The Commissary, the Viscount and the PersianThe first words of the commissary of police, on entering the managers' office, were to ask after the missing prima donna.
`Is Christine Daaé here?'
`Christine Daaé here?' echoed Richard. `No. Why?'
As for Moncharmin, he had not the strength left to utter a word.
Richard repeated, for the commissary and the compact crowd which had followed him into the office observed an impressive silence.
`Why do you ask if Christine Daaé is here, M. le commissaire?'
`Because she has to be found,', declared the commissary of police solemnly.
`What do you mean, she has to be found? Has she disappeared?'
`In the middle of the performance!'
`In the middle of the performance? This is extraordinary!'
`Isn't it? And what is quite as extraordinary is that you should first learn it from me!'
`Yes,' said Richard, taking his head in his hands and muttering. `What is this new business? Oh, it's enough to make a man send in his resignation!'
And he pulled a few hairs out of his mustache without even knowing what he was doing.
`So she...so she disappeared in the middle of the performance?' he repeated.
`Yes, she was carried off in the Prison Act, at the moment when she was invoking the aid of the angels; but I doubt if she was carried off by an angel.'
`And I am sure that she was!'
Everybody looked round. A young man, pale and trembling with excitement, repeated:
`I am sure of it!'
`Sure of what?' asked Mifroid.
`That Christine Daaé' was carried off by an angel, M. le commissaire and I can tell you his name.'
`Aha, M. le Vicomte de Chagny! So you maintain that Christine Daaé was carried off by an angel: an angel of the Opera, no doubt?'
`Yes, monsieur, by an angel of the Opera; and I will tell you where he lives...when we are alone.'
`You are right, monsieur.'
And the commissary of police, inviting Raoul to take a chair, cleared the room of all the rest, excepting the managers.
Then Raoul spoke:
`M. le Commissaire, the angel is called Erik, he lives in the Opera and he is the Angel of Music!'
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|