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The Dreyfus Tri«l: The Prosecution
The principal points against Dreyfus last week were made by General Fabre, Colonel Bertin, and Colonel d'Abeville, respectively chief and subchiefs of the Fourth Bureau of the General Staff of the French Army when the bordereau was discovered, and when Dreyfus was one of the six stagiaires, or probationers, undergoing instruction in that Bureau. The two officers first named declared that apian had been intrusted to Dreyfus comprising the details of the concentration of the troupes dc couverture in the eastern part of France—in case of sudden mobilization these are the troops to be thrown towards the frontier to cover the army's actual mobilization. It may be remembered that the words " concentration of the troupes de couverture" form the caption of one of the five documents enumerated in the bordereau (or memorandum of army secrets found by a spy in the German embassy in 1894), and thus was one of the secrets betrayed to a foreign power. The value attached to this point by the prosecution is that Dreyfus did possess knowledge of the plans of concentration, which, notwithstanding his denials, he is accused of imparting to German and perhaps to other foreign agents. The prisoner admitted that General Fabre correctly described the work on which he was engaged when a probationer. As has been acutely pointed out, however, this proof of opportunity is, after all, merely an inculpatory presumption. Thinking that Colonel Bertin tried to show the prisoner's disloyalty since as well as before condemnation, the latter protested that—
In nothing I have written during the five bitter years of my exile will you find a word of disloyalty. I have never believed for an instant that France would hesitate to receive the truth when it should be revealed to her, nor that the army would hesitate to maintain the right and its traditions of honor. There
has never yet been a moment when I would not have been glad to die for France, and I hope yet to do so.
Colonel d'Abeville's point was that the author of the bordereau must be, first, an officer of the artillery, and, second, a stagiaire of the General Staff, having access to more than one bureau of the Staff. As the prisoner was the only officer fulfilling these conditions, therefore he must be the criminal. These and other witnesses for the prosecution insisted upon the fact that Dreyfus was of a prying, inquisitive disposition.
The most precious life in France to-day seems Maitre Labori's. No wonder that his enemies tried to kill him. His cross-questioning has been of patent gain to the cause of his client and of justice. By it the facts were brought out that not only at the 1894 court martial, which condemned Dreyfus, had General Mercier inserted an accusing document in the secret dossier (or bundle of papers bearing on the case) by indirect methods, but, since the beginning of August of the present year, he had actually repeated that criminal audacity. These two facts have not only caused a general scorn of Mercier; they have also shown with startling distinctness that the same desperate means are used to bring about the recondemnation that were used five years ago. Maitre Labori also brought Mercier to book regarding the latter's assertion that thirtyfive million francs had been spent by the defenders of Dreyfus, and asked the witness to say how he knew this, who spent it, and other awkward questions, which Mercier was quite unable to answer. Finally, not only Mercier but thf Vr apologists for the General F forced to take refuge behind a*