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OLD VARTABED AND THE SHEPHERD’S CALL

as kindness and affection, shall be yours as long as you are obedient and respectful,” Ahmed said. “First, you shall renounce the Christ you have been taught to worship and accept the forgiveness of Allah and Mohammed, his prophet.”

I told him I was weary of suffering, but that I had been given into the keeping of God by my mother, and that I would not desert Him. At this Ahmed became furious. All his gentleness passed away. He trembled in his anger. He upbraided me and my people and blasphemed my religion. I cried with shame at hearing him, but he had no pity. I pleaded with him to free me, that I might return to my mother's party, and I told him of the paper given my mother by Haidar Pasha of Ourfa. But he would not listen.

The little slave was sent from the room to summon one of Ahmed’s sons. The son came in almost immediately. Ahmed called him “Nazim.” “This is the one sent me by Djevdet Bey, himself. I have set her aside for you, my son, because of her comeliness and youth. But her spirit must be broken. I have sent for you that you might look upon her and decide—what shall be done with her.”

Ahmed’s son spoke to me, but I did not answer. Then he took my hand, drew me up before him and lifted my face that he might look into my eyes.

“Leave her to me, my father, that I may try to persuade her to be happy in our house,” Nazim said.