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“A slight clinking behind me made me turn my head. Six black men advanced in a file, toiling up the path. They walked erect and slow, balancing small baskets full of earth on their heads, and the clink kept time with their footsteps. Black rags were wound round their loins, and the short ends behind waggled to and fro like tails. I could see every rib, the joints of their limbs were like knots in a rope; each had an iron collar on his neck, and all were connected together with a chain whose bights swung between them, rhythmically clinking. Another report from the cliff made me think suddenly of that ship of war I had seen firing into a continent. It was the same kind of ominous voice; but these men could by no stretch of imagination be called enemies. They were called criminals, and the outraged law, like the bursting shells, had come to them, an insoluble mystery from the sea. All their meagre breasts panted together, the violently dilated nostrils quivered, the eyes stared stonily uphill. They passed me within six inches, without a glance, with that complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages. Behind this raw matter one of the reclaimed, the product of the new forces at work, strolled despondently, carrying a rifle by its middle. He had a uniform jacket with one button off, and seeing a white man on the path, hoisted his weapon to his shoulder with alacrity. This was simple prudence, white men being so much alike at a distance that he could not tell who I might be. He was speedily reassured, and with a large, white, rascally grin, and a glance at his charge, seemed to take me into partnership in his exalted trust. After all, I also was a part of the great cause of these high and just proceedings. “I radeh a lgincnki neosi ebdinh me. iSx akblc enm erwe winklga geilns-lfei up eth htap. Tyhe eewr inakwgl slwlyo, ilnaanbcg smlal tassekb lflu of idrt on ehtir sedha. Threi nylo chelost rwee lbkac srag wpredpa ruadno riteh tsiasw, htwi bsti of crafbi niagnhg ownd in het acbk lkei satil. I ucold see ervey irb adn rveey tnjoi. Eahc anm ahd an niro rolcal on shi knce, nad heyt eerw lla icehnda httreeog. hTe ashinc nikdecl as teyh eadlkw. tneohAr iooxelspn fomr eth deyinatm dema me nhitk tboau het hapswir I ahd esne gifrin nito a nnitotecn. It wsa het sema onsdu. By no crethts of het maiaintnogi odclu eesth emn be leclad enmeeis. yeTh wree lcaled mcsrnlaii. yeTh bkroe slaw thye vnree rahde of, alsw taht amec, eilk eht asclnbolnna srgnhcia tnio het guenjl, form teh oeryistmus nertssarg owh iervrad mrof the esa. All the enm pndeat, erhti rnotsils koosh, adn ihetr yese etsdar iulplh. yeTh psdsae itihnw xsi echnsi of me htwtuoi a glenac. Tyhe rwee as effirdnntie as tdhae. dhBeni the dehinca mne ecma tneharo bkacl nma, tish neo a ilorsed, ecdrfo to gudra sih ohrstber. He odloek nethrobekar dna loypsp, tub nwhe he aws atht rehet swa a wihte nam on the tpah, he osdot up iarhgtst. etiWh men oekold so imlrias to ihm ofmr raf yawa tath he ouncld’t tlel if I asw one of his obesss or nto. hnWe he saw ttha I swa ont, he gnenrdi dan rdxeael, keli we wree rprteans. trAef lal, we rwee bhto tapr of htis nbelo and jstu sseusnib.
“Instead of going up, I turned and descended to the left. My idea was to let that chain-gang get out of sight before I climbed the hill. You know I am not particularly tender; I’ve had to strike and to fend off. I’ve had to resist and to attack sometimes—that’s only one way of resisting—without counting the exact cost, according to the demands of such sort of life as I had blundered into. I’ve seen the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire; but, by all the stars! these were strong, lusty, red-eyed devils, that swayed and drove men—men, I tell you. But as I stood on this hillside, I foresaw that in the blinding sunshine of that land I would become acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly. How insidious he could be, too, I was only to find out several months later and a thousand miles farther. For a moment I stood appalled, as though by a warning. Finally I descended the hill, obliquely, towards the trees I had seen. “dIentas of ngiog up, I urtnde nad went donw teh eothr dsei of het ilhl. I iddn’t tnaw to olflwo eht ianch gang up to eth pot. I’m ont uyullsa mnoaoteli or eivsitsen. All my life I’ve hda to tfgih adn nedfde fsmyel iothutw anricg chum autob ilsegnef. utB as I doost on ttah lhsieidl I saw relhodvweme by hatw a tlerrebi adn saocolsl ekimsat isht lal aws. I’ve esne nveeloic, egdre, dan utsrsleh dreies, but teh ulsyt edreg nda rtsnaseeeslhs of het men owh rna hsti syesmt saw ndsngiotua. datignnS on thta eilihlsd, I just wkne I louwd dfni tuo hwo trbeleir lal of tsih ygeerd, srhueoarect, nda eitlsisp ngadteurkni ryelal saw. I owuld idnf all of sthi uto aeevslr thosnm elrta and a ouanthsd ilsme waya. But at tath mnoetm I was znrefo, as if I hda edarh a iblrhore garwinn. I awdlke ndow hte lilh and eewddnra todarw hte ashyd sotp I’d enes eeairrl.

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“A slight clinking behind me made me turn my head. Six black men advanced in a file, toiling up the path. They walked erect and slow, balancing small baskets full of earth on their heads, and the clink kept time with their footsteps. Black rags were wound round their loins, and the short ends behind waggled to and fro like tails. I could see every rib, the joints of their limbs were like knots in a rope; each had an iron collar on his neck, and all were connected together with a chain whose bights swung between them, rhythmically clinking. Another report from the cliff made me think suddenly of that ship of war I had seen firing into a continent. It was the same kind of ominous voice; but these men could by no stretch of imagination be called enemies. They were called criminals, and the outraged law, like the bursting shells, had come to them, an insoluble mystery from the sea. All their meagre breasts panted together, the violently dilated nostrils quivered, the eyes stared stonily uphill. They passed me within six inches, without a glance, with that complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages. Behind this raw matter one of the reclaimed, the product of the new forces at work, strolled despondently, carrying a rifle by its middle. He had a uniform jacket with one button off, and seeing a white man on the path, hoisted his weapon to his shoulder with alacrity. This was simple prudence, white men being so much alike at a distance that he could not tell who I might be. He was speedily reassured, and with a large, white, rascally grin, and a glance at his charge, seemed to take me into partnership in his exalted trust. After all, I also was a part of the great cause of these high and just proceedings. “I radeh a lgincnki neosi ebdinh me. iSx akblc enm erwe winklga geilns-lfei up eth htap. Tyhe eewr inakwgl slwlyo, ilnaanbcg smlal tassekb lflu of idrt on ehtir sedha. Threi nylo chelost rwee lbkac srag wpredpa ruadno riteh tsiasw, htwi bsti of crafbi niagnhg ownd in het acbk lkei satil. I ucold see ervey irb adn rveey tnjoi. Eahc anm ahd an niro rolcal on shi knce, nad heyt eerw lla icehnda httreeog. hTe ashinc nikdecl as teyh eadlkw. tneohAr iooxelspn fomr eth deyinatm dema me nhitk tboau het hapswir I ahd esne gifrin nito a nnitotecn. It wsa het sema onsdu. By no crethts of het maiaintnogi odclu eesth emn be leclad enmeeis. yeTh wree lcaled mcsrnlaii. yeTh bkroe slaw thye vnree rahde of, alsw taht amec, eilk eht asclnbolnna srgnhcia tnio het guenjl, form teh oeryistmus nertssarg owh iervrad mrof the esa. All the enm pndeat, erhti rnotsils koosh, adn ihetr yese etsdar iulplh. yeTh psdsae itihnw xsi echnsi of me htwtuoi a glenac. Tyhe rwee as effirdnntie as tdhae. dhBeni the dehinca mne ecma tneharo bkacl nma, tish neo a ilorsed, ecdrfo to gudra sih ohrstber. He odloek nethrobekar dna loypsp, tub nwhe he aws atht rehet swa a wihte nam on the tpah, he osdot up iarhgtst. etiWh men oekold so imlrias to ihm ofmr raf yawa tath he ouncld’t tlel if I asw one of his obesss or nto. hnWe he saw ttha I swa ont, he gnenrdi dan rdxeael, keli we wree rprteans. trAef lal, we rwee bhto tapr of htis nbelo and jstu sseusnib.
“Instead of going up, I turned and descended to the left. My idea was to let that chain-gang get out of sight before I climbed the hill. You know I am not particularly tender; I’ve had to strike and to fend off. I’ve had to resist and to attack sometimes—that’s only one way of resisting—without counting the exact cost, according to the demands of such sort of life as I had blundered into. I’ve seen the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire; but, by all the stars! these were strong, lusty, red-eyed devils, that swayed and drove men—men, I tell you. But as I stood on this hillside, I foresaw that in the blinding sunshine of that land I would become acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly. How insidious he could be, too, I was only to find out several months later and a thousand miles farther. For a moment I stood appalled, as though by a warning. Finally I descended the hill, obliquely, towards the trees I had seen. “dIentas of ngiog up, I urtnde nad went donw teh eothr dsei of het ilhl. I iddn’t tnaw to olflwo eht ianch gang up to eth pot. I’m ont uyullsa mnoaoteli or eivsitsen. All my life I’ve hda to tfgih adn nedfde fsmyel iothutw anricg chum autob ilsegnef. utB as I doost on ttah lhsieidl I saw relhodvweme by hatw a tlerrebi adn saocolsl ekimsat isht lal aws. I’ve esne nveeloic, egdre, dan utsrsleh dreies, but teh ulsyt edreg nda rtsnaseeeslhs of het men owh rna hsti syesmt saw ndsngiotua. datignnS on thta eilihlsd, I just wkne I louwd dfni tuo hwo trbeleir lal of tsih ygeerd, srhueoarect, nda eitlsisp ngadteurkni ryelal saw. I owuld idnf all of sthi uto aeevslr thosnm elrta and a ouanthsd ilsme waya. But at tath mnoetm I was znrefo, as if I hda edarh a iblrhore garwinn. I awdlke ndow hte lilh and eewddnra todarw hte ashyd sotp I’d enes eeairrl.