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|Around the World in 80 Days||Jules Verne|
IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT TALKS RATHER MORE, PERHAPS, THAN IS PRUDENT
|Page 2 of 3||
"Ah! Mr. Fogg is a character, is he?"
"I should say he was."
"Is he rich?"
"No doubt, for he is carrying an enormous sum in brand new banknotes with him. And he doesn't spare the money on the way, either: he has offered a large reward to the engineer of the Mongolia if he gets us to Bombay well in advance of time."
"And you have known your master a long time?"
"Why, no; I entered his service the very day we left London."
The effect of these replies upon the already suspicious and excited detective may be imagined. The hasty departure from London soon after the robbery; the large sum carried by Mr. Fogg; his eagerness to reach distant countries; the pretext of an eccentric and foolhardy bet--all confirmed Fix in his theory. He continued to pump poor Passepartout, and learned that he really knew little or nothing of his master, who lived a solitary existence in London, was said to be rich, though no one knew whence came his riches, and was mysterious and impenetrable in his affairs and habits. Fix felt sure that Phileas Fogg would not land at Suez, but was really going on to Bombay.
"Is Bombay far from here?" asked Passepartout.
"Pretty far. It is a ten days' voyage by sea."
"And in what country is Bombay?"
"The deuce! I was going to tell you there's one thing that worries me-- my burner!"
"My gas-burner, which I forgot to turn off, and which is at this moment burning at my expense. I have calculated, monsieur, that I lose two shillings every four and twenty hours, exactly sixpense more than I earn; and you will understand that the longer our journey--"
Did Fix pay any attention to Passepartout's trouble about the gas? It is not probable. He was not listening, but was cogitating a project. Passepartout and he had now reached the shop, where Fix left his companion to make his purchases, after recommending him not to miss the steamer, and hurried back to the consulate. Now that he was fully convinced, Fix had quite recovered his equanimity.
"Consul," said he, "I have no longer any doubt. I have spotted my man. He passes himself off as an odd stick who is going round the world in eighty days."
"Then he's a sharp fellow," returned the consul, "and counts on returning to London after putting the police of the two countries off his track."
"We'll see about that," replied Fix.
"But are you not mistaken?"
"I am not mistaken."
"Why was this robber so anxious to prove, by the visa, that he had passed through Suez?"
"Why? I have no idea; but listen to me."
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