more prosperous class and ordering them to go to the tent. The captain wished to question them, the soldiers said. They summoned my mother and many women who had been our neighbors or friends, until more than two hundred women whose husbands had been rich or well-to-do were gathered. With my mother my Aunt Mariam, whose husband had been a banker, was taken.
As soon as the women had arrived at the tent the captain told them they were summoned to give up the money they had brought with them, “for safe keeping from the Kurds,” he said. The women knew their money would never be returned to them and that they would suffer terribly without it. They refused to surrender it, saying they had none. Then the zaptiehs fell upon them. They searched them all, first tearing off all their clothes.
One woman, who was the sister of the rich man, Garabed Tufenkjian, of Sivas, and who had been visiting in our city when the deportations began, was so mercilessly beaten she confessed at last that she had concealed some money in her person. She begged the soldiers to cease beating her that she might give itthem. The soldiers shouted aloud with glee at this confession and recovered the money themselves, cutting her cruelly with their knives to make sure they had missed none.
The soldiers then searched each woman in this way.