On the morning of September 3, 1901, when Miss Ellen Stone, an American missionary to Turkey, said farewell to the small Protestant congregation of Bansko, a village in the Slavic provinces of the Ottoman Empire, she could hardly imagine that she would soon become a figure of national honor in America and the subject of intense diplomatic negotiations among the great powers. Her capture by a band of Macedonian revolutionaries in one of the narrow passes at the foot of the rugged Pirin Mountain for an exorbitant ransom of 25,000 Turkish liras (110,000 U.S. dollars) shocked both the missionaries and the natives and caused an even greater sensation at home. The whole Western world followed anxiously her six-month ordeal with the brigands in snow-covered Balkan mountains in the company of only one friend, her fellow-captive, Mrs. Katerina Tsilka, a native nursing teacher who was five months pregnant when they were captured. A reallife story that seemed to have sprung straight from the pages of a dime novel or a penny dreadful, Stone’s kidnapping seized the headlines all across America and other Western countries, lending itself to wild speculations and sensational interpretations.