Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
Fogg, Aouda and Passepartout set foot on American soil. After finding out that the first train for New York would start that evening, Fogg has a whole day to spend in the Californian capital. The city is described through the eyes of Passepartout and what he sees. Fogg and Aouda rest at a hotel restaurant they go to the consulate and then by ‘chance’ bump into Fix. The detective expresses surprise at seeing Fogg and then accompanies Fogg and Aouda in their sauntering. The three of them find themselves in the middle of a political meeting and the two opposing parties are those supporting Mandiboy or Kamerfield respectively. Suddenly the threesome find that they are between two fires. The two men try their best to defend Aouda. Meanwhile an American with a red goatee raises a fist at Fogg, which the latter misses by chance. Fix is hurt. Then the group returns to the International Hotel. When they start moving towards the station, Fogg promises to return to America to avenge the American Colonel Proctor’s insult. The traveler’s board the train that takes them towards New York.
Fogg now reaches New York. So far his journey is proceeding quite decently. Despite the delays, he is running on time. He is getting closer and closer to England. In this chapter we learn what transpires in San Francisco City. Passepartout is the usual clown and he lands on American soil with a perfect somersault. Passepartout adds the much needed lightheartedness and laughter to this tale of challenge. Fogg of course has only one goal in mind-to move towards England in a rational manner. He finds out when the next train leaves for New York.
They realize they have a day in this American City and they spend it by eating comfortably and then roaming the city streets. Fogg takes good care of Aouda as always but we do not know whether he shows any signals of love.
Passepartout is as concerned about their trip being a success as is Fogg. It is Passepartout, who decides that they must buy some arms before boarding the train, because he has heard of the trains being held up by the Sioux and Pawnees. Fogg is as usual unruffled and does not think the loading of arms necessary. At the same time, he gives Passepartout a lot of flexibility and lets him do as he pleases. Fogg is genuinely a free willed man who believes in free will for others too.
Fogg and Fix meet at San Francisco. The clever Fix pretends once again that he is surprised to see Fogg. We wonder why Fogg doesn’t smell a rat. Fogg allows Fix to accompany him and Aouda. The three land up in the middle of a violent political meeting. We see that Fogg is fiercely proud about being an Englishman and when a Yankee insults him, he promises to come back to America to avenge himself. Fogg has all the characteristic of a typical, idealized ‘hero.’ The only difference would be perhaps that he is eccentric too, unlike most heroes. Fix takes upon himself, a blow intended for Fogg. We wonder why Fix is being so generous but we know that his motive is only to get Fogg to England as soon as possible.
Even though chapters are short Verne uses words and paragraphs admirably and manages to pack in a lot of information. We get the essence of San Francisco and its political angst in this chapter.