10) JENNIFER BASSETT - The Phantom of the Opera.


10) JENNIFER BASSETT - The Phantom of the Opera

10 Madame Giry visits the Persian

For weeks, all Paris talked about that night at the opera. Everybody asked questions, but nobody knew the answers. Where was Christine Daae? Where was the Vicomte do Chagny? Were they alive, or dead? And the Phantom of the Opera ...? Some weeks after that famous night Madame Giry went out one afternoon to a small house near the Rivoli Gardens. She went in and up the stairs to some rooms at the top of the house. The Persian opened the door. Madame Giry looked at him.
'My friend, you know the answers. Please tell me. Are they alive or dead?'

'Come in,' the Persian said quietly.
They sat down on some chairs by the window, and looked out across the Rivoli Gardens.
'Yes,' the Persian said slowly, 'The Phantom is dead now. He did not want to live any longer. I saw his body three days ago, and because of that, I can talk to you about him. He cannot kill me now.'
'So the Phantom was really a man?' Madame Giry asked.

'Yes, his name was Erik. That was not his real name, of course. He was born in France, but I knew him in Persia. He was a famous builder and I worked with him there. For a time I was his friend, but not for long. When he came to Paris, I came after him - I wanted to watch him. He was a very clever, very dangerous man. He could be in two, or three, places at the same time. He could be in one place, and his voice could come from another place. He could do many clever things with ropes, and mirrors, and secret doors. You see, he helped to build the Opera House. He built secret passages underground, and his secret house on the lake. He could not live in the outside world, because of his terrible, ugly face. Unhappy Erik! We can feel sorry for him, Madame Giry. He was so clever ... and so ugly. People screamed when they saw his face. And so he lived this strange life - half-man, half-phantom. But he was a man, in the end. He wanted a woman's love ...'

He stopped, and Madame Giry asked quietly, 'And Christine Daae and Vicomte Raoul? What happened to them?'
The Persian smiled.
'Ah yes! What happened to young Raoul and the beautiful Christine ...? Who knows?'
Nobody in Paris ever saw Raoul and Christine again. Perhaps they took a train to the north, and lived a quiet, happy life together there. Perhaps Christine's wonderful voice is still singing, somewhere in the cold and beautiful mountains of Norway. Who knows?

The End