Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/56

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48
RAVISHED ARMENIA

Lusanne started to run downstairs to look in the yard. I motioned her not to go. I put my arms around mother and said, between my sobs:

“They took Paul too—he is with our father!”

Mother sank upon the floor and buried her face. Lusanne and I knelt beside her. But she didn’t cry. Her eyes were dry when she gathered us to her. I never saw my mother cry after that, even when the Turkish soldiers, at the orders of Ahmed Bey, were beating her to death while they made me look on before returning me to Ahmed’s harem.

Out of my window we could see the men comforting each other, or talking excitedly with the leaders, in the square. By the middle of the afternoon more than 3,000 men and older boys had assembled. The soldiers and zaptiehs searched our houses that no man over eighteen might escape. When women clung to husbands and fathers the soldiers said the men were summoned only to be addressed by Ishmail Bey, the Vali, who was coming up from his capital, Harpout. Some of the women believed this explanation. Others knew it was not true.

Not very far from our house was the home of Andranik, a young man who had graduated from the American School at Marsovan, and who had come to our city with his parents to teach in our schools. He was very popular in the city, and it was to him Lusanne was to be married. When the Turks conscripted