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THE ROCK ISLAND ARGUS. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 1912.
or re cxro
TME MY9TERY Of THE YElLLOW RACE
'ancf 1tt PERFUME - OF-TnE - LADT- IN-bLACK
111 u strczios2S Jby Af-G -IZg 12 e-jr
Cdpyrcjht ? 6y 7fi& o66s-Merr Company
In this way, they reached the roor.
Christine tripped over it as lightly
as a swallow. Their eyes swent the '
empty space between the three domes i o; and the man's voice replied that,
and the triangular pediment. She , U as the angel's voice, the voice
to send me as soon as he was dead.
I really think that Mamma Valerius
was a little bit to blame. I toia neri
about it; and she at once said, 'It!
must be the angel; at any rate, you'
can do no harm by asking him.' I did
CBS3 ' ft maae me scene upon scene. At last,
I said to the voice, 'That will do: I
am going to Perros tomorrow, to pray
on my lather's grave, and I shall ash
M. Rfoul de Chagny to go with me.'
"Do as you please, replied the voice,
"but I shall be at Perros too. for I am
wherever you are, Christine; and. It
you are still worthy of me. If you have
not lied to me. I will play you The
Resurrection of Lazarus, on Vie stroke
of midnight, on your father's tomb
and on your father's violin. That
dear, was how I came to write you
the letter that brought you to Perros
How co-d I have been so beguiled!
How waB it, when I paw the personal,
the selfish point of view of the voice,
that I did not suspect some impostor!
Alas, I was no longer mistress of my
self: I had become his thing!"
"Put. after all." cried RaouL "you
soon came to know the truth! Why
did you not at once rid yourself ol
that abominable nightmare?"
"Know the truth, .Raoul? Rid my
self of that nightmare? But, my poor
boy, I waa not caught in the night
mare until the day when I learned
Deslde the man's black shape. In the
darkness. The black shape lifted me
on to the white shape, a glad neigh
ing greeted my astounded ears and I
murmured, 'Cesar!' The animal quiv
ered. Raoul, I was lying half back on
a saddle and I had recognized the
white horse out of the Profeta, which
I had bo often fed with sugar and
sweets. I remembered that, one eve
ning, there waa a rumor In the theater
that the -horse had disappeared and
that it had been stolen by the opera
ghost. I believed In the voice, but
bad never believed In the ghost. Now,
however, 1 began to wonder, with a
shiver, whether I was the ghost's
prisoner. I called upon the voice to
help me, for I should never have lm
eglned that the voice and the ghost
were one. You have heard about the
opera ghost, have you not, Raoul?"
"Yes, but tell me what happened
when you were on the white horse ot
"I made no movement and let my
self go. The black shape held me up,
and I made no effort to escape. A
curious feeling of peacefulness came
turned round and saw that night had
fallen. Raoul made a movement as
though to rise, but Christine kept him
"Don't go, 6he said. "I want you
to know everything here!"
"But why here, Christine? I am
afraid of your catching cold
poor finfcr He pointed to a chair op
posite him, at a small table, and I
sat down, feeling greatly perturbed.
However, I ate a few prawns and the
wing of a chicken and drank half a
alive. But imagine, If yon can, Rea
Death's mask suddenly coming to lifo
In order to express, with the four
black holes of Its eyes. Its nose, and
Its mouth, the extreme anger, the
glass of tokay, which he had himself, mighty fury of a demon; and not a
he told me, brought from the Konigs- j ray of light from the sockets, for, as
berg cellars. ' Erik did not eat or , I learned later, you cannot see his
"We have nothing to fear except : drlnk- 1 asked nlm wnat n,s natlon ! blazing eyes except In the dark
the trap-doors, dear, and here we are
miles away from the trap-doors . . . !
and I am not allowed to see you out-1
side the theater. This Is not the time :
to annoy him. We must not arouse :
"Christine! Christine! Something ,
tells me that we are wrong to wait
till tomorrow evening and that we
ought to fly at once." i
"I tell you that, if he does not hear
me sing tomorrow, it will cause him ;
"It is difficult not to cause him pain ,
and yet to escape from him for good.'
ality was and -If that name of Erik .
did not point to his Scandinavian!
origin. He said that he had no name !
and no country and that he had taken 1
the name of Erik by accident
"I fell back against the wall and he
came up to me, grinding his teeth, .
and, as I fell upon my knee, he
hissed mad, incoherent words and
curses at me. Leaning over me, he
'After lunch, he rose and gave me cried: 'Look! You want to see! See!
the tips of his fingers, saying he t Feast your eyes, glut your soul on
would like to show me over his flat;
hut I snatched away my hand and
gave a cry. What I had touched was
cold and, at the same time, bony; and
I remembered that his hands smelt of '
my cursed ugliness! Look at Erik's
face! Now you know the face of the
voice! You were not content to hear
me, eh? You wanted to know what I
looked like! Oh, you women are so
death. 'Oh, forgive me!; he moaned.: inquisitive! Well, are you satisfied?
And he opened a door before me. ' I'm a very good-looking fellow, eh?
This is my bedroom, if you care to . . . When a woman has seen me.
You are right in that. Raoul, for S sea rt ,s ratnr curious.' Hia as 7ou have, she belongs to me. She
breathed freely ovrr Paris, the whole
valley of which was seen at work be-
whlch I was expecting and which my
the truth! . . . Pity me, Raoul,; over me and I thought that I must be
pity me! ... You remember the i under the influence of some cordial,
terrible evening when Carlotta thought j I had the full command of my senses;
that she had been turned into a toad I and my eyes became used to the dark
on the stage and the house was sud-i ness, which was lit, here and there,
denly plunged in darkness through j by fltlui gleams. I calculated that we
the chandelier crashing to the floor?! were in a narrow circular gallery,
There were ki'.led and wounded that! probably running all round the opera,
rawer naa promised me. rom iuai.. . h .... . ..hl h.h , (nlmi., ndereround. 1
low. She calU-d Raoul to come quite I time onward, the voice and I became j terrlfied screams. My first thought! had once been down into those eel-
close to her and they walked side by! gTeat menas. u asaea leave io give wag f Md fa ,ce j wag at ; j but had 8top at tnlr(J
iae aiong me zinc streets, in uei ieu eve., , easv. wher vou were concerned, floor, though there were two lower
for I had seen you in your brother's still, large enough to hold a town.
box and I knew that you were not in : But the figures of which I caught
that it would be at the performance
and I was really afraid for it, just as
If It had been an ordinary person who
was capable of dying. I thought to
j myself, 'The chandelier may have
j come down upon the voice.' I was
I then on the stage and was nearly
running Into the house, to look for the
I agreed and
leaden avenues; they looked at their never failed to keep the appointment
twin shapes in the huge tanks, full of ! which it gave me In my dressing.
stagnant water, wnere, in tne not! room, xuu uU iuu6u danger. But the voice had told me
weiiiuer, ice in tie ooys oi me oanei, " - -
a score or so, learn to swim and dive, lessons were like."
The hadow had followed behind "No. 1 Dav no Idea," said RaouL
tfiem. clinging to their Heps; and the i "What was your accompaniment?"
two children little suspected its pres-1 "We were accompanied by a mu6ic
ence when they at lant sat down,' hlch I do not know; it was behind
trustingly, under the mighty protec-j the wall and wonderfully accurate,
tlon of Apollo, who. with a great The voice seemed to understand mine
bronze gesture, lined his huge lyre' exactly, to know precisely where my wounded.
to the heart of a crimson sky. father DM left on teaenmg me. in a when j t ht u wag
It was a gorgeous spring evening. , few weeks time. I hardly knew my- ft wou,d fee to bj ,n
Clouds, which had just received their self when I sang. I was even fright-) aresslng.room and j to my
rosBp.mer rote or goia ana numie rrom euru. mr iu uiu a oun mi
the setting nun. drifted slowly by; witchcraft behind It; but Mamma
and Christine said to Raoul: ) Valerius reassured me. She said that
"Soon we shall go farther and fast- eh knew I was much too simple a
er than the clouds, to the end of the i Slrl to give the devil a hold on me.
. . . My progress, by the voice's
own order, was kept a secret between
the voice, Mamma Valerius and my
self. It was a curious thing, but, out
elde the dressing-room, I sang with
my ordinary, every-day voice and no
body noticed anything. I did all that
world, and then you will leave me.
Raoul. But, If, when the moment
comes for you to take me away, I re
fuse to go with you well you muBt
carry me off by, force!"
"Are you afraid that you will
change your mind, Christine?"
1 don't know," she said, ahaklng j the voice asked. It said, 'Walt and
her head In an odd fashion. "He Is a
demon!" And she shivered and nes
tled In his arms with a moan. "I
am afraid now of going back to live
with him ... in the ground !"
"What compels you to go back,
"If I do not go back to him, terrible
misfortunes may happen! . . . But
I can't do it, I ean't do it! ... I
know one ought to be sorry for peo
ple who live underground. . . .
But he Is too horrible! And yet the
time is at band; I have only a day
left; and, If I do not go, he will come
and fetch me with his voice. And he
will drag n:e with him, underground,
and go on bis knees before me, with
his death's head. And he will tell me
that he loves me! And he will cry!
Oh, those tears, Raoul, those tears In
the two blark eye-sockets of the
death's bead! I cannot see those
tears flow again!"
She wrung her hands In anguish,
while Raoul pressed her to his heart.
"No, no, you shall never again hear
him tell you that he loves you! You
shall not see hi tears! I-et us fly.
Christine, let ns fly st once!"
And he trWd to drag her away.
then and there. But he stopped him.
"No, no," Mb said, shaking her
bead sadly. "Not now! ... It
would be too cruel ... let him
hear me sing tomorrow evening
and then he will go away. You must
come and fetch roe In my dressing-
room at midnight exactly. He will
then lo wait Inn for me In the dining
room by tbe lake ... we shall be
free and you shall take me away.
. . . You must promise me that,
Raoul, even If I refuse ; for I feel
that, if I go back this time, I shall
perhaps never return."
And she gave a sigh to which It
seemed to ber that another sigh, be
hind her, replied.
"Didn't you hear?"
Her teeth chattered.
"No," said RaouL "I heard noth
ing." "It Is too terrible," she confessed,
"to be always trembling like this!
. . . And yet we run no danger
see: we shall astonish Paris!' And I
waited and lived on In a sort of
ecstatic dream. It was then that I
saw you for the first time one evening.
m the house. I was so glad that I
never thought of concealing my de
light when I reached my dressing
room. Unfortunately, tbe voice was
there before me and soon noticed, by
my air, that something had happened.
it asked what was the matter and I
flaw no reason for keeping our sory
secret or concealing tbe place which
you filled In my heart. Then the
voice was silent. I called to It but it
did not reply; I begged and entreated,
but in vain. I was terrified lest' it
had gone for good. I wish to heaven
It had, dear! . . . That night. I
went home in a desperate condition.
I told Mamma Valerius, who said,
'Why, of course, the voice is jealous!'
And that, dear, first revealed to me
that I loved you."
Christine stopped and laid her head
on Raoul's shoulder. They sat like
that for a moment, In silence, and
they did not see, did not perceive the
movement, at a few steps from them,
of the creeping shadow of two great
black wings, a shadow that came
along the roof so near, so near them
that it could have stifled them by
closing over them.
The next day," Christine contin
ued, with a sigh, "I went back to my
dressing-room in a very pensive frame
of mind. The voice was there, spoke
to me with great sadness and told me
plainly that, if I must bestow my
heart on earth, there was nothing for
the voice to do but to go back to
heaven. And it said this with such
an accent of human sorrow that I
ought then and there to have suspect
ed and begun to believe that I was
the victim of my deluded senses. But
my faith in the voice, with which
the memory of my father was so
closely Intermingled, remained undis
turned. I feared nothing so much as
that I might never bear it again; 1
had thought about my love for you
and realized all the useless danger ot
it; and I did not even know if you
remembered me. Whatever happened,
room. The voice was not there. 1
locked my door and, with tears In my j
eyes, besought it, if It were still alive,
to manifest itself to me. The voles
did not reply, but suddenly I heard a
long, beautiful wail which I knew
well. It is the plaint of Lazarus,
wnen, at tbe sound of the Redeemer's
voice, be begins to open his eyes and
see the light of day. It was the music
which you and I, Raoul, heard at Per
ros. And then the voice began to
sing the leading phrase, 'Come! And
believe in me! Whoso believes in me
shall live! Walk! Whoso hath be
lieved in me shall never die! . . .'
I cannot tell you the effect which that
music had upon me. It seemed to
command me, personally, to come, to
stand up and come to It. It retreated
and I followed. 'Come! And be
lieve in me!' I believed in it I came
. . . I came and this was the ex
traordinary thing my dressing-room,
as I moved, seemed ' to lengthen out
. . to lengthen out. . . . Evi
dently, it must have been an effect of
mirrors . . . for I had the mirror
in front of me . . And, sudden
ly, I was outside the room without
"What! Without knowing how?
Christine, Christine, you must really
"I was not dreaming, dear, I was
outside my room without knowing
how. You, who saw me disappear
from my room one evening, may be
able to explain it; but I cannot. I
can only tell you that, suddenly, there
was no mirror before me and no dress-
certainly he will die of my flight"
And she added in a dull voice, "But
then It counts both ways ... for
we risk his killing us."
"Does he love you so much?"
"He would commit murder for me."
"But one can find out where he
lives. One can go in search of him.
Now that we know that Erik is not
a ghost one can speak to him and
force him to answer!"
Christine shook her head.
"No, no! There Is nothing to be i
done with Erik . . . except to run
manners, his words, his attitude gave loves me for ever, i am a kind ot
me confidence and I went In without; Don Juan, you know!' And. drawing
hesitation. I felt as if I were enter- himself up to his Tull height, with
ing the room of a dead person. The : his hand on his hip, wagging the
walls were all hung with black, but hideous thing that was his head on
instead of the white trimmings that ; his shoulders, he roared, 'Look at me!
usually set off that funeral upholstery, 1 i am Don Juan triumphant!' And,
there was an enormous stave or music when I turned away my head and
with the notes of the Dies Irae, many '. begged for mercy, he drew it to him,
times repeated. In the middle of the brutally, twisting his dead fingers Into
room was a canopy, from which hung
curtains of red brocaded stuff, and,
under the canopy, an open coffin.
'That Is where I B'.eep,' said Erik.
"One has to get used to everything
"Then why, when you were able to ln life even to eternity.' The sight
"I Was In the Hands of a Man Wrap
ped In a Large Cloak and Wearing
a Mask That Hid His Whole Face."
sight had made me run away. There
are demons down there, quite black,
standing ln front of boilers, and they
wield shovels and pitchforks and poke
up fires and stir up flames and, if you
come too near them, they frighten
you by suddenly opening the red
mouths of their furnaces. . . .
Well, while Cesar was quietly carry
ing me on his back. I saw" those black
demons ln the distance, looking quite
small, ln front of the red fires of their
furnaces; they came into sight dis
appeared and came into sight again,
as we went on our winding way. At
last they disappeared altogether. The
shape was still holding me up and
Cesar walKed on, unled and sure
footed. I could not tell you, even ap
proximately, how long this ride last
ed; I only know that we seemed to
turn and turn and often went down a
spiral fctair into the very heart of the
earth. Even then. It may be that my
head was turning, but I don't think
so ; no, my mind was quite clear. At
last, Cesar raised his nostrils, sniffed
the air and quickened his pace a lit
tle. I felt a molstness in the air and
Cesar stopped. The darkness had
lifted. A sort of bluey light surround
ed us. Wre were on the edge of a
lake, whose leaden waters stretched
into the distance, into the darkness;
but the blue light lit up the bank and
I saw a little boat fastened to an Iron
ring on the wharf!"
"Yes. but I knew that all that exist
ed and that there was nothing super
natural about that underground lake
and boat. But think of the exception
al conditions in which I arrived upon
that shore! I don't know whether the
effects of the cordial had worn off
when the man's shape lifted me into
the boat, but my terror began all over
again. My gruesome escort must have
noticed it, for he sent Cesar back and
I beard bis hoofs trampling up a
staircase while the man jumped into
the boat, untied the rope that held it
and seized the oars. He rowed with
a quick, powerful stroke; and his
eyes, under the mask, never left me.
We slipped across the noiseless water
in the bluey light which I told you of;
then we were in the dark again and
we touched shore. And I was once
more taken up ln the man's arms,
cried aloud. And then, suddenly,
was silent, dazed by the light. .
Yes, a dazzling light ln the midst Of
which I had been put down. I sprang
to my feet. I waa ln the middle of a
drawing-room that seemed to me to
be decorated, adorned and furnished
with nothing but flowers, flowers both
magnificent and stupid, because of the
silk ribbons that tied them to baskets,
like those which they sell in tbe
shops on the boulevards. They were
much too civilized flowers, like those
which I used to find In my dressing-
room after a first night. And, ln tbe
midst of all these flowers, stood the
black shape of the man in the mask,
with arms crossed, and be said: 'Don't
be afraid, Christine; you are in no
danger.' It was the voice!
"My anger equaled my amazement
I rushed at the mask and tried to
snatch it away, so as to see the face
of the voice. The man said, 'You are
run away, did you go back to him?"
"Because I had to. And you will
understand that when I tell you how I j
left him." !
'Oh, I hate him!" cried RaouL
"Oh. Raoul, listen, listen! . . .
leave to look at it and read, 'Don j He dragged me by my hair and then
Juan Triumphant' 'Yes,' he said, 'I j . . . and then. ... Oh, it is
compose sometimes. I began that I too horrible!"
work twenty years ago. When I haze
finished, I shall take it away with me
in that coffin and never wake up I
again." 'You must work at it as sel
dom as you can,' I said. He replied,! frighten you, do I?
"I sometimes work at It for fourteen
days and nights together, during which
I live on music only, and then I rest
for years at a time.' 'Will you play j
me something out of your Don Juan
Triumphant?' I asked, thinking to
please him. 'You must never ask me
that,' he said, n a gloomy voice. "I
will play you Mozart if you like,
which will only make you weep; but
my Don Juan, Christine, burns; and
yet he is not struck by fire from
heaven.' Thereupon we returned to
the drawing-room. I noticed that
there waa no mirror ln the whole
apartment I was going to remark
upon this, but Erik had already sat
down to the piano. He said, 'You
see, Christine, there Is some music
that is so terrible that It consumes
all those who approach It. Fortunate- ! never leave me again!
here; we are at home, in the sky, ln i your position in society forbade me
the open air, ln the light. The sun Is to contemplate the possibility of ever
fiamliij'; and night-birds cannot bear marrying you; and I swore to the
to look at the sun. I have never) voice that you were no more than a ing-room. I was in a dark passage, I Mn no danger. so long as you do not
seen mm vy aajiigm . . . u. iuusi ( oroiner io ine nor ever wouia De ana wag frightened and I cried out It
be awful! ... Oh, tbe first time, that my heart was Incapable of any) wa8 qulte d&T Dut for a famt red
I saw him! . . . I thought that he j earthly love. And that, dear, waejgilmmer at a distant corner of the
was going to die." i why I refused to recognize or see you w&n. j. cried out. My voice was the
"Why?" anked Kaoul. really fright-1 when I met you on the stage or In; onlv sound, for the slnelne and th
the passages. Meanwhile, the hours. vlolln had topped. And. suddenly, a
during which the voice taught me; hand was laid on mine ... or
ere spent in a divine rrenzy. unui ; rather a stone-cold, bony thing that
m iasi, me voice saia io me. xou can; eeized my wrist and did not let go. I
cned at the aspect which this strange
confidence was taking.
"MTaue I had seen hlra!"
This time. Kaoul and Christine
turned round at tbe same time:
"There I some one In pain," said
Raoul. "lYrnapc some one has been
hurt. Did you hear?"
"I can't say," Christine confessed.
"Even when he is not there, my ears
are full of hia sighs. Still, if you
heard . . ."
They stood up and looked around
them. They were quite alone on the)
Immense lead roof. They sat down j
again and Raoul said:
"Tell me how you saw tilm first.'
now, tnnsune uaae. give to men a, crted out again. An arm took me
little of the music of heaven.' I don't! round the waist and supported me. I
know how it was that Carlotta did not I struggled for a little while and then
come to the theater that night noi j gave up tne attempt. I was dragged
why I was called upon to sing in hei i toward the little red light and then I
saw that I was ln the hands of a roan
wrapped in a large cloak and wearing
a mask that hid his whole face. I
made one last effort; my limbs stif
fened, my mouth opened to scream,
but a hand closed it, a hand which I
felt on my lips, on my skin ... a
hand that smelt of death. Then I
stead; but I sang with a rapture 1
had never known before and I felt foi
a moment as if my soul were leaving
"Oh, Christine." said Raoul, mj
heart quivered that night at every ac
cent of your voice. 1 saw the tean
stream down your cheeks and I wept
"I had heard him for three months I How could you 6ing, sing ; fainted away.
like that while crying?"
"I felt myself fainting," said Chris
hii K,,r,,nHrt h rfarvnoc a i the ground. And the voice, the voice
tine. "I closed my eyes. When 1 ; tern, standing on the ground, showed j
openeu tnem. you were by my side a bubbling well. The water splashing
without seeing him. The first time I
heard It. I thought as you did, that
that adorable voice was singing ln an
other room. I went out and looked
everywhere; but as you know, Raoal, ! But the voice was there also, Raoul! j from the well disappeared, almost at
my cresstng-room is very much byj i was arraia ror your sake and again once, under the floor on which I was
Itself; end 1 could not find the voice i I would not recognize you and began! lying, with my head on the knee of
ouifiae my room, w nereis it went on; ugn wnen you reminded me thaii tne man in the black cloak and the
you nad picked up my scarf in tif
sea! . . . Alas, there is no de
ceivlng the voice! . . . The voice
recognized you and tbe voice was
jealous! ... It said that if t iii-
- - - - 1 1 VUij
naa never got tne Angel or aiusic uoi ove you. l would not avoid you j denly, a hot breath passed over my
Loui my fioor father had promised! but treat you like aay otiiw old friend r&ce and I cerceived a white shape.
touch the mask.' And, taking me
gently, by the wrists, he forced me
into a chair and then went down on
his knees before me and said nothing
more! His humility gave me back
some of my courage, and the light re
stored me to the realities of life. How
ever extraordinary the adventure
might be, I was now surrounded by
mortal, visible, tangible things. Tbe
! furniture, the hangings, the candles,
j the vases and the very flowers ln their
I baskets, of which I could almost have
told whence they came and what they
cost were bound to confine my Imag
ination to the limits of a drawing-room
quite as commonplace as any that at
least, had the excuse of not being ln
the cellars of the opera. I had, no
doubt to do with a terrible, eccentric
person, who, in some mysterious
fashion, had succeeded in taking up
i his abode there, under the opera
I house, five stories below the level of
steadily inside. And It not only sang,
but it spoke to me and answered my
questions, like a real man's voice,
with this difference, that it was as
beautiful as the voice cf an angel. I
black mask. He was bathing my tem
ples and his hands smelt of death. 1
tried to push them away and asked,
"Who are you? Where is the voice r
His only answer was a sigh. Sud-
whlch I had recognized under the
mask, was on its knees before me,
was a man! And I began to cry. . .
The man, ctlll kneeling, must have
understood the cause of my tears, for
ho said, 'It is true, fhristine! . . .
I am not an angel, nor a genius, nor
a ghost . . . Ipm Erik!'"
Christine's nam tlve was again in
terrupted. An echo behind them
seemed to repeat the word after her.
What eehoj. . , Thev both
upset me so much that I turned away
"Then I saw the keyboard of an
organ which filled one whole side of
the walls. On the desk was a music-
ana you, nnsune, ten me, ao you
hate him too?"
"No," said Christine simply.
"No, of course not . . . Why,
you love him! Your fear, your ter
ror, all of that Is just love and love
of the most exquisite kind, the kind
which people do not admit even to
themselves," said Raoul bitterly. "The
kind that gives you a thrill, when you
think of it. . . . Picture it: a man
who lives in a palace underground!"
And he gave a leer.
Then you want me to go back
there?" said the young girl cruelly.
Take care, Raoul; I have told you: I
should never return!"
There was an appalling silence be
tween the three of them; the two
who spoke and the shadow that list
ened, behind them.
Before answering that," said Raoul.
at last, speaking very slowly, "I should
like to know with what feeling he in
spires you, Eince you do not hate
With horror!" she said. "That is
the terrible thing about it. He fills
me with horror and I do not hate him.
How can I hate him, Raoul? Think
of Erik at my feet, In the house on
the lake, underground. He accuses
himself, he curses himself, he im
plores my forgiveness! . . . He
confesses his cheat. He loves me!
He lays at my feet an Immense and
tragic love. . . . He has carried
me off for love! . . . He has Im
prisoned me with him, underground,
for love! . . . But he respects me;
he crawls, he moans, he weeps! . .
And, when I stood up, Raoul, and told
him that I could only despise him if
he did not, then and there, give me
my liberty ... he offered it
. . . he offered to show me the
mysterious road . . . Only . . .
only he rose too . . . and I was
made to remember that, though he
was not an angel, nor a ghost, nor a
genius, he remained the voice . . .
for he sang. And I listened . . .
and stayed! . . -. That night, we
did not exchange another word. He
sang me to sleep.
"When I woke up, I was alone, ly
ing on a sofa in a simply furnished
little bedroom, with an ordinary ma
hogany bedstead, lit by a lamp stand
ing on the marble top of an old Louis
Philippe chest of drawers. I soon dis
covered that I was a rrisoner and that
the only outlet from my room led to
a very comfortable bath-roorn. On re
turning to the bedroom, I saw on the
chest of drawers a note, in red ink,
which said, 'My dear Christine, you
need have no concern as to your fate.
You have no better nor more respect
ful friend in the world than myself.
You are alone, at present, in this
home which is yours. I am going out
shopping to fetch you all the things
that'yoti can need.' I felt sure that I
bad fallen into tbe hands of a mad
man. I ran round my little apart
ment, looking for a way of escape
which I could not find. I upbraided
myself for my absurd superstition,
which had caused me to fall Into the
trap. I felt Inclined to laugh and to
cry at the same time.
"This was the state of mind in
which Erik found me. After giving
three taps on the wall, he walked in
quietly through a door which I had
not noticed and which he left open.
He had his arms full of boxes and
parcels and arranged them on tbe bed,
in a leisurely fashion, while I over
whelmed him with abuse and called
upon him to take off his mask, if it
covered the face of an honest man.
He replied serenely, 'You shall never
see Erik's face.' And he reproached
me with not having finished dressing
at that time of day; be was good
enough to tell me that it was two
o'clock in the afternoon. He said be
would give me half an hour and, while
he spoke, wound up my watch and set
it for me. After which, he asked me
to come to the dining-room, where a
nice lunch was waiting for us.
"I was very angry, slammed the
door ln bis face and went to the bath
room. . . . When I came out again
feeling greatly refreshed Erik said
that he loved me, but that be would
never tell me so except when . I al
lowed him and that the rest of the : peared before my eyes. . . . Raoul, i
time would be devoted to music, you have seen death's heads, when
'What do you mean by the rest of the j they have been driti and withered by
timer I asked. 'Five days,' he said, . the centuries, ano, perhaps, if you
with decision. I asked him if I should ! were not the victim of a nightmare,
then be free and he said, 'You will be j you saw his death's head at Perros.
free, Christine, for, when those five ' And then you saw Red Death stalk
days are past you will have learned '. ing about st the H.st mnslttd ball, but
"Enough! Enough!" cried RaouL
"I will kill him. In heaven's name,
Christine, tell me where the dining
room on the lake is! I must kill
"Oh, be quiet, Raoul, if you want to
"Yes, I want to know how andwhy
you went back; I must know! . . .
But, in any case, I will kill him!"
"Well, what? Out with it!" ex
claimed Raoul fiercely. "Out with It,
'Then he hissed at me. 'Ah, I
say! . . . Perhaps you think that
I have another mask, eh, and that
this . . . this . . . my head la
a mask? Well,' he roared, 'tear It oft
as you did the other! Come! Come
along! I Insist! Your hands! Your
hands! Give me your hands!' And
he seized my hands and dug them In
to his awful face. He tore his flesh,
with my nails, tore his terrible dead
flesh with my nails! . . . 'Know,'
he shouted, while his throat throbbed
and panted like a furnace, 'know that
I am built up ot death from head to
foot, and that it is a corpse that loves
you and adores you and will never,
never leave you! . . . Look, I am
not laughing now, I am crying, crying
for you, Christine, who have torn off
my mask and who therefore can
ly, you have not come to that music
yet, for you would lose all your pretty
coloring and nobody would know you
when you returned to Paris. Let us
sing something from the opera, Chris
tine Daae.' He spoke these last words
as though he were flinging an Insult
"What did you dor
"I had no time to think about the
meaning he put into his words. We
at once began the duet in Othello and
already the catastrophe was upon us.
I sang Desdemona with a despair, a
terror which I had never displayed
before. As for him, his voice thun
dered forth his revengeful soul at
every note. Love, jealousy, hatred,
burst out around us in harrowing
cries. Erik's black mask made me
think of the natural mask of the Moor
of Venice. He was Othello himself.
Suddenly, I felt a need to see beneath
the mask. I wanted to know the face
of the voice, and, with a movement
which I was utterly unable to control,
swiftly my fingers tore away the
mask. Oh, horror, horror, horror!"
Christine stopped, at the thought of
the vision that had scared her, while
long as you thought me handsome you
could have come back, I know you
would have come back . . . but
now that you know my hldeousniss,
you would run away for good. . . .
So I shall keep you here! . . .
Why did you want to see me? Oh,
mad Christine, who wanted to see me!
. . . When my own father never
saw me and when my mother, so as
not to see me, made me a present of
my first mask!'
"He had let go of me at last and
was dragging himself about on the
floori uttering terrible sobs. And then
he crawled away like a snake, went
into his room, closed the door and left
me alone to my reflections. Presently
I heard the sound of the organ; and
then I began to understand Erik's con
temptuous phrase when he spoke
about opera muaic. What I now
heard was utterly different from what
I had heard up to then. His Don
Juan Triumphant (for I had not a
doubt but that he had rushed to his
masterpiece to forget the horror of
the moment) seemed to me at first
one long, awful, magnificent sob. But
little by little, it expressed every emo.
the echoes of the night, which had' tion, every suffering of which man-
repeated the name of Erik, now thrice
moaned tbe cry:
"Horror! . . . Horror! . . .
Raoul and Christine, clasping each
other closely, raised their eyes to the
stars that shone ln a clear and peace
ful sky. Raoul said:
Strange, Christine, that this calm,
kind Is capable. It intoxicated me; .
and I opened tbe door that separated
us. Erl!i rose, as I entered, but dared
not turn in my direction. 'Erik,' 1
cried, 'enow me your face without
fear! I swear that you are the most
unhappy and sublime of men; and, U
ever aain I shiver when I look at
you, it will be because 1 am thinking
soft night should be so full of plaintive i of tho splendor of your genius!' Then
sounds. One would think that It was Erik turned round, for he believed
sorrowing with us." j me, and I also had faith in myself.-
"When you know the secret, Raoul, j He fell at my feet, with words ot
your ears, like mine, will be full of j love . . . with words of love In
lamentations." ' his dead mouth . . . and the mu-
She took Raoul's protecting hands j sic had ceased . . He kissed the
in hers and,' with a long shiver, con-1 hem of my dress and did not see that
"Yea, if I lived to be a hundred, I
should always hear the superhuman
cry of grief and rage which ho ut
r'ed when tbe terrible sight ap-
T , t--V fff
V v. . !. t. tf.i-? '
-! Will Play You Mozart, If YouLIV."
not to see me; and then, from tin2 ; all those de.th's hf-a-is were motion- j
to timet. you. will come to vonvt lesa and their dumb horror was not'
I closed my eyes.
"What more can I tell you, dear?
You now know the tragedy. It went
on for a fortnight a fortnight during
which I lied to him. My lies were as
hideous as the monster who inspired
them; but they were the price of my
liberty. I burned his mask; and I
managed so well that, even when he
was not singing, he tried to catch my
eye, like a dog sitting by its master.
He waa my faithful slave and paid me
endless little attentions. Gradually, I
gave hlro such confidence that he ven
tured to take me walking on the
banks of tiie lake and to row me in
the boat' on its leaden waters; to
ward the end of my captivity he let
me out through the gates that closed
the underground passages in the Rue
Scribe. Here a carriage awaited ua
and took us to the Bois. The night
when we met you was nearly fatal to
j me, for he is terribly jealous of you
and I bad to tell him that you were
soon going away. . . . Then, at
last, after a fortnight of that horrible
captivity, during which I was filled
with pity, enthusiasm, despair and
horror by turns, he believed me when
I said, 'I will come back!' "
"And you went back, Christine,"
"Yes, dear, and I must tell you that
it was not his frightful threats when
setting me free that helped me t
keep my word, but the harrowing sob
which he gave on the threshold ot
the tomb. ... That sob attached
roe to the unfortunate man more than
I myself suspected when saying ood-
l Commute oa rage Tea.)