"What day is it, Passepartout?"
My fatigue was catching up with me. For days, I had been fuelled only by my fear for Monsieur Fogg's life and the distant hope of a timely rescue. While I was thankful his violent shivers had subsided, it stung that when he finally spoke it was of his single-minded devotion to the wager.
"The forty-second day," I reported, trying to keep the disappointment from my voice. "The Captain has assured me that we will reach the Ellice Islands within two days."
He nodded, satisfied that we had not wasted more time than necessary nearly losing our lives at sea.
I could not tell whether my master's swift return to normalcy was due to his Foggish aplomb or because he could not recall his own feverish actions. The gentle touch of his trembling hand to my face was still vivid to me. His frail voice rasping words I had longed for.
"Monsieur," I inquired. "Do you recall the day before our rescue?"
He hesitated. "I became quite delirious and…" My true question was answered in short order as a faint blush crept up my master's pallid cheeks." I'd appreciate it if you could forget anything I said when I was not entirely myself."
He had not denied his words, I noted with elation. Monsieur Fogg was a man of gentlemanly pride but I could forgo my own in an instant if it meant I could ever hear those words again.
"Monsieur, I will banish this memory if that is what you truly wish." I swallowed. "But if it pleases you, I would prefer not to."
Monsieur Fogg's face twitched in what I believed to be surprise. After a moment, he cleared his throat once again.
"Perhaps then," he said quietly, "we may share this memory."