And we thought only of the possibility of warning Christine Daaé of our presence, unknown to the monster. We were unable to leave the torture-chamber now, unless Christine opened the door to us; and it was only on this condition that we could hope to help her, for we did not even know where the door might be.

Suddenly, the silence in the next room was disturbed by the ringing of an electric bell. There was a bound on the other side of the wall and Erik's voice of thunder:

`Somebody ringing! Walk in, please!'

A sinister chuckle.

`Who has come bothering now? Wait for me here....I am going to tell the siren to open the door.'

Steps moved away, a door closed. I had no time to think of the fresh horror that was preparing; I forgot that the monster was only going out perhaps to perpetrate a fresh crime; I understood but one thing: Christine was alone behind the wall!

The Vicomte de Chagny was already calling to her:

`Christine! Christine!'

As we could hear what was said in the next room, there was no reason why my companion should not be heard in his turn. Nevertheless, the viscount had to repeat his cry time after time.

At last, a faint voice reached us.

`I am dreaming!' it said.

`Christine, Christine, it is I, Raoul!'

A silence.

`But answer me, Christine!...In Heaven's name, if you are alone, answer me!'

Then Christine's voice whispered Raoul's name.

`Yes! Yes! It is I! It is not a dream!...Christine, trust me!...We are here to save you...but be prudent! When you hear the monster, warn us!'

Then Christine gave way to fear. She trembled lest Erik should discover where Raoul was hidden; she told us in a few hurried words that Erik had gone quite mad with love and that he had decided to kill everybody and himself with everybody if she did not consent to become his wife. He had given her till eleven o'clock the next evening for reflection. It was the last respite. She must choose, as he said, between the wedding mass and the requiem.

And Erik had then uttered a phrase which Christine did not quite understand:

`Yes or no! If your answer is no, everybody will be dead and buried!'

But I understood the sentence perfectly, for it corresponded in a terrible manner with my own dreadful thought.

`Can you tell us where Erik is?' I asked.

She replied that he must have left the house.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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