In this chapter, is related what happens with Fogg when they sight the ship at Shanghai. Aouda, Fix and Fogg got on board the steamer, which resumed her journey to Yokohama. Fogg finds out on reaching Yokohama, that Passepartout too had reached the city, aboard the Carnatic. Fogg starts searching for Passepartout and finally finds him in Honorable Batulcar’s performance. Aouda tells Passepartout about their journey aboard the Tankadere along with Fix but Passepartout betrays no sign of knowing Fix.
Fogg hears Passepartout’s story and gives him some money for garments. Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout sail in the ‘General Grant’ from Yokohama to San Francisco. The passengers and the journey on the ship is described. Aouda starts getting more and more drawn towards Fogg and Passepartout notices this. He likes Aouda and hopes that a relationship between his master and her would materialize. The technicalities of Fogg’s travel are related.
Fix in the meanwhile is aboard the General Grant too. But he is without warrant and is frustrated. On seeing Passepartout on the ship, he hides but they do come face to face one day. After Passepartout gives Fix a blow, the latter explains that he is determined to help Fogg reach England as early as possible because it is only in England that it can be decided whether Fogg is guilty or not. The both decide to be allies and Passepartout warns Fix not to be treacherous. After eleven days, the General Grant reaches San Francisco.
The journey on the ship General Grant is related after we are told what transpires, when John Bunsby signals the larger ship. Verne manages to interpolate various episodes, the past and the present neatly and systematically. So all the gaps in the story are bridged. The reader gets to know exactly how Fogg, Aouda and Fix reach Yokohama. At Yokohama, Fogg takes extreme pains to locate Passepartout, one can see that the master is genuinely anxious about his valet, though he may not express it so openly. Aouda on the other hand is very open about her affection for Passepartout. Once, the two parties are reunited Fogg shows that he can be large hearted and forgiving. He does not reprimand Passepartout for getting intoxicated at Hong Kong. He merely gives him some money quietly for clothes. We know that Passepartout respects Fogg greatly. We now learn that Aouda’s affection for Fogg is deepening into love. This romantic interest in the novel seems natural and does not seem contrived. We can understand how a young beautiful, helpless princess can fall in love with a calm efficient and handsome man of the world. However we do not know how Fogg feels as he rarely expresses his emotions. Passepartout understands Aouda’s heart and hopes the best for her.
In this chapter too a little space is devoted to the depiction of the ship and its passengers. This is necessary in order to create an authentic background. The detective Fix is not doing too well. His warrant of arrest for Fogg has expired and he now has to follow the man all the way to England. Fix is clever and manages to convince Passepartout that he will be aiding Fogg to reach England early. It’s a pity that Passepartout trusts Fix so easily. In Verne’s otherwise compact and believable story, the relation between Fix and Passepartout seems a little anomalous. We wonder why Passepartout does not reveal Fix’s true intentions to Fogg but we see how this step then contributes to the growth and development of the plot.
Passepartout and Fix agree to be allies. Fogg finally reaches San Francisco and has so far neither gained nor lost a single day.
Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout set foot on American soil. After finding out that the first train for New York would start that evening, Fogg has a whole day to spend in the Californian capital. The city is described through the eyes of Passepartout and what he sees. Fogg and Aouda rest at a hotel restaurant they go to the consulate and then by ‘chance’ bump into Fix. The detective expresses surprise at seeing Fogg and then accompanies Fogg and Aouda in their sauntering. The three of them find themselves in the middle of a political meeting and the two opposing parties are those supporting Mandiboy or Kamerfield respectively. Suddenly the threesome find that they are between two fires. The two men try their best to defend Aouda. Meanwhile an American with a red goatee raises a fist at Fogg, which the latter misses by chance. Fix is hurt. Then the group returns to the International Hotel. When they start moving towards the station, Fogg promises to return to America to avenge the American Colonel Proctor’s insult. The traveler’s board the train that takes them towards New York.
Fogg now reaches New York. So far his journey is proceeding quite decently. Despite the delays, he is running on time. He is getting closer and closer to England. In this chapter we learn what transpires in San Francisco City. Passepartout is the usual clown and he lands on American soil with a perfect somersault. Passepartout adds the much needed lightheartedness and laughter to this tale of challenge. Fogg of course has only one goal in mind-to move towards England in a rational manner. He finds out when the next train leaves for New York.
They realize they have a day in this American City and they spend it by eating comfortably and then roaming the city streets. Fogg takes good care of Aouda as always but we do not know whether he shows any signals of love.
Passepartout is as concerned about their trip being a success as is Fogg. It is Passepartout, who decides that they must buy some arms before boarding the train, because he has heard of the trains being held up by the Sioux and Pawnees. Fogg is as usual unruffled and does not think the loading of arms necessary. At the same time, he gives Passepartout a lot of flexibility and lets him do as he pleases. Fogg is genuinely a free willed man who believes in free will for others too.
Fogg and Fix meet at San Francisco. The clever Fix pretends once again that he is surprised to see Fogg. We wonder why Fogg doesn’t smell a rat. Fogg allows Fix to accompany him and Aouda. The three land up in the middle of a violent political meeting. We see that Fogg is fiercely proud about being an Englishman and when a Yankee insults him, he promises to come back to America to avenge himself. Fogg has all the characteristic of a typical, idealized ‘hero.’ The only difference would be perhaps that he is eccentric too, unlike most heroes. Fix takes upon himself, a blow intended for Fogg. We wonder why Fix is being so generous but we know that his motive is only to get Fogg to England as soon as possible.
Even though chapters are short Verne uses words and paragraphs admirably and manages to pack in a lot of information. We get the essence of San Francisco and its political angst in this chapter.
Staff, TheBestNotes. "TheBestNotes on Around the World in Eighty Days".
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