Raoul Week QOTD (from “The Enchanted Violin”):
One day, a young boy from the town was out with his governess and made her take a long walk, for he could not bring himself to leave the little girl whose voice, so sweet and pure, seemed to have enslaved him. In this way, they came to the shore of an inlet that is still called Trestraou. In those days, there was nothing there but the sky and the sea and the golden sand. And above all, there was a strong wind, which carried away Christine’s scarf into the sea. Christine let out a cry and reached out her arms, but the headscarf* was already far away upon the waves. Christine heard a voice which said to her:
“Don’t trouble yourself**, mademoiselle, I shall go collect your scarf from the sea.”
And she saw a little boy running, running, despite the cries and indignant protestations of a respectable lady dressed all in black. The little boy went into the sea fully clothed and brought her scarf back to her. The little boy and the scarf were both in a fine state! The lady in black was unable to regain her composure, but Christine laughed heartily, and she gave the little boy a kiss. It was the Vicomte Raoul de Chagny.
* In this sentence, Leroux refers to Christine’s scarf not as “echarpe” (scarf), but as “voile” (veil, or headscarf), indicating that Christine’s scarf was used as a head covering instead of as a neck scarf as in the ALW musical. A headscarf or kerchief was often worn by Swedish girls and women in the 1800s and even into the 1900s, as in the artwork above by Anders Leonard Zorn.
** redeaths, Raoul uses the formal “vous” form to address Christine. Such a polite young man! :D