Chapter VIII: In Which Passepartout Talks Rather More, Perhaps, Than Is Prudent

Fix soon rejoined Passepartout, who was lounging and looking about on the quay, as if he did not feel that he, at least, was obliged not to see anything.

"Well, my friend," said the detective, coming up with him, "is your passport visaed?"

"Ah, it's you, is it, monsieur?" responded Passepartout. "Thanks, yes, the passport is all right."

"And you are looking about you?"

"Yes; but we travel so fast that I seem to be journeying in a dream. So this is Suez?"


"In Egypt?"

"Certainly, in Egypt."

"And in Africa?"

"In Africa."

"In Africa!" repeated Passepartout. "Just think, monsieur, I had no idea that we should go farther than Paris; and all that I saw of Paris was between twenty minutes past seven and twenty minutes before nine in the morning, between the Northern and the Lyons stations, through the windows of a car, and in a driving rain! How I regret not having seen once more Pere la Chaise and the circus in the Champs Elysees!"

"You are in a great hurry, then?"

"I am not, but my master is. By the way, I must buy some shoes and shirts. We came away without trunks, only with a carpet-bag."

"I will show you an excellent shop for getting what you want."

"Really, monsieur, you are very kind."

And they walked off together, Passepartout chatting volubly as they went along.

"Above all," said he; "don't let me lose the steamer."

"You have plenty of time; it's only twelve o'clock."

Passepartout pulled out his big watch. "Twelve!" he exclaimed; "why, it's only eight minutes before ten."

"Your watch is slow."

"My watch? A family watch, monsieur, which has come down from my great-grandfather! It doesn't vary five minutes in the year. It's a perfect chronometer, look you."

"I see how it is," said Fix. "You have kept London time, which is two hours behind that of Suez. You ought to regulate your watch at noon in each country."

"I regulate my watch? Never!"

"Well, then, it will not agree with the sun."

"So much the worse for the sun, monsieur. The sun will be wrong, then!"

And the worthy fellow returned the watch to its fob with a defiant gesture. After a few minutes silence, Fix resumed: "You left London hastily, then?"

"I rather think so! Last Friday at eight o'clock in the evening, Monsieur Fogg came home from his club, and three-quarters of an hour afterwards we were off."

"But where is your master going?"

"Always straight ahead. He is going round the world."

"Round the world?" cried Fix.

"Yes, and in eighty days! He says it is on a wager; but, between us, I don't believe a word of it. That wouldn't be common sense. There's something else in the wind."

"Ah! Mr. Fogg is a character, is he?"

"I should say he was."

"Is he rich?"

"No doubt, for he is carrying an enormous sum in brand new banknotes with him. And he doesn't spare the money on the way, either: he has offered a large reward to the engineer of the Mongolia if he gets us to Bombay well in advance of time."

"And you have known your master a long time?"

"Why, no; I entered his service the very day we left London."

The effect of these replies upon the already suspicious and excited detective may be imagined. The hasty departure from London soon after the robbery; the large sum carried by Mr. Fogg; his eagerness to reach distant countries; the pretext of an eccentric and foolhardy bet—all confirmed Fix in his theory. He continued to pump poor Passepartout, and learned that he really knew little or nothing of his master, who lived a solitary existence in London, was said to be rich, though no one knew whence came his riches, and was mysterious and impenetrable in his affairs and habits. Fix felt sure that Phileas Fogg would not land at Suez, but was really going on to Bombay.

"Is Bombay far from here?" asked Passepartout.

"Pretty far. It is a ten days' voyage by sea."

"And in what country is Bombay?"


"In Asia?"


"The deuce! I was going to tell you there's one thing that worries me—my burner!"

"What burner?"

"My gas-burner, which I forgot to turn off, and which is at this moment burning at my expense. I have calculated, monsieur, that I lose two shillings every four and twenty hours, exactly sixpence more than I earn; and you will understand that the longer our journey—"

Did Fix pay any attention to Passepartout's trouble about the gas? It is not probable. He was not listening, but was cogitating a project. Passepartout and he had now reached the shop, where Fix left his companion to make his purchases, after recommending him not to miss the steamer, and hurried back to the consulate. Now that he was fully convinced, Fix had quite recovered his equanimity.

"Consul," said he, "I have no longer any doubt. I have spotted my man. He passes himself off as an odd stick who is going round the world in eighty days."

"Then he's a sharp fellow," returned the consul, "and counts on returning to London after putting the police of the two countries off his track."

"We'll see about that," replied Fix.

"But are you not mistaken?"

"I am not mistaken."

"Why was this robber so anxious to prove, by the visa, that he had passed through Suez?"

"Why? I have no idea; but listen to me."

He reported in a few words the most important parts of his conversation with Passepartout.

"In short," said the consul, "appearances are wholly against this man. And what are you going to do?"

"Send a dispatch to London for a warrant of arrest to be dispatched instantly to Bombay, take passage on board the Mongolia, follow my rogue to India, and there, on English ground, arrest him politely, with my warrant in my hand, and my hand on his shoulder."

Having uttered these words with a cool, careless air, the detective took leave of the consul, and repaired to the telegraph office, whence he sent the dispatch which we have seen to the London police office. A quarter of an hour later found Fix, with a small bag in his hand, proceeding on board the Mongolia; and, ere many moments longer, the noble steamer rode out at full steam upon the waters of the Red Sea.


  1. The first part of the passage down from the Suez Canal to the Arabian Sea in the north of the Indian Ocean.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  2. Fifteen minutes.

    Fix packed in quite the hurry to fulfill his plan to arrest Fogg.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  3. preposition, quaint, archaic: (in relationship to time) before; occurring before

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  4. The narrator makes a reference to Chapter V in which, at the end of the chapter, the police commission receives Fix's request.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  5. adverb, formal, archaic: from where; from what place; from which

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  6. verb, formal: to leave one place to go directly to another place with fixed intent

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  7. verb: sent to a particular place for a specific purpose

    This takes us back to the end of Chapter V wherein the police commissioner of London receives the herewith described dispatch from Fix requesting the said warrant of arrest that was immediately sent to London.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  8. An official document issued by a judge on behalf of the government authorizing the arrest, detention, or the search of a person.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  9. dispatch, *noun: *official communication in a message sent to someone holding an official capacity

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  10. The Consul agrees that Pasepartout's remarks make it look very bad for Fogg and heighten the suspicions of his theft of the banknotes.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  11. deuce***, noun**, euphemism:* a substitute word, which is gentler and less shocking, meaning "devil" used in surprise, annoyance, or impatience as an emphatic expression

    euphemism,* noun:* a gentler or less shocking word or expression that substitutes for a socially unacceptable or shocking word or expression, like "the deuce" to substitute for "the devil."

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  12. We do not really have a clue as to why Fix thinks this except that it is the more eccentric place to disembark (more eccentric than Suez) and Bombay, being large, full of foreigners, and on the fringe of Indian jungle, is a better place to get lost and yet still remain--as a loyal British citizen--on British soil.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  13. adverb, formal, archaic: from where; from what place; from which

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  14. adjective: acting or behaving dangerously foolishly and rashly, i.e., without forethought or planning

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  15. Passepartout unwittingly (i.e., unknowingly, unintentionally) gives Fix (and perhaps us) yet another reason for suspecting Fogg is the London bank robber: "brand new banknotes."

    banknote, noun: official government currency issued by the official government treasury bank

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  16. Passepartout expresses emphatic (i.e., with emphasis) agreement with Fix's observation that Fogg is an eccentric type of person.

    "Should" is a modal that is used in an emphatic to express surprise ("Whom should I see but Saint Nick!"). It is used in "I should say he was" to emphasize Passepartout's surprise at finding this impromptu nature in his new employer and to emphasize his affirmative response to the detective.

    In an instance of dramatic irony in which we and Fix know what Passepartout does not know, he has confirmed Fix's suspicions of Fogg as the robber (and perhaps awakened our suspicious curiosity about Fogg as well).

    impromptu, adjective form: suddenly without planning or preparation

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  17. "Someone is a character" is an informal colloquialism (casual, informal speech phrase) that means someone is of an eccentric type of person that can be specified as neutral, good or not so good: "he is a character" denotes someone who is a neutrally eccentric type person; "he is a bit of a character" also denotes a neutrally eccentric type yet is more emphatic (has more emphasis); "he is a pleasant character" demotes a good type; "he is a strange character" denotes a not so good eccentric type of person.

    eccentric, adjective: having unconventional and odd or strange opinions, views or behavior

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  18. idiom, allusion, figure of speech: based upon an allusion to the fact that the wind carries unseen scents, this idiom phrase means that some is suspicious that a secret plan or undertaking is in place,* i.e., the "scent" of the secrecy carries to the person developing the suspicion*

    Passepartout believes the idea of a bet about going round the world in eighty days is ridiculous and believes that Fogg has some secret plan that he is not telling Passepartout about.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  19. Forty-five minutes, each quarter of an hour being fifteen minutes: 15 minutes x 3 quarters = 45 minutes.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  20. An exclamation emphasizing the degree of surprise and haste with which he and Fogg did leave London.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  21. Fix is explaining rather shortly that time in each geographical location is related to and depends upon sunrise in that specific location: local time varies across geographical locations moving west as sunrise occurs in the east and Earth rotates eastward toward the appearance of the Sun.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  22. Passepartout is warmly explaining the virtues of his watch since he is shocked at Fix's suggestion that his watch is slow in keeping time: "Your watch is slow."

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  23. Pasepartout is adamant about not adjusting the time on his watch because, as he explained earlier, the watch is a chronometer of complex and excellent make that has come to him from his great-grandfather and in all the time, the watch has kept nearly perfect time: "It doesn't vary five minutes in the year."

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  24. Fix is advising that Passepartout change his watch settings to accord with time relevant to the Sun in relation to their geographical position in order to know the local time.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  25. Though Passepartout has been traveling south and east away from London, he has not been aware of his entry into earlier time zones where dawn occurs earlier, thus time, adjusted to Earth movement in relation to the Sun, has progressively moved to hours later in the morning in order to adjust to the relative position of the Sun, which is the Sun's position relative to their geographical location.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  26. Passepartout means here, in paraphrase, "Don't let me stray so far or stay so long that the steamer leaves without me."

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  27. A traveling bag of large size made of carpet wool and having a handle for easy carrying. Carpet-bags opens up from the top. You can see a carpet-bag, its size and how it opens in the early parts of the 1964 film Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews, especially during the scenes in which she sings "Just a Spoonful of Sugar."

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  28. Travelers in the 1800s--up until the early 1900s--packed belongings in tall, wide, low trunks instead of in what we know as suitcases. You can get a good view of these trunks in the 1934 movie The Gay Divorcee, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, because some early scenes show the interior of such trunks revealing their construction, purpose and size.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  29. Fix, inspired by detective intuition, asks whether they are in a great hurry in their travels away from London. Such a hurry to get away from England would confirm Fix's suspicion that Fogg is the escaping bank robber.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  30. Little is written about the Cirque des Champs-Elysées. Most attention is given to the Cirque d’Hiver, the winter circus, since it is housed in the world's oldest circus building and is still active today. Both were owned and managed by Louis Dejean, who owned three circuses altogether, these two and the Cirque Olympique. Cirque des Champs-Elysées, "the circus in the Champs Elysees," was located in Jardins des Champs-Elysées, a site of fashionable gardens (jardins = gardens) along avenue Champs-Elysées that were restored by Hittorf following destruction by troops after the fall of Napoleon's Empire.

    This confirms Passepartout's love of beautiful, peaceful, tranquil garden settings while confirming his interest in Pere la Chaise: he longed for garden peace and beauty.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  31. The Pere la Chaise is a famous cemetery, one of three opened on the outskirts of Paris in the early years of the 19th century; it was opened in 1804. It is renowned for being the first garden cemetery with wide boulevards and tree-lined avenues behind its stone walls and gates. Along the boulevards, avenues and lanes, under the shade of trees with entwined branches, the tombs and graves are packed in side-by-side-by-side [a virtual tour is available at].

    What does this tell us about Passepartout? Rather than reveal something darkly ghoulish about him, his longing to once again see Pere la Chaise (now spelled Père Lachaise) confirms his longing, as told to Fogg, for peace, tranquility and a settled home life.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  32. Passepartout is saying that the only thing he saw of Paris was what was visible through the train car window--and through the hard, driving rain--during the length of time it took for the train to slowly make way through Paris (slowly because trains are required for safety to travel slowly through towns and peopled areas).

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  33. Passepartout can't realize that he is really traveling to such a strange and distant port.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  34. A continuation of the ironic comment ending Chapter VII suggesting that Fogg was content to let his domestic servant do his sightseeing on his behalf because Fogg has no interest in his whereabouts.

    Here, the narrator's ironic comment means that Passepartout did not share in thinking that the sights, which were such a surprise to him (they left London so unexpectedly) and so new to him, were not interesting and worth seeing.

    Again expressed in a rhetorical negated antithesis showing opposition between what was and what was expected, Passepartout does not feel he must not look around and see the sights.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  35. Passepartout was looking casually at the things around him as a tourist might to get the overall idea of what a place is like.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  36. Passepartout was standing on the quay in a relaxed, casual way with nothing particular on his mind aside from place he found himself in.

    longing*, verb (present participle form)*: standing, sitting or lying in a relaxed, worry-free, casual way

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  37. verb: to come together with again; to meet again; to reunite with

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  38. noun: someone who is dishonest, also one who has gone as if wild and is operating outside social or other boundaries, e.g., a rogue CIA agent

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  39. compound noun, British slang: an eccentric person who has odd habits and plans

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  40. noun: mental composure and sense of calm, especially in difficulty

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  41. verb, present participle form: to think deeply about something

    Fix was thinking deeply about a plan related to capturing Fogg, thus he did not attend to Passepartout's troubles about the gas jet.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  42. adjective: impossible to understand

    Fogg's mysterious habits were impossible to understand.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  43. verb, informal: to persist in questioning someone in order to get information from them

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  44. adjective: having the idea that someone or something should be distrusted or is questionable in some way

    Fix believes Fogg's behavior is highly questionable and that it indicates Fogg is the bank robber.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  45. noun phrase (adjective + noun): a gesture showing bold resistance to something, like an idea or a command

    gesture, noun
    movement of facial expression, hand, arm, etc, that shows something, like an idea, emotion, sentiment or direction

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  46. noun: the small pocket in a man's waistcoat for holding a watch; also the chain attached to the watch, e.g., The fob chain draped while the watch was replaced in the fob pocket.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  47. noun: a complex instrument for measuring time despite motion, barometric changes, temperature and moisture

    Chronometers were first developed for ocean navigation [see Chapter II "Leroy chronometer"].

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  48. adjective: speaking freely and fluently; in a willing flow of speech

    — Karen P.L. Hardison