SHOWING WHAT HAPPENED ON THE VOYAGE FROM SINGAPORE TO HONG KONG
The detective and Passepartout met often on deck after this interview,
though Fix was reserved, and did not attempt to induce his companion to
divulge any more facts concerning Mr. Fogg. He caught a glimpse of
that mysterious gentleman once or twice; but Mr. Fogg usually confined
himself to the cabin, where he kept Aouda company, or, according to his
inveterate habit, took a hand at whist.
Passepartout began very seriously to conjecture what strange chance
kept Fix still on the route that his master was pursuing. It was
really worth considering why this certainly very amiable and complacent
person, whom he had first met at Suez, had then encountered on board
the Mongolia, who disembarked at Bombay, which he announced as his
destination, and now turned up so unexpectedly on the Rangoon, was
following Mr. Fogg's tracks step by step. What was Fix's object?
Passepartout was ready to wager his Indian shoes—which he religiously
preserved—that Fix would also leave Hong Kong at the same time with
them, and probably on the same steamer.
Passepartout might have cudgelled his brain for a century without
hitting upon the real object which the detective had in view. He never
could have imagined that Phileas Fogg was being tracked as a robber
around the globe. But, as it is in human nature to attempt the
solution of every mystery, Passepartout suddenly discovered an
explanation of Fix's movements, which was in truth far from
unreasonable. Fix, he thought, could only be an agent of Mr. Fogg's
friends at the Reform Club, sent to follow him up, and to ascertain
that he really went round the world as had been agreed upon.
"It's clear!" repeated the worthy servant to himself, proud of his
shrewdness. "He's a spy sent to keep us in view! That isn't quite the
thing, either, to be spying Mr. Fogg, who is so honourable a man! Ah,
gentlemen of the Reform, this shall cost you dear!"
Passepartout, enchanted with his discovery, resolved to say nothing to
his master, lest he should be justly offended at this mistrust on the
part of his adversaries. But he determined to chaff Fix, when he had
the chance, with mysterious allusions, which, however, need not betray
his real suspicions.
During the afternoon of Wednesday, 30th October, the Rangoon entered
the Strait of Malacca, which separates the peninsula of that name from
Sumatra. The mountainous and craggy islets intercepted the beauties of
this noble island from the view of the travellers. The Rangoon weighed
anchor at Singapore the next day at four a.m., to receive coal, having
gained half a day on the prescribed time of her arrival. Phileas Fogg
noted this gain in his journal, and then, accompanied by Aouda, who
betrayed a desire for a walk on shore, disembarked.
Fix, who suspected Mr. Fogg's every movement, followed them cautiously,
without being himself perceived; while Passepartout, laughing in his
sleeve at Fix's manoeuvres, went about his usual errands.
The island of Singapore is not imposing in aspect, for there are no
mountains; yet its appearance is not without attractions. It is a park
checkered by pleasant highways and avenues. A handsome carriage, drawn
by a sleek pair of New Holland horses, carried Phileas Fogg and Aouda
into the midst of rows of palms with brilliant foliage, and of
clove-trees, whereof the cloves form the heart of a half-open flower.
Pepper plants replaced the prickly hedges of European fields;
sago-bushes, large ferns with gorgeous branches, varied the aspect of
this tropical clime; while nutmeg-trees in full foliage filled the air
with a penetrating perfume. Agile and grinning bands of monkeys
skipped about in the trees, nor were tigers wanting in the jungles.
After a drive of two hours through the country, Aouda and Mr. Fogg
returned to the town, which is a vast collection of heavy-looking,
irregular houses, surrounded by charming gardens rich in tropical
fruits and plants; and at ten o'clock they re-embarked, closely
followed by the detective, who had kept them constantly in sight.
Passepartout, who had been purchasing several dozen mangoes—a fruit
as large as good-sized apples, of a dark-brown colour outside and a
bright red within, and whose white pulp, melting in the mouth, affords
gourmands a delicious sensation—was waiting for them on deck. He was
only too glad to offer some mangoes to Aouda, who thanked him very
gracefully for them.
At eleven o'clock the Rangoon rode out of Singapore harbour, and in a
few hours the high mountains of Malacca, with their forests, inhabited
by the most beautifully-furred tigers in the world, were lost to view.
Singapore is distant some thirteen hundred miles from the island of
Hong Kong, which is a little English colony near the Chinese coast.
Phileas Fogg hoped to accomplish the journey in six days, so as to be
in time for the steamer which would leave on the 6th of November for
Yokohama, the principal Japanese port.
The Rangoon had a large quota of passengers, many of whom disembarked
at Singapore, among them a number of Indians, Ceylonese, Chinamen,
Malays, and Portuguese, mostly second-class travellers.
The weather, which had hitherto been fine, changed with the last
quarter of the moon. The sea rolled heavily, and the wind at intervals
rose almost to a storm, but happily blew from the south-west, and thus
aided the steamer's progress. The captain as often as possible put up
his sails, and under the double action of steam and sail the vessel
made rapid progress along the coasts of Anam and Cochin China. Owing
to the defective construction of the Rangoon, however, unusual
precautions became necessary in unfavourable weather; but the loss of
time which resulted from this cause, while it nearly drove Passepartout
out of his senses, did not seem to affect his master in the least.
Passepartout blamed the captain, the engineer, and the crew, and
consigned all who were connected with the ship to the land where the
pepper grows. Perhaps the thought of the gas, which was remorselessly
burning at his expense in Saville Row, had something to do with his hot
"You are in a great hurry, then," said Fix to him one day, "to reach
"A very great hurry!"
"Mr. Fogg, I suppose, is anxious to catch the steamer for Yokohama?"
"You believe in this journey around the world, then?"
"Absolutely. Don't you, Mr. Fix?"
"I? I don't believe a word of it."
"You're a sly dog!" said Passepartout, winking at him.
This expression rather disturbed Fix, without his knowing why. Had the
Frenchman guessed his real purpose? He knew not what to think. But
how could Passepartout have discovered that he was a detective? Yet,
in speaking as he did, the man evidently meant more than he expressed.
Passepartout went still further the next day; he could not hold his
"Mr. Fix," said he, in a bantering tone, "shall we be so unfortunate as
to lose you when we get to Hong Kong?"
"Why," responded Fix, a little embarrassed, "I don't know; perhaps—"
"Ah, if you would only go on with us! An agent of the Peninsular
Company, you know, can't stop on the way! You were only going to
Bombay, and here you are in China. America is not far off, and from
America to Europe is only a step."
Fix looked intently at his companion, whose countenance was as serene
as possible, and laughed with him. But Passepartout persisted in
chaffing him by asking him if he made much by his present occupation.
"Yes, and no," returned Fix; "there is good and bad luck in such
things. But you must understand that I don't travel at my own expense."
"Oh, I am quite sure of that!" cried Passepartout, laughing heartily.
Fix, fairly puzzled, descended to his cabin and gave himself up to his
reflections. He was evidently suspected; somehow or other the
Frenchman had found out that he was a detective. But had he told his
master? What part was he playing in all this: was he an accomplice or
not? Was the game, then, up? Fix spent several hours turning these
things over in his mind, sometimes thinking that all was lost, then
persuading himself that Fogg was ignorant of his presence, and then
undecided what course it was best to take.
Nevertheless, he preserved his coolness of mind, and at last resolved
to deal plainly with Passepartout. If he did not find it practicable
to arrest Fogg at Hong Kong, and if Fogg made preparations to leave
that last foothold of English territory, he, Fix, would tell
Passepartout all. Either the servant was the accomplice of his master,
and in this case the master knew of his operations, and he should fail;
or else the servant knew nothing about the robbery, and then his
interest would be to abandon the robber.
Such was the situation between Fix and Passepartout. Meanwhile Phileas
Fogg moved about above them in the most majestic and unconscious
indifference. He was passing methodically in his orbit around the
world, regardless of the lesser stars which gravitated around him. Yet
there was near by what the astronomers would call a disturbing star,
which might have produced an agitation in this gentleman's heart. But
no! the charms of Aouda failed to act, to Passepartout's great
surprise; and the disturbances, if they existed, would have been more
difficult to calculate than those of Uranus which led to the discovery
It was every day an increasing wonder to Passepartout, who read in
Aouda's eyes the depths of her gratitude to his master. Phileas Fogg,
though brave and gallant, must be, he thought, quite heartless. As to
the sentiment which this journey might have awakened in him, there was
clearly no trace of such a thing; while poor Passepartout existed in
One day he was leaning on the railing of the engine-room, and was
observing the engine, when a sudden pitch of the steamer threw the
screw out of the water. The steam came hissing out of the valves; and
this made Passepartout indignant.
"The valves are not sufficiently charged!" he exclaimed. "We are not
going. Oh, these English! If this was an American craft, we should
blow up, perhaps, but we should at all events go faster!"