Page:The Martyrdom of Ferrer.djvu/84

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Even Ferrer doubted the full guilt of his persecutors. He requested the authorities to put at the disposal of his advocate, Captain Galcerán, this important batch of notes and books. They would have met the charge that he sought to corrupt children, as well as show his real occupation after his return to Spain. The request was refused, and they were not put before his "judges."

At Mongat, a farm a few miles from Barcelona in the direction of his native place, Alella, he presently heard that the authorities had taken over and searched his publishing house in Barcelona. Next a message came from Alella that a young woman, a nurse, was informing the authorities that she had seen him lead a band to burn one of the convents at Premia. No convents had been burned at Premia, as Ferrer afterwards discovered; but he saw that the affair of 1906 was to be repeated. He, therefore, concealed himself, and eluded the police for five weeks, though, he says, he "suffered much from reading the charges made against him in the papers." On August 29 or 30, he adds, in this interesting letter to Mr. Heaford, he read that the Fiscal (Attorney-General) had declared, after making an investigation at Barcelona, that "Ferrer was the director of the revolutionary movement." This atrocious declaration on the part of the first legal official of Spain, condemning Ferrer even before an elementary case had been made up against him, drew him from his hiding-place. He resisted the entreaties of his friends, and went out to give himself up. He was arrested on his way to Barcelona.

At once Ferrer began to experience the ferocity which disgraces the whole of the rest of the story. He demanded that he should be conducted forthwith before the magistrate who was to make the preliminary inquiry. They took him instead to the military governor, who assured him that he was responsible for the outbreak by reason of his schools. He was then taken to the Prefecture of Police, and made to submit to a singular procedure, which astonished even the officials. The whole of his linen and clothes were taken from him, and he was dressed in fresh cheap linen, a "ten shilling suit of clothes, which were too small for me, and the rough cap of a hooligan." All these details have transpired through his