But this degradation was new. She and her companions, all virgins, so innocent, had been plucked from their camp to service queues of impatient army officers. To aid selection in the brothel, the names of flowers were pinned to their bedroom doors. She was also given a vase of white orchids which, in fear and disgust, she threw away. Ever after, she hated to be given flowers.
As night fell, the first officer came to her room. He was bald, fat and repulsively ugly. When she wept, screamed and kicked him, crying "Don't!" in all the languages she knew, he simply laughed. Then he unsheathed his sword. As she huddled and prayed, expecting to be killed at any moment, he let the sword-tip wander over her body, up and down, up and down, before ripping off what was left of her clothes and raping her. She never imagined suffering like this. It seemed he would never stop. But physical hurt was only part of it. Far worse was the shame.
She could not have helped it, he was too heavy. But her pure young body, the body she had been planning to dedicate to Christ as a Catholic nun, had been destroyed. Her dignity and self-esteem were lost. In the bathroom afterwards, with the other sobbing and destroyed girls, she tried to wash off the soiling, but it stayed. Desperate, the girls tried to hide in the garden, but they were dragged out to be raped by more officers. It might have been ten times that night, and the next night, for three months. The brothel doctor raped them, too. Ever after, she feared both doctors and the dark.