Part 1 out of 4
AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS
IN WHICH PHILEAS FOGG AND PASSEPARTOUT ACCEPT EACH OTHER,
THE ONE AS MASTER, THE OTHER AS MAN
Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington
Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814. He was one of
the most noticeable members of the Reform Club, though he seemed
always to avoid attracting attention; an enigmatical personage,
about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man
of the world. People said that he resembled Byron--at least
that his head was Byronic; but he was a bearded, tranquil Byron,
who might live on a thousand years without growing old.
Certainly an Englishman, it was more doubtful whether Phileas Fogg
was a Londoner. He was never seen on 'Change, nor at the Bank,
nor in the counting-rooms of the "City"; no ships ever came into
London docks of which he was the owner; he had no public employment;
he had never been entered at any of the Inns of Court, either at the Temple,
or Lincoln's Inn, or Gray's Inn; nor had his voice ever resounded
in the Court of Chancery, or in the Exchequer, or the Queen's Bench,
or the Ecclesiastical Courts. He certainly was not a manufacturer;
nor was he a merchant or a gentleman farmer. His name was strange
to the scientific and learned societies, and he never was known
to take part in the sage deliberations of the Royal Institution
or the London Institution, the Artisan's Association, or the
Institution of Arts and Sciences. He belonged, in fact,
to none of the numerous societies which swarm in the English capital,
from the Harmonic to that of the Entomologists, founded mainly
for the purpose of abolishing pernicious insects.
Phileas Fogg was a member of the Reform, and that was all.
The way in which he got admission to this exclusive club
was simple enough.
He was recommended by the Barings, with whom he had an open credit.
His cheques were regularly paid at sight from his account current,
which was always flush.
Was Phileas Fogg rich? Undoubtedly. But those who knew him
best could not imagine how he had made his fortune, and Mr. Fogg
was the last person to whom to apply for the information. He was
not lavish, nor, on the contrary, avaricious; for, whenever he knew
that money was needed for a noble, useful, or benevolent purpose,
he supplied it quietly and sometimes anonymously. He was, in short,
the least communicative of men. He talked very little, and seemed
all the more mysterious for his taciturn manner. His daily habits
were quite open to observation; but whatever he did was so exactly
the same thing that he had always done before, that the wits
of the curious were fairly puzzled.
Had he travelled? It was likely, for no one seemed to know
the world more familiarly; there was no spot so secluded
that he did not appear to have an intimate acquaintance with it.
He often corrected, with a few clear words, the thousand conjectures
advanced by members of the club as to lost and unheard-of travellers,
pointing out the true probabilities, and seeming as if gifted with
a sort of second sight, so often did events justify his predictions.
He must have travelled everywhere, at least in the spirit.
It was at least certain that Phileas Fogg had not absented himself
from London for many years. Those who were honoured by a better
acquaintance with him than the rest, declared that nobody could
pretend to have ever seen him anywhere else. His sole pastimes
were reading the papers and playing whist. He often won at this game,
which, as a silent one, harmonised with his nature; but his winnings
never went into his purse, being reserved as a fund for his charities.
Mr. Fogg played, not to win, but for the sake of playing.
The game was in his eyes a contest, a struggle with a difficulty,
yet a motionless, unwearying struggle, congenial to his tastes.
Phileas Fogg was not known to have either wife or children,
which may happen to the most honest people; either relatives
or near friends, which is certainly more unusual. He lived alone
in his house in Saville Row, whither none penetrated. A single
domestic sufficed to serve him. He breakfasted and dined at the club,
at hours mathematically fixed, in the same room, at the same table,
never taking his meals with other members, much less bringing
a guest with him; and went home at exactly midnight, only to retire
at once to bed. He never used the cosy chambers which the Reform
provides for its favoured members. He passed ten hours out of the
twenty-four in Saville Row, either in sleeping or making his toilet.
When he chose to take a walk it was with a regular step in the
entrance hall with its mosaic flooring, or in the circular gallery
with its dome supported by twenty red porphyry Ionic columns,
and illumined by blue painted windows. When he breakfasted or dined
all the resources of the club--its kitchens and pantries,
its buttery and dairy--aided to crowd his table with their most
succulent stores; he was served by the gravest waiters,
in dress coats, and shoes with swan-skin soles, who proffered
the viands in special porcelain, and on the finest linen;
club decanters, of a lost mould, contained his sherry,
his port, and his cinnamon-spiced claret; while his beverages
were refreshingly cooled with ice, brought at great cost
from the American lakes.
If to live in this style is to be eccentric, it must be
confessed that there is something good in eccentricity.
The mansion in Saville Row, though not sumptuous, was exceedingly comfortable.
The habits of its occupant were such as to demand but little from the
sole domestic, but Phileas Fogg required him to be almost superhumanly
prompt and regular. On this very 2nd of October he had dismissed
James Forster, because that luckless youth had brought him shaving-water
at eighty-four degrees Fahrenheit instead of eighty-six;
and he was awaiting his successor, who was due at the house
between eleven and half-past.
Phileas Fogg was seated squarely in his armchair, his feet close together
like those of a grenadier on parade, his hands resting on his knees,
his body straight, his head erect; he was steadily watching a complicated
clock which indicated the hours, the minutes, the seconds, the days,
the months, and the years. At exactly half-past eleven Mr. Fogg would,
according to his daily habit, quit Saville Row, and repair to the Reform.
A rap at this moment sounded on the door of the cosy apartment where
Phileas Fogg was seated, and James Forster, the dismissed servant, appeared.
"The new servant," said he.
A young man of thirty advanced and bowed.
"You are a Frenchman, I believe," asked Phileas Fogg, "and your name is John?"
"Jean, if monsieur pleases," replied the newcomer, "Jean Passepartout,
a surname which has clung to me because I have a natural aptness
for going out of one business into another. I believe I'm honest,
monsieur, but, to be outspoken, I've had several trades. I've been
an itinerant singer, a circus-rider, when I used to vault like Leotard,
and dance on a rope like Blondin. Then I got to be a professor of gymnastics,
so as to make better use of my talents; and then I was a sergeant fireman
at Paris, and assisted at many a big fire. But I quitted France
five years ago, and, wishing to taste the sweets of domestic life,
took service as a valet here in England. Finding myself out of place,
and hearing that Monsieur Phileas Fogg was the most exact and settled
gentleman in the United Kingdom, I have come to monsieur in the hope
of living with him a tranquil life, and forgetting even the name
"Passepartout suits me," responded Mr. Fogg. "You are well recommended
to me; I hear a good report of you. You know my conditions?"
"Good! What time is it?"
"Twenty-two minutes after eleven," returned Passepartout,
drawing an enormous silver watch from the depths of his pocket.
"You are too slow," said Mr. Fogg.
"Pardon me, monsieur, it is impossible--"
"You are four minutes too slow. No matter; it's enough to mention
the error. Now from this moment, twenty-nine minutes after eleven, a.m.,
this Wednesday, 2nd October, you are in my service."
Phileas Fogg got up, took his hat in his left hand, put it on
his head with an automatic motion, and went off without a word.
Passepartout heard the street door shut once; it was his new
master going out. He heard it shut again; it was his predecessor,
James Forster, departing in his turn. Passepartout remained
alone in the house in Saville Row.
IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT IS CONVINCED THAT HE HAS AT LAST FOUND HIS IDEAL
"Faith," muttered Passepartout, somewhat flurried, "I've seen people
at Madame Tussaud's as lively as my new master!"
Madame Tussaud's "people," let it be said, are of wax, and are much
visited in London; speech is all that is wanting to make them human.
During his brief interview with Mr. Fogg, Passepartout had been
carefully observing him. He appeared to be a man about forty years of age,
with fine, handsome features, and a tall, well-shaped figure;
his hair and whiskers were light, his forehead compact and unwrinkled,
his face rather pale, his teeth magnificent. His countenance possessed
in the highest degree what physiognomists call "repose in action,"
a quality of those who act rather than talk. Calm and phlegmatic,
with a clear eye, Mr. Fogg seemed a perfect type of that English
composure which Angelica Kauffmann has so skilfully represented on canvas.
Seen in the various phases of his daily life, he gave the idea of being
perfectly well-balanced, as exactly regulated as a Leroy chronometer.
Phileas Fogg was, indeed, exactitude personified, and this was betrayed
even in the expression of his very hands and feet; for in men, as well as
in animals, the limbs themselves are expressive of the passions.
He was so exact that he was never in a hurry, was always ready,
and was economical alike of his steps and his motions. He never took
one step too many, and always went to his destination by the shortest cut;
he made no superfluous gestures, and was never seen to be moved or agitated.
He was the most deliberate person in the world, yet always reached his
destination at the exact moment.
He lived alone, and, so to speak, outside of every social relation;
and as he knew that in this world account must be taken of friction,
and that friction retards, he never rubbed against anybody.
As for Passepartout, he was a true Parisian of Paris. Since he
had abandoned his own country for England, taking service as a valet,
he had in vain searched for a master after his own heart.
Passepartout was by no means one of those pert dunces depicted by
Moliere with a bold gaze and a nose held high in the air; he was
an honest fellow, with a pleasant face, lips a trifle protruding,
soft-mannered and serviceable, with a good round head, such as one
likes to see on the shoulders of a friend. His eyes were blue,
his complexion rubicund, his figure almost portly and well-built,
his body muscular, and his physical powers fully developed by the
exercises of his younger days. His brown hair was somewhat tumbled;
for, while the ancient sculptors are said to have known eighteen methods
of arranging Minerva's tresses, Passepartout was familiar with but one of
dressing his own: three strokes of a large-tooth comb completed his toilet.
It would be rash to predict how Passepartout's lively nature would agree
with Mr. Fogg. It was impossible to tell whether the new servant
would turn out as absolutely methodical as his master required;
experience alone could solve the question. Passepartout had been
a sort of vagrant in his early years, and now yearned for repose;
but so far he had failed to find it, though he had already served
in ten English houses. But he could not take root in any of these;
with chagrin, he found his masters invariably whimsical and irregular,
constantly running about the country, or on the look-out for adventure.
His last master, young Lord Longferry, Member of Parliament,
after passing his nights in the Haymarket taverns, was too often
brought home in the morning on policemen's shoulders. Passepartout,
desirous of respecting the gentleman whom he served, ventured a mild
remonstrance on such conduct; which, being ill-received, he took his leave.
Hearing that Mr. Phileas Fogg was looking for a servant, and that his life
was one of unbroken regularity, that he neither travelled nor stayed
from home overnight, he felt sure that this would be the place he was after.
He presented himself, and was accepted, as has been seen.
At half-past eleven, then, Passepartout found himself alone in
the house in Saville Row. He begun its inspection without delay,
scouring it from cellar to garret. So clean, well-arranged,
solemn a mansion pleased him ; it seemed to him like a snail's shell,
lighted and warmed by gas, which sufficed for both these purposes.
When Passepartout reached the second story he recognised at once
the room which he was to inhabit, and he was well satisfied with it.
Electric bells and speaking-tubes afforded communication with
the lower stories; while on the mantel stood an electric clock,
precisely like that in Mr. Fogg's bedchamber, both beating
the same second at the same instant. "That's good, that'll do,"
said Passepartout to himself.
He suddenly observed, hung over the clock, a card which, upon inspection,
proved to be a programme of the daily routine of the house.
It comprised all that was required of the servant, from eight in the morning,
exactly at which hour Phileas Fogg rose, till half-past eleven,
when he left the house for the Reform Club--all the details of service,
the tea and toast at twenty-three minutes past eight, the shaving-water
at thirty-seven minutes past nine, and the toilet at twenty minutes before ten.
Everything was regulated and foreseen that was to be done from
half-past eleven a.m. till midnight, the hour at which the
methodical gentleman retired.
Mr. Fogg's wardrobe was amply supplied and in the best taste.
Each pair of trousers, coat, and vest bore a number,
indicating the time of year and season at which they were
in turn to be laid out for wearing; and the same system
was applied to the master's shoes. In short, the house
in Saville Row, which must have been a very temple of disorder
and unrest under the illustrious but dissipated Sheridan, was cosiness,
comfort, and method idealised. There was no study, nor were there books,
which would have been quite useless to Mr. Fogg; for at the Reform
two libraries, one of general literature and the other of law and politics,
were at his service. A moderate-sized safe stood in his bedroom,
constructed so as to defy fire as well as burglars; but Passepartout
found neither arms nor hunting weapons anywhere; everything betrayed
the most tranquil and peaceable habits.
Having scrutinised the house from top to bottom, he rubbed his hands,
a broad smile overspread his features, and he said joyfully,
"This is just what I wanted! Ah, we shall get on together,
Mr. Fogg and I! What a domestic and regular gentleman!
A real machine; well, I don't mind serving a machine."
IN WHICH A CONVERSATION TAKES PLACE WHICH SEEMS LIKELY TO COST
PHILEAS FOGG DEAR
Phileas Fogg, having shut the door of his house at half-past eleven, and
having put his right foot before his left five hundred and seventy-five times, and his left foot
before his right five hundred and seventy-six times, reached the Reform Club,
an imposing edifice in Pall Mall, which could not have cost less than
three millions. He repaired at once to the dining-room, the nine windows
of which open upon a tasteful garden, where the trees were already gilded
with an autumn colouring; and took his place at the habitual table,
the cover of which had already been laid for him. His breakfast consisted
of a side-dish, a broiled fish with Reading sauce, a scarlet slice of
roast beef garnished with mushrooms, a rhubarb and gooseberry tart,
and a morsel of Cheshire cheese, the whole being washed down with
several cups of tea, for which the Reform is famous. He rose at
thirteen minutes to one, and directed his steps towards the large hall,
a sumptuous apartment adorned with lavishly-framed paintings.
A flunkey handed him an uncut Times, which he proceeded to cut
with a skill which betrayed familiarity with this delicate operation.
The perusal of this paper absorbed Phileas Fogg until a quarter before four,
whilst the Standard, his next task, occupied him till the dinner hour.
Dinner passed as breakfast had done, and Mr. Fogg re-appeared in the
reading-room and sat down to the Pall Mall at twenty minutes before six.
Half an hour later several members of the Reform came in and drew up
to the fireplace, where a coal fire was steadily burning.
They were Mr. Fogg's usual partners at whist: Andrew Stuart, an engineer;
John Sullivan and Samuel Fallentin, bankers; Thomas Flanagan, a brewer;
and Gauthier Ralph, one of the Directors of the Bank of England--
all rich and highly respectable personages, even in a club which
comprises the princes of English trade and finance.
"Well, Ralph," said Thomas Flanagan, "what about that robbery?"
"Oh," replied Stuart, "the Bank will lose the money."
"On the contrary," broke in Ralph, "I hope we may put our hands
on the robber. Skilful detectives have been sent to all the
principal ports of America and the Continent, and he'll
be a clever fellow if he slips through their fingers."
"But have you got the robber's description?" asked Stuart.
"In the first place, he is no robber at all," returned Ralph, positively.
"What! a fellow who makes off with fifty-five thousand pounds, no robber?"
"Perhaps he's a manufacturer, then."
"The Daily Telegraph says that he is a gentleman."
It was Phileas Fogg, whose head now emerged from behind his newspapers, who
made this remark. He bowed to his friends, and entered into the conversation.
The affair which formed its subject, and which was town talk, had occurred
three days before at the Bank of England. A package of banknotes, to the
value of fifty-five thousand pounds, had been taken from the principal
cashier's table, that functionary being at the moment engaged in registering
the receipt of three shillings and sixpence. Of course, he could not have
his eyes everywhere. Let it be observed that the Bank of England reposes
a touching confidence in the honesty of the public. There are neither guards
nor gratings to protect its treasures; gold, silver, banknotes are freely
exposed, at the mercy of the first comer. A keen observer of English customs
relates that, being in one of the rooms of the Bank one day, he had the
curiosity to examine a gold ingot weighing some seven or eight pounds.
He took it up, scrutinised it, passed it to his neighbour, he to the next man,
and so on until the ingot, going from hand to hand, was transferred to the end
of a dark entry; nor did it return to its place for half an hour. Meanwhile,
the cashier had not so much as raised his head. But in the present instance
things had not gone so smoothly. The package of notes not being found when
five o'clock sounded from the ponderous clock in the "drawing office,"
the amount was passed to the account of profit and loss. As soon as
the robbery was discovered, picked detectives hastened off to Liverpool,
Glasgow, Havre, Suez, Brindisi, New York, and other ports, inspired by
the proffered reward of two thousand pounds, and five per cent. on the sum
that might be recovered. Detectives were also charged with narrowly watching
those who arrived at or left London by rail, and a judicial examination
was at once entered upon.
There were real grounds for supposing, as the Daily Telegraph said,
that the thief did not belong to a professional band. On the day
of the robbery a well-dressed gentleman of polished manners,
and with a well-to-do air, had been observed going to and fro
in the paying room where the crime was committed. A description
of him was easily procured and sent to the detectives; and some
hopeful spirits, of whom Ralph was one, did not despair of his apprehension.
The papers and clubs were full of the affair, and everywhere people were
discussing the probabilities of a successful pursuit; and the Reform Club
was especially agitated, several of its members being Bank officials.
Ralph would not concede that the work of the detectives was likely
to be in vain, for he thought that the prize offered would greatly
stimulate their zeal and activity. But Stuart was far from sharing
this confidence; and, as they placed themselves at the whist-table,
they continued to argue the matter. Stuart and Flanagan played together,
while Phileas Fogg had Fallentin for his partner. As the game proceeded
the conversation ceased, excepting between the rubbers, when it revived again.
"I maintain," said Stuart, "that the chances are in favour of the
thief, who must be a shrewd fellow."
"Well, but where can he fly to?" asked Ralph. "No country is safe for him."
"Where could he go, then?"
"Oh, I don't know that. The world is big enough."
"It was once," said Phileas Fogg, in a low tone. "Cut, sir,"
he added, handing the cards to Thomas Flanagan.
The discussion fell during the rubber, after which Stuart took up its thread.
"What do you mean by `once'? Has the world grown smaller?"
"Certainly," returned Ralph. "I agree with Mr. Fogg. The world
has grown smaller, since a man can now go round it ten times more quickly
than a hundred years ago. And that is why the search for this thief
will be more likely to succeed."
"And also why the thief can get away more easily."
"Be so good as to play, Mr. Stuart," said Phileas Fogg.
But the incredulous Stuart was not convinced, and when the
hand was finished, said eagerly: "You have a strange way, Ralph,
of proving that the world has grown smaller. So, because you
can go round it in three months--"
"In eighty days," interrupted Phileas Fogg.
"That is true, gentlemen," added John Sullivan. "Only eighty days,
now that the section between Rothal and Allahabad, on the
Great Indian Peninsula Railway, has been opened.
Here is the estimate made by the Daily Telegraph:
From London to Suez via Mont Cenis and
Brindisi, by rail and steamboats ................. 7 days
From Suez to Bombay, by steamer .................... 13 "
From Bombay to Calcutta, by rail ................... 3 "
From Calcutta to Hong Kong, by steamer ............. 13 "
From Hong Kong to Yokohama (Japan), by steamer ..... 6 "
From Yokohama to San Francisco, by steamer ......... 22 "
From San Francisco to New York, by rail ............. 7 "
From New York to London, by steamer and rail ........ 9 "
Total ............................................ 80 days."
"Yes, in eighty days!" exclaimed Stuart, who in his excitement
made a false deal. "But that doesn't take into account bad weather,
contrary winds, shipwrecks, railway accidents, and so on."
"All included," returned Phileas Fogg, continuing to play
despite the discussion.
"But suppose the Hindoos or Indians pull up the rails,"
replied Stuart; "suppose they stop the trains, pillage
the luggage-vans, and scalp the passengers!"
"All included," calmly retorted Fogg; adding, as he threw down the cards,
Stuart, whose turn it was to deal, gathered them up, and went on:
"You are right, theoretically, Mr. Fogg, but practically--"
"Practically also, Mr. Stuart."
"I'd like to see you do it in eighty days."
"It depends on you. Shall we go?"
"Heaven preserve me! But I would wager four thousand pounds
that such a journey, made under these conditions, is impossible."
"Quite possible, on the contrary," returned Mr. Fogg.
"Well, make it, then!"
"The journey round the world in eighty days?"
"I should like nothing better."
"At once. Only I warn you that I shall do it at your expense."
"It's absurd!" cried Stuart, who was beginning to be annoyed at
the persistency of his friend. "Come, let's go on with the game."
"Deal over again, then," said Phileas Fogg. "There's a false deal."
Stuart took up the pack with a feverish hand; then suddenly
put them down again.
"Well, Mr. Fogg," said he, "it shall be so: I will wager
the four thousand on it."
"Calm yourself, my dear Stuart," said Fallentin. "It's only a joke."
"When I say I'll wager," returned Stuart, "I mean it." "All right,"
said Mr. Fogg; and, turning to the others, he continued:
"I have a deposit of twenty thousand at Baring's which
I will willingly risk upon it."
"Twenty thousand pounds!" cried Sullivan. "Twenty thousand pounds,
which you would lose by a single accidental delay!"
"The unforeseen does not exist," quietly replied Phileas Fogg.
"But, Mr. Fogg, eighty days are only the estimate of the least possible
time in which the journey can be made."
"A well-used minimum suffices for everything."
"But, in order not to exceed it, you must jump mathematically
from the trains upon the steamers, and from the steamers upon
the trains again."
"I will jump--mathematically."
"You are joking."
"A true Englishman doesn't joke when he is talking about so
serious a thing as a wager," replied Phileas Fogg, solemnly.
"I will bet twenty thousand pounds against anyone who wishes
that I will make the tour of the world in eighty days or less;
in nineteen hundred and twenty hours, or a hundred and fifteen
thousand two hundred minutes. Do you accept?"
"We accept," replied Messrs. Stuart, Fallentin, Sullivan,
Flanagan, and Ralph, after consulting each other.
"Good," said Mr. Fogg. "The train leaves for Dover at a
quarter before nine. I will take it."
"This very evening?" asked Stuart.
"This very evening," returned Phileas Fogg. He took out and
consulted a pocket almanac, and added, "As today is Wednesday,
the 2nd of October, I shall be due in London in this very room of
the Reform Club, on Saturday, the 21st of December, at a quarter
before nine p.m.; or else the twenty thousand pounds,
now deposited in my name at Baring's, will belong to you,
in fact and in right, gentlemen. Here is a cheque for the amount."
A memorandum of the wager was at once drawn up and signed by
the six parties, during which Phileas Fogg preserved a stoical
composure. He certainly did not bet to win, and had only staked
the twenty thousand pounds, half of his fortune, because he
foresaw that he might have to expend the other half to carry out
this difficult, not to say unattainable, project. As for his
antagonists, they seemed much agitated; not so much by the value
of their stake, as because they had some scruples about betting
under conditions so difficult to their friend.
The clock struck seven, and the party offered to suspend the
game so that Mr. Fogg might make his preparations for departure.
"I am quite ready now," was his tranquil response. "Diamonds are trumps:
be so good as to play, gentlemen."
IN WHICH PHILEAS FOGG ASTOUNDS PASSEPARTOUT, HIS SERVANT
Having won twenty guineas at whist, and taken leave of his friends,
Phileas Fogg, at twenty-five minutes past seven, left the Reform Club.
Passepartout, who had conscientiously studied the programme of his duties,
was more than surprised to see his master guilty of the inexactness
of appearing at this unaccustomed hour; for, according to rule,
he was not due in Saville Row until precisely midnight.
Mr. Fogg repaired to his bedroom, and called out, "Passepartout!"
Passepartout did not reply. It could not be he who was called;
it was not the right hour.
"Passepartout!" repeated Mr. Fogg, without raising his voice.
Passepartout made his appearance.
"I've called you twice," observed his master.
"But it is not midnight," responded the other, showing his watch.
"I know it; I don't blame you. We start for Dover and Calais
in ten minutes."
A puzzled grin overspread Passepartout's round face;
clearly he had not comprehended his master.
"Monsieur is going to leave home?"
"Yes," returned Phileas Fogg. "We are going round the world."
Passepartout opened wide his eyes, raised his eyebrows,
held up his hands, and seemed about to collapse,
so overcome was he with stupefied astonishment.
"Round the world!" he murmured.
"In eighty days," responded Mr. Fogg. "So we haven't a moment to lose."
"But the trunks?" gasped Passepartout, unconsciously swaying
his head from right to left.
"We'll have no trunks; only a carpet-bag, with two shirts
and three pairs of stockings for me, and the same for you.
We'll buy our clothes on the way. Bring down my mackintosh
and traveling-cloak, and some stout shoes, though we shall
do little walking. Make haste!"
Passepartout tried to reply, but could not. He went out,
mounted to his own room, fell into a chair, and muttered:
"That's good, that is! And I, who wanted to remain quiet!"
He mechanically set about making the preparations for departure.
Around the world in eighty days! Was his master a fool? No.
Was this a joke, then? They were going to Dover; good!
To Calais; good again! After all, Passepartout, who had
been away from France five years, would not be sorry
to set foot on his native soil again. Perhaps they would
go as far as Paris, and it would do his eyes good to see Paris once more.
But surely a gentleman so chary of his steps would stop there; no doubt--
but, then, it was none the less true that he was going away,
this so domestic person hitherto!
By eight o'clock Passepartout had packed the modest carpet-bag,
containing the wardrobes of his master and himself; then,
still troubled in mind, he carefully shut the door of his room,
and descended to Mr. Fogg.
Mr. Fogg was quite ready. Under his arm might have been observed a red-bound
copy of Bradshaw's Continental Railway Steam Transit and General Guide,
with its timetables showing the arrival and departure of steamers and railways.
He took the carpet-bag, opened it, and slipped into it a goodly roll of
Bank of England notes, which would pass wherever he might go.
"You have forgotten nothing?" asked he.
"My mackintosh and cloak?"
"Here they are."
"Good! Take this carpet-bag," handing it to Passepartout.
"Take good care of it, for there are twenty thousand pounds in it."
Passepartout nearly dropped the bag, as if the twenty thousand pounds
were in gold, and weighed him down.
Master and man then descended, the street-door was double-locked,
and at the end of Saville Row they took a cab and drove rapidly
to Charing Cross. The cab stopped before the railway station
at twenty minutes past eight. Passepartout jumped off the box
and followed his master, who, after paying the cabman,
was about to enter the station, when a poor beggar-woman,
with a child in her arms, her naked feet smeared with mud,
her head covered with a wretched bonnet, from which hung a tattered feather,
and her shoulders shrouded in a ragged shawl, approached,
and mournfully asked for alms.
Mr. Fogg took out the twenty guineas he had just won at whist,
and handed them to the beggar, saying, "Here, my good woman.
I'm glad that I met you;" and passed on.
Passepartout had a moist sensation about the eyes;
his master's action touched his susceptible heart.
Two first-class tickets for Paris having been speedily purchased,
Mr. Fogg was crossing the station to the train, when he perceived
his five friends of the Reform.
"Well, gentlemen," said he, "I'm off, you see; and, if you
will examine my passport when I get back, you will be able
to judge whether I have accomplished the journey agreed upon."
"Oh, that would be quite unnecessary, Mr. Fogg," said Ralph politely.
"We will trust your word, as a gentleman of honour."
"You do not forget when you are due in London again?" asked Stuart.
"In eighty days; on Saturday, the 21st of December, 1872,
at a quarter before nine p.m. Good-bye, gentlemen."
Phileas Fogg and his servant seated themselves in a first-class carriage
at twenty minutes before nine; five minutes later the whistle screamed,
and the train slowly glided out of the station.
The night was dark, and a fine, steady rain was falling.
Phileas Fogg, snugly ensconced in his corner, did not open his lips.
Passepartout, not yet recovered from his stupefaction,
clung mechanically to the carpet-bag, with its enormous treasure.
Just as the train was whirling through Sydenham,
Passepartout suddenly uttered a cry of despair.
"What's the matter?" asked Mr. Fogg.
"Alas! In my hurry--I--I forgot--"
"To turn off the gas in my room!"
"Very well, young man," returned Mr. Fogg, coolly; "it will burn--
at your expense."
IN WHICH A NEW SPECIES OF FUNDS, UNKNOWN TO THE MONEYED MEN,
APPEARS ON 'CHANGE
Phileas Fogg rightly suspected that his departure from London
would create a lively sensation at the West End. The news of the
bet spread through the Reform Club, and afforded an exciting topic
of conversation to its members. From the club it soon got into
the papers throughout England. The boasted "tour of the world"
was talked about, disputed, argued with as much warmth as if the
subject were another Alabama claim. Some took sides with Phileas
Fogg, but the large majority shook their heads and declared
against him; it was absurd, impossible, they declared, that the
tour of the world could be made, except theoretically and on paper,
in this minimum of time, and with the existing means of travelling.
The Times, Standard, Morning Post, and Daily News, and twenty other
highly respectable newspapers scouted Mr. Fogg's project as madness;
the Daily Telegraph alone hesitatingly supported him. People in general
thought him a lunatic, and blamed his Reform Club friends for having
accepted a wager which betrayed the mental aberration of its proposer.
Articles no less passionate than logical appeared on the question,
for geography is one of the pet subjects of the English;
and the columns devoted to Phileas Fogg's venture were eagerly
devoured by all classes of readers. At first some rash individuals,
principally of the gentler sex, espoused his cause, which became
still more popular when the Illustrated London News came out
with his portrait, copied from a photograph in the Reform Club.
A few readers of the Daily Telegraph even dared to say,
"Why not, after all? Stranger things have come to pass."
At last a long article appeared, on the 7th of October, in the bulletin
of the Royal Geographical Society, which treated the question from
every point of view, and demonstrated the utter folly of the enterprise.
Everything, it said, was against the travellers, every obstacle imposed
alike by man and by nature. A miraculous agreement of the times of departure
and arrival, which was impossible, was absolutely necessary to his success.
He might, perhaps, reckon on the arrival of trains at the designated hours,
in Europe, where the distances were relatively moderate; but when
he calculated upon crossing India in three days, and the United States
in seven, could he rely beyond misgiving upon accomplishing his task?
There were accidents to machinery, the liability of trains to run off the line,
collisions, bad weather, the blocking up by snow--were not all these against
Phileas Fogg? Would he not find himself, when travelling by steamer in winter,
at the mercy of the winds and fogs? Is it uncommon for the best ocean steamers
to be two or three days behind time? But a single delay would suffice to
fatally break the chain of communication; should Phileas Fogg once miss,
even by an hour; a steamer, he would have to wait for the next,
and that would irrevocably render his attempt vain.
This article made a great deal of noise, and, being copied into
all the papers, seriously depressed the advocates of the rash tourist.
Everybody knows that England is the world of betting men, who are
of a higher class than mere gamblers; to bet is in the English temperament.
Not only the members of the Reform, but the general public, made heavy wagers
for or against Phileas Fogg, who was set down in the betting books as if
he were a race-horse. Bonds were issued, and made their appearance on 'Change;
"Phileas Fogg bonds" were offered at par or at a premium, and a great business
was done in them. But five days after the article in the bulletin of the
Geographical Society appeared, the demand began to subside: "Phileas Fogg"
declined. They were offered by packages, at first of five, then of ten,
until at last nobody would take less than twenty, fifty, a hundred!
Lord Albemarle, an elderly paralytic gentleman, was now the only advocate
of Phileas Fogg left. This noble lord, who was fastened to his chair,
would have given his fortune to be able to make the tour of the world,
if it took ten years; and he bet five thousand pounds on Phileas Fogg.
When the folly as well as the uselessness of the adventure was pointed out
to him, he contented himself with replying, "If the thing is feasible,
the first to do it ought to be an Englishman."
The Fogg party dwindled more and more, everybody was going against him,
and the bets stood a hundred and fifty and two hundred to one;
and a week after his departure an incident occurred which deprived him
of backers at any price.
The commissioner of police was sitting in his office at nine o'clock
one evening, when the following telegraphic dispatch was put into his hands:
Suez to London.
Rowan, Commissioner of Police, Scotland Yard:
I've found the bank robber, Phileas Fogg. Send with out delay warrant
of arrest to Bombay.
The effect of this dispatch was instantaneous. The polished gentleman
disappeared to give place to the bank robber. His photograph, which was
hung with those of the rest of the members at the Reform Club,
was minutely examined, and it betrayed, feature by feature,
the description of the robber which had been provided to the police.
The mysterious habits of Phileas Fogg were recalled; his solitary ways,
his sudden departure; and it seemed clear that, in undertaking a tour
round the world on the pretext of a wager, he had had no other end in view
than to elude the detectives, and throw them off his track.
IN WHICH FIX, THE DETECTIVE, BETRAYS A VERY NATURAL IMPATIENCE
The circumstances under which this telegraphic dispatch about
Phileas Fogg was sent were as follows:
The steamer Mongolia, belonging to the Peninsular and Oriental Company,
built of iron, of two thousand eight hundred tons burden, and five hundred
horse-power, was due at eleven o'clock a.m. on Wednesday, the 9th of October,
at Suez. The Mongolia plied regularly between Brindisi and Bombay via
the Suez Canal, and was one of the fastest steamers belonging to the company,
always making more than ten knots an hour between Brindisi and Suez,
and nine and a half between Suez and Bombay.
Two men were promenading up and down the wharves, among the crowd
of natives and strangers who were sojourning at this once straggling village--
now, thanks to the enterprise of M. Lesseps, a fast-growing town. One was
the British consul at Suez, who, despite the prophecies of the
English Government, and the unfavourable predictions of Stephenson,
was in the habit of seeing, from his office window, English ships
daily passing to and fro on the great canal, by which the old roundabout
route from England to India by the Cape of Good Hope was abridged
by at least a half. The other was a small, slight-built personage,
with a nervous, intelligent face, and bright eyes peering out
from under eyebrows which he was incessantly twitching.
He was just now manifesting unmistakable signs of impatience,
nervously pacing up and down, and unable to stand still for a moment.
This was Fix, one of the detectives who had been dispatched from England
in search of the bank robber; it was his task to narrowly watch every
passenger who arrived at Suez, and to follow up all who seemed to
be suspicious characters, or bore a resemblance to the description
of the criminal, which he had received two days before from the
police headquarters at London. The detective was evidently inspired
by the hope of obtaining the splendid reward which would be the prize
of success, and awaited with a feverish impatience, easy to understand,
the arrival of the steamer Mongolia.
"So you say, consul," asked he for the twentieth time, "that this steamer
is never behind time?"
"No, Mr. Fix," replied the consul. "She was bespoken yesterday at Port Said,
and the rest of the way is of no account to such a craft. I repeat that
the Mongolia has been in advance of the time required by the company's
regulations, and gained the prize awarded for excess of speed."
"Does she come directly from Brindisi?"
"Directly from Brindisi; she takes on the Indian mails there,
and she left there Saturday at five p.m. Have patience, Mr. Fix;
she will not be late. But really, I don't see how, from the
description you have, you will be able to recognise your man,
even if he is on board the Mongolia."
"A man rather feels the presence of these fellows, consul,
than recognises them. You must have a scent for them,
and a scent is like a sixth sense which combines hearing,
seeing, and smelling. I've arrested more than one of these gentlemen
in my time, and, if my thief is on board, I'll answer for it;
he'll not slip through my fingers."
"I hope so, Mr. Fix, for it was a heavy robbery."
"A magnificent robbery, consul; fifty-five thousand pounds!
We don't often have such windfalls. Burglars are getting to be so
contemptible nowadays! A fellow gets hung for a handful of shillings!"
"Mr. Fix," said the consul, "I like your way of talking, and hope
you'll succeed; but I fear you will find it far from easy.
Don't you see, the description which you have there has
a singular resemblance to an honest man?"
"Consul," remarked the detective, dogmatically, "great robbers
always resemble honest folks. Fellows who have rascally faces
have only one course to take, and that is to remain honest;
otherwise they would be arrested off-hand. The artistic thing is,
to unmask honest countenances; it's no light task, I admit,
but a real art."
Mr. Fix evidently was not wanting in a tinge of self-conceit.
Little by little the scene on the quay became more animated;
sailors of various nations, merchants, ship-brokers, porters, fellahs,
bustled to and fro as if the steamer were immediately expected.
The weather was clear, and slightly chilly. The minarets of the town
loomed above the houses in the pale rays of the sun. A jetty pier,
some two thousand yards along, extended into the roadstead.
A number of fishing-smacks and coasting boats, some retaining
the fantastic fashion of ancient galleys, were discernible on the Red Sea.
As he passed among the busy crowd, Fix, according to habit,
scrutinised the passers-by with a keen, rapid glance.
It was now half-past ten.
"The steamer doesn't come!" he exclaimed, as the port clock struck.
"She can't be far off now," returned his companion.
"How long will she stop at Suez?"
"Four hours; long enough to get in her coal. It is thirteen hundred
and ten miles from Suez to Aden, at the other end of the Red Sea,
and she has to take in a fresh coal supply."
"And does she go from Suez directly to Bombay?"
"Without putting in anywhere."
"Good!" said Fix. "If the robber is on board he will no doubt
get off at Suez, so as to reach the Dutch or French colonies in
Asia by some other route. He ought to know that he would not be
safe an hour in India, which is English soil."
"Unless," objected the consul, "he is exceptionally shrewd.
An English criminal, you know, is always better concealed
in London than anywhere else."
This observation furnished the detective food for thought,
and meanwhile the consul went away to his office. Fix, left alone,
was more impatient than ever, having a presentiment that the
robber was on board the Mongolia. If he had indeed left London
intending to reach the New World, he would naturally take the
route via India, which was less watched and more difficult
to watch than that of the Atlantic. But Fix's reflections were
soon interrupted by a succession of sharp whistles, which announced
the arrival of the Mongolia. The porters and fellahs rushed
down the quay, and a dozen boats pushed off from the shore to go
and meet the steamer. Soon her gigantic hull appeared passing
along between the banks, and eleven o'clock struck as she anchored
in the road. She brought an unusual number of passengers,
some of whom remained on deck to scan the picturesque panorama
of the town, while the greater part disembarked in the boats,
and landed on the quay.
Fix took up a position, and carefully examined each face
and figure which made its appearance. Presently one of
the passengers, after vigorously pushing his way through the
importunate crowd of porters, came up to him and politely asked if
he could point out the English consulate, at the same time showing
a passport which he wished to have visaed. Fix instinctively took
the passport, and with a rapid glance read the description
of its bearer. An involuntary motion of surprise nearly escaped him,
for the description in the passport was identical with that of the
bank robber which he had received from Scotland Yard.
"Is this your passport?" asked he.
"No, it's my master's."
"And your master is--"
"He stayed on board."
"But he must go to the consul's in person, so as to establish his identity."
"Oh, is that necessary?"
"And where is the consulate?"
"There, on the corner of the square," said Fix, pointing to
a house two hundred steps off.
"I'll go and fetch my master, who won't be much pleased, however,
to be disturbed."
The passenger bowed to Fix, and returned to the steamer.
WHICH ONCE MORE DEMONSTRATES THE USELESSNESS OF PASSPORTS
AS AIDS TO DETECTIVES
The detective passed down the quay, and rapidly made his way to
the consul's office, where he was at once admitted to the presence
of that official.
"Consul," said he, without preamble, "I have strong reasons
for believing that my man is a passenger on the Mongolia."
And he narrated what had just passed concerning the passport.
"Well, Mr. Fix," replied the consul, "I shall not be sorry to
see the rascal's face; but perhaps he won't come here--that is,
if he is the person you suppose him to be. A robber doesn't quite
like to leave traces of his flight behind him; and, besides,
he is not obliged to have his passport countersigned."
"If he is as shrewd as I think he is, consul, he will come."
"To have his passport visaed?"
"Yes. Passports are only good for annoying honest folks,
and aiding in the flight of rogues. I assure you it will be quite
the thing for him to do; but I hope you will not visa the passport."
"Why not? If the passport is genuine I have no right to refuse."
"Still, I must keep this man here until I can get a warrant to
arrest him from London."
"Ah, that's your look-out. But I cannot--"
The consul did not finish his sentence, for as he spoke a knock was heard
at the door, and two strangers entered, one of whom was the servant
whom Fix had met on the quay. The other, who was his master,
held out his passport with the request that the consul would do him
the favour to visa it. The consul took the document and carefully read it,
whilst Fix observed, or rather devoured, the stranger with his eyes
from a corner of the room.
"You are Mr. Phileas Fogg?" said the consul, after reading the passport.
"And this man is your servant?"
"He is: a Frenchman, named Passepartout."
"You are from London?"
"And you are going--"
"Very good, sir. You know that a visa is useless, and that no passport
"I know it, sir," replied Phileas Fogg; "but I wish to prove,
by your visa, that I came by Suez."
"Very well, sir."
The consul proceeded to sign and date the passport, after which
he added his official seal. Mr. Fogg paid the customary fee,
coldly bowed, and went out, followed by his servant.
"Well?" queried the detective.
"Well, he looks and acts like a perfectly honest man," replied the consul.
"Possibly; but that is not the question. Do you think, consul,
that this phelgmatic gentleman resembles, feature by feature,
the robber whose description I have received?"
"I concede that; but then, you know, all descriptions--"
"I'll make certain of it," interrupted Fix. "The servant seems
to me less mysterious than the master; besides, he's a Frenchman,
and can't help talking. Excuse me for a little while, consul."
Fix started off in search of Passepartout.
Meanwhile Mr. Fogg, after leaving the consulate, repaired to
the quay, gave some orders to Passepartout, went off to
the Mongolia in a boat, and descended to his cabin.
He took up his note-book, which contained the following memoranda:
"Left London, Wednesday, October 2nd, at 8.45 p.m.
"Reached Paris, Thursday, October 3rd, at 7.20 a.m.
"Left Paris, Thursday, at 8.40 a.m.
"Reached Turin by Mont Cenis, Friday, October 4th, at 6.35 a.m.
"Left Turin, Friday, at 7.20 a.m.
"Arrived at Brindisi, Saturday, October 5th, at 4 p.m.
"Sailed on the Mongolia, Saturday, at 5 p.m.
"Reached Suez, Wednesday, October 9th, at 11 a.m.
"Total of hours spent, 158+; or, in days, six days and a half."
These dates were inscribed in an itinerary divided into columns,
indicating the month, the day of the month, and the day for the
stipulated and actual arrivals at each principal point Paris,
Brindisi, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Yokohama,
San Francisco, New York, and London--from the 2nd of October
to the 21st of December; and giving a space for setting down
the gain made or the loss suffered on arrival at each locality.
This methodical record thus contained an account of everything needed,
and Mr. Fogg always knew whether he was behind-hand or in advance
of his time. On this Friday, October 9th, he noted his arrival at Suez,
and observed that he had as yet neither gained nor lost.
He sat down quietly to breakfast in his cabin, never once thinking
of inspecting the town, being one of those Englishmen who are wont
to see foreign countries through the eyes of their domestics.
IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT TALKS RATHER MORE, PERHAPS, THAN IS PRUDENT
Fix soon rejoined Passepartout, who was lounging and looking about
on the quay, as if he did not feel that he, at least, was obliged
not to see anything.
"Well, my friend," said the detective, coming up with him,
"is your passport visaed?"
"Ah, it's you, is it, monsieur?" responded Passepartout.
"Thanks, yes, the passport is all right."
"And you are looking about you?"
"Yes; but we travel so fast that I seem to be journeying in a dream.
So this is Suez?"
"Certainly, in Egypt."
"And in Africa?"
"In Africa!" repeated Passepartout. "Just think, monsieur,
I had no idea that we should go farther than Paris; and all that I
saw of Paris was between twenty minutes past seven and twenty
minutes before nine in the morning, between the Northern and
the Lyons stations, through the windows of a car, and in a
driving rain! How I regret not having seen once more Pere la Chaise
and the circus in the Champs Elysees!"
"You are in a great hurry, then?"
"I am not, but my master is. By the way, I must buy some shoes and shirts.
We came away without trunks, only with a carpet-bag."
"I will show you an excellent shop for getting what you want."
"Really, monsieur, you are very kind."
And they walked off together, Passepartout chatting volubly
as they went along.
"Above all," said he; "don't let me lose the steamer."
"You have plenty of time; it's only twelve o'clock."
Passepartout pulled out his big watch. "Twelve!" he exclaimed;
"why, it's only eight minutes before ten."
"Your watch is slow."
"My watch? A family watch, monsieur, which has come down from
my great-grandfather! It doesn't vary five minutes in the year.
It's a perfect chronometer, look you."
"I see how it is," said Fix. "You have kept London time,
which is two hours behind that of Suez. You ought to regulate
your watch at noon in each country."
"I regulate my watch? Never!"
"Well, then, it will not agree with the sun."
"So much the worse for the sun, monsieur. The sun will be wrong, then!"
And the worthy fellow returned the watch to its fob with a
defiant gesture. After a few minutes silence, Fix resumed:
"You left London hastily, then?"
"I rather think so! Last Friday at eight o'clock in the evening,
Monsieur Fogg came home from his club, and three-quarters of an hour
afterwards we were off."
"But where is your master going?"
"Always straight ahead. He is going round the world."
"Round the world?" cried Fix.
"Yes, and in eighty days! He says it is on a wager; but, between us,
I don't believe a word of it. That wouldn't be common sense.
There's something else in the wind."
"Ah! Mr. Fogg is a character, is he?"
"I should say he was."
"Is he rich?"
"No doubt, for he is carrying an enormous sum in brand new
banknotes with him. And he doesn't spare the money on the way,
either: he has offered a large reward to the engineer of the
Mongolia if he gets us to Bombay well in advance of time."
"And you have known your master a long time?"
"Why, no; I entered his service the very day we left London."
The effect of these replies upon the already suspicious
and excited detective may be imagined. The hasty departure
from London soon after the robbery; the large sum carried by Mr. Fogg;
his eagerness to reach distant countries; the pretext of an
eccentric and foolhardy bet--all confirmed Fix in his theory.
He continued to pump poor Passepartout, and learned that he really
knew little or nothing of his master, who lived a solitary
existence in London, was said to be rich, though no one knew
whence came his riches, and was mysterious and impenetrable
in his affairs and habits. Fix felt sure that Phileas Fogg
would not land at Suez, but was really going on to Bombay.
"Is Bombay far from here?" asked Passepartout.
"Pretty far. It is a ten days' voyage by sea."
"And in what country is Bombay?"
"The deuce! I was going to tell you there's one thing that worries me--
"My gas-burner, which I forgot to turn off, and which is at
this moment burning at my expense. I have calculated, monsieur,
that I lose two shillings every four and twenty hours, exactly
sixpense more than I earn; and you will understand that the longer
Did Fix pay any attention to Passepartout's trouble about the gas?
It is not probable. He was not listening, but was cogitating a project.
Passepartout and he had now reached the shop, where Fix left his companion
to make his purchases, after recommending him not to miss the steamer,
and hurried back to the consulate. Now that he was fully convinced,
Fix had quite recovered his equanimity.
"Consul," said he, "I have no longer any doubt. I have spotted my man.
He passes himself off as an odd stick who is going round the world
in eighty days."
"Then he's a sharp fellow," returned the consul, "and counts on
returning to London after putting the police of the two countries
off his track."
"We'll see about that," replied Fix.
"But are you not mistaken?"
"I am not mistaken."
"Why was this robber so anxious to prove, by the visa,
that he had passed through Suez?"
"Why? I have no idea; but listen to me."
He reported in a few words the most important parts
of his conversation with Passepartout.
"In short," said the consul, "appearances are wholly against this man.
And what are you going to do?"
"Send a dispatch to London for a warrant of arrest to be dispatched
instantly to Bombay, take passage on board the Mongolia, follow my rogue
to India, and there, on English ground, arrest him politely, with my warrant
in my hand, and my hand on his shoulder."
Having uttered these words with a cool, careless air, the detective
took leave of the consul, and repaired to the telegraph office,
whence he sent the dispatch which we have seen to the London police office.
A quarter of an hour later found Fix, with a small bag in his hand,
proceeding on board the Mongolia; and, ere many moments longer,
the noble steamer rode out at full steam upon the waters of the Red Sea.
IN WHICH THE RED SEA AND THE INDIAN OCEAN PROVE PROPITIOUS
TO THE DESIGNS OF PHILEAS FOGG
The distance between Suez and Aden is precisely thirteen hundred
and ten miles, and the regulations of the company allow the
steamers one hundred and thirty-eight hours in which to traverse it.
The Mongolia, thanks to the vigorous exertions of the engineer,
seemed likely, so rapid was her speed, to reach her destination
considerably within that time. The greater part of the passengers
from Brindisi were bound for India some for Bombay, others for Calcutta
by way of Bombay, the nearest route thither, now that a railway crosses
the Indian peninsula. Among the passengers was a number of officials
and military officers of various grades, the latter being either attached
to the regular British forces or commanding the Sepoy troops,
and receiving high salaries ever since the central
government has assumed the powers of the East India Company:
for the sub-lieutenants get 280 pounds, brigadiers, 2,400 pounds,
and generals of divisions, 4,000 pounds. What with the military men,
a number of rich young Englishmen on their travels, and the hospitable
efforts of the purser, the time passed quickly on the Mongolia.
The best of fare was spread upon the cabin tables at breakfast,
lunch, dinner, and the eight o'clock supper, and the ladies
scrupulously changed their toilets twice a day; and the hours
were whirled away, when the sea was tranquil, with music, dancing, and games.
But the Red Sea is full of caprice, and often boisterous, like most long
and narrow gulfs. When the wind came from the African or Asian coast
the Mongolia, with her long hull, rolled fearfully. Then the ladies
speedily disappeared below; the pianos were silent; singing and dancing
suddenly ceased. Yet the good ship ploughed straight on, unretarded by wind
or wave, towards the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb. What was Phileas Fogg
doing all this time? It might be thought that, in his anxiety, he would
be constantly watching the changes of the wind, the disorderly raging
of the billows--every chance, in short, which might force the Mongolia
to slacken her speed, and thus interrupt his journey. But, if he thought
of these possibilities, he did not betray the fact by any outward sign.
Always the same impassible member of the Reform Club, whom no
incident could surprise, as unvarying as the ship's chronometers,
and seldom having the curiosity even to go upon the deck, he passed
through the memorable scenes of the Red Sea with cold indifference;
did not care to recognise the historic towns and villages which,
along its borders, raised their picturesque outlines against the sky;
and betrayed no fear of the dangers of the Arabic Gulf, which the old
historians always spoke of with horror, and upon which the ancient
navigators never ventured without propitiating the gods by ample sacrifices.
How did this eccentric personage pass his time on the Mongolia? He made his
four hearty meals every day, regardless of the most persistent rolling
and pitching on the part of the steamer; and he played whist indefatigably,
for he had found partners as enthusiastic in the game as himself.
A tax-collector, on the way to his post at Goa; the Rev. Decimus Smith,
returning to his parish at Bombay; and a brigadier-general of the English army,
who was about to rejoin his brigade at Benares, made up the party, and,
with Mr. Fogg, played whist by the hour together in absorbing silence.
As for Passepartout, he, too, had escaped sea-sickness, and took his meals
conscientiously in the forward cabin. He rather enjoyed the voyage,
for he was well fed and well lodged, took a great interest in the scenes
through which they were passing, and consoled himself with the delusion
that his master's whim would end at Bombay. He was pleased, on the day after
leaving Suez, to find on deck the obliging person with whom he had walked
and chatted on the quays.
"If I am not mistaken," said he, approaching this person, with his most
amiable smile, "you are the gentleman who so kindly volunteered
to guide me at Suez?"
"Ah! I quite recognise you. You are the servant of the strange Englishman--"
"Just so, monsieur--"
"Monsieur Fix," resumed Passepartout, "I'm charmed to find you on board.
Where are you bound?"
"Like you, to Bombay."
"That's capital! Have you made this trip before?"
"Several times. I am one of the agents of the Peninsular Company."
"Then you know India?"
"Why yes," replied Fix, who spoke cautiously.
"A curious place, this India?"
"Oh, very curious. Mosques, minarets, temples, fakirs, pagodas, tigers,
snakes, elephants! I hope you will have ample time to see the sights."
"I hope so, Monsieur Fix. You see, a man of sound sense ought not
to spend his life jumping from a steamer upon a railway train,
and from a railway train upon a steamer again, pretending to make the tour
of the world in eighty days! No; all these gymnastics, you may be sure,
will cease at Bombay."
"And Mr. Fogg is getting on well?" asked Fix, in the most natural
tone in the world.
"Quite well, and I too. I eat like a famished ogre; it's the sea air.
"But I never see your master on deck."
"Never; he hasn't the least curiosity."
"Do you know, Mr. Passepartout, that this pretended tour in eighty days
may conceal some secret errand--perhaps a diplomatic mission?"
"Faith, Monsieur Fix, I assure you I know nothing about it,
nor would I give half a crown to find out."
After this meeting, Passepartout and Fix got into the habit
of chatting together, the latter making it a point to gain
the worthy man's confidence. He frequently offered him a glass
of whiskey or pale ale in the steamer bar-room, which Passepartout
never failed to accept with graceful alacrity, mentally pronouncing
Fix the best of good fellows.
Meanwhile the Mongolia was pushing forward rapidly; on the 13th,
Mocha, surrounded by its ruined walls whereon date-trees were growing,
was sighted, and on the mountains beyond were espied vast coffee-fields.
Passepartout was ravished to behold this celebrated place, and thought that,
with its circular walls and dismantled fort, it looked like an immense
coffee-cup and saucer. The following night they passed through the Strait
of Bab-el-Mandeb, which means in Arabic The Bridge of Tears, and the
next day they put in at Steamer Point, north-west of Aden harbour,
to take in coal. This matter of fuelling steamers is a serious
one at such distances from the coal-mines; it costs the Peninsular
Company some eight hundred thousand pounds a year. In these
distant seas, coal is worth three or four pounds sterling a ton.
The Mongolia had still sixteen hundred and fifty miles to traverse
before reaching Bombay, and was obliged to remain four hours at
Steamer Point to coal up. But this delay, as it was foreseen,
did not affect Phileas Fogg's programme; besides, the Mongolia,
instead of reaching Aden on the morning of the 15th, when she was due,
arrived there on the evening of the 14th, a gain of fifteen hours.
Mr. Fogg and his servant went ashore at Aden to have the passport
again visaed; Fix, unobserved, followed them. The visa procured,
Mr. Fogg returned on board to resume his former habits; while Passepartout,
according to custom, sauntered about among the mixed population of Somanlis,
Banyans, Parsees, Jews, Arabs, and Europeans who comprise the twenty-five
thousand inhabitants of Aden. He gazed with wonder upon the fortifications
which make this place the Gibraltar of the Indian Ocean, and the vast cisterns
where the English engineers were still at work, two thousand years after
the engineers of Solomon.
"Very curious, very curious," said Passepartout to himself,
on returning to the steamer. "I see that it is by no means useless
to travel, if a man wants to see something new." At six p.m.
the Mongolia slowly moved out of the roadstead, and was soon
once more on the Indian Ocean. She had a hundred and sixty-eight hours
in which to reach Bombay, and the sea was favourable, the wind being
in the north-west, and all sails aiding the engine. The steamer
rolled but little, the ladies, in fresh toilets, reappeared
on deck, and the singing and dancing were resumed. The trip
was being accomplished most successfully, and Passepartout
was enchanted with the congenial companion which chance had secured
him in the person of the delightful Fix. On Sunday, October 20th,
towards noon, they came in sight of the Indian coast: two hours
later the pilot came on board. A range of hills lay against the
sky in the horizon, and soon the rows of palms which adorn Bombay
came distinctly into view. The steamer entered the road formed by
the islands in the bay, and at half-past four she hauled up at the
quays of Bombay.
Phileas Fogg was in the act of finishing the thirty-third rubber
of the voyage, and his partner and himself having, by a bold stroke,
captured all thirteen of the tricks, concluded this fine campaign
with a brilliant victory.
The Mongolia was due at Bombay on the 22nd; she arrived on the
20th. This was a gain to Phileas Fogg of two days since his
departure from London, and he calmly entered the fact in the
itinerary, in the column of gains.
IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT IS ONLY TOO GLAD TO GET OFF
WITH THE LOSS OF HIS SHOES
Everybody knows that the great reversed triangle of land, with its
base in the north and its apex in the south, which is called India,
embraces fourteen hundred thousand square miles, upon which is spread
unequally a population of one hundred and eighty millions of souls.
The British Crown exercises a real and despotic dominion over the
larger portion of this vast country, and has a governor-general
stationed at Calcutta, governors at Madras, Bombay, and in Bengal,
and a lieutenant-governor at Agra.
But British India, properly so called, only embraces seven
hundred thousand square miles, and a population of from
one hundred to one hundred and ten millions of inhabitants.
A considerable portion of India is still free from British authority;
and there are certain ferocious rajahs in the interior who are
absolutely independent. The celebrated East India Company
was all-powerful from 1756, when the English first gained a foothold
on the spot where now stands the city of Madras, down to the time
of the great Sepoy insurrection. It gradually annexed province
after province, purchasing them of the native chiefs, whom it seldom paid,
and appointed the governor-general and his subordinates, civil and military.
But the East India Company has now passed away, leaving the British
possessions in India directly under the control of the Crown.
The aspect of the country, as well as the manners and distinctions of race,
is daily changing.
Formerly one was obliged to travel in India by the old cumbrous methods
of going on foot or on horseback, in palanquins or unwieldly coaches;
now fast steamboats ply on the Indus and the Ganges, and a great railway,
with branch lines joining the main line at many points on its route,
traverses the peninsula from Bombay to Calcutta in three days.
This railway does not run in a direct line across India.
The distance between Bombay and Calcutta, as the bird flies,
is only from one thousand to eleven hundred miles;
but the deflections of the road increase this distance by more than a third.
The general route of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway is as follows:
Leaving Bombay, it passes through Salcette, crossing to the continent
opposite Tannah, goes over the chain of the Western Ghauts,
runs thence north-east as far as Burhampoor, skirts the nearly
independent territory of Bundelcund, ascends to Allahabad,
turns thence eastwardly, meeting the Ganges at Benares,
then departs from the river a little, and, descending south-eastward
by Burdivan and the French town of Chandernagor, has its terminus at Calcutta.
The passengers of the Mongolia went ashore at half-past four p.m.;
at exactly eight the train would start for Calcutta.
Mr. Fogg, after bidding good-bye to his whist partners, left the steamer,
gave his servant several errands to do, urged it upon him to be at the station
promptly at eight, and, with his regular step, which beat to the second,
like an astronomical clock, directed his steps to the passport office.
As for the wonders of Bombay its famous city hall, its splendid library,
its forts and docks, its bazaars, mosques, synagogues, its Armenian churches,
and the noble pagoda on Malabar Hill, with its two polygonal towers--
he cared not a straw to see them. He would not deign to examine
even the masterpieces of Elephanta, or the mysterious hypogea,
concealed south-east from the docks, or those fine remains of Buddhist
architecture, the Kanherian grottoes of the island of Salcette.
Having transacted his business at the passport office, Phileas Fogg
repaired quietly to the railway station, where he ordered dinner.
Among the dishes served up to him, the landlord especially recommended
a certain giblet of "native rabbit," on which he prided himself.
Mr. Fogg accordingly tasted the dish, but, despite its spiced sauce,
found it far from palatable. He rang for the landlord, and,
on his appearance, said, fixing his clear eyes upon him,
"Is this rabbit, sir?"
"Yes, my lord," the rogue boldly replied, "rabbit from the jungles."
"And this rabbit did not mew when he was killed?"
"Mew, my lord! What, a rabbit mew! I swear to you--"
"Be so good, landlord, as not to swear, but remember this:
cats were formerly considered, in India, as sacred animals.
That was a good time."
"For the cats, my lord?"
"Perhaps for the travellers as well!"
After which Mr. Fogg quietly continued his dinner. Fix had gone
on shore shortly after Mr. Fogg, and his first destination was
the headquarters of the Bombay police. He made himself known
as a London detective, told his business at Bombay, and the
position of affairs relative to the supposed robber, and nervously
asked if a warrant had arrived from London. It had not reached
the office; indeed, there had not yet been time for it to arrive.
Fix was sorely disappointed, and tried to obtain an order of arrest
from the director of the Bombay police. This the director refused,
as the matter concerned the London office, which alone could legally
deliver the warrant. Fix did not insist, and was fain to resign himself
to await the arrival of the important document; but he was determined
not to lose sight of the mysterious rogue as long as he stayed in Bombay.
He did not doubt for a moment, any more than Passepartout, that Phileas Fogg
would remain there, at least until it was time for the warrant to arrive.
Passepartout, however, had no sooner heard his master's orders
on leaving the Mongolia than he saw at once that they were to
leave Bombay as they had done Suez and Paris, and that the journey
would be extended at least as far as Calcutta, and perhaps beyond
that place. He began to ask himself if this bet that Mr. Fogg
talked about was not really in good earnest, and whether his fate
was not in truth forcing him, despite his love of repose, around
the world in eighty days!
Having purchased the usual quota of shirts and shoes, he took
a leisurely promenade about the streets, where crowds of people
of many nationalities--Europeans, Persians with pointed caps,
Banyas with round turbans, Sindes with square bonnets, Parsees
with black mitres, and long-robed Armenians--were collected.
It happened to be the day of a Parsee festival. These descendants
of the sect of Zoroaster--the most thrifty, civilised, intelligent,
and austere of the East Indians, among whom are counted the richest
native merchants of Bombay--were celebrating a sort of religious carnival,
with processions and shows, in the midst of which Indian dancing-girls,
clothed in rose-coloured gauze, looped up with gold and silver,
danced airily, but with perfect modesty, to the sound of viols
and the clanging of tambourines. It is needless to say that Passepartout
watched these curious ceremonies with staring eyes and gaping mouth,
and that his countenance was that of the greenest booby imaginable.
Unhappily for his master, as well as himself, his curiosity
drew him unconsciously farther off than he intended to go.
At last, having seen the Parsee carnival wind away in the distance,
he was turning his steps towards the station, when he happened
to espy the splendid pagoda on Malabar Hill, and was seized with
an irresistible desire to see its interior. He was quite ignorant
that it is forbidden to Christians to enter certain Indian temples,
and that even the faithful must not go in without first leaving their
shoes outside the door. It may be said here that the wise policy
of the British Government severely punishes a disregard of the practices
of the native religions.
Passepartout, however, thinking no harm, went in like a simple tourist,
and was soon lost in admiration of the splendid Brahmin ornamentation
which everywhere met his eyes, when of a sudden he found himself sprawling
on the sacred flagging. He looked up to behold three enraged priests,
who forthwith fell upon him; tore off his shoes, and began to beat him
with loud, savage exclamations. The agile Frenchman was soon upon his feet
again, and lost no time in knocking down two of his long-gowned
adversaries with his fists and a vigorous application of his toes;
then, rushing out of the pagoda as fast as his legs could carry him,
he soon escaped the third priest by mingling with the crowd in the streets.
At five minutes before eight, Passepartout, hatless, shoeless,
and having in the squabble lost his package of shirts and shoes,
rushed breathlessly into the station.
Fix, who had followed Mr. Fogg to the station, and saw that he
was really going to leave Bombay, was there, upon the platform.
He had resolved to follow the supposed robber to Calcutta,
and farther, if necessary. Passepartout did not observe the
detective, who stood in an obscure corner; but Fix heard him
relate his adventures in a few words to Mr. Fogg.
"I hope that this will not happen again," said Phileas Fogg coldly,
as he got into the train. Poor Passepartout, quite crestfallen,
followed his master without a word. Fix was on the point of entering
another carriage, when an idea struck him which induced him to alter his plan.
"No, I'll stay," muttered he. "An offence has been committed on Indian soil.
I've got my man."
Just then the locomotive gave a sharp screech, and the train passed out
into the darkness of the night.
IN WHICH PHILEAS FOGG SECURES A CURIOUS MEANS OF CONVEYANCE
AT A FABULOUS PRICE
The train had started punctually. Among the passengers were
a number of officers, Government officials, and opium and indigo
merchants, whose business called them to the eastern coast.
Passepartout rode in the same carriage with his master, and a
third passenger occupied a seat opposite to them. This was
Sir Francis Cromarty, one of Mr. Fogg's whist partners
on the Mongolia, now on his way to join his corps at Benares.
Sir Francis was a tall, fair man of fifty, who had greatly
distinguished himself in the last Sepoy revolt. He made India
his home, only paying brief visits to England at rare intervals;
and was almost as familiar as a native with the customs, history,
and character of India and its people. But Phileas Fogg, who was
not travelling, but only describing a circumference, took no pains
to inquire into these subjects; he was a solid body, traversing
an orbit around the terrestrial globe, according to the laws
of rational mechanics. He was at this moment calculating in his mind
the number of hours spent since his departure from London, and,
had it been in his nature to make a useless demonstration,
would have rubbed his hands for satisfaction. Sir Francis Cromarty
had observed the oddity of his travelling companion--although the
only opportunity he had for studying him had been while he was
dealing the cards, and between two rubbers--and questioned himself
whether a human heart really beat beneath this cold exterior,
and whether Phileas Fogg had any sense of the beauties of nature.
The brigadier-general was free to mentally confess that,
of all the eccentric persons he had ever met, none was comparable
to this product of the exact sciences.
Phileas Fogg had not concealed from Sir Francis his design of going
round the world, nor the circumstances under which he set out;
and the general only saw in the wager a useless eccentricity
and a lack of sound common sense. In the way this strange gentleman
was going on, he would leave the world without having done any good
to himself or anybody else.
An hour after leaving Bombay the train had passed the viaducts
and the Island of Salcette, and had got into the open country.
At Callyan they reached the junction of the branch line which
descends towards south-eastern India by Kandallah and Pounah;
and, passing Pauwell, they entered the defiles of the mountains,
with their basalt bases, and their summits crowned with thick
and verdant forests. Phileas Fogg and Sir Francis Cromarty exchanged
a few words from time to time, and now Sir Francis, reviving the conversation,
observed, "Some years ago, Mr. Fogg, you would have met with a delay
at this point which would probably have lost you your wager."
"How so, Sir Francis?"
"Because the railway stopped at the base of these mountains,
which the passengers were obliged to cross in palanquins
or on ponies to Kandallah, on the other side."
"Such a delay would not have deranged my plans in the least,"
said Mr. Fogg. "I have constantly foreseen the likelihood of
"But, Mr. Fogg," pursued Sir Francis, "you run the risk of
having some difficulty about this worthy fellow's adventure
at the pagoda." Passepartout, his feet comfortably wrapped
in his travelling-blanket, was sound asleep and did not dream
that anybody was talking about him. "The Government is very severe
upon that kind of offence. It takes particular care that the
religious customs of the Indians should be respected,
and if your servant were caught--"
"Very well, Sir Francis," replied Mr. Fogg; "if he had been
caught he would have been condemned and punished, and then would
have quietly returned to Europe. I don't see how this affair
could have delayed his master."
The conversation fell again. During the night the train left
the mountains behind, and passed Nassik, and the next day
proceeded over the flat, well-cultivated country of the Khandeish,
with its straggling villages, above which rose the minarets
of the pagodas. This fertile territory is watered by numerous
small rivers and limpid streams, mostly tributaries of the Godavery.
Passepartout, on waking and looking out, could not realise
that he was actually crossing India in a railway train.
The locomotive, guided by an English engineer and fed with English
coal, threw out its smoke upon cotton, coffee, nutmeg, clove,
and pepper plantations, while the steam curled in spirals around
groups of palm-trees, in the midst of which were seen picturesque
bungalows, viharis (sort of abandoned monasteries), and marvellous
temples enriched by the exhaustless ornamentation of Indian architecture.
Then they came upon vast tracts extending to the horizon, with jungles
inhabited by snakes and tigers, which fled at the noise of the train;
succeeded by forests penetrated by the railway, and still haunted
by elephants which, with pensive eyes, gazed at the train as it passed.
The travellers crossed, beyond Milligaum, the fatal country so often
stained with blood by the sectaries of the goddess Kali. Not far off
rose Ellora, with its graceful pagodas, and the famous Aurungabad,
capital of the ferocious Aureng-Zeb, now the chief town of one of the
detached provinces of the kingdom of the Nizam. It was thereabouts
that Feringhea, the Thuggee chief, king of the stranglers, held his sway.
These ruffians, united by a secret bond, strangled victims of every age
in honour of the goddess Death, without ever shedding blood; there was
a period when this part of the country could scarcely be travelled over
without corpses being found in every direction. The English Government
has succeeded in greatly diminishing these murders, though the Thuggees
still exist, and pursue the exercise of their horrible rites.
At half-past twelve the train stopped at Burhampoor where
Passepartout was able to purchase some Indian slippers,
ornamented with false pearls, in which, with evident vanity,
he proceeded to encase his feet. The travellers made a hasty breakfast
and started off for Assurghur, after skirting for a little the banks
of the small river Tapty, which empties into the Gulf of Cambray, near Surat.
Passepartout was now plunged into absorbing reverie. Up to
his arrival at Bombay, he had entertained hopes that their journey
would end there; but, now that they were plainly whirling across
India at full speed, a sudden change had come over the spirit of
his dreams. His old vagabond nature returned to him; the fantastic
ideas of his youth once more took possession of him. He came to regard
his master's project as intended in good earnest, believed in the reality
of the bet, and therefore in the tour of the world and the necessity
of making it without fail within the designated period. Already he began
to worry about possible delays, and accidents which might happen on the way.
He recognised himself as being personally interested in the wager,
and trembled at the thought that he might have been the means of losing it
by his unpardonable folly of the night before. Being much less cool-headed
than Mr. Fogg, he was much more restless, counting and recounting the
days passed over, uttering maledictions when the train stopped,
and accusing it of sluggishness, and mentally blaming Mr. Fogg
for not having bribed the engineer. The worthy fellow was ignorant that,
while it was possible by such means to hasten the rate of a steamer,
it could not be done on the railway.
The train entered the defiles of the Sutpour Mountains, which separate
the Khandeish from Bundelcund, towards evening. The next day Sir Francis
Cromarty asked Passepartout what time it was; to which, on consulting
his watch, he replied that it was three in the morning. This famous timepiece,
always regulated on the Greenwich meridian, which was now some seventy-seven
degrees westward, was at least four hours slow. Sir Francis corrected
Passepartout's time, whereupon the latter made the same remark that he had
done to Fix; and upon the general insisting that the watch should be
regulated in each new meridian, since he was constantly going eastward,
that is in the face of the sun, and therefore the days were shorter
by four minutes for each degree gone over, Passepartout obstinately refused
to alter his watch, which he kept at London time. It was an innocent delusion
which could harm no one.
The train stopped, at eight o'clock, in the midst of a glade some
fifteen miles beyond Rothal, where there were several bungalows,
and workmen's cabins. The conductor, passing along the carriages,
shouted, "Passengers will get out here!"
Phileas Fogg looked at Sir Francis Cromarty for an explanation;
but the general could not tell what meant a halt in the midst
of this forest of dates and acacias.
Passepartout, not less surprised, rushed out and speedily returned, crying:
"Monsieur, no more railway!"
"What do you mean?" asked Sir Francis.
"I mean to say that the train isn't going on."
The general at once stepped out, while Phileas Fogg calmly followed him,
and they proceeded together to the conductor.
"Where are we?" asked Sir Francis.
"At the hamlet of Kholby."
"Do we stop here?"
"Certainly. The railway isn't finished."
"What! not finished?"
"No. There's still a matter of fifty miles to be laid
from here to Allahabad, where the line begins again."
"But the papers announced the opening of the railway throughout."
"What would you have, officer? The papers were mistaken."
"Yet you sell tickets from Bombay to Calcutta," retorted Sir Francis,
who was growing warm.
"No doubt," replied the conductor; "but the passengers know
that they must provide means of transportation for themselves
from Kholby to Allahabad."
Sir Francis was furious. Passepartout would willingly have knocked
the conductor down, and did not dare to look at his master.
"Sir Francis," said Mr. Fogg quietly, "we will, if you please,
look about for some means of conveyance to Allahabad."
"Mr. Fogg, this is a delay greatly to your disadvantage."
"No, Sir Francis; it was foreseen."
"What! You knew that the way--"
"Not at all; but I knew that some obstacle or other would sooner or later
arise on my route. Nothing, therefore, is lost. I have two days,
which I have already gained, to sacrifice. A steamer leaves Calcutta
for Hong Kong at noon, on the 25th. This is the 22nd, and we shall
reach Calcutta in time."
There was nothing to say to so confident a response.
It was but too true that the railway came to a termination at this point.
The papers were like some watches, which have a way of getting too fast,
and had been premature in their announcement of the completion of the line.
The greater part of the travellers were aware of this interruption, and,
leaving the train, they began to engage such vehicles as the village
could provide four-wheeled palkigharis, waggons drawn by zebus,
carriages that looked like perambulating pagodas, palanquins, ponies,
and what not.
Mr. Fogg and Sir Francis Cromarty, after searching the village
from end to end, came back without having found anything.
"I shall go afoot," said Phileas Fogg.
Passepartout, who had now rejoined his master, made a wry grimace,
as he thought of his magnificent, but too frail Indian shoes.
Happily he too had been looking about him, and, after a moment's hesitation,
said, "Monsieur, I think I have found a means of conveyance."
"An elephant! An elephant that belongs to an Indian who lives
but a hundred steps from here."
"Let's go and see the elephant," replied Mr. Fogg.
They soon reached a small hut, near which, enclosed within
some high palings, was the animal in question. An Indian came
out of the hut, and, at their request, conducted them within
the enclosure. The elephant, which its owner had reared, not for
a beast of burden, but for warlike purposes, was half domesticated.
The Indian had begun already, by often irritating him, and feeding
him every three months on sugar and butter, to impart to him
a ferocity not in his nature, this method being often employed
by those who train the Indian elephants for battle. Happily,
however, for Mr. Fogg, the animal's instruction in this direction
had not gone far, and the elephant still preserved his natural
gentleness. Kiouni--this was the name of the beast--could
doubtless travel rapidly for a long time, and, in default of
any other means of conveyance, Mr. Fogg resolved to hire him.
But elephants are far from cheap in India, where they are becoming
scarce, the males, which alone are suitable for circus shows,
are much sought, especially as but few of them are domesticated.
When therefore Mr. Fogg proposed to the Indian to hire Kiouni,
he refused point-blank. Mr. Fogg persisted, offering the excessive
sum of ten pounds an hour for the loan of the beast to Allahabad.
Refused. Twenty pounds? Refused also. Forty pounds? Still refused.
Passepartout jumped at each advance; but the Indian declined to be tempted.
Yet the offer was an alluring one, for, supposing it took the elephant
fifteen hours to reach Allahabad, his owner would receive no less than
six hundred pounds sterling.
Phileas Fogg, without getting in the least flurried, then proposed
to purchase the animal outright, and at first offered a thousand pounds
for him. The Indian, perhaps thinking he was going to make a great bargain,
Sir Francis Cromarty took Mr. Fogg aside, and begged him to reflect
before he went any further; to which that gentleman replied that
he was not in the habit of acting rashly, that a bet of twenty thousand
pounds was at stake, that the elephant was absolutely necessary to him,
and that he would secure him if he had to pay twenty times his value.
Returning to the Indian, whose small, sharp eyes, glistening with avarice,
betrayed that with him it was only a question of how great a price
he could obtain. Mr. Fogg offered first twelve hundred, then fifteen hundred,
eighteen hundred, two thousand pounds. Passepartout, usually so rubicund,
was fairly white with suspense.
At two thousand pounds the Indian yielded.
"What a price, good heavens!" cried Passepartout, "for an elephant.
It only remained now to find a guide, which was comparatively easy.
A young Parsee, with an intelligent face, offered his services,
which Mr. Fogg accepted, promising so generous a reward as to materially
stimulate his zeal. The elephant was led out and equipped. The Parsee,
who was an accomplished elephant driver, covered his back with a sort
of saddle-cloth, and attached to each of his flanks some curiously
uncomfortable howdahs. Phileas Fogg paid the Indian with some banknotes
which he extracted from the famous carpet-bag, a proceeding that seemed
to deprive poor Passepartout of his vitals. Then he offered to carry
Sir Francis to Allahabad, which the brigadier gratefully accepted,
as one traveller the more would not be likely to fatigue the
gigantic beast. Provisions were purchased at Kholby, and,
while Sir Francis and Mr. Fogg took the howdahs on either side,
Passepartout got astride the saddle-cloth between them.
The Parsee perched himself on the elephant's neck, and at nine o'clock
they set out from the village, the animal marching off through the
dense forest of palms by the shortest cut.
IN WHICH PHILEAS FOGG AND HIS COMPANIONS
VENTURE ACROSS THE INDIAN FORESTS, AND WHAT ENSUED
In order to shorten the journey, the guide passed to the left of the line
where the railway was still in process of being built. This line,
owing to the capricious turnings of the Vindhia Mountains,
did not pursue a straight course. The Parsee, who was quite familiar
with the roads and paths in the district, declared that they would gain
twenty miles by striking directly through the forest.
Phileas Fogg and Sir Francis Cromarty, plunged to the neck
in the peculiar howdahs provided for them, were horribly jostled
by the swift trotting of the elephant, spurred on as he was by
the skilful Parsee; but they endured the discomfort with true
British phlegm, talking little, and scarcely able to catch a glimpse
of each other. As for Passepartout, who was mounted on the beast's back,
and received the direct force of each concussion as he trod along,
he was very careful, in accordance with his master's advice,
to keep his tongue from between his teeth, as it would otherwise