‘Good heavens, what a price for an elephant!’ cried Passepartout.

     A young man, with an intelligent face, offered his services as a guide, which Mr. Fogg accepted, promising so generous a reward as to greatly increased his zeal. The elephant was led out and equipped.
     The man, who was a skilled elephant driver, covered the elephant’s back with a sort of saddle-cloth, and attached to each of its sides some uncomfortable howdahs. Phileas Fogg paid the elephant owner with some banknotes which he extracted from the famous carpet-bag, an action that made poor Passepartout lose his breath.
     While Sir Francis and Mr. Fogg took the howdahs on either side, Passepartout got onto the saddle-cloth between them. The driver perched himself on the elephant’s neck, and at nine o’clock they set out from the village, the animal marching off through the dense forest of palms by the short cuts.
Passepartout was greatly surprised. He never expected Mr. Fogg to offer such a massive amount of two thousand pounds for an elephant. A young, intelligent man came forward to be their guide and drive the elephant till Allahabad. Fogg accepted his offer. He also promised the guide a huge reward. This offer increased the spirit of the elephant driver. The elephant was then taken out and equipped with essential things to make Mr. Fogg and his team seated on the elephant.
The guide was an expert in elephant driving. He made necessary arrangements on the elephant's body to make people seated. He covered the elephant’s back with the leather seat; and attached howdahs to each side of the elephant.
Howdah on an elephant
In this way, two people can sit on both sides of the elephant. Mr. Fogg took some banknotes from his travel bag and paid it to the elephant owner; Passepartout had lost his breath for a while when he saw Mr. Fogg giving banknotes for the driver.
When the seating arrangements got over, Sir Francis and Mr. Fogg took the howdahs on both sides and Passepartout occupied the middle place on the saddle-cloth between both. The elephant driver sat on the elephant's neck. Mr. Fogg and his team started their journey from Kholby at nine o’clock. Mr.Fogg and his team rode through the dense forest fastly through shortcuts.
Meaning of difficult words:
Great energy, enthusiasm or effort
A thing give for your hard work or anything that you have done 
To provide yourself or somebody/something with things that are needed for a purpose
Good at learning things logically, clearly and quickly
A person who shows the way to a place for other people
Willing to give and share much more than necessary
The ability to do something well
SaddleA seat that is made of leather
Carpet-bagA travel bag made of fabric that is used for making carpets
HowdahA seat for riding on the back of a camel or an elephant
PerchTo sit on a elevated place or near the edge of something
March off To drive somewhere fast
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-3 English Standard-7. A Journey by Train by Jules Verne (pp. 79-85). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.