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Caught by the Turks   By: (1886-1944)

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First Page:

CAUGHT BY THE TURKS

BY FRANCIS YEATS BROWN

WITH PORTRAITS AND PLANS

LONDON EDWARD ARNOLD 1919 [ All rights reserved ]

To LADY PAUL

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. CAPTURE 1 II. A SHADOWLAND OF ARABESQUES 25 III. THE TERRIBLE TURK 42 IV. "OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION" 56 V. THE LONG DESCENT OF WASTED DAYS 75 VI. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PRISON 95 VII. THE COMIC HOSPITAL IN CONSTANTINOPLE 102 VIII. OUR FIRST ESCAPE 122 IX. A CITY OF DISGUISES 140 X. RECAPTURED 159 XI. THE BLACK HOLE OF CONSTANTINOPLE 172 XII. OUR SECOND ESCAPE 198

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCHATE AT PSAMATTIA, CONSTANTINOPLE 137

THE AUTHOR AS A GERMAN GOVERNESS facing p. 154

THE AUTHOR AS A HUNGARIAN MECHANIC facing p. 170

THE SQUARE OF THE SERASKERAT, CONSTANTINOPLE 213

CAUGHT BY THE TURKS

CHAPTER I

CAPTURE

Half an hour before dawn on November the thirteenth, 1915. . . .

We were on an aerodrome by the River Tigris, below Baghdad, about to start out to cut the telegraph lines behind the Turkish position.

My pilot ran his engine to free the cylinders from the cold of night, while I stowed away in the body of the machine some necklaces of gun cotton, some wire cutters, a rifle, Verey lights, provisions, and the specially prepared map prepared for the eventuality of its falling into the hands of the Turks on which nothing was traced except our intended route to the telegraph lines west and north of Baghdad. Some primers, which are the explosive charges designed to detonate the gun cotton, I carefully stowed away in another part of the machine, and with even more care trepidation, indeed I put into my pockets the highly explosive pencils of fulminate of mercury, which detonate the primers which detonate the gun cotton.

Then I climbed gingerly aboard, feeling rather highly charged with explosives and excitement.

For some time the pilot continued to run his engine and watch the revolution meter. The warmer the engine became, the colder I got, for the prelude to adventure is always a chilly business. Unlike the engine, I did not warm to my work during those waiting moments. At last, however, the pilot waved his hand to give the signal to stand clear, and we slid away on the flight that was to be our last for many a day. The exhaust gases of our engine lit the darkness behind me with a ring of fire. I looked back as we taxied down the aerodrome, and saw the mechanics melting away to their morning tea. Only one figure remained, a young pilot in a black and yellow fur coat, who had left his warm bed to wish us luck. For a moment I saw him standing there, framed in flame, looking after us regretfully. Then I saw him no more, and later they told me (but it was not true) that he had died at Ctesiphon.

We rose over the tents of our camp at Aziziah, all silver and still in the half light, and headed for the Turkish outposts at El Kutunieh. Their bivouac fires mounted straight to heaven. It was a calm and cloudless dawn, ideal weather for the business we had been sent out to do.

At all costs, we had been told, the telegraphic communications west and north of Baghdad must be cut that day. Von der Goltz and a German battery of quick firing guns were hasting down from Mosul to help their stricken ally, and reinforcements of the best Anatolian troops, magnificently equipped and organised by the Germans, were on their way from Gallipoli, whence they came flushed with the confidence of success... Continue reading book >>




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