The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

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Harry Hayfield
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The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by Harry Hayfield » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:06 am

I am pleased to state that my re-telling of "Around the World in Eighty Days" is now complete and feel it is only reasonable that I serialise it so that sticks can pass judgement on what pictures to contribute based on what happens, therefore I shall be posting a chapter at a time so that everyone can have a read (and if they wish to contribute corrections or suggestions they are only too welcome to do so)

Chapter One: In which we are introduced to the butler and his master

As the sun rose over London on October 2nd 1872, the capital of the great United Kingdom, it revealed a city at the peak of its powers. Big Ben, the bell that sounded the hour at the top of the tower that overlooked that mother of parliaments, sounded the hour of eight across the whole of the square mile that was the beating heart of the capital. It was a slightly chilly morning, not unusual for the beginning of October, as demonstrated by the Bobbies of the Metropolitan Police who were wearing slightly thicker versions of their uniforms as they went about their business making sure that the fair city was free of the ravages of crime.

For one resident of London, the bells of Big Ben could have been in the next county for all he cared, as he continued to doze in his rented accommodation in the borough of Kensington. This man, as we shall come to see, will be important to our story, but as he woke up a little after ten o’clock that morning and yawned as he looked at his watch on the bedside table, his eyes opened wide in shock.

“Oh, Mon Dieu!” he exclaimed, “I’m going to be late!”

He jumped out of bed and did a very high-speed version of his usual morning constitutionals which comprised of fifty press ups, fifty sit-ups, fifty jumping jacks and fifty toe raises before getting dressed and charging out of the house he was staying in carrying a bag in one hand. That bag contained his entire life and he held on to it firmly as he ran all the way from Kensington to the square mile itself making his way to Savile Row. Screeching to a halt at the corner of the street, he tried to recover his composure and as he did, he took two pieces of paper out of his pocket. The first was the letter he had received from the employment agency, giving the details of his new employer. The person in question was a Mr. Phileas Fogg, a member of the Reform Club and according to the employment agency’s chairman was “A man not to be trifled with” due to his fascination with everything being exact. It was this demanding nature that caused the position of manservant to be open as his previous manservant had committed the cardinal sin of presenting Mr. Fogg’s shaving water a full two degrees below the recommended temperature.

The second piece of paper was his references and as he checked to ensure that everything was in order, he walked into the middle of the road crossing the street to be on the right side of the road without looking where he was going.

“Oi, watch out!” shouted a hansom cabbie as he came charging down the road.

The manservant to be, reacted in an instance, and somersaulted out of the way of the cab but in the process lost his papers and when he landed back on his feet he exclaimed “My references” and gave chase down the street. However, the wind, that was blowing them down the street, clearly thought he needed a bit of exercise and the poor man ran half way down the street before the papers came to rest on the ground.

Muttering a swearword in his native French that is not for the ears of us he took off his bowler hat and threw it towards the papers. The hat landed right on top of them and pleased that he hadn’t lost any of his skills throwing things, he walked over, retrieved his hat and papers and then consulted his map.

“Sept, La Rue de Savile” he said to himself and then shook his head repeating “Seven, Savile Row” and then looked up to see an imposing pile in front of him that was the house in question. As he looked at it he whistled in admiration saying “Sacre Bleu, what a place, oh, la la, I am going to live in a mansion and be the butler to a respectable English gentleman” and with that he straightened his jacket and bowtie, took a deep breath and walked up to the door and repeated in his mind his introduction to his new employer.

“Bonjour, monsieur” he thought, “My name is Jean and I would like to seek employment with you as your new manservant!”

Nodding his satisfaction at his delivery, he knocked on the door and waited for it to be answered. As he did, he hummed the anthem of his homeland quietly expecting the door to be opened by the former manservant. However, when the door opened, it was Mr. Fogg himself who announced his presence with a stern “You’re late by a whole minute!”

Jean staggered backwards in disbelief. No, he couldn’t be late. The appointment to meet with Mr. Fogg was at twenty past eleven that morning and according to his watch it was only fifteen minutes past. As Mr. Fogg towered over him, he panicked and did the only thing he could do, apologise profusely.

“I am dreadfully sorry, monsieur” he said, bowing, “I meant no offence” and as he stood up closed his eyes and recited his introduction and presented his references.

The gentleman took the papers and with a cursory glance said “Well, you’d better come in then!” and with that Jean entered the house where, if he passed the interview, he would be working as a manservant.

Mr. Fogg sat on a chair in the hallway and examined Jean’s references closely. As he did, Jean stood a few feet in front of him, his hat now on his chest inside of which his heart was hammering. He’d never been this nervous at an interview before. Would Mr. Fogg take his lateness as a sign of disrespect and treat him with contempt? Would he ignore it and treat him on his credentials? The longer Mr. Fogg read the references, the more nervous he became and tempted fate with “I trust that everything is all right, monsieur?”

“I see that you are French?” asked Mr. Fogg, “and your name is John correct?”

“Jean, if monsieur pleases,” he replied, “Jean Passepartout, a surname which has clung to me because I have a natural aptness for going out of one business into another. I believe I’m honest, monsieur, but, to be outspoken, I’ve had several trades. I’ve been an itinerant singer, a circus-rider, when I used to vault like Leotard, and dance on a rope like Blondin. Then I got to be a professor of gymnastics, so as to make better use of my talents; and then I was a sergeant fireman at Paris, and assisted at many a big fire.”

“An interesting career path” remarked Mr. Fogg, “but I always call my manservants after their last name, so Passepartout it shall be!”

Passepartout heaved a sigh of relief, he was on last name terms with Mr. Fogg. This was progress and as Mr. Fogg continued to read the references Passepartout had an idea. He coughed and said “With your permission, monsieur?”

Permission was granted and the manservant to be took Mr. Fogg’s cane that was leaning by a table and threw it into the air. Whilst it was there, he poured a glass of water and caught the cane with his other hand then threw it back up whilst picking up a silver platter. Catching the cane, he placed the platter onto the cane and started to spin it and then, with the glass of water on his head he transferred the cane with the platter spinning on it still from one hand to the other underneath his feet before throwing the platter off the cane, making the glass jump into the air and catching both safely with his other hand.

Mr. Fogg watched in amazement as what he thought was a manservant turned into an acrobat as he placed the cane on the floor and slowly, but surely raised himself up on one hand. As he did, Mr. Fogg could see the grim determination on Passepartout’s face and he could well imagine the strength needed to perform such a feat but the potential manservant wasn’t done yet. He balanced on the end of the cane with the glass and platter in one hand and his other on the cane and clearly pushing his strength to his limits outstretched every part of his body before somersaulting back upright and catching every last drop of water back in the glass. His display over, Passepartout beamed, bowed and announced “Fin, monsieur!”

“Very impressive” noted Mr. Fogg, “but I’m looking for a manservant rather than a juggler. Are you sure you’ve come to the right house?”

“Oui, monsieur” Passepartout announced, suddenly remembering what he was supposed to be doing and with that stood to attention before sighing and placing the platter and cane back. He’d blown it. He had almost secured employment and then he had thrown it away because of his circus skills. Begrudgingly, he picked up his bag, sighed again and made for the door.

“Do forgive me for asking” said Mr. Fogg, causing Passepartout to pause, “but why do you want this job? I assume that you know I am a stickler for detail!”

“I left my homeland of France five years ago” Passepartout replied, wistfully, “and, wishing to taste the sweets of domestic life, took service as a valet here in England. Finding myself out of place, and hearing that Monsieur Phileas Fogg was the most exact and settled gentleman in the United Kingdom, I have come to monsieur in the hope of living with him a tranquil life, and forgetting even the name of Passepartout” and with that sighed again and continued for the door.

“You are well recommended to me and I hear a good report of you. You know my conditions?” said Mr. Fogg

Passepartout stopped dead and slowly turned around. As he did he nodded.

“Now from this moment, twenty-nine minutes after eleven in the morning on this Wednesday, 2nd October, you are in my service” replied the gentleman.

Passepartout’s eyes opened wide with astonishment.

“Thank you, monsieur” he replied meekly.

As he bowed to his new employer. Mr. Fogg stood up, took the cane from the table and walked towards the front door pausing only to pick up his top hat from the hat stand next to it. As he did, Passepartout performed his first duty as Mr. Fogg’s manservant and opened the doors and as Mr. Fogg stepped out into the cool morning air, Passepartout could hear him singing under his breath.

“Rule Britannia” Mr. Fogg sang softly as he turned the corner and headed towards the Reform Club where he would spend his day, “Britannia rules the waves. Britons never, never, never, shall be slaves!” and within a few moments was out of sight. As he disappeared from sight, Passepartout closed the doors behind him and said to himself “I’ve seen people at Madame Tussaud’s as lively as my new master!”
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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David Gentle
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Re: The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by David Gentle » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:05 am

Loved it, even read it to the end quelle suprise! Real talent and a good sense of humour mixed with our school boy French. No kidding, just been reading about Mr Fogg in another book, which sadly i have put in the charity box, whereas i could have quoted some of the interesting facts. I like his rapid muscle routine. do we need more, of course we do.David Gentle bon nuit mes enfants.
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Harry Hayfield
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Re: The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by Harry Hayfield » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:24 am

Chapter Two : In which the manservant examines his lodgings and discovers that Mr. Fogg is a man of habit

As Passepartout looked around his new workplace, he closed his eyes and recollected Mr. Fogg’s appearance. He appeared to be a man about forty years of age but Passepartout was never that good at determining people’s ages from their appearance but he did note that he had fine, handsome features, and a tall, well-shaped figure. His hair and whiskers were light, his forehead compact and unwrinkled, his face rather pale but his teeth looked magnificent. Opening his eyes to his new surroundings he smiled from ear to ear. His initial thoughts about this house being a mansion were spot on. The hall was furnished as you would expect of a gentleman with a fine grandfather clock keeping time and as it chimed half past eleven, Passepartout smiled and decided to find his lodgings and so climbed the sweeping staircase that led to the first floor where his master would sleep and then found another set of stairs at the end that led up to the second floor and opening the first door he came to he smiled again. He had found his room.

Compared to the place where he had woken up this morning it was a palace. Electric bells and speaking-tubes afforded communication with the lower floors; while on the mantel stood an electric clock, precisely like that in Mr. Fogg’s bedchamber, both beating the same second at the same instant. There was a wardrobe for his clothes, a writing desk, a bedside table with a lamp on it, a cupboard above the bed and a windowsill with some flowers and a few books, but what really grabbed his attention was the view as he opened the windows. St. Paul’s, the Palace of Westminster, oh, he would have a wonderful time making notes in his journal of the walks he would take whilst attending to his master’s duties.

He was so overjoyed that he broke out into an impromptu display of his circus skills again and as he did another somersault, he noticed something on the door that he had entered. It was Mr. Fogg’s schedule for the day and as it was something he had to learn off by heart, he went over and read it.

“Mr. Fogg awakens at eight o’clock each morning” he said, “and has he tea and toast precisely twenty-three minutes later. That means I have to be awake by at least half past seven. After his breakfast I bring his shaving water at precisely eighty-six degrees at thirty-seven minutes past eight and then three minutes later brush his hair. By six minutes past ten, his shirt must be pressed so that by half past eleven he is ready to leave the house. That allows me eleven hours to make the place tidy for his return at half past ten and then he goes to bed at midnight which gives me seven hours sleep a night” and as he concluded the list he smiled “This is just what I wanted! Ah, we shall get on together, Mr. Fogg and I! What a domestic and regular gentleman! A real machine; well, I don’t mind serving a machine” and with that he started to place his spare clothes in the bag into the wardrobe. As he did he noticed a mirror in the door and stepping back to examine himself in the mirror, he bowed politely.

“Who dares say that I am one of those pert dunces depicted by Moliere” he chuckled, “Why, with a bold gaze and this nose held high in the air, I am an honest fellow with a pleasant face, lips a trifle protruding I admit, but they are soft-mannered and serviceable. And with a good round head, such as one likes to see on the shoulders of a friend”. He then moved in closer to see his face and noted that his eyes were even bluer than he had remembered.

As he started to change from his presentation clothes into his work clothes, he paused wearing just a vest and long johns and took a deep breath. His figure was almost portly and well-built, his body muscular, and his physical powers fully developed by the exercises of his younger days and as he looked at himself he gritted his teeth and puffed out his chest before smiling and then laughing at his attempt to repeat his attempt at being a strongman in the circus when the proper one managed to strain his back one day. Putting on his shirt he managed to mess up his brown hair but three strokes of a large-tooth comb soon put it back to rights. Now dressed for the day ahead, he closed the wardrobe door, left the room and made his way down to the hallway and started making the place presentable for his master’s arrival.

Passepartout was a firm believer in the adage that if you make something fun, then the time just flies by and so throughout the course of his first day, he made all the jobs a game. When he had to clean the grandfather clock, he raced it to see if he could clean it before the clock struck the next hour, which he did. When he tided the kitchen after making his tea, he tried to beat the sunset and did by just a matter of moments and when he cleaned the whole house from top to bottom, he did it by accompanying himself to a tune he had picked up during one of the many trips the circus took. It was a ship travelling from Marseilles in France to Barcelona in Spain and on that ship the sailors sang this song to make the work go faster and so polishing the bannister on the stairs, Passepartout sang the song again and true to this adage, the day seemed to fly by and so as the clock in the hallway chimed seven o’clock, he smiled to himself for he had done his duties and had a good three hours before Mr. Fogg returned and so needing a rest, he climbed upstairs to his room, flopped onto his bed and was soon dozing thinking of the days ahead with the stationary master who never travelled anywhere save for his club and then fell asleep, his mind filled with dreams of his past days now forever gone.

“But Jean, you can’t!”

“My dear Hercule, I have to!”

The year was 1860 and backstage at the famed Cirque de Paris, the legendary strongman Hercule Poisson was lying in agony on a makeshift bed with his dear friend Jean Passepartout holding his hand begging him to accept his idea. It had all started the day before when Jean, practicing for the command performance, now underway, for none other than His Imperial Majesty himself, had slipped when performing a catch high above the grand ring. If Hercule hadn’t heard his screams of terror as he fell and caught him, he would have certainly died, but what a price the strongman paid for as he caught him he pulled his back and had spent all the time since in agony, his back spasming at random intervals.

“Jean, please, mon amis, I beg you!” groaned Hercule

“Mon amis” replied Jean, holding the strongman’s hand, “I have to. His Majesty is expecting a demonstration of the power of France. Someone has to go out there and perform your feat of strength. As it was me that caused you to be in this state, it is me who has to put it right” and with that he stood up and went behind a curtain. Hercule continued to protest but as Jean re-emerged wearing Hercules’ trademark tiger skin and loincloth the apprentice strongman said “If you want to do anything, pray for me, mon amis” and with that he turned and walked towards the grand ring.

“Madames, Monsieurs, Le Emperor” announced the ringmaster, doffing his hat to the royal box, “Le Cirque de Paris is proud to present the strongest man in France, Hercule Poisson” and with that he stepped back from the curtain and out stepped Jean and walked past the ringmaster who suddenly realised that the man stepping out was not the man he was expecting and with that rushed backstage. As Jean walked towards the centre of the ring, five men struggled with two large barrels and placed them in front of him. There was a bar attached between them and on the back of the barrels was a prepared script that Jean read in his loudest voice.

“Madames, Monsieurs, Le Emperor” and acting on the script bowed deeply before standing up and continuing “These are two kilderkin barrels usually full of wine for export proving the prowess of the French nation in the art of winemaking. Today, however, they are filled with water from the river Seine. I will lift these barrels over my head in a demonstration of the power of France!” and following the script bowed again but as he did, a fearsome thought entered his head. A kilderkin barrel when full of wine weighed a hundred and fifty pounds, just a little less than his weight. Two of them filled with water was the same as lifting two of himself, three hundred and twenty-five pounds. If he was afraid, he didn’t show it as he grabbed the bar and announced, reading the script “This feat of strength requires complete concentration, I must therefore ask for silence as I dedicate myself to it!” and with that closed his eyes. As soon as he pulled on the bar, he felt his back roar in agony. Gritting his teeth, he grunted “I must do this, for Hercule” and with a mighty scream he picked up the bar and pulled it up to his waist. He could feel his heart hammering inside him, his breathing getting deeper and knew he was pushing his body to the limits, but he kept on repeating to himself in his mind “For Hercule” and so digging deeper than he had ever done before he roared as he pushed the barrels up into the air and stood tall leading to the audience cheering so loud that as Jean dropped the barrels from their height his roar of success could only barely be heard.

As the barrels smashed into the ring and broke into a thousand pieces, the ringmaster dashed out and held up one of Jean’s hands announcing “Madames, Monsieurs, Le Emperor. This man is not Hercule, this is the man who Hercule saved from certain death yesterday. This man is Jean Passepartout, an acrobat and gymnast who should have been up there. He did this as a thank you to the man now lying in agony backstage having put his back out saving this man’s life. I call upon you all now to accolade this brave man and the strength that makes him the equal strongest man in France”

“Passepartout, Passepartout, Passepartout” roared the crowd and as Jean bowed, the famed strongman supported by two clowns came out and as both men hugged each other, both in tears of friendship, the chanting grew louder and louder.

“Passepartout, PASSEPARTOUT!”

The smile on Passepartout’s face grew larger and larger as he started to stir from his dreams.


He suddenly shot up out of bed. No, it’s couldn’t have been. He looked at his watch. It was only five minutes past seven. His master couldn’t be back now.


He was! Jumping off his bed, he charged out of his room and ran downstairs as fast as possible. As he came haring down the stairs, he saw the impossible. Mr. Fogg, in his house, a full three hours before he was supposed to be back.

“I had to call you twice!” he said, taking off his top hat.

“But…But…” stammered Passepartout, but was stopped by Mr. Fogg holding up his hand.

“I am not appropriating blame” he replied and then stunned his manservant by announcing “We start for Dover and Calais in ten minutes!”

“We, Monsieur?” he asked his eyebrows raised

“Yes,” returned Phileas Fogg. “We are going round the world”

“Around the world?” replied Passepartout, scarcely able to believe what he was hearing.

“In eighty days,” added Mr. Fogg. “So we haven’t a moment to lose.”

Passepartout grabbed his head and growled. Had the whole world gone mad? Mr. Fogg was a stationary person. Everyone knew that he hadn’t left London for at least a decade.

As Mr. Fogg climbed the stairs to his room he said “Oh, bring your bag with you along with two shirts and three pairs of stockings for me, and the same for you. We’ll buy our clothes on the way. Bring down my mackintosh and traveling-cloak, and some stout shoes, though we shall do little walking” and with that entered his room leaving the poor manservant barely able to understand what was happening. As he followed his master’s instruction he stomped up to his room and there collapsed onto his bed and wailed “That’s good, that is! And I, who wanted to remain quiet!”

He mechanically set about making the preparations for departure, his mind reeling as he did.

“Around the world in eighty days!” he scoffed in his mind, “A likely story” and then suddenly realised. This was all a massive joke. An initiation to see if he would follow his master wherever he said. As he came to this realization he smiled and thought “Oh, you clever master, Monsieur Fogg. But I, Passepartout, I am the cleverer, non?” and with that he concluded the packing, closed the door to his room and made his way downstairs turning off the gas lights as he went.

Mr. Fogg was standing in the hallway looking precisely as he did before he delivered the news. Under his arm was a red-bound copy of Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Steam Transit and General Guide, with its timetables showing the arrival and departure of steamers and railways across the world. As he took the carpet-bag from his manservant and opened it, he also opened a safe hidden behind a painting and slipped into it a large number of notes.

“English pounds” he said, “French francs, Italian lira, Egyptian pounds, Indian rupees, Hong Kong dollars, Japanese yen, American dollars and a few extra English pounds just for luck!”

As Passepartout stared at the notes going into the bag Mr. Fogg asked “You have forgotten nothing?”

“Nothing, monsieur.”

“My mackintosh and cloak?”

“Here they are.”

“Good!” and with that pointed to the bag saying “Take good care of it, for there are twenty thousand pounds in it.”

“How much?” Passepartout declared almost dropping the bag to the floor in amazement.

“Twenty thousand pounds” came the reply, “Half my personal fortune!”

As Passepartout recovered the bag, he held on to it tight as if it was a baby son and with that master and servant left the house. As his master walked down the street where a hansom cab was waiting for the pair, Passepartout turned out the last of the lights and closed the doors behind him. Locking them, he kissed the key and threw it into the air where it landed inside his breast pocket on the inside of his jacket and as he patted it he whispered “You will be safe here, next to my heart” and with that ran to the end of the street where he paused and sought permission to join his master. Permission was given and the hansom cab made its way through the streets towards Charing Cross Station. The cab arrived at twenty minutes to eight and as Passepartout climbed down, he spied an old woman with a child in her arms sitting by the entrance.

“Please sir” she said pitiably, “some money for a grandmother and her child?”

Mr. Fogg took out twenty guineas from his wallet and said “These are my winnings from a game of whist that I have just come from. Here, my good woman. I’m glad that I met you” and with that walked into the station.

“Please sir” said the woman standing up, “thank your master for me” and with that she kissed him on the cheek. As Passepartout watched her go, he felt a tear well in his eyes before wiping them with his sleeve and following his master into the station.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by peter yates » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:27 am

Hi Harry,
well done my friend. A really enjoyable read, looking forward to more.
Peter Yates

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Harry Hayfield
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Re: The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by Harry Hayfield » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:18 pm

Chapter Three: In which Passepartout discovers that not all ladies of distinction are what they appear to be

As Passepartout entered the main concourse at Charing Cross, his master dispatched him to buy two first class tickets to Paris. As he paid the money to the ticket seller he smiled “I am a native of that fair city and haven’t been there for five years” to which the ticket seller replied, with a smile, “Thank you for choosing to travel with the South Eastern Railway, sir, and I hope that you have an enjoyable time at your end destination”.

Passepartout thanked the ticket seller with a smile and made his way to where his master was engaged with some other people and as he got closer he could hear some of the conversation.

“Well, gentlemen,” said Mr. Fogg, “I’m off, you see; and, if you will examine my passport when I get back, you will be able to judge whether I have accomplished the journey agreed upon.”

“Oh, that would be quite unnecessary, Mr. Fogg,” said one of the gentlemen politely. “We will trust your word, as a gentleman of honour.”

“You do not forget when you are due in London again?” asked another

“In eighty days; on Saturday, the 21st of December, 1872, at a quarter before nine p.m. Good-bye, gentlemen” his master replied before turning to a gentleman in a wheelchair. Passepartout watched as Mr. Fogg held the man’s hand and said quietly “Fear not, your Lordship, I will return!” and with that he gestured Passepartout to board the train.

A few moments later, there was a loud whistle and as it did the train started to leave the platform with the people who had come to see Mr. Fogg off waving. As soon as they left the cover of the station, than the rain started to patter against the windows. Not that this bothered Mr. Fogg in the slightest as he read his book, but for Passepartout the rain reminded him of all those days when he would have to travel no matter what the weather and so he held the carpet bag as tight as possible. The train soon left the city of London and started to pass through the countryside of Kent and as it did, Passepartout looked out of the window on several occasions. On one occasion he looked up at the onboard oil lamps and as he did, a sudden thought occurred to him.

“What’s the matter?” asked Mr. Fogg, raising over his book so that he could see what had caused his manservant distress.

“Alas!” replied Passepartout, “In my hurry, I forgot…I forgot…”

“What?” asked his master, not impressed with his manservant’s hesitation.

“To turn off the gas in my room!” he replied and held his head in shame. It was his duty to ensure that everything had been turned off in the house and apart from the light in his own room every single light was off.

“Very well, young man,” returned Mr. Fogg, coolly; “it will burn at your expense” and with that Mr. Fogg returned to his book leaving Passepartout to wonder how many pennies he was going to lose.

As the train made its way towards the Kent coast, Passepartout tried to get some sleep but every time he managed to doze off the memory of his gas light would make him wake up. This continued all the way to Dover, where the mode of transport changed from a train to a paddle steamer for the short trip across the Channel. As they travelled, Mr. Fogg took out his watch and said “France, as I am sure you know, is one hour ahead of London, so might I suggest that you change your watch!”

Passepartout nodded and although he took out his watch, he disobeyed his master. He didn’t want to know what time it was in France, he wanted to know the time in London. The city where his heart was, even if his body wasn’t.

It was early in the morning when master and manservant arrived in Calais and having their passports stamped to show that they had entered the country legally and paid the correct charge for doing so, they boarded the night train to Paris. Once again, Passepartout tried to doze off but the memory of the gas light in his room was too much.

They had not been travelling for long when there was a knock at the door and in walked the guard. He bowed politely and asked “Bonsoir, Monsieurs” to which Passepartout replied “Et bonsoir aussi, monsieur”. Mr. Fogg however replied, “Good evening, sir, is something the matter?”

“Would you be so kind as to accommodate a young lady, Monsieurs?” asked the guard.

“By all means” replied Mr. Fogg standing up to welcome the guest, proving in Passepartout’s eyes that although he might be a little unkind to him to other people, Mr. Fogg was a true Englishman. The guard nodded and said to someone “Mademoiselle?”

As the guard stepped to one side, the most beautiful lady that Passepartout had ever seen in his life walked in and said “Pardon me, I hope I am not intruding!”

“Quite the contrary” said Mr. Fogg and with that his mouth that had remained firmly expressionless up to that point started to turn into a smile. Even Passepartout’s mouth started to turn around at the corners as the lady entered the carriage. As she smiled in return, Passepartout’s soul was elated to the heights and he had to be nudged by Mr. Fogg who said “Move the bag, Passepartout”.

After he had, and dusted the seat, he gestured the lady to sit down and as she did she said “Thank you, monsieur, you are as handsome as you are kind”. Passepartout suddenly went bright red in the face. Yes, he was a Frenchman, and an expert in love, but a woman making such advances in public. It was too much for him and as he sat down, he adjusted his collar.

“Please forgive the intrusion” the lady said, “Allow me to introduce myself, I am the Countess d’Hiver, the latest in a family line that goes back to the time of Louis XIII. It is often difficult for a lady who is travelling alone these days. There were two men in my carriage and they were…very rude to me” and with that she dabbed her eyes. Passepartout was all in favour of teaching those two men a real lesson in manners, but the Countess said “Thank you, monsieur, but I am sure that now I am with two gentlemen I shall have nothing to fear!”

Passepartout tried his best to be polite and nod, but he was captivated by the Countess’s beauty. She was wearing an elegant pink overcoat on a pink dress with a ruff, had the deepest emerald jewellery on her wrists and a ring that if not made of the purest gold must have surely been made of at least twenty carat gold.

“I do not wish to be seem to be prying, monsieur, but may I ask where you are travelling to?” she asked

“London” came the reply which prompted the Countess to say, “But, monsieur, you…”

“…are travelling in the wrong direction?” smiled Mr. Fogg and then added, “Don’t worry, we know, you see both myself and my manservant are on an expedition. We both intend to travel around the world in less than eighty days!”

The Countess gasped “Then, you are Monsieur Fogg?”

Passepartout nodded whilst at the same time suppressing a chuckle. He wanted to make sure that his master thought he could be cleverer than his manservant so that when Passepartout revealed that he knew the whole time it was just a trip to his former home city, he would realise that Passepartout was the cleverer of them both.

“That is correct” replied Mr. Fogg who was suddenly taken aback when the Countess fell to her knees and said “I have read all about you, monsieur” before realising that her hand was in his hand and then coyly sat back in her seat making Passepartout even more uncomfortable than he was already.

“And may I ask your route?” asked the Countess

“As published in the London Telegraph yesterday morning” Mr. Fogg replied, “London, Paris, Brindisi...” but was interrupted by “Oh, what a coincidence” as the Countess explained “I, too am travelling to Brindisi”

“Well” replied Mr. Fogg, “you would be more than welcome to join us on that stage of the journey!”

“Merci, Monsieurs” she replied and said “I am going to visit my aunt who is unwell. Although she says that she is just ill, I fear that she may be failing and…and…” and with that she started to weep. Mr. Fogg took a handkerchief from his pocket and said “There, there, we will visit her with you as well and offer support if it is needed!”

Reassured, the Countess then started to yawn and apologised saying that she never really liked travelling on trains to which Mr. Fogg asked Passepartout to turn down the light in the carriage so that they could all get some sleep before Paris. Passepartout immediately jumped up, but the Countess refused and asked if she could turn it down. With Mr. Fogg consenting, she got up and accidentally extinguished the flame. Apologising profusely, Mr. Fogg replied “There, there, no need to concern yourself” and then asked Passepartout to get some matches out of the bag.

“At once, Monsieur” replied the manservant and started to feel around for the bag. He eventually found it and went to open it, but found it was already open and that someone had their hand inside it. Slapping it away, the hand grabbed the bag and tried to pull it from Passepartout. Grabbing the other side of the bag he pulled but then suddenly had an idea and so let go slightly, however as the other hand dived in, he slammed the bag shut causing the owner of the hand to howl in agony. However, the howl was not that of an educated lady, but a right brute of a man. Passepartout was pushed aside by something and a second later the door to the carriage opened revealing the lady running away.

Mr. Fogg lit a match from his pocket and as he lit the lamp again he surveyed the sorry scene. His manservant was lying on the floor with the bag in his chest. As he recovered from the impact, he rubbed his head and as his vision cleared, he saw his employer standing over him with a face like thunder.

“Now” he said, “would you care to explain what you did to make that young lady run off like that?”

“Her hand was in the bag, Monsieur” Passepartout replied adding, “When I went to close the bag, she pushed me out of the way!”

“Now, seriously” said Mr. Fogg, not impressed with the explanation, “I will not tolerate lying. Now what did you do?” and with that leaned into the poor manservant. Mr. Fogg leaned over so much that Passepartout had no option but to lean back and all the while, Mr. Fogg demanded the truth.

“Monsieur, I am telling the truth. She had her hand in the bag when I went to retrieve the matches and I was worried in case she tried to steal any of the money inside”

By now, Mr. Fogg was standing on tiptoes, his face barely inches from Passepartout’s and still growling. Passepartout couldn’t deal with any more torture and yelled “BELIEVE ME, EVERYTHING I AM SAYING IS THE TRUTH!”

“Alright!” Mr. Fogg shouted, placing his hands over his ears and with that sat down.

“I am just as mystified about her behaviour as you are, Monsieur” said Passepartout, wiping his brow, glad that the torture of Mr. Fogg bearing down on him had finished. Just then the guard opened the door and said “Forgive me, Monsieurs, but I heard a scream. Is everything all right?”

Passepartout started to explain about the countess but Mr. Fogg replied, “Thank you for your concern, everything is fine!” and the guard left, satisfied that everything was above board.

However, as Passepartout sat back down, he wasn’t as convinced as Mr. Fogg and wondered who might have had reason to steal Mr. Fogg’s money. As he tried to think, the long day caught up with him and he was soon fast asleep, dreaming of the city of his youth that he would shortly be visiting once again.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by Harry Hayfield » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:46 pm

Chapter Four: In where the city of love, appears to have turned into the city of death

As the train sailed into the Paris, Gare du Nord station, the sun had already risen. Compared to the drizzle and dullness of London, Paris was warm and sunny and as Passepartout stepped out into the open air of Paris to hail his master a cab, he took a deep breath of his native air and sighed contentedly. He was back home, in Paris, and he felt sure that Mr. Fogg would now reveal that this was nothing more than a joke and ask him to take to see all the best places that Paris had to offer. However, hailing a cab was a lot easier said than done as every single cab refused to obey his hails. Returning to his master, he reported the fact adding “Forgive my kinsmen, Monsieur, clearly I am not the only thing that has left this city in the last five years, their manners have as well!”

“Don’t worry” smiled Mr. Fogg, “it’s a lovely day so we’ll walk instead” and as he set off he added, “besides who better than a Parisian to show me the sights, eh?”

Passepartout smiled as he thought “Monsieur Fogg knows that I know that this is all a joke” and with that he led the way walking down the Rue LaFayette before turning into the Boulevard de Magenta and as they did Passepartout flourished upon his master a brief history of the city he called home occasionally pausing outside a building where the heroics of Fire Sergeant Jean Passepartout prevented serious loss of life. As they continued down the road, a carriage pulled up alongside the road and a lady popped her head out of the window and apologised for stopping saying “You are in need of a coach, non, Monsieur?”

“That is correct” replied Mr. Fogg, “but as there weren’t any, we’re enjoying your wonderful city on foot, with a very experienced guide!” and with that he nodded his approval to Passepartout who smiled.

“Mais non” exclaimed the lady, “that will never do. The streets are very dirty and I could never allow a visitor to this fair city to walk in the streets. Monsieur, my carriage is at your disposal!”

“Why, thank you” replied Mr. Fogg, “we are trying to get to Lyon station!”

“Ah, Le Gare du Lyon” came the reply, “a magnificent station and by chance, one that I was going to as well. Please, Monsieurs, come and join me as we travel there together!”

“Are all ladies like this?” Mr. Fogg asked his manservant, “Willing to lend their carriages to people without them!”

“Oui, monsieur” Passepartout replied, “And like our host, they are all just as beautiful” and with that both men entered the carriage whilst the lady blushed slightly before asking the driver to travel to the desired station.

Passepartout, being an expert on the streets of Paris, gave a running commentary as they travelled through the city. “Boulevard St. Martin, Poissonniere, Des Italiens, Madeline and over there, Monsieur, La Place de la Concorde and there in the distance, Le Arc d’Triomphe. Have you ever seen a more wonderful city?”

“I can truly say that I have not!” replied Mr. Fogg and smiled to his gracious host who returned the smile and said “And I have not had the pleasure of such kind gentlemen before!”

After a while the road became bumpier and as Passepartout looked out of the window, his face frowned. The city of Paris was now behind them and getting further away. Asking if the lady knew this was the case, she popped her head out of the window and gasped and called “Arret!” and the carriage came to a halt. She stood up and apologised profusely saying that she would give the driver a piece of her mind.

“Please don’t trouble yourself” replied Mr. Fogg, “I am sure that my manservant could do it!”

“There is no need” she said and with that left the carriage and closed the door behind her. A few seconds later the carriage suddenly jerked and both master and manservant were thrown from their seats and landed on top of each other. As Mr. Fogg tried to get up off Passepartout’s back, the manservant cried “What’s happening?” and managed to struggle to his feet and as he peered out of the window he exclaimed “A cemetery” and then turned to his master and said “Monsieur, the horses must be out of control!”

“That’s possible” mused Mr. Fogg, “but it does seem a little strange!”

“Perhaps we have no driver as well?” replied Passepartout as Mr. Fogg dusted his slightly squashed hat.

“I agree” he replied, “We need to stop this carriage!”

“At once, monsieur” and with that Passepartout opened the door to the carriage, grabbed hold of the barrier at the top of the carriage and hauled himself up. There, holding the reins was the lady who had invited them to ride with them but as she turned around a very gruff “I’m no Mademoiselle” greeted him as did the whip used to gee the horses. Passepartout flipped backwards to avoid getting hurt and soon found himself showing off his acrobatic skills in a desperate attempt to stay alive. However, one of the attacks got lucky and wrapped around his shoe and with that the man started to pull the manservant towards him. Grabbing hold of the barrier that he had climbed up, Passepartout held on tight gritting his teeth against the pain on his foot but the man was winning the fight. Using an old adage, he had picked up of “Use an attacker’s strength against them” he let himself be pulled and then at the last second flipped over, slammed his legs around the attacker’s neck and flipped him onto the roof of the carriage. However, the attacker was just as strong as Passepartout and within seconds he was dangling off the edge of the carriage mere feet above the ground.

“Interfere with my plans will you?” the attacker grunted and started to push Passepartout towards the ground.

Using every ounce of strength, Passepartout started to swing and eventually landed back on the carriage roof where he squared up to his attacker. But the attacker managed to dodge his attack and Passepartout found himself sailing off the roof. He grabbed the barrier with his feet and ended up upside down in front of his master. When his master asked what he was doing he replied “Monsieur, would you please take charge of the horses?” and with that clambered back onto the roof and with that made a desperate attempt to finish this battle for their lives. But it was no good as the attacker tripped up the manservant and pinned him with his foot. Taking a pin from his hat disguise he cackled manically saying “Goodbye, Mr….” but wasn’t able to finish the statement as he collided with a low hanging branch of a tree and went sailing around it. As Passepartout looked up and saw the attacker slip down to the ground with a bump, he breathed a sigh of relief. He felt sure that he would have been able to survive another attack.

“Catch the reins!” cried his master and jumping into the driver’s seat he grabbed the reins from his master’s cane and expertly brought the carriage to a stop. Jumping down and opening his master’s door he said “We are safe now, Monsieur” and with that Mr. Fogg stepped out of the carriage and looked around.

“Where is this?” he asked as he saw nothing but trees and forests as far as the eye could see.

“Le Bois de Boulogne” came the reply, “and a very long way from Paris”

“Oh dear” said Mr. Fogg taking out his pocket watch, “we’re going to miss the train to Brindisi then?”

Passepartout smiled and said “Brindisi, monsieur?” expecting him to reveal that this was all a joke but the reply of “Yes, we have to catch the eleven o’clock train to Brindisi in order to connect with the ship to Suez that leaves tomorrow evening!”

Passepartout’s face fell. It wasn’t a joke. His master really was intent on travelling to Suez. He then smiled thinking “And then we will stop” and so said “Fear not, monsieur, I know this city like the back of my hand. I can get you anywhere you want to!” and with that he closed the door, retook his position in the driver’s seat, turned the carriage around, cracked the whip and headed back to Paris. A few moments later, he came across two people with a bicycle in the middle of the road who seemed to be arguing with each other. Unable to avoid them he called “Allez!” and the two men dived to either side of the carriage as it rolled over the bicycle. As he cracked the whips he mumbled “L’cyclistes dimanche!” under his breath.

Sensing the concern that his master had that he might miss his train to Brindisi, Passepartout geed the horses faster and faster as they retraced the route that they had followed and half an hour later, they arrived at the station with the train still there. As they stepped on board, Mr. Fogg congratulated Passepartout on his skills with horses to which he replied “I often looked after the horses in the circus!”

At eleven o’clock precisely the guard blew his whistle and the train chugged out of the station with both master and manservant on board. If the person who had taken them out into the wilds was trying to prevent Mr. Fogg’s journey, then he had failed, but the two attempts to prevent his journey in the space of a day led Mr. Fogg to be worried and as the train left Paris behind he asked his manservant if there was anyone he knew who might try and stop him. Passepartout shook his head and was about to ask a question when he stopped.

“You were saying?” asked his master

“Non, Monsieur, it was a silly idea!” replied Passepartout

“No” replied Mr. Fogg, “no idea is truly silly. Please tell me!”

“Could it be that one of your friends doesn’t like you and is trying to…” and gulping he concluded “kill you?”

Mr. Fogg thought for a moment and said “No, killing is not the way of the Reform Club, but stopping me in my travels. Yes, there is one person who would love to see me fail in this endeavour and I wouldn’t put it past him hiring someone to stop me. Clearly, we both need to be on our guard from now on. There is someone out there determined to prevent us from completing this journey!”

Passepartout hummed and hawed but eventually plucked up the courage and asked “So, this is not a joke then? You really intend to travel around the world in eighty days?”

“Indeed I do” replied Mr. Fogg and with that looked at his manservant and said “I know that you don’t like travelling but I have been wagered twenty thousand pounds that it is possible to travel around the world in less than eighty days. The money in that bag plus the wager equals my entire fortune!”

Passepartout grabbed the bag off the opposite seat and hugged it as tightly as possible prompting Mr. Fogg to smile saying “It’s not a baby you know!” and with that he looked out of the window and said, almost as in a prayer “Around the world in eighty days. Can I really do it?”

“Of course you can, monsieur, and I will be there to help you every step of the way!” announced his manservant and with that employer and employee shook hands.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by peter yates » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:33 am

Cracking tale Harry,really enjoying it.
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Harry Hayfield
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Re: The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by Harry Hayfield » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:49 pm

Chapter Five: In which the Italian navy discover that it is not a good idea to upset an Englishman

As the train pulled into Brindisi station, Passepartout had gained a whole new respect for his master. After all who else could, whilst travelling in the tunnel under the Alps, have given a complete history of its construction that started as they entered the tunnel and ended as they left it! But now, in Italy, Passepartout knew that his master’s journey was indeed a very serious matter. Half his personal fortune depended on him arriving back in London at a quarter to nine in the evening on December 21st, a mere seventy-eight days from now, and yet despite the rush Mr. Fogg seemed quite content to wait for things to happen, such as the ship that would take them to Suez and so as they stepped into the warm afternoon sunshine, he declared “Time for lunch!” and asked his manservant if he knew of any restaurants in the area. Passepartout smiled as he remembered his last trip here. It had been several years ago but he replied “Marco’s” and with that bowed to his master and led the way towards the centre of the town.

Marco’s was indeed a restaurant fit for his master. As they entered they were greeted by a violin trio playing a concerto that Mr. Fogg hummed to as they waited to be seated and as they were, Passepartout, in his best Italian, asked for two bowls of spaghetti and a choice of sauces and a mere twenty minutes later both men smiled as the freshly prepared meal arrived. Passepartout explained the sauces in front of them “Pesto is made from basil leaves with a little olive oil, this is carbonara, a creamy sauce with cheese and ham and this, this is the king of Italian sauces” and with that he poured the whole bowl of red sauce onto his meal and said “Bolognese sauce” and with that twirled some around his fork and ate it like a true Italian. However, just as Mr. Fogg was about to try a combination of the pesto and carbonara sauce, there was a loud cry from the other end of the restaurant.

The two men turned and saw a woman selling flowers protesting loudly in Italian to an absolute brute of a man who was holding a bunch of flowers high above her head. Mr. Fogg asked what the complaints were about and Passepartout summarized that the flowers were twenty lire for a bunch and that the sailor, part of the Italian navy, felt that as a conquering hero he should have the flowers for free. As they watched the argument, the sailor growled and then ripped the flowers to shreds causing the woman to burst into tears whilst the sailor laughed at her anguish and was joined in by some more sailors.

Without saying a word, Mr. Fogg picked up his hat and cane, and walked over to the sailors ignoring his manservant’s protests. He reached the sailors, put on his hat and coughed politely saying “Never fear” to the flower seller and touched her gently on the shoulder and then squared up to the sailor despite the sailor being three inches taller and absolutely laid into him.

“Now, look here my good sir” he said, poking a finger into the sailor’s muscular chest, “I am a visitor to your fair city and have been told that this restaurant serves the best spaghetti in Italy. I am trying to enjoy my lunch and will not have the likes of you…ruffians, interrupting it. Now, I am kindly asking you to pay the lady for the cost of the flowers and to allow me to carry on with my meal!”

The entire restaurant came to a grinding halt as everyone stared in disbelief. They knew that these weren’t just sailors, they were part of an elite team of sailors who were regularly called in whenever there was a crisis that required men of supreme strength. And here they were being challenged, if indeed that is what the person speaking English was doing, by a man who looked as if he had come straight out of a novel by Charles Dickens. So it was perhaps no surprise that the sailors laughed their heads off.

“As it is quite clear” continued Mr. Fogg, his eyes narrowing, “that you are unable to understand a polite request, perhaps we need to deal with this outside?” and with that gestured to the door. The sailors all nodded in understanding and started to go outside. Passepartout got up and ran to his master’s side and pleaded with him

“Monsieur” he said, “I am far stronger than you, please, let me deal with those ruffians!”

“Don’t worry” smiled Mr. Fogg, handing Passepartout his hat, “this won’t take long!” and with that stepped outside. As Passepartout looked at his master’s hat, he could already imagine the worst. His master killed, having to deliver the body back to London, attend the funeral service and comfort Mr. Fogg’s friend in the wheelchair and then find a new master to serve.

“Right then” said Mr. Fogg, as the sailors gathered around him, “Queensbury rules, which if I were an immodest person, I would state that I assisted with, I assume?”

Sadly, the sailors didn’t understand him as one of them launched a punch right at his face which caused Passepartout to close his eyes but instead of hearing the thump of a body hitting the ground, what he heard instead was a thwack. He opened his eyes to see that Mr. Fogg had used his cane to deliver a blow right to the stomach of one of the ruffians which caused him to groan in agony and then sink to the ground. Then as another of the ruffians launched at him, Mr. Fogg jumped into the air and the ruffian fell onto the ground and was dazed for moment.

“Right” said Mr. Fogg as he landed, “and who is next then?”

Next was by far the largest of them and as he charged at Mr. Fogg, the English gentleman hit the ruffian’s knee with such force that the ruffian screamed in agony and as he hopped, the Englishman delivered the coup de grace by clonking him on the head and as he fell on top of his fallen colleagues, he managed to knock them all out at once.

“Really” said Mr. Fogg as he stood up and dusted himself down, “the manners of some people these days! I have a good mind to report you to your superiors and have them give you a good dressing down.”

The flower seller ran out of the restaurant and hugged Mr. Fogg with all her worth and as Passepartout approached hat and bag in hand he could hear Mr. Fogg saying “It was nothing really, just standing up for all things decent, that’s all” despite all the flower seller’s calls for him to be nominated for the highest honours that Italy had to offer. As he watched Passepartout couldn’t believe it. His master had managed to defeat three men, bigger and stronger than him, without even throwing a single punch. He had known that if Mr. Fogg had allowed him to deal with them it would have taken at least an hour and he would have been badly injured but to deal with them all in just a matter of minutes. If Mr. Fogg wasn’t already held in high regard by his manservant, he certainly was now.

Trying to assure the woman that what he had done was something he would have done anyway, Mr. Fogg then announced, “Passepartout, could you hand me some lire please?”

Passepartout opened the bag and presented the notes to him. Carefully licking the corner, he took two notes and handed them to the lady saying “There, the cost of the flowers that bully ripped out plus a little extra for your trouble”.

The flower seller was now so overawed to be in the presence of a gentleman that she dropped the rest of her flowers and hugged the gentleman so tightly that anyone looking would have thought that they were husband and wife. Unable to do anything to prevent it, Mr. Fogg looked a little embarrassed at first but reassured by Passepartout that this was a traditional way of thanking people in Italy, he gently patted her on the back and said “That’s quite all right!”

Just then, the clocks in the square chimed two o’clock and Mr. Fogg, seeking Passepartout’s skills in Italian, gently pushed the young lady to one side and said “I am dreadfully sorry, but we do have to catch a boat to Egypt” and as he turned to leave, he took his hat from Passepartout, doffed it to the lady and walked off. The flower seller was having none of it and set off after him, praising him to the hilt in Italian to everyone that she met with Passepartout following behind.

They all arrived at the docks at a little after half past two and were informed that the steamship Mongolia that would take them to Egypt was due to sail at a quarter to five that afternoon and so after making their cabins ready, they invited the flower seller to have a meal with them to make up for the meal that was so rudely interrupted. After the meal the flower seller presented Mr. Fogg with a buttonhole for his jacket and as the ship sailed off towards Egypt she stood on the quayside waving and shouting “Arrivederci, Signor Fogg” to which Mr. Fogg responded with a simple doff of the hat.

As they stood at the stern of the boat, Passepartout sighed.

“I have been travelling with the circus for most of my life” he said, “and I have never been this far from home before” and with that he turned around to face the bow and quietly said “I miss London”

Mr. Fogg turned around and said “The greatest dangers are still ahead of us” and with that turned to his manservant and said something that raised Mr. Fogg’s position in the eyes of his manservant even higher than they were, “my friend” and just as Passepartout was recovering from that, Mr. Fogg closed his eyes and whispered “I miss London as well”.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by peter yates » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:24 pm

Harry if i did not know better, i would think you got Mr. Fogg's combat skills from me. ;) Story getting better and better.
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Re: The Dutiful Butler : Jules Verne meets Physical Culture

Post by Harry Hayfield » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:05 am

peter yates wrote:Harry if i did not know better, i would think you got Mr. Fogg's combat skills from me. ;) Story getting better and better.
Oh dear, I'm dreadfully sorry to say that's not where I got the idea from actually. No, I got the idea from a report that I found on the AFP news agency app on the Wii from 2009 which reported on a class for elederly people teaching them how to use their canes to defend themselves in case of attack

And as Phileas is a lot younger I saw no reason why he should "jump about like a bally grasshopper" (to quote from a character in a production I was once in) which will continue to be evidenced on numerous occasions leading to a reveal at the end that will make master and manservant completely inseperable.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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