I promptly promised to have a child with him

The day after Christine had vanished before his eyes in a sort of dazzlement that still made him doubt the evidence of his senses, M. le Vicomte de Chagny called to inquire at Mamma Valerius’. He came upon a charming picture. Christine herself was seated by the bedside of the old lady, who was sitting up against the pillows, knitting. The pink and white had returned to the young girl’s cheeks. The dark rings round her eyes had disappeared. Raoul no longer recognized the tragic face of the day before. If the veil of melancholy over those adorable features had not still appeared to the young man as the last trace of the weird drama in whose toils that mysterious child was struggling, he could have believed that Christine was not its heroine at all.

She rose, without showing any emotion, and offered him her hand. But Raoul’s stupefaction was so great that he stood there dumfounded, without a gesture, without a word.

“Well, M. de Chagny,” exclaimed Mamma Valerius, “don’t you know our Christine? Her good genius has sent her back to us!”

“Mamma!” the girl broke in promptly, while a deep blush mantled to her eyes. “I thought, mamma, that there was to be no more question of that! … You know there is no such thing as the Angel of Music!”

“But, child, he gave you lessons for three months!”

“Mamma, I have promised to explain everything to you one of these days; and I hope to do so but you have promised me, until that day, to be silent and to ask me no more questions whatever!”

- Chapter 10: Forget the Name of the Man’s Voice, from The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Illustration by Greg Hildebrandt.