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Chapter 31: In Which Fix, the Detective, Considerably Furthers the Interests of Phileas Fogg
Phileas Fogg found himself twenty hours behind time. Passepartout, the involuntary cause of this delay, was desperate. He had ruined his master!
At this moment the detective approached Mr. Fogg, and, looking him intently in the face, said:
"Seriously, sir, are you in great haste?"
"I have a purpose in asking," resumed Fix. "Is it absolutely necessary that you should be in New York on the 11th, before nine o'clock in the evening, the time that the steamer leaves for Liverpool?"
"It is absolutely necessary."
"And, if your journey had not been interrupted by these Indians, you would have reached New York on the morning of the 11th?"
"Yes; with eleven hours to spare before the steamer left."
"Good! you are therefore twenty hours behind. Twelve from twenty leaves eight. You must regain eight hours. Do you wish to try to do so?"
"On foot?" asked Mr. Fogg.
"No; on a sledge," replied Fix. "On a sledge with sails. A man has proposed such a method to me."
It was the man who had spoken to Fix during the night, and whose offer he had refused.
Phileas Fogg did not reply at once; but Fix, having pointed out the man, who was walking up and down in front of the station, Mr. Fogg went up to him. An instant after, Mr. Fogg and the American, whose name was Mudge, entered a hut built just below the fort.
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