dark it was in there!...He listened.... All was silence!...He went round the building...and came to bigger bars, immense gates!...It was the entrance to the Cour de l'Administration.

Raoul rushed into the doorkeeper's lodge.

`I beg your pardon, madame, could you tell me where to find a gate or door, made of bars, iron bars, opening into the Rue Scribe... and leading to the lake?...You know the lake I mean?...Yes, the underground lake...under the Opera.'

`Yes, sir, I know there is a lake under the Opera, but I don't know which door leads to it. I have never been there!'

`And the Rue Scribe, madame, the Rue Scribe? Have you never been to the Rue Scribe?'

The woman laughed, screamed with laughter! Raoul darted away, roaring with anger, ran up-stairs, four stairs at a time, down-stairs, rushed through the whole of the business side of the opera-house, found himself once more in the light of the stage.

He stopped, with his heart thumping in his chest: suppose Christine Daaé had been found? He saw a group of men and asked:

`I beg your pardon, gentlemen. Could you tell me where Christine Daaé is?'

And somebody laughed.

At the same moment the stage buzzed with a new sound and, amid a crowd of men in evening-dress, all talking and gesticulating together, appeared a man who seemed very calm and displayed a pleasant face, all pink and chubby-cheeked, crowned with curly hair and lit up by a pair of wonderfully serene blue eyes. Mercier, the acting-manager, called the Vicomte de Chagny's attention to him and said:

`This is the gentleman to whom you should put your question, monsieur. Let me introduce Mifroid, the commissary of police.'

`Ah, M. le Vicomte de Chagny! Delighted to meet you, monsieur,' said the commissary. `Would you mind coming with me?...And now where are the managers?...Where are the managers?'

Mercier did not answer, and Rémy, the secretary, volunteered the information that the managers were locked up in their office and that they knew nothing as yet of what had happened.

`You don't mean to say so! Let us go up to the office!'

And M. Mifroid, followed by an ever-increasing crowd, turned toward the business side of the building. Mercier took advantage of the confusion to slip a key into Gabriel's hand:

`This is all going very badly,' he whispered. `You had better let Mother Giry out.'

And Gabriel moved away.

They soon came to the managers' door. Mercier stormed in vain: the door remained closed.

`Open in the name of the law!' commanded M. Mifroid, in a loud and rather anxious voice.

At last the door was opened. All rushed in to the office, on the commissary's heels.

Raoul was the last to enter. As he was about to follow the rest into the room, a hand was laid on his shoulder and he heard these words spoken in his ear:

  By PanEris using Melati.

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