The 1st Interrogation – Feb. 21, 1858

The first Sunday of the fortnight, when I was coming out of the Church, an employee from the town hall seized my hood and ordered me to follow him. I did so, and on the way he said that I would make acquaintance with the prison. I listened in silence and we arrived at the office of the Police Superintendent (Jacomet).

He took me into a room alone, gave me a chair, and I sat down. Then he took paper and asked me to tell him what happened at the grotto. I did so. After having written some lines which I dictated to him, he wrote other things that I had not said. Then he said he was going to read them to me to see if he had not made a mistake, so I listened attentively. But as soon as he had read a few lines I saw that there were errors and I quickly replied: 'Sir I did not say that.' Then he became angry and said I did say that, while I repeated that I did not. These disputes went on for some minutes, and when he saw that he was wrong and when I persisted in saying that I had not said that, he went a little further and started again (to read what I had not said, while I maintained that it was not so). This repetition went on for a long time.

I stayed there for an hour or an hour and a half. From time to time I could hear the sound of kicking on the door and the shutters and voices of men who shouted: 'If you don't let her out we'll burst open the door'. When it was time for me to go, the Superintendent accompanied me to the door, and there, I found my father waiting impatiently with a crowd of other people who had followed me from the Church. This is the first time that I was obliged to appear before these gentlemen.

Bernadette Soubirous