The Commissary, the Viscount and the Persian

The 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 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!'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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