Open main menu

Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/141

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

cruel spikes through her feet and hands. Only their hair, blown by the wind, covered their bodies. “See,” said our guards with great satisfaction; “see what will happen to you in Malatia if you are not submissive.”

In the vicinity of Malatia, and in the city itself, there were more than twenty thousand refugees waiting to be sent on. Kurds were camped outside in little bands, each with its “Claw chief,” waiting to waylay and plunder the exiles. Arabs rode about the hills in the distance—outlaw bands, who swooped down upon the Christians in the night and stole the strongest of the women and girls for the harvesting in the fields. Turkish beys and aghas, with here and there a dignified pasha, rode out along the road to inspect each band of exiles as it approached the city, their cruel, sensual eyes trying to pierce the veils the younger girls wrapped about their faces to conceal their youth and prettiness.

From Sivas, Tokat, Egin, Erzindjan, Kerasun, Samsoun and countless smaller cities in the north, where the Armenians had had their homes for centuries, they had all been started toward Malatia. All the rivers in between were running red with blood; the valleys were great open graves in which thousands of bodies were left unburied; mountain passes were choked with the dead, and every rich Turk who kept a harem between the Black Sea and the River Tigris,