Ambushed by Simko, Part 2
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Ambush. And everybody was ordered to take shelter beyond the boulders and rocks and everything. And at that very instant, my sister-in-law got shot, in her leg. Well, our family at that time consisted of myself and my mother, and my sister-in-law and my nephew Haigaz, the four of us.
My fourteen-year-old sister, we had to get her married in 1917, because we had no way of protecting her during this turmoil back and forth. So we figured if she had a husband, it'd be okay, and she married into a big family. She never stayed at the in-laws' house; every night she'd come back home. And then when the war broke out in 1917, when the Russians left Van and Armenians established their own government, he was taken in the army, and he was shipped to the western shores of Lake Van. That's where he was when we left our home. From there, he went to Russian Armenia. We eventually will end up in Baghdad.
So the family is four. And we had the protection of my uncle, my mother's brother, and my aunt -- my uncle's wife -- got jealous because here he abandoned his mother and retarded son, and is here looking after the sister and her family. So she says, "They have to get lost from us," so we were abandoned. So, now there's four of us at the brink of this river, bullets pouring from all sides.
Well, a neighbor of ours who had a horse was crossing the river then, and my sister-in-law was a pretty husky woman. She picked up my nephew and pitched him towards the horse, and he landed on the back of the daughter of this neighbor. And that's how he crossed the river. My mother and I waded in the river, and her old country pantaloons got filled with water and she started rolling. I did my heroic act. I somehow round some rock to, you know, put my heels against, and I pulled until she stood up.