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With the Turks in Palestine
written by "Aaronsohn, Alexander, 1888-1948" fellows. On my way back to Zicron-Jacob, I passed through the town of Sheff'amr, where I got a foretaste of the conditions I was to find at home. A Turkish soldier, sauntering along the street, helped himself to fruit from the basket of an old vender, and went on without offering to pay a farthing. When the old man ventured to protest, the soldier turned like a flash and began beating him mercilessly, knocking him down and battering him until he was bruised, bleeding, and covered with the mud of the street. There was a hubbub; a crowd formed, through which a Turkish officer forced his way, demanding explanations. The soldier sketched the situation in a few words, whereupon the officer, turning to the old man, said impressively,—"If a soldier of the Sultan should choose to heap filth on your head, it is for you to kiss his hand in gratitude." CHAPTER V THE HIDDEN ARMS When I finally reached Zicron-Jacob, I found rather a sad state of affairs. Military law had been declared. No one was supposed to be seen in the streets after sundown. The village was full of soldiers, and civilians had to put up with all kinds of ill-treatment. Moreover, our people were in a state of great excitement because an order had recently come from the Turkish authorities bidding them surrender whatever fire-arms or weapons they had in their possession. A sinister command, this: we knew that similar measures had been taken before the terrible Armenian massacres, and we felt that some such fate might be in preparation for our people. With the arms gone, the head men of the village knew that our last hold over the Arabs, our last chance for defense against sudden violence, would be gone, and they had refused to give them up. A house-to-house search had been made—fruitlessly, for our little arsenal was safely cached in a field, beneath growing grain. It was a tense, unpleasant situation. At any time the Turks might decide to back up t...

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