Around the World in 80 Days HTML version

Chapter 13
The project was a bold one, full of difficulty, perhaps impracticable. Mr. Fogg was going
to risk life, or at least liberty, and therefore the success of his tour. But he did not hesitate,
and he found in Sir Francis Cromarty an enthusiastic ally.
As for Passepartout, he was ready for anything that might be proposed. His master's idea
charmed him; he perceived a heart, a soul, under that icy exterior. He began to love
Phileas Fogg.
There remained the guide: what course would he adopt? Would he not take part with the
Indians? In default of his assistance, it was necessary to be assured of his neutrality.
Sir Francis frankly put the question to him.
"Officers," replied the guide, "I am a Parsee, and this woman is a Parsee. Command me
as you will."
"Excellent!" said Mr. Fogg.
"However," resumed the guide, "it is certain, not only that we shall risk our lives, but
horrible tortures, if we are taken."
"That is foreseen," replied Mr. Fogg. "I think we must wait till night before acting."
"I think so," said the guide.
The worthy Indian then gave some account of the victim, who, he said, was a celebrated
beauty of the Parsee race, and the daughter of a wealthy Bombay merchant. She had
received a thoroughly English education in that city, and, from her manners and
intelligence, would be thought an European. Her name was Aouda. Left an orphan, she
was married against her will to the old rajah of Bundelcund; and, knowing the fate that
awaited her, she escaped, was retaken, and devoted by the rajah's relatives, who had an
interest in her death, to the sacrifice from which it seemed she could not escape.
The Parsee's narrative only confirmed Mr. Fogg and his companions in their generous
design. It was decided that the guide should direct the elephant towards the pagoda of
Pillaji, which he accordingly approached as quickly as possible. They halted, half an hour
afterwards, in a copse, some five hundred feet from the pagoda, where they were well
concealed; but they could hear the groans and cries of the fakirs distinctly.