I decided not to split this into two chapters. The place I had in mind ("He did not think he could ever feel like this for anyone but Christine") doesn't really work as a chapter division, since it's in the middle of Raoul's thoughts about his feelings for her, and the logical place (after "sweet and round and wrinkled as a winter apple") is too close to the end of the story; the second chapter doesn't have enough substance.
I note that Carlotta is busy suspecting Raoul of secretly being the Phantom, while this version of Raoul seems pretty suspicious of Meg!
There is no Phantom of the Opera
Raoul-Achille-Honoré — youngest and most recent of the Vicomtes de Chagny — was not given to flights of fancy. A trifle impetuous maybe, perhaps even as naïve as his scoffing friends liked to claim, but for all his youth he was a man grown, an educated man in a world of rational thought, and he did not believe in ghosts. In particular, not ghosts that laid claim to such very tangible possessions as an opera box or twenty thousand francs in cash... or that, bare minutes ago, had looped an all-too-solid rope around a man’s neck and thrust him into that ghastly dance of death as a warning.
Christine’s face had been ashen at the sight, and he’d choked down horror of his own; but she’d needed him, and he’d rushed unhesitatingly to her side. He would have offered her the comfort of his arms — of his home, if she would have it — but she’d caught at his hand, drawing him instead into this wild flight.( Read more... )
( Read more... )
The first two flowers to emerge out of my smaller second tray were, predictably, yet another daisy and another Jacob's ladder, but I now have two more that didn't germinate in the first batch at all. The big bushy thistle-like thing turns out to be an ageratum:
And the second is heartsease:
(Because after all, what did he mean by "there is no Phantom of the Opera"? Presumably not 'what we just saw didn't happen, and neither did the notes signed Opera Ghost' -- however pig-headed you want to believe him, by this point Raoul can scarcely disbelieve that something odd is going on at the Opera. So presumably he is trying to reassure her that whoever is behind this, it's not supernatural -- Buquet's stories of living skulls and the backstage superstitions about all accidents being the agency of the 'Phantom' are just that, superstition. And above all, the Phantom can't really get into her head and influence her actions as she seems to believe; she has nothing to fear but fear itself.
(Unfortunately he isn't quite right on that front, but he has no way of knowing this...)
Since I'm assuming that this one is going to be short, I'm writing it in an unused 2014 pocket diary, which has the merit of being much more portable than the A4 hardback notebooks I've been using. This does mean that I only get a couple of sentences per page, though!
More flowers emerging: these ones seem to be something along the lines of a snapdragon. (As always, click for full-size image -- the thumbnails are a bit useless.)