Open main menu

Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/78

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

Esther had married Vartan Magurditch, a young lawyer, just a week before. When both her father and husband were taken from her she almost lost her mind.

When all the fourteen girls had said the Mohammedan rek’ah, soldiers took them with the orphans to the big house in which Esther’s family had lived. It was the largest Armenian home in the city.

As soon as the children and the apostasized girls entered the house Esther prepared a meal for them from the bread and other food that had been left. While the children were eating the girls were summoned to another part of the house, where an aged Mohammedan woman awaited them with yashmaks, or Turkish veils, which she told them they must put on, as they had become Mohammedan women and must not let their faces be seen.

The young women were then told to seat themselves until an officer came to give further instructions. They still were waiting in the room when childish voices in the other part of the house were lifted up, in screams. The girls rushed to the door, only to find it locked.

Suddenly the door opened and Vahby Bey, with his chief of staff, Ferid Bey, and Ali Riza Effendi, the Police Commissary, whose headquarters were in Harpout, entered. With them were a number of other smartly dressed officers, who had been traveling with