|5 A letter for Raoul
Thar Wednesday a letter also arrived for
the young Vicomte de
Chagny. He opened the letter, saw the name at the bottom, and
smiled for the first time that day.
Of course 1 remember you! How could I forget you? Meet
me on Thursday at three o'clock in the Tuileries Gardens.
Don't be angry with me, Raoul, please.
Raoul put the letter carefully into his pocket. Angry? How
could he be angry with an angel? On Thursday he was in the
Tuileries Gardens by two o'clock.
At ten past three he began to feel unhappy. At half past three
he wanted to die, or to kill somebody.
And then ... she came. She ran through the gardens to him,
and in a second she was in his arms.
'Oh, Christine!' he said, again and again. 'Oh Christine!'
They walked through the gardens together and talked for a
long time. They remembered their happy weeks in Brittany,
four years ago.
'But why did you go away, Christine?' Raoul asked. 'Why
didn't you write to me?'
For a minute or two Christine said nothing. Then she said
slowly, 'We were so young, you and I. I was just a poor singer
from Norway, and you ... you were the Vicomte de Chagny. I
knew I could never be your wife.'
'But I love you, Christine-'
'No, shh. Listen to me, Raoul, please. I went home to
Norway, and a year later, my father died. I was very unhappy,
but I came back to France, to Paris. I worked and worked at my
singing, because I wanted to be an opera singer. Not just a good
singer, but the best opera singer in Paris.'
'And now you are,' Raoul said. He smiled. 'All Paris is at
Christine turned her face away and said nothing.
'Christine,' Raoul said quietly. 'I want to ask you a question.
Who was the man in your dressing-room on Tuesday night?
Tell me, please!'
Christine stopped and stared at him. Her face went white.
'What man?' she whispered. 'There was no man in my dressingroom
on Tuesday night.'
Raoul put his hand on her arm. 'I heard him,' he said.
'I listened outside the door and heard a man's voice. Who was
'Don't ask me, Raoul! There was a man's voice, yes, but
there was no man in my room! It's true! Oh, Raoul, I'm so
afraid. Sometimes I want to die.'
'Who is he? Tell me, Christine, please. I'm your friend, I can
help you. Tell me his name!'
'I cannot tell you his name. It's a secret,' whispered
Christine. 'I never see him, I only hear his voice. But he is
everywhere! He sees everything, hears everything. That's why I
didn't speak to you on Tuesday night. He is my music teacher,
Raoul. He's a wonderful singer. I sang so well on Tuesday night
because of him. I am famous because of him. He is my angel of
music! And he says he loves me. How can I leave him?'