Page:Lettres d'un innocent; the letters of Captain Dreyfus to his wife ; (IA lettresduninnoce00drey).pdf/57

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the end of patience and of my physical strength. After having consecrated all my life to honor, never having deserved reproach, to be here, to have borne the most wounding affront that can be inflicted upon a soldier!

Oh, my darling, do everything in the world to find the guilty one; do not relax your efforts for one instant. That is my only hope in the terrible misfortune which pursues me.

If only I may soon be with you there, and if we may soon be united, you will give me back my strength and my courage. I have need of both. This day's emotions have broken my heart; my cell offers me no consolation.

Picture a little room all bare—four yards and a half long, perhaps—closed by a grated garret window; a pallet standing against the wall—no, I will not tear your heart, my poor darling.

I will tell you later, when we are happy again, what I have suffered to-day, in all my wanderings, surrounded by men who are truly guilty, how my heart has bled. I have asked myself why I was there; what I was doing there. I seemed the victim of an hallucination; but alas! my garments, torn, sullied, brought me back roughly to the truth. The looks of scorn they cast on me told me too well why I was there. Oh, why could not my heart have been opened by a surgeon's knife, so that they might have read the truth! All the brave, good people along my way could have read it: "This is a man of honor!" But how easy it is to understand them! In their place I could not have contained my contempt for an officer who I had been told was a traitor. But alas! there is the tragedy. There is a traitor, but it is not I!