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By Benjamin Franklin; William Temple Franklin

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Everyone in Kara Kala agreed that the choice for the little boy's name was perfect: He was called Isaac, for he was, like Abraham's own long-awaited son, the child of promise. I'm sure it was a proud and happy man who paraded his family to church each Sunday after Isaac was born. But Grandfather had a stubborn streak in him—all Armenians do. He considered himself too tough-minded to accept without reservation that he had witnessed a supernatural prophecy of the sort mentioned in the Bible. Maybe Magardich's prediction had been merely a lucky chance.

The Armenians had no difficulty understanding them as most of our people spoke Russian too. They listened to the tales of what the Russians called "the outpouring of the Holy Spirit" upon hundreds of thousands of Russian Orthodox Christians. The Russians came as people bringing gifts: the Gifts of the Spirit, which they wanted to share. I could just hear Grandfather and Grandmother talking late into the night after one of these visits. One had to admit, Grandfather would have said, that everything the Russians were talking about was Scriptural.

If work was what it took to do that, then it might just happen, too, for Dad knew how to work, and to see that the rest of us worked, too. Besides myself there was now a bunkhouse full of Mexican- Americans working alongside us in the barns, and Dad and I had learned to speak Spanish. I don't know who enjoyed the others' stories more: their tales about Mexico or Dad's recollections of life in Armenia. They couldn't hear often enough about Efim the Boy Prophet, or how Magardich Mushegan had foretold Dad's birth.

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