In which Phileas Fogg simply
does his duty
Three passengers including
Passepartout had disappeared.
Had they been killed in the struggle?
Were they taken prisoners by
the Sioux? It was impossible
There were many wounded, but
none mortally. Colonel Proctor
was one of the most seriously
hurt; he had fought bravely,
and a ball had entered his groin.
He was carried into the station
with the other wounded passengers,
to receive such attention as
could be of avail.
Aouda was safe; and Phileas
Fogg, who had been in the thickest
of the fight, had not received
a scratch. Fix was slightly wounded
in the arm. But Passepartout
was not to be found, and tears
coursed down Aouda's cheeks.
All the passengers had got
out of the train, the wheels
of which were stained with blood.
From the tyres and spokes hung
ragged pieces of flesh. As far
as the eye could reach on the
white plain behind, red trails
were visible. The last Sioux
were disappearing in the south,
along the banks of Republican
Mr. Fogg, with
folded arms, remained motionless.
He had a
serious decision to make. Aouda,
standing near him, looked at
him without speaking, and he
understood her look. If his servant
was a prisoner, ought he not
to risk everything to rescue
him from the Indians? "I will
find him, living or dead," said
he quietly to Aouda.
"Ah, Mr.--Mr. Fogg!" cried
she, clasping his hands and covering
them with tears.
"Living," added Mr. Fogg, "if
we do not lose a moment."
by this resolution, inevitably
he pronounced his own doom. The
delay of a single day would make
him lose the steamer at New York,
and his bet would be certainly
lost. But as he thought, "It
is my duty," he did not hesitate.
The commanding officer of Fort
Kearney was there. A hundred
of his soldiers had placed themselves
in a position to defend the station,
should the Sioux attack it.
"Sir," said Mr. Fogg to the
captain, "three passengers have
"Dead or prisoners;
that is the uncertainty which
solved. Do you propose to pursue
"That's a serious thing to
do, sir," returned the captain. "These
Indians may retreat beyond the
Arkansas, and I cannot leave
the fort unprotected."
"The lives of three men are
in question, sir," said Phileas
but can I risk the lives of
fifty men to save
"I don't know
whether you can, sir; but you
ought to do so."
"Nobody here," returned the
other, "has a right to teach
me my duty."
"Very well," said Mr. Fogg,
coldly. "I will go alone."
"You, sir!" cried Fix, coming
up; "you go alone in pursuit
of the Indians?"
have me leave this poor fellow
to perish-- him to
whom every one present owes his
life? I shall go."
"No, sir, you shall not go
alone," cried the captain, touched
in spite of himself. "No! you
are a brave man. Thirty volunteers!" he
added, turning to the soldiers.
The whole company started forward
at once. The captain had only
to pick his men. Thirty were
chosen, and an old sergeant placed
at their head.
"Thanks, captain," said
"Will you let me go with you?" asked
"Do as you
please, sir. But if you wish
to do me a favour,
you will remain with Aouda. In
case anything should happen to
A sudden pallor overspread
the detective's face. Separate
himself from the man whom he
had so persistently followed
step by step! Leave him to wander
about in this desert! Fix gazed
attentively at Mr. Fogg, and,
despite his suspicions and of
the struggle which was going
on within him, he lowered his
eyes before that calm and frank
"I will stay," said
A few moments
after, Mr. Fogg pressed the
young woman's hand,
and, having confided to her his
precious carpet-bag, went off
with the sergeant and his little
squad. But, before going, he
had said to the soldiers, "My
friends, I will divide five thousand
dollars among you, if we save
It was then a little past noon.
Aouda retired to a waiting-room,
and there she waited alone, thinking
of the simple and noble generosity,
the tranquil courage of Phileas
Fogg. He had sacrificed his fortune,
and was now risking his life,
all without hesitation, from
duty, in silence.
Fix did not have the same thoughts,
and could scarcely conceal his
agitation. He walked feverishly
up and down the platform, but
soon resumed his outward composure.
He now saw the folly of which
he had been guilty in letting
Fogg go alone. What! This man,
whom he had just followed around
the world, was permitted now
to separate himself from him!
He began to accuse and abuse
himself, and, as if he were director
of police, administered to himself
a sound lecture for his greenness.
"I have been an idiot!" he
thought, "and this man will see
it. He has gone, and won't come
back! But how is it that I, Fix,
who have in my pocket a warrant
for his arrest, have been so
fascinated by him? Decidedly,
I am nothing but an ass!"
So reasoned the detective,
while the hours crept by all
too slowly. He did not know what
to do. Sometimes he was tempted
to tell Aouda all; but he could
not doubt how the young woman
would receive his confidences.
What course should he take? He
thought of pursuing Fogg across
the vast white plains; it did
not seem impossible that he might
overtake him. Footsteps were
easily printed on the snow! But
soon, under a new sheet, every
imprint would be effaced.
Fix became discouraged. He
felt a sort of insurmountable
longing to abandon the game altogether.
He could now leave Fort Kearney
station, and pursue his journey
homeward in peace.
Towards two o'clock in the
afternoon, while it was snowing
hard, long whistles were heard
approaching from the east. A
great shadow, preceded by a wild
light, slowly advanced, appearing
still larger through the mist,
which gave it a fantastic aspect.
No train was expected from the
east, neither had there been
time for the succour asked for
by telegraph to arrive; the train
from Omaha to San Francisco was
not due till the next day. The
mystery was soon explained.
The locomotive, which was slowly
approaching with deafening whistles,
was that which, having been detached
from the train, had continued
its route with such terrific
rapidity, carrying off the unconscious
engineer and stoker. It had run
several miles, when, the fire
becoming low for want of fuel,
the steam had slackened; and
it had finally stopped an hour
after, some twenty miles beyond
Fort Kearney. Neither the engineer
nor the stoker was dead, and,
after remaining for some time
in their swoon, had come to themselves.
The train had then stopped. The
engineer, when he found himself
in the desert, and the locomotive
without cars, understood what
had happened. He could not imagine
how the locomotive had become
separated from the train; but
he did not doubt that the train
left behind was in distress.
He did not hesitate what to
do. It would be prudent to continue
on to Omaha, for it would be
dangerous to return to the train,
which the Indians might still
be engaged in pillaging. Nevertheless,
he began to rebuild the fire
in the furnace; the pressure
again mounted, and the locomotive
returned, running backwards to
Fort Kearney. This it was which
was whistling in the mist.
The travellers were glad to
see the locomotive resume its
place at the head of the train.
They could now continue the journey
so terribly interrupted.
Aouda, on seeing
the locomotive come up, hurried
out of the station,
and asked the conductor, "Are
you going to start?"
"At once, madam."
"But the prisoners,
our unfortunate fellow-travellers--"
"I cannot interrupt the trip," replied
the conductor. "We are already
three hours behind time."
"And when will
another train pass here from
evening! But then it will be
too late! We must
"It is impossible," responded
the conductor. "If you wish to
go, please get in."
"I will not go," said
Fix had heard this conversation.
A little while before, when there
was no prospect of proceeding
on the journey, he had made up
his mind to leave Fort Kearney;
but now that the train was there,
ready to start, and he had only
to take his seat in the car,
an irresistible influence held
him back. The station platform
burned his feet, and he could
not stir. The conflict in his
mind again began; anger and failure
stifled him. He wished to struggle
on to the end.
Meanwhile the passengers and
some of the wounded, among them
Colonel Proctor, whose injuries
were serious, had taken their
places in the train. The buzzing
of the over-heated boiler was
heard, and the steam was escaping
from the valves. The engineer
whistled, the train started,
and soon disappeared, mingling
its white smoke with the eddies
of the densely falling snow.
The detective had remained
Several hours passed. The weather
was dismal, and it was very cold.
Fix sat motionless on a bench
in the station; he might have
been thought asleep. Aouda, despite
the storm, kept coming out of
the waiting-room, going to the
end of the platform, and peering
through the tempest of snow,
as if to pierce the mist which
narrowed the horizon around her,
and to hear, if possible, some
welcome sound. She heard and
saw nothing. Then she would return,
chilled through, to issue out
again after the lapse of a few
moments, but always in vain.
Evening came, and the little
band had not returned. Where
could they be? Had they found
the Indians, and were they having
a conflict with them, or were
they still wandering amid the
mist? The commander of the fort
was anxious, though he tried
to conceal his apprehensions.
As night approached, the snow
fell less plentifully, but it
became intensely cold. Absolute
silence rested on the plains.
Neither flight of bird nor passing
of beast troubled the perfect
Throughout the night Aouda,
full of sad forebodings, her
heart stifled with anguish, wandered
about on the verge of the plains.
Her imagination carried her far
off, and showed her innumerable
dangers. What she suffered through
the long hours it would be impossible
Fix remained stationary in
the same place, but did not sleep.
Once a man approached and spoke
to him, and the detective merely
replied by shaking his head.
Thus the night passed. At dawn,
the half-extinguished disc of
the sun rose above a misty horizon
; but it was now possible to
recognise objects two miles off.
Phileas Fogg and the squad had
gone southward; in the south
all was still vacancy. It was
then seven o'clock.
The captain, who was really
alarmed, did not know what course
Should he send another detachment
to the rescue of the first? Should
he sacrifice more men, with so
few chances of saving those already
sacrificed? His hesitation did
not last long, however. Calling
one of his lieutenants, he was
on the point of ordering a reconnaissance,
when gunshots were heard. Was
it a signal? The soldiers rushed
out of the fort, and half a mile
off they perceived a little band
returning in good order.
Mr. Fogg was marching at their
head, and just behind him were
Passepartout and the other two
travellers, rescued from the
They had met and fought the
Indians ten miles south of Fort
Kearney. Shortly before the detachment
arrived. Passepartout and his
companions had begun to struggle
with their captors, three of
whom the Frenchman had felled
with his fists, when his master
and the soldiers hastened up
to their relief.
All were welcomed
with joyful cries. Phileas
the reward he had promised to
the soldiers, while Passepartout,
not without reason, muttered
to himself, "It must certainly
be confessed that I cost my master
Fix, without saying a word,
looked at Mr. Fogg, and it would
have been difficult to analyse
the thoughts which struggled
within him. As for Aouda, she
took her protector's hand and
pressed it in her own, too much
moved to speak.
Meanwhile, Passepartout was
looking about for the train;
he thought he should find it
there, ready to start for Omaha,
and he hoped that the time lost
might be regained.
"The train! the train!" cried
"And when does the next train
pass here?" said Phileas Fogg.
"Not till this
the impassible gentleman quietly.