"But, Mr. Fogg, eighty days are only the estimate of the least possible time in which the journey can be made."
"A well-used minimum suffices for everything."
"But, in order not to exceed it, you must jump mathematically from the trains upon the steamers, and from the steamers upon the trains again."
"I will jump--mathematically."
"You are joking."
"A true Englishman doesn't joke when he is talking about so serious a thing as a wager," replied Phileas Fogg, solemnly. "I will bet twenty thousand pounds against anyone who wishes that I will make the tour of the world in eighty days or less; in nineteen hundred and twenty hours, or a hundred and fifteen thousand two hundred minutes. Do you accept?"
"We accept," replied Messrs. Stuart, Fallentin, Sullivan, Flanagan, and Ralph, after consulting each other.
"Good," said Mr. Fogg. "The train leaves for Dover at a quarter before nine. I will take it."
"This very evening?" asked Stuart.
"This very evening," returned Phileas Fogg. He took out and consulted a pocket almanac, and added, "As today is Wednesday, the 2nd of October, I shall be due in London in this very room of the Reform Club, on Saturday, the 21st of December, at a quarter before nine p.m.; or else the twenty thousand pounds, now deposited in my name at Baring's, will belong to you, in fact and in right, gentlemen. Here is a cheque for the amount."
A memorandum of the wager was at once drawn up and signed by the six parties, during which Phileas Fogg preserved a stoical composure. He certainly did not bet to win, and had only staked the twenty thousand pounds, half of his fortune, because he foresaw that he might have to expend the other half to carry out this difficult, not to say unattainable, project. As for his antagonists, they seemed much agitated; not so much by the value of their stake, as because they had some scruples about betting under conditions so difficult to their friend.
The clock struck seven, and the party offered to suspend the game so that Mr. Fogg might make his preparations for departure.
"I am quite ready now," was his tranquil response. "Diamonds are trumps: be so good as to play, gentlemen."
IN WHICH PHILEAS FOGG ASTOUNDS PASSEPARTOUT, HIS SERVANT
Having won twenty guineas at whist, and taken leave of his friends, Phileas Fogg, at twenty-five minutes past seven, left the Reform Club.
Passepartout, who had conscientiously studied the programme of his duties, was more than surprised to see his master guilty of the inexactness of appearing at this unaccustomed hour; for, according to rule, he was not due in Saville Row until precisely midnight.
Mr. Fogg repaired to his bedroom, and called out, "Passepartout!"
Passepartout did not reply. It could not be he who was called; it was not the right hour.
"Passepartout!" repeated Mr. Fogg, without raising his voice.
Passepartout made his appearance.
"I've called you twice," observed his master.
"But it is not midnight," responded the other, showing his watch.
"I know it; I don't blame you. We start for Dover and Calais in ten minutes."
A puzzled grin overspread Passepartout's round face; clearly he had not comprehended his master.
"Monsieur is going to leave home?"
"Yes," returned Phileas Fogg. "We are going round the world."
Passepartout opened wide his eyes, raised his eyebrows, held up his hands, and seemed about to collapse, so overcome was he with stupefied astonishment.
"Round the world!" he murmured.
"In eighty days," responded Mr. Fogg. "So we haven't a moment to lose."
"But the trunks?" gasped Passepartout, unconsciously swaying his head from right to left.
"We'll have no trunks; only a carpet-bag, with two shirts and three pairs of stockings for me, and the same for you. We'll buy our clothes on the way. Bring down my mackintosh and traveling-cloak, and some stout shoes, though we shall do little walking. Make haste!"
Passepartout tried to reply, but could not. He went out, mounted to his own room, fell into a chair, and muttered: "That's good, that is! And I, who wanted to remain quiet!"
He mechanically set about making the preparations for departure. Around the world in eighty days! Was his master a fool? No. Was this a joke, then? They were going to Dover; good! To Calais; good again! After all, Passepartout, who had been away from France five years, would not be sorry to set foot on his native soil again.