IN WHICH THE MASTER OF THE "TANKADERE" RUNS GREAT RISK
OF LOSING A REWARD OF TWO HUNDRED POUNDS
This voyage of eight hundred miles was a perilous venture on a craft of
twenty tons, and at that season of the year. The Chinese seas are
usually boisterous, subject to terrible gales of wind, and especially
during the equinoxes; and it was now early November.
It would clearly have been to the master's advantage to carry his
passengers to Yokohama, since he was paid a certain sum per day; but he
would have been rash to attempt such a voyage, and it was imprudent
even to attempt to reach Shanghai. But John Bunsby believed in the
Tankadere, which rode on the waves like a seagull; and perhaps he was
Late in the day they passed through the capricious channels of Hong
Kong, and the Tankadere, impelled by favourable winds, conducted
"I do not need, pilot," said Phileas Fogg, when they got into the open
sea, "to advise you to use all possible speed."
"Trust me, your honour. We are carrying all the sail the wind will let
us. The poles would add nothing, and are only used when we are going
"It's your trade, not mine, pilot, and I confide in you."
Phileas Fogg, with body erect and legs wide apart, standing like a
sailor, gazed without staggering at the swelling waters. The young
woman, who was seated aft, was profoundly affected as she looked out
upon the ocean, darkening now with the twilight, on which she had
ventured in so frail a vessel. Above her head rustled the white sails,
which seemed like great white wings. The boat, carried forward by the
wind, seemed to be flying in the air.
Night came. The moon was entering her first quarter, and her
insufficient light would soon die out in the mist on the horizon.
Clouds were rising from the east, and already overcast a part of the
The pilot had hung out his lights, which was very necessary in these
seas crowded with vessels bound landward; for collisions are not
uncommon occurrences, and, at the speed she was going, the least shock
would shatter the gallant little craft.
Fix, seated in the bow, gave himself up to meditation. He kept apart
from his fellow-travellers, knowing Mr. Fogg's taciturn tastes;
besides, he did not quite like to talk to the man whose favours he had
accepted. He was thinking, too, of the future. It seemed certain that
Fogg would not stop at Yokohama, but would at once take the boat for
San Francisco; and the vast extent of America would ensure him impunity
and safety. Fogg's plan appeared to him the simplest in the world.
Instead of sailing directly from England to the United States, like a
common villain, he had traversed three quarters of the globe, so as to
gain the American continent more surely; and there, after throwing the
police off his track, he would quietly enjoy himself with the fortune
stolen from the bank. But, once in the United States, what should he,
Fix, do? Should he abandon this man? No, a hundred times no! Until
he had secured his extradition, he would not lose sight of him for an
hour. It was his duty, and he would fulfil it to the end. At all
events, there was one thing to be thankful for; Passepartout was not
with his master; and it was above all important, after the confidences
Fix had imparted to him, that the servant should never have speech with
Phileas Fogg was also thinking of Passepartout, who had so strangely
disappeared. Looking at the matter from every point of view, it did
not seem to him impossible that, by some mistake, the man might have
embarked on the Carnatic at the last moment; and this was also Aouda's
opinion, who regretted very much the loss of the worthy fellow to whom
she owed so much. They might then find him at Yokohama; for, if the
Carnatic was carrying him thither, it would be easy to ascertain if he
had been on board.
A brisk breeze arose about ten o'clock; but, though it might have been
prudent to take in a reef, the pilot, after carefully examining the
heavens, let the craft remain rigged as before. The Tankadere bore
sail admirably, as she drew a great deal of water, and everything was
prepared for high speed in case of a gale.
Mr. Fogg and Aouda descended into the cabin at midnight, having been
already preceded by Fix, who had lain down on one of the cots. The
pilot and crew remained on deck all night.
At sunrise the next day, which was 8th November, the boat had made more
than one hundred miles. The log indicated a mean speed of between
eight and nine miles. The Tankadere still carried all sail, and was
accomplishing her greatest capacity of speed. If the wind held as it
was, the chances would be in her favour. During the day she kept along
the coast, where the currents were favourable; the coast, irregular in
profile, and visible sometimes across the clearings, was at most five
miles distant. The sea was less boisterous, since the wind came off
land—a fortunate circumstance for the boat, which would suffer, owing
to its small tonnage, by a heavy surge on the sea.
The breeze subsided a little towards noon, and set in from the
south-west. The pilot put up his poles, but took them down again
within two hours, as the wind freshened up anew.
Mr. Fogg and Aouda, happily unaffected by the roughness of the sea, ate
with a good appetite, Fix being invited to share their repast, which he
accepted with secret chagrin. To travel at this man's expense and live
upon his provisions was not palatable to him. Still, he was obliged to
eat, and so he ate.
When the meal was over, he took Mr. Fogg apart, and said, "sir"—this
"sir" scorched his lips, and he had to control himself to avoid
collaring this "gentleman"—"sir, you have been very kind to give me a
passage on this boat. But, though my means will not admit of my
expending them as freely as you, I must ask to pay my share—"
"Let us not speak of that, sir," replied Mr. Fogg.
"But, if I insist—"
"No, sir," repeated Mr. Fogg, in a tone which did not admit of a reply.
"This enters into my general expenses."
Fix, as he bowed, had a stifled feeling, and, going forward, where he
ensconced himself, did not open his mouth for the rest of the day.
Meanwhile they were progressing famously, and John Bunsby was in high
hope. He several times assured Mr. Fogg that they would reach Shanghai
in time; to which that gentleman responded that he counted upon it.
The crew set to work in good earnest, inspired by the reward to be
gained. There was not a sheet which was not tightened, not a sail which
was not vigorously hoisted; not a lurch could be charged to the man at
the helm. They worked as desperately as if they were contesting in a
Royal yacht regatta.
By evening, the log showed that two hundred and twenty miles had been
accomplished from Hong Kong, and Mr. Fogg might hope that he would be
able to reach Yokohama without recording any delay in his journal; in
which case, the many misadventures which had overtaken him since he
left London would not seriously affect his journey.
The Tankadere entered the Straits of Fo-Kien, which separate the island
of Formosa from the Chinese coast, in the small hours of the night, and
crossed the Tropic of Cancer. The sea was very rough in the straits,
full of eddies formed by the counter-currents, and the chopping waves
broke her course, whilst it became very difficult to stand on deck.
At daybreak the wind began to blow hard again, and the heavens seemed
to predict a gale. The barometer announced a speedy change, the
mercury rising and falling capriciously; the sea also, in the
south-east, raised long surges which indicated a tempest. The sun had
set the evening before in a red mist, in the midst of the
phosphorescent scintillations of the ocean.
John Bunsby long examined the threatening aspect of the heavens,
muttering indistinctly between his teeth. At last he said in a low
voice to Mr. Fogg, "Shall I speak out to your honour?"
"Well, we are going to have a squall."
"Is the wind north or south?" asked Mr. Fogg quietly.
"South. Look! a typhoon is coming up."
"Glad it's a typhoon from the south, for it will carry us forward."
"Oh, if you take it that way," said John Bunsby, "I've nothing more to
say." John Bunsby's suspicions were confirmed. At a less advanced
season of the year the typhoon, according to a famous meteorologist,
would have passed away like a luminous cascade of electric flame; but
in the winter equinox it was to be feared that it would burst upon them
with great violence.
The pilot took his precautions in advance. He reefed all sail, the
pole-masts were dispensed with; all hands went forward to the bows. A
single triangular sail, of strong canvas, was hoisted as a storm-jib,
so as to hold the wind from behind. Then they waited.
John Bunsby had requested his passengers to go below; but this
imprisonment in so narrow a space, with little air, and the boat
bouncing in the gale, was far from pleasant. Neither Mr. Fogg, Fix,
nor Aouda consented to leave the deck.
The storm of rain and wind descended upon them towards eight o'clock.
With but its bit of sail, the Tankadere was lifted like a feather by a
wind, an idea of whose violence can scarcely be given. To compare her
speed to four times that of a locomotive going on full steam would be
below the truth.
The boat scudded thus northward during the whole day, borne on by
monstrous waves, preserving always, fortunately, a speed equal to
theirs. Twenty times she seemed almost to be submerged by these
mountains of water which rose behind her; but the adroit management of
the pilot saved her. The passengers were often bathed in spray, but
they submitted to it philosophically. Fix cursed it, no doubt; but
Aouda, with her eyes fastened upon her protector, whose coolness amazed
her, showed herself worthy of him, and bravely weathered the storm. As
for Phileas Fogg, it seemed just as if the typhoon were a part of his
Up to this time the Tankadere had always held her course to the north;
but towards evening the wind, veering three quarters, bore down from
the north-west. The boat, now lying in the trough of the waves, shook
and rolled terribly; the sea struck her with fearful violence. At
night the tempest increased in violence. John Bunsby saw the approach
of darkness and the rising of the storm with dark misgivings. He
thought awhile, and then asked his crew if it was not time to slacken
speed. After a consultation he approached Mr. Fogg, and said, "I
think, your honour, that we should do well to make for one of the ports
on the coast."
"I think so too."
"Ah!" said the pilot. "But which one?"
"I know of but one," returned Mr. Fogg tranquilly.
"And that is—"
The pilot, at first, did not seem to comprehend; he could scarcely
realise so much determination and tenacity. Then he cried, "Well—yes!
Your honour is right. To Shanghai!"
So the Tankadere kept steadily on her northward track.
The night was really terrible; it would be a miracle if the craft did
not founder. Twice it could have been all over with her if the crew
had not been constantly on the watch. Aouda was exhausted, but did not
utter a complaint. More than once Mr. Fogg rushed to protect her from
the violence of the waves.
Day reappeared. The tempest still raged with undiminished fury; but
the wind now returned to the south-east. It was a favourable change,
and the Tankadere again bounded forward on this mountainous sea, though
the waves crossed each other, and imparted shocks and counter-shocks
which would have crushed a craft less solidly built. From time to time
the coast was visible through the broken mist, but no vessel was in
sight. The Tankadere was alone upon the sea.
There were some signs of a calm at noon, and these became more distinct
as the sun descended toward the horizon. The tempest had been as brief
as terrific. The passengers, thoroughly exhausted, could now eat a
little, and take some repose.
The night was comparatively quiet. Some of the sails were again
hoisted, and the speed of the boat was very good. The next morning at
dawn they espied the coast, and John Bunsby was able to assert that
they were not one hundred miles from Shanghai. A hundred miles, and
only one day to traverse them! That very evening Mr. Fogg was due at
Shanghai, if he did not wish to miss the steamer to Yokohama. Had
there been no storm, during which several hours were lost, they would
be at this moment within thirty miles of their destination.
The wind grew decidedly calmer, and happily the sea fell with it. All
sails were now hoisted, and at noon the Tankadere was within forty-five
miles of Shanghai. There remained yet six hours in which to accomplish
that distance. All on board feared that it could not be done, and
every one—Phileas Fogg, no doubt, excepted—felt his heart beat with
impatience. The boat must keep up an average of nine miles an hour,
and the wind was becoming calmer every moment! It was a capricious
breeze, coming from the coast, and after it passed the sea became
smooth. Still, the Tankadere was so light, and her fine sails caught
the fickle zephyrs so well, that, with the aid of the currents John
Bunsby found himself at six o'clock not more than ten miles from the
mouth of Shanghai River. Shanghai itself is situated at least twelve
miles up the stream. At seven they were still three miles from
Shanghai. The pilot swore an angry oath; the reward of two hundred
pounds was evidently on the point of escaping him. He looked at Mr.
Fogg. Mr. Fogg was perfectly tranquil; and yet his whole fortune was
at this moment at stake.
At this moment, also, a long black funnel, crowned with wreaths of
smoke, appeared on the edge of the waters. It was the American
steamer, leaving for Yokohama at the appointed time.
"Confound her!" cried John Bunsby, pushing back the rudder with a
"Signal her!" said Phileas Fogg quietly.
A small brass cannon stood on the forward deck of the Tankadere, for
making signals in the fogs. It was loaded to the muzzle; but just as
the pilot was about to apply a red-hot coal to the touchhole, Mr. Fogg
said, "Hoist your flag!"
The flag was run up at half-mast, and, this being the signal of
distress, it was hoped that the American steamer, perceiving it, would
change her course a little, so as to succour the pilot-boat.
"Fire!" said Mr. Fogg. And the booming of the little cannon resounded
in the air.