In the autumn of 1915, around midnight, Marthe was walking as usual toward Number 63. She had a message to deliver: 1,000 German troops were all staying under one roof, at the Rousselaere brewery. She was just about to tap on the window when she heard footsteps behind her. Had she been followed? Perhaps it was another agent who used the same “mail bag” as she. Hiding back in the shadows, Marthe watched a dark form approach the window and heard a familiar series of taps. A hand reached from inside into the darkness. Suddenly, the shadowy figure pulled something from its belt and a gun was fired toward the outstretched hand. There was a sob, a scream, and then a thud. The dark figure opened the window higher and crawled inside. Marthe quickly slid past the window and reached her bedroom 10 minutes later, in a trembling sweat.
Excerpt from "Martha Cnockaert: Nurse for the Germans, Spy for the Belgians" from Women Heroes of World War I