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The Phantom of the Opera

Chapter 25. The Scorpion or the Grasshopper: Which?
THE PERSIAN'S NARRATIVE CONCLUDED
The discovery flung us into a state of alarm that made us forget all our past and present
sufferings. We now knew all that the monster meant to convey when he said to Christine
Daae:
"Yes or no! If your answer is no, everybody will be dead AND BURIED!"
Yes, buried under the ruins of the Paris Grand Opera!
The monster had given her until eleven o'clock in the evening. He had chosen his time
well. There would be many people, many "members of the human race," up there, in the
resplendent theater. What finer retinue could be expected for his funeral? He would go
down to the tomb escorted by the whitest shoulders in the world, decked with the richest
jewels.
Eleven o'clock to-morrow evening!
We were all to be blown up in the middle of the performance... if Christine Daae said no!
Eleven o'clock to-morrow evening!...
And what else could Christine say but no? Would she not prefer to espouse death itself
rather than that living corpse? She did not know that on her acceptance or refusal
depended the awful fate of many members of the human race!
Eleven o'clock to-morrow evening!
And we dragged ourselves through the darkness, feeling our way to the stone steps, for
the light in the trap-door overhead that led to the room of mirrors was now extinguished;
and we repeated to ourselves:
"Eleven o'clock to-morrow evening!"
At last, I found the staircase. But, suddenly I drew myself up on the first step, for a
terrible thought had come to my mind:
"What is the time?"
Ah, what was the time?...For, after all, eleven o'clock to-morrow evening might be now,
might be this very moment! Who could tell us the time? We seemed to have been
 
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