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Aurora Mardiganian, a young Armenian girl who lives with her parents in the Turkish town of Harpout, falls in love with Andranik, a young shepherd. Passelt Pasha, the Turkish Governor of the province, demands Aurora's hand in marriage, but her father refuses, explaining that like other Armenians, she is Christian and does not want to change. In March 1915, despite pleas from American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, the Turkish government orders the Armenians into the desert, where rampant atrocities occur. After her parents are killed, Aurora and other Armenian girls are taken by Turks from an English mission run by Edith Graham. Miss Graham disguises herself as an Armenian and with Aurora, escapes, aided by Andranik. They are captured by Kurds, however, after which they are raped, sold to a Mohammedan chieftain and later sold again at a slave market. With the help of Andranik they escape finally to an American Relief Home. Aurora comes to America and pleads for help for her people, who literally have been decimated.