Phileas Fogg was in prison. He had been shut up in the Custom House, and h_as to be transferred to London the next day.
Passepartout, when he saw his master arrested, would have fallen upon Fix ha_e not been held back by some policemen. Aouda was thunderstruck at th_uddenness of an event which she could not understand. Passepartout explaine_o her how it was that the honest and courageous Fogg was arrested as _obber. The young woman's heart revolted against so heinous a charge, and whe_he saw that she could attempt to do nothing to save her protector, she wep_itterly.
As for Fix, he had arrested Mr. Fogg because it was his duty, whether Mr. Fog_ere guilty or not.
The thought then struck Passepartout, that he was the cause of this ne_isfortune! Had he not concealed Fix's errand from his master? When Fi_evealed his true character and purpose, why had he not told Mr. Fogg? If th_atter had been warned, he would no doubt have given Fix proof of hi_nnocence, and satisfied him of his mistake; at least, Fix would not hav_ontinued his journey at the expense and on the heels of his master, only t_rrest him the moment he set foot on English soil. Passepartout wept till h_as blind, and felt like blowing his brains out.
Aouda and he had remained, despite the cold, under the portico of the Custo_ouse. Neither wished to leave the place; both were anxious to see Mr. Fog_gain.
That gentleman was really ruined, and that at the moment when he was about t_ttain his end. This arrest was fatal. Having arrived at Liverpool at twent_inutes before twelve on the 21st of December, he had till a quarter befor_ine that evening to reach the Reform Club, that is, nine hours and a quarter;
the journey from Liverpool to London was six hours.
If anyone, at this moment, had entered the Custom House, he would have foun_r. Fogg seated, motionless, calm, and without apparent anger, upon a woode_ench. He was not, it is true, resigned; but this last blow failed to forc_im into an outward betrayal of any emotion. Was he being devoured by one o_hose secret rages, all the more terrible because contained, and which onl_urst forth, with an irresistible force, at the last moment? No one coul_ell. There he sat, calmly waiting—for what? Did he still cherish hope? Did h_till believe, now that the door of this prison was closed upon him, that h_ould succeed?
However that may have been, Mr. Fogg carefully put his watch upon the table,
and observed its advancing hands. Not a word escaped his lips, but his loo_as singularly set and stern. The situation, in any event, was a terrible one,
and might be thus stated: if Phileas Fogg was honest he was ruined; if he wa_ knave, he was caught.
Did escape occur to him? Did he examine to see if there were any practicabl_utlet from his prison? Did he think of escaping from it? Possibly; for onc_e walked slowly around the room. But the door was locked, and the windo_eavily barred with iron rods. He sat down again, and drew his journal fro_is pocket. On the line where these words were written, "21st December,
Saturday, Liverpool," he added, "80th day, 11.40 a.m.," and waited.
The Custom House clock struck one. Mr. Fogg observed that his watch was tw_ours too fast.
Two hours! Admitting that he was at this moment taking an express train, h_ould reach London and the Reform Club by a quarter before nine, p.m. Hi_orehead slightly wrinkled.
At thirty-three minutes past two he heard a singular noise outside, then _asty opening of doors. Passepartout's voice was audible, and immediatel_fter that of Fix. Phileas Fogg's eyes brightened for an instant.
The door swung open, and he saw Passepartout, Aouda, and Fix, who hurrie_owards him.
Fix was out of breath, and his hair was in disorder. He could not speak.
"Sir," he stammered, "sir—forgive me—most—unfortunate resemblance— robbe_rrested three days ago—you are free!"
Phileas Fogg was free! He walked to the detective, looked him steadily in th_ace, and with the only rapid motion he had ever made in his life, or which h_ver would make, drew back his arms, and with the precision of a machin_nocked Fix down.
"Well hit!" cried Passepartout, "Parbleu! that's what you might call a goo_pplication of English fists!"
Fix, who found himself on the floor, did not utter a word. He had onl_eceived his deserts. Mr. Fogg, Aouda, and Passepartout left the Custom Hous_ithout delay, got into a cab, and in a few moments descended at the station.
Phileas Fogg asked if there was an express train about to leave for London. I_as forty minutes past two. The express train had left thirty-five minute_efore. Phileas Fogg then ordered a special train.
There were several rapid locomotives on hand; but the railway arrangements di_ot permit the special train to leave until three o'clock.
At that hour Phileas Fogg, having stimulated the engineer by the offer of _enerous reward, at last set out towards London with Aouda and his faithfu_ervant.
It was necessary to make the journey in five hours and a half; and this woul_ave been easy on a clear road throughout. But there were forced delays, an_hen Mr. Fogg stepped from the train at the terminus, all the clocks in Londo_ere striking ten minutes before nine.
Having made the tour of the world, he was behind-hand five minutes. He ha_ost the wager!