8) JENNIFER BASSETT - The Phantom of the Opera

8 Where is Christine Daae?

On Saturday morning Comte Philippe looked across the
breakfast table at his brother.
'Don't do it, Raoul, please. All this talk about ghosts and
phantoms. I think the girl is mad.'
'She's not mad, and I'm going to marry her,' Raoul said.
'She's only a little opera singer,' Philippe said unhappily.
'And she's very young. Are you still going to love her in ten, or
twenty, years' time?'
Raoul drank his coffee and did not answer.
There were two more unhappy faces in the Opera House,
too. The directors now understood about O.G. They didn't
want any more accidents.
'Box 5 is free tonight for O.G. Daae is singing Margarita.
And here is 20,000 francs. Madame Giry can leave the money in
Box 5 for him. Is that everything?' Monsieur Armand asked
Monsieur Firmin.
'It's a lot of money,' Monsieur Firmin said unhappily. He
thought for a minute. 'What about some flowers in Box 5?
Madame Giry says that O.G. likes flowers.'
'O.G. can bring his own flowers!' shouted Monsieur Armand.
The evening began well. The chandelier was now back in
place, with new ropes. All Paris was in the Opera House.
Everybody wanted to hear Christine Daae's voice again. People
also knew about the love story between Christine Daae and the
Vicomte de Chagny. There are no love secrets in Paris! People
watched the Comte and the Vicomte in Box 14 with interest.
Young men from families like de Chagny do not marry opera
singers.
When Christine came on to the stage, her face was white and
she looked afraid. But she sang like an angel. Ah, what a voice!
All Paris was in love with Christine Daae.
She began to sing the famous love song. Suddenly, every light
in the Opera House went out. For a second nobody moved or
spoke. Then a woman screamed, and all the lights came on
again.
But Christine Daae was no longer on the stage! She was not
behind the stage, she was not under the stage. Nobody could
find her.
The Opera House went mad. Everybody ran here and there,
shouted and called. In the directors' office, people ran in and
out. The police came, and asked questions. But nobody could
answer the questions. Monsieur Armand got angry and
shouted, and Monsieur Firmin told him to be quiet. Then
Madame Giry arrived in the office with her daughter Meg.
'Go away, woman!' Monsieur Armand shouted.
'Monsieur, there are three people missing now!' Madame
Giry said. 'Meg, tell the directors your story.'
This was Meg's story.
'When the lights went out, we were just behind the stage. We
heard a scream - I think it was Christine Daae's voice. Then the
lights came back on, but Christine wasn't there! We were very
afraid, and we began to run back to our dressing-room. There
were people running everywhere! Then we saw the Vicomte dc
Chagny. His face was red and he was very angry. "Where's
Christine? Where's Christine?" he shouted. Suddenly the
Persian came up behind him and took his arm. He said
something to the Vicomte and they went into Christine Daae's
dressing-room ...'
'Yes? And then?' Monsieur Firmin said quickly. 'What
happened next?'
'Nobody knows!' Meg's face was white. 'We looked into
Christine Daae's dressing-room, but ... but there was nobody
there!'