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104
RAVISHED ARMENIA

would remain with us. There were seventy-two of them, and we felt much safer and encouraged with them among us. But we knew what the summons meant. The men knew, too, and so did their womenfolk.

Each man said good-by to his wife, or daughters, or mother, and other relatives who had been gathered in at the village. The captain’s tent was just a white speck in the moonlight. Around it we made out the figures of soldiers and zaptiehs. The women clung to the men as long as they dared, then the men marched out in a little company. Our guards would not allow us to follow. We watched, hoping against hope.

Soon we saw a commotion. Screams echoed across to us. Figures ran out into the desert, with other figures in pursuit. Only the pursuers would return. Then it was quiet. The men were all dead.

That was the first time the officers had raised a tent. We wondered at their doing this, as usually they slept in the open after their nightly orgies with our girls. After that we shuddered more than ever whenever we saw the soldiers put up a tent for the night.

After the massacre of the men, the soldiers who had participated came into the camp and, with those which had remained guarding us, went among us selecting women whose husbands had belonged to the