At the Carlton, Paladin is introduced to Phineas Fogg. Fogg says that the English consulate recommended Paladin's services and he needs to reach Reno by the next night to take a train to New York City. The Englishman is accompanied by his servant Passepartout, and an American is watching from a nearby doorway. Passepartout explains that the man is Colonel Proctor and trying to challenge Fogg to a duel, preventing him from making his train. Fogg explains that he took offense about Proctor's insults about England, and Proctor challenged him to a duel. Paladin notes that that Fogg is carrying a carpet bag full of money and Proctor may be interested in that, and accepts Fogg's job. Fogg lays out his schedule for the next 40 minutes and complains that Paladin's watch is fast. They exchange cards and once Fogg leaves, Passepartout explains that his master made a bet that he could travel around the world in 80 days. The servant says that Fogg is an excellent master but quite mad, and walks off.
Later, Paladin and Passepartout wait for Fogg at the livery stable. He arrives with Princess Aouda, a Hindu woman that Fogg rescued from her husband's funeral pyre. Paladin objects to a woman's presence, and she agrees that the trip is no place for a weak woman. However, Aouda says that she's not a weak woman and goes with Fogg. They mount up and Aouda rides off. They head to Reno and Paladin wonders what other secrets her country may have.
The group makes camp and Paladin picks a flower and shows it to Aouda, saying that it's the only one of its kind like Aouda. He offers to put it in her hair, and she says while glancing at Fogg that among her people it would signify that she's betrothed to someone. Fogg comes over and sniffs the flower, and then puts it in his own lapel.
Continuing on, Fogg orders Passepartout to stop and make tea promptly at 4 o'clock. Passepartout admits that he forgot to buy tea, and Fogg sees a group of mean nearby and tells the servant to go over and get tea. When Paladin warns that they probably don't have tea and won't offer it if they did, Fogg insists on walking over. Proctor is with them and says that Fogg owes him a duel. Fogg isn't interested in dueling with a man without honor or breeding. Two of Proctor's men come at him, and Fogg fends them off with a branch. Aouda asks Paladin to intervene, and he finally rides over and tackles the men. When Proctor goes for his gun, Paladin draws first and Proctor puts up his hands. Paladin helps Fogg atop his horse and takes him back to the others. Aouda notes that they would be helpless with Paladin, and Fogg points out that he's paying Paladin for exactly that. The princess suggests that she might be happier staying in America than going to an England filled with dispassionate Englishmen.
The group stops and Paladin checks that they're ahead of schedule. Proctor and his men are following them, and Paladin suggests that they take cover and hide. Fogg is offended at the offense to his sportsmanship, and says that Aouda comes from a race of people that fought out in the open. When Paladin points out that the Americans defeated the British at Yorktown, Fogg insists that if he had been in charge the English would have won. Paladin says that he's going on his way and tells Fogg to follow him if he wishes to get to Reno on time. After a moment, Fogg follow him and the others follow him.
The party comes to a swift river with a ferry line going across, and Fogg complains that his map doesn't show the river as deep as it is. Fogg insists and tells Passepartout to go across, and Paladin goes in and pulls him back before he's swept away. His master tells him to find the ferry, and once Passepartout leaves Fogg insists on staying there so Passepartout can find them. Aouda says that it's madness to wait there out in the open until Proctor and his men arrive, and a disgusted Paladin leads Aouda off while Passepartout follows the line across the water.
Once they're alone, Aouda says that she's afraid of going to England. They talk about English poets' opinion of England, and Paladin concedes that Fogg would probably challenge him to a duel of a death if he saw them together.
Proctor and his men sneak up on Fogg and Proctor insists that they have their duel. When one of the men tries to cut the ferry line, Paladin knocks him into the river and draws on the other men. Meanwhile, Proctor and Fogg square off and Proctor shoots Fogg in the shoulder before he can count to 3. When he moves in to shoot Fogg dead, Paladin shoots him dead. Passepartout is crossing back in the river and it's swept away by the current, and Paladin swims out to pull it to shore. Aouda helps the wounded Fogg to shore, and he's undeterred by his injury. She walks away, furious, and Fogg asks Paladin to take her back to San Francisco and the company she prefers to his.
Paladin tends to Fogg's wound and confirms that the river flows into River. Aouda calls Paladin over and says that she can say the words to Fogg. She asks him to ask Fogg if he would have her as his wife. Fogg, listening, agrees and offers her hand to him, and she takes it and gets into the boat with him. An exasperated Paladin shoves the three travelers off and they head for Reno.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 20, 2019