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Old 05-16-2011, 07:50 AM   #1
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Leroux, Gaston: Balaoo. V1. 16 May 2011

Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux (6 May 1868[1] – 15 April 1927) was a French journalist and author of detective fiction.
In the English-speaking world, he is best known for writing the novel The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, 1910), which has been made into several film and stage productions of the same name, such as the 1925 film starring Lon Chaney; and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical.

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People no longer dared linger an the roads, where well-to-do peasants returning from the big markets of Châteldon and Thiers had been attacked by masked highwaymen and obliged to part with all their money in order to save their lives. A number of burglaries marked by extraordinary boldness and perpetrated under the very noses of the victims, who did not dare protest, had formed the basis of police enquiries which were slackly conducted and led to no serious result. The public prosecutor's staff received very little information, was confronted on every side by affrighted silence and did not think it necessary to display more zeal in hunting down the malefactors than was shown by the sufferers themselves in assisting the authorities to perform a duty intended to restore the sense of public security.
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