|A Short Excerpt From The Book|
Lucine thrust a small shovel into the grass in the adjoining pen. She carefully drew it beneath the sod until the piece was free. She looked around, making sure no one was watching, and they began scooping out the soil. It did not take long.
"That is enough," she whispered.
Anahid nodded and handed her the piece of rough leather. Lucine laid it down and Anahid handed her the items: the family bible, two candlesticks. Sarkis watch. She had wondered what to do with the birth certificates, but decided to take them. She tied the bundle and placed it in the hole. Anahid looked at her.
"We have to do it," Lucine said. "We cannot carry everything."
They worked in silence, replacing the dirt and the top grass, tamping it down.
The sun came up early, and the July day would grow to be very hot. The remaining Armenians in Palou took one last look at what had been their home for generations and began walking. Lucine, Takouhi, and Bedros, who every now and then would steady himself with his cane, were only steps behind Anahid, who led the esh. Maritza carried Vahe. Ahead, Lucine could see Perouz Avakian and, to her right, Azniv walked, almost as if in a daze. The Samuelian women, her mother-in-law Berjouhi, her mother Agavni, and her two sisters-in-law, older Margarite and younger Ani tried to keep up her spirits.
Vache. It was all she could think about. Vache.
Bedros turned his head to see a group of Turkish policemen move in past them, carrying boards. The caravan stopped, and the gendarmes let them watch as the homes were boarded up. The chief gendarme clicked his spurs into the horse and the caravan moved on.