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Chapter 10

  • Everybody knows that the great reversed triangle of land, with its base in th_orth and its apex in the south, which is called India, embraces fourtee_undred thousand square miles, upon which is spread unequally a population o_ne hundred and eighty millions of souls. The British Crown exercises a rea_nd despotic dominion over the larger portion of this vast country, and has _overnor-general stationed at Calcutta, governors at Madras, Bombay, and i_engal, and a lieutenant-governor at Agra.
  • But British India, properly so called, only embraces seven hundred thousan_quare miles, and a population of from one hundred to one hundred and te_illions of inhabitants. A considerable portion of India is still free fro_ritish authority; and there are certain ferocious rajahs in the interior wh_re absolutely independent. The celebrated East India Company was all-powerfu_rom 1756, when the English first gained a foothold on the spot where no_tands the city of Madras, down to the time of the great Sepoy insurrection.
  • It gradually annexed province after province, purchasing them of the nativ_hiefs, whom it seldom paid, and appointed the governor-general and hi_ubordinates, civil and military. But the East India Company has now passe_way, leaving the British possessions in India directly under the control o_he Crown. The aspect of the country, as well as the manners and distinction_f race, is daily changing.
  • Formerly one was obliged to travel in India by the old cumbrous methods o_oing on foot or on horseback, in palanquins or unwieldy coaches; now fas_teamboats ply on the Indus and the Ganges, and a great railway, with branc_ines joining the main line at many points on its route, traverses th_eninsula from Bombay to Calcutta in three days. This railway does not run i_ direct line across India. The distance between Bombay and Calcutta, as th_ird flies, is only from one thousand to eleven hundred miles; but th_eflections of the road increase this distance by more than a third.
  • The general route of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway is as follows: Leavin_ombay, it passes through Salcette, crossing to the continent opposite Tannah,
  • goes over the chain of the Western Ghauts, runs thence north-east as far a_urhampoor, skirts the nearly independent territory of Bundelcund, ascends t_llahabad, turns thence eastwardly, meeting the Ganges at Benares, the_eparts from the river a little, and, descending south-eastward by Burdiva_nd the French town of Chandernagor, has its terminus at Calcutta.
  • The passengers of the Mongolia went ashore at half-past four p.m.; at exactl_ight the train would start for Calcutta.
  • Mr. Fogg, after bidding good-bye to his whist partners, left the steamer, gav_is servant several errands to do, urged it upon him to be at the statio_romptly at eight, and, with his regular step, which beat to the second, lik_n astronomical clock, directed his steps to the passport office. As for th_onders of Bombay its famous city hall, its splendid library, its forts an_ocks, its bazaars, mosques, synagogues, its Armenian churches, and the nobl_agoda on Malabar Hill, with its two polygonal towers— he cared not a straw t_ee them. He would not deign to examine even the masterpieces of Elephanta, o_he mysterious hypogea, concealed south-east from the docks, or those fin_emains of Buddhist architecture, the Kanherian grottoes of the island o_alcette.
  • Having transacted his business at the passport office, Phileas Fogg repaire_uietly to the railway station, where he ordered dinner. Among the dishe_erved up to him, the landlord especially recommended a certain giblet of
  • "native rabbit," on which he prided himself.
  • Mr. Fogg accordingly tasted the dish, but, despite its spiced sauce, found i_ar from palatable. He rang for the landlord, and, on his appearance, said,
  • fixing his clear eyes upon him, "Is this rabbit, sir?"
  • "Yes, my lord," the rogue boldly replied, "rabbit from the jungles."
  • "And this rabbit did not mew when he was killed?"
  • "Mew, my lord! What, a rabbit mew! I swear to you—"
  • "Be so good, landlord, as not to swear, but remember this: cats were formerl_onsidered, in India, as sacred animals. That was a good time."
  • "For the cats, my lord?"
  • "Perhaps for the travellers as well!"
  • After which Mr. Fogg quietly continued his dinner. Fix had gone on shor_hortly after Mr. Fogg, and his first destination was the headquarters of th_ombay police. He made himself known as a London detective, told his busines_t Bombay, and the position of affairs relative to the supposed robber, an_ervously asked if a warrant had arrived from London. It had not reached th_ffice; indeed, there had not yet been time for it to arrive. Fix was sorel_isappointed, and tried to obtain an order of arrest from the director of th_ombay police. This the director refused, as the matter concerned the Londo_ffice, which alone could legally deliver the warrant. Fix did not insist, an_as fain to resign himself to await the arrival of the important document; bu_e was determined not to lose sight of the mysterious rogue as long as h_tayed in Bombay. He did not doubt for a moment, any more than Passepartout,
  • that Phileas Fogg would remain there, at least until it was time for th_arrant to arrive.
  • Passepartout, however, had no sooner heard his master's orders on leaving th_ongolia than he saw at once that they were to leave Bombay as they had don_uez and Paris, and that the journey would be extended at least as far a_alcutta, and perhaps beyond that place. He began to ask himself if this be_hat Mr. Fogg talked about was not really in good earnest, and whether hi_ate was not in truth forcing him, despite his love of repose, around th_orld in eighty days!
  • Having purchased the usual quota of shirts and shoes, he took a leisurel_romenade about the streets, where crowds of people of man_ationalities—Europeans, Persians with pointed caps, Banyas with roun_urbans, Sindes with square bonnets, Parsees with black mitres, and long-robe_rmenians—were collected. It happened to be the day of a Parsee festival.
  • These descendants of the sect of Zoroaster—the most thrifty, civilised,
  • intelligent, and austere of the East Indians, among whom are counted th_ichest native merchants of Bombay—were celebrating a sort of religiou_arnival, with processions and shows, in the midst of which Indian dancing-
  • girls, clothed in rose-coloured gauze, looped up with gold and silver, dance_irily, but with perfect modesty, to the sound of viols and the clanging o_ambourines. It is needless to say that Passepartout watched these curiou_eremonies with staring eyes and gaping mouth, and that his countenance wa_hat of the greenest booby imaginable.
  • Unhappily for his master, as well as himself, his curiosity drew hi_nconsciously farther off than he intended to go. At last, having seen th_arsee carnival wind away in the distance, he was turning his steps toward_he station, when he happened to espy the splendid pagoda on Malabar Hill, an_as seized with an irresistible desire to see its interior. He was quit_gnorant that it is forbidden to Christians to enter certain Indian temples,
  • and that even the faithful must not go in without first leaving their shoe_utside the door. It may be said here that the wise policy of the Britis_overnment severely punishes a disregard of the practices of the nativ_eligions.
  • Passepartout, however, thinking no harm, went in like a simple tourist, an_as soon lost in admiration of the splendid Brahmin ornamentation whic_verywhere met his eyes, when of a sudden he found himself sprawling on th_acred flagging. He looked up to behold three enraged priests, who forthwit_ell upon him; tore off his shoes, and began to beat him with loud, savag_xclamations. The agile Frenchman was soon upon his feet again, and lost n_ime in knocking down two of his long-gowned adversaries with his fists and _igorous application of his toes; then, rushing out of the pagoda as fast a_is legs could carry him, he soon escaped the third priest by mingling wit_he crowd in the streets.
  • At five minutes before eight, Passepartout, hatless, shoeless, and having i_he squabble lost his package of shirts and shoes, rushed breathlessly int_he station.
  • Fix, who had followed Mr. Fogg to the station, and saw that he was reall_oing to leave Bombay, was there, upon the platform. He had resolved to follo_he supposed robber to Calcutta, and farther, if necessary. Passepartout di_ot observe the detective, who stood in an obscure corner; but Fix heard hi_elate his adventures in a few words to Mr. Fogg.
  • "I hope that this will not happen again," said Phileas Fogg coldly, as he go_nto the train. Poor Passepartout, quite crestfallen, followed his maste_ithout a word. Fix was on the point of entering another carriage, when a_dea struck him which induced him to alter his plan.
  • "No, I'll stay," muttered he. "An offence has been committed on Indian soil.
  • I've got my man."
  • Just then the locomotive gave a sharp screech, and the train passed out int_he darkness of the night.