Mr Fogg and his two companions took their places on a bench opposite the desks of the magistrate and his clerk. Immediately after, Judge Obadiah, a fat, round man, followed by the clerk, entered. He proceeded to take down a wig which was hanging on a nail, and put it hurriedly on his head.
`The first case,' said he; then, putting his hand to his head, he exclaimed, `Heh! This is not my wig!'
`No, your worship,' returned the clerk, `it is mine.'
`My dear Mr Oysterpuff, how can a judge give a wise sentence in a clerk's wig?'
The wigs were exchanged.
Passepartout was getting nervous, for the hands on the face of the big clock over the judge seemed to go round with terrible rapidity.
`The first case,' repeated Judge Obadiah.
`Phileas Fogg?' demanded Oysterpuff.
`I am here,' replied Mr Fogg.
`Present!' responded Passepartout.
`Good,' said the judge. `You have been looked for, prisoners, for two days on the trains from Bombay.'
`But of what are we accused?' asked Passepartout, impatiently.
`You are about to be informed.'
`I am an English subject, sir,' said Mr Fogg, `and I have the right--'
`Have you been ill-treated?'
`Not at all.'
`Very well; let the complainants come in.'
A door was swung open by order of the judge and three Indian priests entered.
`That's it,' muttered Passepartout; `these are the rogues who were going to burn our young lady.'
The priests took their places in front of the judge, and the clerk proceeded to read in a loud voice, a complaint of sacrilege against Phileas Fogg and his servant, who were accused of having violated a place held consecrated by the Brahmin religion.
`You hear the charge?' asked the judge.
`Yes, sir,' replied Mr Fogg, consulting his watch, and I admit it.'
`You admit it?'
`I admit it, and I wish to hear these priests admit, in their turn, what they were going to do at the pagoda of Pillaji.'
The priests looked at each other; they did not seem to understand what was said.
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