Summary of Chapter 36: “In which Phileas Fogg’s name is once more at a premium on ‘Change”
The narrator backtracks to public opinion as it had followed Fogg’s journey around the world. The real bank robber, James Strand, was caught on December 17, and then, Fogg was once more known as a gentleman, and the betting on his success or failure resumed.
All news of Fogg, however, has been lost. Telegrams are sent to America and Asia to find his whereabouts. Would he appear on Saturday, the 21st of December? On Saturday evening crowds are around the Reform Club waiting to see. The five club members are present: John Sullivan, Samuel Fallentin, the bankers; Andrew Stuart, the engineer; Gauthier Ralph, Director of the Bank of England; and Thomas Flanagan, brewer. At twenty past eight, Stuart says they have twenty minutes to go. The last train from Liverpool came in at 7:23, and some declare Fogg has already lost, for he would have been here already.
Stuart declares his name was not on the list of passengers on the steamer from New York. Now the clock says twenty to nine. There is a countdown of the last five minutes. Just as the clock ticks off the last second, Fogg walks into the room.
Commentary on Chapter 36
The narration switches to the spectators waiting at the Club to increase suspense. They discuss the impossibility of Fogg’s success. No trace of him has been found. The readers think they know what has happened to Fogg, because in the last two chapters he had given up as losing the bet. He arrived in London on Saturday, past the deadline. Now we have backtracked to Saturday once more, and he is shown arriving exactly on time at the Reform Club and winning the bet. It will take one more chapter to clear up the mystery.