Free Classic E-Book 'Around the World in Eighty Days'
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Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a ￡20,000 wager (roughly ￡2 million today) set by his friends at the Reform Club. It is one of Verne's most acclaimed works.
The story starts in London on Tuesday, October 1, 1872. Fogg is a rich English gentleman living in solitude. Despite his wealth, Fogg lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about his social life other than that he is a member of the Reform Club. Having dismissed his former valet, James Foster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F (29 °C) instead of 86 °F (30 °C), Fogg hires a Frenchman by the name of Jean Passepartout as a replacement.
At the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for ￡20,000 from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8:45 P.M. on Wednesday, October 2, 1872, and is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, Saturday, December 21, 1872.
Fogg and Passepartout reach Suez in time. While disembarking in Egypt, they are watched by a Scotland Yard detective named Fix, who has been dispatched from London in search of a bank robber. Because Fogg matches the description of the robber, Fix mistakes Fogg for the criminal. Since he cannot secure a warrant in time, Fix boards the steamer conveying the travellers to Bombay. Fix becomes acquainted with Passepartout without revealing his purpose. Fogg promises the steamer engineer a large reward if he gets them to Bombay early. They dock two days ahead of schedule.
After reaching India they take a train from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Calcutta (Kolkata). Fogg learns that the Daily Telegraph article was wrong?the railroad ends at Kholby and starts again 50 miles further on at Allahabad. Fogg buys an elephant, hires a guide, and starts toward Allahabad.
They come across a procession in which a young Indian woman, Aouda, is led to a sanctuary to be sacrificed by suttee the next day by Brahmins. Since the young woman is drugged with opium and hemp and is obviously not going voluntarily, the travellers decide to rescue her. They follow the procession to the site, where Passepartout takes the place of Aouda's deceased husband on the funeral pyre on which she is to be burned. During the ceremony he rises from the pyre, scaring off the priests, and carries the young woman away. The two days gained earlier are lost, but Fogg shows no regret.
The travellers hasten to catch the train at the next railway station, taking Aouda with them. At Calcutta, they board a steamer going to Hong Kong. Fix has Fogg and Passepartout arrested. They jump bail and Fix follows them to Hong Kong. He shows himself to Passepartout, who is delighted to again meet his travelling companion from the earlier voyage.
In Hong Kong, it turns out that Aouda's distant relative, in whose care they had been planning to leave her, has moved, probably to Holland, so they decide to take her with them to Europe. Still without a warrant, Fix sees Hong Kong as his last chance to arrest Fogg on British soil. Passepartout becomes convinced that Fix is a spy from the Reform Club. Fix confides in Passepartout, who does not believe a word and remains convinced that his master is not a bank robber.