Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/115

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
107
THE WAYS OF THE ZAPTIEHS

Lusanne cried, but the zaptieh was merciless. He dragged her along. I could not hold myself. I ran to Lusanne and caught hold of her, pleading with the zaptieh to release her. Lusanne resisted, too, and the zaptieh became enraged. With an oath he drew his knife and buried it in Lusanne’s breast. The blade, as it fell, passed so close to me it cut the skin on my cheek, leaving the scar which I still have. Lusanne died in my arms. The zaptieh turned his attention to another girl he had noticed.

Mother had not seen—she was still too exhausted from her own sufferings. Aruciag and Hovnan, my little brother and sister, saw it all, however, and had run to where I stood dazed, with Lusanne’s limp body in my arms. I laid her on the ground and wondered how I could tell mother.

A woman who had been standing near took my place at mother’s side. I led the little ones away and asked another woman to keep them with her, then I returned to my sister’s body. I could not make myself believe it. I counted on my fingers—father, mother, Paul, Lusanne, Aruciag, Sarah, Mardiros, Hovnan and my two aunts. With me that made eleven of us—eleven in our family. Then I counted father, Paul, Aunt Mariam, and now Lusanne—four already gone!

I cried over Lusanne a long time. Then I realized I must do something. I was afraid a sudden shock