Chapter 15

Just as Fogg, Passepartout and Aouda are leaving the Calcutta station a policeman approaches them and asks Fogg and Passepartout to accompany him. Aouda too is given permission to accompany Fogg and Passepartout. They are taken in a ‘palki gari’ to an unpretentious looking house and told that they are to present themselves in front of a judge. When they are presented in court, the plaintiffs too are brought in and they turn out to be priests. Fogg assumes that these are the priests, who tried to sacrifice Aouda in the pagoda of Pillagi but he is mistaken. These are actually the priests from the pagoda of Bombay who got into a scuffle with Passepartout because he entered the holy place with his shoes on. It is explained by the author that Detective Fix had taken upon himself to advise the priests of Malabar Hill after fully grasping all the advantage he could derive from the unfortunate mistake of passepartout’s. It is he who sends the priests in the next train to Calcutta in the pursuit of the culprit. It was Fix who had directed the policeman to take Fogg and Passepartout into custody.

Judge Odadiah takes a note of the confession that had escaped Passepartout and condemns him to go to prison for 15 days and to pay a fine of three hundred pounds. Fogg too is condemned to prison and is asked to pay a fine. Fogg agrees to pay bail for himself and his servant. Passepartout is very disgusted with the fact that his master has to pay such a large sum of money. After taking back his shoes, Passepartout follows Fogg out of the courtroom. They immediately go to the Rangoon, the ship that was to leave for Hong Kong. Detective Fix is very angry because of Fogg’s excessive spending. Since a percentage on the recovered is assigned as a reward for the detectives, Fix is worried that by the time the journey ends and Fogg is caught, there will be a very negligible amount left.

Fogg and Passepartout reach Calcutta along with Aouda. We see that Fogg is in his usual hurry to get on o the next means of conveyance to another part of the globe. But, his plans are interrupted by the appearance of a policeman who asks Fogg and Passepartout to follow him. We notice how Fogg takes the utmost care of Aouda and takes her along when they have to go with the policeman.

The reader is curious to know why Fogg and Passepartout have been asked to appear in court. It crosses our minds that it is to early for Fogg and Passepartout to be challenged by the priests at Pillage who intended to sacrifice Aouda. We are not wrong-the case is not against Fogg and Passepartout for abducting Aouda but is against Passepartout for desecrating a holy place. For the first time we see that Fogg is wrong in his assumption about the case slapped against them. He too is surprised when the priests claim to have nothing to do with Pillage but maintain that they are from Malabar Hill, Bombay.

When we read that Fogg and Passepartout are to be imprisoned for the crime of desecrating a native holy place, we get worried about how Fogg will accomplish the challenge to go around the world in eighty days. But, Fogg is as calm as ever and asks the judge whether he can pay bail. He is allowed to do so and parts with a very heavy sum. Passepartout is pennywise and his heart skips a beat seeing his master having to pay so much. Passepartout is not the only one worried about Fogg’s dwindling notes, Fix too is very unhappy with the easy manner in which Fogg spends his cash. There is a selfish reason behind this-he will get a percentage of the sum being carried by the ‘thief’ Fogg and the percentage value will go down as the sum value too dwindles.

In this chapter we see just how desperate Fix is to hold on to Fogg. It is he who urges the priests to follow Passepartout from Bombay to Calcutta in order to prosecute the latter from entering the pagoda with shoes on. Fix comes across as a shrewd man who will do anything to obtain his prey, in this case Fogg, who he thinks is a major bank robber.

Fogg manages to leave the courtroom and immediately heads for the Rangoon. The reader is happy to see that Fogg is on his way once again to fulfill his challenge. Passepartout of course is very unhappy. He realizes just how expensive he is proving to be to his master. The remarkable thing is that Fogg scarcely reprimands Passepartout for his carelessness.

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