Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/68

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6o
RAVISHED ARMENIA

themselves to Turks or be killed anyway.” I broke away and ran home as fast as I could. I could not forget the look on that Turk’s face as he spoke to me. It was the first time I had ever seen such a look in a man’s face. I tried to explain to mother. She put her arms around me, but all she said was:

“My poor little girl!”

The women had been allowed until noon to assemble in the square. Already they were arriving there, with horse, donkey and ox carts, some with as many of their things as they could heap on their carts, others with just blankets and comforts, a favorite rug and bread and fruits. In Armenia every family keeps a year’s supply of food on hand. The women had to leave behind all they could not carry.

When it came time for us to go I thought again of the look in that Turk’s face. For the first time I realized just what it would mean to be a captive in one of the harems of the rich Turks whose big houses look down from the hills all about the city. I had heard of the Christian girls forced into haremliks of these houses, but I had never really understood. Lusanne was older. She knew more than I. If only I could have died with Andranik,” she said.

Mother thought of a plan she hoped might save Lusanne and me from the harems or a worse fate among the Kurds and soldiers. She brought out two yashmaks, or veils, such as Turkish women wear on the