Kong is an island which came into the possession of the English by
the Treaty of Nankin, after the war of 1842; and the colonising genius
of the English has created upon it an important city and an excellent port.
The island is situated at the mouth of the Canton River, and is separated
by about sixty miles from the Portuguese town of Macao, on the opposite
coast. Hong Kong has beaten Macao in the struggle for the Chinese trade,
and now the greater part of the transportation of Chinese goods finds its
depot at the former place. Docks, hospitals, wharves, a Gothic cathedral,
a government house, macadamised streets, give to Hong Kong the appearance
of a town in Kent or Surrey transferred by some strange magic to the antipodes.
wandered, with his hands in his pockets, towards the Victoria port, gazing
as he went at the curious palanquins and other modes of conveyance, and
the groups of Chinese, Japanese, and Europeans who passed to and fro in
the streets. Hong Kong seemed to him not unlike Bombay, Calcutta, and Singapore,
since, like them, it betrayed everywhere the evidence of English supremacy.
At the Victoria port he found a confused mass of ships of all nations:
English, French, American, and Dutch, men-of-war and trading vessels, Japanese
and Chinese junks, sempas, tankas, and flower-boats, which formed so many
floating parterres. Passepartout noticed in the crowd a number of the natives
who seemed very old and were dressed in yellow. On going into a barber's
to get shaved he learned that these ancient men were all at least eighty
years old, at which age they are permitted to wear yellow, which is the
Imperial colour. Passepartout, without exactly knowing why, thought this
the quay where they were to embark on the Carnatic, he was not astonished
to find Fix walking up and down. The detective seemed very much disturbed
is bad," muttered Passepartout, "for the gentlemen of the Reform Club!"
He accosted Fix with a merry smile, as if he had not perceived that gentleman's
chagrin. The detective had, indeed, good reasons to inveigh against the
bad luck which pursued him. The warrant had not come! It was certainly
on the way, but as certainly it could not now reach Hong Kong for several
days; and, this being the last English territory on Mr. Fogg's route, the
robber would escape, unless he could manage to detain him.
Monsieur Fix," said Passepartout, "have you decided to go with us so far
returned Fix, through his set teeth.
exclaimed Passepartout, laughing heartily. "I knew you could not persuade
yourself to separate from us. Come and engage your berth."
the steamer office and secured cabins for four persons. The clerk, as he
gave them the tickets, informed them that, the repairs on the Carnatic
having been completed, the steamer would leave that very evening, and not
next morning, as had been announced.
will suit my master all the better," said Passepartout. "I will go and
let him know."
decided to make a bold move; he resolved to tell Passepartout all. It seemed
to be the only possible means of keeping Phileas Fogg several days longer
at Hong Kong. He accordingly invited his companion into a tavern which
caught his eye on the quay. On entering, they found themselves in a large
room handsomely decorated, at the end of which was a large camp-bed furnished
with cushions. Several persons lay upon this bed in a deep sleep. At the
small tables which were arranged about the room some thirty customers were
drinking English beer, porter, gin, and brandy; smoking, the while, long
red clay pipes stuffed with little balls of opium mingled with essence
of rose. From time to time one of the smokers, overcome with the narcotic,
would slip under the table, whereupon the waiters, taking him by the head
and feet, carried and laid him upon the bed. The bed already supported
twenty of these stupefied sots.
Passepartout saw that they were in a smoking-house haunted by those wretched,
cadaverous, idiotic creatures to whom the English merchants sell every
year the miserable drug called opium, to the amount of one million four
hundred thousand pounds— thousands devoted to one of the most despicable
vices which afflict humanity! The Chinese government has in vain attempted
to deal with the evil by stringent laws. It passed gradually from the rich,
to whom it was at first exclusively reserved, to the lower classes, and
then its ravages could not be arrested. Opium is smoked everywhere, at
all times, by men and women, in the Celestial Empire; and, once accustomed
to it, the victims cannot dispense with it, except by suffering horrible
bodily contortions and agonies. A great smoker can smoke as many as eight
pipes a day; but he dies in five years. It was in one of these dens that
Fix and Passepartout, in search of a friendly glass, found themselves.
Passepartout had no money, but willingly accepted Fix's invitation in the
hope of returning the obligation at some future time.
two bottles of port, to which the Frenchman did ample justice, whilst Fix
observed him with close attention. They chatted about the journey, and
Passepartout was especially merry at the idea that Fix was going to continue
it with them. When the bottles were empty, however, he rose to go and tell
his master of the change in the time of the sailing of the Carnatic.
him by the arm, and said, "Wait a moment."
for, Mr. Fix?"
to have a serious talk with you."
talk!" cried Passepartout, drinking up the little wine that was left in
the bottom of his glass. "Well, we'll talk about it to-morrow; I haven't
What I have to say concerns your master."
at this, looked attentively at his companion. Fix's face seemed to have
a singular expression. He resumed his seat.
is it that you have to say?"
his hand upon Passepartout's arm, and, lowering his voice, said, "You have
guessed who I am?"
said Passepartout, smiling.
I'm going to tell you everything—"
I know everything, my friend! Ah! that's very good. But go on, go on. First,
though, let me tell you that those gentlemen have put themselves to a useless
said Fix. "You speak confidently. It's clear that you don't know how large
the sum is."
I do," returned Passepartout. "Twenty thousand pounds."
thousand!" answered Fix, pressing his companion's hand.
cried the Frenchman. "Has Monsieur Fogg dared— fifty-five thousand pounds!
Well, there's all the more reason for not losing an instant," he continued,
getting up hastily.
Passepartout back in his chair, and resumed: "Fifty-five thousand pounds;
and if I succeed, I get two thousand pounds. If you'll help me, I'll let
you have five hundred of them."
you?" cried Passepartout, whose eyes were standing wide open.
help me keep Mr. Fogg here for two or three days."
what are you saying? Those gentlemen are not satisfied with following my
master and suspecting his honour, but they must try to put obstacles in
his way! I blush for them!"
do you mean?"
that it is a piece of shameful trickery. They might as well waylay Mr.
Fogg and put his money in their pockets!"
just what we count on doing."
a conspiracy, then," cried Passepartout, who became more and more excited
as the liquor mounted in his head, for he drank without perceiving it.
"A real conspiracy! And gentlemen, too. Bah!"
to be puzzled.
of the Reform Club!" continued Passepartout. "You must know, Monsieur Fix,
that my master is an honest man, and that, when he makes a wager, he tries
to win it fairly!"
do you think I am?" asked Fix, looking at him intently.
An agent of the members of the Reform Club, sent out here to interrupt
my master's journey. But, though I found you out some time ago, I've taken
good care to say nothing about it to Mr. Fogg."
replied Passepartout, again emptying his glass.
passed his hand across his forehead, hesitating before he spoke again.
What should he do? Passepartout's mistake seemed sincere, but it made his
design more difficult. It was evident that the servant was not the master's
accomplice, as Fix had been inclined to suspect.
said the detective to himself, "as he is not an accomplice, he will help
no time to lose: Fogg must be detained at Hong Kong, so he resolved to
make a clean breast of it.
to me," said Fix abruptly. "I am not, as you think, an agent of the members
of the Reform Club—"
retorted Passepartout, with an air of raillery.
a police detective, sent out here by the London office."
prove it. Here is my commission."
was speechless with astonishment when Fix displayed this document, the
genuineness of which could not be doubted.
wager," resumed Fix, "is only a pretext, of which you and the gentlemen
of the Reform are dupes. He had a motive for securing your innocent complicity."
On the 28th of last September a robbery of fifty-five thousand pounds was
committed at the Bank of England by a person whose description was fortunately
secured. Here is his description; it answers exactly to that of Mr. Phileas
nonsense!" cried Passepartout, striking the table with his fist. "My master
is the most honourable of men!"
you tell? You know scarcely anything about him. You went into his service
the day he came away; and he came away on a foolish pretext, without trunks,
and carrying a large amount in banknotes. And yet you are bold enough to
assert that he is an honest man!"
yes," repeated the poor fellow, mechanically.
you like to be arrested as his accomplice?"
overcome by what he had heard, held his head between his hands, and did
not dare to look at the detective. Phileas Fogg, the saviour of Aouda,
that brave and generous man, a robber! And yet how many presumptions there
were against him! Passepartout essayed to reject the suspicions which forced
themselves upon his mind; he did not wish to believe that his master was
what do you want of me?" said he, at last, with an effort.
replied Fix; "I have tracked Mr. Fogg to this place, but as yet I have
failed to receive the warrant of arrest for which I sent to London. You
must help me to keep him here in Hong Kong—"
share with you the two thousand pounds reward offered by the Bank of England."
replied Passepartout, who tried to rise, but fell back, exhausted in mind
he stammered, "even should what you say be true— if my master is really
the robber you are seeking for—which I deny— I have been, am, in his service;
I have seen his generosity and goodness; and I will never betray him—not
for all the gold in the world. I come from a village where they don't eat
that kind of bread!"
that I've said nothing," said Fix; "and let us drink."
let us drink!"
felt himself yielding more and more to the effects of the liquor. Fix,
seeing that he must, at all hazards, be separated from his master, wished
to entirely overcome him. Some pipes full of opium lay upon the table.
Fix slipped one into Passepartout's hand. He took it, put it between his
lips, lit it, drew several puffs, and his head, becoming heavy under the
influence of the narcotic, fell upon the table.
said Fix, seeing Passepartout unconscious. "Mr. Fogg will not be informed
of the Carnatic's departure; and, if he is, he will have to go without
this cursed Frenchman!"
paying his bill, Fix left the tavern.