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78
RAVISHED ARMENIA

our bodies for money. They took all the pretty girls and violated them before our eyes.

“I pleaded with the commander of our soldier guards to protect my Sherin. He had been our friend in Kamakh. He promised to save us if I would become a Moslem, and for Sherin’s sake, I did. He made the bandits allow us to put on our clothes again, and Sherin and I veiled our faces.

“The commander detailed soldiers to escort us to Harpout and take me to the governor there. When we left the Kurds and soldiers who were tired of the girls were killing them, and the others as well. When we reached here the soldiers killed my little ones by mashing their heads together. They violated Sherin while they held me, and then cut off her breasts, so that she died. They left me alive, they said, because I had become Moslem.”

We tried to take Margarid into our party, but she would not come. “I must go to God with my children,” she said. “I will stay here until He takes me.” So we left her sitting there with her loved ones.

It was late at night and the stars were out when we arrived at the banks of the Kara Su. Here we were told by the soldiers we could camp for the night. In the distance we could see the light on the minaret in the village of Gwazim, where father and Paul had died in the burning prison.