Soldiers

An event that thrilled me very much when I was about eleven or twelve occurred one day when I lived in the village of ________, and my parents curiously enough gave me full liberty to mix with the village boys. I played with them, which is unusual with the folks in Turkey. I was just one of the boys. I have never forgotten an occasion when we saw two strange men coming up the road one day, late in the afternoon. We were playing at the main entrance of the village as these two strangers approached. I noticed that they were dressed in a uniform, a khaki-colored uniform, and carried knapsacks on their shoulders. From pictures which I had seen in the boys' news papers, I recognized these strangers as British officers. Of course, they were wearing the British uniform. All the children grouped around them and stood staring at them with their mouths wide open.

One cannot imagine the amazement of these officers on hearing an English speaking voice come from the midst of this group of rag-a-muffin children. I had addressed them in English! They could hardly believe their ears and grabbed me out of the group and began to ply me with questions as to where I lived, who my parents were, etc., etc. I immediately took them to my parent's house and they remained with us that night.

These two British officers were off on a jaunt and had decided to survey the country and had come to this village never dreaming that any fellow-countrymen might be living there. They knew that the majority of these villages were inhabited by natives only.

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