I do not remember how many days our decimated caravan marched southward toward the Euphrates River. Day by day the male contingent of the caravan got smaller and smaller. Under the pretext of not killing them if they would hand over liras and gold coins, the men would be milked by the gendarmes of what little money they had. Then they would be killed anyway.
Days wore on. We marched through mountain roads and valleys. Those who could not keep up were put out of their misery. Always bodies were found strewn by the wayside. The caravan was getting smaller each day. At one place, my little grandmother, like Jeremiah incarnate, loudly cursed the Turkish government for its inhumanity. Pointing to us children she asked, “What is the fault of children to be subjected to such suffering?” It was too much for a gendarme to bear; he pulled out his dagger and plunged it into my grandmother’s back. The more he plunged his dagger, the more my beloved Nana asked for heaven’s curses on him and his kind. Unable to silence her with repeated dagger thrusts, the gendarme mercifully pumped some bullets into her and ended her life. First my uncle, now my grandmother were left unmourned and unburied by the wayside.
We moved on.