Gaston Leroux: The Phantom of the Opera

Chapter 14. The Singular Attitude of a Safety-Pin (continued)

"There!" he said, in a gloomy voice. "It's worse than ever!... I shouted, `It's a serious matter! Open the door! It's I, Mercier.' I heard footsteps. The door opened and Moncharmin appeared. He was very pale. He said, `What do you want?' I answered, `Some one has run away with Christine Daae.' What do you think he said? `And a good job, too!' And he shut the door, after putting this in my hand."

Mercier opened his hand; Remy and Gabriel looked.

"The safety-pin!" cried Remy.

"Strange! Strange!" muttered Gabriel, who could not help shivering.

Suddenly a voice made them all three turn round.

"I beg your pardon, gentlemen. Could you tell me where Christine Daae is?"

In spite of the seriousness of the circumstances, the absurdity of the question would have made them roar with laughter, if they had not caught sight of a face so sorrow-stricken that they were at once seized with pity. It was the Vicomte Raoul de Chagny.

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