Page:Lettres d'un innocent; the letters of Captain Dreyfus to his wife ; (IA lettresduninnoce00drey).pdf/170

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back to us. You ask me to await calmly the day when you can announce to me the discovery of the truth.

Ask me to wait as long as I have the strength; but with calmness? Oh, no! When they have torn, all-living, the heart from my breast, when I feel myself struck in my most precious possession, in you and my children, when my heart groans with agony night and day, without one hour of rest, when for eighteen months I have lived in a frightful nightmare!

But, then, that which I desire with a ferocious determination, that which has made me bear everything, that which has made me live, is not that you should protest my innocence by your words, but that you should march, that you all should march, straight forward, no matter by what means, to the conquest of the truth, to the laying bare in the full light of day this dark story . . . in a word, to the recovery of our whole honor.

These are the words I spoke to you before my departure—already more than a year ago. . . and, alas! it is not that I would reproach you; but it seems to me that you are very long on this supreme mission, for it is not living to live without honor.

And in my long nights of torture, suffering this martyrdom, how often have I told myself, "Ah, how I should have solved the enigma of this horrible drama—by any means, no matter what, even had I been forced to put the knife to the throats of the wretched accomplices, however well hidden they might have been, of the vile criminal!" And more often still have I cried to myself, "Will there be no one, then, with enough heart and soul or clever enough to tear the truth from them, and to bring to an end this fearful martyrdom of a man and of two families?" Ah, I know that these are only