**IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT IS ONLY TOO GLAD TO GET OFF WITH THE LOSS OF HI_HOES**
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.