Part 3 out of 4
"Very well. In half an hour we shall go on board."
"But poor Passepartout?" urged Aouda, who was much disturbed
by the servant's disappearance.
"I shall do all I can to find him," replied Phileas Fogg.
While Fix, in a feverish, nervous state, repaired to the pilot-boat,
the others directed their course to the police-station at Hong Kong.
Phileas Fogg there gave Passepartout's description, and left a sum of money
to be spent in the search for him. The same formalities having been gone
through at the French consulate, and the palanquin having stopped at the hotel
for the luggage, which had been sent back there, they returned to the wharf.
It was now three o'clock; and pilot-boat No. 43, with its crew
on board, and its provisions stored away, was ready for departure.
The Tankadere was a neat little craft of twenty tons,
as gracefully built as if she were a racing yacht.
Her shining copper sheathing, her galvanised iron-work,
her deck, white as ivory, betrayed the pride taken by John Bunsby
in making her presentable. Her two masts leaned a trifle backward;
she carried brigantine, foresail, storm-jib, and standing-jib,
and was well rigged for running before the wind; and she seemed capable
of brisk speed, which, indeed, she had already proved by gaining
several prizes in pilot-boat races. The crew of the Tankadere
was composed of John Bunsby, the master, and four hardy mariners,
who were familiar with the Chinese seas. John Bunsby, himself,
a man of forty-five or thereabouts, vigorous, sunburnt, with a
sprightly expression of the eye, and energetic and self-reliant
countenance, would have inspired confidence in the most timid.
Phileas Fogg and Aouda went on board, where they found Fix
already installed. Below deck was a square cabin, of which
the walls bulged out in the form of cots, above a circular divan;
in the centre was a table provided with a swinging lamp.
The accommodation was confined, but neat.
"I am sorry to have nothing better to offer you," said Mr.
Fogg to Fix, who bowed without responding.
The detective had a feeling akin to humiliation in profiting
by the kindness of Mr. Fogg.
"It's certain," thought he, "though rascal as he is, he is a polite one!"
The sails and the English flag were hoisted at ten minutes past three.
Mr. Fogg and Aouda, who were seated on deck, cast a last glance at the quay,
in the hope of espying Passepartout. Fix was not without his fears
lest chance should direct the steps of the unfortunate servant,
whom he had so badly treated, in this direction; in which case
an explanation the reverse of satisfactory to the detective
must have ensued. But the Frenchman did not appear, and, without doubt,
was still lying under the stupefying influence of the opium.
John Bunsby, master, at length gave the order to start, and
the Tankadere, taking the wind under her brigantine, foresail,
and standing-jib, bounded briskly forward over the waves.
IN WHICH THE MASTER OF THE "TANKADERE" RUNS
GREAT RISK OF LOSING A REWARD OF TWO HUNDRED POUNDS
This voyage of eight hundred miles was a perilous venture
on a craft of twenty tons, and at that season of the year.
The Chinese seas are usually boisterous, subject to terrible
gales of wind, and especially during the equinoxes;
and it was now early November.
It would clearly have been to the master's advantage to carry
his passengers to Yokohama, since he was paid a certain sum per day;
but he would have been rash to attempt such a voyage, and it was imprudent
even to attempt to reach Shanghai. But John Bunsby believed in the Tankadere,
which rode on the waves like a seagull; and perhaps he was not wrong.
Late in the day they passed through the capricious channels of Hong Kong,
and the Tankadere, impelled by favourable winds, conducted herself admirably.
"I do not need, pilot," said Phileas Fogg, when they got into
the open sea, "to advise you to use all possible speed."
"Trust me, your honour. We are carrying all the sail the wind will let us.
The poles would add nothing, and are only used when we are going into port."
"Its your trade, not mine, pilot, and I confide in you."
Phileas Fogg, with body erect and legs wide apart, standing
like a sailor, gazed without staggering at the swelling waters.
The young woman, who was seated aft, was profoundly affected
as she looked out upon the ocean, darkening now with the twilight,
on which she had ventured in so frail a vessel. Above her head
rustled the white sails, which seemed like great white wings.
The boat, carried forward by the wind, seemed to be flying in the air.
Night came. The moon was entering her first quarter, and her
insufficient light would soon die out in the mist on the horizon.
Clouds were rising from the east, and already overcast a part
of the heavens.
The pilot had hung out his lights, which was very necessary
in these seas crowded with vessels bound landward; for collisions
are not uncommon occurrences, and, at the speed she was going,
the least shock would shatter the gallant little craft.
Fix, seated in the bow, gave himself up to meditation. He kept apart
from his fellow-travellers, knowing Mr. Fogg's taciturn tastes; besides,
he did not quite like to talk to the man whose favours he had accepted.
He was thinking, too, of the future. It seemed certain that Fogg would not
stop at Yokohama, but would at once take the boat for San Francisco;
and the vast extent of America would ensure him impunity and safety.
Fogg's plan appeared to him the simplest in the world. Instead of sailing
directly from England to the United States, like a common villain,
he had traversed three quarters of the globe, so as to gain the
American continent more surely; and there, after throwing
the police off his track, he would quietly enjoy himself
with the fortune stolen from the bank. But, once in the United States,
what should he, Fix, do? Should he abandon this man? No, a hundred times no!
Until he had secured his extradition, he would not lose sight of him for an hour.
It was his duty, and he would fulfil it to the end. At all events,
there was one thing to be thankful for; Passepartout was not with his master;
and it was above all important, after the confidences Fix had imparted to him,
that the servant should never have speech with his master.
Phileas Fogg was also thinking of Passepartout, who had so
strangely disappeared. Looking at the matter from every point of view,
it did not seem to him impossible that, by some mistake, the man might
have embarked on the Carnatic at the last moment; and this was also
Aouda's opinion, who regretted very much the loss of the worthy fellow
to whom she owed so much. They might then find him at Yokohama;
for, if the Carnatic was carrying him thither, it would be easy
to ascertain if he had been on board.
A brisk breeze arose about ten o'clock; but, though it might
have been prudent to take in a reef, the pilot, after carefully
examining the heavens, let the craft remain rigged as before.
The Tankadere bore sail admirably, as she drew a great deal of water,
and everything was prepared for high speed in case of a gale.
Mr. Fogg and Aouda descended into the cabin at midnight,
having been already preceded by Fix, who had lain down on one of the cots.
The pilot and crew remained on deck all night.
At sunrise the next day, which was 8th November, the boat had made
more than one hundred miles. The log indicated a mean speed of between
eight and nine miles. The Tankadere still carried all sail,
and was accomplishing her greatest capacity of speed.
If the wind held as it was, the chances would be in her favour.
During the day she kept along the coast, where the currents were favourable;
the coast, irregular in profile, and visible sometimes across the clearings,
was at most five miles distant. The sea was less boisterous,
since the wind came off land--a fortunate circumstance for the boat,
which would suffer, owing to its small tonnage, by a heavy surge on the sea.
The breeze subsided a little towards noon, and set in from the south-west.
The pilot put up his poles, but took them down again within two hours,
as the wind freshened up anew.
Mr. Fogg and Aouda, happily unaffected by the roughness of the sea,
ate with a good appetite, Fix being invited to share their repast,
which he accepted with secret chagrin. To travel at this man's
expense and live upon his provisions was not palatable to him.
Still, he was obliged to eat, and so he ate.
When the meal was over, he took Mr. Fogg apart, and said,
"sir"--this "sir" scorched his lips, and he had to control himself
to avoid collaring this "gentleman"--"sir, you have been very kind
to give me a passage on this boat. But, though my means will not admit
of my expending them as freely as you, I must ask to pay my share--"
"Let us not speak of that, sir," replied Mr. Fogg.
"But, if I insist--"
"No, sir," repeated Mr. Fogg, in a tone which did not admit of a
reply. "This enters into my general expenses."
Fix, as he bowed, had a stifled feeling, and, going forward,
where he ensconced himself, did not open his mouth for the rest of the day.
Meanwhile they were progressing famously, and John Bunsby was
in high hope. He several times assured Mr. Fogg that they would
reach Shanghai in time; to which that gentleman responded
that he counted upon it. The crew set to work in good earnest,
inspired by the reward to be gained. There was not a sheet
which was not tightened not a sail which was not vigorously hoisted;
not a lurch could be charged to the man at the helm. They worked
as desperately as if they were contesting in a Royal yacht regatta.
By evening, the log showed that two hundred and twenty miles had been
accomplished from Hong Kong, and Mr. Fogg might hope that he would be able
to reach Yokohama without recording any delay in his journal; in which case,
the many misadventures which had overtaken him since he left London
would not seriously affect his journey.
The Tankadere entered the Straits of Fo-Kien, which separate
the island of Formosa from the Chinese coast, in the small hours
of the night, and crossed the Tropic of Cancer. The sea was very
rough in the straits, full of eddies formed by the counter-currents,
and the chopping waves broke her course, whilst it became very difficult
to stand on deck.
At daybreak the wind began to blow hard again, and the heavens
seemed to predict a gale. The barometer announced a speedy change,
the mercury rising and falling capriciously; the sea also,
in the south-east, raised long surges which indicated a tempest.
The sun had set the evening before in a red mist,
in the midst of the phosphorescent scintillations of the ocean.
John Bunsby long examined the threatening aspect of the heavens,
muttering indistinctly between his teeth. At last he said in a low voice
to Mr. Fogg, "Shall I speak out to your honour?"
"Well, we are going to have a squall."
"Is the wind north or south?" asked Mr. Fogg quietly.
"South. Look! a typhoon is coming up."
"Glad it's a typhoon from the south, for it will carry us forward."
"Oh, if you take it that way," said John Bunsby, "I've nothing more to say."
John Bunsby's suspicions were confirmed. At a less advanced season of the year
the typhoon, according to a famous meteorologist, would have passed away
like a luminous cascade of electric flame; but in the winter equinox
it was to be feared that it would burst upon them with great violence.
The pilot took his precautions in advance. He reefed all sail,
the pole-masts were dispensed with; all hands went forward to the bows.
A single triangular sail, of strong canvas, was hoisted as a storm-jib,
so as to hold the wind from behind. Then they waited.
John Bunsby had requested his passengers to go below; but this
imprisonment in so narrow a space, with little air, and the boat
bouncing in the gale, was far from pleasant. Neither Mr. Fogg,
Fix, nor Aouda consented to leave the deck.
The storm of rain and wind descended upon them towards eight o'clock.
With but its bit of sail, the Tankadere was lifted like a feather by a wind,
an idea of whose violence can scarcely be given. To compare her speed
to four times that of a locomotive going on full steam would be below
The boat scudded thus northward during the whole day, borne on
by monstrous waves, preserving always, fortunately, a speed equal
to theirs. Twenty times she seemed almost to be submerged by
these mountains of water which rose behind her; but the adroit
management of the pilot saved her. The passengers were often
bathed in spray, but they submitted to it philosophically.
Fix cursed it, no doubt; but Aouda, with her eyes fastened upon
her protector, whose coolness amazed her, showed herself worthy
of him, and bravely weathered the storm. As for Phileas Fogg,
it seemed just as if the typhoon were a part of his programme.
Up to this time the Tankadere had always held her course to the north;
but towards evening the wind, veering three quarters, bore down from
the north-west. The boat, now lying in the trough of the waves,
shook and rolled terribly; the sea struck her with fearful violence.
At night the tempest increased in violence. John Bunsby saw the approach
of darkness and the rising of the storm with dark misgivings.
He thought awhile, and then asked his crew if it was not time to slacken speed.
After a consultation he approached Mr. Fogg, and said, "I think, your honour,
that we should do well to make for one of the ports on the coast."
"I think so too."
"Ah!" said the pilot. "But which one?"
"I know of but one," returned Mr. Fogg tranquilly.
"And that is--"
The pilot, at first, did not seem to comprehend; he could
scarcely realise so much determination and tenacity.
Then he cried, "Well--yes! Your honour is right. To Shanghai!"
So the Tankadere kept steadily on her northward track.
The night was really terrible; it would be a miracle if the
craft did not founder. Twice it could have been all over with her
if the crew had not been constantly on the watch. Aouda was exhausted,
but did not utter a complaint. More than once Mr. Fogg rushed
to protect her from the violence of the waves.
Day reappeared. The tempest still raged with undiminished fury;
but the wind now returned to the south-east. It was a favourable change,
and the Tankadere again bounded forward on this mountainous sea,
though the waves crossed each other, and imparted shocks and counter-shocks
which would have crushed a craft less solidly built. From time to time
the coast was visible through the broken mist, but no vessel was in sight.
The Tankadere was alone upon the sea.
There were some signs of a calm at noon, and these became more distinct
as the sun descended toward the horizon. The tempest had been as brief
as terrific. The passengers, thoroughly exhausted, could now eat a little,
and take some repose.
The night was comparatively quiet. Some of the sails were again hoisted,
and the speed of the boat was very good. The next morning at dawn
they espied the coast, and John Bunsby was able to assert that they were
not one hundred miles from Shanghai. A hundred miles, and only one day
to traverse them! That very evening Mr. Fogg was due at Shanghai,
if he did not wish to miss the steamer to Yokohama. Had there been no storm,
during which several hours were lost, they would be at this moment within
thirty miles of their destination.
The wind grew decidedly calmer, and happily the sea fell with it.
All sails were now hoisted, and at noon the Tankadere was within
forty-five miles of Shanghai. There remained yet six hours
in which to accomplish that distance. All on board feared
that it could not be done, and every one--Phileas Fogg, no doubt,
excepted--felt his heart beat with impatience. The boat must keep up
an average of nine miles an hour, and the wind was becoming calmer
every moment! It was a capricious breeze, coming from the coast,
and after it passed the sea became smooth. Still, the Tankadere
was so light, and her fine sails caught the fickle zephyrs so well,
that, with the aid of the currents John Bunsby found himself at six o'clock
not more than ten miles from the mouth of Shanghai River. Shanghai itself
is situated at least twelve miles up the stream. At seven they were still
three miles from Shanghai. The pilot swore an angry oath; the reward of
two hundred pounds was evidently on the point of escaping him. He looked
at Mr. Fogg. Mr. Fogg was perfectly tranquil; and yet his whole fortune
was at this moment at stake.
At this moment, also, a long black funnel, crowned with wreaths of smoke,
appeared on the edge of the waters. It was the American steamer,
leaving for Yokohama at the appointed time.
"Confound her!" cried John Bunsby, pushing back the rudder
with a desperate jerk.
"Signal her!" said Phileas Fogg quietly.
A small brass cannon stood on the forward deck of the Tankadere,
for making signals in the fogs. It was loaded to the muzzle;
but just as the pilot was about to apply a red-hot coal to the touchhole,
Mr. Fogg said, "Hoist your flag!"
The flag was run up at half-mast, and, this being the signal of distress,
it was hoped that the American steamer, perceiving it, would change her
course a little, so as to succour the pilot-boat.
"Fire!" said Mr. Fogg. And the booming of the little cannon
resounded in the air.
IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT FINDS OUT THAT, EVEN AT THE ANTIPODES,
IT IS CONVENIENT TO HAVE SOME MONEY IN ONE'S POCKET
The Carnatic, setting sail from Hong Kong at half-past six on the
7th of November, directed her course at full steam towards Japan.
She carried a large cargo and a well-filled cabin of passengers.
Two state-rooms in the rear were, however, unoccupied--those which
had been engaged by Phileas Fogg.
The next day a passenger with a half-stupefied eye, staggering gait,
and disordered hair, was seen to emerge from the second cabin,
and to totter to a seat on deck.
It was Passepartout; and what had happened to him was as follows:
Shortly after Fix left the opium den, two waiters had lifted
the unconscious Passepartout, and had carried him to the bed
reserved for the smokers. Three hours later, pursued even
in his dreams by a fixed idea, the poor fellow awoke,
and struggled against the stupefying influence of the narcotic.
The thought of a duty unfulfilled shook off his torpor,
and he hurried from the abode of drunkenness.
Staggering and holding himself up by keeping against the walls,
falling down and creeping up again, and irresistibly impelled
by a kind of instinct, he kept crying out, "The Carnatic! the Carnatic!"
The steamer lay puffing alongside the quay, on the point of starting.
Passepartout had but few steps to go; and, rushing upon the plank,
he crossed it, and fell unconscious on the deck, just as the Carnatic
was moving off. Several sailors, who were evidently accustomed
to this sort of scene, carried the poor Frenchman down into the second cabin,
and Passepartout did not wake until they were one hundred and fifty miles
away from China. Thus he found himself the next morning on the deck
of the Carnatic, and eagerly inhaling the exhilarating sea-breeze.
The pure air sobered him. He began to collect his sense, which he found
a difficult task; but at last he recalled the events of the evening before,
Fix's revelation, and the opium-house.
"It is evident," said he to himself, "that I have been abominably drunk!
What will Mr. Fogg say? At least I have not missed the steamer,
which is the most important thing."
Then, as Fix occurred to him: "As for that rascal, I hope we
are well rid of him, and that he has not dared, as he proposed,
to follow us on board the Carnatic. A detective on the track
of Mr. Fogg, accused of robbing the Bank of England! Pshaw!
Mr. Fogg is no more a robber than I am a murderer."
Should he divulge Fix's real errand to his master? Would it
do to tell the part the detective was playing. Would it not be
better to wait until Mr. Fogg reached London again, and then
impart to him that an agent of the metropolitan police had been
following him round the world, and have a good laugh over it?
No doubt; at least, it was worth considering. The first thing to
do was to find Mr. Fogg, and apologise for his singular behaviour.
Passepartout got up and proceeded, as well as he could with
the rolling of the steamer, to the after-deck. He saw no one
who resembled either his master or Aouda. "Good!" muttered he;
"Aouda has not got up yet, and Mr. Fogg has probably found some
partners at whist."
He descended to the saloon. Mr. Fogg was not there.
Passepartout had only, however, to ask the purser the number
of his master's state-room. The purser replied that he
did not know any passenger by the name of Fogg.
"I beg your pardon," said Passepartout persistently. "He is a tall gentleman,
quiet, and not very talkative, and has with him a young lady--"
"There is no young lady on board," interrupted the purser.
"Here is a list of the passengers; you may see for yourself."
Passepartout scanned the list, but his master's name was not upon it.
All at once an idea struck him.
"Ah! am I on the Carnatic?"
"On the way to Yokohama?"
Passepartout had for an instant feared that he was on the wrong boat;
but, though he was really on the Carnatic, his master was not there.
He fell thunderstruck on a seat. He saw it all now.
He remembered that the time of sailing had been changed,
that he should have informed his master of that fact,
and that he had not done so. It was his fault, then,
that Mr. Fogg and Aouda had missed the steamer.
Yes, but it was still more the fault of the traitor who,
in order to separate him from his master, and detain
the latter at Hong Kong, had inveigled him into getting drunk!
He now saw the detective's trick; and at this moment Mr. Fogg
was certainly ruined, his bet was lost, and he himself perhaps
arrested and imprisoned! At this thought Passepartout tore his hair.
Ah, if Fix ever came within his reach, what a settling of accounts
there would be!
After his first depression, Passepartout became calmer,
and began to study his situation. It was certainly not
an enviable one. He found himself on the way to Japan,
and what should he do when he got there? His pocket was empty;
he had not a solitary shilling, not so much as a penny.
His passage had fortunately been paid for in advance;
and he had five or six days in which to decide upon his future course.
He fell to at meals with an appetite, and ate for Mr. Fogg, Aouda,
and himself. He helped himself as generously as if Japan were a desert,
where nothing to eat was to be looked for.
At dawn on the 13th the Carnatic entered the port of Yokohama.
This is an important port of call in the Pacific, where all the
mail-steamers, and those carrying travellers between North America,
China, Japan, and the Oriental islands put in. It is situated
in the bay of Yeddo, and at but a short distance from that
second capital of the Japanese Empire, and the residence of the Tycoon,
the civil Emperor, before the Mikado, the spiritual Emperor,
absorbed his office in his own. The Carnatic anchored at the quay
near the custom-house, in the midst of a crowd of ships bearing
the flags of all nations.
Passepartout went timidly ashore on this so curious territory
of the Sons of the Sun. He had nothing better to do than,
taking chance for his guide, to wander aimlessly through the streets
of Yokohama. He found himself at first in a thoroughly European quarter,
the houses having low fronts, and being adorned with verandas,
beneath which he caught glimpses of neat peristyles. This quarter occupied,
with its streets, squares, docks, and warehouses, all the space between
the "promontory of the Treaty" and the river. Here, as at Hong Kong
and Calcutta, were mixed crowds of all races, Americans and English,
Chinamen and Dutchmen, mostly merchants ready to buy or sell anything.
The Frenchman felt himself as much alone among them as if he had dropped
down in the midst of Hottentots.
He had, at least, one resource to call on the French and English consuls
at Yokohama for assistance. But he shrank from telling the story
of his adventures, intimately connected as it was with that of his master;
and, before doing so, he determined to exhaust all other means of aid.
As chance did not favour him in the European quarter, he penetrated
that inhabited by the native Japanese, determined, if necessary,
to push on to Yeddo.
The Japanese quarter of Yokohama is called Benten, after the
goddess of the sea, who is worshipped on the islands round about.
There Passepartout beheld beautiful fir and cedar groves, sacred
gates of a singular architecture, bridges half hid in the midst
of bamboos and reeds, temples shaded by immense cedar-trees,
holy retreats where were sheltered Buddhist priests and sectaries
of Confucius, and interminable streets, where a perfect harvest of
rose-tinted and red-cheeked children, who looked as if they had been
cut out of Japanese screens, and who were playing in the midst
of short-legged poodles and yellowish cats, might have been gathered.
The streets were crowded with people. Priests were passing
in processions, beating their dreary tambourines; police and
custom-house officers with pointed hats encrusted with lac and
carrying two sabres hung to their waists; soldiers, clad in blue
cotton with white stripes, and bearing guns; the Mikado's guards,
enveloped in silken doubles, hauberks and coats of mail;
and numbers of military folk of all ranks--for the military
profession is as much respected in Japan as it is despised
in China--went hither and thither in groups and pairs.
Passepartout saw, too, begging friars, long-robed pilgrims,
and simple civilians, with their warped and jet-black hair,
big heads, long busts, slender legs, short stature, and complexions
varying from copper-colour to a dead white, but never yellow,
like the Chinese, from whom the Japanese widely differ.
He did not fail to observe the curious equipages--carriages and palanquins,
barrows supplied with sails, and litters made of bamboo; nor the women--
whom he thought not especially handsome--who took little steps with their
little feet, whereon they wore canvas shoes, straw sandals, and clogs
of worked wood, and who displayed tight-looking eyes, flat chests,
teeth fashionably blackened, and gowns crossed with silken scarfs,
tied in an enormous knot behind an ornament which the modern
Parisian ladies seem to have borrowed from the dames of Japan.
Passepartout wandered for several hours in the midst of this motley crowd,
looking in at the windows of the rich and curious shops, the jewellery
establishments glittering with quaint Japanese ornaments, the restaurants
decked with streamers and banners, the tea-houses, where the odorous beverage
was being drunk with saki, a liquor concocted from the fermentation of rice,
and the comfortable smoking-houses, where they were puffing, not opium,
which is almost unknown in Japan, but a very fine, stringy tobacco.
He went on till he found himself in the fields, in the midst of vast
rice plantations. There he saw dazzling camellias expanding themselves,
with flowers which were giving forth their last colours and perfumes,
not on bushes, but on trees, and within bamboo enclosures, cherry, plum,
and apple trees, which the Japanese cultivate rather for their blossoms
than their fruit, and which queerly-fashioned, grinning scarecrows
protected from the sparrows, pigeons, ravens, and other voracious birds.
On the branches of the cedars were perched large eagles; amid the foliage
of the weeping willows were herons, solemnly standing on one leg;
and on every hand were crows, ducks, hawks, wild birds, and a
multitude of cranes, which the Japanese consider sacred,
and which to their minds symbolise long life and prosperity.
As he was strolling along, Passepartout espied some violets among the shrubs.
"Good!" said he; "I'll have some supper."
But, on smelling them, he found that they were odourless.
"No chance there," thought he.
The worthy fellow had certainly taken good care to eat as
hearty a breakfast as possible before leaving the Carnatic;
but, as he had been walking about all day, the demands of hunger
were becoming importunate. He observed that the butchers stalls
contained neither mutton, goat, nor pork; and, knowing also that
it is a sacrilege to kill cattle, which are preserved solely for farming,
he made up his mind that meat was far from plentiful in Yokohama--
nor was he mistaken; and, in default of butcher's meat,
he could have wished for a quarter of wild boar or deer,
a partridge, or some quails, some game or fish, which, with rice,
the Japanese eat almost exclusively. But he found it necessary
to keep up a stout heart, and to postpone the meal he craved till
the following morning. Night came, and Passepartout re-entered
the native quarter, where he wandered through the streets,
lit by vari-coloured lanterns, looking on at the dancers,
who were executing skilful steps and boundings, and the astrologers
who stood in the open air with their telescopes. Then he came
to the harbour, which was lit up by the resin torches of the fishermen,
who were fishing from their boats.
The streets at last became quiet, and the patrol, the officers
of which, in their splendid costumes, and surrounded by their suites,
Passepartout thought seemed like ambassadors, succeeded the bustling crowd.
Each time a company passed, Passepartout chuckled, and said to himself:
"Good! another Japanese embassy departing for Europe!"
IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT'S NOSE BECOMES OUTRAGEOUSLY LONG
The next morning poor, jaded, famished Passepartout said to
himself that he must get something to eat at all hazards, and the
sooner he did so the better. He might, indeed, sell his watch;
but he would have starved first. Now or never he must use the
strong, if not melodious voice which nature had bestowed upon him.
He knew several French and English songs, and resolved to try them
upon the Japanese, who must be lovers of music, since they were
for ever pounding on their cymbals, tam-tams, and tambourines, and
could not but appreciate European talent.
It was, perhaps, rather early in the morning to get up a
concert, and the audience prematurely aroused from their slumbers,
might not possibly pay their entertainer with coin bearing the
Mikado's features. Passepartout therefore decided to wait several
hours; and, as he was sauntering along, it occurred to him that he
would seem rather too well dressed for a wandering artist. The
idea struck him to change his garments for clothes more in harmony
with his project; by which he might also get a little money to
satisfy the immediate cravings of hunger. The resolution taken,
it remained to carry it out.
It was only after a long search that Passepartout discovered a
native dealer in old clothes, to whom he applied for an exchange.
The man liked the European costume, and ere long Passepartout
issued from his shop accoutred in an old Japanese coat, and a sort
of one-sided turban, faded with long use. A few small pieces of silver,
moreover, jingled in his pocket.
Good!" thought he. "I will imagine I am at the Carnival!"
His first care, after being thus "Japanesed," was to enter a tea-house
of modest appearance, and, upon half a bird and a little rice,
to breakfast like a man for whom dinner was as yet a problem to be solved.
"Now," thought he, when he had eaten heartily, "I mustn't lose my head.
I can't sell this costume again for one still more Japanese. I must
consider how to leave this country of the Sun, of which I shall not retain
the most delightful of memories, as quickly as possible."
It occurred to him to visit the steamers which were about to
leave for America. He would offer himself as a cook or servant,
in payment of his passage and meals. Once at San Francisco,
he would find some means of going on. The difficulty was,
how to traverse the four thousand seven hundred miles
of the Pacific which lay between Japan and the New World.
Passepartout was not the man to let an idea go begging,
and directed his steps towards the docks. But, as he approached
them, his project, which at first had seemed so simple, began to grow
more and more formidable to his mind. What need would they have
of a cook or servant on an American steamer, and what confidence would
they put in him, dressed as he was? What references could he give?
As he was reflecting in this wise, his eyes fell upon an immense
placard which a sort of clown was carrying through the streets.
This placard, which was in English, read as follows:
ACROBATIC JAPANESE TROUPE,
HONOURABLE WILLIAM BATULCAR, PROPRIETOR,
PRIOR TO THEIR DEPARTURE TO THE UNITED STATES,
LONG NOSES! LONG NOSES!
UNDER THE DIRECT PATRONAGE OF THE GOD TINGOU!
"The United States!" said Passepartout; "that's just what I want!"
He followed the clown, and soon found himself once more
in the Japanese quarter. A quarter of an hour later
he stopped before a large cabin, adorned with several
clusters of streamers, the exterior walls of which
were designed to represent, in violent colours
and without perspective, a company of jugglers.
This was the Honourable William Batulcar's establishment.
That gentleman was a sort of Barnum, the director of a troupe
of mountebanks, jugglers, clowns, acrobats, equilibrists,
and gymnasts, who, according to the placard, was giving
his last performances before leaving the Empire of the Sun
for the States of the Union.
Passepartout entered and asked for Mr. Batulcar, who straightway
appeared in person.
"What do you want?" said he to Passepartout, whom he at first
took for a native.
"Would you like a servant, sir?" asked Passepartout.
"A servant!" cried Mr. Batulcar, caressing the thick grey beard
which hung from his chin. "I already have two who are obedient
and faithful, have never left me, and serve me for their nourishment
and here they are," added he, holding out his two robust arms,
furrowed with veins as large as the strings of a bass-viol.
"So I can be of no use to you?"
"The devil! I should so like to cross the Pacific with you!"
"Ah!" said the Honourable Mr. Batulcar. "You are no more a Japanese
than I am a monkey! Who are you dressed up in that way?"
"A man dresses as he can."
"That's true. You are a Frenchman, aren't you?"
"Yes; a Parisian of Paris."
"Then you ought to know how to make grimaces?"
"Why," replied Passepartout, a little vexed that his nationality
should cause this question, "we Frenchmen know how to make grimaces,
it is true but not any better than the Americans do."
"True. Well, if I can't take you as a servant, I can as a clown.
You see, my friend, in France they exhibit foreign clowns,
and in foreign parts French clowns."
"You are pretty strong, eh?"
"Especially after a good meal."
"And you can sing?"
"Yes," returned Passepartout, who had formerly been wont
to sing in the streets.
"But can you sing standing on your head, with a top spinning
on your left foot, and a sabre balanced on your right?"
"Humph! I think so," replied Passepartout, recalling the exercises
of his younger days.
"Well, that's enough," said the Honourable William Batulcar.
The engagement was concluded there and then.
Passepartout had at last found something to do. He was engaged
to act in the celebrated Japanese troupe. It was not a very dignified
position, but within a week he would be on his way to San Francisco.
The performance, so noisily announced by the Honourable Mr. Batulcar,
was to commence at three o'clock, and soon the deafening instruments
of a Japanese orchestra resounded at the door. Passepartout,
though he had not been able to study or rehearse a part,
was designated to lend the aid of his sturdy shoulders
in the great exhibition of the "human pyramid," executed
by the Long Noses of the god Tingou. This "great attraction"
was to close the performance.
Before three o'clock the large shed was invaded by the spectators,
comprising Europeans and natives, Chinese and Japanese, men, women
and children, who precipitated themselves upon the narrow benches
and into the boxes opposite the stage. The musicians took up a position
inside, and were vigorously performing on their gongs, tam-tams, flutes,
bones, tambourines, and immense drums.
The performance was much like all acrobatic displays; but it must be
confessed that the Japanese are the first equilibrists in the world.
One, with a fan and some bits of paper, performed the graceful
trick of the butterflies and the flowers; another traced in the air,
with the odorous smoke of his pipe, a series of blue words,
which composed a compliment to the audience; while a third juggled
with some lighted candles, which he extinguished successively
as they passed his lips, and relit again without interrupting
for an instant his juggling. Another reproduced the most singular
combinations with a spinning-top; in his hands the revolving tops
seemed to be animated with a life of their own in their
interminable whirling; they ran over pipe-stems, the edges of sabres,
wires and even hairs stretched across the stage; they turned around
on the edges of large glasses, crossed bamboo ladders, dispersed into
all the corners, and produced strange musical effects by the combination
of their various pitches of tone. The jugglers tossed them in the air,
threw them like shuttlecocks with wooden battledores, and yet they kept
on spinning; they put them into their pockets, and took them out
still whirling as before.
It is useless to describe the astonishing performances of the acrobats
and gymnasts. The turning on ladders, poles, balls, barrels, &c.,
was executed with wonderful precision.
But the principal attraction was the exhibition of the Long Noses,
a show to which Europe is as yet a stranger.
The Long Noses form a peculiar company, under the direct patronage
of the god Tingou. Attired after the fashion of the Middle Ages,
they bore upon their shoulders a splendid pair of wings;
but what especially distinguished them was the long noses
which were fastened to their faces, and the uses which they made of them.
These noses were made of bamboo, and were five, six, and even ten feet long,
some straight, others curved, some ribboned, and some having imitation warts
upon them. It was upon these appendages, fixed tightly on their real noses,
that they performed their gymnastic exercises. A dozen of these sectaries
of Tingou lay flat upon their backs, while others, dressed to represent
lightning-rods, came and frolicked on their noses, jumping from one to another,
and performing the most skilful leapings and somersaults.
As a last scene, a "human pyramid" had been announced, in which
fifty Long Noses were to represent the Car of Juggernaut.
But, instead of forming a pyramid by mounting each other's shoulders,
the artists were to group themselves on top of the noses.
It happened that the performer who had hitherto formed the base
of the Car had quitted the troupe, and as, to fill this part,
only strength and adroitness were necessary, Passepartout
had been chosen to take his place.
The poor fellow really felt sad when--melancholy reminiscence
of his youth!--he donned his costume, adorned with vari-coloured wings,
and fastened to his natural feature a false nose six feet long.
But he cheered up when he thought that this nose was winning
him something to eat.
He went upon the stage, and took his place beside the rest
who were to compose the base of the Car of Juggernaut.
They all stretched themselves on the floor, their noses pointing
to the ceiling. A second group of artists disposed themselves on
these long appendages, then a third above these, then a fourth,
until a human monument reaching to the very cornices of the theatre
soon arose on top of the noses. This elicited loud applause,
in the midst of which the orchestra was just striking up a deafening air,
when the pyramid tottered, the balance was lost, one of the lower
noses vanished from the pyramid, and the human monument was
shattered like a castle built of cards!
It was Passepartout's fault. Abandoning his position,
clearing the footlights without the aid of his wings, and,
clambering up to the right-hand gallery, he fell at the feet of
one of the spectators, crying, "Ah, my master! my master!"
"Very well; then let us go to the steamer, young man!"
Mr. Fogg, Aouda, and Passepartout passed through the lobby
of the theatre to the outside, where they encountered
the Honourable Mr. Batulcar, furious with rage. He demanded damages
for the "breakage" of the pyramid; and Phileas Fogg appeased him
by giving him a handful of banknotes.
At half-past six, the very hour of departure, Mr. Fogg and Aouda,
followed by Passepartout, who in his hurry had retained his wings,
and nose six feet long, stepped upon the American steamer.
DURING WHICH MR. FOGG AND PARTY CROSS THE PACIFIC OCEAN
What happened when the pilot-boat came in sight of Shanghai will
be easily guessed. The signals made by the Tankadere had been
seen by the captain of the Yokohama steamer, who, espying the flag
at half-mast, had directed his course towards the little craft.
Phileas Fogg, after paying the stipulated price of his passage to
John Busby, and rewarding that worthy with the additional sum of
five hundred and fifty pounds, ascended the steamer with Aouda
and Fix; and they started at once for Nagasaki and Yokohama.
They reached their destination on the morning of the 14th of November.
Phileas Fogg lost no time in going on board the Carnatic, where he learned,
to Aouda's great delight--and perhaps to his own, though he betrayed
no emotion--that Passepartout, a Frenchman, had really arrived on her
the day before.
The San Francisco steamer was announced to leave that very evening,
and it became necessary to find Passepartout, if possible, without delay.
Mr. Fogg applied in vain to the French and English consuls, and,
after wandering through the streets a long time, began to despair
of finding his missing servant. Chance, or perhaps a kind of presentiment,
at last led him into the Honourable Mr. Batulcar's theatre. He certainly
would not have recognised Passepartout in the eccentric mountebank's costume;
but the latter, lying on his back, perceived his master in the gallery.
He could not help starting, which so changed the position of his nose
as to bring the "pyramid" pell-mell upon the stage.
All this Passepartout learned from Aouda, who recounted to him
what had taken place on the voyage from Hong Kong to Shanghai
on the Tankadere, in company with one Mr. Fix.
Passepartout did not change countenance on hearing this name.
He thought that the time had not yet arrived to divulge to his
master what had taken place between the detective and himself;
and, in the account he gave of his absence, he simply excused himself
for having been overtaken by drunkenness, in smoking opium
at a tavern in Hong Kong.
Mr. Fogg heard this narrative coldly, without a word; and then
furnished his man with funds necessary to obtain clothing more
in harmony with his position. Within an hour the Frenchman had
cut off his nose and parted with his wings, and retained nothing
about him which recalled the sectary of the god Tingou.
The steamer which was about to depart from Yokohama to San Francisco
belonged to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and was named
the General Grant. She was a large paddle-wheel steamer
of two thousand five hundred tons; well equipped and very fast.
The massive walking-beam rose and fell above the deck;
at one end a piston-rod worked up and down; and at the other
was a connecting-rod which, in changing the rectilinear motion
to a circular one, was directly connected with the shaft of the paddles.
The General Grant was rigged with three masts, giving a large capacity
for sails, and thus materially aiding the steam power. By making
twelve miles an hour, she would cross the ocean in twenty-one days.
Phileas Fogg was therefore justified in hoping that he would reach
San Francisco by the 2nd of December, New York by the 11th,
and London on the 20th--thus gaining several hours on the fatal date
of the 21st of December.
There was a full complement of passengers on board, among them English,
many Americans, a large number of coolies on their way to California,
and several East Indian officers, who were spending their vacation
in making the tour of the world. Nothing of moment happened on the voyage;
the steamer, sustained on its large paddles, rolled but little,
and the Pacific almost justified its name. Mr. Fogg was as calm
and taciturn as ever. His young companion felt herself more and more
attached to him by other ties than gratitude; his silent but generous nature
impressed her more than she thought; and it was almost unconsciously that
she yielded to emotions which did not seem to have the least effect upon
her protector. Aouda took the keenest interest in his plans, and became
impatient at any incident which seemed likely to retard his journey.
She often chatted with Passepartout, who did not fail to perceive
the state of the lady's heart; and, being the most faithful of domestics,
he never exhausted his eulogies of Phileas Fogg's honesty, generosity,
and devotion. He took pains to calm Aouda's doubts of a successful
termination of the journey, telling her that the most difficult part
of it had passed, that now they were beyond the fantastic countries
of Japan and China, and were fairly on their way to civilised places again.
A railway train from San Francisco to New York, and a transatlantic steamer
from New York to Liverpool, would doubtless bring them to the end of this
impossible journey round the world within the period agreed upon.
On the ninth day after leaving Yokohama, Phileas Fogg had traversed exactly
one half of the terrestrial globe. The General Grant passed, on the 23rd
of November, the one hundred and eightieth meridian, and was at the very
antipodes of London. Mr. Fogg had, it is true, exhausted fifty-two
of the eighty days in which he was to complete the tour, and there were
only twenty-eight left. But, though he was only half-way by the
difference of meridians, he had really gone over two-thirds of the
whole journey; for he had been obliged to make long circuits from
London to Aden, from Aden to Bombay, from Calcutta to Singapore,
and from Singapore to Yokohama. Could he have followed without
deviation the fiftieth parallel, which is that of London,
the whole distance would only have been about twelve thousand miles;
whereas he would be forced, by the irregular methods of locomotion,
to traverse twenty-six thousand, of which he had, on the 23rd of November,
accomplished seventeen thousand five hundred. And now the course was
a straight one, and Fix was no longer there to put obstacles in their way!
It happened also, on the 23rd of November, that Passepartout
made a joyful discovery. It will be remembered that the obstinate
fellow had insisted on keeping his famous family watch at London time,
and on regarding that of the countries he had passed through as quite false
and unreliable. Now, on this day, though he had not changed the hands,
he found that his watch exactly agreed with the ship's chronometers.
His triumph was hilarious. He would have liked to know what Fix
would say if he were aboard!
"The rogue told me a lot of stories," repeated Passepartout,
"about the meridians, the sun, and the moon! Moon, indeed!
moonshine more likely! If one listened to that sort of people,
a pretty sort of time one would keep! I was sure that the sun
would some day regulate itself by my watch!"
Passepartout was ignorant that, if the face of his watch had
been divided into twenty-four hours, like the Italian clocks,
he would have no reason for exultation; for the hands of his watch
would then, instead of as now indicating nine o'clock in the morning,
indicate nine o'clock in the evening, that is, the twenty-first hour
after midnight precisely the difference between London time and that
of the one hundred and eightieth meridian. But if Fix had been able
to explain this purely physical effect, Passepartout would not have admitted,
even if he had comprehended it. Moreover, if the detective had been on board
at that moment, Passepartout would have joined issue with him on a quite
different subject, and in an entirely different manner.
Where was Fix at that moment?
He was actually on board the General Grant.
On reaching Yokohama, the detective, leaving Mr. Fogg, whom he expected
to meet again during the day, had repaired at once to the English consulate,
where he at last found the warrant of arrest. It had followed him from Bombay,
and had come by the Carnatic, on which steamer he himself was supposed to be.
Fix's disappointment may be imagined when he reflected that the warrant was
now useless. Mr. Fogg had left English ground, and it was now necessary
to procure his extradition!
"Well," thought Fix, after a moment of anger, "my warrant is not good here,
but it will be in England. The rogue evidently intends to return to his
own country, thinking he has thrown the police off his track. Good!
I will follow him across the Atlantic. As for the money, heaven grant
there may be some left! But the fellow has already spent in travelling,
rewards, trials, bail, elephants, and all sorts of charges, more than
five thousand pounds. Yet, after all, the Bank is rich!"
His course decided on, he went on board the General Grant,
and was there when Mr. Fogg and Aouda arrived. To his utter
amazement, he recognised Passepartout, despite his theatrical disguise.
He quickly concealed himself in his cabin, to avoid an awkward explanation,
and hoped--thanks to the number of passengers--to remain unperceived
by Mr. Fogg's servant.
On that very day, however, he met Passepartout face to face
on the forward deck. The latter, without a word,
made a rush for him, grasped him by the throat,
and, much to the amusement of a group of Americans,
who immediately began to bet on him, administered
to the detective a perfect volley of blows,
which proved the great superiority of French
over English pugilistic skill.
When Passepartout had finished, he found himself relieved
and comforted. Fix got up in a somewhat rumpled condition,
and, looking at his adversary, coldly said, "Have you done?"
"For this time--yes."
"Then let me have a word with you."
"In your master's interests."
Passepartout seemed to be vanquished by Fix's coolness, for he quietly
followed him, and they sat down aside from the rest of the passengers.
"You have given me a thrashing," said Fix. "Good, I expected it.
Now, listen to me. Up to this time I have been Mr. Fogg's adversary.
I am now in his game."
"Aha!" cried Passepartout; "you are convinced he is an honest man?"
"No," replied Fix coldly, "I think him a rascal. Sh! don't budge,
and let me speak. As long as Mr. Fogg was on English ground,
it was for my interest to detain him there until my warrant
of arrest arrived. I did everything I could to keep him back.
I sent the Bombay priests after him, I got you intoxicated at Hong Kong,
I separated you from him, and I made him miss the Yokohama steamer."
Passepartout listened, with closed fists.
"Now," resumed Fix, "Mr. Fogg seems to be going back to England.
Well, I will follow him there. But hereafter I will do as much
to keep obstacles out of his way as I have done up to this time
to put them in his path. I've changed my game, you see,
and simply because it was for my interest to change it.
Your interest is the same as mine; for it is only in England
that you will ascertain whether you are in the service of a criminal
or an honest man."
Passepartout listened very attentively to Fix,
and was convinced that he spoke with entire good faith.
"Are we friends?" asked the detective.
"Friends?--no," replied Passepartout; "but allies, perhaps.
At the least sign of treason, however, I'll twist your neck for you."
"Agreed," said the detective quietly.
Eleven days later, on the 3rd of December, the General Grant
entered the bay of the Golden Gate, and reached San Francisco.
Mr. Fogg had neither gained nor lost a single day.
IN WHICH A SLIGHT GLIMPSE IS HAD OF SAN FRANCISCO
It was seven in the morning when Mr. Fogg, Aouda, and Passepartout
set foot upon the American continent, if this name can be given to
the floating quay upon which they disembarked. These quays,
rising and falling with the tide, thus facilitate the loading
and unloading of vessels. Alongside them were clippers of all sizes,
steamers of all nationalities, and the steamboats, with several decks
rising one above the other, which ply on the Sacramento and its tributaries.
There were also heaped up the products of a commerce which extends to Mexico,
Chili, Peru, Brazil, Europe, Asia, and all the Pacific islands.
Passepartout, in his joy on reaching at last the American continent,
thought he would manifest it by executing a perilous vault in fine style;
but, tumbling upon some worm-eaten planks, he fell through them.
Put out of countenance by the manner in which he thus "set foot"
upon the New World, he uttered a loud cry, which so frightened
the innumerable cormorants and pelicans that are always perched
upon these movable quays, that they flew noisily away.
Mr. Fogg, on reaching shore, proceeded to find out at what hour the first
train left for New York, and learned that this was at six o'clock p.m.;
he had, therefore, an entire day to spend in the Californian capital.
Taking a carriage at a charge of three dollars, he and Aouda entered it,
while Passepartout mounted the box beside the driver, and they set out
for the International Hotel.
From his exalted position Passepartout observed with much curiosity
the wide streets, the low, evenly ranged houses, the Anglo-Saxon
Gothic churches, the great docks, the palatial wooden and brick warehouses,
the numerous conveyances, omnibuses, horse-cars, and upon the side-walks,
not only Americans and Europeans, but Chinese and Indians. Passepartout
was surprised at all he saw. San Francisco was no longer the legendary city
of 1849--a city of banditti, assassins, and incendiaries, who had flocked
hither in crowds in pursuit of plunder; a paradise of outlaws, where they
gambled with gold-dust, a revolver in one hand and a bowie-knife in the other:
it was now a great commercial emporium.
The lofty tower of its City Hall overlooked the whole panorama
of the streets and avenues, which cut each other at right-angles,
and in the midst of which appeared pleasant, verdant squares,
while beyond appeared the Chinese quarter, seemingly imported
from the Celestial Empire in a toy-box. Sombreros and red shirts
and plumed Indians were rarely to be seen; but there were silk hats
and black coats everywhere worn by a multitude of nervously active,
gentlemanly-looking men. Some of the streets-- especially Montgomery Street,
which is to San Francisco what Regent Street is to London,
the Boulevard des Italiens to Paris, and Broadway to New York--
were lined with splendid and spacious stores, which exposed
in their windows the products of the entire world.
When Passepartout reached the International Hotel,
it did not seem to him as if he had left England at all.
The ground floor of the hotel was occupied by a large bar,
a sort of restaurant freely open to all passers-by, who might
partake of dried beef, oyster soup, biscuits, and cheese,
without taking out their purses. Payment was made only for the ale,
porter, or sherry which was drunk. This seemed "very American"
to Passepartout. The hotel refreshment-rooms were comfortable,
and Mr. Fogg and Aouda, installing themselves at a table,
were abundantly served on diminutive plates by negroes of darkest hue.
After breakfast, Mr. Fogg, accompanied by Aouda, started for
the English consulate to have his passport visaed. As he was
going out, he met Passepartout, who asked him if it would not be well,
before taking the train, to purchase some dozens of Enfield rifles
and Colt's revolvers. He had been listening to stories of attacks
upon the trains by the Sioux and Pawnees. Mr. Fogg thought it
a useless precaution, but told him to do as he thought best,
and went on to the consulate.
He had not proceeded two hundred steps, however, when, "by the
greatest chance in the world," he met Fix. The detective seemed
wholly taken by surprise. What! Had Mr. Fogg and himself
crossed the Pacific together, and not met on the steamer!
At least Fix felt honoured to behold once more the gentleman
to whom he owed so much, and, as his business recalled him to Europe,
he should be delighted to continue the journey in such pleasant company.
Mr. Fogg replied that the honour would be his; and the detective--
who was determined not to lose sight of him--begged permission
to accompany them in their walk about San Francisco--a request
which Mr. Fogg readily granted.
They soon found themselves in Montgomery Street, where a great
crowd was collected; the side-walks, street, horsecar rails,
the shop-doors, the windows of the houses, and even the roofs,
were full of people. Men were going about carrying large posters,
and flags and streamers were floating in the wind; while loud cries
were heard on every hand.
"Hurrah for Camerfield!"
"Hurrah for Mandiboy!"
It was a political meeting; at least so Fix conjectured, who said to Mr. Fogg,
"Perhaps we had better not mingle with the crowd. There may be danger in it."
"Yes," returned Mr. Fogg; "and blows, even if they are political
are still blows."
Fix smiled at this remark; and, in order to be able to see without
being jostled about, the party took up a position on the top of a flight
of steps situated at the upper end of Montgomery Street. Opposite them,
on the other side of the street, between a coal wharf and a petroleum warehouse,
a large platform had been erected in the open air, towards which the current
of the crowd seemed to be directed.
For what purpose was this meeting? What was the occasion of this
excited assemblage? Phileas Fogg could not imagine. Was it to nominate
some high official--a governor or member of Congress? It was not improbable,
so agitated was the multitude before them.
Just at this moment there was an unusual stir in the human mass.
All the hands were raised in the air. Some, tightly closed,
seemed to disappear suddenly in the midst of the cries--an energetic way,
no doubt, of casting a vote. The crowd swayed back, the banners and flags
wavered, disappeared an instant, then reappeared in tatters.
The undulations of the human surge reached the steps,
while all the heads floundered on the surface like a sea
agitated by a squall. Many of the black hats disappeared,
and the greater part of the crowd seemed to have diminished in height.
"It is evidently a meeting," said Fix, "and its object must be
an exciting one. I should not wonder if it were about the Alabama,
despite the fact that that question is settled."
"Perhaps," replied Mr. Fogg, simply.
"At least, there are two champions in presence of each other,
the Honourable Mr. Camerfield and the Honourable Mr. Mandiboy."
Aouda, leaning upon Mr. Fogg's arm, observed the tumultuous scene
with surprise, while Fix asked a man near him what the cause of it all was.
Before the man could reply, a fresh agitation arose; hurrahs and excited
shouts were heard; the staffs of the banners began to be used
as offensive weapons; and fists flew about in every direction.
Thumps were exchanged from the tops of the carriages and omnibuses
which had been blocked up in the crowd. Boots and shoes went whirling
through the air, and Mr. Fogg thought he even heard the crack of revolvers
mingling in the din, the rout approached the stairway, and flowed over
the lower step. One of the parties had evidently been repulsed;
but the mere lookers-on could not tell whether Mandiboy or Camerfield
had gained the upper hand.
"It would be prudent for us to retire," said Fix, who was anxious
that Mr. Fogg should not receive any injury, at least until
they got back to London. "If there is any question about England
in all this, and we were recognised, I fear it would go hard with us."
"An English subject--" began Mr. Fogg.
He did not finish his sentence; for a terrific hubbub now arose
on the terrace behind the flight of steps where they stood,
and there were frantic shouts of, "Hurrah for Mandiboy! Hip, hip, hurrah!"
It was a band of voters coming to the rescue of their allies,
and taking the Camerfield forces in flank. Mr. Fogg, Aouda,
and Fix found themselves between two fires; it was too late to escape.
The torrent of men, armed with loaded canes and sticks, was irresistible.
Phileas Fogg and Fix were roughly hustled in their attempts to protect
their fair companion; the former, as cool as ever, tried to defend himself
with the weapons which nature has placed at the end of every Englishman's arm,
but in vain. A big brawny fellow with a red beard, flushed face,
and broad shoulders, who seemed to be the chief of the band,
raised his clenched fist to strike Mr. Fogg, whom he would have given
a crushing blow, had not Fix rushed in and received it in his stead.
An enormous bruise immediately made its appearance under the detective's
silk hat, which was completely smashed in.
"Yankee!" exclaimed Mr. Fogg, darting a contemptuous look at the ruffian.
"Englishman!" returned the other. "We will meet again!"
"When you please."
"What is your name?"
"Phileas Fogg. And yours?"
"Colonel Stamp Proctor."
The human tide now swept by, after overturning Fix, who speedily
got upon his feet again, though with tattered clothes. Happily,
he was not seriously hurt. His travelling overcoat was divided
into two unequal parts, and his trousers resembled those of certain Indians,
which fit less compactly than they are easy to put on.
Aouda had escaped unharmed, and Fix alone bore marks
of the fray in his black and blue bruise.
"Thanks," said Mr. Fogg to the detective,
as soon as they were out of the crowd.
"No thanks are necessary," replied. Fix; "but let us go."
"To a tailor's."
Such a visit was, indeed, opportune. The clothing of both Mr. Fogg
and Fix was in rags, as if they had themselves been actively engaged
in the contest between Camerfield and Mandiboy. An hour after,
they were once more suitably attired, and with Aouda returned
to the International Hotel.
Passepartout was waiting for his master, armed with half a dozen
six-barrelled revolvers. When he perceived Fix, he knit his brows;
but Aouda having, in a few words, told him of their adventure,
his countenance resumed its placid expression. Fix evidently
was no longer an enemy, but an ally; he was faithfully keeping his word.
Dinner over, the coach which was to convey the passengers and their luggage
to the station drew up to the door. As he was getting in, Mr. Fogg
said to Fix, "You have not seen this Colonel Proctor again?"
"I will come back to America to find him," said Phileas Fogg calmly.
"It would not be right for an Englishman to permit himself to be treated
in that way, without retaliating."
The detective smiled, but did not reply. It was clear that Mr. Fogg
was one of those Englishmen who, while they do not tolerate duelling at home,
fight abroad when their honour is attacked.
At a quarter before six the travellers reached the station,
and found the train ready to depart. As he was about to enter it,
Mr. Fogg called a porter, and said to him: "My friend,
was there not some trouble to-day in San Francisco?"
"It was a political meeting, sir," replied the porter.
"But I thought there was a great deal of disturbance in the streets."
"It was only a meeting assembled for an election."
"The election of a general-in-chief, no doubt?" asked Mr. Fogg.
"No, sir; of a justice of the peace."
Phileas Fogg got into the train, which started off at full speed.
IN WHICH PHILEAS FOGG AND PARTY TRAVEL BY THE PACIFIC RAILROAD
"From ocean to ocean"--so say the Americans; and these four words
compose the general designation of the "great trunk line"
which crosses the entire width of the United States.
The Pacific Railroad is, however, really divided into two distinct lines:
the Central Pacific, between San Francisco and Ogden, and the Union Pacific,
between Ogden and Omaha. Five main lines connect Omaha with New York.
New York and San Francisco are thus united by an uninterrupted metal ribbon,
which measures no less than three thousand seven hundred and eighty-six miles.
Between Omaha and the Pacific the railway crosses a territory which is still
infested by Indians and wild beasts, and a large tract which the Mormons,
after they were driven from Illinois in 1845, began to colonise.
The journey from New York to San Francisco consumed, formerly,
under the most favourable conditions, at least six months.
It is now accomplished in seven days.
It was in 1862 that, in spite of the Southern Members of Congress,
who wished a more southerly route, it was decided to lay the road
between the forty-first and forty-second parallels. President Lincoln
himself fixed the end of the line at Omaha, in Nebraska. The work was
at once commenced, and pursued with true American energy; nor did the
rapidity with which it went on injuriously affect its good execution.
The road grew, on the prairies, a mile and a half a day. A locomotive,
running on the rails laid down the evening before, brought the rails
to be laid on the morrow, and advanced upon them as fast as they were
put in position.
The Pacific Railroad is joined by several branches in Iowa, Kansas,
Colorado, and Oregon. On leaving Omaha, it passes along the left bank
of the Platte River as far as the junction of its northern branch,
follows its southern branch, crosses the Laramie territory and the
Wahsatch Mountains, turns the Great Salt Lake, and reaches Salt Lake City,
the Mormon capital, plunges into the Tuilla Valley, across the American Desert,
Cedar and Humboldt Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and descends, via Sacramento,
to the Pacific--its grade, even on the Rocky Mountains, never exceeding
one hundred and twelve feet to the mile.
Such was the road to be traversed in seven days, which would enable
Phileas Fogg--at least, so he hoped--to take the Atlantic steamer
at New York on the 11th for Liverpool.
The car which he occupied was a sort of long omnibus on eight wheels,
and with no compartments in the interior. It was supplied with two rows
of seats, perpendicular to the direction of the train on either side
of an aisle which conducted to the front and rear platforms.
These platforms were found throughout the train, and the passengers
were able to pass from one end of the train to the other.
It was supplied with saloon cars, balcony cars, restaurants,
and smoking-cars; theatre cars alone were wanting, and they will
have these some day.
Book and news dealers, sellers of edibles, drinkables, and cigars,
who seemed to have plenty of customers, were continually circulating
in the aisles.
The train left Oakland station at six o'clock. It was already night,
cold and cheerless, the heavens being overcast with clouds which seemed
to threaten snow. The train did not proceed rapidly; counting the stoppages,
it did not run more than twenty miles an hour, which was a sufficient speed,
however, to enable it to reach Omaha within its designated time.
There was but little conversation in the car, and soon many of the passengers
were overcome with sleep. Passepartout found himself beside the detective;
but he did not talk to him. After recent events, their relations with each
other had grown somewhat cold; there could no longer be mutual sympathy or
intimacy between them. Fix's manner had not changed; but Passepartout was very
reserved, and ready to strangle his former friend on the slightest provocation.
Snow began to fall an hour after they started, a fine snow, however,
which happily could not obstruct the train; nothing could be seen
from the windows but a vast, white sheet, against which the smoke
of the locomotive had a greyish aspect.
At eight o'clock a steward entered the car and announced that
the time for going to bed had arrived; and in a few minutes
the car was transformed into a dormitory. The backs of the seats
were thrown back, bedsteads carefully packed were rolled out by
an ingenious system, berths were suddenly improvised, and each traveller
had soon at his disposition a comfortable bed, protected from curious eyes
by thick curtains. The sheets were clean and the pillows soft.
It only remained to go to bed and sleep which everybody did--
while the train sped on across the State of California.
The country between San Francisco and Sacramento is not very hilly.
The Central Pacific, taking Sacramento for its starting-point,
extends eastward to meet the road from Omaha. The line from San Francisco
to Sacramento runs in a north-easterly direction, along the American River,
which empties into San Pablo Bay. The one hundred and twenty miles between
these cities were accomplished in six hours, and towards midnight, while
fast asleep, the travellers passed through Sacramento; so that they saw nothing
of that important place, the seat of the State government, with its fine quays,
its broad streets, its noble hotels, squares, and churches.
The train, on leaving Sacramento, and passing the junction, Roclin, Auburn,
and Colfax, entered the range of the Sierra Nevada. 'Cisco was reached
at seven in the morning; and an hour later the dormitory was transformed
into an ordinary car, and the travellers could observe the picturesque
beauties of the mountain region through which they were steaming.
The railway track wound in and out among the passes, now approaching
the mountain-sides, now suspended over precipices, avoiding abrupt angles
by bold curves, plunging into narrow defiles, which seemed to have
no outlet. The locomotive, its great funnel emitting a weird light,
with its sharp bell, and its cow-catcher extended like a spur,
mingled its shrieks and bellowings with the noise of torrents and cascades,
and twined its smoke among the branches of the gigantic pines.
There were few or no bridges or tunnels on the route. The railway
turned around the sides of the mountains, and did not attempt to violate
nature by taking the shortest cut from one point to another.
The train entered the State of Nevada through the Carson Valley
about nine o'clock, going always northeasterly; and at midday reached Reno,
where there was a delay of twenty minutes for breakfast.
From this point the road, running along Humboldt River,
passed northward for several miles by its banks; then it
turned eastward, and kept by the river until it reached
the Humboldt Range, nearly at the extreme eastern limit of Nevada.
Having breakfasted, Mr. Fogg and his companions resumed their places
in the car, and observed the varied landscape which unfolded itself
as they passed along the vast prairies, the mountains lining the horizon,
and the creeks, with their frothy, foaming streams. Sometimes a great herd
of buffaloes, massing together in the distance, seemed like a moveable dam.
These innumerable multitudes of ruminating beasts often form an
insurmountable obstacle to the passage of the trains; thousands
of them have been seen passing over the track for hours together,
in compact ranks. The locomotive is then forced to stop and wait
till the road is once more clear.
This happened, indeed, to the train in which Mr. Fogg was travelling.
About twelve o'clock a troop of ten or twelve thousand head of buffalo
encumbered the track. The locomotive, slackening its speed, tried to clear
the way with its cow-catcher; but the mass of animals was too great.
The buffaloes marched along with a tranquil gait, uttering now and then
deafening bellowings. There was no use of interrupting them, for,
having taken a particular direction, nothing can moderate and change
their course; it is a torrent of living flesh which no dam could contain.
The travellers gazed on this curious spectacle from the platforms;
but Phileas Fogg, who had the most reason of all to be in a hurry,
remained in his seat, and waited philosophically until it should please
the buffaloes to get out of the way.
Passepartout was furious at the delay they occasioned, and longed
to discharge his arsenal of revolvers upon them.
"What a country!" cried he. "Mere cattle stop the trains, and go by
in a procession, just as if they were not impeding travel! Parbleu!
I should like to know if Mr. Fogg foresaw this mishap in his programme!
And here's an engineer who doesn't dare to run the locomotive
into this herd of beasts!"
The engineer did not try to overcome the obstacle, and he was wise.
He would have crushed the first buffaloes, no doubt, with the cow-catcher;
but the locomotive, however powerful, would soon have been checked,
the train would inevitably have been thrown off the track,
and would then have been helpless.
The best course was to wait patiently, and regain the lost time
by greater speed when the obstacle was removed. The procession
of buffaloes lasted three full hours, and it was night before
the track was clear. The last ranks of the herd were now passing over
the rails, while the first had already disappeared below the southern horizon.
It was eight o'clock when the train passed through the defiles
of the Humboldt Range, and half-past nine when it penetrated Utah,
the region of the Great Salt Lake, the singular colony of the Mormons.
IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT UNDERGOES, AT A SPEED OF TWENTY MILES AN HOUR,
A COURSE OF MORMON HISTORY
During the night of the 5th of December, the train ran south-easterly
for about fifty miles; then rose an equal distance in a north-easterly
direction, towards the Great Salt Lake.
Passepartout, about nine o'clock, went out upon the platform to take the air.
The weather was cold, the heavens grey, but it was not snowing.
The sun's disc, enlarged by the mist, seemed an enormous ring of gold,
and Passepartout was amusing himself by calculating its value
in pounds sterling, when he was diverted from this interesting study
by a strange-looking personage who made his appearance on the platform.
This personage, who had taken the train at Elko, was tall and dark,
with black moustache, black stockings, a black silk hat, a black waistcoat,
black trousers, a white cravat, and dogskin gloves. He might have been
taken for a clergyman. He went from one end of the train to the other,
and affixed to the door of each car a notice written in manuscript.
Passepartout approached and read one of these notices, which stated that
Elder William Hitch, Mormon missionary, taking advantage of his presence
on train No. 48, would deliver a lecture on Mormonism in car No. 117,
from eleven to twelve o'clock; and that he invited all who were desirous
of being instructed concerning the mysteries of the religion of the
"Latter Day Saints" to attend.
"I'll go," said Passepartout to himself. He knew nothing
of Mormonism except the custom of polygamy, which is its foundation.
The news quickly spread through the train, which contained
about one hundred passengers, thirty of whom, at most,
attracted by the notice, ensconced themselves in car No. 117.
Passepartout took one of the front seats. Neither Mr. Fogg
nor Fix cared to attend.
At the appointed hour Elder William Hitch rose, and, in an irritated voice,
as if he had already been contradicted, said, "I tell you that Joe Smith
is a martyr, that his brother Hiram is a martyr, and that the persecutions
of the United States Government against the prophets will also make a martyr
of Brigham Young. Who dares to say the contrary?"
No one ventured to gainsay the missionary, whose excited tone contrasted
curiously with his naturally calm visage. No doubt his anger arose
from the hardships to which the Mormons were actually subjected.
The government had just succeeded, with some difficulty, in reducing
these independent fanatics to its rule. It had made itself master of Utah,
and subjected that territory to the laws of the Union, after imprisoning
Brigham Young on a charge of rebellion and polygamy. The disciples
of the prophet had since redoubled their efforts, and resisted,
by words at least, the authority of Congress. Elder Hitch, as is seen,
was trying to make proselytes on the very railway trains.
Then, emphasising his words with his loud voice and frequent gestures,
he related the history of the Mormons from Biblical times: how that,
in Israel, a Mormon prophet of the tribe of Joseph published the annals
of the new religion, and bequeathed them to his son Mormon;
how, many centuries later, a translation of this precious book,
which was written in Egyptian, was made by Joseph Smith, junior,
a Vermont farmer, who revealed himself as a mystical prophet in 1825;
and how, in short, the celestial messenger appeared to him
in an illuminated forest, and gave him the annals of the Lord.
Several of the audience, not being much interested in
the missionary's narrative, here left the car; but Elder Hitch,
continuing his lecture, related how Smith, junior, with his father,
two brothers, and a few disciples, founded the church of the
"Latter Day Saints," which, adopted not only in America,
but in England, Norway and Sweden, and Germany, counts many artisans,
as well as men engaged in the liberal professions, among its members;
how a colony was established in Ohio, a temple erected there at a
cost of two hundred thousand dollars, and a town built at Kirkland;
how Smith became an enterprising banker, and received from a simple mummy
showman a papyrus scroll written by Abraham and several famous Egyptians.
The Elder's story became somewhat wearisome, and his audience
grew gradually less, until it was reduced to twenty passengers.
But this did not disconcert the enthusiast, who proceeded with
the story of Joseph Smith's bankruptcy in 1837, and how his ruined
creditors gave him a coat of tar and feathers; his reappearance
some years afterwards, more honourable and honoured than ever,
at Independence, Missouri, the chief of a flourishing colony
of three thousand disciples, and his pursuit thence by outraged Gentiles,
and retirement into the Far West.
Ten hearers only were now left, among them honest Passepartout,
who was listening with all his ears. Thus he learned that,
after long persecutions, Smith reappeared in Illinois,
and in 1839 founded a community at Nauvoo, on the Mississippi,
numbering twenty-five thousand souls, of which he became mayor,
chief justice, and general-in-chief; that he announced himself,
in 1843, as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States;
and that finally, being drawn into ambuscade at Carthage,
he was thrown into prison, and assassinated by a band of men
disguised in masks.
Passepartout was now the only person left in the car, and the Elder,
looking him full in the face, reminded him that, two years after
the assassination of Joseph Smith, the inspired prophet, Brigham Young,
his successor, left Nauvoo for the banks of the Great Salt Lake, where,
in the midst of that fertile region, directly on the route of the emigrants
who crossed Utah on their way to California, the new colony, thanks to
the polygamy practised by the Mormons, had flourished beyond expectations.
"And this," added Elder William Hitch, "this is why the jealousy of Congress
has been aroused against us! Why have the soldiers of the Union invaded
the soil of Utah? Why has Brigham Young, our chief, been imprisoned,
in contempt of all justice? Shall we yield to force? Never!
Driven from Vermont, driven from Illinois, driven from Ohio,
driven from Missouri, driven from Utah, we shall yet find some
independent territory on which to plant our tents. And you,
my brother," continued the Elder, fixing his angry eyes
upon his single auditor, "will you not plant yours there,
too, under the shadow of our flag?"
"No!" replied Passepartout courageously, in his turn retiring
from the car, and leaving the Elder to preach to vacancy.
During the lecture the train had been making good progress,
and towards half-past twelve it reached the northwest border
of the Great Salt Lake. Thence the passengers could observe
the vast extent of this interior sea, which is also called the Dead Sea,
and into which flows an American Jordan. It is a picturesque expanse,
framed in lofty crags in large strata, encrusted with white salt--
a superb sheet of water, which was formerly of larger extent than now,
its shores having encroached with the lapse of time, and thus at once
reduced its breadth and increased its depth.
The Salt Lake, seventy miles long and thirty-five wide,
is situated three miles eight hundred feet above the sea.
Quite different from Lake Asphaltite, whose depression
is twelve hundred feet below the sea, it contains considerable salt,
and one quarter of the weight of its water is solid matter,
its specific weight being 1,170, and, after being distilled, 1,000.
Fishes are, of course, unable to live in it, and those which descend
through the Jordan, the Weber, and other streams soon perish.
The country around the lake was well cultivated, for the Mormons
are mostly farmers; while ranches and pens for domesticated animals,
fields of wheat, corn, and other cereals, luxuriant prairies,
hedges of wild rose, clumps of acacias and milk-wort,
would have been seen six months later. Now the ground
was covered with a thin powdering of snow.
The train reached Ogden at two o'clock, where it rested for six hours,
Mr. Fogg and his party had time to pay a visit to Salt Lake City,
connected with Ogden by a branch road; and they spent two hours
in this strikingly American town, built on the pattern of other cities
of the Union, like a checker-board, "with the sombre sadness of right-angles,"
as Victor Hugo expresses it. The founder of the City of the Saints
could not escape from the taste for symmetry which distinguishes
the Anglo-Saxons. In this strange country, where the people
are certainly not up to the level of their institutions,
everything is done "squarely"--cities, houses, and follies.
The travellers, then, were promenading, at three o'clock,
about the streets of the town built between the banks of the
Jordan and the spurs of the Wahsatch Range. They saw few
or no churches, but the prophet's mansion, the court-house,
and the arsenal, blue-brick houses with verandas and porches,
surrounded by gardens bordered with acacias, palms, and locusts.
A clay and pebble wall, built in 1853, surrounded the town;
and in the principal street were the market and several hotels
adorned with pavilions. The place did not seem thickly populated.
The streets were almost deserted, except in the vicinity of the temple,
which they only reached after having traversed several quarters
surrounded by palisades. There were many women, which was easily
accounted for by the "peculiar institution" of the Mormons;
but it must not be supposed that all the Mormons are polygamists.
They are free to marry or not, as they please; but it is worth noting
that it is mainly the female citizens of Utah who are anxious to marry,
as, according to the Mormon religion, maiden ladies are not admitted
to the possession of its highest joys. These poor creatures seemed
to be neither well off nor happy. Some--the more well-to-do, no doubt--
wore short, open, black silk dresses, under a hood or modest shawl;
others were habited in Indian fashion.
Passepartout could not behold without a certain fright these women,
charged, in groups, with conferring happiness on a single Mormon.
His common sense pitied, above all, the husband. It seemed to him
a terrible thing to have to guide so many wives at once across
the vicissitudes of life, and to conduct them, as it were,
in a body to the Mormon paradise with the prospect of seeing them
in the company of the glorious Smith, who doubtless was the chief ornament
of that delightful place, to all eternity. He felt decidedly repelled
from such a vocation, and he imagined--perhaps he was mistaken--
that the fair ones of Salt Lake City cast rather alarming glances
on his person. Happily, his stay there was but brief. At four the party
found themselves again at the station, took their places in the train,
and the whistle sounded for starting. Just at the moment, however,
that the locomotive wheels began to move, cries of "Stop! stop!" were heard.
Trains, like time and tide, stop for no one. The gentleman
who uttered the cries was evidently a belated Mormon. He was
breathless with running. Happily for him, the station had neither
gates nor barriers. He rushed along the track, jumped on the rear
platform of the train, and fell, exhausted, into one of the seats.
Passepartout, who had been anxiously watching this amateur gymnast,
approached him with lively interest, and learned that he had taken flight
after an unpleasant domestic scene.
When the Mormon had recovered his breath, Passepartout ventured
to ask him politely how many wives he had; for, from the manner
in which he had decamped, it might be thought that he had twenty at least.
"One, sir," replied the Mormon, raising his arms heavenward
--"one, and that was enough!"
IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT DOES NOT SUCCEED IN MAKING ANYBODY LISTEN TO REASON
The train, on leaving Great Salt Lake at Ogden, passed northward
for an hour as far as Weber River, having completed nearly nine
hundred miles from San Francisco. From this point it took
an easterly direction towards the jagged Wahsatch Mountains.
It was in the section included between this range and the
Rocky Mountains that the American engineers found the most
formidable difficulties in laying the road, and that the government
granted a subsidy of forty-eight thousand dollars per mile,
instead of sixteen thousand allowed for the work done on the plains.
But the engineers, instead of violating nature, avoided its difficulties
by winding around, instead of penetrating the rocks. One tunnel only,
fourteen thousand feet in length, was pierced in order to arrive
at the great basin.
The track up to this time had reached its highest elevation at
the Great Salt Lake. From this point it described a long curve,
descending towards Bitter Creek Valley, to rise again to the
dividing ridge of the waters between the Atlantic and the Pacific.
There were many creeks in this mountainous region, and it was necessary
to cross Muddy Creek, Green Creek, and others, upon culverts.
Passepartout grew more and more impatient as they went on,
while Fix longed to get out of this difficult region, and was more
anxious than Phileas Fogg himself to be beyond the danger of delays
and accidents, and set foot on English soil.
At ten o'clock at night the train stopped at Fort Bridger station,
and twenty minutes later entered Wyoming Territory, following the
valley of Bitter Creek throughout. The next day, 7th December,
they stopped for a quarter of an hour at Green River station.
Snow had fallen abundantly during the night, but, being mixed with rain,
it had half melted, and did not interrupt their progress. The bad weather,
however, annoyed Passepartout; for the accumulation of snow, by blocking
the wheels of the cars, would certainly have been fatal to Mr. Fogg's tour.
"What an idea!" he said to himself. "Why did my master make
this journey in winter? Couldn't he have waited for the good
season to increase his chances?"
While the worthy Frenchman was absorbed in the state of the sky
and the depression of the temperature, Aouda was experiencing
fears from a totally different cause.
Several passengers had got off at Green River, and were walking up and down
the platforms; and among these Aouda recognised Colonel Stamp Proctor,
the same who had so grossly insulted Phileas Fogg at the San Francisco meeting.
Not wishing to be recognised, the young woman drew back from the window,
feeling much alarm at her discovery. She was attached to the man who,
however coldly, gave her daily evidences of the most absolute devotion.
She did not comprehend, perhaps, the depth of the sentiment with which
her protector inspired her, which she called gratitude, but which,
though she was unconscious of it, was really more than that.
Her heart sank within her when she recognised the man whom
Mr. Fogg desired, sooner or later, to call to account for his conduct.
Chance alone, it was clear, had brought Colonel Proctor on this train;
but there he was, and it was necessary, at all hazards, that Phileas Fogg
should not perceive his adversary.
Aouda seized a moment when Mr. Fogg was asleep to tell Fix and Passepartout
whom she had seen.
"That Proctor on this train!" cried Fix. "Well, reassure yourself,
madam; before he settles with Mr. Fogg; he has got to deal with me!
It seems to me that I was the more insulted of the two."
"And, besides," added Passepartout, "I'll take charge of him,
colonel as he is."
"Mr. Fix," resumed Aouda, "Mr. Fogg will allow no one to avenge him.
He said that he would come back to America to find this man.
Should he perceive Colonel Proctor, we could not prevent a collision
which might have terrible results. He must not see him."
"You are right, madam," replied Fix; "a meeting between them
might ruin all. Whether he were victorious or beaten, Mr. Fogg
would be delayed, and--"
"And," added Passepartout, "that would play the game of the gentlemen
of the Reform Club. In four days we shall be in New York. Well,
if my master does not leave this car during those four days,
we may hope that chance will not bring him face to face with this
confounded American. We must, if possible, prevent his stirring out of it."
The conversation dropped. Mr. Fogg had just woke up,
and was looking out of the window. Soon after Passepartout,
without being heard by his master or Aouda, whispered to the detective,
"Would you really fight for him?"
"I would do anything," replied Fix, in a tone which betrayed determined will,
"to get him back living to Europe!"
Passepartout felt something like a shudder shoot through his frame,
but his confidence in his master remained unbroken.
Was there any means of detaining Mr. Fogg in the car, to avoid a meeting
between him and the colonel? It ought not to be a difficult task,
since that gentleman was naturally sedentary and little curious.
The detective, at least, seemed to have found a way; for, after a few moments,
he said to Mr. Fogg, "These are long and slow hours, sir, that we are passing
on the railway."
"Yes," replied Mr. Fogg; "but they pass."
"You were in the habit of playing whist," resumed Fix, "on the steamers."
"Yes; but it would be difficult to do so here. I have neither cards
"Oh, but we can easily buy some cards, for they are sold
on all the American trains. And as for partners, if madam plays--"
"Certainly, sir," Aouda quickly replied; "I understand whist.
It is part of an English education."
"I myself have some pretensions to playing a good game.
Well, here are three of us, and a dummy--"
"As you please, sir," replied Phileas Fogg, heartily glad
to resume his favourite pastime even on the railway.
Passepartout was dispatched in search of the steward,
and soon returned with two packs of cards, some pins,
counters, and a shelf covered with cloth.
The game commenced. Aouda understood whist sufficiently well,
and even received some compliments on her playing from Mr. Fogg.
As for the detective, he was simply an adept, and worthy of being
matched against his present opponent.
"Now," thought Passepartout, "we've got him. He won't budge."
At eleven in the morning the train had reached the dividing ridge of the waters
at Bridger Pass, seven thousand five hundred and twenty-four feet above
the level of the sea, one of the highest points attained by the track
in crossing the Rocky Mountains. After going about two hundred miles,
the travellers at last found themselves on one of those vast plains
which extend to the Atlantic, and which nature has made so propitious
for laying the iron road.
On the declivity of the Atlantic basin the first streams,
branches of the North Platte River, already appeared.
The whole northern and eastern horizon was bounded by the immense
semi-circular curtain which is formed by the southern portion
of the Rocky Mountains, the highest being Laramie Peak.
Between this and the railway extended vast plains,
plentifully irrigated. On the right rose the lower spurs
of the mountainous mass which extends southward to the sources
of the Arkansas River, one of the great tributaries of the Missouri.
At half-past twelve the travellers caught sight for an instant of Fort Halleck,
which commands that section; and in a few more hours the Rocky Mountains
were crossed. There was reason to hope, then, that no accident would mark
the journey through this difficult country. The snow had ceased falling,
and the air became crisp and cold. Large birds, frightened by the locomotive,
rose and flew off in the distance. No wild beast appeared on the plain.
It was a desert in its vast nakedness.
After a comfortable breakfast, served in the car, Mr. Fogg and his partners had
just resumed whist, when a violent whistling was heard, and the train stopped.
Passepartout put his head out of the door, but saw nothing to cause the delay;
no station was in view.
Aouda and Fix feared that Mr. Fogg might take it into his head to get out;
but that gentleman contented himself with saying to his servant,
"See what is the matter."
Passepartout rushed out of the car. Thirty or forty passengers
had already descended, amongst them Colonel Stamp Proctor.
The train had stopped before a red signal which blocked the way.
The engineer and conductor were talking excitedly with a signal-man,
whom the station-master at Medicine Bow, the next stopping place,
had sent on before. The passengers drew around and took part
in the discussion, in which Colonel Proctor, with his insolent manner,
Passepartout, joining the group, heard the signal-man say,
"No! you can't pass. The bridge at Medicine Bow is shaky,
and would not bear the weight of the train."
This was a suspension-bridge thrown over some rapids, about a
mile from the place where they now were. According to the
signal-man, it was in a ruinous condition, several of the iron
wires being broken; and it was impossible to risk the passage.
He did not in any way exaggerate the condition of the bridge.
It may be taken for granted that, rash as the Americans usually are,
when they are prudent there is good reason for it.
Passepartout, not daring to apprise his master of what he heard,
listened with set teeth, immovable as a statue.
"Hum!" cried Colonel Proctor; "but we are not going to stay here,
I imagine, and take root in the snow?"
"Colonel," replied the conductor, "we have telegraphed to Omaha for a train,
but it is not likely that it will reach Medicine Bow is less than six hours."
"Six hours!" cried Passepartout.
"Certainly," returned the conductor, "besides, it will take us as long
as that to reach Medicine Bow on foot."
"But it is only a mile from here," said one of the passengers.
"Yes, but it's on the other side of the river."
"And can't we cross that in a boat?" asked the colonel.
"That's impossible. The creek is swelled by the rains. It is a rapid,
and we shall have to make a circuit of ten miles to the north to find a ford."
The colonel launched a volley of oaths, denouncing the railway
company and the conductor; and Passepartout, who was furious,
was not disinclined to make common cause with him. Here was
an obstacle, indeed, which all his master's banknotes could not remove.
There was a general disappointment among the passengers, who,
without reckoning the delay, saw themselves compelled to trudge
fifteen miles over a plain covered with snow. They grumbled and
protested, and would certainly have thus attracted Phileas Fogg's
attention if he had not been completely absorbed in his game.
Passepartout found that he could not avoid telling his master what
had occurred, and, with hanging head, he was turning towards the car,
when the engineer, a true Yankee, named Forster called out,
"Gentlemen, perhaps there is a way, after all, to get over."
"On the bridge?" asked a passenger.
"On the bridge."
"With our train?"
"With our train."
Passepartout stopped short, and eagerly listened to the engineer.
"But the bridge is unsafe," urged the conductor.
"No matter," replied Forster; "I think that by putting on the
very highest speed we might have a chance of getting over."
"The devil!" muttered Passepartout.
But a number of the passengers were at once attracted by the
engineer's proposal, and Colonel Proctor was especially delighted,
and found the plan a very feasible one. He told stories about
engineers leaping their trains over rivers without bridges,
by putting on full steam; and many of those present avowed
themselves of the engineer's mind.
"We have fifty chances out of a hundred of getting over," said one.
Passepartout was astounded, and, though ready to attempt anything to get
over Medicine Creek, thought the experiment proposed a little too American.
"Besides," thought he, "there's a still more simple way, and it does not even
occur to any of these people! Sir," said he aloud to one of the passengers,
"the engineer's plan seems to me a little dangerous, but--"
"Eighty chances!" replied the passenger, turning his back on him.
"I know it," said Passepartout, turning to another passenger,
"but a simple idea--"
"Ideas are no use," returned the American, shrugging his shoulders,
"as the engineer assures us that we can pass."
"Doubtless," urged Passepartout, "we can pass, but perhaps it would
be more prudent--"
"What! Prudent!" cried Colonel Proctor, whom this word seemed
to excite prodigiously. "At full speed, don't you see, at full speed!"