In which Phileas Fogg's name
is once more at a premium on
It is time to relate what a
change took place in English
public opinion when it transpired
that the real bankrobber, a certain
James Strand, had been arrested,
on the 17th day of December,
at Edinburgh. Three days before,
Phileas Fogg had been a criminal,
who was being desperately followed
up by the police; now he was
an honourable gentleman, mathematically
pursuing his eccentric journey
round the world.
resumed their discussion about
the wager; all those who
had laid bets, for or against
him, revived their interest,
as if by magic; the "Phileas
Fogg bonds" again became negotiable,
and many new wagers were made.
Phileas Fogg's name was once
more at a premium on 'Change.
His five friends of the Reform
Club passed these three days
in a state of feverish suspense.
Would Phileas Fogg, whom they
had forgotten, reappear before
their eyes! Where was he at this
moment? The 17th of December,
the day of James Strand's arrest,
was the seventy-sixth since Phileas
Fogg's departure, and no news
of him had been received. Was
he dead? Had he abandoned the
effort, or was he continuing
his journey along the route agreed
upon? And would he appear on
Saturday, the 21st of December,
at a quarter before nine in the
evening, on the threshold of
the Reform Club saloon?
The anxiety in which, for three
days, London society existed,
cannot be described. Telegrams
were sent to America and Asia
for news of Phileas Fogg. Messengers
were dispatched to the house
in Saville Row morning and evening.
No news. The police were ignorant
what had become of the detective,
Fix, who had so unfortunately
followed up a false scent. Bets
increased, nevertheless, in number
and value. Phileas Fogg, like
a racehorse, was drawing near
his last turning-point. The bonds
were quoted, no longer at a hundred
below par, but at twenty, at
ten, and at five; and paralytic
old Lord Albemarle bet even in
A great crowd was collected
in Pall Mall and the neighbouring
streets on Saturday evening;
it seemed like a multitude of
brokers permanently established
around the Reform Club. Circulation
was impeded, and everywhere disputes,
discussions, and financial transactions
were going on. The police had
great difficulty in keeping back
the crowd, and as the hour when
Phileas Fogg was due approached,
the excitement rose to its highest
The five antagonists of Phileas
Fogg had met in the great saloon
of the club. John Sullivan and
Samuel Fallentin, the bankers,
Andrew Stuart, the engineer,
Gauthier Ralph, the director
of the Bank of England, and Thomas
Flanagan, the brewer, one and
all waited anxiously.
When the clock
indicated twenty minutes past
eight, Andrew Stuart
got up, saying, "Gentlemen, in
twenty minutes the time agreed
upon between Mr. Fogg and ourselves
will have expired."
"What time did the last train
arrive from Liverpool?" asked
"At twenty-three minutes past
seven," replied Gauthier Ralph; "and
the next does not arrive till
ten minutes after twelve."
"Well, gentlemen," resumed
Andrew Stuart, "if Phileas Fogg
had come in the 7:23 train, he
would have got here by this time.
We can, therefore, regard the
bet as won."
"Wait; don't let us be too
hasty," replied Samuel Fallentin. "You
know that Mr. Fogg is very eccentric.
His punctuality is well known;
he never arrives too soon, or
too late; and I should not be
surprised if he appeared before
us at the last minute."
"Why," said Andrew Stuart nervously, "if
I should see him, I should not
believe it was he."
"The fact is," resumed Thomas
Flanagan, "Mr. Fogg's project
was absurdly foolish. Whatever
his punctuality, he could not
prevent the delays which were
certain to occur; and a delay
of only two or three days would
be fatal to his tour."
"Observe, too," added John
Sullivan, "that we have received
no intelligence from him, though
there are telegraphic lines all
along is route."
"He has lost, gentleman," said
Andrew Stuart, "he has a hundred
times lost! You know, besides,
that the China the only steamer
he could have taken from New
York to get here in time arrived
yesterday. I have seen a list
of the passengers, and the name
of Phileas Fogg is not among
them. Even if we admit that fortune
has favoured him, he can scarcely
have reached America. I think
he will be at least twenty days
behind-hand, and that Lord Albemarle
will lose a cool five thousand."
"It is clear," replied Gauthier
Ralph; "and we have nothing to
do but to present Mr. Fogg's
cheque at Barings to-morrow."
At this moment, the hands of
the club clock pointed to twenty
minutes to nine.
"Five minutes more," said
The five gentlemen looked at
each other. Their anxiety was
becoming intense; but, not wishing
to betray it, they readily assented
to Mr. Fallentin's proposal of
"I wouldn't give up my four
thousand of the bet," said Andrew
Stuart, as he took his seat, "for
three thousand nine hundred and
The clock indicated eighteen
minutes to nine.
The players took up their cards,
but could not keep their eyes
off the clock. Certainly, however
secure they felt, minutes had
never seemed so long to them!
"Seventeen minutes to nine," said
Thomas Flanagan, as he cut the
cards which Ralph handed to him.
Then there was a moment of
silence. The great saloon was
perfectly quiet; but the murmurs
of the crowd outside were heard,
with now and then a shrill cry.
The pendulum beat the seconds,
which each player eagerly counted,
as he listened, with mathematical
"Sixteen minutes to nine!" said
John Sullivan, in a voice which
betrayed his emotion.
One minute more, and the wager
would be won. Andrew Stuart and
his partners suspended their
game. They left their cards,
and counted the seconds.
At the fortieth second, nothing.
At the fiftieth, still nothing.
At the fifty-fifth, a loud
cry was heard in the street,
followed by applause, hurrahs,
and some fierce growls.
The players rose from their
At the fifty-seventh
second the door of the saloon
and the pendulum had not beat
the sixtieth second when Phileas
Fogg appeared, followed by an
excited crowd who had forced
their way through the club doors,
and in his calm voice, said, "Here
I am, gentlemen!"