When Passepartout had finished, he found himself relieved and comforted. Fix got up in a somewhat rumpled condition, and, looking at his adversary, coldly said, “Have you done?”
“For this time–yes.”
“Then let me have a word with you.”
“In your master’s interests.”
Passepartout seemed to be vanquished by Fix’s coolness, for he quietly followed him, and they sat down aside from the rest of the passengers.
“You have given me a thrashing,” said Fix. “Good, I expected it. Now, listen to me. Up to this time I have been Mr. Fogg’s adversary. I am now in his game.”
“Aha!” cried Passepartout; “you are convinced he is an honest man?”
“No,” replied Fix coldly, “I think him a rascal. Sh! don’t budge, and let me speak. As long as Mr. Fogg was on English ground, it was for my interest to detain him there until my warrant of arrest arrived. I did everything I could to keep him back. I sent the Bombay priests after him, I got you intoxicated at Hong Kong, I separated you from him, and I made him miss the Yokohama steamer.”
Passepartout listened, with closed fists.
“Now,” resumed Fix, “Mr. Fogg seems to be going back to England. Well, I will follow him there. But hereafter I will do as much to keep obstacles out of his way as I have done up to this time to put them in his path. I’ve changed my game, you see, and simply because it was for my interest to change it. Your interest is the same as mine; for it is only in England that you will ascertain whether you are in the service of a criminal or an honest man.”
Passepartout listened very attentively to Fix, and was convinced that he spoke with entire good faith.
“Are we friends?” asked the detective.
“Friends?–no,” replied Passepartout; “but allies, perhaps. At the least sign of treason, however, I’ll twist your neck for you.”
“Agreed,” said the detective quietly.
Eleven days later, on the 3rd of December, the General Grant entered the bay of the Golden Gate, and reached San Francisco.
Mr. Fogg had neither gained nor lost a single day.