Elephants were bathing in the waters of the sacred river, and groups of Indians, despite the advanced season and chilly air, were performing solemnly their pious ablutions. These were fervent Brahmins, the bitterest foes of Buddhism, their deities being Vishnu, the solar god, Shiva, the divine impersonation of natural forces and Brahma, the supreme ruler of priests and ]egislators. What would these divinities think of India7 Anglicized as it is today, with steamers whistling and scudding along the Ganges, frightening the gulls which float upon its surface, the turtles swarming along its banks and the faithful dwelling upon its borders?
The panorama passed before their eyes like a flash, save when the steam concealed it fitfully from the view. The travelers could scarcely discern the fort of Chupenie, twenty miles southwestward from Benares, the ancient stronghold of the rajahs of Behar; or Ghazipur and its famous rose-waterfactories; or the tomb of Lord Cornwallis, rising on the left bank of the Ganges; the fortified town of Buxar, or Patna, a large manufacturing and trading-place, where is held the principal opium market of India; or Monghir, a more than European town, for it is as English as Manchester or Birmingham, with its iron foundries, edge-tool factories and high chimneys puffing clouds of black smoke heavenward.
Night came on. The train passed on at full speed, in the midst of the roaring of the tigers, bears and wolves which fled before the locomotive. The marvels of Bengal, Golconda, ruined Gour, Murshedabad, the ancient capital, Burdwan, Hugly and the French town of Chandernagor, where Passepartout would have been proud to see his country's flag flying, were hidden from their view in the darkness.
Calcutta was reached at seven in the morning, and the packet left for Hong Kong at noon; so that Phileas Fogg had five hours before him.
According to his journal, he was due at Calcutta on the 25th of October, and that was the exact date of his actual arrival. He was therefore neither behind nor ahead of time. The two days gained between London and Bombay had been lost, as has been seen, in the journey across India. But it is not to be supposed that Phileas Fogg regretted them.
In Which the Bag of Banknotes Disgorges Some Thousands of Pounds More
The train entered the station. Passepartout jumped out first, followed by Mr. Fogg, who assisted his fair companion to descend. Phileas Fogg intended to proceed at once to the Hong Kong steamer, in order to get Aouda comfortably settled for the voyage. He was unwilling to leave her while they were still on dangerous ground.
Just as he was leaving the station a policeman came up to him, and said, "Mr. Phileas Fogg?"
"I am he."
"Is this man your servant?" added the policeman, pointing to Passepartout.
"Be so good, both of you, as to follow me."
Mr. Fogg betrayed no surprise whatever. The policeman was a representative of the law, and law is sacred to an Englishman. Passepartout tried to reason about the matter, but the policeman tapped him with his stick, and Mr. Fogg made him a signal to obey.
"May this young lady go with us?" he asked."She may," replied the policeman.
Mr. Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout were conducted to a palkighari, a sort of four-wheeled carriage, drawn by two horses. They took their places and were driven away. No one spoke during the twenty minutes which elapsed before they reached their destination.
They first passed through the "black town," with its narrow streets, its miserable, dirty huts and squalid population; then through the "European town," which presented a relief in its bright brick mansions, shaded by coconut-trees and bristling with masts, where, although it was early morning, elegantly dressed horsemen and handsome equipages were passing back and forth.
The carriage stopped before a modest-looking house, which, however, did not have the appearance of a private mansion. The policeman having requested his prisoners - for so, truly, they might be called - to descend, conducted them into a room with barred windows, and said: "You will appear before Judge Obadiah at half-past eight."
He then retired, and closed the door.