WHICH ONCE MORE DEMONSTRATES THE USELESSNESS
AS AIDS TO DETECTIVES
The detective passed down the quay, and rapidly made his way to
the consul's office, where he was at once admitted to the presence
of that official.
"Consul," said he, without preamble, "I have strong reasons
for believing that my man is a passenger on the Mongolia."
And he narrated what had just passed concerning the passport.
"Well, Mr. Fix," replied the consul, "I shall not be sorry
see the rascal's face; but perhaps he won't come here--that is,
if he is the person you suppose him to be. A robber doesn't quite
like to leave traces of his flight behind him; and, besides,
he is not obliged to have his passport countersigned."
"If he is as shrewd as I think he is, consul, he will come."
"To have his passport visaed?"
"Yes. Passports are only good for annoying honest folks,
and aiding in the flight of rogues. I assure you it will be quite
the thing for him to do; but I hope you will not visa the passport."
"Why not? If the passport is genuine I have no right to refuse."
"Still, I must keep this man here until I can get a warrant to
arrest him from London."
"Ah, that's your look-out. But I cannot--"
The consul did not finish his sentence, for as he spoke a knock was heard
at the door, and two strangers entered, one of whom was the servant
whom Fix had met on the quay. The other, who was his master,
held out his passport with the request that the consul would do him
the favour to visa it. The consul took the document and carefully read it,
whilst Fix observed, or rather devoured, the stranger with his eyes
from a corner of the room.
"You are Mr. Phileas Fogg?" said the consul, after reading the
"And this man is your servant?"
"He is: a Frenchman, named Passepartout."
"You are from London?"
"And you are going--"
"Very good, sir. You know that a visa is useless, and that no passport
"I know it, sir," replied Phileas Fogg; "but I wish to prove,
by your visa, that I came by Suez."
"Very well, sir."
The consul proceeded to sign and date the passport, after which
he added his official seal. Mr. Fogg paid the customary fee,
coldly bowed, and went out, followed by his servant.
"Well?" queried the detective.
"Well, he looks and acts like a perfectly honest man," replied
"Possibly; but that is not the question. Do you think, consul,
that this phelgmatic gentleman resembles, feature by feature,
the robber whose description I have received?"
"I concede that; but then, you know, all descriptions--"
"I'll make certain of it," interrupted Fix. "The servant
to me less mysterious than the master; besides, he's a Frenchman,
and can't help talking. Excuse me for a little while, consul."
Fix started off in search of Passepartout.
Meanwhile Mr. Fogg, after leaving the consulate, repaired to
the quay, gave some orders to Passepartout, went off to
the Mongolia in a boat, and descended to his cabin.
He took up his note-book, which contained the following memoranda:
"Left London, Wednesday, October 2nd, at 8.45 p.m.
"Reached Paris, Thursday, October 3rd, at 7.20 a.m.
"Left Paris, Thursday, at 8.40 a.m.
"Reached Turin by Mont Cenis, Friday, October 4th, at 6.35 a.m.
"Left Turin, Friday, at 7.20 a.m.
"Arrived at Brindisi, Saturday, October 5th, at 4 p.m.
"Sailed on the Mongolia, Saturday, at 5 p.m.
"Reached Suez, Wednesday, October 9th, at 11 a.m.
"Total of hours spent, 158+; or, in days, six days and a half."
These dates were inscribed in an itinerary divided into columns,
indicating the month, the day of the month, and the day for the
stipulated and actual arrivals at each principal point Paris,
Brindisi, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Yokohama,
San Francisco, New York, and London--from the 2nd of October
to the 21st of December; and giving a space for setting down
the gain made or the loss suffered on arrival at each locality.
This methodical record thus contained an account of everything needed,
and Mr. Fogg always knew whether he was behind-hand or in advance
of his time. On this Friday, October 9th, he noted his arrival at Suez,
and observed that he had as yet neither gained nor lost.
He sat down quietly to breakfast in his cabin, never once thinking
of inspecting the town, being one of those Englishmen who are wont
to see foreign countries through the eyes of their domestics.
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Room | Around
the World In Eighty Days