`Could you make sure?'

`No. I am fastened. I can not stir a limb.'

When we heard this, M. de Chagny and I gave a yell of fury. Our safety, the safety of all three of us, depended on the girl's liberty of movement.

`But where are you?' asked Christine. `There are only two doors in my room, the Louis-Philippe room of which I told you, Raoul; a door through which Erik comes and goes, and another which he has never opened before me and which he has forbidden me ever to go through, because he says it is the most dangerous of the doors, the door of the torture-chamber!'

`Christine, that is where we are!'

`You are in the torture-chamber?'

`Yes, but we can not see the door.'

`Oh, if I could only drag myself so far! I would knock at the door and that would tell you where it is.'

`Is it a door with a lock to it?' I asked.

`Yes, with a lock.'

`Mademoiselle,' I said, `it is absolutely necessary, that you should open that door to us!'

`But how?' asked the poor girl tearfully.

We heard her straining, trying to free herself from the bonds that held her.

`I know where the key is,' she said, in a voice that seemed exhausted by the effort she had made. `But I am fastened so tight....Oh, the wretch!'

And she gave a sob.

`Where is the key?' I asked, signing to M. de Chagny not to speak and to leave the business to me, for we had not a moment to lose.

`In the next room, near the organ, with another little bronze key, which he also forbade me to touch. They are both in a little leather bag which he calls the bag of life and death....Raoul! Raoul! Fly! Everything is mysterious and terrible here, and Erik will soon have gone quite mad, and you are in the torture-chamber!...Go back by the way you came. There must be a reason why the room is called by that name!'

`Christine,' said the young man. `we will go from here together or die together!'

`We must keep cool,' I whispered. `Why has he fastened you, mademoiselle? You can't escape from his house; and he knows it!'

`I tried to commit suicide! The monster went out last night, after carrying me here fainting and half chloroformed. He was going to his banker, so he said!...When he returned he found me with my face covered with blood....I had tried to kill myself by striking my forehead against the walls.'

`Christine!' groaned Raoul; and he began to sob.

`Then he bound me....I am not allowed to die until eleven o'clock to-morrow evening.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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