Then he cried, "Well - yes! Your honor is right. To Shanghai!"
So the Tankadere kept steadily on her northward track.
The night was really terrible. It would be a miracle if the craft did not founder. Twice it would have been all over with her if the crew had not been constantly on the watch. Aouda was exhausted, but did not utter a complaint. More than once Mr. Fogg rushed to protect her from the violence of the waves.
Day reappeared. The tempest still raged with undiminished fury, but the wind now returned to the southeast. It was a favorable change, and the Tankadere again bounded forward on this mountainous sea, though the waves crossed each other, and imparted shocks and countershocks which would have crushed a craft less solidly built. From time to time the coast was visible through the broken mist, but no vessel was in sight. The Tankadere was alone upon the sea.
There were some signs of a calm at noon, and these became more distinct as the sun descended towards the horizon. The tempest had been as brief as terrific. The passengers, thoroughly exhausted, could now eat a little, and take some repose.
The night was comparatively quiet. Some of the sails were again hoisted, and the speed of the boat was very good. The next morning at dawn they saw the coast, and John Bunsby was able to assert that they were not one hundred miles from Shanghai. A hundred miles, and only one day to cross them! That very evening Mr. Fogg was due at Shanghai, if he did not wish to miss the steamer to Yokohama. Had there been no storm, during which several hours were lost, they would be at this moment within thirty miles of their destination.
The wind grew decidedly calmer, and happily the sea fell with it. All sails were now hoisted, and at noon the Tankadere was within forty-five miles of Shanghai. There remained yet six hours in which to accomplish that distance. All on board feared that it could not be done, and every one - Phileas Fogg, no doubt, excepted - felt his heart beat with impatience. The boat must keep up an average of nine miles an hour, and the wind was becoming calmer every moment! It was a capricious breeze, coming from the coast, and after it passed the sea became smooth. Still, the Tankadere was so light, and her fine sails caught the fickle zephyrs so well, that, with the aid of the current, John Bunsby found himself at six o'clock not more than ten miles from the mouth of Shanghai River. Shanghai itself is situated at least twelve miles up the stream. At seven they were still three miles from Shanghai. The pilot swore an angry oath; the reward of two hundred pounds was evidently on the point of escaping him. He looked at Mr. Fogg. Mr. Fogg was perfectly tranquil, yet his whole fortune was at this moment at stake.
At this moment, also, a long black funnel, crowned with wreaths of smoke, appeared on the edge of the waters. It was the American steamer, leaving for Yokohama at the appointed time.
"Confound her!" cried John Bunsby, pushing back the rudder with a desperate jerk.
"Signal her!" said Phileas Fogg quietly.
A small brass cannon stood on the forward deck of the Tankadere for making signals in the fogs. It was loaded to the muzzle, but just as the pilot was about to apply a red-hot coal to the touchhole, Mr. Fogg said, "Hoist your flag!"
The flag was run up at half-mast, and, this being the signal of distress, it was hoped that the American steamer, perceiving it, would change her course a little, so as to help the pilot boat.
"Fire!" said Mr. Fogg. And the booming of the little cannon resounded in the air.
In Which Passepartout Finds Out That, Even at the Antipodes, It Is Convenient to Have Some Money in One's Pocket
The Carnatic, setting sail from Hong Kong at half-past six on the 7th of November, directed her course at full steam towards Japan. She carried a large cargo and a well-filled cabin of passengers. Two state-rooms in the rear were, however, unoccupied - those which had been engaged by Phileas Fogg.