Around the World in Eighty Days

Translated by William Butcher

 

Abridged and serialised on Book at Bedtime, BBC Radio 4 and World Service, read by Robert Powell, 7-18 May 2001, with repeats in 2001-2

 

Episode 1

 

In the year 1872, No. 7 Savile Row was occupied by Phileas Fogg, Esq., an enigmatic figure about whom nothing was known, except that he was a thorough gentleman and one of the most handsome figures in the whole of high society.

         Mr Fogg had never been spotted in the Stock Exchange, the Bank, or the City. The basins and docks of London had never berthed a ship for an owner called Phileas Fogg. He was not on any board of directors. He was not engaged in industry, business, commerce, or agriculture.

         Phileas Fogg belonged to the Reform Club - and that was all. Should anyone express surprise that such a mysterious gentleman be numbered amongst the members of that distinguished society, it can be pointed out here that he was accepted on the recommendation of Messrs Baring Brothers, with whom he had an unlimited overdraft facility. His cheques were always paid on sight, and his account remained invariably in the black.

         Those who had the honour of knowing him a little better than most attested that, apart from the shortest route he took each day from his house to the Club, nobody could claim ever to have seen him anywhere else. His only pastimes were reading the newspapers and playing whist.

         Although not palatial, the house on Savile Row was remarkable for its level of comfort. Because of the regular habits of its occupant, the service was far from onerous.

         Nevertheless, Phileas Fogg demanded an extraordinary punctuality and reliability from his one servant.

         That very day, 2 October, he had given notice to James Forster: the fellow had made the mistake of bringing in his shaving-water at a temperature of 84 degrees F, rather than the statutory 86. Mr Fogg was even now expecting his successor, due to report between eleven and half past.

         Phileas Fogg sat in his armchair watching the hand moving on the clock: a complicated apparatus that showed the hours, minutes, seconds, days, dates, and years. In keeping with his daily habit, Mr Fogg was due to go to the Reform Club on the stroke of 11.30.

         A knock on the door of the morning-room. James Forster, the sacked servant, appeared.

         ‘The new valet,’ he announced.

         A man of about thirty came in and bowed.

         ‘You are French and called John?’

         ‘Jean, if sir pleases - Jean Passepartout, a nickname that was first applied due to my natural ability to get out of scrapes. I consider myself an honest fellow, sir, and I have had several occupations. I used to be a wandering singer and a circus rider. I was a trapeze artist and a tightrope-walker. Then I became a gymnastics instructor, and lastly I was a sergeant in the Paris Fire Brigade - I have some remarkable fires in my curriculum vitae.

         ‘But I left France five years ago. Wishing to try family life, I became a personal manservant in England.

         ‘Then, finding myself without a job, I heard that Mr Phileas Fogg was the most stay-at-home man in the whole of the United Kingdom. I presented myself at sir’s house in the hope of being able to live in peace and quiet and forget the very name of Passepartout . . .’

         ‘Passepartout suits me very well,’ said Mr Fogg. ‘and I have been excellent references on your account. Are you aware of my terms?’

         ‘Yes, sir.’

         ‘Very well, then. What time do you make it?’

         ‘Eleven twenty-two,’ replied Passepartout, pulling an enormous silver watch from his waistcoat pocket.

         ‘Your watch is slow.’

         ‘Pardon me, sir, but that’s impossible.’

         ‘You’re four minutes slow. It is of no consequence. What matters is to note the difference. So, starting from this moment, 11.29 a.m. on Wednesday, 2 October 1872, you are in my employ.’

         Whereupon Phileas Fogg got up and vanished. Passepartout heard the front door shut once: that was his new master going out; then a second time: his predecessor James Forster leaving in turn.

         During the short time of his interview, Passepartout had been examining his new master. He was about forty years old, with a fine and noble face, tall, and none the worse for a slight tendency to stoutness. He had fair hair and sideboards, a smooth forehead, a complexion that was pale rather than florid, and splendid teeth. This man seemed to possess to an exceptional degree what the physiognomists call ‘repose in action’, a quality of all those who produce more light than heat. Calm, phlegmatic, with clear eyes and a steady gaze, he was a consummate example of those self-possessed people encountered quite frequently in Britain.

         As for Passepartout, he had unruly brown hair, blue eyes, a ruddy complexion, and slightly sticking-out lips. He possessed a broad chest, a large frame, vigorous muscles, and Herculean strength.

         Passepartout found his bedroom on the second floor. An electric bell and speaking tubes communicated with the mezzanine and first floor apartments.

         ‘This is a piece of all right, suits me down to the ground, down to the ground!’ he said to himself.

          He spotted a card displayed above the clock. It was the schedule of his daily duties. From eight in the morning until midnight, when the methodical Mr Fogg went to bed, everything was noted, planned, regulated. Passepartout took great pleasure in contemplating this schedule and committing its various entries to memory.

         ‘Just what I need,’ he murmured. A home-loving and regular man. We’ll get on famously, Me Fogg and me.’


Phileas Fogg’s lunch consisted of an hors d’œuvre of steamed fish in a Reading Sauce of the highest quality, scarlet roast beef with mushrooms, rhubarb-and-gooseberry tart, and some Cheshire cheese - all washed down with a few cups of that excellent tea specially grown for the Reform Club.

         At 12.47 he moved into the drawing room. Reading The Times occupied him until 3.45, and the Standard until dinner. This meal took place in the same way as luncheon, but with the addition of Royal British Sauce.

         Half an hour later, various members of the Reform Club made their entrance and headed for the hearth, where a good coal fire was burning. These were Mr Phileas Fogg’s usual partners, like him fanatical whist players: the engineer Andrew Stuart, the bankers John Sullivan and Samuel Fallentin, the brewer Thomas Flanagan, and Gauthier Ralph, one of the governors of the Bank of England.

         ‘Well, Ralph,’ said Flanagan, ‘what’s the latest news on this robbery?’

         ‘The Bank won’t see its money again.’ volunteered Stuart.

         ‘I am confident, on the contrary, that we will soon be able to lay our hands on the thief.’maintained Gauthier Ralph.

         ‘But do we have the thief’s description?’ asked Stuart.

         ‘The Morning Chronicle assures us that he is a gentleman.’ The speaker was none other than Phileas Fogg, whose head now emerged from the sea of paper piled up around him.

         The robbery in question had taken place three days previously, on 29 September. A wad of notes amounting to the enormous sum of £55,000 had been taken from the desk of the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England.

         To those who expressed surprised that such a theft could be carried out so easily, Assistant Governor Gauthier Ralph merely replied that the Cashier was at that time occupied recording a receipt of 3s. 6d., and that one cannot keep one’s eyes on everything. The Bank of England had no choice but to pass £55,000 through its account of profits and losses.

         Once the theft had been properly recorded, detectives were sent to the main ports of Liverpool, Glasgow, Le Havre, Suez, Brindisi, New York, etc. They had been promised a reward of £2,000 plus 5 per cent of the sum recovered. The job of the detectives was to carefully observe everyone entering and leaving the country.

         Now, as the Morning Chronicle had pointed out, there was a good reason to believe that the thief did not belong to any of the known criminal gangs of England. During that same day, the 29th September, a well-dressed gentleman with good manners and a distinguished bearing had been noticed walking to and fro in the cash room where the theft took place.

         Enquiries had allowed a relatively accurate description of this gentleman to be produced, and it had been immediately sent to every detective in the United Kingdom and beyond. Some optimistic souls, Gauthier Ralph amongst them, consequently believed that the thief would find it difficult to escape.

         But Andrew Stuart was far from sharing his confidence. Accordingly the discussion continued at the whist table.

         ‘I maintain’, said Stuart, ‘that the odds are in favour of the thief, who is clearly an experienced operator.’

         ‘Come on!’ answered Ralph. ‘There’s not a single country left he can hide in.’

         ‘The world is big enough,’ Stuart persisted.

         ‘It used to be,’ Fogg said quietly.

         ‘What do you mean - “used to be”?’ Stuart demanded. ‘Has the Earth suddenly got smaller?’

         ‘Unquestionably it has.’ It was Ralph who responded. ‘The Earth has shrunk because it can be covered ten times as quickly now as a hundred years ago. In the case we are discussing, this will make the search faster.’

         ‘And the thief’s escape easier!’

         ‘Your turn to play, Mr Stuart,’ observed Fogg.

         The doubting Stuart was not convinced, and once the game was over he said, ‘You must admit, Ralph, that you have a funny way of saying the Earth has shrunk! Because you can now go round it in three months . . .’

         ‘Eighty days,’ interjected Fogg.

         ‘Eighty days,’confirmed Sullivan, ‘now they’ve opened the section of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway from Rothal to Allahabad. This is the calculation done by the Morning Chronicle:

London to Suez (by railway and steamship). . . . . . . . . .  7 days

Suez to Bombay (steamship). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 "

Bombay to Calcutta (railway). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3 "

Calcutta to Hong Kong (steamship). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13 "

Hong Kong to Yokohama (steamship). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 "

Yokohama to San Francisco (steamship). . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22 "

San Francisco to New York (railroad). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7 "

New York to London (steamship and railway). . . . . . . . . . .  9 "

______

                                                                                         Total. . . . .  80 days

 

         ‘Possibly 80 days!’ exclaimed Stuart, trumping a winner in his excitement. ‘But not allowing for unfavourable weather, head winds, shipwrecks, derailments, and so on.’

         ‘All included,’ said Fogg.

         ‘Even if Red Indians tear up the rails?’ cried Stuart. ‘Even if they stop the trains, plunder the carriages, and scalp the passengers?’

         ‘All included,’ repeated Fogg, laying down his cards. ‘Two winning trumps.’

         Andrew Stuart picked up the hands and started shuffling.

         ‘In theory you may be right, but in practice . . .’

         ‘In practice too, Mr Stuart.’

         ‘I would gladly wager £4,000.’ exclaimed Stuart, ‘that such a journey is simply not possible.’

         ‘On the contrary, perfectly possible,’ replied Fogg.

         ‘Well do it, then!’

         ‘All right!’

         ‘Starting when?’

         ‘Starting now.’

         ‘Very well, Mr Fogg. I’ll bet you £4,000 that you fail.’

         ‘My dear Stuart,’ said Fallentin, ‘steady on! You can’t be serious!’

         ‘When I say I’ll bet,’ answered Stuart, ‘it is always serious.’

         Fogg turned to his colleagues. ‘I have £20,000 in my account at Baring Brothers. I’ll be glad to venture that sum.’

         ‘Twenty thousand!’ cried Sullivan. ‘Twenty thousand pounds that you could lose through an unforeseen mishap!’

         ‘The unforeseen does not exist.’

         ‘But, Mr Fogg, this period of 80 days is merely the minimum it can be done in!’

         ‘A properly used minimum is enough.’

         ‘You must be joking!’

         ‘Like Mr Stuart, I never joke about anything as a bet. I hereby wager £20,000 that I will carry out the tour of the world in 80 days or less. Will you accept the bet?’

         A brief discussion - then, ‘We accept,’ replied Messrs Stuart, Fallentin, Sullivan, Flanagan, and Ralph.

         ‘Good. The boat-train leaves at 8.45. I’ll be on it.’

         Phileas Fogg consulted his pocket diary. ‘Since today is Wednesday, 2 October, I must be back in London, in this drawing-room of the Reform Club, at 8.45 p.m. on Saturday, 21 December, failing which the £20,000 presently deposited in my account at Baring Brothers will belong to you de facto and de jure. Here is a cheque for that amount, gentlemen.’


Episode 2

 

Which features much rapid movement, and considerable movement

 

At 7.25 Phileas Fogg, having won a good twenty guineas at whist, said goodbye to his honourable colleagues and left the Reform Club. At 7.50 he opened his front door and went in.

         ‘Passepartout.’

         The manservant appeared.

         ‘I had to call you twice.’

         ‘We’re leaving for Calais in ten minutes. We’re going round the world.’

         Passepartout showed all the signs of an astonishment verging on stupefaction.

         ‘Around the world?’

         ‘In 80 days. There is not a moment to lose!’

         ‘Well, I’ll be blowed! And me who was looking for the quiet life!’

         By eight o’clock, Passepartout had prepared a modest bag containing his own and his master’s wardrobes. Mr Fogg was ready. He was carrying under his arm Bradshaw’s Continental Railway, Steam Transit and General Guide. He took the bag from Passepartout, opened it, and dropped in a thick wad of those fine banknotes that are legal tender in all countries. He handed back the bag. ‘Take care of it - there’s £20,000 inside.’

         There was a cab-stand at the end of Savile Row. They got into a cab which headed quickly for Charing Cross Station. There Mr Fogg met his colleagues from the Reform Club.

         ‘Gentlemen, I am leaving. The various visas stamped on my passport will allow you to verify my journey when I come back.’

         ‘You haven’t forgotten when you need to be back?’ enquired Andrew Stuart.

         ‘In 80 days,’ answered Mr Fogg. ‘By Saturday, 21st December 1872, at 8.45 p.m. Till we meet again, gentlemen!’

         At exactly 8.45 a whistle sounded and the train pulled out. It had not got past Sydenham before Passepartout emitted a cry of despair.

         ‘What’s the matter?’

         ‘In my hurry . . . thinking about other things . . . I forgot . . .’

         ‘What?’

         ‘To turn off the gas in my bedroom!’

         ‘Well, my boy,’ said Mr Fogg coldly, ‘it’s burning at your expense!’

 

         When he left London, Phileas Fogg probably had no idea of the sensation his departure was going to produce. But the news of the wager spread through the Reform Club and generated considerable excitement amongst the members of that august circle. From the Club this agitation passed to the newspapers, and froms them papers to readers in the whole of the United Kingdom.

         The ‘Journey Round the World’ was discussed, commented on and analysed. Some people supported Phileas Fogg; others - who soon formed a significant majority - came out against. A trip around the world, to be carried out by a deadline, using the existing means of transport, was not only impossible, it was crazy!

         Things had reached this point, with Phileas Fogg’s supporters getting rarer and rarer, and everybody turning against him - not without reason. He could be backed at 150 - 1, then 200 - 1. Then, exactly a week after his departure, a completely unexpected development meant he wasn’t backed at all.

         At 9 p.m. on that day, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police received the following telegram:

 

To: Rowan, Commissioner, Scotland Yard, London.

Tailing bank-robber Phileas Fogg. Send arrest warrant soonest Bombay (British India).

Signed Fix, Detective Inspector, Suez.

 

         The effect of the telegram was considerable. The honourable gentleman vanished and his place was taken by the thief of the banknotes. Fogg’s photograph, available at the Reform Club with those of all his colleagues, was duly studied. Every feature appeared identical to those of the description produced by the police enquiries. People remembered how mysterious Phileas Fogg’s existence had been, his seclusion and his sudden departure; and it became evident that this character, inventing a journey around the world and maintaining the pretence with a wager, had had no other aim than to throw the British police off the scent.

         

         The telegram had been sent under the following circumstances. On Wednesday, 9th October, the liner Mongolia was due to arrive at Suez at eleven in the morning. The Mongolia plied regularly between Brindisi and Bombay via the Suez Canal. She was one of P. & O.’s quickest ships.

         While waiting for her arrival, two men were strolling along the quayside. One was the Consul of the United Kingdom in Suez. The other was a thin little man with an intelligent face, quick nervous movements and constantly knit eyebrows. Through his long lashes shone very bright eyes which, however, he was able to mask at will. This man was Inspector Fix, one of the policemen who had been sent to the various ports after the theft at the Bank of England. Fix was to keep the sharpest look-out on all travellers on the Suez route.

         Two days previously, Fix had received the description of the suspected thief from the Commissioner of Scotland Yard. This was the distinguished, well-dressed character who had been observed in the cash room of the Bank.

         ‘I really can’t see how you’ll be able to spot your man,’ said the Consul, ‘even if he is on board.’

         ‘People of that sort,’ replied Fix, ‘you scent rather than recognize. Flair is everything. It’s like a sixth sense: a combination of hearing, sight, and smell. I’ve arrested more than one of these gentlemen in my time. Provided that my thief is indeed on board, I can guarantee you that he will not slip through my fingers.’

         ‘Do you realize that according to the description this thief looks exactly like an honest man?’

         ‘With all due respect,’ answered the inspector, ‘great thieves always resemble honest men. Honest faces are the ones you’ve got to take a special look at.’

 

Soon the gigantic hull of the Mongolia came into sight, gliding along between the banks of the Canal. Eleven o’clock was striking when she dropped anchor. The Consul returned to his office, and Fix remained on the quay. There were quite a few passengers on board, most of whom got into the boats which went alongside. Fix remained everyone landing with the utmost care.

         One of the passengers came up to him, and asked very politely if Fix could tell him where he would find the British Consulate. At the same time he held out a passport, on which he undoubtedly wished to have a British visa stamped.

         Fix took the passport and quickly read the description. The document trembled in his hands. The description in the passport was identical to the one received from Scotland Yard.

         He looked at the passenger. ‘This isn’t your own passport?’

         ‘No, it’s my master’s.’

         ‘And where is he?’

         ‘Still on board.’

         ‘He will need to go to the Consulate in person.’

         ‘And where exactly is the Consulate?’

         ‘On the corner of the square,’ replied the inspector, pointing.

         The passenger prepared to return to the steamer, and Fix headed for the Consulate. He was ushered into the Consul’s office.

         ‘Sir, I have strong reasons for believing that our man is indeed on board the Mongolia.’ And he recounted what had happened.

         ‘Well, Inspector Fix, I would be interested to see the thief’s face. But I doubt whether he’ll come to my office if he’s the person you think he is. Thieves aren’t generally very keen to leave evidence of their movements behind them.’

         ‘Sir, if he is as cunning a man as I think, he’ll come!’

         At that moment the clerk brought in two men, one of them the very servant the detective had spoken to. With him was his master, who presented his passport. The Consul examined it, while from a corner of the office Inspector Fix observed, or rather devoured, the stranger.

         ‘Are you Mr Phileas Fogg?’ the Consul asked.

         ‘I am.’

         ‘Have you just arrived from London?’

         ‘Yes.’

         ‘Heading for . . . ?’

         ‘Bombay.’

         ‘Very good, sir. You know that we no longer require the presentation of passports and that stamping serves no purpose?’

         ‘I do. But I wish to use your stamp to prove I have passed through Suez.’

         ‘Very well, sir.’ And the Consul signed, dated, and stamped the passport. Mr Fogg paid, raised his hat and left the office, followed by his servant.

         ‘Well?’ asked the inspector.

         ‘Well, he seems perfectly honest!’

         ‘This is hardly the point. Did you not find that this phlegmatic gentleman is the spitting image of the thief whose description I have?’

         ‘Quite possibly, but, as you know, all descriptions . . .’

         ‘I need to be sure,’ continued Fix.‘ The servant seems less enigmatic than the master. French, as well - he won’t be able to keep his mouth shut. Till we meet again, sir.’

         Meanwhile Mr Fogg had returned to the Mongolia where he took lunch in his cabin. As for seeing the town, he did not even think of it, being of that breed of Britons who have their servants do their sightseeing for them.

 

Inspector Fix caught up with Passepartout on the quayside.

         ‘Well, my friend, is your passport now stamped?’

         ‘Oh! It’s you, sir. Much obliged. Our papers are perfectly in order.’

         ‘And are you seeing the sights?’

         ‘Yes, but we’re doing everything so quickly that I seem to be travelling in a dream. I must make sure I don’t miss the boat.’

         ‘You’ve got plenty of time, it’s not yet twelve o’clock.’

         Passepartout fished out his enormous watch.

         ‘Twelve? Come on, it’s only 9.52!’

         ‘Your watch must be slow.’

         ‘It can’t be - is a family heirloom. It never loses more than five minutes a year.’

         ‘I know what’s happened. You’ve stayed on London time, which is about two hours behind Suez. You need to remember to adjust your watch in each new country.’

         ‘Me? Touch my watch? Not a chance!’

         ‘Well, it won’t agree with the sun, then.’

         ‘So much the worse for the sun, sir! And the honest fellow put the watch back in its fob with a proud gesture.

         ‘So you left London in a real hurry?’ Fix continued.

         ‘I should say so! Last Wednesday, Mr Fogg came back from the club at eight in the evening - and we left three-quarters of an hour later.’

         ‘Where’s he going?’

         ‘Round the world.’

         ‘Round the world!’

         ‘Yes, in 80 days! A bet, says he. But just between the two of us, I don’t believe a word of it. There must be something else involved.’

         ‘An eccentric, is he, this Mr Fogg?’

         ‘So it would seem.’

         ‘And wealthy?’ Fix asked.

         ‘Obviously. He’s brought a nice little packet with him, in crisp new notes. And he doesn’t mind spending it, either. He’s promised the chief engineer of the Mongolia a handsome reward if we get to Bombay ahead of time!’

         ‘Have you known your master for long?’

         ‘For long? I only entered his service on the day we left!’

         Everything confirmed Fix’s preconceptions: the hurried departure from London soon after the theft, the large sum being carried, the urge to travel to faraway countries, the excuse of an eccentric bet.

 

‘Sir,’ he said to the Consul, at their next meeting, I’ve got my man. He’s pretending to be an eccentric trying to do a trip around the world in 80 days. I’m going to send a wire to London telling them to immediately send a warrant for his arrest to Bombay. Then I’ll board the Mongolia and tail him as far as India. There, on British soil, I’ll politely accost him, with the warrant in one hand, and the other on his shoulder!’

 

The Mongolia was soon moving fast so as to be ahead of the regulation time. Fix made it his business to renew his acquaintance with Passepartout. He explained his presence on board by claiming that he worked for P. & O. Thereafter he worked assiduously to win the confidence of Mr Fogg’s manservant.

                   As for Fogg - he played whist. Yes, he had found partners as fanatical as himself: a tax collector heading for Goa, a minister returning to Bombay, and Sir Francis Cromarty, a Brigadier-General returning to his command at Benares.

                   On Sunday, 20 October, at midday, the Indian coast was sighted. Two hours later a pilot climbed on board, and at 4.30 the Mongolia drew up alongside Bombay quay, two days ahead of schedule, a fact which Mr Fogg duly inscribed in the profits column of his schedule.

                   The train to Calcutta was due to leave at 8 p.m.


Episode 3


In which the resourcefulness of the intrepid travellers is tested to the full

 The Mongolia’s passengers landed at Bombay at 4.30, and the Calcutta train was leaving at eight sharp. Mr Fogg left the steamer, told his servant exactly what shopping to do and gave strict instructions to be at the station by eight o’clock. Then he headed for the Passport Office.

         After having his passport stamped, he went to the station and there ordered dinner. The head waiter ventured to recommend a certain ‘local rabbit’ casserole.

         Mr Fogg found it detestable. He called the head waiter over.

         Garçon, do you call that rabbit?’

         ‘Yes, my lord - jungle rabbit.’

         ‘Are you sure this rabbit didn’t miaow when it was killed?’

         ‘Miaow? A rabbit? Your excellency, I swear . . .’

         ‘My good man, do not swear. Simply remember this: Indian cats used to be considered sacred animals. That was in the good old days.’

         ‘For cats, my lord?’

         ‘For travellers too!’


Inspector Fix had rushed off to see the Commissioner of Police in Bombay. He presented his credentials as a detective and explained his mission. Had an arrest warrant arrived from London?

          Nothing had been received. Fix was put out. He tried to persuade the Commissioner to give him a warrant for Mr Fogg’s arrest. The Commissioner refused. The case was a matter for the Metropolitan Police, who alone could by law issue a warrant.

         Fix understood that he had to resign himself to waiting. From his conversations with Passepartout he knew where Fogg was heading and decided to follow him. He requested that, if the arrest warrant arrived from London, it should be forwarded to him in Calcutta, and then headed for the station, determined to complete the next stage of the journey without allowing his quarry to become aware of his presence.

 

The train left on time. Passepartout was in the same compartment as his master. In the opposite corner sat Sir Francis Cromarty, one of Mr Fogg’s whist partners from Suez to Bombay.  An hour out of Bombay the train passed over viaducts, crossed Salsette Island and reached the mainland. After Pawule Station, it headed off into the Western Ghats, ranges whose highest summits are covered with thick forests. During the night the train crossed the Ghats, and the following day, 21 October, dashed across the State of Khandesh, then crossed the gloomy region so often drenched in blood by the disciples of the goddess Kali.

 

At seven the following morning, Passepartout consulted his watch in response to a question from Sir Francis Cromarty and replied that it was three in the morning. And indeed this wonderful watch was, quite logically, four hours slow, being set to the Greenwich meridian, nearly 77 degrees further west.

         Sir Francis tried to make him realize that he had to adjust to each new meridian. Since he was constantly travelling eastwards, towards the sun, each time a degree was covered the day lost four minutes. It was no use. Whether or not the stubborn fellow understood, he obstinately refused to put his watch forward.

         At 8 a.m. the train stopped in the middle of a vast jungle clearing bordered by a few bungalows and workers’ huts. The guard walked along the track, shouting, ‘All change! All change!’

         Phileas Fogg looked at Sir Francis Cromarty, who seemed nonplussed by this halt.

         Passepartout dashed out on to the track, and came back almost immediately, exclaiming, ‘Sir, no railway!’

         The Brigadier-General immediately left the carriage. Phileas Fogg followed him. The two men approached the guard.

         ‘Where are we?’ asked Sir Francis.

         ‘At the village of Kholby.’

         ‘Are we stopping here?’

         ‘We have to. The railway isn’t finished yet.’

         ‘What? Not finished!’

         ‘No, there is still fifty miles to be completed between here and Allahabad, where the track starts up again.’

         ‘But the newspapers said the railway was open right through.’

         ‘The newspapers were wrong.’

         Sir Francis Cromarty was beginning to boil. ‘But you sold us tickets from Bombay to Calcutta!’

         ‘Yes, but passengers are well aware that they have to get themselves from Kholby to Allahabad.’

         ‘Sir Francis,’ said Mr Fogg, ‘we shall have to consider, with your help, how to get to Allahabad.’

         ‘Mr Fogg, this delay has completely ruined your expedition.’

         ‘No, Sir Francis. My plans anticipated....’

         ‘What, you knew that the track . . .’

         ‘Not at all. But I knew that some sort of obstacle would appear sooner or later. There is no harm done. I have two days in hand, thanks to the speed with which the Mongolia reached Bombay. The steamer leaves Calcutta for Hong Kong at midday on 25. Today is only 22, so we may yet arrive in Calcutta on time.’

         It was only too true that most travellers knew about the break in the track, and Inspector Fix had acquired the information at an early stage in the journey. He was among the first of those who had left the train, commandeered all the various vehicles available at Kholby, and continued on their way. Accordingly, although they searched the village high and low, Mr Fogg and Sir Francis returned empty-handed.

         At this moment Passepartout appeared.‘Sir, I think I’ve found a means of transport.’

         ‘What is it?’

         ‘An elephant.’

         He led his master and Sir Francis to a hut adjoining an enclosure. In the hut was an Indian, in the enclosure an elephant. Kiouni - for this was his name - was, like the rest of his species, able to move quickly for long periods. Since he lacked any other transportatiom, Mr Fogg asked the Indian if he wanted to sell his elephant. The Indian refused pointed blank.

         Mr Fogg, offered him £1,000. The Indian rejected the deal. Mr Fogg offered £1,200, then £1,500, then £1,800. At £2,000 the Indian gave in. Mr Fogg paid him in banknotes from his famous bag.

          It only remained to find a guide. This proved easier. A bright-looking young Parsee offered his services. Mr Fogg accepted, and promised him a high rate of pay, which could only increase his intelligence!

         The Parsee was experienced in the profession of ‘mahout’ (or elephant-keeper). He covered the elephant’s back with a sort of saddle-cloth and arranged a ‘howdah’, or litter, on each side of its body. Mr Fogg then offered Sir Francis a ride to Allahabad Station.

         Food and drink were bought in the village. Sir Francis took his seat in one litters, and Mr Fogg in the other. Passepartout sat astride the saddle-cloth between the two of them, and the Parsee perched himself on the elephant’s neck.

         At nine o’clock the animal left the village and thrust its way into the forest. Mr Fogg and Sir Francis, buried up to their necks in the litters, were shaken around by its stiff trot. They endured the situation with the most British imperturbability. As for Passepartout, he received the full force of every jolt. He was thrown back and forth between the neck and rump of the elephant. But he joked and laughed and from time to time pulled a sugar lump out of his bag, that the intelligent Kiouni took with the end of his trunk, without for a moment interrupting his regular trot.

         At 8 p.m. the travellers halted in front of a ruined bungalow. The distance covered that day was about twenty-five miles, the same as the distance to be covered to Allahabad Station.

         The night was cold, so the Parsee lit a fire. Dinner consisted of the food bought at Kholby, which the travellers ate in a worn-out and black-and-blue state. Conversation began with a few disjointed sentences, but soon finished up with loud snores. The guide stood watch near Kiouni, who slept standing up, leaning against the trunk of a big tree.

         At 6 a.m. the march was resumed. At about midday Allahabad Station was only twelve miles north-east. A halt was made beneath a clump of banana trees, and they much appreciated their fruit which, according to travellers, has the‘ nourishment of bread and the succulence of cream’.

         At two o’clock the guide headed into the cover of a dense forest, through which they were going to travel for several miles. Nothing untoward had happened so far; and the journey seemed about to finish without incident - when the elephant suddenly stopped dead, showing signs of uneasiness.

         ‘What’s the matter?’ asked Sir Francis.

         ‘I don’t know, esteemed sir,’ replied the Parsee, tuning his ears to a confused murmur coming out of the dense foliage. Moments later, the murmur became more distinct. It might have been a concert of human voices and brass instruments, although still a long way off.

         The Parsee jumped down, tied the elephant to a tree and worked his way under the thickest undergrowth. Minutes later he was back.

         ‘A procession of Brahmins heading our way. We should try to keep out of sight.’

         He untied the elephant and led it into a copse, requesting the travellers not to get down. He himself stood ready to mount the animal quickly if flight seemed necessary.

         The noise was coming closer. Chanting mingled with the sounds of drums and cymbals. Soon the head of the procession appeared under the trees, about fifty yards away.

         In the first line were priests in long embroidered robes, wearing mitres. They were surrounded by men, women, and children chanting a sort of dirge, interrupted at regular intervals by the sounds of tam-tams and cymbals. Behind them came a carriage drawn by two pairs of richly caparisoned zebus. The spokes of the vast wheels were shaped like interlaced snakes. On the carriage was a hideous statue. It had four arms, the body was deep red, the eyes wild, the hair tousled, the tongue lolling, the lips coloured with henna and betel. Around its neck was draped a garland of death’s heads, and on its waist, a girdle of severed hands. The figure was standing over a prostrate giant, whose head was missing.

         ‘Kali,’ Sir Francis murmured, ‘the goddess of love and death.’

         Behind the statue, a group of Brahmins were dragging a young woman hardly able to stand!

         Her head, neck, shoulders, ears, arms, fingers, and toes, were laden with jewelled necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. A tunic of gold lamé, covered with thin muslin, revealed the curves of her waist.

         Behind her, guards armed with sabres and pistols were carrying a corpse on a palanquin. This was the body of an old man, dressed in the rich raiments of a rajah. He wore a turban embroidered with pearls, robes of silk and gold, a belt of diamond-studded cashmere, and the magnificent weapons of an Indian prince.

         Musicians and a rearguard of fanatics, their cries sometimes drowning the deafening crash of the instruments, closed the cortège.

         Sir Francis turned to the guide.

         ‘A suttee!’ he exclaimed.

         The Parsee nodded.

         The long procession slowly wound its way through the trees, and disappeared into the depths of the forest.

         ‘A suttee?’ Phileas Fogg asked the Brigadier-General.

         ‘A suttee is a human sacrifice. The woman you have just seen will be burned at daybreak.’

         ‘Oh, the bastards!’ cried Passepartout.

         ‘And the body?’ enquired Mr Fogg.

         ‘The prince, her husband,’ answered the guide, ‘One of the independent rajahs of Bundelkhand.’

         ‘Can it be?’ said Phileas Fogg, ‘that these barbaric customs survive in India?’

         ‘The poor woman,’ murmured Passepartout: ‘Burned alive!’

         ‘Sometimes,’ the Brigadier-General observed, ‘the sacrifice is voluntary.’

         The guide shook his head.‘ The sacrifice to take place at dawn tomorrow is not a voluntary one.’

         ‘How do you know?’

         ‘It’s a story everyone in Bundelkhand knows.’

         ‘But the poor woman didn’t seem to be offering any resistance!’ said Sir Francis.

         ‘That is because she is drugged with opium and hashish fumes.’

         ‘Where are they taking her?’

         ‘Pillagi Pagoda, two miles from here. She’ll spend the night there until the sacrifice.’

         ‘Which will happen . . .’

         ‘At first light.’

         Mr Fogg turned to Sir Franc. ‘What about saving this woman?’

         ‘Saving her , Mr Fogg?’ 

         ‘I’m still twelve hours ahead of my timetable. This could be a way of putting them to good use.’

         ‘I say - you do have a heart!’

         ‘Yes, when I have the time.’


Episode 4


In which much is ventured in a brave attempt to save a beautiful woman from the forces of darkness.


Mr Fogg found staunch support in Sir Francis Cromarty. Passepartout was also ready for anything. That left the guide: what side would he be on?

         Cromarty put the question in frank terms.

         ‘Sir,’ he guide answered, ‘I am a Parsee, and this woman is a Parsee. If you intend to save her, I’m at your orders.’

         ‘Good man,’ said Mr Fogg.

         The guide then gave them a few particulars about the victim. She was an Indian of celebrated beauty, the daughter of a rich Bombay merchant. She had received a thoroughly British education in Bombay. Her name was Aouda.

         Left an orphan, she had been married against her will to the old Bundelkhandi rajah. Three months later she had become a widow. Knowing the traditional fate that awaited her (death by burning, on her husband’s funeral pyre), she escaped, but was immediately recaptured by the Rajah’s relatives, who had an interest in her death.

         This tale could only strengthen Mr Fogg and his companions in their generous resolve. It was decided that the guide should take the elephant towards Pillagi Pagoda, and get as near as possible.

         Half an hour later a halt was made in a copse about five hundred yards from the pagoda, and out of sight from it, although the fanatics’ shouting could clearly be heard. The elephant was securely tethered and the party waited for the night.

         As soon as the shadows fell, at about six o’clock, they decided to reconnoitre the area round the pagoda. The last cries of the fakirs were dying down. As was their custom, these Indians were lost in a haze of liquid opium mixed with an infusion of hashish, and it was perhaps possible to slip through them and reach the temple.

         After ten minutes of crawling through the undergrowth they arrived at a stream, and there, by the light of iron torches covered in burning resin, they saw a huge pile of wood. This was the funeral pyre, precious sandalwood already impregnated with perfumed oil. On top lay the embalmed body of the Rajah. A hundred yards away stood the pagoda.

         ‘Come,’ whispered the guide. With the utmost caution he slid silently through the tall grass, followed by his three companions. The only sound was the murmuring of the wind in the branches of the tree.

         The guide stopped at the edge of a clearing. A few resin torches provided light. The ground was strewn with groups of sleepers, overcome by their excesses. It was like a battlefield strewn with corpses.

         To the guide’s great disappointment, however, the royal guards, with drawn sabres, were still keeping watch on the door of the Pagoda, which was lit by torches. Priests were probably keeping watch inside as well.

         The guard went no further. He realized that it was impossible to force entry into the temple, and so led his companions further back into the shelter of the forest. There they waited until midnight, but the situation did not change: the guards did not relax, and the Pagoda remained impregnable.

         It would be difficult to describe the disappointment of the four. If they couldn’t get to the victim, how could they save her?

         ‘Is there nothing we can do but leave?’ whispered the Brigadier-General.

         ‘There is nothing we can do but leave,’ confirmed the guide.

         ‘Wait!’ said Fogg. ‘There’s no hurry. I don’t have to be in Allahabad until midday.’

         ‘But what can you hope for?’ asked Sir Francis.

         ‘Luck is against us for the moment.’ said Fogg, ‘but it may change.’

         Meanwhile Passepartout, perched on one of the lowest branches of a tree, was mulling over an idea that had flashed through his mind like lightning, and had then lodged itself immovably in his brain. Supple as a snake, he slithered along his branch, which bowed down almost to the ground...


         The hours went by, and soon a few lighter streaks in the eastern sky announced the approach of daybreak.

         This was the moment. It was as though a resurrection had taken place in the sleeping crowd. The unconscious groups came to life; the sounds of the tam-tam rang out, and chants and cries burst forth again.

         The doors of the Pagoda opened and a bright light flooded out. Mr Fogg and Sir Francis were able to see the victim: she was being dragged out by two priests. It even seemed that, shaking off the stupor of intoxication through supreme self-preservation, the unfortunate woman was trying to escape from her executioners - but all in vain.

         The crowd started to move forward. The young woman had collapsed back into the stupor produced by the hashish fumes. She passed through the ranks of the fakirs, who escorted her while maintaining their religious intoning.

         Under cover of the gloom that still prevailed, Phileas Fogg and his companions joined up with the last ranks of the crowd, and followed.

         Two minutes later they arrived at the edge of the stream, and stopped less than fifty yards from the funeral pyre where the Rajah’s body was lying. In the half-light they saw the young woman, absolutely motionless, stretched out beside the body of her husband.

         Next a torch was brought forward. The wood, soaked with oil, caught fire straightaway. His companions had to hold Phileas Fogg back, for in a moment of selfless madness he was thrusting himself towards the pyre.

         Fogg had already pushed them aside, when the scene abruptly changed. A cry of terror arose. The entire crowd threw themselves to the ground, petrified.

         Was the old Rajah not dead after all? For he was suddenly seen to stand erect! Was he a ghost? Then he took the young woman in his arms and, spectre-like, climbed down from the pyre through the swirling smoke. The fakirs, the guards, and the priests, in the grip of a sudden terror, lay face down, not daring to contemplate this ... this miracle!

         In the strong arms of the figure bearing her, the inanimate figure of the victim appeared almost weightless. Mr Fogg and Sir Francis had remained standing, while the Parsee guide bowed his head, and Passepartout was doubtless just as flabbergasted . . .

         ‘Let’s move!’ said a familiar voice.

         It was Passepartout himself who had crept to the pyre in the midst of the thick smoke! It was Passepartout who had snatched the young woman from the jaws of death!

         A moment later the four men and their prize had disappeared into the forest, and soon after the elephant carrying them away at a rapid trot. But shouts, cries, and then a bullet-hole in Mr Fogg’s hat told them that their ruse had been discovered. However the kidnappers were moving too fast, and a few moments later were out of range of arrows and bullets.


         An hour later Passepartout was still chuckling at his triumph. Brigadier-General Sir Francis Cromarty had shaken the brave fellow’s hand, and his master had said, ‘Well done!’ - which from Mr Fogg was praise indeed. As for the young Indian woman, she was not conscious of what had happened. Wrapped up in travelling rugs, she was resting in one of the howdahs, as the elephant, guided with great skill by the young Parsee, was moving very quickly through the still dark forest. An hour after it was crossing an immense plain, and at seven o’clock a halt was called.

         Although the Brigadier-General had no doubt about the young woman’s immediate recovery, he was more worried about her future. He did not hesitate to tell Mr Fogg that if Mrs Aouda remained in India, she would inevitably fall into the hands of her executioners. Phileas Fogg replied that he would look into the matter.

         At about ten, the guide said they were getting near Allahabad Station. The railway line started up again there, with trains going from Allahabad to Calcutta in less than 24 hours. Fogg would therefore arrive in time for the boat for Hong Kong, due to leave at noon the following day, 25 October.

         At the station, a room was put at the disposal of Mrs Aouda, who was now recovering from her ordeal. She proved to be a most beautiful and charming young lady, who spoke excellent English. Passepartout was sent on a shopping expedition, and returned with an ensemble of travelling clothes for her: a dress of Scottish material, a huge clock and a pelisse of otter fur.

         While he was away, Mr Fogg had paid the Parsee his wages and presented him with the elephant.

         The young man’s eyes shone. ‘Your honour is giving me a fortune.’ he said.

         ‘Take it,’ said Mr Fogg, ‘and I will still be in your debt!’


Not long afterwards Fogg, Sir Francis and Passepartout settled into a comfortable compartment, in which Mrs Aouda occupied the best seat, and the train left for Calcutta via Benares.

         The Brigadier-General told Mrs Aouda exactly what had happened that morning. He emphasized the devotion shown by Phileas Fogg, who had not hesitated to risk his life to save her, as well as the daring imagination of Passepartout during the finale of the adventure. Mrs Aouda thanked her saviours effusively. Her beautiful eyes expressed this gratitude much more than her lips. Then her thoughts carried her back to the scenes of the ‘suttee’, her eyes refocused on this land of India where so many dangers still lay in wait for her; and she was overcome with shudders of terror.

         Phileas Fogg realized what was passing through her mind. He offered to take her to Hong Kong, where she could stay until the affair blew over. Mrs Aouda accepted the offer with gratitude, as one of her relatives in fact lived in Hong Kong: a Parsee like herself, and one of the most important businessmen of the city.

         At half past twelve the train stopped at Benares, where Sir Francis said farewell, and got off. The troops he was joining were encamped a few miles to the north of the city. The others travelled on, for the rest of the day and all through the night.

         They finally reached Calcutta at seven in the morning. The steamship for Hong Kong was not due to weigh anchor until twelve. According to Mr Fogg’s programme, he was scheduled to arrive at Calcutta on 25 October, and so he had. The two days he had gained between London and Bombay had unfortunately been lost during this crossing of the Indian peninsula. But we may reasonably assume that Phileas Fogg did not regret them.


Passepartout left the compartment first, followed by Mr Fogg, who helped his young companion out on to the platform. From the shadows of an archway, a pair of sharp eye watched them closely. It was Inspector Fix. He had arrived in Calcutta the previous day, and became most upset when he discovered that he had become separated from his quarry. Consequently he had mounted watch at the station whenever a train was due in from Alahabad, and his relief was palpable when he could once again feast his eyes on Mr Fogg.

         However, that was the only thing he had to be thankful for. A visit to the Calcutta Police Headquarters had confirmed that the longed-for arrest warrant had still not caught up with him; which meant that he must resign himself to a further extension of his pilgrimage.

         By now Mr Fogg’s party had boarded a palki-gharrie, a sort of four-wheeled carriage drawn by a pair of horses. It set off and Inspector Fix trotted along behind. He was pretty certain that this stage of the journey would not take long. He was right. The palkie-gharrie arrived at the docks and stopped at one of the quays.

         The Rangoon, bound for Hong Kong, lay at anchor half a mile out, her departure flag hoisted at the top of the mast. Eleven o’clock was striking. Mr Fogg was an hour early, as the inspector watched him leave the carriage and get into a boat, together with his companion and his servant.


Episode 5


In which all concerned fall victim to various vicissitudes of the most extreme sort.


         During the first few days of the crossing from Calcutta to Hong Kong, Mrs Aouda started to get to know Phileas Fogg better. She showed him deep gratitude at all times. For his part, he was unfailingly polite, but with the grace and spontaneity of an automaton. Mrs Aouda hardly knew what to think, but Passepartout tried to enlighten her on his master’s eccentric character.

         Meanwhile, what was Inspector Fix doing? Convinced that Phileas Fogg was the notorious ‘Bank of England’robber, he had given instructions to the Calcutta police that the arrest warrant he head requested from London be sent on to him in Hong Kong. He had then managed to embark on the Rangoon without being spotted by Passepartout, and he hoped to remain concealed until the steamer docked.

         Hong Kong would be the last British territory encountered on the route round the world. Beyond, China, Japan and America offered Fogg a virtually secure refuge: a mere warrant wouldn’t be enough - an extradition order would be necessary. If the police operation failed in Hong Kong, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to start again with any chance of success.

         Mrs Aouda’s presence in Phileas Fogg’s company also give him food for thought. Who was this woman? What circumstances had made her Fogg’s companion? He wondered if there mightn’t be some element of abduction in this affair. If so, he might easily be able to create problems for the kidnapper in Hong Kong.

         He decided to come out or hiding and question Passepartout. Accordingly, he went up on deck. Passepartout was strolling near the bows when the inspector suddenly rushed up, exclaiming: ‘It’s you! Here! On the Rangoon!’

         ‘Mr Fix!’ replied Passepartout. ‘I left you in Bombay, and I find you again on the way to Hong Kong? Are you travelling round the world as well?’

         ‘No, no, no. ‘I’m planning to stop at Hong Kong - at least for a few days. And how is your master, Mr Fogg?’

         ‘In perfect health - and we also have a young lady with us.’

         ‘A young lady?’

         Passepartout had soon recounted the tale of the suttee and the rescue of Aouda.

         ‘Does your master intend to take this young lady to Europe?’

         ‘No, Mr Fix. We are simply going to entrust her to one of her relatives, the Hon. Jejeeh, a rich merchant in Hong Kong.’

         Nothing doing there, muttered the detective to himself, hiding his disappointment. ‘How about a glass of gin, Mr Passepartout?’

         ‘With pleasure, Mr Fix.’

 From that day onwards, Passepartout began to reflect very seriously about the remarkable coincidence that once again Fix was following his master’s route.

His interpretation was very plausible.

         ‘It’s so obvious!’ he exclaimed. ‘He’s a spy that the gentlemen of the Reform Club have sent to make sure that the journey round the world is properly completed! But it’s not right! Sending someone to spy on Mr Fogg! And him so honest and upstanding!’

         But he resolved to say nothing about it to his master for fear that he might be offended by the suspicions of the those who had bet against him.

         During the 3rd November a storm blew up. The Rangoon had to heave to for half a day. Speed was considerably reduced, and it could be calculated that they would arrive at Hong Kong twenty hours behind schedule - or even more if the storm didn’t abate. A loss of twenty hours could put Mr Fogg’s whole journey in danger by making him miss the Yokohama steamship which connected with the vessel on which he had hoped to travel to San Francisco.

         Fix welcomed the delay. It meant that Mr Fogg would have to remain in Hong Kong for some days, awaiting the next boat. During this time the arrest warrant might well arrived! Fix felt ill, but that didn’t matter. Each time his body was doubled up with seasickness, his mind was rejoicing with an immense satisfaction.

         On the 4th November the state of the sea changed. The wind shifted two points round to the south and became favourable once more and the Rangoon continued on its route at a fine speed.

         However, not all the lost time could be regained and ‘Land ahoy!’ was heard only at 5 a.m. on the 6th. Phileas Fogg’s programme indicated the departure of the Yokohama steamship as the 5th.

         At six o’clock the pilot climbed on board. But although Passepartout didn’t dare question the pilot, Mr Fogg consulted his Bradshaw, and then asked him if he knew when the next boat for Yokohama was leaving.

         ‘Tomorrow, on the morning tide.’

         ‘And what is the name of this steamer?’ asked Mr Fogg.

         ‘The Carnatic.’

         ‘Was she not due to sail yesterday?’

         ‘Yes sir, but they had to repair one of the boilers. So the departure was put off until tomorrow.’ On this occasion luck had wonderfully served Phileas Fogg, it had to be admitted.

         At one o’clock the Rangoon was at the quayside and the passengers were going ashore.

         Since the Carnatic was not due to leave until 5.00 the following morning, Mr Fogg had sixteen hours ahead of him to deal with his business, or rather Mrs Aouda’s. A suite was reserved for the young woman at a hotel, and he saw to it that she had everything she might need. Then he told her that he was going to seek out the relative whose care he was planning to entrust her.

         He drove to the Stock Exchange. There they would certainly know the Hon. Jejeeh, who was one of the richest businessmen in town.

         The broker Mr Fogg introduced himself to did indeed know the Parsee merchant, but revealed that the Hon. Jejeeh had not been living in Hong Kong for the last two years. Having made his fortune, he had settled in Europe.

         Phileas Fogg returned to the hotel and broke the news to Mrs Aouda.

         ‘What am I to do, Mr Fogg?’

         ‘Come back with us to Europe.’

         ‘But I cannot abuse your . . .’

         ‘You’re not abusing, and your presence doesn’t slow my programme down one bit. . . . Passepartout?’

         ‘Sir?’

         ‘Go to the Carnatic and book three cabins.’

 

         Passepartout headed for the quay the Camatic was due to sail from. He spotted Fix there. The inspector’s face showed signs of terrible disappointment.

         ‘Good! said Passepartout to himself, ‘Everything is working out badly for the gentleman of the Reform Club!’

         He greeted Fix with his joyous smile, ‘Well, Mr Fix, have you decided to come with us to America?’

         ‘Yes,’ replied Fix through gritted teeth.

         ‘Come, come!’ cried Passepartout, with peals of laughter. ‘I knew you wouldn’t be able to bear splitting up from us. Let’s go and book your passage!’

         And the two of them went into the shipping office and made the necessary bookings. The clerk informed them that since the repairs to the Carnatic were now finished, the steamship was leaving at eight o’clock that very evening, and not the following morning as had previously been announced.

         ‘Perfect!’ said Passepartout. ‘My master will be delighted. I’ll go and tell him.’

         At this moment Fix decided on an extreme course of action. On leaving the office, he offered his companion a drink. As Passepartout had plenty of time, he accepted.

         There was a tavern on the quayside, so the two of them headed for it. They found a huge, finely-decorated room, at the end of which was a vest sort of camp-bed, equipped with cushions, on which there was several people were sleeping. About thirty customers were sitting at small tables, downing pints of British beer, or flagons of spirits. Most were also smoking long pipes of red clay, filled with small pellets of opium mixed with attar of roses.

         From time to time, a smoker would slide under the table. The waiters, taking him by his head and feet, would then carry him to the camp-bed, and lay him down on it. A number of inebriates were already laid out side by side, totally incapacitated.

         Two bottles of port were ordered, to which the Frenchman did full justice, while Fix, more restrained, observed him with keen attention. They chatted about this and that, and eventually a reference was made to forthcoming trip on the Carnatic. Reminded that the departure had been brought forward, Passepartout got up and prepared to go and tell his master, since the bottles were empty.

         ‘A moment please,’ said Fix

         ‘What is it, Mr Fix?’

         ‘ Have another drink,’ said Fix, and ordered another bottle.

         Passepartout felt himself more and more overcome by the alcohol, but Fix was determined to finish him off. On the table were a few pipes of opium. Fix pushed one into Passepartout’s hand. The Frenchman lifted it to his lips, lit it, took a few puffs and then slumped, his head weighed down by the narcotic.

         ‘So,’ reflected Inspector Fix, ‘Mr Fogg will not be told about the Carnatic’s departure!’ 


         In the morning, Passepartout failed to arrive when Mr Fogg rang. What he thought on learning that his servant hadn’t come back to the hotel, nobody could have said. Mr Fogg merely picked up his bag, sent word to Mrs Aouda and ordered a palanquin. It was eight o’clock.

         Half an hour later the travellers were at the quayside - and learned that the Carnatic had left the night before. At that moment a person who had been watching Mr Fogg closely came up. It was Inspector Fix, who now greeted Mr Fogg.

         ‘Are you not in the same situation as myself, sir? Weren’t you a passenger on the Rangoon?’

         ‘Yes,’ replied Mr Fogg coldly, ‘but I do not believe that I have had the honour . . .’

         Fix hastened to introduce himself. ‘Pray pardon the question,’ he continued, ‘but were you planning to catch this the Camatic?’

         ‘We were.’

         ‘So was I, and I feel very disappointed,’ said Fix. ‘The Carnatic left Hong Kong twelve hours early without telling anybody - and now we have to wait a whole week for the next ship!’

         As he spoke, Fix felt his heart leaping with joy. One can therefore imagine the stunning blow when he received when he heard Phileas Fogg say, in his usual calm voice, ‘But it seems to me there are other ships in Hong Kong harbour!’

         Mr Fogg offered his arm to Mrs Aouda and headed for the docks. A flabbergasted Fix followed. It was as if he was attached to this man by a cord.

         For three hours Fogg worked his way around the port without success. Hope began to return to Fix. Then a sailor accosted him on the Outer Harbour.

         ‘Is Your Honour looking for a boat?’

         ‘Do you have one ready to sail?’

         ‘Yes, Your Honour. Pilot boat No. 41, the best in the fleet.’

         ‘Is she fast?’

         ‘Eight to nine knots, near enough.’

         ‘Will you take me to Yokohama?’

         ‘Your Honour must be joking?’

         ‘No. I missed the Carnatic, and must be in Yokohama by the 14th, in time for the San Francisco steamship. I’ll pay £100 per day, and a reward of £200 if I arrive on time.’

         ‘Are you in earnest?’

         ‘Deadly.’

         ‘Your Honour. I cannot risk a long crossing at this time of the year in a boat of scarcely twenty tons. But I could take you to Shanghai.’

         ‘Are you certain?’

         ‘Yes.’

         ‘And when does it leave Shanghai?’

         ‘At 7 p.m. on the 11th. We’ve got four days. We can cover the 800 miles to Shanghai - if we are lucky with the weather.’

         ‘And when could you leave?’

         ‘In an hour.’

         ‘Very well. Are you the skipper?’

         ‘Yes. John Bunsby of the Tankadère.’

         ‘Here is £200 on account, captain. Mr Fix,’ he added, ‘if you would care to avail yourself . . .?’

         ‘Sir,’ Fix replied, ‘I was just going to ask you this favour.’

         ‘Good,’ said Fogg. ‘On board in half an hour!’


Episode 6


By sunrise the following day, the schooner had covered more than 100 miles of the journey from Hong Kong to Shanghai. the captain, John Bunsby, had high hopes, and the whole crew, spurred on by the £200 bonus, were working as hard as they could.

         In the evening the skipper used the log-line to confirm that they had done 220 miles since Hong Kong. Mr Fogg could now hope that on arrival in Yokohama, he would not have any delay to write in his programme.

         At dawn, the wind freshened further. The sky gave evidence of a gale building up.

         At about eight, a raging storm of rain and wind swooped down on the ship. She ran northwards all day, borne on by the monstrous waves. Twenty times she was on the point of being overtaken by the mountains of water that rose up at the stern; but a deft twist on the helm by the captain, and catastrophe was prevented.

         As night fell the tempest grew worse. Seeing the darkness come down while the storm increased, John Bunsby approached Mr Fogg.

         ‘Sir, we would do well to make for one of the coastal ports.’

         ‘I think so too.’

         ‘Ah, but which one?’

         ‘I only know one,’ Mr Fogg answered tranquilly .

         ‘Namely?’

         ‘Shanghai!’

         For a minute the captain could not understand what this reply meant - how much obstinacy and tenacity it involved. Then he exclaimed:

         ‘Yes, Sir is quite right. To Shanghai!’

         It was a terrible night. Only by a miracle did the little schooner avoid capsize.

         Day broke again. The storm was still unleashing its force with a dreadful fury. However, the wind fell back to the south-east, which was more favourable/ Nevertheless, a great deal of time had been lost.

         The following night was relatively peaceful, and at daybreak on the 11th, the coast was sighted. John Bunsby confirmed that they were less than 100 miles from Shanghai.

         A hundred miles, but Mr Fogg had to reach Shanghai that very evening if he was to catch the steamship for Yokohama and America.

         At midday, the Tankadère was only 45 miles from Shanghai. Great suspense could be felt on board. At seven they were still three miles out. A gruesome oath escaped from the lips of the skipper: the £200 bonus was going to slip from his grasp.

         At this moment a long black rocket, crowned with a banner of smoke, appeared in the distance. It was the General Grant, the steamship sailing for America, leaving at the regulation time.

         ‘Damn and blast!’ cried John Bunsby.

         ‘Signal!’ shouted Fogg.

         A small brass signal-canon was quickly loaded to the muzzle.         ‘Flag at half-mast!’ said Mr Fogg.

         This was a distress signal, in the hope that the American steamer would see it and come and meet them.

         ‘Fire!’


At this point, let us turn the clock back, and switch from the boat Mr Fogg is sailing on to the one he had failed to catch in Hong Kong.

         The Carnatic had left that city at 6.30 p.m. on 7 November, and headed at full steam towards Japan.

         The following morning the men at the bow were rather surprised to notice a passenger with eyes half-dazed, a shaky walk, and tousled hair. This passenger was Passepartout. The following is what had happened.

         Shortly after Fix left the opium den, two attendants had lifted Passepartout up as he slept, and laid him down on the bunks reserved for the opium-smokers. Three hours later, he woke up and left, shouting all the while as if in a dream, ‘The Carnatic!’

         The steamship was ready to sail. Passepartout had only a few steps left to take. He threw himself on the gangway, managed to work his way up it, and fell down insensible on the foredeck just as the ship cast off.

         Sailors, used to this sort of scene, carried the poor fellow down to a second-class cabin. Which is where he woke up the following morning, 150 miles off the Chinese coast.

         Thus Passepartout discovered himself on deck that morning, breathing in mouthfuls of the fresh sea breeze. The pure air sobered him up, and he began to put his thoughts together, not without a certain difficulty.

         ‘I must have been abominably drunk. Whatever will Mr Fogg say? But at least I didn’t miss the boat.’

         With these words, he sought out the Purser and asked which cabin Mr Fogg was in. The Purser told him that three cabins had been booked in that name, but none of them had been occupied.

         For a moment Passepartout’s head whirled.Then it all came rushing back to him. The departure time of the Carnatic had been brought forward, he was meant to have told his master, but he hadn’t! It was all his fault if Mr Fogg and Aouda had missed the boat!

         The situation was not good. He found himself on his way to Japan, alone. He would certainly get there, but how would he come back? His pockets were empty -- not even a shilling, not even a penny. Admittedly, his passage and food on board had been paid for in advance. So during the whole journey he ate and drank to an indescribable degree. He ate as if Japan was a desert island.

         On the 13th, the Carnatic entered Yokohama Harbour on the morning tide.

         The following morning, already famished after a night spent in the open, Passepartout told himself that at all costs he must eat, and the sooner the better.

         At that moment his eyes fell on a huge poster that a sort of clown was parading through the streets of Yokohama. It was in English, and read as follows:

 

TROUPE OF JAPANESE ACROBATS

under

THE HON. WILLIAM BATULCAR

 

LAST FEW PERFORMANCES

Before the Departure for the United States of America

 

         Passepartout followed the poster. Fifteen minutes later he stopped in front of a huge shed. He walked through the colonnade at the front, and asked for Mr Batulcar. A gentleman sporting a thick grey goatee approached.

         ‘What do you want?’

         ‘Do you need a servant?’

         ‘A servant?’ exclaimed Batulcar, stroking his chin. ‘Are you strong by any chance?’

         ‘Especially with a good meal inside me.’

         ‘And can you sing?’

         ‘Like a bird.’

         ‘Do you know how to sing while standing on your head, with a top spinning on the sole of your left foot and a sabre balanced on your right?’

         ‘Why of course!’


Let us leave Passepartout in Yokohama, and return to the good ship Tankadère. Her signals had been spotted by the General Grant, and the captain had steered towards the gallant little schooner. A few moments later, Phileas Fogg paid his passage on the Tankadère at the price agreed by putting £550 into skipper John Bunsby’s pocket. Then he, Aouda and Fix had climbed on board the steamer, which had immediately continued its journey to Yokohama.

         Arriving on 14 November, on schedule, Phileas Fogg left Fix to deal with his affairs, and went on board the Carnatic, which was still in harbour. There he learned that Passepartout had arrived at Yokohama the day before.

         Fogg and Mrs Aouda were due to leave again for San Francisco that same evening on the General Grant, so set off in search of his servant. He enquired at the French and British Consulates, but to no avail. Having explored the streets of Yokohama, he was just about to give up hope of finding Passepartout again, when chance, or perhaps a sort of premonition, made him go into the Hon. Batulcar’s place of amusement.

         The show was approaching its climax, which featured a human pyramid, four layers high. The fourth layer had just been achieved, and the applause was at its loudest, when the pyramid suddenly jerked to and fro, the equilibrium was lost, and the whole structure came crashing down like a house of cards.

         It was all Passepartout’s fault. He was part of the bottom lay4er, where his undoubted strength would be very useful, and his lack of experience less of a disadvantage – or so it had been thought! But alas, at the critical moment he abandoned his post, leapt over the floodlights, clamberied up to the right-hand balcony andfell at the feet of one of the spectators, shouting:

         ‘Oh, my master! My master!’

         ‘Can it be you?’ said Mr Fogg, not immediately recognising the Japanese actor before him.

         ‘It is,’ came the assurance.

         ‘In that case, to the steamship, my good fellow!’


         The General Grant was a huge paddle-steamer with a capacity of 2,500 tons, fully equipped and capable of considerable speed. It was rigged as a three-masted schooner with a large expanse of canvas, which helped the steam tremendously. At a speed of twelve knots the steamer would take at most 21 days to cross the Pacific. Phileas Fogg therefore had good reason to hope that he could reach San Francisco by 2 December, then New York for the 11th, and London by the 20th - thus beating that fateful deadline of 21 December by a few hours.

         So Mr Fogg was quietly confident, Aouda was enjoying his company more and more as she grew to know him better, and Passepartout was mightily relieved to be back where he belonged. Only Inspector fix remained to be accounted for.

         On arriving in Yokohama, the policeman immediately headed for the British Consulate. There he finally found the warrant which had been following him since Bombay. One can imagine the detective’s disappointment: the warrant was now useless! Mr Fogg had left British soil! An extradition order was now needed to arrest him.

         ‘So be it!’ Fix had said to himself after the first moment of anger. ‘My warrant is no longer any use here, but it will come back into its own in Britain. This scoundrel looks very much as if he’s returning home imagining he’s thrown the police off the trail. Well, I’ll follow him all the way, and from now on, I will do all in my power to help him to his destination!’

         Having made up his mind, he had gone straight on board the General Grant. The following day, he came face to face with Passepartout on the foredeck. If the Frenchman were to punch him on the nose, it would mean that he was aware of the trick Fix had played on him in Hong Kong. But in fact Passepartout had too hazy a recollection of what had occurred in the opium den to apportion blame to anyone but himself. Fix revealed that business considerations required him to continue his journey. Passepartout took this as confirmation of his suspicion that Mr Fix was following instructions from the Reform Club to make sure that Phileas Fogg took no short cuts in his circuit of the globe.

         Once cordial relations had been re-established between them, Inspector Fix resumed the friendly relationship with Mr Fogg and Mrs Aouda that had been established on the good ship Tankadère.

         On 23 November the General Grant crossed the 180th meridian, the one which, in the southern hemisphere, stands at the antipodes of London. Out of the 80 days allotted to him, Mr Fogg had used up 52, and now only had 28 left; but if he was only halfway round according to the meridians, he had in reality covered more than two-thirds of the distance.

         Eleven days later, on 3 December, the General Grant entered Golden Gate Bay and drew up in San Francisco.


Episode 7


Featuring the Wild West, which gets no less wild as our travellers hurtle eastwards.

 

It was seven in the morning when Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout set foot on the North American continent at San Francisco. Fogg enquired when the first train left for New York. It departed at 6 p.m. He hailed a carriage for Mrs Aouda and himself. Passepartout climbed on top, and at $3 a ride the vehicle headed for the International Hotel, where they had breakfast.

         Afterwards Passepartout asked his master's permission to buy several Colt revolvers. Why? He had heard tell that Sioux and Pawnee Indians were partial to stopping trains and scalping passengers. Mr Fogg left him free to act as he wished. Leaving Passepartout at the hotel, he and Mrs Aouda went to the British Consulate to have Fogg's passport stamped. On emerging, they bumped into Fix. The inspector asked for permission to join them in looking round San Francisco, and permission was granted.

         They soon found themselves in the midst of huge crowds on Montgomery Street. Banners and streamers waved in the wind. Shouts rang out from all directions.

         ‘Hooray for Kamerfield!’

         ‘Hooray for Mandiboy!’

         Fix was just about to ask someone to explain this popular effervescence, when a more pronounced movement became apparent. The hoorays got louder, and curses were added. The poles of the banners became offensive weapons. All sorts of objects were thrown, and it even seemed as if a few revolvers were adding their explosive voices to the crowd's bellowing.

         ‘It might be a good idea to withdraw,’ said Fix. ‘If all this has anything to do with Britain and we are recognised, we might be at risk!’

         ‘A British subject...’

          But Fogg wasn't allowed to finish. From behind him came frightening roars of ‘Hip! Hip! Hooray! Mandiboy!’ it was a company of supporters riding to the rescue, outflanking the Kamerfield men.

          Fogg, Aouda and Fix were caught between the two lines of fire. Armed with studded sticks and clubs, this torrent of men proved irresistible. Fogg and Fix protected the young woman, and were horribly shoved and pushed. Nevertheless, they defended themselves with the weapons which Nature has put at the end of the arms of every Briton.


A great strapping man, with broad shoulders, a red goatee and a ruddy complexion - apparently the leader of the mob - raised his formidable fist against Mr Fogg, who would have suffered considerable damage if Fix had not taken the blow in his place. A huge bump immediately developed under the detective's silk hat, now converted into a flat cap.

         ‘Yankee!’ said Mr Fogg, giving his adversary a look of deep contempt.

         ‘Limey!’

         ‘We should meet to settle this question!’

         ‘Whenever you want. Your name?’

         ‘Phileas Fogg. And yours?’

         ‘Colonel Stamp W. Proctor.’

         After this exchange the ebb and flow parted the antagonists.

         ‘Thank you,’ said Fogg to Fix, as soon as they had escorted Mrs Aouda out of the crowd.

         ‘Don't mention it,’ said Fix, and took his leave, promising to see them at the station.

          Fogg and Mrs Aouda returned to the hotel, where Passepartout, now armed with half a dozen six-shot central-percussion revolvers, was waiting for them.

          At 5.45 they arrived at the station, and found their train ready to leave.

         Just before getting on, Mr Fogg went up to a porter.

         ‘My friend, was there not a little trouble today in San Francisco!’

         ‘A meeting, sir.’

         ‘I thought I noticed a certain .... animation.’

         ‘Just an election meeting.’

         ‘Electing a field-marshal?’

         ‘No, sir - a Justice of the Peace.’

          

The train left at 6 p.m. on December 3rd, as snow began to fall. By the morning of December 7th, the continent was concealed beneath a thick white blanket. The train had covered the best part of 1,000 miles, and was standing in Green River Station, in Wyoming.

         Some of the passengers were strolling along the platform. Through the window Mrs Aouda recognised Colonel Stamp W. Proctor, the American who had behaved so rudely to Mr Fogg in San Francisco. She had grown attached to the man who gave her evidence every day of the most absolute devotion. So her heart stopped when she recognised the coarse brute from whom Mr Fogg had made it clear that he wished to seek satisfaction. Obviously it was absolutely vital to prevent Phileas Fogg from seeing his adversary.

         Once the train had started off again, Mrs Aouda took advantage of a moment when Mr Fogg was dozing to bring Fix and Passepartout up to date.

         ‘That man Proctor, on our train?’ exclaimed Fix. ‘Well, rest assured, madam, that before dealing with Mr Fogg he will have to deal with me!’

         ‘Mr Fix,’ said Mrs Aouda, ‘Mr Fogg will let nobody take on the task of avenging his honour. If he notices Colonel Proctor, we shan't be able to prevent an encounter. He simply mustn't be allowed to see him.’

         Was there a way of keeping Mr Fogg in the carriage? The inspector thought he had found one. A few moments later, when Mr Fogg had emerged from his nap, he said to him:

         ‘These are long and tortuous hours, sir, that we are spending on the train.’

         ‘Indeed.’

         ‘I believe you used to play some whist on the steamships?’

         ‘Yes, indeed, but here it would be difficult. I have neither cards, nor partners.’

         ‘We'll easily be able to get some cards - they sell everything on American trains. And as for partners, if by any chance madam ....?’

         ‘Certainly, sir,’ Mrs Aouda eagerly answered. ‘I can play whist - it's part of a British education.’

         ‘And I too,’ said Fix, ‘play the game fairly well. Now, with three of us and a dummy ....’

         ‘Perfect!’ replied Fogg.

         ‘Now we've got him,’ murmured Passepartout to himself. ‘He won't budge!’

 

After a comfortable lunch served at the seats themselves, Mr Fogg and his partners had just resumed their card game when loud whistle blasts were heard, and the train stopped. Passepartout rushed out of the carriage. About forty people had already left their seats, including Colonel Stamp W. Proctor.

         The train had pulled up at a stop signal. The engine-driver and guard were having a lively discussion with a track watchman, sent to meet the train by the stationmaster at Medicine Bow, the next stop.

         Passepartout heard the watchman say, ‘There's no way you can get across Medicine Bow Bridge. It's already shaky and won't take the weight of the train.’

         ‘Good Lord!’ exclaimed Colonel Proctor, ‘we're not going to stay here, I hope.’

         ‘Colonel,’ said the guard, ‘we telegraphed Omaha Station to get a replacement train, but it probably won't arrive in Medicine Bow for six hours.’

         ‘Six hours!’ exclaimed Passepartout.

         ‘And anyhow,’ continued the guard, ‘it'll take us all that time to reach the station on foot.’

         ‘On foot?’ cried the passengers in unison.

         Then the engine-driver roared:

         ‘Gentlemen, there may be a way to get across.’

         ‘Over the bridge?’

         ‘Over the bridge!’

         ‘With out train?’

         ‘With out train!’

         ‘But the bridge is falling down,’ said the guard.

         ‘My idea is that by sending the train hurtling along at full speed we might have some chance of crossing.’

         ‘Heavens!’ said Passepartout.

         The suggestion pleased Colonel Proctor. He pointed out that certain engineers had had the notion of crossing rivers without a bridge at all by using rigid trains going at full speed.

         In the end all those discussing the question were on the driver's side.

         ‘Fifty per cent chance,’ said one.

         ‘Sixty,’ said another.

         ‘Eighty... ninety per cent!’

         Passepartout was horrified. The idea seemed to him a little too ‘American’.

         ‘Sir,’ he said to one of the passengers, ‘the method proposed seems a little risky to me.’

         ‘Eighty per cent chance!’ was the reply.

         ‘But a moment's thought...’

         ‘No thinking! There's no point,’ retorted the American. ‘The driver says we can get across.’

         ‘But mightn't it be safer...’

         ‘What do you mean - safer?’ roared Colonel Proctor, having overheard the exchange. ‘At full speed, I tell you. Don't you understand? Full speed!’

         ‘But it would still be safer,’ Passepartout persisted, ‘or, since that word shocks you, at least more natural...’

         ‘Who? - What? - How? - What's the matter with him?’ The exclamations came from all directions.

         ‘You're afraid, aren't you?’ said Colonel Proctor.

         ‘Me, afraid?’ exclaimed Passepartout. To himself he added, ‘I'll show these people that a Frenchman can be just as American as they are! But no one can stop me thinking that it would have been more natural for us passengers to have crossed the bridge on foot first, and then the train afterwards!’

         Back on the train, he sat down without saying anything. The players were still absorbed in their game.

          The locomotive whistled. The driver, putting the train in reverse, took it back for about a mile, retreating like an athlete who wishes to build up speed. Then, on a second whistle blast, it moved forward, accelerated and soon achieved a terrifying speed. All that could be heard was a continuous whinnying from the locomotive. The pistons pumped, the axles smoked! It could be felt that the train, moving at a hundred miles an hour, no longer weighed on the rails, so to speak. Gravity was absorbed by speed!

         And they made it! Nothing could be seen of the bridge. Like greased lightning the train leapt from one bank to the other, and the driver only managed to stop it five miles beyond the next station. But hardly had the train crossed before the bridge crashed down into Medicine Bow Rapids.

         That same evening the train arrived at Evans Pass, where the railroad reached its highest point: 8,091 feet above sea level. It was now downhill all the way to the Atlantic. Four more nights and days would be enough to reach New York. Phileas Fogg was still within the statutory time.

         By nine o'clock the next morning, Mr Fogg and his partners had started their game again. Fix had begun by winning a few guineas, which he was now losing again. That morning luck singularly favoured Mr Fogg. Trumps and honours rained down from his hands. At one point, having thought out a bold plan, he was just about to play a spade when a voice was heard behind his seat.

         ‘Personally, I would play a diamond.’

         Mr Fogg, Mrs Aouda and Fix looked up. Colonel Proctor was standing beside them! Stamp W. Proctor and Phileas Fogg recognised each other instantly.

         ‘Ah, so it's you - the Limey! You were going to play a spade!’

         ‘And I am playing it,’ Phileas Fogg replied coldly, putting down a ten.

         ‘You know nothing about this game,’ said the Colonel.

         ‘Perhaps I'll prove more skilful at another,’ said Fogg, standing up.

         ‘It's up to you if you want to try, son of John Bull!’

         Mrs Aouda had gone quite pale. She seized Phileas Fogg's arm, but he pushed her away gently.

         Fix had also risen and said, ‘You forget that I am the one you must deal with, sir. You have not only insulted, but struck me!’

         ‘Mr Fix,’ said Fogg, ‘forgive me, but this is my affair. When he claimed that I was wrong to play a spade, the colonel insulted me again; and he will have to give me satisfaction.’

          ‘When you like, where you like,’ replied the American, ‘using whatever weapons you like!’

         ‘I leave it to you to suggest where we should meet,’ said Fogg.

         ‘Do you know Plum Creek?’

         ‘No.’

         ‘The next stop. The train will be there in an hour. It will stop for ten minutes. Quite a few revolver shots can be exchanged in ten minutes.’

         ‘As you wish. I'll alight at Plum Creek, ‘agreed Phileas Fogg.

         ‘And I believe you'll stay there,’ said the American with unbelievable insolence.

         ‘Who knows, sir’ - and Mr Fogg returned to his game.


Episode 8


In which a duel is not the only obstacle placed in the path of the intrepid Mr Fogg as he battles his way across United States.


At eleven that morning, the train approached Plum Creek Station. Mr Fogg got up and, with Fix following, moved out on to the open platform at the end of the carriage. Passepartout went with them, carrying a pair of the revolvers he had bought in San Francisco.

         The door of the other carriage opened, and Colonel Proctor appeared, followed by his second, a Yankee of the same mould. But just as the two foes were going to step down, the guard arrived.

         ‘No going down, Sirs!’

         ‘Why not?’ asked the colonel.

         ‘We're twenty minutes late, and the train's not waiting.’

         ‘But I have to fight this gentleman.’

         ‘I'm sorry, sir. We're leaving immediately. There's the bell!’

         The bell was indeed ringing, and the train moved off again.

         ‘My apologies, gentlemen,’ said the guard, ‘but what's stopping you fighting on board the train?’

         ‘Perhaps ‘sir’ might not like that!’ sneered Colonel Proctor.

          ‘I like it perfectly,’ replied Phileas Fogg.

         Preceded by the guard, the two duellists headed for the rear of the train. The last carriage was occupied by about a dozen travellers. The guard asked if they would be so kind as to vacate the carriage for a few minutes for two persons who had a matter of honour to settle. They were only too happy to oblige the two gentlemen.

         The carriage was perfect. The adversaries could advance between the rows of seats and blunderbuss each other to their hearts' content.

         Mr Fogg and Colonel Proctor, each equipped with two six-shooters, entered the carriage. Their seconds, remaining outside, shut them in. On the first whistle blast from the locomotive, they were to open fire.... After exactly two minutes, whatever remained of the gentlemen would be removed.

         Fix and Passepartout were waiting for the whistle - when suddenly shots rang out, but not from the duellists. On the contrary, they came from the whole length of the train. Cries of terror were heard from the middle carriages.

         Colonel Proctor and Mr Fogg, revolvers in hand, immediately came out of the carriage and rushed to the front. They had realised that the train was being attacked by a band of Sioux Indians! About a hundred had leapt from their galloping horses on to the footboards and climbed up the outside of the carriages.

         They had started by rushing the engine. The driver and the fireman had been half-killed by blows from a club. A Sioux, trying to stop the train but not knowing how to operate the brake, had opened the steam up instead, and the train was travelling on at a frightening speed.

         At the same time, the Sioux had invaded the carriages - knocking in the doors, and fighting hand-to-hand with the passengers.

         Something had to be done. Fort Kearney station was only two miles ahead. This was an American military outpost - but once past it the Sioux would be masters of the train until the next station.

         The guard was fighting at Mr Fogg's side when a bullet knocked him flat. As he fell, he shouted, ‘We're lost if the train doesn't stop in the next five minutes!’

         ‘It will stop!’ said Phileas Fogg, rushing out of the carriage.

         ‘Wait, sir!’ shouted Passepartout. ‘This one's for me!’

         Phileas Fogg didn't have time to stop the brave fellow opening a door and sliding underneath the speeding carriage. And while the battle raged, he worked his way under the carriages with wonderful skill, and thus reached the head of the train.

         And then, using one hand to hang on between the luggage van and the tender, he unhooked the safety chains with the other. Because of the traction, he would never have been able to disconnect the coupling pin if a jolt of the locomotive hadn't jerked it free. The locomotive sped on at increasing speed, as the carriages gradually fell behind, and finally stopped less than a hundred yards from Kearney Station.

         The soldiers from the fort ran up quickly, but the Sioux didn't wait for them! Before the train had finally stopped, the whole band had cleared off towards the south. But when the travellers did a roll-call, they realised that three were missing - amongst them the brave Frenchman whose devotion had saved their lives. Had they been killed in the struggle? Were they prisoners of the Sioux? It was too soon to say.

         There were quite a number of wounded, but it was quickly realised that none were fatally injured. One of the most seriously hurt was Colonel Proctor, who had been knocked down by a bullet to the groin.

         Mrs Aouda was safe, Phileas Fogg was totally unharmed, Fix had been hit in the arm, but the wound was not serious.

         The captain commanding Fort Kearney was present. His soldiers about a hundred in all had taken up defensive positions.

         ‘Sir,’ Mr Fogg said to the captain, ‘three passengers have disappeared.’

         ‘Dead?’

         ‘Dead, or prisoners. Do you intend to pursue the Sioux?’

         ‘I can't abandon the fort under my command.’

         ‘The lives of three men are at stake,’ said Fogg.

         ‘But can I risk the lives of fifty to save three?’

         ‘I don't know if you can, sir - but you must!’

         ‘Sir,’ answered the captain, ‘no one here should tell me what my duty is!’

         ‘As you wish,’ said Phileas Fogg coldly. ‘I'll go alone then!’

         ‘You will not go alone!’ exclaimed the captain, moved in spite of himself.

         ‘You are a brave man. Thirty volunteers!’ he cried, and his company stepped forward as one man. Thirty soldiers were designated, and an old sergeant placed himself at their head.         ‘Thank you, captain,’ said Mr Fogg.

         As the gallant band set off, Mrs Aouda retired to a room in the station, and there she waited alone, thinking of Phileas Fogg, his great and simple generosity, his quiet courage.

         At about 2 p.m., as snow was falling in large flakes, long whistles were heard coming from the east. An enormous shadow, preceded by a tawny light, was advancing slowly on the station. What was this fantastic manifestation?

         The mystery was soon solved. The locomotive had shot along the track for several miles. Then the fuel had run out and the fire had died down. It had stopped twenty miles beyond Kearney Station.

         Both fireman and driver were still alive. After being unconscious for quite a while, they had come to again. The driver didn't hesitate. Shovelfuls of coal and wood were thrown into the firebox, the flames roared, the pressure rose, and the locomotive started back down the line in reverse. This was the manifestation which arrived at Kearney Station at about two o'clock, and took up its position at the head of the train.

         Mrs Aouda came out of the station building and spoke to the assistant-guard, as the rest of the passengers returned to their carriages.

         ‘Are you leaving?’

         ‘Very soon, madam.’

         ‘But the prisoners ... our unfortunate companions...’

         ‘I can't hold up the service - we're three hours late as it is. If you want to come with us, please get in.’

         The driver blew the whistle. The train started off. It had soon disappeared, mingling its white steam and smoke with the whirling masses of the snowflakes.

         Mrs Aouda had not moved. Neither had Inspector Fix.

         Hours went by. Evening closed in. Then night fell. All night Mrs Aouda wandered on the edge of the prairie, her mind full of sinister foreboding. Inspector Fix remained motionless, seated on a bench in the station. At one point a man came up and said something to him, but the detective dismissed him with a shake of the head.


It was seven in the morning when shots rang out. The soldiers rushed out of the fort, and saw a little troop about half a mile away. Mr Fogg was marching as its head, and with him Passepartout and other two passengers snatched from the hands of Sioux.

         There had been a flight ten miles south of Kearney. Passepartout and his two companions were already struggling with their captors; the Frenchman had knocked three of them out with his fists, when his master and the soldiers had come rushing to their aid.

         Both the saviours and the saved were welcomed at Kearney wit great shouts of joy

         The train had gone, and Phileas Fogg was twenty hours behind the schedule. Passepartout, the involuntary cause of the delay, was in a state of despair: he had ruined his master!

         At this moment, the inspector came up to Mr Fogg. He said, ‘There may yet be a way to get to New York before the Liverpool steamship leaves.’

         ‘How?’

         ‘By sledge - or rather, land-yacht. Someone has suggested this means of transport to me.’ (This was the man who had spoken to the inspector during the night.)

         Fix pointed out the man and Phileas Fogg went up to him. A moment later, he and this American, who was called Mudge, went into a nearby cabin. Mr Fogg examined a remarkable vehicle, a sort of sledge with room for five or six people, with a mast, rigged like a sloop. These vehicles carry a prodigious amount of sail - even more than a racing cutter. With the wind behind, they glide over the snow-covered surface of the prairies at a speed equal to express trains.

         In a few moments a bargain had been struck. The wind was favourable, blowing quite strongly from the west, and Mudge was confident he could get Mr Fogg to Omaha Station within a few hours. Trains are frequent there, with many lines leading to Chicago and New York.

         At 8 a.m. the sledge was ready to leave. The travellers got on, and carefully wrapped themselves up in travelling rugs. The two huge sails were hoisted and the vehicle moved off over the hardened snow, reaching a speed of 40 knots.

         The distance between Fort Kearney and Omaha is two hundred miles at most. If there were no incidents the sledge would be there by one o'clock.

         What a trip! The sledge glided over the plain as lightly as a vessel on the surface of the waters - but without the swell. When the wind blew stronger, it seemed as if the sledge was lifted from the ground by its sails. The jib had been perked, and was no longer shielded by the spanker. A top-mast was sent up, and a topsail added its driving force.

         The wind blew hard enough to bend the mast, held solidly in place by iron rigging, its metal ropes vibrating like stringed instruments. The sledge flew on in the midst of a plaintive harmony of remarkable intensity.

         ‘These strings are producing... the fifth and the octave,’ Mr Fogg declared, after a moment's reflection.

         The landscape was absolutely deserted. From time to time a frowning tree would pass in a flash, a white skeleton twisting in the wind. Sometimes packs of prairie wolves, lean and hungry, forced on by a fierce desire, would race the sledge. If some accident had occurred, the travellers would have been in terrible danger. But the sledge held good.

         At midday Mudge pointed towards a cluster of snow-covered roofs.

         ‘We're there!’

         There indeed, at that station which, with its frequent trains, is in daily contact with the East of the United States. A through train was leaving. Phileas Fogg and his companions just had time to throw themselves into a carriage.

         At 4 p.m. the following day, the 10th, it arrived in Chicago, and the party changed lines. The frisky locomotive of the Pittsburgh-Fort Wayne-Chicago Railroad set off at full steam, as if it realised that there was no time to waste. Like a flash it crossed Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Finally the Hudson River appeared, and at 11.15 p.m. on 11 December the train pulled up in the station on the right bank of the river, in front of the pier for the Cunard Line steamers.

         The China, bound for Liverpool, had left 45 minutes earlier!


Episode 9


Time is running out for Phileas Fogg, and the treacherous Fix (a policeman in disguise) is planning his downfall. To cap it all, the Liverpool boat has sailed from New York without him. Surely he cannot win his wager now. Or can he?


Passepartout was staggered by the news: to have missed the steamship by 45 minutes crushed him. It was his fault, entirely his, since, instead of helping his master, he had done nothing but place obstacles in the way.

         Mr Fogg did not reproach him. As they left the transatlantic liner pier he merely said: ‘We'll see about it tomorrow. Come along.’

         Mr Fogg, Mrs Aouda, Fix and Passepartout crossed the Hudson on the ferry, and got a hackney cab to the St Nicholas Hotel on Broadway.

         The following day was 12th December. Mr Fogg left the hotel alone. He headed for the banks of the Hudson and searched for ships that were leaving. Several ships had their departure burgees displayed, but most were sailing ships that couldn't satisfy Mr Fogg's needs.

         He seemed about to fail in his last attempt, when he noticed a screw-driven merchantman with elegant lines. Her funnel, sending out large whorls of smoke, showed that she was preparing to get under way,         Phileas Fogg hailed a small boat, and a few oar strokes later was climbing up the Henrietta's ladder. She was a steamer with an iron hull, and upper works made entirely of wood.

         Her captain was about fifty years old. Large eyes, a complexion of oxidised copper, red hair, and a bull neck.

         ‘Captain?’

         ‘Yes.’

         ‘I am Phileas Fogg.’

         ‘And I am Andrew Speedy.’

         ‘You are leaving...?’

         ‘In an hour's time.’

         ‘Where are you heading?’

         ‘Bordeaux.’

         ‘And your cargo?’

         ‘Stones in the belly. No freight. I'm travelling ballasted.’

         ‘Do you have any passengers?’

         ‘Never passengers! Merchandise that takes up room and argues!’

         ‘Is your ship a fast one?’ Fogg asked.

         ‘Eleven to twelve knots.’

         ‘Can you transport me to Liverpool with three other people?’

         ‘No!’

         ‘No?’

         ‘I'm heading for Bordeaux, and Bordeaux is where I'm heading for.’

         ‘Well, could you take us to Bordeaux?’

         ‘Not even if you paid me $200.’

         ‘I'm offering you two thousand.’

         ‘Per person?’

         ‘Per person.’

         ‘And there are four of you?’

         ‘Four.’

         An hour later the steamer Henrietta put out to sea and headed rapidly eastwards.

         At midday the following day, 13 December, a man went up on the bridge to take the bearings. It was Phileas Fogg. As for Captain Andrew Speedy, he had quite simply been locked up in his cabin.

         What had happened was simple enough. In the thirty hours he had been on board, Phileas Fogg had so cleverly manoeuvred with his banknotes that the crew were entirely his. And that was how he came to be in command, and that was why the Henrietta was now heading for Liverpool.

         For the first few days the navigation proceeded under excellent conditions. The sea was not too difficult, the favourable wind seemed settled, the sails had been hoisted, and under its trysails the Henrietta moved like a real transatlantic liner.

         Passepartout was delighted. The crew had never seen a more cheerful or active fellow.

         Fix no longer understood anything. The Henrietta taken by force, the bribing of its crew, Fogg manoeuvring like a born sailor: all this bewildered him. But, after all, a gentleman who had begun by purloining 55,000 could easily end up stealing a ship.

         As for Mrs Aouda, her loyalty to Mr Fogg was unswerving.

         On the 13th, the tail-end of the Great Banks of Newfoundland was passed. These are dangerous waters. In the winter, especially, there are very frequent fogs, and the storms are formidable. The barometer had gone down abruptly, and it was now giving warning of an impending change in the atmosphere. And indeed the temperature changed during the night, the cold became sharper and at the same time the wind turned against the Henrietta.

         Passepartout's face clouded with the sky, and for two days the worthy fellow was on terrible tenterhooks. But Phileas Fogg was a bold mariner, able to stand up to the sea, and he stuck to his course. When the Henrietta wasn't able to rise to the waves, she cut through them, and her deck was swept right across - but she passed through all the same.

          By the 16th of December, approximately half the Atlantic crossing had been completed and the most dangerous waters were behind. That day, the chief engineer approached Mr Fogg and discussed something with him quite urgently.

          Without knowing exactly why, Passepartout felt worried. He would have given one of his ears to hear (with the other) what was being said. Nevertheless, he was able to catch a few phrases.

         ‘Are you sure of what you're saying?’ said Mr Fogg.

         ‘I'm sure, sir. Don't forget that we've been burning all our furnaces since we left. We had enough coal to get us from New York to Bordeaux at low steam, but we haven't got enough to get to Liverpool at full steam!’

         ‘I will think it over.’

         Fogg sent for the engineer that very evening. ‘Heap up the fires, and carry on until there's no fuel left.’

         So the ship continued to move forward at full steam. But on the 18th the chief engineer said that the coal would run out at some point during the day.

         ‘Don't let the fires die down,’ ordered Phileas Fogg. ‘On the contrary, the valves must be kept filled.’

         At midday he took a bearing, then sent Passepartout on an errand. A few minutes later a bomb arrived on the poop deck amidst shouts and swear-words, and escorted by the Frenchman. The bomb was Captain Speedy. It was clear that he was soon going to explode.

         ‘Where the hell are we?’ he demanded.

         ‘Seven hundred and seventy miles from Liverpool,’ replied Mr Fogg with imperturbable calm.

         ‘Pirate!’

         ‘I sent for you, sir...’

         ‘Buccaneer!’

         ‘... to ask you to sell me your ship....’

         ‘No! By all the devils, NO!’

         ‘....because I am going to be obliged to burn it!’

         ‘Burn my ship?’

         ‘At least its upper works, since we are running out of fuel.’

         ‘Burn my ship?’ bellowed Captain Speedy. ‘A ship worth fifty thousand dollars?’

         ‘Here's sixty thousand,’ said Phileas Fogg, offering the captain a wad of notes.

         No American can look at $60,000 and remain entirely unmoved. In a flash the captain forgot all his grievances

         ‘The iron hull remains mine, of course,’ he said, in a remarkably softened tone of voice.

         ‘The iron hull and the boiler,’ said Mr Fogg. ‘Agreed?’

         ‘Agreed!’ Andrew Speedy grabbed the wad of notes, checked it and thrust it into his pocket.

         So this ship now belongs to me?’.

         Certainly, from the keel to the masthead, at least everything that's made of wood.’

         Good. Have the interior fittings demolished and stoke with the result.’

         That day the poop, the deckhouse, the cabins, the crew's quarters and the orlop deck all disappeared. The following day, the spars were burnt, together with the spare masts and yards. The next day the rails, bulwarks, deadworks and most of the deck were devoured. The Henrietta was now razed and no more than a pontoon. But that day the Irish coast had been sighted.

         At 10 p.m. the ship was off Queenstown. Phileas Fogg had only 24 hours to reach London. But that was the time needed by the Henrietta to reach Liverpool - even at full steam. And steam was finally going to run out for the intrepid gentleman.

         Can we get into Queenstown harbour?’ Mr Fogg asked Captain Speedy.

         Not for three hours. Only at full tide.’

         ‘We'll wait,’ Fogg said calmly.

         Queenstown is the port where the liners coming from the United States drop their mailbags off on their way past. The mail is taken to Dublin by express trains always ready to leave. From Dublin it travels to Liverpool on high-speed steamers - thus beating the fastest ships by twelve hours.

         These twelve hours saved by the post from America, Phileas Fogg wanted to save as well. Instead of reaching Liverpool the following evening, he would arrive at midday, and so could be in London by 8.45 p.m.

         At about 1 am. the Henrietta entered Queenstown harbour on the high tide. Mr Fogg, Aouda, Passepartout and Fix got off, and boarded a train at 1.30 a.m. They arrived in Dublin as day broke, and immediately embarked on one of those high-speed steamers.

         At twenty minutes to midday on the 21st December, Phileas Fogg landed at Liverpool Docks. He was six hours from London.

         At this moment Inspector Fix put a hand on his shoulder, and showed him his warrant.

         ‘Is your name Phileas Fogg?’

         ‘It is.’

         ‘In the Queen's name, I arrest you.’

         Phileas Fogg had been locked up in the Custom House in Liverpool, where he would have to spend the night until his transfer to London.

         During the arrest, Passepartout had wanted to throw himself on the detective. Policemen held him back. Mrs Aouda was horrified by the brutality of the proceedings, as she knew nothing about the background, and could not begin to understand the situation. Now they sat together under the portico of the Custom House.

         As for Inspector Fix, he had arrested Mr Fogg because he was convinced that he was the gentleman-thief who had robbed the Bank of England of £55,000 three days before setting off on his tour of the world. Whether Fogg was guilty or not, the courts would decide.

         At this moment, Mr Fogg was sitting on a wooden bench, motionless, not angry, imperturbable. Did he think of escaping? Probably, for at one stage he walked round the room. But the door was securely locked and the window barred. So he sat down again.

         The Custom House clock struck one. Mr Fogg noted that his watch was two minutes fast. Time passed. Two o'clock struck. If he had caught an express at that very moment, he could still have reached London and got to the Reform Club by 8.45 p.m. His brow wrinkled slightly.

         At 2.33 there came to his ears a din from outside, and the door was thrown open. Mrs Aouda, Passepartout and Inspector Fix rushed in.

         ‘Sir, sir!’ gasped Fix. ‘Beg pardon.... Most unfortunate... mistaken identity.... Real thief arrested three days ago.... You are free!’

         Phileas Fogg was free! He went up to the detective and looked him straight in the eye. Then, making the only rapid move he had ever made or would ever make in his whole life, he drew his arms back and with the precision of an automaton punched the wretched inspector with both fists!

         ‘Well hit!’ exclaimed Passepartout. Indulging in an atrocious pun, as only a Frenchman can, he added, ‘Pardieu! This is what you might call a fine English Punch and Judy!’

         Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout quickly left the Custom House, jumped into a cab and arrived at Liverpool Station a few minutes later. It was 2.40. The express had left 35 minutes previously.

         Fogg then ordered a special train. But, given the traffic arrangements, the special couldn't leave until three o'clock. Liverpool to London had to be covered in five and a half hours - perfectly possible if the line is clear all the way. But there were unavoidable delays, and when the train arrived at the terminus, all the clocks of London bore witness that the time was 8.50 p.m.

         Having completed his journey round the world, Phileas Fogg had arrived five minutes late. He had lost his bet.


Episode 10


In which Phileas Fogg gazes into the pit, and keeps his friends on tenterhooks. Is he living on borrowed time, they ask themselves.


After leaving the station, Phileas Fogg had returned to his house in Savile Row with Mrs Aouda and Passepartout, whom he instructed to go out and buy some food.

         He had borne the blow with his usual imperturbability. Ruined! Through the fault of that bumbling police inspector! Of the substantial sum he had taken away with him, there remained only a negligible amount. His total fortune consisted of the £20,000 deposited at his bankers, Baring Brothers, and, having lost his bet, he owed this £20,000 to his colleagues at the Reform Club.

         After so many expenses, winning the wager would undoubtedly not have made him a rich man, but the lost wager ruined him completely. He knew what he had to do.

         Mrs Aouda had been given a room in the house on Savile Row. The young woman was in despair. From the few words that Mr Fogg had uttered, she and Passepartout deduced that he was planning some fatal project.

         Consequently Passepartout kept a close watch on his master. But first the good fellow had gone up to his room and turned off the gas, which had been burning for 80 days.

         The night went by, hour after hour. Mr Fogg had gone to bed, but did he sleep? Mrs Acuda didn't get a moment's rest, and Passepartout watched like a dog outside his master's door.

         The following morning Mr Fogg called for him, and told him to see to Mrs Aouda's breakfast. Mrs Aouda, he continued, would be so kind as to excuse him for breakfast and dinner, for all his time would be devoted to putting his affairs in order.

         At about half-past seven, Mrs Aouda was asked if she would receive Mr Fogg. A few minutes later the young woman and he were alone together in her room.

         Phileas Fogg sat down near the fire, opposite her..

         Madam, how can you ever forgive me for bringing you to Europe?’

         ‘Forgive you, Mr Fogg?’

         Please allow me to finish. When the idea first came to me of taking you away from the country that had become so dangerous to you, I was a rich man and planned to place part of my fortune at your disposal. But now I am ruined.’

         ‘So, Mr Fogg, not content with snatching me from a horrible death, you also thought yourself duty-bound to look after my position abroad?’

         ‘Yes, madam, but events have turned against me. Still, may I request your permission to give you the little I have left?’

         ‘But what is to become of you, Mr Fogg?’

         ‘Madam, I need nothing.’

         ‘But how, sir, are you going to face the future?’

         ‘As it is fitting to do so!’

         ‘Your friends...?’

         ‘I have no friends.’

         ‘Your relatives. . .?’

         ‘I have no relatives left.’

         ‘Then I am truly sorry for you, Mr Fogg, for loneliness is a sad thing.

         ‘So they say.’

         ‘Mr Fogg,’ she said, getting up and stretching out her hand, ‘would you wish to have someone who would be both a relative and a friend? Do you want me for your wife?’

         Mr Fogg also got up. There was an unusual light in his eyes, and his lips seemed to be almost trembling. Aouda gazed at him. The sincerity and honesty in the beautiful eyes of a noble woman astonished him at first, then penetrated his being. He shut his eyes for a moment, then opened them again.

         ‘I love you!’ he said. ‘Yes, in truth, by everything that is most sacred in the world, I love you!’

         ‘Oh... !’ sighed Aouda, placing a hand on her heart.

         Passepartout was rung for. Mr Fogg was holding Mrs Aouda's hand when he arrived. Passepartout beamed like the tropical sun at its height.

         Mr Fogg asked him if it was too late to go and give notice of his matrimonial plans to the Reverend Samuel Wilson of the Parish of Marylebone.

         ‘Never too late!’ Passepartout declared. It'll be for tomorrow, Monday, then?’ he asked.

         ‘Tomorrow - Monday?’ asked Mr Fogg, looking at Aouda.

         ‘Yes, tomorrow, Monday!’ the young woman replied.

         The moment has come to recount the change of opinion that had happened in Great Britain when the arrest of the real bank-robber became known. He was a certain James Strand, and he was arrested in Edinburgh on 17th December. Till then, Phileas Fogg had been widely considered a criminal - now he was the most honest of gentlemen.

         All the people who had bet for or against his winning his wager, and who had completely forgotten about it, came back to life, as if by magic. All the transactions became valid again, and bets began again with a new vigour.

         Mr Fogg's five colleagues at the Reform Club spent the next three days in a state of some anxiety. Where was he? Was he perhaps dead? Had he given up the struggle, or was he going to appear at the door of the drawing-room of the Reform Club at 8.45 p.m. on Saturday, 21st December, and win his bet?

         On the Saturday night in question there was a huge crowd in Pall Mall and the surrounding streets, and as the time approached when Phileas Fogg was due to arrive, the excitement increased tremendously.

         That evening, the gentleman's five colleagues had assembled in the drawing-room of the Club. John Sullivan, Samuel Fallentin, Andrew Stuart, Gauthier Ralph, Thomas Flanagan - all were waiting anxiously.

         When the clock indicated 8.25, Andrew Stuart got up.

         ‘Gentlemen, the deadline agreed between Mr Phileas Fogg and ourselves will expire in twenty minutes.’

         ‘What time did the last train from Liverpool arrive?’ asked Flanagan.

         ‘Seven twenty-three,’ replied Gauthier Ralph.’

         ‘If he had come on the 7.23, he would have been here by now,’ said Stuart. ‘We can therefore consider the wager won.’

         ‘Let's wait,’ interjected Samuel Fallentin. ‘Our colleague is an eccentric of the first order. His precision is well-known. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he turned up at the very last moment.’

         ‘He's lost the bet,’ affirmed Andrew Stuart. ‘As you know, the China arrived yesterday - the only steamship from New York that he could have caught to Liverpool. Here is a list of passengers published by the Shipping Gazette, and Phileas Fogg's name is not on it.’

         ‘All we have to do is present his cheque at Baring Brothers tomorrow,’ said Gauthier Ralph.

         ‘Five more minutes,’ murmured Andrew Stuart, when the drawing-room clock said 8.40.

         One may surmise that their hearts were beating slightly faster than normal since the stake was a big one, even for such bold gamblers. But they didn't want it to show, and adopted Samuel Fallentin's suggestion that they sit down to a rubber of whist.

         ‘Eight forty-three,’ said Flanagan, glancing up at the clock before cutting the pack that Gauthier Ralph had put in front of him.

         The huge club-room was quiet. The pendulum of the clock beat every second with mathematical regularity. Each of the players counted the sexagesimal units reaching his ear.

         ‘Eight forty-four!’ said John Sullivan.

         Only a minute to go and the bet was won! The players had laid their cards down and were counting the seconds.

         At the fortieth second, nothing.

         At the fiftieth, still nothing.

         At the fifty-fifth, a sound like thunder could be heard outside.

         The players got to their feet.

         On the fifty-seventh second, the door of the drawing-room opened. Before the pendulum could beat the sixtieth second, Mr Phileas Fogg appeared.

         ‘Here I am, gentlemen!’

         It will be recalled that at 7.55p.m., Passepartout had been told to inform the Reverend Samuel Wilson about a certain wedding to take place the very next day.

         He had headed quickly for the Reverend's house, but the clergyman had not come home yet. Passepartout waited at least twenty minutes. In the end, it was 8.35 before he left the Reverend's house - running, running as nobody had ever run in human memory.

         Three minutes later he was back in Savile Row and staggered, completely out of breath, into Mr Fogg's room.

         ‘What's the matter?’

         ‘Master's... wedding... impossible!’

         ‘Impossible?’

         ‘Impossible... tomorrow.’

         ‘But why?’

         ‘Tomorrow... Sunday.’

         ‘Monday,’ Mr Fogg corrected him.

         ‘No. Today... Saturday.’

         ‘Today is Saturday? Impossible!’

         ‘Yes, yes, YES!’ screamed Passepartout. ‘Your calculations were a day out! We arrived 24 hours early! But now there are only ten minutes left!’

         Passepartout had taken hold of his master's collar, and was dragging him out with irresistible force. Phileas Fogg, not having the time to think, jumped into a cab, promised the driver £100, and reached the Reform Club after nearly running over two dogs and successfully hitting five carriages.

         When he appeared in the drawing-room the clock was just striking 8.45.

         Phileas Fogg had completed his journey around the world in 80 days and had won his bet of £20,000! How had such a meticulous man not known what day it was? How had he come to think that he had arrived in London on the evening of Saturday, 21st December, when it was in fact Friday, 20th December?

         It is quite simple. Phileas Fogg had gained a day on his programme - simply because he had gone round the world eastwards. He would, on the contrary, have lost this day if he had gone in the opposite direction, namely westwards.

         By heading towards the east, he had gone towards the sun, and consequently his days were four minutes shorter for each degree of longitude covered in that direction. Now there are 360 degrees on the Earth's circumference, and this 360, multiplied by 4 minutes, makes exactly 24 hours - in other words the day gained unconsciously. This means that while Phileas Fogg, heading eastwards, saw the sun cross the meridian 80 times, his colleagues in London saw it cross only 79 times! And this was why, on that very same day, Saturday (and not Sunday, as Mr Fogg had believed), they were waiting for him in the drawing-room of the Reform Club.

         Mr Fogg had won his £20,000. But as he had spent about £19,000 en route, the proceeds were insignificant. Even the remaining £1,000 he split between the good Passepartout and the hapless Inspector Fix, against whom he was unable to bear a grudge. However, to keep matters straight, he charged Passepartout for the 1,920 hours of gas consumed by his gas-fire through his negligence.

         That same evening, Mr Fogg asked Mrs Aouda, ‘And does this marriage still suit you, madam?’

         ‘Mr Fogg,’ she replied, ‘I should be asking you that question. You were ruined, and now you're rich...’

         ‘Pardon me, madam, the fortune is yours. If you hadn't had the idea of getting married, my servant wouldn't have gone to the Reverend Wilson's house, I wouldn't have been told about my mistake, and ...’

         ‘Dear Mr Fogg!’

         ‘Dear Aouda!’

         Phileas Fogg had completed his journey round the world in 80 days. He had used every means of transport: steamship, train, carriage, yacht, cargo vessel, sledge and elephant. In all, this eccentric gentleman had displayed his marvellous qualities of composure and precision. But what was the point? What had he got out of his journey?

         Nothing, comes the reply? Nothing, agreed, apart from a lovely wife, who - however unlikely it may seem - made him the happiest of men!

         In truth, wouldn't anyone go round the world for less?