Aurora Mardiganian, a young and beautiful Armenian girl, lives with her parents in the Turkish city of Havpoul. Her father, a prosperous merchant, was preparing to send her to the West to be educated. For centuries the Armenians had been terrorized by the Turks, but this was a period of serenity between the Turks and the Christian-Armenians. However, the War had hit Europe, and the Turks had informed the American ambassador, Henry Morganthau, in Constantinople, that the Armenians were giving support to the Turks' enemy, Russia. Despite Morgantheau's objections, the Turks issue a decree that the Armenians must be moved southward into the desert. The Turkish governor, a Pasha, comes to Aurora's father and demands she be given him as a bride. The father tells him his daughter will not give up her Christian belief, as she would have to do to marry a Muslim. The governor leaves in anger. The order is given for the removal of the Armenians. The men are separated from the women, and the Armenian soldiers are forced to disrobe and dig a trench, and then are shot down by the Turks. Mothers are torn away from their children and the Armenians are marched away into the desert where, famine, thirst and fierce heat await them. Aurora escapes to a mission school ran by Edith Graham, an English girl. The Turk soldiers surround the school and Miss Graham protests under the protection of the English flag to no avail,as the Turks trample the flag, and the Armenian girls are dragged away. Miss Graham, determined to help the girls as much as she possibly can, disguises herself as one of them and joins the march.
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