knows that the great reversed triangle of land, with its base in the
north and its apex in the south, which is called India, embraces fourteen
hundred thousand square miles, upon which is spread unequally a population
of one hundred and eighty millions of souls. The British Crown exercises
a real and despotic dominion over the larger portion of this vast country,
and has a governor-general stationed at Calcutta, governors at Madras,
Bombay, and in Bengal, and a lieutenant-governor at Agra.
India, properly so called, only embraces seven hundred thousand square
miles, and a population of from one hundred to one hundred and ten millions
of inhabitants. A considerable portion of India is still free from British
authority; and there are certain ferocious rajahs in the interior who are
absolutely independent. The celebrated East India Company was all-powerful
from 1756, when the English first gained a foothold on the spot where now
stands the city of Madras, down to the time of the great Sepoy insurrection.
It gradually annexed province after province, purchasing them of the native
chiefs, whom it seldom paid, and appointed the governor-general and his
subordinates, civil and military. But the East India Company has now passed
away, leaving the British possessions in India directly under the control
of the Crown. The aspect of the country, as well as the manners and distinctions
of race, is daily changing.
one was obliged to travel in India by the old cumbrous methods of going
on foot or on horseback, in palanquins or unwieldy coaches; now fast steamboats
ply on the Indus and the Ganges, and a great railway, with branch lines
joining the main line at many points on its route, traverses the peninsula
from Bombay to Calcutta in three days. This railway does not run in a direct
line across India. The distance between Bombay and Calcutta, as the bird
flies, is only from one thousand to eleven hundred miles; but the deflections
of the road increase this distance by more than a third.
route of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway is as follows: Leaving Bombay,
it passes through Salcette, crossing to the continent opposite Tannah,
goes over the chain of the Western Ghauts, runs thence north-east as far
as Burhampoor, skirts the nearly independent territory of Bundelcund, ascends
to Allahabad, turns thence eastwardly, meeting the Ganges at Benares, then
departs from the river a little, and, descending south-eastward by Burdivan
and the French town of Chandernagor, has its terminus at Calcutta.
of the Mongolia went ashore at half-past four p.m.; at exactly eight the
train would start for Calcutta.
after bidding good-bye to his whist partners, left the steamer, gave his
servant several errands to do, urged it upon him to be at the station promptly
at eight, and, with his regular step, which beat to the second, like an
astronomical clock, directed his steps to the passport office. As for the
wonders of Bombay its famous city hall, its splendid library, its forts
and docks, its bazaars, mosques, synagogues, its Armenian churches, and
the noble pagoda on Malabar Hill, with its two polygonal towers-- he cared
not a straw to see them. He would not deign to examine even the masterpieces
of Elephanta, or the mysterious hypogea, concealed south-east from the
docks, or those fine remains of Buddhist architecture, the Kanherian grottoes
of the island of Salcette.
transacted his business at the passport office, Phileas Fogg repaired quietly
to the railway station, where he ordered dinner. Among the dishes served
up to him, the landlord especially recommended a certain giblet of "native
rabbit," on which he prided himself.
accordingly tasted the dish, but, despite its spiced sauce, found it far
from palatable. He rang for the landlord, and, on his appearance, said,
fixing his clear eyes upon him, "Is this rabbit, sir?"
my lord," the rogue boldly replied, "rabbit from the jungles."
rabbit did not mew when he was killed?"
my lord! What, a rabbit mew! I swear to you--"
good, landlord, as not to swear, but remember this: cats were formerly
considered, in India, as sacred animals. That was a good time."
cats, my lord?"
for the travellers as well!"
which Mr. Fogg quietly continued his dinner. Fix had gone on shore shortly
after Mr. Fogg, and his first destination was the headquarters of the Bombay
police. He made himself known as a London detective, told his business
at Bombay, and the position of affairs relative to the supposed robber,
and nervously asked if a warrant had arrived from London. It had not reached
the office; indeed, there had not yet been time for it to arrive. Fix was
sorely disappointed, and tried to obtain an order of arrest from the director
of the Bombay police. This the director refused, as the matter concerned
the London office, which alone could legally deliver the warrant. Fix did
not insist, and was fain to resign himself to await the arrival of the
important document; but he was determined not to lose sight of the mysterious
rogue as long as he stayed in Bombay. He did not doubt for a moment, any
more than Passepartout, that Phileas Fogg would remain there, at least
until it was time for the warrant to arrive.
however, had no sooner heard his master's orders on leaving the Mongolia
than he saw at once that they were to leave Bombay as they had done Suez
and Paris, and that the journey would be extended at least as far as Calcutta,
and perhaps beyond that place. He began to ask himself if this bet that
Mr. Fogg talked about was not really in good earnest, and whether his fate
was not in truth forcing him, despite his love of repose, around the world
in eighty days!
purchased the usual quota of shirts and shoes, he took a leisurely promenade
about the streets, where crowds of people of many nationalities--Europeans,
Persians with pointed caps, Banyas with round turbans, Sindes with square
bonnets, Parsees with black mitres, and long-robed Armenians--were collected.
It happened to be the day of a Parsee festival. These descendants of the
sect of Zoroaster--the most thrifty, civilised, intelligent, and austere
of the East Indians, among whom are counted the richest native merchants
of Bombay--were celebrating a sort of religious carnival, with processions
and shows, in the midst of which Indian dancing-girls, clothed in rose-coloured
gauze, looped up with gold and silver, danced airily, but with perfect
modesty, to the sound of viols and the clanging of tambourines. It is needless
to say that Passepartout watched these curious ceremonies with staring
eyes and gaping mouth, and that his countenance was that of the greenest
for his master, as well as himself, his curiosity drew him unconsciously
farther off than he intended to go. At last, having seen the Parsee carnival
wind away in the distance, he was turning his steps towards the station,
when he happened to espy the splendid pagoda on Malabar Hill, and was seized
with an irresistible desire to see its interior. He was quite ignorant
that it is forbidden to Christians to enter certain Indian temples, and
that even the faithful must not go in without first leaving their shoes
outside the door. It may be said here that the wise policy of the British
Government severely punishes a disregard of the practices of the native
however, thinking no harm, went in like a simple tourist, and was soon
lost in admiration of the splendid Brahmin ornamentation which everywhere
met his eyes, when of a sudden he found himself sprawling on the sacred
flagging. He looked up to behold three enraged priests, who forthwith fell
upon him; tore off his shoes, and began to beat him with loud, savage exclamations.
The agile Frenchman was soon upon his feet again, and lost no time in knocking
down two of his long-gowned adversaries with his fists and a vigorous application
of his toes; then, rushing out of the pagoda as fast as his legs could
carry him, he soon escaped the third priest by mingling with the crowd
in the streets.
minutes before eight, Passepartout, hatless, shoeless, and having in the
squabble lost his package of shirts and shoes, rushed breathlessly into
had followed Mr. Fogg to the station, and saw that he was really going
to leave Bombay, was there, upon the platform. He had resolved to follow
the supposed robber to Calcutta, and farther, if necessary. Passepartout
did not observe the detective, who stood in an obscure corner; but Fix
heard him relate his adventures in a few words to Mr. Fogg.
that this will not happen again," said Phileas Fogg coldly, as he got into
the train. Poor Passepartout, quite crestfallen, followed his master without
a word. Fix was on the point of entering another carriage, when an idea
struck him which induced him to alter his plan.
stay," muttered he. "An offence has been committed on Indian soil. I've
got my man."
the locomotive gave a sharp screech, and the train passed out into the
darkness of the night.