Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/48

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
40
RAVISHED ARMENIA

band leaped at the man’s throat and was killed by another gendarme.

The prisoners were compelled to march over the bodies of the professor and his wife, while their children, who had also run out of their house, stood aside, wringing their hands and weeping, until the company passed, when they were permitted to tug the bodies of their parents into their home. None of us who watched dared go to the assistance of these little ones.

The jail is a rambling stone building, built more than seven centuries ago. Originally it was a monastery, but the Turks took possession of it in 1580, and have used it as a prison ever since. It is surrounded by a high wall and has a large courtyard onto which the great, barren dungeons open.

Throughout that afternoon mother, Lusanne and I waited anxiously for father to come from Harpout. Toward evening a gendarme came to the house and asked if father had returned yet, saying that he was missed “at the audience with the Mutassarif.” Mother asked him why the men folk were taken to jail, if the Mutassarif wanted to see them. The soldier said the governor thought that would be handier, as it was a long walk to the palace. We were comforted a little by that explanation, but when evening came and the men had not returned to their homes we became worried again. And we began to fear, too, that father and Paul had been intercepted.