women and negro slave girls watched us in the bath and locked us up again.
At the end of an hour we heard steps. The door was opened and a huge black slave, with other negroes behind him, summoned us. Frightened and too cowed to ask questions or hold back, we followed the slave through halls and up stairways, until wre came to a huge rug-strewn chamber, brilliantly lighted with lamps and candles. On divans heavy with cushions, at one side of the room, sat Hadji Ghafour and a group of other Turks who were of his class, all middle aged or older, none with a kindly face.
Those of us who had been taken from the apostasized party stood to one side, while a servant said, to the others:
“It is the will of Hadji Ghafour, whose house has given you refuge, that you repay his kindness in saving you from the dangers that confront your people by repenting of your unbelief and accept the grace of Islam.”
The Turks made sounds of approval, and a turbanned Khateeb, or priest of the mosque, entered the chamber, with an attendant who carried the prayer rug. Behind him was a negro servant carrying a whip of bull’s hide. The prayer rug was spread, and the Khateeb waited.
The Turks pointed to a shrinking girl and the servants pulled her out. “What say you?” the officer