Mirza Yahya

Our grief was intense when my father left us. He told none of us either where he was going or when he would return. He took no luggage, only a little rice, and some coarse bread. So we, my mother, my brother ‘Abbas and I, clung together in our sorrow and anxiety. Subh-i-Azal [Mírzá Yahyá] rejoiced, hoping to gain his ends, now that Jamal-i-Mubarak [Bahá’u’lláh] was no longer present. Meanwhile, he was a guest in our house. He gave us much trouble, complaining of the food. Though all the best and most dainty things were invariably given to him. He became at this time more than ever terrified lest he should one day be arrested. He hid himself, keeping the door of our house locked, and stormed at anybody who opened it.
(Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway)


A little while after this, we moved into a larger house - fortunately Subh-i-Azal was too terrified of being seen, if he came with us - so he preferred to occupy a little house behind ours. We still sent his food to him, also provided for his family now increased, as he had married another wife, a girl from a neighbouring village. His presence was thus happily removed from our daily life; we were relieved and much happier.
(Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway)


As for me, I led a very lonely life, and would have liked sometimes to make friends with other children. But Subh-i-Azal would not permit any little friends to come to the house, neither would he let me go out! Two little girls about my own age lived in the next house. I used to peep at them; but our guest always came and shouted at me for opening the door, which he promptly locked. He was always in fear of being arrested, and cared for nothing but his own safety.
(Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway)


We led a very difficult life at this time as well as a lonely one. He would not even allow us to go to the Hamman to take our baths. Nobody was permitted to come to the house to help us and the work therefore was very hard. For hours every day I had to stand drawing water from a deep well in the house; the ropes were hard and rough, and the bucket was heavy. My dear mother used to help, but she was not very strong, and my arms were rather weak. Our guest never helped.
My father having told us to respect and obey this tyrannical person, we tried to do so, but this respect was not easy, as our lives were made so unhappy by him.
During this time the darling baby brother, born after our arrival in Baghdad, became seriously ill. Our guest would not allow a doctor, or even any neighbour to come to our help. My mother was heart-broken when the little one died; even then we were not allowed to have anybody to prepare him for burial. The sweet body of our beautiful baby was given to a man, who took it away, and we never knew even where he was laid. I remember so clearly the sorrow of those days.
(Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway)