Faust and What Followed

On the Saturday morning, on reaching their office, the joint managers found a letter from O. G. worded in these terms:

My dear Managers:

So it is to be war between us?

If you still care for peace, here is my ultimatum. It consists of the four following conditions:

1. You must give me back my private box; and I wish it to be at my free disposal from henceforward.

2. The part of Margarita shall be sung this evening by Christine Daaé. Never mind about Carlotta; she will be ill.

3. I absolutely insist upon the good and loyal services of Mme. Giry, my box-keeper, whom you will reinstate in her functions forthwith.

4. Let me know by a letter handed to Mme. Giry, who will see that it reaches me, that you accept, as your predecessors did, the conditions in my memorandum-book relating to my monthly allowance. I will inform you later how you are to pay it to me.

If you refuse, you will give Faust to-night in a house with a curse upon it.

Take my advice and be warned in time. O. G.

`Look here, I'm getting sick of him, sick of him!' shouted Richard, bringing his fists down on his officetable.

Just then, Mercier, the acting-manager, entered.

`Lachcnel would like to see one of you gentlemen,' he said. `He says that his business is urgent and he seems quite upset.'

`Who's Lachcnel?' asked Richard.

`He's your stud-groom.'

`What do you mean? My stud-groom?'

`Yes, sir,' explained Mercier, `there are several grooms at the Opera and M. Lachcnel is at the head of them.'

`And what does this groom do?'

`He has the chief management of the stable.'

`What stable?'

`Why, yours, sir, the stable of the Opera.'

`Is there a stable at the Opera? Upon my word, I didn't know. Where is it?'

`In the cellars, on the Rotunda side. It's a very important department; we have twelve horses.'

`Twelve horses! And what for, in Heaven's name?'

`Why, we want trained horses for the processions in the Juive, The Profeta and so on; horses `used to the boards.' It is the grooms' business to teach them. M. Lachcnel is very clever at it. He used to manage Franconi's stables.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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