Thursday, August 7, 2014

the last book I ever read (Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, excerpt six)

from The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux:

“My anger equalled my amazement. I rushed at the mask and tried to snatch it away, so as to see the face of the voice. The man said, ‘You are in no danger, so long as you do not touch the mask.’ And, taking me gently by the wrists, he forced me into a chair and then went down on his knees before me and said nothing more! His humility gave me back some of my courage, and the light restored me to the realities of life. However extraordinary the adventure might be, I was now surrounded by mortal, visible, tangible things. The furniture, the hangings, the candles, the vases and the very flowers in their baskets, of which I could almost have told whence they came and what they cost, were bound to confine my imagination to the limits of a drawing-room quite as commonplace as any that, at least, had the excuse of not being in the cellars of the Opera. I had, no doubt, to do with a terrible, eccentric person, who, in some mysterious fashion, had succeeded in taking up his abode there, under the Opera house, five stories below the level of the ground. And the voice, the voice which I had recognized under the mask, was on its knees before me, was a man! And I began to cry. . . . The man, still kneeling, must have understood the cause of my tears, for he said, ‘It is true, Christine! . . . I am not an Angel, nor a genius, nor a ghost . . . I am Erik!’”

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