The Phantom of the Opera HTML version
Chapter 5. The Enchanted Violin
Christine Daae, owing to intrigues to which I will return later, did not immediately
continue her triumph at the Opera. After the famous gala night, she sang once at the
Duchess de Zurich's; but this was the last occasion on which she was heard in private.
She refused, without plausible excuse, to appear at a charity concert to which she had
promised her assistance. She acted throughout as though she were no longer the mistress
of her own destiny and as though she feared a fresh triumph.
She knew that the Comte de Chagny, to please his brother, had done his best on her
behalf with M. Richard; and she wrote to thank him and also to ask him to cease speaking
in her favor. Her reason for this curious attitude was never known. Some pretended that it
was due to overweening pride; others spoke of her heavenly modesty. But people on the
stage are not so modest as all that; and I think that I shall not be far from the truth if I
ascribe her action simply to fear. Yes, I believe that Christine Daae was frightened by
what had happened to her. I have a letter of Christine's (it forms part of the Persian's
collection), relating to this period, which suggests a feeling of absolute dismay:
"I don't know myself when I sing," writes the poor child.
She showed herself nowhere; and the Vicomte de Chagny tried in vain to meet her. He
wrote to her, asking to call upon her, but despaired of receiving a reply when, one
morning, she sent him the following note:
I have not forgotten the little boy who went into the sea to rescue my scarf. I feel that I
must write to you to-day, when I am going to Perros, in fulfilment of a sacred duty. To-
morrow is the anniversary of the death of my poor father, whom you knew and who was
very fond of you. He is buried there, with his violin, in the graveyard of the little church,
at the bottom of the slope where we used to play as children, beside the road where, when
we were a little bigger, we said good-by for the last time.
The Vicomte de Chagny hurriedly consulted a railway guide, dressed as quickly as he
could, wrote a few lines for his valet to take to his brother and jumped into a cab which
brought him to the Gare Montparnasse just in time to miss the morning train. He spent a
dismal day in town and did not recover his spirits until the evening, when he was seated
in his compartment in the Brittany express. He read Christine's note over and over again,
smelling its perfume, recalling the sweet pictures of his childhood, and spent the rest of
that tedious night journey in feverish dreams that began and ended with Christine Daae.
Day was breaking when he alighted at Lannion. He hurried to the diligence for Perros-
Guirec. He was the only passenger. He questioned the driver and learned that, on the