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REUNION—AND THEN, THE SHEIKH ZILAN

horsemen. I recognized these as Armenians. This was an unusual sight—Armenians under protection instead of under guard. In those days my curiosity had been stunted. So many unusual things went on about me all the time I had lost my sense of interest in anything that did not actually concern me. But something seemed to hold my attention to this strange looking company.

I got up from the ground where I was sitting and went to the edge of our camp to watch the soldiers passing. The first lines went by. The Armenian women came nearer. Suddenly all the world about me seemed lost in a haze. I rushed in between the horses, screaming at the top of my voice:

“Mother! Mother! Mother!”

She heard, and little Hovnan, and Mardiros, and Sarah heard. Mother slid to the ground as I ran up to her. I tried to throw my arms around her neck, while my little brothers and sister clung to me. But mother caught my arms and held them. Her eyes were closed, and she was still and silent. I cried to her to speak to me. A terrible fear came over me. Had she gone mad? Had she lost her speech?

I screamed—this time with anguish. Mother opened her eyes.

“Be patient, my daughter,” she said, with the dear, sweet gentleness for which all our friends had loved her. “Be patient, my daughter. I was just talking