«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 ...»
“But, Mr. Fogg, eighty days are only the estimate of the least possible time in which the journey can be made.” “A well-used minimum suffices for everything.” “But, in order not to exceed it, you must jump mathematically from the trains upon the steamers, and from the steamers upon the trains again.” “I will jump—mathematically.” “You are joking.” “A true Englishman doesn’t joke when he is talking about so serious a thing as a wager,” replied Phileas Fogg, solemnly. “I will bet twenty thousand pounds against any one who wishes that I will make the tour of the world in eighty days or less; in nineteen hundred and twenty hours, or a hundred and fifteen thousand two hundred minutes. Do you accept?” “We accept,” replied Messrs. Stuart, Fallentin, Sullivan, Flanagan, and Ralph, after consulting each other.
“Good,” said Mr. Fogg. “The train leaves for Dover at a quarter before nine. I will take it.” “This very evening?” asked Stuart.
“This very evening,” returned Phileas Fogg. He took out and consulted a pocket almanac, and added, “As today is Wednesday, the second of October, I shall be due in London, in this very room of the Reform Club, on Saturday, the twenty-first of December, at a quarter before nine p.m.; or else the twenty thousand pounds, now deposited in my name at Baring’s, will belong to you, in fact and in right, gentlemen. Here is a check for the amount.” A memorandum of the wager was at once drawn up and signed by the six parties, during which Phileas Fogg preserved a stoical composure. He certainly did not bet to win, and had only staked the twenty thousand pounds, half of his fortune, because he foresaw that he might have to expend the other half to carry out this difficult, not to say unattainable, project. As for his antagonists, they seemed much agitated; not so much by the value of their stake, as because they had some scruples about betting under conditions so difficult to their friend.
The clock struck seven, and the party offered to suspend the game so that Mr. Fogg might make his preparations for departure.
“I am quite ready now,” was his tranquil response.
“Diamonds are trumps: be so good as to play, gentlemen.”
CHAPTER IVIn which Phileas Fogg astounds Passepartout, his servant
H AVING won twenty guineas at whist, and taken leave of his friends, Phileas Fogg, at twenty-five minutes past seven, left the Reform Club.
Passepartout, who had conscientiously studied the programme of his duties, was more than surprised to see his master guilty of the inexactness of appearing at this unaccustomed hour; for, according to rule, he was not due in Saville Row until precisely midnight.
Mr. Fogg repaired to his bedroom, and called out, “Passepartout!” Passepartout did not reply. It could not be he who was called; it was not the right hour.
“Passepartout!” repeated Mr. Fogg, without raising his voice.
Passepartout made his appearance.
“I’ve called you twice,” observed his master.
“But it is not midnight,” responded the other, showing his watch.
“I know it; I don’t blame you. We start for Dover and Calais in ten minutes.” A puzzled grin overspread Passepartout’s round face;
clearly he had not comprehended his master.
“Monsieur is going to leave home?” “Yes,” returned Phileas Fogg. “We are going round the world.” Passepartout opened wide his eyes, raised his eyebrows, held up his hands, and seemed about to collapse, so overcome was he with stupefied astonishment.
“Round the world!” he murmured.
“In eighty days,” responded Mr. Fogg. “So we haven’t a moment to lose.” “But the trunks?” gasped Passepartout, unconsciously swaying his head from right to left.
“We’ll have no trunks; only a carpet-bag, with two shirts and three pairs of stockings for me, and the same for you. We’ll buy our clothes on the way. Bring down my mackintosh and travelling-cloak, and some stout shoes, though we shall do little walking. Make haste!” Passepartout tried to reply, but could not. He went out,
mounted to his own room, fell into a chair, and muttered:
“That’s good, that is! And I, who wanted to remain quiet!” He mechanically set about making the preparations for departure. Around the world in eighty days! Was his master a fool! Was this a joke, then? They were going to Dover;
good! To Calais; good again! After all, Passepartout, who had been away from France five years, would not be sorry to set foot on his native soil again. Perhaps they would go as far as Paris, and it would do his eyes good to see Paris once more. But surely a gentleman so chary of his steps would stop there; no doubt—but, then, it was none the less true that he was going away, this so domestic person hitherto!
By eight o’clock Passepartout had packed the modest carpet-bag, containing the wardrobes of his master and himself; then, still troubled in mind, he carefully shut the door of his room, and descended to Mr. Fogg.
Mr. Fogg was quite ready. Under his arm might have been observed a red-bound copy of Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Steam Transit and General Guide, with its timetables showing the arrival and departure of steamers and railways. He took the carpet-bag, opened it, and slipped into it a goodly roll of Bank of England notes, which would pass wherever he might go.
“You have forgotten nothing?” asked he.
“Nothing, monsieur.” “My mackintosh and cloak?” “Here they are.” “Good. Take this carpet-bag,” handing it to Passepartout.
“Take good care of it, for there are twenty thousand pounds in it.” Passepartout nearly dropped the bag, as if the twenty thousand pounds were in gold, and weighed him down.
Master and man then descended, the street-door was double-locked, and at the end of Saville Row they took a cab and drove rapidly to Charing Cross. The cab stopped before the railway station at twenty minutes past eight. Passepartout jumped off the box and followed his master, who, after paying the cabman, was about to enter the station, when a poor beggar-woman, with a child in her arms, her naked feet smeared with mud, her head covered with a wretched bonnet, from which hung a tattered feather, and her shoulders shrouded in a ragged shawl, approached, and mournfully asked for alms.
Mr. Fogg took out the twenty guineas he had just won at whist, and handed them to the beggar, saying, “Here, my good woman. I’m glad that I met you;” and passed on.
Passepartout had a moist sensation about the eyes; his master’s action touched his susceptible heart.
Two first-class tickets for Paris having been speedily purchased, Mr. Fogg was crossing the station to the train, when he perceived his five friends of the Reform.
“Well, gentlemen,” said he, “I’m off, you see; and if you will examine my passport when I get back, you will be able to judge whether I have accomplished the journey agreed upon.” “Oh, that would be quite unnecessary, Mr. Fogg,” said Ralph politely. “We will trust your word, as a gentleman of honour.” “You do not forget when you are due in London again?” asked Stuart.
“In eighty days; on Saturday, the 21st of December, 1872, at a quarter before nine p.m. Good-bye, gentlemen.” Phileas Fogg and his servant seated themselves in a first-class carriage at twenty minutes before nine; five minutes later the whistle screamed, and the train slowly glided out of the station.
The night was dark, and a fine, steady rain was falling.
Phileas Fogg, snugly ensconced in his corner, did not open his lips. Passepartout, not yet recovered from his stupefaction, clung mechanically to the carpet-bag, with its enormous treasure.
Just as the train was whirling through Sydenham, Passepartout suddenly uttered a cry of despair.
“What’s the matter?” asked Mr. Fogg.
“Alas! In my hurry—I—I forgot—” “What?” “To turn off the gas in my room!” “Very well, young man,” returned Mr. Fogg, coolly; “it will burn—at your expense.”
CHAPTER VIn which a new species of funds, unknown to the moneyed men, appears on ’Change P HILEAS FOGG rightly suspected that his departure from London would create a lively sensation at the West End. The news of the bet spread through the Reform Club, and afforded an exciting topic of conversation to its members. From the Club it soon got into the papers throughout England. The boasted “tour of the world” was talked about, disputed, argued with as much warmth as if the subject were another Alabama claim. Some took sides with Phileas Fogg, but the large majority shook their heads and declared against him; it was absurd, impossible, they declared, that the tour of the world could be made, except theoretically and on paper, in this minimum of time, and with the existing means of travelling. The Times, Standard, Morning Post, and Daily News, and twenty other highly respectable newspapers scouted Mr. Fogg’s project as madness; the Daily Telegraph alone hesitatingly supported him. People in general thought him a lunatic, and blamed his Reform Club friends for having accepted a wager which betrayed the mental aberration of its proposer.
Articles no less passionate than logical appeared on the question, for geography is one of the pet subjects of the English; and the columns devoted to Phileas Fogg’s venture were eagerly devoured by all classes of readers. At first some rash individuals, principally of the gentler sex, espoused his cause, which became still more popular when the Illustrated London News came out with his portrait, copied from a photograph in the Reform Club. A few readers of the Daily Telegraph even dared to say, “Why not, after all? Stranger things have come to pass.” At last a long article appeared, on the 7th of October, in the bulletin of the Royal Geographical Society, which treated the question from every point of view, and demonstrated the utter folly of the enterprise.
Everything, it said, was against the travellers, every obstacle imposed alike by man and by nature. A miraculous agreement of the times of departure and arrival, which was impossible, was absolutely necessary to his success. He might, perhaps, reckon on the arrival of trains at the designated hours, in Europe, where the distances were relatively moderate; but when he calculated upon crossing India in three days, and the United States in seven, could he rely beyond misgiving upon accomplishing his task? There were accidents to machinery, the liability of trains to run off the line, collisions, bad weather, the blocking up by snow,—were not all these against Phileas Fogg? Would he not find himself, when travelling by steamer in winter, at the mercy of the winds and fogs? Is it uncommon for the best ocean steamers to be two or three days behind time? But a single delay would suffice to fatally break the chain of communication;
should Phileas Fogg once miss, even by an hour; a steamer, he would have to wait for the next, and that would irrevocably render his attempt vain.
This article made a great deal of noise, and being copied into all the papers, seriously depressed the advocates of the rash tourist.
Everybody knows that England is the world of betting men, who are of a higher class than mere gamblers; to bet is in the English temperament. Not only the members of the Reform, but the general public, made heavy wagers for or against Phileas Fogg, who was set down in the betting books as if he were a race-horse. Bonds were issued, and made their appearance on ’Change; “Phileas Fogg bonds” were offered at par or at a premium, and a great business was done in them. But five days after the article in the bulletin of the Geographical Society appeared, the demand began to subside: “Phileas Fogg” declined. They were offered by packages, at first of five, then of ten, until at last nobody would take less than twenty, fifty, a hundred!
Lord Albemarle, an elderly paralytic gentleman, was now the only advocate of Phileas Fogg left. This noble lord, who was fastened to his chair, would have given his fortune to be able to make the tour of the world, if it took ten years;
and he bet five thousand pounds on Phileas Fogg. When the folly as well as the uselessness of the adventure was pointed out to him, he contented himself with replying, “If the thing is feasible, the first to do it ought to be an Englishman.” The Fogg party dwindled more and more, everybody was going against him, and the bets stood a hundred and fifty and two hundred to one; and a week after his departure, an incident occurred which deprived him of backers at any price.
The commissioner of police was sitting in his office at nine o’clock one evening, when the following telegraphic despatch was put into his hands:—
The effect of this despatch was instantaneous. The polished gentleman disappeared to give place to the bank robber. His photograph, which was hung with those of the rest of the members at the Reform Club, was minutely examined, and it betrayed, feature by feature, the description of the robber which had been provided to the police. The mysterious habits of Phileas Fogg were recalled; his solitary ways, his sudden departure; and it seemed clear that, in undertaking a tour round the world on the pretext of a wager, he had had no other end in view than to elude the detectives, and throw them off his track.