Gaston Leroux: The Phantom of the Opera

Chapter 22. In the Torture Chamber (continued)

"After all, as we are to die together...and I am just as eager as you...yes, I have had enough of this life, you know. ...Wait, don't move, I will release you....You have only one word to say: `NO!' And it will at once be over WITH EVERYBODY! ...You are right, you are right; why wait till eleven o'clock to-morrow evening? True, it would have been grander, finer....But that is childish nonsense....We should only think of ourselves in this life, of our own death...the rest doesn't matter. ...YOU'RE LOOKING AT ME BECAUSE I AM ALL WET?... Oh, my dear, it's raining cats and dogs outside!...Apart from that, Christine, I think I am subject to hallucinations....You know, the man who rang at the siren's door just now--go and look if he's ringing at the bottom of the lake-well, he was rather like. ...There, turn round...are you glad? You're free now. ...Oh, my poor Christine, look at your wrists: tell me, have I hurt them?...That alone deserves death....Talking of death, I MUST SING HIS REQUIEM!"

Hearing these terrible remarks, I received an awful presentiment ...I too had once rung at the monster's door...and, without knowing it, must have set some warning current in motion.

And I remembered the two arms that had emerged from the inky waters. ...What poor wretch had strayed to that shore this time? Who was `the other one,' the one whose requiem we now heard sung?

Erik sang like the god of thunder, sang a DIES IRAE that enveloped us as in a storm. The elements seemed to rage around us. Suddenly, the organ and the voice ceased so suddenly that M. de Chagny sprang back, on the other side of the wall, with emotion. And the voice, changed and transformed, distinctly grated out these metallic syllables: "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY BAG?"

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