Pyrot was tried secretly and condemned.
General Panther immediately went to the Minister of War to tell him the result.
"Luckily," said he, "the judges were certain, for they had no proof."
"Proof," muttered Greatauk, "Proof, what does that prove? There is only one certain, irrefragable proof—the confession of the guilty person. Has Pyrot confessed?"
"He will confess, he ought to. Panther, we must induce him; tell him it is to his interest. Promise him that, if he confesses, he will obtain favours, a reduction of his sentence, full pardon; promise him that if he confesses his innocence will be admitted, that he will be decorated. Appeal to his good feelings. Let him confess from patriotism, for the flag, for the sake of order, from respect for the hierarchy, at the special command of the Minister of War militarily. . . . But tell me, Panther, has he not confessed already? There are tacit confessions; silence is a confession."
"But, General, he is not silent; he keeps on squealing like a pig that he is innocent."
"Panther, the confessions of a guilty man sometimes result from the vehemence of his denials. To deny desperately is to confess. Pyrot has confessed; we must have witnesses of his confessions, justice requires them."
Others, including Mr. Arfi, said France is and will remain home. He recalled the now-famous words of the father of a Jewish philosopher, Emmanuel Lévinas: "A country that tears itself apart to defend the honor of a small Jewish captain is somewhere worth going."
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