Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/53

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45
WHEN THE PASHA CAME TO MY HOUSE

Throughout the night the screams from the prison yard continued, and the women waiting outside were frantic. At dawn soldiers drove the women away, telling them their husbands would soon be home.

As soon as the women were out of sight the soldiers took out the men who had lived through the torture, and, tying them together with a long rope, marched them out of the city behind the jail toward the Murad River, ten miles away. When they reached the river bank the soldiers set upon the men and stabbed them to death with bayonets. Only the one escaped by pulling a dead body on top of him and making believe that he, too, was dead.

The next day, Thursday, which is the day before the Mohammedan Sunday, the soldiers went through the streets at 9 o’clock, calling for all Armenian men over eighteen years of age, to assemble in the public square. In every street an officer stopped at house doors and told the people that any man over eighteen who was not in the square in one hour would be killed.

Mother and Lusanne and I flew to father’s arms. We each tried to get our arms around his neck. He was very sad and quiet. “One at a time, my dear ones,” he said, and made us wait while he kissed and said good-by to each of us in turn. Little Sarah, who was seven, and Hovnan, who was six, he held in his arms a long time. Then he kissed me on the lips, such as he had never done before. He told mother she