In which Passepartout takes
a too great interest in his master,
and what comes of it
Hong 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.
Passepartout 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 very
On reaching 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
"This 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.
"Well, Monsieur Fix," said
Passepartout, "have you decided
to go with us so far as America?"
Fix, through his set teeth.
"Good!" exclaimed Passepartout,
laughing heartily. "I knew you
could not persuade yourself to
separate from us. Come and engage
They entered 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
"That will suit my master all
the better," said Passepartout. "I
will go and let him know."
Fix now 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
Fix and 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.
They ordered 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
"I want to
have a serious talk with you."
"A serious 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 time
I have to say concerns your
Passepartout, at this, looked
attentively at his companion.
Fix's face seemed to have a singular
expression. He resumed his seat.
"What is it
that you have to say?"
his hand upon Passepartout's
arm, and, lowering his voice,
said, "You have guessed who I
"Then I'm going
to tell you everything--"
"Now that 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
"Useless!" said Fix. "You
speak confidently. It's clear
you don't know how large the
"Of course I do," returned
Passepartout. "Twenty thousand
"Fifty-five thousand!" answered
Fix, pressing his companion's
"What!" 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
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."
"Help you?" cried
Passepartout, whose eyes were
me keep Mr. Fogg here for two
or three days."
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!"
"What do you
"I mean that
it is a piece of shameful trickery.
as well waylay Mr. Fogg and put
his money in their pockets!"
what we count on doing."
"It's 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.
Fix began to be puzzled.
"Members 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!"
"But who do you think I am?" asked
Fix, looking at him intently.
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."
"He knows nothing,
Passepartout, again emptying
The detective 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.
"Well," said the detective
to himself, "as he is not an
accomplice, he will help me."
He had no time to lose: Fogg
must be detained at Hong Kong,
so he resolved to make a clean
breast of it.
"Listen to me," said Fix abruptly. "I
am not, as you think, an agent
of the members of the Reform
Passepartout, with an air of
"I am a police
detective, sent out here by
the London office."
"You, a detective?"
"I will prove
it. Here is my commission."
Passepartout was speechless
with astonishment when Fix displayed
this document, the genuineness
of which could not be doubted.
"Mr. Fogg's 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."
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 Fogg."
"What nonsense!" cried Passepartout,
striking the table with his fist. "My
master is the most honourable
"How can you
tell? You know scarcely anything
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, yes," repeated
the poor fellow, mechanically.
like to be arrested as his
Passepartout, 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 guilty.
"Well, what do you want of
me?" said he, at last, with an
"See here," 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--"
"I! But I--"
"I will share
with you the two thousand pounds
by the Bank of England."
Passepartout, who tried to
rise, but fell back,
exhausted in mind and body.
"Mr. Fix," 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
"Consider that I've said nothing," said
Fix; "and let us drink."
"Yes; let us
Passepartout 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.
"At last!" 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!"
And, after paying his bill,
Fix left the tavern.