Study Guide

Around the World in Eighty Days Chapter 12

By Jules Verne

Chapter 12

In which Phileas Fogg and his companions venture across the Indian forests, and what ensued

  • The guide passes left of the unfinished railway line and tells the group that this would gain them twenty miles. However, they are making their way directly through the forest.
  • Passepartout bounces around crazily on the back of the elephant, and it's not much better for Fogg or Sir Francis.
  • This portion of India is called the Bundelcund and is inhabited by fanatical Hindus. The English have not dominated this part of the territory and many different rajahs lay claim to the inaccessible regions. The adventurers hurry past any people they see.
  • Passepartout wonders what Fogg will do with the elephant when they reach Allahabad. He hopes Fogg doesn't plan to give it to him because that would be totally embarrassing.
  • The group stops for the night at an abandoned bungalow. They still have twenty-five miles to reach the train station at Allahabad.
  • They continue the journey through deeper parts of the journey when they hear voices and instruments.
  • The group witnesses a procession of sorts, which Sir Francis tells them is for the goddess Kali. Some Brahmin priests are leading a woman in front of the body of a dead man. Sir Francis pronounces it a "suttee," or a voluntary human sacrifice. Passepartout gets pretty mad that anyone could do this, but Sir Francis explains that this region is out of the British control.
  • The guide tells them the sacrifice of the young woman will take place at dawn the next day. The woman is not volunteering, though—she has been drugged with opium.
  • The guide turns Kiouni the elephant away from the procession, but Mr. Fogg stops him by saying, "Suppose we save this woman." Sir Francis and Passepartout are astounded.
  • Fogg explains they have gained twelve hours and they can devote that time to trying to save her.

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