The Phantom of the Opera HTML version
Chapter 12. Apollo's Lyre
On this way, they reached the roof. Christine tripped over it as lightly as a swallow. Their
eyes swept the empty space between the three domes and the triangular pediment. She
breathed freely over Paris, the whole valley of which was seen at work below. She called
Raoul to come quite close to her and they walked side by side along the zinc streets, in
the leaden avenues; they looked at their twin shapes in the huge tanks, full of stagnant
water, where, in the hot weather, the little boys of the ballet, a score or so, learn to swim
The shadow had followed behind them clinging to their steps; and the two children little
suspected its presence when they at last sat down, trustingly, under the mighty protection
of Apollo, who, with a great bronze gesture, lifted his huge lyre to the heart of a crimson
It was a gorgeous spring evening. Clouds, which had just received their gossamer robe of
gold and purple from the setting sun, drifted slowly by; and Christine said to Raoul:
"Soon we shall go farther and faster than the clouds, to the end of the world, and then you
will leave me, Raoul. But, if, when the moment comes for you to take me away, I refuse
to go with you--well you must carry me off by force!"
"Are you afraid that you will change your mind, Christine?"
"I don't know," she said, shaking her head in an odd fashion. "He is a demon!" And she
shivered and nestled in his arms with a moan. "I am afraid now of going back to live with
him...in the ground!"
"What compels you to go back, Christine?"
"If I do not go back to him, terrible misfortunes may happen!... But I can't do it, I can't do
it!...I know one ought to be sorry for people who live underground....But he is too
horrible! And yet the time is at hand; I have only a day left; and, if I do not go, he will
come and fetch me with his voice. And he will drag me with him, underground, and go
on his knees before me, with his death's head. And he will tell me that he loves me! And
he will cry! Oh, those tears, Raoul, those tears in the two black eye-sockets of the death's
head! I can not see those tears flow again!"
She wrung her hands in anguish, while Raoul pressed her to his heart.
"No, no, you shall never again hear him tell you that he loves you! You shall not see his
tears! Let us fly, Christine, let us fly at once!"