Open main menu

Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/213

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

“Ishim yok; Keifim tchok,” which means, “I have no work to do; I have much fun!” After that, whenever regular soldiers were sent to slaughter Armenians, they called out to each other:

“Ishim yok; keifim tchok!”

Over this same path I walked, more than 400,000 of my people had trod—some of them having walked a thousand miles or more to get there. And of these, sole survivors of the millions who were deported from their homes, those who are alive to-day are lost in the deserts, where there is no bread or food.

God grant that I may soon go back to this desert, from which I escaped, with money and food for those of my people who may still be alive!

When we camped near a village at night our zaptiehs would invite the village gendarme and his friends to come out, and they would sell young women to them for the night. The mother or other relatives of these young women dared not even object, for if they did the zaptiehs would kill them. Sometimes there would be better class Turks in some of these villages, and they would pick out girl children and buy them. They would pay our guards for the child they fancied and take it out of its mother’s arms. These children now are being taught to be Moslems, and, if they are old enough, made to work in the fields. Some of them are concubines besides.

Three babies were born during the first days of this