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Chapter 11. Above the Trap-Doors (continued)
"Yes, he can't open and shut the trap-doors and work at the same time." She shivered.
"What is he working at?"
"Oh, something terrible!...But it's all the better for us. ...When he's working at that, he sees nothing; he does not eat, drink, or breathe for days and nights at a time...he becomes a living dead man and has no time to amuse himself with the trap-doors." She shivered again. She was still holding him in her arms. Then she sighed and said, in her turn:
"Suppose it were HE!"
"Are you afraid of him?"
"No, no, of course not," she said.
For all that, on the next day and the following days, Christine was careful to avoid the trap-doors. Her agitation only increased as the hours passed. At last, one afternoon, she arrived very late, with her face so desperately pale and her eyes so desperately red, that Raoul resolved to go to all lengths, including that which he foreshadowed when he blurted out that he would not go on the North Pole expedition unless she first told him the secret of the man's voice.
"Hush! Hush, in Heaven's name! Suppose HE heard you, you unfortunate Raoul!"
And Christine's eyes stared wildly at everything around her.
"I will remove you from his power, Christine, I swear it. And you shall not think of him any more."
"Is it possible?"
She allowed herself this doubt, which was an encouragernent, while dragging the young man up to the topmost floor of the theater, far, very far from the trap-doors.
"I shall hide you in some unknown corner of the world, where HE can not come to look for you. You will be safe; and then I shall go away...as you have sworn never to marry."
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