Stage 1 (Novice): Around the World in 80 Days, chapter 1

Author : Jules Vernes

Illustrator: Lev Kaplan

Retold by Lorandformvn

CHAPTER 1: A CRAZY BET

Join me today as we embark(1) on a jaw-dropping journey filled with adventures, a journey that started in the foggy grey mist of London…

As a wealthy English man, Mr. Phileas Fogg was known as polished(2) and genteel(3), but with a queer personality. He was never seen at any of the societies at the time except for the Reform Club – a high-end(4) all gentlemen’s club. It’s here that he would spend most of his time. And on that one day, he had a conversation that will forever change his life. He was discussing with a friend, Ralph, about whether or not one can travel around the world in 80 days. After a heated argument,  he decided to made a £20000 bet that he would accomplish(5) the task : travelling around the world in 80 days or less. No man had yet accomplished this.

Returning to his mansion, he instantly informed Passepartout, his only servant that they would set off that very night. Needless to say, Passepartout was stunned, and nearly thought his master was crazy. However, he persuaded him to join. News of their adventure quickly spread and everywhere, people were making bets on whether they could accomplish the task. Many could not understand the Mr.Fogg’s motives for wanting to travel around the world. Incredible as this would seem, a police detective called Fix actually believed that Fogg was a dangerous criminal who was trying to escape punishment by traveling as far from England as possible. Because the detective would receive a large amount of money if he could catch the criminal, he decided to follow Fogg and Passepartout around the world.

They quickly departed that night to save time. Soon, they were zooming through Brindisi on a train. After a long journey, they arrived at Suez, Egypt on a steamer. On the steamer, Mr.Fogg bribed the ship’s engineer so that he would get them to their destination(6) ahead of time. Soon after their arrival, Mr.Fogg asked Passpartout to get his passport stamped, so that later they could prove that they had indeed travelled around the world. After a brief stay, they departed for Bombay, India. On the boat, Passepartout really enjoyed the scenery and somewhat befriended a lad(7) named “Fix”. Despite the rough journey accross the Red Sea, they still managed to arrive two days ahead of schedule.

From here they were about to travel to Calcutta, when suddenly, before the train departed, poor Passepartout confessed to his master that he was in serious trouble for not following the strict religious rule of leaving one’s shoes outside the pagoda(8) at Bombay. Right then, a stranger came and asked to speak to Mr.Fogg privately, so Passpartout went out of the compartment(9). The man was Sir Francis Cromartry, and he came to warn Mr.Fogg that his journey might be slowed down due to Passepartout’s bad behaviour. Mr.Fogg, however, just calmly replied that if Passepartout got caught and condemned(10), he would have to return to Europe, but his master would still continue on his journey alone.

003-80-days-world-lev-kaplanIt was fortunate that Passepartout was not condemned, after all, for he proved to be of much use later on. One cloudy evening. the train suddenly stopped at a small village because the rails weren’t completed. Because they could not wait and lose time, Mr.Fogg and Passpartout hadownload (5)d to find another way of getting to the next station.

And what did Passpartout do? To his master’s surprise, he found a native with an elephant that they could buy. After Passepartout spent some time analyzing the situation to Mr.Fogg, the master was convinced that this was indeed the best option they had, so he went on and bought the elephant. After that, he even gave the native more money to be their guide. So they set off, an Indian native in his tribal costume and two adventurous Englishmen, on the back of a gigantic elephant.

 


+ GLOSSARY

  1. embark (v): commence; go on board a boat; begin a journey
  2. polished (adj): showing refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience
  3. genteel (adj): refined, polite
  4. high-end (adj): expensive and of high quality
  5. accomplish (v): achieve through effort, succeed
  6. destination (n): the place to which something or someone is going
  7. lad (n): a little boy
  8. pagoda (n): a Hindu or Buddhist temple or sacred building, typically a many-tiered tower, in India and the Far East.
  9. compartment (n): one of the separate areas inside a vehicle, especially a train
  10. condemned (adj): declared to be guilty of wrongdoings.

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