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OLD VARTABED AND THE SHEPHERD'S CALL

punishment would be death, or the public khan at once, but I could not bring myself to deny Christ, after having remained faithful to Him so long. I asked Him what I should do—and His answer came, just as clear and direct as when I was about to use my knife outside the rocks of Diyarbekir. I seemed to see Father Rhoupen, the priest, and I even felt his hand on my shoulder again, just as when he said to me, “Always trust in God and remain faithful unto Him.” I told the kalfa I could not forswear Jesus Christ.

One of the other girls who had been brought to Djevdet Bey’s house with me also refused to give up her religion, even to save her life. The third girl had suffered so much—her heart and soul were broken. She gave way. The kalfa put her into another room. In a little while we who had refused to apostasize were summoned, put into separate arabas, and driven away. What became of the other little girl I do not know. I was taken to the house of Ahmed Bey, one of the rich men of Moush. I was a present to him from Djevdet Bey.

I cannot forget the depression that came over me when I entered the courtyard of Ahmed Bey’s house. Twice before, since the deportations began, had I been taken a captive into the houses of Turks and left at their mercy. Yet now I felt as if the future were darker than ever before. Perhaps it was because the house of Ahmed was outside the city, in the plains—