Mr. Fogg, I will
Fogg, having shut the door of his house at half-past eleven, and having
put his right foot before his left five hundred and seventy-five times,
and his left foot before his right five hundred and seventy-six times,
reached the Reform Club, an imposing edifice in Pall Mall, which could
not have cost less than three millions. He repaired at once to the dining-room,
the nine windows of which open upon a tasteful garden, where the trees
were already gilded with an autumn colouring; and took his place at the
habitual table, the cover of which had already been laid for him. His breakfast
consisted of a side-dish, a broiled fish with Reading sauce, a scarlet
slice of roast beef garnished with mushrooms, a rhubarb and gooseberry
tart, and a morsel of Cheshire cheese, the whole being washed down with
several cups of tea, for which the Reform is famous. He rose at thirteen
minutes to one, and directed his steps towards the large hall, a sumptuous
apartment adorned with lavishly-framed paintings. A flunky handed him an
uncut Times, which he proceeded to cut with a skill which betrayed familiarity
with this delicate operation. The perusal of this paper absorbed Phileas
Fogg until a quarter before four, whilst the Standard, his next task, occupied
him till the dinner hour. Dinner passed as breakfast had done, and Mr.
Fogg re-appeared in the reading-room and sat down to the Pall Mall at twenty
minutes before six. Half an hour later several members of the Reform came
in and drew up to the fireplace, where a coal fire was steadily burning.
They were Mr. Fogg's usual partners at whist: Andrew Stuart, an engineer;
John Sullivan and Samuel Fallentin, bankers; Thomas Flanagan, a brewer;
and Gauthier Ralph, one of the Directors of the Bank of England-- all rich
and highly respectable personages, even in a club which comprises the princes
of English trade and finance.
Ralph," said Thomas Flanagan, "what about that robbery?"
replied Stuart, "the Bank will lose the money."
contrary," broke in Ralph, "I hope we may put our hands on the robber.
Skilful detectives have been sent to all the principal ports of America
and the Continent, and he'll be a clever fellow if he slips through their
you got the robber's description?" asked Stuart.
first place, he is no robber at all," returned Ralph, positively.
a fellow who makes off with fifty-five thousand pounds, no robber?"
he's a manufacturer, then."
Telegraph says that he is a gentleman."
Phileas Fogg, whose head now emerged from behind his newspapers, who made
this remark. He bowed to his friends, and entered into the conversation.
The affair which formed its subject, and which was town talk, had occurred
three days before at the Bank of England. A package of banknotes, to the
value of fifty-five thousand pounds, had been taken from the principal
cashier's table, that functionary being at the moment engaged in registering
the receipt of three shillings and sixpence. Of course, he could not have
his eyes everywhere. Let it be observed that the Bank of England reposes
a touching confidence in the honesty of the public. There are neither guards
nor gratings to protect its treasures; gold, silver, banknotes are freely
exposed, at the mercy of the first comer. A keen observer of English customs
relates that, being in one of the rooms of the Bank one day, he had the
curiosity to examine a gold ingot weighing some seven or eight pounds.
He took it up, scrutinised it, passed it to his neighbour, he to the next
man, and so on until the ingot, going from hand to hand, was transferred
to the end of a dark entry; nor did it return to its place for half an
hour. Meanwhile, the cashier had not so much as raised his head. But in
the present instance things had not gone so smoothly. The package of notes
not being found when five o'clock sounded from the ponderous clock in the
"drawing office," the amount was passed to the account of profit and loss.
As soon as the robbery was discovered, picked detectives hastened off to
Liverpool, Glasgow, Havre, Suez, Brindisi, New York, and other ports, inspired
by the proffered reward of two thousand pounds, and five per cent. on the
sum that might be recovered. Detectives were also charged with narrowly
watching those who arrived at or left London by rail, and a judicial examination
was at once entered upon.
were real grounds for supposing, as the Daily Telegraph said, that the
thief did not belong to a professional band. On the day of the robbery
a well-dressed gentleman of polished manners, and with a well-to-do air,
had been observed going to and fro in the paying room where the crime was
committed. A description of him was easily procured and sent to the detectives;
and some hopeful spirits, of whom Ralph was one, did not despair of his
apprehension. The papers and clubs were full of the affair, and everywhere
people were discussing the probabilities of a successful pursuit; and the
Reform Club was especially agitated, several of its members being Bank
would not concede that the work of the detectives was likely to be in vain,
for he thought that the prize offered would greatly stimulate their zeal
and activity. But Stuart was far from sharing this confidence; and, as
they placed themselves at the whist-table, they continued to argue the
matter. Stuart and Flanagan played together, while Phileas Fogg had Fallentin
for his partner. As the game proceeded the conversation ceased, excepting
between the rubbers, when it revived again.
said Stuart, "that the chances are in favour of the thief, who must be
a shrewd fellow."
but where can he fly to?" asked Ralph. "No country is safe for him."
could he go, then?"
don't know that. The world is big enough."
once," said Phileas Fogg, in a low tone. "Cut, sir," he added, handing
the cards to Thomas Flanagan.
fell during the rubber, after which Stuart took up its thread.
do you mean by `once'? Has the world grown smaller?"
returned Ralph. "I agree with Mr. Fogg. The world has grown smaller, since
a man can now go round it ten times more quickly than a hundred years ago.
And that is why the search for this thief will be more likely to succeed."
why the thief can get away more easily."
good as to play, Mr. Stuart," said Phileas Fogg.
incredulous Stuart was not convinced, and when the hand was finished, said
eagerly: "You have a strange way, Ralph, of proving that the world has
grown smaller. So, because you can go round it in three months--"
days," interrupted Phileas Fogg.
is true, gentlemen," added John Sullivan. "Only eighty days, now that the
section between Rothal and Allahabad, on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway,
has been opened. Here is the estimate made by the Daily Telegraph:
London to Suez via Mont Cenis and Brindisi, by rail and steamboats
From Suez to Bombay, by steamer
Bombay to Calcutta, by rail
Calcutta to Hong Kong, by steamer
Hong Kong to Yokohama (Japan), by steamer
Yokohama to San Francisco, by steamer
San Francisco to New York, by rail
New York to London, by steamer and rail
in eighty days!" exclaimed Stuart, who in his excitement made a false deal.
"But that doesn't take into account bad weather, contrary winds, shipwrecks,
railway accidents, and so on."
returned Phileas Fogg, continuing to play despite the discussion.
the Hindoos or Indians pull up the rails," replied Stuart; "suppose they
stop the trains, pillage the luggage-vans, and scalp the passengers!"
calmly retorted Fogg; adding, as he threw down the cards, "Two trumps."
whose turn it was to deal, gathered them up, and went on: "You are right,
theoretically, Mr. Fogg, but practically--"
also, Mr. Stuart."
to see you do it in eighty days."
on you. Shall we go?"
preserve me! But I would wager four thousand pounds that such a journey,
made under these conditions, is impossible."
possible, on the contrary," returned Mr. Fogg.
make it, then!"
round the world in eighty days?"
like nothing better."
Only I warn you that I shall do it at your expense."
absurd!" cried Stuart, who was beginning to be annoyed at the persistency
of his friend. "Come, let's go on with the game."
over again, then," said Phileas Fogg. "There's a false deal."
took up the pack with a feverish hand; then suddenly put them down again.
Mr. Fogg," said he, "it shall be so: I will wager the four thousand on
yourself, my dear Stuart," said Fallentin. "It's only a joke."
I say I'll wager," returned Stuart, "I mean it." "All right," said Mr.
Fogg; and, turning to the others, he continued: "I have a deposit of twenty
thousand at Baring's which I will willingly risk upon it."
thousand pounds!" cried Sullivan. "Twenty thousand pounds, which you would
lose by a single accidental delay!"
does not exist," quietly replied Phileas Fogg.
Mr. Fogg, eighty days are only the estimate of the least possible time
in which the journey can be made."
minimum suffices for everything."
in order not to exceed it, you must jump mathematically from the trains
upon the steamers, and from the steamers upon the trains again."
Englishman doesn't joke when he is talking about so serious a thing as
a wager," replied Phileas Fogg, solemnly. "I will bet twenty thousand pounds
against anyone who wishes that I will make the tour of the world in eighty
days or less; in nineteen hundred and twenty hours, or a hundred and fifteen
thousand two hundred minutes. Do you accept?"
replied Messrs. Stuart, Fallentin, Sullivan, Flanagan, and Ralph, after
consulting each other.
said Mr. Fogg. "The train leaves for Dover at a quarter before nine. I
will take it."
very evening?" asked Stuart.
very evening," returned Phileas Fogg. He took out and consulted a pocket
almanac, and added, "As today is Wednesday, the 2nd of October, I shall
be due in London in this very room of the Reform Club, on Saturday, the
21st of December, at a quarter before nine p.m.; or else the twenty thousand
pounds, now deposited in my name at Baring's, will belong to you, in fact
and in right, gentlemen. Here is a cheque for the amount."
of the wager was at once drawn up and signed by the six parties, during
which Phileas Fogg preserved a stoical composure. He certainly did not
bet to win, and had only staked the twenty thousand pounds, half of his
fortune, because he foresaw that he might have to expend the other half
to carry out this difficult, not to say unattainable, project. As for his
antagonists, they seemed much agitated; not so much by the value of their
stake, as because they had some scruples about betting under conditions
so difficult to their friend.
struck seven, and the party offered to suspend the game so that Mr. Fogg
might make his preparations for departure.
quite ready now," was his tranquil response. "Diamonds are trumps: be so
good as to play, gentlemen."