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178
RAVISHED ARMENIA

down with the end of his gun. She could not get up again, and we saw her rolling about in the sand until she died.

On the evening of our second day of waiting outside the walls there was a great commotion at the city’s southern gate, and presently a stream of refugees, all women, came pouring out onto the plain. All that day groups of Tchetchen horsemen had been gathering from the surrounding country and taking up positions nearby. Now we knew why these horsemen had come—they had been notified a company of refugees was to be sent out of the city.

The Turks themselves seldom massacred women in a wholesale way. Constantinople had not authorized the killing of submissive women—the work was left to Kurds and other bands.

I think there must have been more than 2,000 women and some children in this company. They began to come out of the gate before sundown, and were still coming long after it was dark. The Tchetchens herded them into a circle about one mile from the walls. They were half a mile or more from us, but when the moon came up we could plainly hear the shouts and screams that told us the Tchetchens had begun their evil work.

All night long we heard the screams. Sometimes they would be very near, as if fugitives were coming our way. Then we would hear shouts and the hoofbeats