"At high tide tomorrow morning," answered the pilot.
"Ah!" said Mr. Fogg, without betraying any astonishment.
Passepartout, who heard what passed, would willingly have embraced the pilot, while Fix would have been glad to twist his neck.
"What is the steamer's name?" asked Mr. Fogg.
"Ought she not to have gone yesterday?"
"Yes, sir; but they had to repair one of her boilers, and so her departure was postponed till tomorrow."
"Thank you," returned Mr. Fogg, descending mathematically to the saloon.
Passepartout clasped the pilot's hand and shook it heartily in his delight, exclaiming, "Pilot, you are the best of good fellows!"
The pilot probably does not know to this day why his responses won him this enthusiastic greeting. He remounted the bridge, and guided the steamer through the flotilla of junks, tankas and fishing boats which crowded the harbor of Hong Kong.
At one o'clock the Rangoon was at the quay, and the passengers were going ashore.
Chance had strangely favored Phileas Fogg, for if the Carnatic had not been forced to lie over for repairing her boiler, she would have left on the 6th of November, and the passengers for Japan would have been obliged to wait a week for the sailing of the next steamer. Mr. Fogg was, it is true, twenty-four hours behind his time; but this could not seriously imperil the remainder of his tour.
The steamer which crossed the Pacific from Yokohama to San Francisco made a direct connection with that from Hong Kong, and it could not sail until the latter reached Yokohama. If Mr. Fogg was twenty-four hours late on reaching Yokohama, this time would no doubt be easily regained in the voyage of twenty-two days across the Pacific. He found himself, then, about twenty-four hours behind time, thirty-five days after leaving London.
The Carnatic was announced to leave Hong Kong at five the next morning. Mr. Fogg had sixteen hours in which to attend to his business there, which was to deposit Aouda safely with her wealthy relative.
On landing, he conducted her to a palanquin, in which they repaired to the Club Hotel. A room was engaged for the young woman, and Mr. Fogg, after seeing that she wanted for nothing, set out in search of her cousin Jeejeeh. He instructed Passepartout to remain at the hotel until his return, that Aouda might not be left entirely alone.
Mr. Fogg repaired to the Exchange, where, he did not doubt, everyone would know so wealthy and considerable a person as the Parsee merchant. Meeting a broker, he made the inquiry, to learn that Jeejeeh had left China two years before, and, retiring from business with an immense fortune, had taken up his residence in Europe -in- Holland the broker thought, with the merchants of which country he had principally traded. Phileas Fogg returned to the hotel, begged a moment's conversation with Aouda, and, without more ado, told her that Jeejeeh was no longer at Hong Kong, but probably in Holland.
Aouda at first said nothing. She passed her hand across her forehead, and reflected a few moments. Then, in her sweet, soft voice, she said: "What ought I to do, Mr. Fogg?"
"It is very simple," responded the gentleman. "Co on to Europe."
"But I cannot intrude -"
"You do not intrude, nor do you in the least embarrass my project. Passepartout!"
"Go to the Carnatic, and engage three cabins."
Passepartout, delighted that the young woman, who was very gracious to him, was going to continue the journey with them, went off at a brisk gait to obey his master's order.
In Which Passepartout Takesa Too Great Interest in His Master, and What Comes of It
Hong Kong is an island which came into the possession of the English by the Treaty of Nankin, after the war of 1842; and the colonizing genius of the English has created upon it an important city and an excellent port. The island is situated at the mouth of the Canton River, and is separated by about sixty miles from the Portuguese town of Macao, on the opposite coast.