It was the home of Xerxes, and, we are taught, was built by the King Aram in the midst of what was the first land uncovered after the Deluge—the Holy Place where the ark of Noah rested. It is very dear to Armenians, and was one of the centers of our church and national life. It lies two hundred miles away from Tchemesh-Gedzak, and was the home of more than 50,000 of our people. The Vali of Van, Djevdet Bey, was the principal Turkish ruler in Armenia—and the most cruel. A massacre at Van meant that soon it would spread over all Armenia.
They brought the horseman from Harpout to our house. My father tried to question him but all he could say was:
“Ermenleri hep kesdiler—hep gitdi bitdi!”—“The Armenians all killed—all gone, all dead! ” He moaned it over and over. In Harpout the news had come by telegraph, and the horseman who belonged in our city had ridden at once to warn us.
I begged my father and mother to let me run at once to the palace of Husein Pasha and tell him I would do whatever he wished if he would save my family before orders came to disturb us. But mother held me close, while father would only say, “God’s will be done, and that would not be it.”
Lusanne was crying. Little Aruciag and Sarah, my younger sisters, were crying, too. My father was very pale and his hands trembled when he put them on my