Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/177

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slippers, we were mistaken for Turkish girls or harem slaves hurrying home to escape a scolding.

When we came to the gates of the city we were frightened lest we be stopped—but the Turkish soldiers guarding the gate had stolen for themselves some Armenian girls from refugees camped near the city, and were too busy amusing themselves with these girls to notice us. Soon we were beyond the city, alone in the night. The sands cut through our thin slippers, and we were afraid that every shadow was that of a lurking Kurd.

It was twenty miles or more, Arousiag believed, to the monastery. For three days we traveled, hiding most of the days in the sand for fear of wandering villagers or Kurds, and walking as far as we could at night. We had no bread or other food, and only late at night, when the dogs in the villages were asleep, could we dare to approach a village well for water.

Arousiag suffered much from thirst on the fourth day. She was so famished for water, of which we had none the night before, that when I cried she moistened her tongue with my tears. At last she could go no further and sank to the earth. In the distance was an Arab village. The Arabs are not like the Kurds—they are very fierce sometimes, and do not like the Armenians, but unless they are in the pay of Turkish pashas they are not always cruel. To save Arousiag’s life I left her and went into the village.