than had her sister, yet just as firmly. “She was my sister. With her I saw my mother die, and now you have taken her. You may kill me also, but I will never submit to you.”
Those of us who watched looked with terror at Hadji Ghafour. This time his eyes narrowed and glittered. “You have spoken well, my little one,” he said, still so gently he might have been speaking to a beloved daughter. “Perhaps I had better kill you as a warning to my other little ones.”
The negro with the whip stood near. Hadji Ghafour did not even speak to him—just motioned with his hands. Two other servants sprang forward. Quickly they stripped the girl of her clothes. And then the whip fell upon her naked body.
I shut my eyes so I could not see, but I could not shut out the sound of the whip cutting into the flesh, again and again, until I lost count. Even when the girl screamed no more and her moans died away the whip did not stop for a long time. Then suddenly I realized the blows had ceased. I opened my eyes and saw one of the servants lifting the girl’s body from the floor. He held her by the waist, and her arms and bleeding legs hung limp. She was dead.
None of us had courage after that. We gave Hadji Ghafour our promises. We were taken out another door, this time to the women’s apartments, where women of the household were waiting to receive us.