Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/65

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57
THE DAYS OF TERROR BEGIN

great celebration in the El Hasan mosque, in honor of the Mohammedan Sunday, while we were at Gwazim. A special imam, or prayer reader, had come all the way from Trebizond to read special prayers set aside for such great events as the beginning of a holy war or massacre of Christians.

That morning soldiers went through the streets posting a new paper on the walls. It was what we had feared — an order from the Governor that all Armenian Christian women in the city, young and old, must be ready in three days to leave their homes and be deported — where, the order did not say.

As soon as the Turkish residents heard of the new order many of them began to go about the Armenian half of the town offering to buy what the Armenian women wanted to sell. As there were none of the men left, the women had no one to advise them. To our house, which was one of the best in the city, there came many rich Turks, who told us we had better sell them our rugs and the beautiful laces mother, Lusanne and I had made.

Every Armenian girl is taught to make pretty laces. No girl is happy until she can make for herself a lace bridal veil. Always the Turks are eager to buy these, as they sell for much money to foreign traders, but no Armenian bride will sell her veil unless she is starving. Lusanne and I had made our veils, and had put them away until we should need them. We knew we