The Phantom of the Opera Chapter XVI: Mme. Giry's Revelations (2023)

throughGaston Leroux

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Chapter XVI: The Revelations of Mrs. Cute

Before following the commissioner into the manager's office, I must describe some extraordinary events which took place in that office, which Remy and Mercier tried in vain to penetrate, and which MM. Richard and Moncharmin had deduced to be an object which the reader is not yet known, which I as a historian, however, have to uncover without further ado.

I have already had the opportunity to say that the directors' state of mind has been undergoing an uncomfortable change for some time, and to say that this change is not solely due to the fall of the chandelier on the famous night of the gala.

The reader should know that the ghost accepted his first twenty thousand francs in silence. Oh, there was indeed weeping and gnashing of teeth! And yet it happened in the simplest way.

One morning the managers found an envelope on their desk addressed to "Monsieur O.G. (Soldier)" to which a note from O.G. himself enclosed:

It's time to fulfill the book's memo clause. Please put twenty thousand francs in this envelope, seal it with your own stamp and give it to Mme Giry, who will do whatever is necessary.

The managers didn't hesitate; Wasting no time inquiring how these cursed messages reached an office they carefully kept locked, they took the opportunity to get their hands on the mysterious blackmailer. And after they had told Gabriel and Mercier the whole story in secret, they put the twenty thousand francs in the envelope and, without asking for explanations, handed it to Madame. Giry, restored to her duties. The boxer showed no surprise. Needless to say, she was well guarded. He went straight to the spirit box and placed the winning envelope on the small shelf by the fireplace. The two directors, as well as Gabriel and Mercier, were hidden in such a way that they did not lose sight of the envelope for a second during the performance and even afterwards, since the envelope had not moved, everyone who looked at it did. also not move; and Mrs Giry left while the managers, Gabriel and Mercier were still there. Finally, tired of waiting, they opened the envelope after checking that the seals were not broken.

At first glance, Richard and Moncharmin thought the notes were still there; but they soon realized that they were not the same. The 20 reais notes had disappeared and were replaced by 20 reais notes from the "Banco de Santa Farsa"![2]

[2] The lightning bolts drawn on the Bank of St. Farce in France correspond to those drawn on the Engraving Bank in England. – Translator's note.

The managers' anger and fear were unmistakable. Moncharmin wanted to call the police commissioner, but Richard refused. No doubt he had a plan, for he said:

"Let's not be ridiculous! All of Paris would laugh at us. OG won the first game: let's win the second.”

I thought about next month's assignment.

However, they were so thoroughly deceived that they were bound to suffer a certain dejection. And I give you my word, it wasn't difficult to understand. We must not forget that the managers had in the back of their minds all along that this bizarre incident could be a bad joke by their predecessors and that it would not be appropriate to be hasty in revealing it. On the other hand, Moncharmin was sometimes troubled by the distrust of Ricardo himself, who occasionally indulged in imaginative whims. And so they contented themselves with waiting for events to unfold as they watched Mother Giry. Richard didn't want them to talk to him.

"If she's an accomplice," he said, "the grades are gone. But in my opinion, she's just an idiot."

"She's not the only idiot in this business," Moncharmin said thoughtfully.

"Well, who would have thought?" Richard groaned. "But don't worry... I'll have made my arrangements next time."

He next crashed the same day he saw Christine Daae disappear. In the morning, a message from the spirit reminded her that the money was due. He said:

Do the same as last time. Which went really well. Put the twenty thousand in the envelope and give it to our excellent Mrs. Giry.

And the note was accompanied by the usual envelope. All you had to do was enter the notes.

This happened about half an hour before the curtain went up on the first act of Faust. Richard showed Moncharmin the envelope. Then he counted the twenty-thousands in front of him and put the bills in the envelope without sealing it.

"And now," he said, "let's bring Mother Giry."

The old woman was called. He entered with endearing courtesy. She was still wearing her black taffeta dress that was quickly turning to rust and lilac, not to mention her faded baseball cap. He looked cheerful. She immediately said:

"Good evening, gentlemen! About the envelope, I presume?"

"Yes, Madame Giry," Richard said very kindly. For the envelope... and something else.

"At your service, M. Richard, at your service. And what is that, please?"

"First, Ms. Giry, I have a small question for you."

"Please, M. Richard: Mme. Giry is here to answer you."

"Are you still on good terms with the ghost?"

"It couldn't be better, sir; it couldn't be better."

(Video) The Phantom of the Opera: Chapter XVI Mme. Giry's Astounding Revelations

"Oh, we are delighted... Look, Mrs. Giry," Richard said in a tone of important confidence. "We might as well tell them, just between us... they're not fools!"

"Wow, sir!" exclaimed the boxer, interrupting the pleasing movement of the black feathers of his dirty little hat. "I assure you that no one ever doubted it!"

“We agreed and soon we will understand each other. The ghost story is all a farce, isn't it? … Well, between us … enough has passed.”

Woman. Giry looked at the managers as if they were speaking Chinese. She went to Richard's desk and asked rather worried:

"What do you mean I do not understand."

"Ah you, you understand very well. In any case, you must understand... And tell us his name first of all."

"Whose name?"

"The name of the man whose accomplice you are, Mrs. Giry!"

"Am I the ghost's accomplice? Me?... His accomplice in what, please?"

"You do what he wants."

"Oh! It's not too much trouble, you know?"

"And you still tip?"

I can't complain.

"How much do you get for bringing him this envelope?"

"Take French."

Sra. girl

"Poor thing! That's not much, is it?


"I'll tell you right away, Madame Giry. At this point we would like to know for what extraordinary reason you gave your heart and soul to this specter... Madame Giry's friendship and devotion cannot be bought for five or ten francs. .

"That's quite true... and I can tell you why, sir. There's no shame in that... quite the opposite."

"We are convinced of that, Mrs. Giry!"

"Well, that's how it is... only the ghost doesn't like it when I talk about his business."

"For right?" Ricardo scoffed.

"But that is a matter which concerns only me... Well, in box five one night I found a letter addressed to me, a kind of note written in red ink. I need not read the letter to you ." Lord, I know it by heart and I will never forget it even if I live a hundred years!

and Mrs Giry rose and recited the letter with moving eloquence:


1825. Miss. Menetrier, director of the ballet, became the Marquise de Cussy.

1832. Mademoiselle Marie Taglioni, a dancer, becomes Countess Gilbert des Voisins.

1846. La Sota, dancer, marries a brother of the King of Spain.

1847. Lola Montes, dancer, becomes morganatic wife of King Ludwig of Bavaria and is made Countess of Landsfeld.

(Video) The Phantom of the Opera - Chapter 16 - Mme. Giry's Revelations

1848. Miss Maria, a dancer, becomes Baronet of Herneville.

1870. Theresa Hessier, dancer, marries Dom Fernando, brother of the King of Portugal.

Ricardo and Moncharmin listened to the old woman who, as she recounted these glorious nuptials, puffed herself up, took courage, and finally, with a proud voice, introduced the last sentence of the prophetic epistle:

1885. I Giry, Empress!

Exhausted from this feat, the boxer fell onto a chair and said:

"Gentlemen, the letter was signed 'Phantom Opera'. I'd heard a lot about the Phantom, but only half believed it. She would be Empress, I believed him completely.

And it really wasn't necessary to study Mme for long. Giry's facial features moved to understand what could be made of this fine intellect with the two words "spirit" and "empress".

But who pulled the strings of this extraordinary doll? That was the question.

"You've never seen him; he talks to you and you believe everything he says?" Moncharmin asked.

"Si. I start by saying that my little Meg had been promoted to leader of a snake. He said to the spirit: 'Si va a ser empress in 1885, no hay tiempo que puede to lose; she must turn into a leader a turn.' He said, "See how it's done." And he had but one word to say to Mr. Poligny, and the matter was settled.

"So you see what Monsieur Poligny saw!"

"No, not more than me, but he heard." The ghost whispered a word in his ear, you know, the night he came out of box five looking terribly pale.

Moncharmin sighed. "What offer!" groaned.

"Oh!" said Mrs Giry. "I always thought there were secrets between the ghost and M. Poligny. Whatever the spirit told M. Poligny to do, M. Poligny did it. M. Poligny could deny nothing to the spirit.”

"Listen, Richard: Poligny could not deny the ghost anything."

"Yes, yes, I heard!" said Richard. Monsieur Poligny is a friend of the spirit; and since Madame Giry is a friend of Monsieur Poligny, here we are! ... But I don't give a damn about Monsieur Poligny,” he added sharply. "The only person whose fate I really care about is Mrs. Giry... Mrs. Giry, do you know what's in that envelope?"

"Of course not," she said.


To have. Giry eyed the envelope with a somber look that soon cleared.

"One thousand franc notes!" She cried.

"Yes, Madame Giry, thousand-franc notes!" And you knew it!

"Me, sir? I? … I swear …"

'Don't swear, Mrs Giry! ... And now I'll tell you the second reason I sent for you. Mrs Giry, I will have you arrested.”

The two black feathers on the dirty cap, which previously held the pose of two question marks, have been turned into two exclamation marks; As for the cap itself, it swung menacingly on the old woman's boisterous bun. Surprise, indignation, protest and dismay were further displayed by little Meg's mother, half tied, half smoothed, in a sort of extravagant gesture of offended virtue, which she carried right under the nose of M. Richard, who couldn't help but to push his chair up the back. 🇧🇷

"Look at me!"

The mouth that spoke those words seemed to spit its three remaining teeth into Richard's face.

M. Richard behaved like a hero. He no longer flinched. His threatening forefinger already seemed to be pointing at the absent magistrates guarding box five.

"I'll have you arrested, Mrs. Giry, by a thief!"

"Say that again!"

and Mrs Giry suggested to Mr Manager Richard that Mr Manager Mencharmin had time to intervene. But it wasn't the angry old woman's withered hand that fell on the headmaster's ear, but the envelope itself, the cause of all the commotion, the magical envelope that opened and scattered the bills, which fell in a fantastic swirl of Giants escaped butterflies.

(Video) Chapter Sixteen - Mme. Giry's Astounding Revelations

The two managers let out a scream, and the mere thought brought them to their knees feverishly, hastily picking up the precious slips of paper and examining them.

"Are they still real, Moncharmin?"

"Are they still real, Richard?"

"Yes, they are still real!"

Above their heads, Mme. Giry's three teeth clashed in a noisy contest full of terrible objections. But the only clear distinction was this leitmotif:

"I, a thief!... I, a thief, me?"

He choked with anger. She called:

"Never heard of anything like this!"

And suddenly he lunged at Richard again.

"Anyway," he exclaimed, "you must know better than I, M. Richard, where the twenty thousand francs went!"

"I?" asked Ricardo in astonishment. "And how should I know?"

Moncharmin, looking stern and dissatisfied, immediately insisted that the good lady explain herself.

"What does that mean, Mrs. Giry?" I ask. "And why do you say that Monsieur Richard must know better than you where the twenty thousand francs went?"

As for Richard, feeling himself blush under Moncharmin's eyes, he took Mrs Giry's wrist and shook it vigorously. In a voice that snarled and rolled like thunder, he roared:

Why should I know better than you where the twenty thousand francs went? There? Give me an answer!

"Because they went in your pocket!" the old woman gasped and looked at him as if he were the devil incarnate.

Richard would have run to Mme. Giry, if Moncharmin had not stopped his vengeful hand and hastened to ask him more gently:

"How can you guess that my partner, M. Richard, pocketed twenty thousand francs?"

"I never said so," declared Mme. Giry, "as it was I who put the twenty thousand francs in M. Richard's pocket". And he added in a low voice: "That's it! It's over! ... And may the Specter forgive me!"

Richard started screaming again, but Moncharmin imperiously ordered him to shut up.

"Allow me! Allow me! Let the woman explain. Let me interrogate you.” And he added: “It's really amazing that you're using that tone! ... We're about to solve the whole mystery. And you're angry! ... You're misbehaving.” so...I'm enjoying myself immensely."

Woman. Giry raised her head like the martyr she was, her face alight with confidence in her own innocence.

"You tell me that in the envelope which I put in M. Richard's pocket there were twenty thousand francs; but I tell you again that I knew nothing ... neither did M. Richard, by the way!"

"AHA!" said Richard and suddenly took on an arrogant expression that Moncharmin didn't like. "I didn't know anything either!" You put twenty thousand francs in my pocket and I didn't know anything either! I am very pleased, Mrs Giry!

"Yes," agreed the terrible lady, "yes, it is true. Neither of us knew anything. But you, you should have found out!

Surely Richard Mme would have swallowed. Giry alive if Moncharmin weren't there! But Moncharmin protected her. He resumed his questions:

What envelope did you put in M. Richard's pocket? It wasn't the one we gave you, the one you put in box 5 before our eyes; and yet it was the one that contained the twenty thousand francs. 🇧🇷

"I am sorry. The envelope M. le Directeur gave me was the same one I put in M. le Directeur's pocket,” Mme Giry explained. "What I put in the spirit box was another envelope, just like the one the genie gave me earlier and tucked up my sleeve."

Saying that, Mrs. Giry drew from his sleeve an envelope already prepared and addressed similarly to the twenty thousand francs. Managers took it away. They examined it and saw that it was sealed with seals stamped with the seal of their own administration. they opened. It contained twenty banknotes from the Bank of St Farce, like the ones that had so surprised her the previous month.

"How simple!" said Richard.

(Video) Bite at a Time Books - The Phantom of the Opera - Chapter 16 - Mme. Giry's Revelations

"How simple!" repeated Moncharmin. And he went on, eyes fixed on Mme. Giry as if trying to hypnotize her.

"So it was the spirit that gave you this envelope and told you to replace it with the one we gave you? And it was the spirit that told you to put the other one in M. Richard's pocket?"

"Yes, it was the ghost."

"Would you mind giving us a taste of your little talents? Here's the envelope.

"As you wish, gentlemen."

Woman. Giry took the envelope with the twenty bills and went to the door. She was about to leave when the two managers attacked her:

"Oh no! Oh no! We won't do it a second time! Bitten once, shy twice!"

"Excuse me gentlemen," said the old woman apologetically, "you told me to pretend you didn't know... Well, if you didn't know, I'll have to go with your envelope!"

"And then how would you put it in my pocket?" argued Richard, whom Moncharmin fixed with his left eye and kept his right on Mme. Giry: A procedure that will probably damage your eyesight, but Mon-Mme. Giry's charm was willing to do anything to find out the truth.

I'll put it in your pocket when you least expect it, sir. You know, during the evening I always take a little walk backstage and I often take my daughter to the ballet studio, which I have a right to do, like her mother, I take her shoes when the ballet is over . it has to happen. Get started... actually I come and go as I please... Subscribers come and go too... You too sir... There are a lot of people out there... I'll follow you and they keep the envelope in the pocket of his tails... There's no witchcraft in it!

"No witchcraft!" Richard growled, rolling his eyes like Jupiter Tonans. "No witchcraft! Boy did I just catch you lying you old hag!”

Woman. Giry was fuming, three teeth sticking out of his mouth.

"And why, may I ask?"

"Because I spent that night looking at Box 5 and the fake envelope you put there. I didn't go into the ballet room for a second."

"No sir, and I didn't give you the envelope that night, but at the next performance... the night the Secretary of State for Fine Arts..."

With these words M. Richard suddenly interrupted Mme. Giri:

"Yes, that's right, I remember now! The undersecretary went backstage. He asked about me. I went down to the ballet foyer for a moment. I was on the foyer stairs... The undersecretary and his chief secretary were the same hall there. Suddenly I turned around... You had passed behind me, Mrs Giry... You seemed to be pushing me... Oh, I can still see you, I can still see you!"

"Yes, that's all, sir, that's all. I've just finished my little business. Your bag, sir, is very useful!"

and Mrs. Giry once more fitted action to word. He passed behind M. Richard, and with such skill that Moncharmin himself was impressed, he stuffed the envelope into one of the pockets of M. Richard's jacket.

"Clear!" cried Richard, looking a little pale. "That's very clever of O.G. The problem he had to solve was this: how to eliminate all dangerous intermediaries between the man who gives the twenty thousand francs and the man who receives them. And by far the best he could do was come and take the money out of my pocket without me noticing because I didn't even know it was there, it's wonderful!

"Oh, really wonderful!" Moncharmin agreed. Only you forget, Richard, that I gave ten thousand francs out of twenty and nobody put anything in my pocket!

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