Open main menu

Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/261

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

I saw a great rushing about. Moving bodies of soldiers came and went. Refugees were streaming out of the city and were joined by others from villages all around. In the distance I could hear what I knew to be the firing of guns.

The firing came closer. Now and then big guns spoke, shaking the ground about me. I saw explosions in the city. Houses appeared to fall each time the big guns sounded. Far across the city there suddenly appeared clouds of dust. They drew nearer. Soldiers fled out of the gates of the city nearest me, in the wake of the civilians.

Late in the afternoon the firing ceased. The dust clouds beyond the city had drawn closer. Out of them suddenly emerged bands of horsemen. They rode directly toward the far gates. Companies of Turkish soldiers met them at the city walls. There was a clash. The Turks were driven back. The horsemen followed. There was rifle firing. Other bands of horsemen rode down from every direction in the east, in through the gates and into the city itself.

The Russians had come!

In an hour the city was almost quiet again. Far off I saw great columns of troops moving slowly. Behind the Cossacks the Russian army was coming. The Turks in the city had surrendered.

When night fell I went down from the rocks and into the town. I hoped before dawn came I could find