The Phantom of the Opera (Chapter 4, page 2 of 8)


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Chapter 4

All the same, I should like to take advantage of the fact that you have
not yet turned Christine Daae out of doors by hearing her this evening
in the part of Siebel, as that of Margarita has been forbidden her
since her triumph of the other evening; and I will ask you not to
dispose of my box to-day nor on the FOLLOWING DAYS, for I can not end
this letter without telling you how disagreeably surprised I have been
once or twice, to hear, on arriving at the Opera, that my box had been
sold, at the box-office, by your orders.

I did not protest, first, because I dislike scandal, and, second,
because I thought that your predecessors, MM. Debienne and Poligny, who
were always charming to me, had neglected, before leaving, to mention
my little fads to you. I have now received a reply from those
gentlemen to my letter asking for an explanation, and this reply proves
that you know all about my Memorandum-Book and, consequently, that you
are treating me with outrageous contempt. IF YOU WISH TO LIVE IN
PEACE, YOU MUST NOT BEGIN BY TAKING AWAY MY PRIVATE BOX.

Believe me to be, dear Mr. Manager, without prejudice to these little
observations, Your Most Humble and Obedient Servant,
OPERA GHOST.

The letter was accompanied by a cutting from the agony-column of the
Revue Theatrale, which ran: O. G.--There is no excuse for R. and M. We told them and left your
memorandum-book in their hands. Kind regards.

M. Firmin Richard had hardly finished reading this letter when M.
Armand Moncharmin entered, carrying one exactly similar. They looked
at each other and burst out laughing.

"They are keeping up the joke," said M. Richard, "but I don't call it
funny."

"What does it all mean?" asked M. Moncharmin. "Do they imagine that,
because they have been managers of the Opera, we are going to let them
have a box for an indefinite period?"

"I am not in the mood to let myself be laughed at long," said Firmin
Richard.

"It's harmless enough," observed Armand Moncharmin. "What is it they
really want? A box for to-night?"

M. Firmin Richard told his secretary to send Box Five on the grand tier
to Mm. Debienne and Poligny, if it was not sold. It was not. It was
sent off to them. Debienne lived at the corner of the Rue Scribe and
the Boulevard des Capucines; Poligny, in the Rue Auber. O. Ghost's two
letters had been posted at the Boulevard des Capucines post-office, as
Moncharmin remarked after examining the envelopes.

"You see!" said Richard.

They shrugged their shoulders and regretted that two men of that age
should amuse themselves with such childish tricks.

"They might have been civil, for all that!" said Moncharmin. "Did you
notice how they treat us with regard to Carlotta, Sorelli and Little
Jammes?"

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