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«AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS BY JULES VERNE TRANSLATED BY GEORGE MAKEPEACE TOWLE 7^WYS`f7Taa]e f7 COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Book: Around the World ...»

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Since he had abandoned his own country for England, taking service as a valet, he had in vain searched for a master after his own heart. Passepartout was by no means one of those pert dunces depicted by Molière, with a bold gaze and a nose held high in the air; he was an honest fellow, with a pleasant face, lips a trifle protruding, soft-mannered and serviceable, with a good round head, such as one likes to see on the shoulders of a friend. His eyes were blue, his complexion rubicund, his figure almost portly and well-built, his body muscular, and his physical powers fully developed by the exercises of his younger days. His brown hair was somewhat tumbled; for while the ancient sculptors are said to have known eighteen methods of arranging Minerva’s tresses,

Passepartout was familiar with but one of dressing his own:

three strokes of a large-tooth comb completed his toilet.

It would be rash to predict how Passepartout’s lively nature would agree with Mr. Fogg. It was impossible to tell whether the new servant would turn out as absolutely methodical as his master required; experience alone could solve the question. Passepartout had been a sort of vagrant in his early years, and now yearned for repose; but so far he had failed to find it, though he had already served in ten English houses. But he could not take root in any of these; with chagrin, he found his masters invariably whimsical and irregular, constantly running about the country, or on the look-out for adventure. His last master, young Lord Longferry, Member of Parliament, after passing his nights in the Haymarket taverns, was too often brought home in the morning on policemen’s shoulders. Passepartout, desirous of respecting the gentleman whom he served, ventured a mild remonstrance on such conduct; which being ill received, he took his leave. Hearing that Mr. Phileas Fogg was looking for a servant, and that his life was one of unbroken regularity, that he neither travelled nor stayed from home overnight, he felt sure that this would be the place he was after. He presented himself, and was accepted, as has been seen.

At half-past eleven, then, Passepartout found himself alone in the house in Saville Row. He began its inspection without delay, scouring it from cellar to garret. So clean, well-arranged, solemn a mansion pleased him; it seemed to him like a snail’s shell, lighted and warmed by gas, which sufficed for both these purposes. When Passepartout reached the second story, he recognized at once the room which he was to inhabit, and he was well satisfied with it. Electric bells and speaking-tubes afforded communication with the lower stories; while on the mantel stood an electric clock, precisely like that in Mr. Fogg’s bedchamber, both beating the same second at the same instant. “That’s good, that’ll do,” said Passepartout to himself.

He suddenly observed, hung over the clock, a card which, upon inspection, proved to be a programme of the daily routine of the house. It comprised all that was required of the servant, from eight in the morning, exactly at which hour Phileas Fogg rose, till half-past eleven, when he left the house for the Reform Club,—all the details of service, the tea and toast at twenty-three minutes past eight, the shavingwater at thirty-seven minutes past nine, and the toilet at twenty minutes before ten. Everything was regulated and foreseen that was to be done from half-past eleven a.m. till midnight, the hour at which the methodical gentleman retired.

Mr. Fogg’s wardrobe was amply supplied and in the best taste. Each pair of trousers, coat, and vest bore a number, indicating the time of year and season at which they were in turn to be laid out for wearing; and the same system was applied to the master’s shoes. In short, the house in Saville Row, which must have been a very temple of disorder and unrest under the illustrious but dissipated Sheridan, was cosiness, comfort, and method idealized.

There was no study, nor were there books, which would have been quite useless to Mr. Fogg; for at the Reform two libraries, one of general literature and the other of law and politics, were at his service. A moderate-sized safe stood in his bedroom, constructed so as to defy fire as well as burglars; but Passepartout found neither arms nor hunting weapons anywhere; everything betrayed the most tranquil and peaceable habits.

Having scrutinized the house from top to bottom, he rubbed his hands, a broad smile overspread his features, and he said joyfully, “This is just what I wanted! Ah, we shall get on together, Mr. Fogg and I! What a domestic and regular gentleman! A real machine; well, I don’t mind serving a machine.”

CHAPTER III

In which a conversation takes place which seems likely to cost Phileas Fogg dear P HILEAS FOGG, having shut the door of his house at half-past eleven, and having put his right foot before his left five hundred and seventy-five times, and his left foot before his right five hundred and seventy-six times, reached the Reform Club, an imposing edifice in Pall Mall, which could not have cost less than three millions. He repaired at once to the dining-room, the nine windows of which open upon a tasteful garden, where the trees were already gilded with an autumn colouring; and took his place at the habitual table, the cover of which had already been laid for him. His breakfast consisted of a side-dish, a broiled fish with Reading sauce, a scarlet slice of roast beef garnished with mushrooms, a rhubarb and gooseberry tart, and a morsel of Cheshire cheese, the whole being washed down with several cups of tea, for which the Reform is famous. He rose at thirteen minutes to one, and directed his steps towards the large hall, a sumptuous apartment adorned with lavishly framed paintings. A flunkey handed him an uncut Times, which he proceeded to cut with a skill which betrayed familiarity with this delicate operation. The perusal of this paper absorbed Phileas Fogg until a quarter before four, whilst the Standard, his next task, occupied him till the dinner hour. Dinner passed as breakfast had done, and Mr.





Fogg reappeared in the reading-room and sat down to the Pall Mall at twenty minutes before six. Half an hour later several members of the Reform came in and drew up to the fireplace, where a coal fire was steadily burning. They were Mr. Fogg’s usual partners at whist: Andrew Stuart, an engineer; John Sullivan and Samuel Fallentin, bankers;

Thomas Flanagan, a brewer; and Gauthier Ralph, one of the Directors of the Bank of England;—all rich and highly respectable personages, even in a club which comprises the princes of English trade and finance.

“Well, Ralph,” said Thomas Flanagan, “what about that robbery?” “Oh,” replied Stuart, “the bank will lose the money.” “On the contrary,” broke in Ralph, “I hope we may put our hands on the robber. Skilful detectives have been sent to all the principal ports of America and the Continent, and he’ll be a clever fellow if he slips through their fingers.” “But have you got the robber’s description?” asked Stuart.

“In the first place, he is no robber at all,” returned Ralph, positively.

“What! a fellow who makes off with fifty-five thousand pounds, no robber?” “No.” “Perhaps he’s a manufacturer, then.” “The Daily Telegraph says that he is a gentleman.” It was Phileas Fogg, whose head now emerged from behind his newspaper, who made this remark. He bowed to his friends, and entered into the conversation. The affair which formed its subject, and which was town talk, had occurred three days before at the Bank of England. A package of bank-notes, to the value of fifty-five thousand pounds, had been taken from the principal cashier’s table, that functionary being at the moment engaged in registering the receipt of three shillings and sixpence. Of course he could not have his eyes everywhere. Let it be observed that the Bank of England reposes a touching confidence in the honesty of the public. There are neither guards nor gratings to protect its treasures; gold, silver, bank-notes are freely exposed, at the mercy of the first comer. A keen observer of English customs relates that, being in one of the rooms of the Bank one day, he had the curiosity to examine a gold ingot weighing some seven or eight pounds. He took it up, scrutinized it, passed it to his neighbour, he to the next man, and so on until the ingot, going from hand to hand, was transferred to the end of a dark entry; nor did it return to its place for half an hour. Meanwhile, the cashier had not so much as raised his head. But in the present instance things had not gone so smoothly. The package of notes not being found when five o’clock sounded from the ponderous clock in the “drawing office,” the amount was passed to the account of profit and loss. As soon as the robbery was discovered, picked detectives hastened off to Liverpool, Glasgow, Havre, Suez, Brindisi, New York, and other ports, inspired by the proffered reward of two thousand pounds, and five per cent. on the sum that might be recovered.

Detectives were also charged with narrowly watching those who arrived at or left London by rail, and a judicial examination was at once entered upon.

There were real grounds for supposing, as the Daily Telegraph said, that the thief did not belong to a professional band. On the day of the robbery a well-dressed gentleman of polished manners, and with a well-to-do air, had been observed going to and fro in the paying-room, where the crime was committed. A description of him was easily procured, and sent to the detectives; and some hopeful spirits, of whom Ralph was one, did not despair of his apprehension. The papers and clubs were full of the affair, and everywhere people were discussing the probabilities of a successful pursuit; and the Reform Club was especially agitated, several of its members being Bank officials.

Ralph would not concede that the work of the detectives was likely to be in vain, for he thought that the prize offered would greatly stimulate their zeal and activity. But Stuart was far from sharing this confidence; and as they placed themselves at the whist-table, they continued to argue the matter. Stuart and Flanagan played together, while Phileas Fogg had Fallentin for his partner. As the game proceeded the conversation ceased, excepting between the rubbers, when it revived again.

“I maintain,” said Stuart, “that the chances are in favour of the thief, who must be a shrewd fellow.” “Well, but where can he fly to?” asked Ralph. “No country is safe for him.” “Pshaw!” “Where could he go, then?” “Oh, I don’t know that. The world is big enough.” “It was once,” said Phileas Fogg, in a low tone. “Cut, sir,” he added, handing the cards to Thomas Flanagan.

The discussion fell during the rubber, after which Stuart took up its thread.

“What do you mean by ‘once’? Has the world grown smaller?” “Certainly,” returned Ralph. “I agree with Mr. Fogg. The world has grown smaller, since a man can now go round it ten times more quickly than a hundred years ago. And that is why the search for this thief will be more likely to succeed.” “And also why the thief can get away more easily.” “Be so good as to play, Mr. Stuart,” said Phileas Fogg.

But the incredulous Stuart was not convinced, and when the hand was finished, said eagerly: “You have a strange way, Ralph, of proving that the world has grown smaller. So, because you can go round it in three months—” “In eighty days,” interrupted Phileas Fogg.

“That is true, gentlemen,” added John Sullivan. “Only eighty days, now that the section between Rothal and Allahabad, on the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, has been opened. Here is the estimate made by the Daily Telegraph:—

–  –  –

“Yes, in eighty days!” exclaimed Stuart, who in his excitement made a false deal. “But that doesn’t take into account bad weather, contrary winds, shipwrecks, railway accidents, and so on.” “All included,” returned Phileas Fogg, continuing to play despite the discussion.

“But suppose the Hindoos or Indians pull up the rails,” replied Stuart; “suppose they stop the trains, pillage the luggage-vans, and scalp the passengers!” “All included,” calmly retorted Fogg; adding, as he threw down the cards, “Two trumps.” Stuart, whose turn it was to deal, gathered them up, and went on: “You are right, theoretically, Mr. Fogg, but practically—” “Practically also, Mr. Stuart.” “I’d like to see you do it in eighty days.” “It depends on you. Shall we go?” “Heaven preserve me! But I would wager four thousand pounds that such a journey, made under these conditions, is impossible.” “Quite possible, on the contrary,” returned Mr. Fogg.

“Well, make it, then!” “The journey round the world in eighty days?” “Yes.” “I should like nothing better.” “When?” “At once. Only I warn you that I shall do it at your expense.” “It’s absurd!” cried Stuart, who was beginning to be annoyed at the persistency of his friend. “Come, let’s go on with the game.” “Deal over again, then,” said Phileas Fogg. “There’s a false deal.” Stuart took up the pack with a feverish hand; then suddenly put it down again.

“Well, Mr. Fogg,” said he, “it shall be so: I will wager the four thousand on it.” “Calm yourself, my dear Stuart,” said Fallentin. “It’s only a joke.” “When I say I’ll wager,” returned Stuart, “I mean it.” “All right,” said Mr. Fogg; and, turning to the others, he continued, “I have a deposit of twenty thousand at Baring’s which I will willingly risk upon it.” “Twenty thousand pounds!” cried Sullivan. “Twenty thousand pounds, which you would lose by a single accidental delay!” “The unforeseen does not exist,” quietly replied Phileas Fogg.



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