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?