After describing Passepartout's activities in Hong Kong, in this chapter, the fate of Fogg and Aouda is delineated. As Aouda was to travel with Fogg to Europe, many purchases had to be made for her. Fogg accompanies her for shopping at Hong Kong and Aouda is grateful. Then they retire comfortably to their hotel rooms and the next day they reach the dockyard in order to board the Carnatic. But, to their disappointment they learn that the ship has already left. Fix meets them and inquires about their servant as well as about the fact that they have missed the ship. He is happy that Fogg is delayed but Fogg being the determined man he is, he manages to find a ship called Tankadere that can take them to Shanghai. The trustworthy John Bunsby pilots the ship and Fogg is kind enough to ask detective Fix to take a seat in this hired ship as well. Fix agrees and the group leaves Hong Kong on the ship, with the destination of Shanghai in mind.
Fogg is a true gentleman and looks after the ladylike Aouda quite well. But, one cannot fathom whether he is in love with her or is merely performing his duty. Even if he were in love with her, he would not have expressed it so readily, is what we realize. Nevertheless, Fogg and Aouda together in Hong Kong make a charming pair. Aouda is presented as delicate and very lady like. Both Fogg and Aouda are oblivious of the fact that while they shop, eat and rest at Hong Kong, the ship Carnatic has already departed.
The next morning when they go to the dockyard they find that it has left for Yokohama. Even Passepartout has disappeared. Fogg maintains his calm as always. It is in this 20 th chapter, that Fix finally meets Fogg. He pretends that he too had planned to board the Carnatic and had missed the ship. Fix is so deceitful that he does not mention Passepartout's intoxication to Fogg.
We can see that Aouda is genuinely concerned about Passepartout. Fogg too likes his valet though he does not show it too obviously. He does his duty well though and makes good arrangements for Passepartout at Hong Kong in case Passepartout goes to the Consulate or to the Police for help. Fogg is dependable and rational at all times.
Fix is very happy that Fogg has missed the ship but his pleasure does not last long. Fogg manages to find another way of reaching the next ship to New York. He hires a ship to Shanghai. The captain of this ship-John Bunsby is a dependable and confident sailor. We indeed like this minor character. The Tankadere is described as a sturdy little ship. Aouda tells Fogg that she is not scared as long as she is with him. She is a brave young woman with style.
Fogg is gentlemanly enough to ask Fix to join them. Fix of course is lowly enough to agree, even though his objective is only to spy on Fogg. Fix is truly a despicable character. We have no respect for him. Now, we wait to see how far the Tankadere can take Fogg and his fellow travelers.
The journey of the Tankadere is described in this chapter. Fogg asks John Bunsby to make the ship move as fast as possible. Fix in the meanwhile was worrying about his next course of action. In the night the wind begins to blow and continues during the next day. Aouda and Fogg were not sea sick but Fix didn’t feel too well. The ship moved well and Bunsby hoped to reach Shanghai in time. Then the ship gets caught in a gale and the wind pushes the vessel northward. Aouda and Fogg face the storm bravely. Fogg insists that they will not take the ship to port, but shall move towards Shanghai. The Tankadere remained at sea, despite the furious storm. When the ship has barely a day left, they are still a distance away from Shanghai. Everybody on board is in a state of suspense as to whether they’ll reach, in time to board the next ship. When they are three miles from Shanghai, they see the American liner leaving at the appointed time. Fogg asks Bunsby to signal the ship and he lowers his flag to half-mast. They hoped that the American ship would alter her course for a moment so as to stand by the pilot boat.
The journey on the Tankadere is quite an adventure. Initially, the wind and the currents help the Tankadere move towards Shanghai at a great pace. This is supported by the efficiency of the little ship Tankadere, which is handled admirably by its Captain-John Bunsby.
But later, the little ship is overtaken by a terrible storm. We see that Fogg never ever gives up and when the pilot asks him whether they should stop the ship at a port all he says is that the only port for him is Shanghai. Bunsby seems to understand Fogg’s way of functioning and they can both operate at the same level. That is not in the case of the Captain that comes later in the book and is named Andrew Speedy. This character clashes with Fogg, unlike John Bunsby who thinks in the same way as Fogg.
Aouda comes across as the ideal woman for a man like Fogg. She is completely impassive and is not afraid of the storm. She faces it bravely. Meanwhile, Fix feels very small as he is in great debt to Fogg, who gives him a place on the ship Tankadere. When Fix asks Fogg whether he can pay some money for the ship travel, Fogg refuses. This must have made Fix feel even smaller as he has plans to arrest the very same man, who is being so generous to him.
The suspense that is built among the voyagers reaches the readers as well. We are all curious as to whether the Tankadere shall reach Shanghai on time. We see Fogg makes his own Fate and is not swayed by circumstances. When he sees the American ship leaving the port, he asks the little ship master-Bunsby to signal it. They do that and we wait to see whether the bigger ship shall respond. By now, we recognize Fogg’s calm demeanor and never say die spirit.
Staff, TheBestNotes. "TheBestNotes on Around the World in Eighty Days".
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