Phileas Fogg, an eccentric English gentleman and bachelor, lives in London. He is one of the most upstanding members of the Reform Club. He comes to his club every morning on the stroke of 11.30. He reads the newspapers, eats at 12 o'clock, talks very little, plays whist with his fellow club members and goes back home at midnight. Phileas Fogg has just hired a new servant, a French man called Passepartout. Passepartout feels happy to work for the calm Mr. Fogg. After a turbulent youth he hopes to live in peace. He takes great pleasure in contemplating the schedule of his daily duties. From 8 in the morning until midnight everything is planned. Just what I need, he thinks, a homeloving and organized man.
But one day...
On October 2nd Fogg reads in the Morning Chronicle that a well-dressed gentleman with good manners has robbed the Bank of England. Detectives have been sent to the main ports of Liverpool, Glasgow, Suez etc. In the evening, as Fogg is playing cards with his usual partners, he gets involved in an argument over this theft. He finally bets them £20,000 that it is possible to round the world in eighty days.
The wager (le pari)
Fogg leaves the Reform Club immediately, prepares a bag and puts £20,000 in Passepartout's bag. At 8.45 pm they take at Charing Cross Station a train for France. Seven days later they are in Suez.
In Suez the detective Fix is looking for the gentleman thief.
bachelor:a man who has never been married / single
upstanding: honourable, respectable
on the stroke of 11.30: at exactly 11.30
whist: a card game, the ancestor of bridge
fellow clubmembers: members of the same club
schedule: the list of things that you have to do and when you have to do them
Fix looks at Passepartout. 'Where are you going?' he asks. 'Around the world' says Passepartout. But right now I need some new shirts! Fix takes him to a shop and leaves him there. Then he sends a telegram to London: The gentleman thief is going to Bombay. Stop. Fix. Later he gets on the ship to Bombay with Fogg and Passepartout.
October 20th They had arrived in Bombay two days earlier. At 4.30 in the afternoon Fogg and Passepartout leave the ship. They want to get a train across India to Calcutta. It leaves at 8 o'clock. First Fogg goes to the passport office. Then he eats at the station. Passepartout visits the temple at Malebar Hill.......but he doesn't take off his shoes. The priests get angry. They take his shoes and Passepartout runs away.
Fogg and Passepartout get on the train but Fix stays in Bombay. He is waiting for a telegram from London. After three days the train stops. The railway from Kholby to Allahabad isn't ready. Some men are building the railway. But there are 80 kilometres without a railway between Kholby and Allahabad. In Kholby Passepartout gets some new shoes. He also finds an elephant to take them to Allahabad. They stop near a temple in the village of Pillaji. The old Indian prince is dead. His young wife -the princess- must die with him in a big fire.
'We must help that woman!' says Fogg.
The priests start the fire. Through the smoke Fogg sees something beautiful. The prince stands up and takes the princess out of the fire. The prince and the princess come nearer. Fogg sees that the man is not the prince. It is Passepartout in the prince's clothes. 'Quickly! let's go' says Passepartout to Fogg, quietly. Suddenly the priests see the prince's body on the fire. They see that the man in the prince's clothes is not the prince and they become angry. Fogg, Passepartout and the princess leave very quickly on the elephant.
Fogg, Passepartout and princess Aouda
The rest of the trip is delayed by storms at sea, an Indian attack in the American West. Detective Fix, who has mistaken Fogg for the bank robber, follows them around the world and causes them lots of trouble. Nevertheless Fogg manages to win his wager. Eighty days later, at 8.44 and fifty-seven seconds he opens the door of the club.
But what Fogg has really gained during this expedition is Aouda's love. This adorable young woman makes him the happiest of men.
to delay: to cause to be late (retarder)
to mistake sb for sb: to think that one person is someone else