Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
Phileas Fogg was now twenty hours behind time and Passepartout was desperate. Fix then comes to Fogg with the suggestion that they travel to Omaha on a sledge with sails. Fogg meets the American named Mudge, who had suggested this innovation. Fogg inspects the somewhat strange vehicle and agrees to travel in this sledge. Aouda is asked to stay with Passepartout but she refuses and wants to travel along with Fogg. Thus the entire group-Fogg, Passepartout, Aouda and of course the Captain of the sledge-Mudge, travel together to Omaha station. They manage to traverse the two hundred miles in the extreme cold and reach Omaha. Fogg pays Mudge liberally. They take a train from Omaha to Chicago and another from Chicago to New York. But on reaching New York they find out that the ship bound for Liverpool has already left.
In this chapter, Fix the supposed adversary actually helps Fogg. At the starting of the chapter, Fogg is running extremely late and has no means of moving from Omaha station. It is then that Fix comes up with a suggestion that they travel on a sledge to Omaha Station. An American had previously approached Fix with the idea of travelling on a sledge with sails. Fix introduces this American named Mudge to Fogg and Fogg inspects the vehicle before deciding whether he would be able to travel on it. We can see that this is one man, who will not take decisions hastily. There will always be an adequate thought process and sensible decision-making involved.
It is these qualities, which make him the undoubted hero of this novel. Fogg comes to terms with the skipper of the land craft and agrees to use this unique method of travel. Being the gentleman that he is he does not wish to expose Aouda to the harsh weather and asks her to stay back at the station with Passepartout. But she refuses and insists on traveling with him.
We can see that this pair is ‘meant to be’ and that their feelings for each other are growing every day.
Verne needs to be complimented once again for his unflagging pace in the narrative. In the previous chapter, travelers were being rescued from the Sioux and in this one the voyagers travel in a strange craft-a sledge with sails!
The journey on a sledge is unique and a ‘speechless’ one. The passengers feel too cold to be able to talk. Fogg makes only one comment, an interesting one at that. We see that he has knowledge of music too. They reach Omaha Station and from here, travel is no problem. The station is well connected to Chicago, which in turn is well connected to New York.
Verne makes his narrative interesting by varying the pace at different occasions. The journey from Omaha to New York is completed in a few paragraphs. A disappointment awaits Fogg at New York-the ship that he was to board for Liverpool-has already left.