LETTER xxii A RADIANT VISION 147
many ornaments, chiefly Bussian, and, finding that I was
ill, they repeatedly brought tea, milk, and fruit instead
of the heavy dinner which was at once cooked. The
sight of several comely women dressed in shades of red,
with clean white chadars, going about household avoca-
tions, receiving visitors and gracefully exercising the rites
of hospitality in a bright clean house festooned with
vines, was very pleasant to a dweller in tents. It is not
Armenian custom for a daughter-in-law to speak in the
presence of her mother-in-law, or even to uncover her
mouth, or for young women to speak in presence of their
elders. A wife cannot even address her husband in the
presence of his mother, except in a furtive whisper.
Owing to the custom of covering the mouth, which
shows no symptom of falling into disuse, I did not see
the face of a girl matron who, judging from her eyes,
nose, and complexion, was the comeliest in the room.
Towards evening, as I lay trying to sleep, I was
delightfully startled by a cheery European voice, and a
lady bent over me, whose face was sunshine, and the
very tone of her voice a welcome. Goodness, purity, love,
capacity to lead as well as help, true strength, and true
womanliness met in the expression of her countenance.
Her spotless cambric dress, her becoming hat with its soft
white pagri, the harmonious simplicity of her costume,
and her well-fitting gloves and shoes were a joy after the
slovenliness, slipshodness, and generally tunabling-to-pieces
look of Oriental women. The Faith Hubbard School,
one of the good works of the American Presbyterian
Mission, was close by, and in half an hour Miss-------
made me feel " at home," Blessed phrase!
I. L. B.