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.Fogg!" replied Aouda, checking the pulsations of her heart."Please let me finish," returned Mr.Fogg."When I decided to bring you far away from the country which was so unsafe for you, I was rich, and counted on putting a portion of my fortune at your disposal; then your existence would have been free and happy.But now I am ruined." "I know it, Mr.Fogg," replied Aouda; "and I ask you in my turn, will you forgive me for having followed you, and—who knows?—for having, perhaps, delayed you, and thus contributed to your ruin?" "Madam, you could not remain in India, and your safety could only be assured by bringing you to such a distance that your persecutors could not take you." "So, Mr.Fogg," resumed Aouda, "not content with rescuing me from a terrible death, you thought yourself bound to secure my comfort in a foreign land?" "Yes, madam; but circumstances have been against me.Still, I beg to place the little I have left at your service." "But what will become of you, Mr.Fogg?" "As for me, madam," replied the gentleman, coldly, "I have need of nothing." "But how do you look upon the fate, sir, which awaits you?" "As I am in the habit of doing." "At least," said Aouda, "want should not overtake a man like you.Your friends—" "I have no friends, madam." "Your relatives—" "I have no longer any relatives." "I pity you, then, Mr.Fogg, for solitude is a sad thing, with no heart to which to confide your griefs.They say, though, that misery itself, shared by two sympathetic souls, may be borne with patience." "They say so, madam." "Mr.Fogg," said Aouda, rising and seizing his hand, "do you wish at once a kinswoman and friend? Will you have me for your wife?" Mr.Fogg, at this, rose in his turn.There was an unwonted light in his eyes, and a slight trembling of his lips.Aouda looked into his face.The sincerity, rectitude, firmness, and sweetness of this soft glance of a noble woman, who could dare all to save him to whom she owed all, at first astonished, then penetrated him.He shut his eyes for an instant, as if to avoid her look.When he opened them again, "I love you!" he said, simply."Yes, by all that is holiest, I love you, and I am entirely yours!" "Ah!" cried Aouda, pressing his hand to her heart.Passepartout was summoned and appeared immediately.Mr.Fogg still held Aouda's hand in his own; Passepartout understood, and his big, round face became as radiant as the tropical sun at its zenith.Mr.Fogg asked him if it was not too late to notify the Reverend Samuel Wilson, of Marylebone parish, that evening.Passepartout smiled his most genial smile, and said, "Never too late." It was five minutes past eight."Will it be for to-morrow, Monday?" "For to-morrow, Monday," said Mr.Fogg, turning to Aouda."Yes; for to-morrow, Monday," she replied.Passepartout hurried off as fast as his legs could carry him.Chapter XXXVIIN WHICH PHILEAS FOGG'S NAME IS ONCE MORE AT A PREMIUM ON 'CHANGEIt is time to relate what a change took place in English public opinion when it transpired that the real bankrobber, a certain James Strand, had been arrested, on the 17th day of December, at Edinburgh.Three days before, Phileas Fogg had been a criminal, who was being desperately followed up by the police; now he was an honourable gentleman, mathematically pursuing his eccentric journey round the world.The papers resumed their discussion about the wager; all those who had laid bets, for or against him, revived their interest, as if by magic; the "Phileas Fogg bonds" again became negotiable, and many new wagers were made.Phileas Fogg's name was once more at a premium on 'Change.His five friends of the Reform Club passed these three days in a state of feverish suspense.Would Phileas Fogg, whom they had forgotten, reappear before their eyes! Where was he at this moment? The 17th of December, the day of James Strand's arrest, was the seventy-sixth since Phileas Fogg's departure, and no news of him had been received.Was he dead? Had he abandoned the effort, or was he continuing his journey along the route agreed upon? And would he appear on Saturday, the 21st of December, at a quarter before nine in the evening, on the threshold of the Reform Club saloon? The anxiety in which, for three days, London society existed, cannot be described.Telegrams were sent to America and Asia for news of Phileas Fogg.Messengers were dispatched to the house in Saville Row morning and evening.No news.The police were ignorant what had become of the detective, Fix, who had so unfortunately followed up a false scent.Bets increased, nevertheless, in number and value.Phileas Fogg, like a racehorse, was drawing near his last turning-point.The bonds were quoted, no longer at a hundred below par, but at twenty, at ten, and at five; and paralytic old Lord Albemarle bet even in his favour.A great crowd was collected in Pall Mall and the neighbouring streets on Saturday evening; it seemed like a multitude of brokers permanently established around the Reform Club.Circulation was impeded, and everywhere disputes, discussions, and financial transactions were going on.The police had great difficulty in keeping back the crowd, and as the hour when Phileas Fogg was due approached, the excitement rose to its highest pitch.The five antagonists of Phileas Fogg had met in the great saloon of the club.John Sullivan and Samuel Fallentin, the bankers, Andrew Stuart, the engineer, Gauthier Ralph, the director of the Bank of England, and Thomas Flanagan, the brewer, one and all waited anxiously.When the clock indicated twenty minutes past eight, Andrew Stuart got up, saying, "Gentlemen, in twenty minutes the time agreed upon between Mr.Fogg and ourselves will have expired." "What time did the last train arrive from Liverpool?" asked Thomas Flanagan."At twenty-three minutes past seven," replied Gauthier Ralph; "and the next does not arrive till ten minutes after twelve." "Well, gentlemen," resumed Andrew Stuart, "if Phileas Fogg had come in the 7:23 train, he would have got here by this time.We can, therefore, regard the bet as won." "Wait; don't let us be too hasty," replied Samuel Fallentin."You know that Mr.Fogg is very eccentric.His punctuality is well known; he never arrives too soon, or too late; and I should not be surprised if he appeared before us at the last minute." "Why," said Andrew Stuart nervously, "if I should see him, I should not believe it was he [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]