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LETTER xxxn     THE BITLIS MISSIONARIES                   355

that firearms are either carried in the place of a corpse
. or are concealed along with it. Placed in the niidst of
a preponderating and fully-armed Kurdish population,
capable at any moment of being excited to frenzy against
their faith, they live in expectation of a massacre,
should certain events take place which are regarded as
probable within two or three years.

It was not to see the grandeur and picturesqueness of
Bitlis that I came here so late in the season, but to visit
the American missionaries, especially two ladies. My
hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Knapp, have returned from a visit
to America to spend their last days in a country which
has been their home for thirty years, and have lately
been joined by their son, who spent his boyhood in Bitlis,
and after graduating in an American university has come
back, like so many sons of missionaries, to cast in his lot
with a people to whom he is bound by many links of
sympathy, bringing his wife with him. The two Misses

-------, who are more than half English, and are highly

educated and accomplished, met Mr. and Mrs. Knapp
long ago in a steamer on the Mediterranean, and decided
to return with them to this dangerous and outlandish
place, where they have worked among the women and
girls for twenty-three years, and are still full of love and
hope. The school for girls, in which fifty boarders are
received in addition to fifty day pupils, has a kinder-
garten department attached to it. The parents of all are
expected to contribute in money or in kind, but their
increasing poverty is telling on their ability to do so,
and this winter the supply of food contributed by them
is far short of the mark.

The tastefulness and generosity of these ladies have
produced as bright and beautiful a schoolroom as could
be found anywhere, and ivy trained round the windows,
growing plants, and pictures which are not daubs give a