Passepartout first met Detective Fix quite by accident. The date was Wednesday, the 9th of October, and Fix was in Suez, awaiting the arrival of the steamer Mongolia. Fix was "one of the detectives who had been despatched from England in search of (a) bank robber; it was his task to narrowly watch every passenger who arrived at Suez, and to follow up all who seemed to be suspicious". The object of his search was Mr. Phileas Fogg, whom authorities believed was responsible for the mysterious theft of fifty-five thousand pounds which "had been taken from the principal cashier's table" at the Bank of England in London.
When the Mongolia arrived and Fix was doing his job "carefully (examining) each face and figure which made its appearance" after disembarking the vessel, he was approached by one of the passengers. This passenger, who happened to be Passepartout, politely asked Fix "if he could point out the English consulate, at the same time showing him a passport which he wished to have visad". Fix was stunned to notice that "the description in the passport was identical with that of the bank robber" for whom he was searching. Upon questioning, Passepartout revealed that the passport belonged to his master, who had stayed on board the ship. Fix showed Passepartout the location of the consulate, but told him that his master would have to go to the consul's in person "so as to establish his identity". Passepartout then returned to the ship to fetch his master, not realizing that he had just placed his master in a dangerous situation (Chapter 3 and 6).