Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lunchtime read: Around the World in Eighty Days

Phileas Fogg is almost half way through his trip with 35 days elapsed and he is twenty four hours behind shedule but there is a chance that could be made up on the boat journey to America. He has picked up another member of his party and continues to be dogged by Fix the detective convinced that Fogg is a bank robber.

Highlights from chapters XII to XVIII
On the back of an elephant the party start to go through the jungle and are making good time and certainly look like reconnecting with the line in time to catch the steamer to Hong Kong. But in the jungle near the end of the journey they witness a religious procession with a young woman who is going to be killed as a sacrifice. Fogg displays rare emotion and suggests she is rescued and they pull it off with Passepartout the hero after he pretends to be a corpse also being burnt on the funeral pyre and jumps up and carries off the girl.

The celebrations though are short lived as they are taken straight into police custody before they can board the steamer. Fix, still without an arrest warrant from London thinks he can delay Fogg until it arrives as they are sentenced to a week in prison for the temple sacrilege Passepartout was responsible for in Bombay. But Fogg asks for bail and hands over £2,000 to get it and they get it and head on their way.

Fix again boards the boat and meets Passepartout but the servant thinks he has rumbled him as an agent for the Reform Club wagers and his hints leave the detective wondering what is going on. But Fix hopes to detain them in Hong Kong, where he has asked the arrest warrant to be sent. Even with a horrendous storm luck is on their side because the steamer out of Hong Kong is also delayed for 24 hours with boiler trouble. Without any sign of friendly relatives the woman rescued in the jungle is invited to stay with Fogg's party.

More tomorrow....

No comments: