In Which Fix Comes Face To Face With Phileas Fogg.
While these events were passing at the opium-house, Mr Fogg, unconscious of the danger he was in of losing the steamer, was quietly escorting Aouda about the streets of the English quarter, making the necessary purchases for the long voyage before them. It was all very well for an Englishman like Mr Fogg to make the tour of the world with a carpet-bag; a lady could not be expected to travel comfortably under such conditions. He acquitted his task with characteristic serenity, and invariably replied to the remonstrances of his fair companion, who was confused by his patience and generosity,--
`It is in the interest of my journey - a part of my programme.'
The purchases made, they returned to the hotel, where they dined at a sumptuously served table-d'hôte; after which Aouda, shaking hands with her protector after the English fashion, retired to her room for rest. Mr Fogg absorbed himself throughout the evening in the perusal of the Times and Illustrated London News.
Had he been capable of being astonished at anything, it would have been not to see his servant return at bed-time. But, knowing that the steamer was not to leave for Yokohama until the next morning, he did not disturb himself about the matter.
When Passepartout did not appear the next morning to answer his master's bell, Mr Fogg, not betraying the least vexation, contented himself with taking his carpet-bag, calling Aouda, and sending for a palanquin.
It was then eight o'clock; at half-past nine, it being then high tide, the `Carnatic' would leave the harbour. Mr Fogg and Aouda got into the palanquin, their luggage being brought after on a wheelbarrow, and half-an-hour later stepped upon the quay whence they were to embark. Mr Fogg then learned that the `Carnatic' had sailed the evening before. He had expected to find not only the steamer, but his domestic, and was forced to give up both; but no sign of disappointment appeared on his face, and he merely remarked to Aouda, `It is an accident, madam; nothing more.'
At this moment a man who had been observing him attentively approached. It was Fix, who, bowing, addressed Mr Fogg: `Were you not, like me, sir, a passenger by the "Rangoon", which arrived yesterday?'
`I was, sir,' replied Mr Fogg coldly. `But I have not the honour--'
`Pardon me; I thought I should find your servant here.
`Do you know where he is, sir?' asked Aouda anxiously.
`What!' responded Fix, feigning surprise. `Is he not with you?'
`No,' said Aouda. `He has not made his appearance since yesterday. Could he have gone on board the "Carnatic" without us?'
`Without you, madam?' answered the detective. `Excuse me, did you intend to sail in the "Carnatic"?'
`So did I, madam, and I am excessively disappointed. The "Carnatic", its repairs being completed, left Hong Kong twelve hours before the stated time, without any notice being given; and we must now wait a week for another steamer.'
As he said `a week' Fix felt his heart leap for joy. Fogg detained at Hong Kong a week! There would be time for the warrant to arrive, and fortune at last favoured the representative of the law. His horror may be imagined when he heard Mr Fogg say, in his placid voice, `But there are other vessels besides the "Carnatic", it seems to me, in the harbour of Hong Kong.'
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