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VAHBY BEY TAKES HIS CHOICE

the soldiers had killed with their bayonets or gun handles. They left their bodies, still tied together, at the roadside. On the river banks we found other bodies that had been washed up.

As soon as Ferid Bey had gone and Esther heard the other officers assembling on the floor below, something warned her to try to escape immediately. Her clothes had been nearly all torn away, but she dared not wait even to cover herself. She climbed onto the roof by a small stairway which the Turks were not guarding, and hid herself there.

General Vahby and his officers went to their quarters. The soldiers hunted out the girls they had left behind. Esther heard them fighting among themselves over the prettiest ones. After a time most of the girls died. The soldiers killed the rest with their swords when they were finished with, them. From what Esther heard them saying to each other as they did this, she believed they had been ordered not to leave any of the young women alive as witnesses to Vahby Bey and his officers having done such things openly.

Esther crept out of the house and crawled through a back street to the square. She found my mother and fell into her arms. When daylight came a soldier saw her and recognized her as one of the girls who had apostasized the day before, and the zaptiehs carried her away.