Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/47

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39
WHEN THE PASHA CAME TO MY HOUSE

ran upstairs to get them the officer insisted upon going with her. While she was getting the keys from my father’s room he embraced her, tearing open her dress as he did so. When she screamed he slapped her in the face so hard she fell onto the floor. He left her there and went out with his men.

From our windows we could overlook the public square. Here the zaptiehs gathered fifty of the city’s leading men. Among them were Father Rhoupen; the president of the Christian College, which had been founded by American missionaries; several professors and physicians; bankers, the principal merchants and other business men.

Instead of marching their prisoners toward the palace of the Pasha, the guards turned them toward the other part of the city. Then we knew they were being taken, not to an audience with the commandant, but to the jail which had been emptied by the Mutassarif that morning.

Many women, when they realized where their husbands were being taken, ignored the order to keep to their homes, ran into the street and tried to rush up to their men folk. The gendarmes knocked them aside with rifle butts. One woman, the wife of a professor, managed to break through the guard and reach her husband, A gendarme tried to pull her away, but she clung tightly, screaming. The soldier turned his rifle about and drove his bayonet into her. Her hus-