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.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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