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168
RAVISHED ARMENIA

The Arab women gathered around me, and to them I appealed for food and water, as best I could. The women pitied me, and when the Arab men came to inspect me they, too, felt sorry. They brought a gourd of cool water, and bread, and some of the women went with me to where Arousiag lay. The water revived and strengthened her, and it gave me strength too. Our clothes were mostly torn away, and the Arab women gave us other garments and sandals for our feet. The monastery, they said, was but a few miles further on, and they showed us the nearest way. An Arab boy went with us to tell the men of other villages that we must not be harmed. Also the boy guided us away from a Circassian village, where we would have been made captives.

When the gray stone walls of the consent rose before us in the distance Arousiag and I knelt down on the earth and thanked our Savior. The Arab boy turned and ran back when he saw we were praying to the Christ of the “unbelievers.” But we were very grateful to him.

It was almost evening, and the monks were at prayer. We stood at the gate until some of them heard our call, and then they let us in. The monks were very kind. They gathered around us and listened to our story. Then they took us into their little chapel and knelt down around us, while the prior chanted a prayer of thankfulness.