Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/64

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40
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

as I have said, came of the humblest stock, his bride was a daughter of the Turkish Imperial House. Turkish weddings are prolonged affairs, lasting two or three days. The day following the Embassy dinner, Talaat gave the Billings party a luncheon at the Cercle d'Orient, and he insisted that Enver should leave his wedding ceremony long enough to attend this function. Enver, therefore, came to the luncheon, sat through all the speeches, and then returned to his bridal party.

I am convinced that Talaat did not regard this Billings episode as closed. As I look back upon this transaction, I see clearly that he was seeking to extricate his country, and that the possibility that the United States would assist him in performing the rescue was ever present in his mind. He frequently spoke to me of Mr. "Beelings," as he called him, and even after Turkey had broken with France and England, and was depending on Germany for money, his mind still reverted to Mr. Billings's visit; perhaps he was thinking of our country as a financial haven of rest after he had carried out his plan of expelling the Germans. I am certain that the possibility af American help led him, in the days of the war, to do many things for me that he would not otherwise have done. "Remember me to Mr. Beelings" were almost the last words he said to me when I left Constantinople. This yachting visit, though it did not lack certain comedy elements at the time, I am sure ultimately saved many lives from starvation and massacre.