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Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp 1882-1892

Clementino hastened to the town


The

son-in-law of Doctor Georges Bey (who had been killed in the Hicks's expedition) was roused from sleep by the noise of the Arabs breaking in. He rose from his bed, and, making the sign of the cross, rushed to the window, where he shouted "Aman" ("Security of life"); but a bullet struck him in the forehead, and he fell dead at the feet of his young wife. The Dervishes forced their way into the house, broke in the door of the room where the dead man lay stretched out on the bed, killed another Greek, and clove open the head of the little son, a boy of twelve years of age, with an axe, scattering his brains over his unfortunate mother, who was sitting beside him. She saved her little son of six months old by saying he was a girl. The mother herself was not killed, as she was with child, but she was reserved to become the wife of Abderrahman Wad en Nejumi.

Aser, the American consul, fell down dead on seeing his brother beheaded before his eyes. The males of most of the Coptic families were massacred, but the women were spared. I know several of these poor women who, from continuously weeping over the cruelties of that terrible 26th of January, have become quite blind.

Those men whose lives were spared have to thank Providence that either they fell into the hands of those less cruel than their comrades, or that they did not quit their houses for two days, at the end of which time the first wild passions of these

murderers had cooled down.

The fate of seven Greeks was a sad one; these were all together in one house, for, through a merciful Providence, they had fallen into less cruel hands. It was past noon, and they were rejoicing at having escaped from the general massacre. Then a certain George Clementino entered. This Clementino had originally come from El Obeid, and had frequently been sent by the Mahdi with messages to Gordon, and when he returned from Khartum to the Mahdi, the latter treated him with much favour.

When the capture of Khartum was known in Omdurman, Clementino hastened to the town, with the intention of rescuing any compatriots he could find, and he soon heard of the seven surviving Greeks. Full of delight at their safety, he congratulated them, and advised them to make their way to the house of Manoli, the Greek who, with his wife and nephew, had escaped by concealing themselves in the dove-cot.

It was Clementino's intention to collect all the Greeks here, and then take them to Omdurman. The seven Greeks trusted to their compatriot's name and influence to protect them, but Dervishes were on the watch to stop them. As they were following Clementino to Manoli's house, which was only a short distance off--indeed, they had only gone a few steps--they were met by a party of Ahmed Sharfi's Danagla, who were searching the streets filled with the dead and wounded, with the object of giving the _coup de grace_ to any who might still be alive.

When these murderers espied the party of white men from a short distance, they shouted, "Look! Some of these dogs, these unbelievers, are still alive," and, full of anger, they rushed upon the unfortunate Greeks. Clementino begged and prayed that they might be spared, but they were beheaded before his eyes, and he himself barely escaped with his life. Pale, terror-stricken, and trembling, he fled to Omdurman, and for some months he lay on the point of death, so great had been the shock of witnessing the massacre of his fellow-countrymen.


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