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71
VAHBY BEY TAKES HIS CHOICE

General Vahby. The girls fell to their knees before the officers, and asked them, in Allah’s name, to let them go to the children. The officers laughed. The three sisters, who had taken their little brothers with the other children, appealed to General Vahby to tell them what had happened to their little ones. Vahby Bey did not answer, but pointed to the taller one of the three girls, the one who was so handsome, and said to the chief of staff: “This one I will take; guard her carefully.” Ferid Bey, the chief officer, then called some soldiers, who picked up the girl and carried her upstairs to a room which Vahby Bey had occupied. Vahby Bey followed. Ferid Bey then selected Esther, and soldiers carried her up to another room. Ferid Bey followed and dismissed the soldiers, with orders to place a guard outside his door and another outside the door of Vahby Bey’s room.

Downstairs the other officers of Vahby Bey’s staff each selected a girl, the officers of higher rank taking first choice. There were three girls left, one of them the youngest sister of the girl Vahby Bey had taken, and the soldiers took possession of these, not even removing them from the room.

How long these three girls lived I cannot tell. It was Esther who told us what happened that afternoon in her house, for she was the only one of the fourteen who escaped alive. Before she got away