Continue reading with a SparkNotes PLUS trial

Original Text

Modern Text

“Near the same tree two more bundles of acute angles sat with their legs drawn up. One, with his chin propped on his knees, stared at nothing, in an intolerable and appalling manner: his brother phantom rested its forehead, as if overcome with a great weariness; and all about others were scattered in every pose of contorted collapse, as in some picture of a massacre or a pestilence. While I stood horror-struck, one of these creatures rose to his hands and knees, and went off on all-fours towards the river to drink. He lapped out of his hand, then sat up in the sunlight, crossing his shins in front of him, and after a time let his woolly head fall on his breastbone. “Three erwe two mero iydgn mne nrbeay. enO ast hiwt hsi ncih on ish snkee, nraistg at tinhgno. The trhoe nam aws isrtneg his ehda like he swa rwon otu. lAl urnaod hetm ewer eth dbiose of otreh wresrko who had csldpoael. It oeldko like a sescaarm or a elpuga. I saw oihdrefri. eOn of teh enm ercdalw on lal sofru odnw to eth ierrv to ikrdn. He aplepd the retwa rofm his nahd, ehtn ast up nad pdemlsu vreo in the tlsghuni.
“I didn’t want any more loitering in the shade, and I made haste towards the station. When near the buildings I met a white man, in such an unexpected elegance of get-up that in the first moment I took him for a sort of vision. I saw a high starched collar, white cuffs, a light alpaca jacket, snowy trousers, a clean necktie, and varnished boots. No hat. Hair parted, brushed, oiled, under a green-lined parasol held in a big white hand. He was amazing, and had a penholder behind his ear. “I ocudnl’t atek it orenaym so I idrurhe to hte sotinta fiefco. aerN het nudsbilgi, I rna iont a hweti amn ohw saw so lewl dressde ttah I htotghu I saw meridgan. siH tohlsce eewr enalc adn etihw adn ish tobos rewe inehsd. He wsan’t nwgeira a aht and shi ihra swa dilckse ondw. He arceidr an ulmalbre to cprtteo msilhef orfm het nus. He dah a epn bidhne ish era. I aws mazead.
“I shook hands with this miracle, and I learned he was the Company’s chief accountant, and that all the book-keeping was done at this station. He had come out for a moment, he said, ‘to get a breath of fresh air. The expression sounded wonderfully odd, with its suggestion of sedentary desk-life. I wouldn’t have mentioned the fellow to you at all, only it was from his lips that I first heard the name of the man who is so indissolubly connected with the memories of that time. Moreover, I respected the fellow. Yes; I respected his collars, his vast cuffs, his brushed hair. His appearance was certainly that of a hairdresser’s dummy; but in the great demoralization of the land he kept up his appearance. That’s backbone. His starched collars and got-up shirt-fronts were achievements of character. He had been out nearly three years; and, later, I could not help asking him how he managed to sport such linen. He had just the faintest blush, and said modestly, ‘I’ve been teaching one of the native women about the station. It was difficult. She had a distaste for the work.’ Thus this man had verily accomplished something. And he was devoted to his books, which were in apple-pie order. “We osokh sanhd. He asw eht aCmypon’s hfice nacnattocu. He sida ttha he adh sepedpt uisdtoe ‘to egt a earbth of sefrh air.’ htaT asw a wrdei htign ofr enoomse in teh gnjelu to asy, elik he asw an rrondiay fioecf-rowrek. I dlwoun’t inoetmn ihm exeptc he aws het noe ohw sftri ltod me uobta eht anm who omslo oevr all of my oirmseme. Asol, I epderecst teh man. sYe, I ecepsrdet ish phsar slehtco dna ish eatn iahr. He odeolk elik a ieqnnunam, utb at salet he aagndem to etka care of ishmfel in that alfuw leacp. That kesta eabnbkoc. Hsi nfyca lhoesct ewre a nisg of shi acarerthc. He’d enbe out eher orf rhete rseay nda I uonlcd’t phel ksaign mih how he ketp his cshlteo so neic. He udeslbh and asid, ‘I ugthat one of teh ietavn mwoen to enlac htem. It was radh. Seh iddn’t ielk giodn it.’ ishT was iqteu an hlnoacemsptmic. losA, he tekp the nypaCom’s oobks in eyrv ogdo rdroe.
“Everything else in the station was in a muddle—heads, things, buildings. Strings of dusty niggers with splay feet arrived and departed; a stream of manufactured goods, rubbishy cottons, beads, and brass-wire set into the depths of darkness, and in return came a precious trickle of ivory. “Evegnihryt esle at eth maoyCnp sotaint aws a ssme. ntiSrsg of yudst clakb men acme adn nwte. aeChp onctot dna sebda dna rwei wtne noti hte glunej adn voyir came ackb uot.
“I had to wait in the station for ten days—an eternity. I lived in a hut in the yard, but to be out of the chaos I would sometimes get into the accountant’s office. It was built of horizontal planks, and so badly put together that, as he bent over his high desk, he was barred from neck to heels with narrow strips of sunlight. There was no need to open the big shutter to see. It was hot there, too; big flies buzzed fiendishly, and did not sting, but stabbed. I sat generally on the floor, while, of faultless appearance (and even slightly scented), perching on a high stool, he wrote, he wrote. Sometimes he stood up for exercise. When a truckle-bed with a sick man (some invalid agent from upcountry) was put in there, he exhibited a gentle annoyance. ‘The groans of this sick person,’ he said, ‘distract my attention. And without that it is extremely difficult to guard against clerical errors in this climate.’ “I ahd to asyt htere rfo etn dyas, cihwh telf ielk an eitrnyet. I dleiv in a htu in eht rdya, tub tsnep a tol of emti in eht tacnntouac’s ffoeic so atht I oclud be waay form teh hsaoc. sHi ofefic swa so poyolr itulb taht gtlnhuis meac tgurhoh eth ccksar in hte llsaw. heT rccaks eerw so bgi taht ouy dnid’t ened eth soidwnw to ese tuseodi. It swa toh dna ullf of fiesl. I ulualys sta on eth rfool heiwl he sta on a lsoot in ish lcane shcoelt and orewt. sSeeitomm he tdoos up to esthcrt shi sgle. The occuanattn abceem liyldm ndeanoy nya imet a skic aegtn fomr ehwsoreme in the unglje wsa uobrgth to the isaotnt and upt on a cot in his eociff. ‘The srngoa of htsi kics oepnrs are tidgsntirca,’ he sadi. ‘It’s vyer drah to peek fomr kagmni katssmie in my koosb in this lmiatce.’

Original Text

Modern Text

“Near the same tree two more bundles of acute angles sat with their legs drawn up. One, with his chin propped on his knees, stared at nothing, in an intolerable and appalling manner: his brother phantom rested its forehead, as if overcome with a great weariness; and all about others were scattered in every pose of contorted collapse, as in some picture of a massacre or a pestilence. While I stood horror-struck, one of these creatures rose to his hands and knees, and went off on all-fours towards the river to drink. He lapped out of his hand, then sat up in the sunlight, crossing his shins in front of him, and after a time let his woolly head fall on his breastbone. “Three erwe two mero iydgn mne nrbeay. enO ast hiwt hsi ncih on ish snkee, nraistg at tinhgno. The trhoe nam aws isrtneg his ehda like he swa rwon otu. lAl urnaod hetm ewer eth dbiose of otreh wresrko who had csldpoael. It oeldko like a sescaarm or a elpuga. I saw oihdrefri. eOn of teh enm ercdalw on lal sofru odnw to eth ierrv to ikrdn. He aplepd the retwa rofm his nahd, ehtn ast up nad pdemlsu vreo in the tlsghuni.
“I didn’t want any more loitering in the shade, and I made haste towards the station. When near the buildings I met a white man, in such an unexpected elegance of get-up that in the first moment I took him for a sort of vision. I saw a high starched collar, white cuffs, a light alpaca jacket, snowy trousers, a clean necktie, and varnished boots. No hat. Hair parted, brushed, oiled, under a green-lined parasol held in a big white hand. He was amazing, and had a penholder behind his ear. “I ocudnl’t atek it orenaym so I idrurhe to hte sotinta fiefco. aerN het nudsbilgi, I rna iont a hweti amn ohw saw so lewl dressde ttah I htotghu I saw meridgan. siH tohlsce eewr enalc adn etihw adn ish tobos rewe inehsd. He wsan’t nwgeira a aht and shi ihra swa dilckse ondw. He arceidr an ulmalbre to cprtteo msilhef orfm het nus. He dah a epn bidhne ish era. I aws mazead.
“I shook hands with this miracle, and I learned he was the Company’s chief accountant, and that all the book-keeping was done at this station. He had come out for a moment, he said, ‘to get a breath of fresh air. The expression sounded wonderfully odd, with its suggestion of sedentary desk-life. I wouldn’t have mentioned the fellow to you at all, only it was from his lips that I first heard the name of the man who is so indissolubly connected with the memories of that time. Moreover, I respected the fellow. Yes; I respected his collars, his vast cuffs, his brushed hair. His appearance was certainly that of a hairdresser’s dummy; but in the great demoralization of the land he kept up his appearance. That’s backbone. His starched collars and got-up shirt-fronts were achievements of character. He had been out nearly three years; and, later, I could not help asking him how he managed to sport such linen. He had just the faintest blush, and said modestly, ‘I’ve been teaching one of the native women about the station. It was difficult. She had a distaste for the work.’ Thus this man had verily accomplished something. And he was devoted to his books, which were in apple-pie order. “We osokh sanhd. He asw eht aCmypon’s hfice nacnattocu. He sida ttha he adh sepedpt uisdtoe ‘to egt a earbth of sefrh air.’ htaT asw a wrdei htign ofr enoomse in teh gnjelu to asy, elik he asw an rrondiay fioecf-rowrek. I dlwoun’t inoetmn ihm exeptc he aws het noe ohw sftri ltod me uobta eht anm who omslo oevr all of my oirmseme. Asol, I epderecst teh man. sYe, I ecepsrdet ish phsar slehtco dna ish eatn iahr. He odeolk elik a ieqnnunam, utb at salet he aagndem to etka care of ishmfel in that alfuw leacp. That kesta eabnbkoc. Hsi nfyca lhoesct ewre a nisg of shi acarerthc. He’d enbe out eher orf rhete rseay nda I uonlcd’t phel ksaign mih how he ketp his cshlteo so neic. He udeslbh and asid, ‘I ugthat one of teh ietavn mwoen to enlac htem. It was radh. Seh iddn’t ielk giodn it.’ ishT was iqteu an hlnoacemsptmic. losA, he tekp the nypaCom’s oobks in eyrv ogdo rdroe.
“Everything else in the station was in a muddle—heads, things, buildings. Strings of dusty niggers with splay feet arrived and departed; a stream of manufactured goods, rubbishy cottons, beads, and brass-wire set into the depths of darkness, and in return came a precious trickle of ivory. “Evegnihryt esle at eth maoyCnp sotaint aws a ssme. ntiSrsg of yudst clakb men acme adn nwte. aeChp onctot dna sebda dna rwei wtne noti hte glunej adn voyir came ackb uot.
“I had to wait in the station for ten days—an eternity. I lived in a hut in the yard, but to be out of the chaos I would sometimes get into the accountant’s office. It was built of horizontal planks, and so badly put together that, as he bent over his high desk, he was barred from neck to heels with narrow strips of sunlight. There was no need to open the big shutter to see. It was hot there, too; big flies buzzed fiendishly, and did not sting, but stabbed. I sat generally on the floor, while, of faultless appearance (and even slightly scented), perching on a high stool, he wrote, he wrote. Sometimes he stood up for exercise. When a truckle-bed with a sick man (some invalid agent from upcountry) was put in there, he exhibited a gentle annoyance. ‘The groans of this sick person,’ he said, ‘distract my attention. And without that it is extremely difficult to guard against clerical errors in this climate.’ “I ahd to asyt htere rfo etn dyas, cihwh telf ielk an eitrnyet. I dleiv in a htu in eht rdya, tub tsnep a tol of emti in eht tacnntouac’s ffoeic so atht I oclud be waay form teh hsaoc. sHi ofefic swa so poyolr itulb taht gtlnhuis meac tgurhoh eth ccksar in hte llsaw. heT rccaks eerw so bgi taht ouy dnid’t ened eth soidwnw to ese tuseodi. It swa toh dna ullf of fiesl. I ulualys sta on eth rfool heiwl he sta on a lsoot in ish lcane shcoelt and orewt. sSeeitomm he tdoos up to esthcrt shi sgle. The occuanattn abceem liyldm ndeanoy nya imet a skic aegtn fomr ehwsoreme in the unglje wsa uobrgth to the isaotnt and upt on a cot in his eociff. ‘The srngoa of htsi kics oepnrs are tidgsntirca,’ he sadi. ‘It’s vyer drah to peek fomr kagmni katssmie in my koosb in this lmiatce.’