we sent out to buy it were sure to receive a beating as well as the water. We who had money with us had to share with those who had none. Sometimes the villagers would sell the water, collect the money, and then tip over the cups.
After we were on the road a week we were treated even more cruelly than during the first few days. The old women, and those who were too ill to keep on, were killed, one by one. The soldiers said they could not bother with them. When children lagged behind, or got out of the line to rest, the zaptiehs would lift them on their bayonets and toss them away—sometimes trying to catch them again as they fell, on their bayonet points. Mothers who saw their young ones killed in this way for the sport of our guards could not protest. We had learned that any sort of a protest was suicide. They had to watch and wring their hands, or hold their eyes shut while the children died.
Our family had been especially fortunate because none of our little ones became ill. Although Hovnan was only six years old, he seemed to realize what was going on. My youngest aunt, Hagenoush, who was with us, was carried off from the road by a zaptieh, who beat her terribly when she tried to resist him. When he had outraged her he buried his knife in her breast and drove her back to us screaming with the fright and pain. I think I was never so discouraged