Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/148

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
140
RAVISHED ARMENIA

are few byways. My bare feet were tired from walking all night on cobblestones and pavements. I felt very tired—not as if I really were but little over fourteen. I knew I would soon be carried into one of these Turkish houses and lost, perhaps forever, if soldiers or gendarmes should catch me at large. I hid in a little areaway.

Suddenly I realized that I was hugging the walls of a house over which hung the American flag. A feeling of relief came over me. The American flag is very beautiful to the eyes of all Armenians! For many years it has been to my people the promise of peace and happiness. We had heard so much of the wonderful country it represented. Armenia always has thought of the United States as a friend ever ready to help her.

When the street was clear I left my hiding place and went to the door of the house. I rapped, but Turks entered the street just then and spied me. They were citizens, not soldiers, but they shouted and started to run at me, recognizing me perhaps from the bits of garments which I had managed to gather to cover my body, as an Armenian.

I screamed and pushed at the door. It opened, and I found myself in the arms of a woman who was hurrying to let me in.

I was too frightened to explain. The Turks were at the door. I thought I would be carried away.