Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/138

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130
RAVISHED ARMENIA

to fight with their hands and sticks against the armed soldiers.

But the zaptiehs who accompanied the party surrounded the base of the cliffs and kept the women from escaping. Then the Kasab Tabouri killed men until there were not enough left to resist them. Scores of men feigned death among the bodies of their friends, and thus escaped with their lives.

Part of the soldiers then scaled the cliffs to where the women were huddled. They took babies from the arms of mothers and threw them over the cliffs to comrades below, who caught as many as they could on their bayonets. When babies and little girls were all disposed of this way, the soldiers amused themselves awhile making women jump over—prodding them with bayonets, or beating them with gun barrels until the women, in desperation, jumped to save themselves. As they rolled down the base of the cliff soldiers below hit them with heavy stones or held their bayonets so they would roll onto them. Many women scrambled to their feet after falling and these the soldiers forced to climb the cliffs again, only to be pushed back over.

The Kasab Tabouri kept up this sport until it was dark. They were under orders to pass the night at Tshar-Rahya, a village three hours from the gorge, so when darkness came and they were weary even of this game they assembled and marched away singing, some with babies on their bayonets, others with an