Monsieur Fix, that my master is an honest man, and that, when he makes a wager, he tries to win it fairly!” “But who do you think I am?” asked Fix, looking at him intently. “Parbleu! An agent of the members of the Reform Club, sent out here to interrupt my master’s journey. But, though I found you out some time ago, I’ve taken good care to say nothing about it to Mr. Fogg.” “He knows nothing, then?” “Nothing,” replied Passepartout, again emptying his glass. The detective passed his hand across his forehead, hesitating before he spoke again.
What should he do? Passepartout’s mistake seemed sincere, but it made his design more difficult. It was evident that the servant was not the master’s accomplice, as Fix had been inclined to suspect. “Well,” said the detective to himself, “as he is not an accomplice, he will help me.” He had no time to lose: Fogg must be detained at Hong Kong, so he resolved to make a clean breast of it. “Listen to me,” said Fix abruptly. “I am not, as you think, an agent of the members of the Reform Club—” “Bah!” retorted Passepartout, with an air of raillery. “I am a police detective, sent out here by the London office.” “You, a detective?” “I will prove it.
Here is my commission.” Passepartout was speechless with astonishment when Fix displayed this document, the genuineness of which could not be doubted. “Mr. Fogg’s wager,” resumed Fix, “is only a pretext, of which you and the gentlemen of the Reform are dupes. He had a motive for securing your innocent complicity.” “But why?” “Listen. On the 28th of last September a robbery of fifty-five thousand pounds was committed at the Bank of England by a person whose description was fortunately secured.
Here is his description; it answers exactly to that of Mr. Phileas Fogg.” “What nonsense!” cried Passepartout, striking the table with his fist. “My master is the most honourable of men!” “How can you tell? You know scarcely anything about him. You went into his service the day he came away; and he came away on a foolish pretext, without trunks, and carrying a large amount in banknotes. And yet you are bold enough to assert that he is an honest man!” “Yes, yes,” repeated the poor fellow, mechanically. “Would you like to be arrested as his accomplice?”
Passepartout, overcome by what he had heard, held his head between his hands, and did not dare to look at the detective. Phileas Fogg, the saviour of Aouda, that brave and generous man, a robber! And yet how many presumptions there were against him! Passepartout essayed to reject the suspicions which forced themselves upon his mind; he did not wish to believe that his master was guilty. “Well, what do you want of me?” said he, at last, with an effort. “See here,” replied Fix; “I have tracked Mr. Fogg to this place, but as yet I have failed to receive the warrant of arrest for which I sent to London. You must help me to keep him here in Hong Kong—” “I! But I—” “I will