Page:Lettres d'un innocent; the letters of Captain Dreyfus to his wife ; (IA lettresduninnoce00drey).pdf/262

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Here is a letter that was received by Maître Demange, the counsel of Dreyfus, from his client, December 31, 1894. It was first made public when sent to M. Sarrien, Minister of Justice, July 11, 1898. In the published copy it was deemed necessary to suppress certain words and phrases:

"Commandant du Paty came to-day, Monday, December 31, 1894, at 5.30 P. M., after the rejection of my appeal, to ask me, on behalf of the Minister, whether I had not, perhaps, been the victim of my imprudence, whether I had not meant merely to lay a bait . . . and had then found myself caught fatally in the trap. I replied that I had never had relations with any agent or attaché, . . . that I had undertaken no such process as baiting, and that I was innocent. He then said to me on his own responsibility that he was himself convinced of my guilt, first from an examination of the handwriting of the document brought up against me, and from the nature of the documents enumerated therein; secondly, from information according to which the disappearance of documents corresponded with my presence on the General Staff; that, finally, a secret agent had declared that a Dreyfus was a spy, . . . without, however, affirming that that Dreyfus was an officer. I asked Commandant du Paty to be confronted with this agent. He replied that it was impossible. Commandant du Paty acknowledged that I had never been suspected before the reception of the incriminating document.

"I then asked him why there had been no surveillance exercised over the officers from the month of February,