the mountains with his thousand Kurds to fight for the Turks!”
The name of Sheikh Zilan was widely known. His horsemen had harried the countryside for many years. It was said he frequently made raids with his tribe into Persia, and even into the Russian Caucasus before the war, to steal women for the secret slave markets in European Turkey.
The tribe was on its way into Moush. Entrance would be denied them after dark, they knew, so they had decided to camp for the night in Kurdmeidan. Some followers of the Sheikh saw the Armenian church building, and decided to use it as a stable for the horses of the Sheikh and his chiefs. They broke in the door while mother and the rest of us crouched in a corner. But we could not hide—the Kurds saw us and gave the alarm. Soon the church was full of the wild tribesmen.
Mother showed her letters from Haidar Pasha. This awed the Kurds for a moment, and they sent for one of their chiefs. When the chief came he read the letter carefully. Then he examined our party. “The Pasha here says there is an Armenian woman and her servants and three children, to whom immunity has been promised and safe conduct. That we will grant, although the word of a Pasha is not binding upon the will of the great Shiekh Zilan. But the Pasha’s writing