Winston stopped weeping, though the tears were still oozing out of his eyes. He looked up at O’Brien.
‘I have not betrayed Julia,’ he said.
O’Brien looked down at him thoughtfully. ‘No,’ he said; ‘no; that is perfectly true. You have not betrayed Julia.’
The peculiar reverence for O’Brien, which nothing seemed able to destroy, flooded Winston’s heart again.
How intelligent, he thought, how intelligent!
Never did O’Brien fail to understand what was said to him. Anyone else on earth would have answered promptly that he had betrayed Julia.
For what was there that they had not screwed out of him under the torture?
He had told them everything he knew about her, her habits, her character, her past life; he had confessed in the most trivial detail everything that had happened at their meetings. And yet, in the sense in which he intended the word, he had not betrayed her. He had not stopped loving her; his feelings towards her had remained the same.
O’Brien had seen what he meant without the need for explanation.
‘Tell me,’ he said, ‘how soon will they shoot me?’
‘It might be a long time,’ said O’Brien. ‘You are a difficult case. But don’t give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you.’