This was originally planned to be the end of the preceding chapter; but not only did the 'pier' scene overrun, it rapidly became obvious that the characters had an awful lot to sort out that wasn't appropriate to Gustave's presence. Also, having all been through the wringer by this stage, they were worn out.
The result was that the ending didn't come out at all the way I had originally anticipated, and a couple of completely new settings come into the story to accommodate the 'delayed matter'...
Chapter 5: The Seagull
Christine buried her face in Gustave’s hair again, nuzzling the warm small-boy scent of him and enveloping him in a tight embrace until he began at last to wriggle and pull away. She was still shaking with reaction.
She’d believed the Phantom fully capable of taking her son from her and keeping them apart to hold her to his will; but he would never have harmed him. Not the child he had so ardently believed to be his own — the boy in whose quick mind and talent he had seen an unmarred reflection of what he might have been. If she’d had any doubt of that, the man’s horror and distress when the boy was found missing from backstage had made it clear: Mr Y would never hurt Gustave, she was certain of it, even in heartbreak or despair.
Harm to Raoul... was a very different matter.
And so in those first few bewildered moments it had been Raoul’s life she feared for, cut short at the hands of some trap or over-zealous lackey when he’d plunged out after their son in the grip of blind misery and the desperate need to act. She’d been afraid for Gustave at the first when the boy had failed to return, and again when she understood that he was truly missing. But he’d wandered off before, caught up in the flush of some unforeseen interest or following a trail that no adult could make out: as a mother her worry was acute enough but tempered by the pangs of experience.
She had not truly panicked to begin with. Not until frenzied inquisition had brought to light Meg Giry’s hand in the whole affair, and a tumult of insecurity and rage at which Christine, horrified, had never guessed. Not until Meg’s mother, herself on the point of breakdown, had flung accusations that betrayed all too clearly the direction of poor Meg’s heart, as Christine’s presence stole everything from her that she had wanted or might have had. Not until the loaded gun that had been called for, against Christine’s protests, had turned up missing, with Meg Giry as the last to have entered the high Aerie without its Master’s knowledge...
( Read more... )