time. Kemal Effendi had ridden up to them, she told me, and had demanded that the leader of the zaptiehs find my relatives and punish them for my escape. Mother bribed the soldiers and they told Kemal my relatives were not among the party.
The party was given no opportunity to rest after the laborious fording of the river, but was made to push on toward Arabkir. Little Hovnan and Mardiros, and Aruciag and Sarah, already were almost exhausted. Their little feet were torn and bleeding, and mother and Lusanne kept them wrapped in cloths. There were no more babies in the party, for just before they forded the river the zaptiehs made the mothers of the youngest babies leave them behind. The mothers nursed them while they were waiting to be taken over the river and then laid them in little rows on the river bank and left them.
The soldiers said Mohammedan women would come out from a nearby village to take the babies and care for them, but none came while we still could see the spot where they were left, and that was for several hours. Several of the mothers, when they realized the promise of the soldiers was just a ruse, jumped into the river to swim back. The soldiers shot them in the water. After that we were not allowed to go near the river, even to drink.
Late that day we came to a khan, or travelers’ rest house, such as are found along all the roads in Asia