Around the World in 80 Days
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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