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82
RAVISHED ARMENIA

quickly and came up. When I looked up into his face I saw it was Musa Bey himself!

The bey clutched at me roughly, tore open my dress and threw back my hair. Then he gave a short command, and, so quickly, I had hardly screamed, he threw me across his horse and leaped up behind. In another instant he was carrying me in a wild gallop across the plains. His band rode close behind, each Kurd holding a girl across his horse. I struggled with all my strength to get free. I wanted to throw myself under the horse’s hoofs and be trampled to death. But the bey held me across his horse’s shoulder with a grip of iron, as he galloped to the west, skirting the banks of the river.

I screamed for my mother. The other girls’ screams joined with mine. Behind us I could hear the shouts and cries of our party. I thought I heard my mother’s voice among them. Then the shouts died away in the distance. Soon I lost consciousness.

When I came to I was lying on the ground, with the other girls who had been stolen. The Kurds had dismounted. Some were busy making camp, while others were in groups amusing themselves with such of the girls as were not exhausted. Musa Bey was absent.

My clothes were torn and my body ached from the jolting of the horse. My shoes and stockings were off when the Kurds came down upon us, so my