Around the World in 80 Days

Plot summary

The story starts in London on Tuesday, October 1, 1872. Fogg is a rich English gentleman living in solitude. Despite his wealth, Fogg lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about his social life other than that he is a member of the Reform Club. Having dismissed his former valet, James Forster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F (29 °C) instead of 86 °F (30 °C), Fogg hires a Frenchman by the name of Jean Passepartout as a replacement.

At the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for £20,000 (equal to about £1.6 million today) from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8:45 P.M. on Wednesday, October 2, 1872, and is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, Saturday, December 21, 1872.

The itinerary
London, United Kingdom to Suez, Egypt rail and steamer across the Mediterranean Sea "the Mongolia" 07 days
Suez to Bombay, India steamer across the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean" the Mongolia" 13 days
Bombay to Calcutta, India rail 03 days
Calcutta to Victoria, Hong Kong steamer across the South China Sea 13 days
Hong Kong to Yokohama, Japan steamer across the South China Sea, East China Sea, and the Pacific Ocean 06 days
Yokohama to San Francisco, United States steamer across the Pacific Ocean 22 days
San Francisco to New York City, United States rail 07 days
New York to London steamer across the Atlantic Ocean and rail 8 days
Total 79 days
Map of the trip

Fogg and Passepartout reach Suez in time. While disembarking in Egypt, they are watched by a Scotland Yard detective named Fix, who has been dispatched from London in search of a bank robber. Because Fogg matches the vague description of the robber, Fix mistakes Fogg for the criminal. Since he cannot secure a warrant in time, Fix boards the steamer conveying the travellers to Bombay. Fix becomes acquainted with Passepartout without revealing his purpose. Fogg promises the steamer engineer a large reward if he gets them to Bombay early. They dock two days ahead of schedule.

After reaching India they take a train from Bombay to Calcutta. Fogg learns that the Daily Telegraph article was wrong — the railroad ends at Kholby and starts again 50 miles further on at Allahabad. Fogg buys an elephant, hires a guide, and starts toward Allahabad.

They come across a procession in which a young Indian woman, Aouda, is led to a sanctuary to be sacrificed by suttee the next day by Brahmins. Since the young woman is drugged with opium and hemp and is obviously not going voluntarily, the travellers decide to rescue her. They follow the procession to the site, where Passepartout takes the place of Aouda's deceased husband on the funeral pyre on which she is to be burned. During the ceremony he rises from the pyre, scaring off the priests, and carries the young woman away. The twelve hours gained earlier are lost, but Fogg shows no regret.

The travellers hasten to catch the train at the next railway station, taking Aouda with them. At Calcutta, they board a steamer going to Hong Kong. Fix has Fogg and Passepartout arrested. They jump bail and Fix follows them to Hong Kong. He shows himself to Passepartout, who is delighted to again meet his travelling companion from the earlier voyage.

In Hong Kong, it turns out that Aouda's distant relative, in whose care they had been planning to leave her, has moved to Holland, so they decide to take her with them to Europe. Still without a warrant, Fix sees Hong Kong as his last chance to arrest Fogg on British soil. Passepartout becomes convinced that Fix is a spy from the Reform Club. Fix confides in Passepartout, who does not believe a word and remains convinced that his master is not a bank robber. To prevent Passepartout from informing his master about the premature departure of their next vessel, Fix gets Passepartout drunk and drugs him in an opium den. Passepartout still manages to catch the steamer to Yokohama, but neglects to inform Fogg.

Fogg discovers that he missed his connection. He searches for a vessel that will take him to Yokohama, finding a pilot boat that takes him and Aouda to Shanghai, where they catch a steamer to Yokohama. In Yokohama, they search for Passepartout, believing that he may have arrived there on the original boat. They find him in a circus, trying to earn the fare for his homeward journey. Reunited, the four board a steamer taking them across the Pacific to San Francisco. Fix promises Passepartout that now, having left British soil, he will no longer try to delay Fogg's journey, but support him in getting back to Britain to minimize the amount of his share of the stolen money that Fogg can spend.

In San Francisco they board a transcontinental train to New York, encountering a number of obstacles along the way: a massive herd of bison crossing the tracks, a failing suspension bridge, and the train being attacked by Sioux warriors. After uncoupling the locomotive from the carriages, Passepartout is kidnapped by the Indians, but Fogg rescues him after American soldiers volunteer to help. They continue by a wind powered sledge to Omaha, where they get a train to New York.

In New York, having missed the sailing of their ship, Fogg starts looking for an alternative to cross the Atlantic Ocean. He finds a steamboat destined for Bordeaux, France. The captain of the boat refuses to take the company to Liverpool, whereupon Fogg consents to be taken to Bordeaux for $2000 (roughly $39,668 today) per passenger. He then bribes the crew to mutiny and make course for Liverpool. Against hurricane winds and going on full steam, the boat runs out of fuel after a few days. Fogg buys the boat from the captain and has the crew burn all the wooden parts to keep up the steam.

The companions arrive at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, in time to reach London before the deadline. Once on British soil, Fix produces a warrant and arrests Fogg. A short time later, the misunderstanding is cleared up—the actual robber (James Strand) was caught three days earlier in Edinburgh. However, Fogg has missed the train and returns to London five minutes late, certain he lost the wager.

Fogg apologises to Aouda for bringing her with him, since he now has to live in poverty and cannot support her. Aouda confesses that she loves him and asks him to marry her. He calls for Passepartout to notify the minister. The following day, at the minister's, Passepartout learns that he is mistaken in the date, which he takes to be Sunday, December 22, but which is actually Saturday, December 21, because the party travelled eastward, gaining a day. The wager can still be won, but there is very little time left.

Passepartout hurries to inform Fogg, who reaches the Reform Club just in time to win the wager. Fogg marries Aouda and the journey around the world is complete and in 80 days.


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