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Around the World in 80 Days

Chapter 14
IN WHICH PHILEAS FOGG DESCENDS THE WHOLE LENGTH OF THE
BEAUTIFUL VALLEY OF THE GANGES WITHOUT EVER THINKING OF
SEEING IT
The rash exploit had been accomplished; and for an hour Passepartout laughed gaily at
his success. Sir Francis pressed the worthy fellow's hand, and his master said, "Well
done!" which, from him, was high commendation; to which Passepartout replied that all
the credit of the affair belonged to Mr. Fogg. As for him, he had only been struck with a
"queer" idea; and he laughed to think that for a few moments he, Passepartout, the ex-
gymnast, ex-sergeant fireman, had been the spouse of a charming woman, a venerable,
embalmed rajah! As for the young Indian woman, she had been unconscious throughout
of what was passing, and now, wrapped up in a travelling-blanket, was reposing in one of
the howdahs.
The elephant, thanks to the skilful guidance of the Parsee, was advancing rapidly through
the still darksome forest, and, an hour after leaving the pagoda, had crossed a vast plain.
They made a halt at seven o'clock, the young woman being still in a state of complete
prostration. The guide made her drink a little brandy and water, but the drowsiness which
stupefied her could not yet be shaken off. Sir Francis, who was familiar with the effects
of the intoxication produced by the fumes of hemp, reassured his companions on her
account. But he was more disturbed at the prospect of her future fate. He told Phileas
Fogg that, should Aouda remain in India, she would inevitably fall again into the hands
of her executioners. These fanatics were scattered throughout the county, and would,
despite the English police, recover their victim at Madras, Bombay, or Calcutta. She
would only be safe by quitting India for ever.
Phileas Fogg replied that he would reflect upon the matter.
The station at Allahabad was reached about ten o'clock, and, the interrupted line of
railway being resumed, would enable them to reach Calcutta in less than twenty-four
hours. Phileas Fogg would thus be able to arrive in time to take the steamer which left
Calcutta the next day, October 25th, at noon, for Hong Kong.
The young woman was placed in one of the waiting-rooms of the station, whilst
Passepartout was charged with purchasing for her various articles of toilet, a dress, shawl,
and some furs; for which his master gave him unlimited credit. Passepartout started off
forthwith, and found himself in the streets of Allahabad, that is, the City of God, one of
the most venerated in India, being built at the junction of the two sacred rivers, Ganges
and Jumna, the waters of which attract pilgrims from every part of the peninsula. The
Ganges, according to the legends of the Ramayana, rises in heaven, whence, owing to
Brahma's agency, it descends to the earth.
 
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