**IN WHICH THE RED SEA AND THE INDIAN OCEAN PROVE PROPITIOUS TO THE DESIGNS O_HILEAS FOGG**
The distance between Suez and Aden is precisely thirteen hundred and te_iles, and the regulations of the company allow the steamers one hundred an_hirty-eight hours in which to traverse it. The Mongolia, thanks to th_igorous exertions of the engineer, seemed likely, so rapid was her speed, t_each her destination considerably within that time. The greater part of th_assengers from Brindisi were bound for India some for Bombay, others fo_alcutta by way of Bombay, the nearest route thither, now that a railwa_rosses the Indian peninsula. Among the passengers was a number of official_nd military officers of various grades, the latter being either attached t_he regular British forces or commanding the Sepoy troops, and receiving hig_alaries ever since the central government has assumed the powers of the Eas_ndia Company: for the sub-lieutenants get 280 pounds, brigadiers, 2,40_ounds, and generals of divisions, 4,000 pounds. What with the military men, _umber of rich young Englishmen on their travels, and the hospitable effort_f the purser, the time passed quickly on the Mongolia. The best of fare wa_pread upon the cabin tables at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the eigh_'clock supper, and the ladies scrupulously changed their toilets twice a day;
and the hours were whirled away, when the sea was tranquil, with music,
dancing, and games.
But the Red Sea is full of caprice, and often boisterous, like most long an_arrow gulfs. When the wind came from the African or Asian coast the Mongolia,
with her long hull, rolled fearfully. Then the ladies speedily disappeare_elow; the pianos were silent; singing and dancing suddenly ceased. Yet th_ood ship ploughed straight on, unretarded by wind or wave, towards th_traits of Bab-el-Mandeb. What was Phileas Fogg doing all this time? It migh_e thought that, in his anxiety, he would be constantly watching the change_f the wind, the disorderly raging of the billows—every chance, in short,
which might force the Mongolia to slacken her speed, and thus interrupt hi_ourney. But, if he thought of these possibilities, he did not betray the fac_y any outward sign.
Always the same impassible member of the Reform Club, whom no incident coul_urprise, as unvarying as the ship's chronometers, and seldom having th_uriosity even to go upon the deck, he passed through the memorable scenes o_he Red Sea with cold indifference; did not care to recognise the histori_owns and villages which, along its borders, raised their picturesque outline_gainst the sky; and betrayed no fear of the dangers of the Arabic Gulf, whic_he old historians always spoke of with horror, and upon which the ancien_avigators never ventured without propitiating the gods by ample sacrifices.
How did this eccentric personage pass his time on the Mongolia? He made hi_our hearty meals every day, regardless of the most persistent rolling an_itching on the part of the steamer; and he played whist indefatigably, for h_ad found partners as enthusiastic in the game as himself. A tax-collector, o_he way to his post at Goa; the Rev. Decimus Smith, returning to his parish a_ombay; and a brigadier-general of the English army, who was about to rejoi_is brigade at Benares, made up the party, and, with Mr. Fogg, played whist b_he hour together in absorbing silence.
As for Passepartout, he, too, had escaped sea-sickness, and took his meal_onscientiously in the forward cabin. He rather enjoyed the voyage, for he wa_ell fed and well lodged, took a great interest in the scenes through whic_hey were passing, and consoled himself with the delusion that his master'_him would end at Bombay. He was pleased, on the day after leaving Suez, t_ind on deck the obliging person with whom he had walked and chatted on th_uays.
"If I am not mistaken," said he, approaching this person, with his mos_miable smile, "you are the gentleman who so kindly volunteered to guide me a_uez?"
"Ah! I quite recognise you. You are the servant of the strange Englishman—"
"Just so, monsieur—"
"Monsieur Fix," resumed Passepartout, "I'm charmed to find you on board. Wher_re you bound?"
"Like you, to Bombay."
"That's capital! Have you made this trip before?"
"Several times. I am one of the agents of the Peninsular Company."
"Then you know India?"
"Why yes," replied Fix, who spoke cautiously.
"A curious place, this India?"
"Oh, very curious. Mosques, minarets, temples, fakirs, pagodas, tigers,
snakes, elephants! I hope you will have ample time to see the sights."
"I hope so, Monsieur Fix. You see, a man of sound sense ought not to spend hi_ife jumping from a steamer upon a railway train, and from a railway trai_pon a steamer again, pretending to make the tour of the world in eighty days!
No; all these gymnastics, you may be sure, will cease at Bombay."
"And Mr. Fogg is getting on well?" asked Fix, in the most natural tone in th_orld.
"Quite well, and I too. I eat like a famished ogre; it's the sea air."
"But I never see your master on deck."
"Never; he hasn't the least curiosity."
"Do you know, Mr. Passepartout, that this pretended tour in eighty days ma_onceal some secret errand—perhaps a diplomatic mission?"
"Faith, Monsieur Fix, I assure you I know nothing about it, nor would I giv_alf a crown to find out."
After this meeting, Passepartout and Fix got into the habit of chattin_ogether, the latter making it a point to gain the worthy man's confidence. H_requently offered him a glass of whiskey or pale ale in the steamer bar-room,
which Passepartout never failed to accept with graceful alacrity, mentall_ronouncing Fix the best of good fellows.
Meanwhile the Mongolia was pushing forward rapidly; on the 13th, Mocha,
surrounded by its ruined walls whereon date-trees were growing, was sighted,
and on the mountains beyond were espied vast coffee-fields. Passepartout wa_avished to behold this celebrated place, and thought that, with its circula_alls and dismantled fort, it looked like an immense coffee-cup and saucer.
The following night they passed through the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, whic_eans in Arabic The Bridge of Tears, and the next day they put in at Steame_oint, north-west of Aden harbour, to take in coal. This matter of fuellin_teamers is a serious one at such distances from the coal-mines; it costs th_eninsular Company some eight hundred thousand pounds a year. In these distan_eas, coal is worth three or four pounds sterling a ton.
The Mongolia had still sixteen hundred and fifty miles to traverse befor_eaching Bombay, and was obliged to remain four hours at Steamer Point to coa_p. But this delay, as it was foreseen, did not affect Phileas Fogg'_rogramme; besides, the Mongolia, instead of reaching Aden on the morning o_he 15th, when she was due, arrived there on the evening of the 14th, a gai_f fifteen hours.
Mr. Fogg and his servant went ashore at Aden to have the passport agai_isaed; Fix, unobserved, followed them. The visa procured, Mr. Fogg returne_n board to resume his former habits; while Passepartout, according to custom,
sauntered about among the mixed population of Somalis, Banyans, Parsees, Jews,
Arabs, and Europeans who comprise the twenty-five thousand inhabitants o_den. He gazed with wonder upon the fortifications which make this place th_ibraltar of the Indian Ocean, and the vast cisterns where the Englis_ngineers were still at work, two thousand years after the engineers o_olomon.
"Very curious, very curious," said Passepartout to himself, on returning t_he steamer. "I see that it is by no means useless to travel, if a man want_o see something new." At six p.m. the Mongolia slowly moved out of th_oadstead, and was soon once more on the Indian Ocean. She had a hundred an_ixty-eight hours in which to reach Bombay, and the sea was favourable, th_ind being in the north-west, and all sails aiding the engine. The steame_olled but little, the ladies, in fresh toilets, reappeared on deck, and th_inging and dancing were resumed. The trip was being accomplished mos_uccessfully, and Passepartout was enchanted with the congenial companio_hich chance had secured him in the person of the delightful Fix. On Sunday,
October 20th, towards noon, they came in sight of the Indian coast: two hour_ater the pilot came on board. A range of hills lay against the sky in th_orizon, and soon the rows of palms which adorn Bombay came distinctly int_iew. The steamer entered the road formed by the islands in the bay, and a_alf-past four she hauled up at the quays of Bombay.
Phileas Fogg was in the act of finishing the thirty-third rubber of th_oyage, and his partner and himself having, by a bold stroke, captured al_hirteen of the tricks, concluded this fine campaign with a brilliant victory.
The Mongolia was due at Bombay on the 22nd; she arrived on the 20th. This wa_ gain to Phileas Fogg of two days since his departure from London, and h_almly entered the fact in the itinerary, in the column of gains.