The next morning, Aronnax tells his companions that they've made their way into the Mediterranean. Ned remains skeptical until he sees the coast of Egypt off in the distance.
Ned starts thinking about escape again, and Aronnax doesn't want any part of it again.
Ned says he's enjoyed the trip, that it's been cool and all, but he's ready to peace out.
Aronnax keeps telling him that everything'll be OK, and that they'll get out soon enough. Ned doesn't buy his arguments, though; he can tell Aronnax is stalling because wants more time to explore the ocean.
Jeez, we're getting pretty tired of this same old conversation, aren't you? Well, Ned is too.
So Ned puts it to him directly: would you leave right now if you could?
Aronnax says he's not sure.
Ned asks if he would leave right now if it were the only time Nemo would let him.
Aronnax doesn't answer.
Conseil has nothing to add.
Aronnax relents a little. He says they have to try to escape whenever they actually have a good chance of escaping safely. Otherwise the whole thing won't be worth it.
Ned lets him know how it'll all go down, in his mind. He thinks they could take the dinghy pretty easily and just row their way to the coast.
Aronnax agrees, but warns that one failure would ruin everything. Anyway, he doesn't think they'll ever get a good chance in the first place; Nemo's just too careful about getting close to Europe.
Aronnax seems to be right. While they're in the Mediterranean, Nemo keeps away from land and from the surface.
Aronnax figures out that Nemo's headed for Crete. He knows Crete was just beginning to revolt against the Turkish when the Abe Lincoln was heading to sea; still, he can't imagine that Nemo would know this. He decides not to mention it.
As usual, Aronnax spends his days looking out the windows at ocean life, and Nemo joins him.
But this day's a little different. He sees a man out the window, a man he thinks is shipwrecked and drowning. He cries out and tells Nemo that he must save him.
Turns out Nemo knows the dude. It's just Nicholas, a.k.a. "Pesce," a famous diver.
Nemo is unsurprised by his presence.
He walks over to a cabinet and opens it up. It's full of gold bars. Again, Nemo acts like this is no big deal. Aronnax's eyes are popping out of his head.
Nemo puts a few bars in a big chest—you know, just 1,000 kilograms of gold—and gets a bunch of crewmen to come carry it out. Then he leaves. No biggie.
Aronnax is so jazzed by the whole thing he can't sleep. Up above, he can hear the dinghy being removed and launched. A couple of hours later, he hears it return.
The next day, Aronnax tells Conseil and Ned. They wonder where he gets the gold, but they're flabbergasted.
After lunch, Aronnax starts feeling all hot and bothered. Literally. The Nautilus seems to be heating up. He thinks it might be on fire.
Nemo shows up.
Aronnax asks him why it's so hot.
Oh, he says, we're just floating over a jet of boiling water near the island of Santorini.