Gaston Leroux: The Phantom of the Opera

Chapter 23. The Tortures Begin (continued)

"A cry! Are you going mad, Erik? Whom do you expect to give a cry, in this house?...I cried out, because you hurt me! I heard nothing."

"I don't like the way you said that!...You're trembling. ... You're quite excited....You're lying!...That was a cry, there was a cry!...There is some one in the torture-chamber!... Ah, I understand now!"

"There is no one there, Erik!"

"I understand!"

"No one!"

"The man you want to marry, perhaps!"

"I don't want to marry anybody, you know I don't."

Another nasty chuckle. "Well, it won't take long to find out. Christine, my love, we need not open the door to see what is happening in the torture-chamber. Would you like to see? Would you like to see? Look here! If there is some one, if there is really some one there, you will see the invisible window light up at the top, near the ceiling. We need only draw the black curtain and put out the light in here. There, that's it....Let's put out the light! You're not afraid of the dark, when you're with your little husband!"

Then we heard Christine's voice of anguish:

"No!...I'm frightened!...I tell you, I'm afraid of the dark!... I don't care about that room now....You're always frightening me, like a child, with your torture-chamber!...And so I became inquisitive. ...But I don't care about it now...not a bit...not a bit!"

And that which I feared above all things began, AUTOMATICALLY. We were suddenly flooded with light! Yes, on our side of the wall, everything seemed aglow. The Vicomte de Chagny was so much taken aback that he staggered. And the angry voice roared:

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