-men, and engine drivers. Hidden in villages, terrorised towns, in hundreds and hundreds of families, there flickers the little flame that we have lit...

It is this which angers and worries the usurpers. The great eastern eye whose spell has been unable to subdue us, watches us wickedly. Wherever we go, it follows us, spies on us, threatens us. The other day when I was at the house of a friend, armed soldiers took possession of the staircase, a watch was placed in her ante-room, and finally the place was searched.

In our home too we get a queer lot of visitors. Yesterday two soldiers wanted to come in. The maid, whom I have forbidden to open the door to anybody, asked them what they wanted. They enquired whether this was not an office, and whether we had the telephone laid on. The girl answered through the closed door that this was her ladyship Madame Tormay's flat, not an office.

" There are no more ladyships, " they shouted back. The girl went away and left them there, and for a long time they continued ringing and knocking the door.

This morning when I went to say good morning to my mother I found a young Jew in uniform standing at the door of my room. We never discovered how he got in.

" What do you want ? " I asked.

" I have come to requisition lodgings. "

At this I lost all control over myself.

" Enough of that, " I exclaimed. " Clear out ! "

He looked at me rather frightened, and began to stutter.

" There is not a day that you don't intrude here, "

I went on. " This is our home, all that is left to us. Leave it alone ! "

He collected his papers quickly and went away. I had a presentiment afterwards that this young man would give us trouble for having been shown the door, so I went to my mother and told her what had happened. She laughed and replied, " I showed one the door the other day too. " That decided me to go to the Housing Office and to obtain, somehow or other, protection for our house.

After a fight I managed to get on a tram. At this time the Housing Office under the direction of the Social Democrat Garbai had already taken up its quarters in the House of Parliament, where the Lords used to sit.

The beautiful marble staircase of the House of Parliament was indescribably dirty. Its walls were besmeared with coloured pencil scrawls, and red inscriptions defiled the columns, such as " Long live the republic ! " " Long live Social Democracy ! " All their offices are like that. Public buildings sink with incredible rapidity into this dirty state. I have not been there myself but was told by people who have that the royal castle, the so called national palace, is as unswept and filthy as a railway station in the Balkans. In the small drawing-room of Maria Theresa cigarette ends and sausage skins litter the floor. The beautiful old stoves are nearly burst with the coal that is crammed into them, the walls around them are stained with smoke, the valuable old tables are covered with ink blotches, and at them our new administrators sit in their shirt sleeves.

I stood hesitating for a moment in the bespattered corridor of the House of Parliament. People rushed past me, but nobody could give me any information, so I knocked at a door haphazard and entered an untidy office. A tall unkempt man was bending over a writing-table, a fat one stood beside him, and there were some others lounging about. They sent me away, so I went into the next room, and found the same type of people, who spoke to me just as sharply and also sent me away. Corridors, ante-rooms, offices, offices and offices again, and everywhere the same type of face—as if they had all been cast in the same mould.

I went on, though I now began to feel uncomfortable, and very lonely; I felt as though I had been abandoned among these strangers. It was only then that I realised what was happening in the public offices of Hungary. My discomfort changed into fear, and I began to run but could not find my way out. My head began to reel, and I staggered out into the corridor. The stairs were opposite me, and I rushed down them and met a commissionaire at the bottom. He was Hungarian, the only Hungarian I had yet met in the whole place.

" Where is the Treasury ? " I asked him. I had a friend in that office, which was the reason I was looking for it.

The commissionaire looked at me in astonishment; I must have looked rather queer.

" Yes ?—there ?... Thank you ! " and I rushed on. I passed through an ante-room and then I found myself among friends.

" What has happened to you ? You are as white as a sheet. "

" I got lost among the many new offices. I was sent from one room to another, and everywhere the same faces glared at me. All the rooms of the House of Lords are full of them. They have overrun every inch of the House of Parliament. Our people are nowhere. Good God, are those people in sole possession everywhere ? "

" Everywhere... " came the gloomy answer. I buried my face in my hands, and wept bitterly.

........

February 15th-18th.

I have just heard the true reason why the Archduke Joseph took the oath of allegiance to the National Council. Michael Károlyi, Count Theodore Batthyány and Kunfi went to him, and Károlyi pledged his word that he would hand the command of the army over to the Archduke if only he would take the oath. At that time this would have meant the saving of the nation : the armed forces in the hands of Archduke Joseph. The Archduke made the sacrifice and took the oath. But those who have lied as no men have ever lied in this world before, who have cheated the country with the stories of their friendship with the Entente and their loyalty to the King, who have cheated the nation and the army with their promises of a good peace—they cheated the Archduke Joseph too. While they were taking his oath of allegiance at the Town Hall the army which they promised him was being shattered by Linder in front of the House of Parliament.

All lies... But lies are like a bridge without banks to support it, which must break down...

The friend who had warned me before of impending peril came again. He entered cautiously and looked round continually while he was speaking.

" Look out, " he said in a whisper. " Give up all your activities, give up this organising; you are being watched with grave suspicion. It would be a pity if they took you. I like your books : you will still be able to go on writing beautiful things if you take care. But you won't if you go on like this. There are many of us who would dig you out of a grave with their bare hands, but they will get you into one. Joseph Pogány said yesterday ' We will settle Cecile Tormay's little business.' "

I thanked him for the advice, knowing all the time that I should not follow it. Destiny decides people's fate when it puts patriotism into their hearts. The more of it it gives, the harder their fate.

In the evening I overheard from my room a curious conversation on the telephone. Our housekeeper was telephoning to her fiancé, who, she tells me, is a chauffeur. She is a good-looking woman, and in January she left our service over a question of wages, but a short time later asked to be taken back, although we could only raise her salary slightly. At the time I didn't see anything very remarkable in that; but since I have heard this conversation over the telephone I have begun to wonder what her reason for coming back could be. This is what she said :

" Hello, hello, is that you ? Back again ? No engine trouble ? Yes. In Kiskunhalas too !... And you took many arms, machine guns too ? Did you catch them ? Officers, you say ? "

I was rather alarmed. So they had captured one of the arsenals which the counter-revolution had established in the country. I feared for the safety of the others. Only later did I think of ourselves. Who was this woman's fiancé ? Whose chauffeur was he ? My suspicions were aroused. But the time when one can dismiss a servant is past, unless it be the servant's good pleasure to go. I remembered letters I had asked her to post, which never reached their destination. I also remembered that whenever I receive visitors she crosses the ante-room as if accidentally. Is it accidental ? I must watch her... As I stood pondering she came and stood in the doorway with a letter in her hand.

" It's very confidential, " she said, looking at me rather queerly. " The man who brought it wanted to deliver it into your own hands only. "

" Some beggar, I suppose " ... I replied indifferently ; but I could see that she did not believe me.

The envelope contained an invitation. Tomorrow afternoon Count Stephen Bethlen's party will be formed at last.

........

February 19th.

We walked fast, in Indian file, through the rainswept streets. From the dilapidated gutters of the houses the water poured here and there on to our necks. The shop windows were empty. Soaked red posters screamed from the walls : " To-morrow afternoon we must all be in the streets. "

" This means that we had better not, " I said when, opposite the Opera, we got into the finest street in Budapest. The wooden pavement was full of holes ankle-deep in water, for at night our respectable citizens fetch wood from this pavement for their fires.

Everything visible is bleak and shabby, and outside the town the whole country is in the same state. The Czechs have annexed Pressburg, and they turned the protest meeting of its inhabitants into a bath of blood. A little boy climbed a lamp-post and tried to stick up a tiny Hungarian flag. The Czech soldiers shot him down as if he were a sparrow, and little paper flag and little boy fell together on the pavement. The embittered crowd then attacked the soldiers with their bare hands; the soldiers called for reinforcements and began a regular massacre from street to street. When Colonel Baracca, the Italian commander of the Czech garrison, attempted to get his men back to the barracks they broke his head with the butts of their rifles. And as the Czechs behave in the highlands, so do the Serbians down in the plain, and worse than both, the Roumanians in Transylvania. They flog ladies, priests, old men, in the open street. They hang and torture, cut gashes into the backs of Hungarians, fill them, with salt, sew the bleeding wounds up, and then drive their victims with scourges through the streets. Meanwhile the voluntary Székler and Hungarian battalions are appealing in vain for help from the War Office, so that they may at least save their people. But William Böhm and Joseph Pogány refuse it, Károlyi makes speeches on pacificism, and Béla Kún proclaims class war in the barracks of Budapest.

There is dynamite underground. We hear stifled explosions every day. It was in this charged atmosphere that Count Bethlen made his declaration concerning his party's policy.

Szóljon hozzá!

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