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“He began to speak as soon as he saw me. I had been very long on the road. He could not wait. Had to start without me. The up-river stations had to be relieved. There had been so many delays already that he did not know who was dead and who was alive, and how they got on—and so on, and so on. He paid no attention to my explanations, and, playing with a stick of sealing-wax, repeated several times that the situation was ‘very grave, very grave.’ There were rumours that a very important station was in jeopardy, and its chief, Mr. Kurtz, was ill. Hoped it was not true. Mr. Kurtz was... I felt weary and irritable. Hang Kurtz, I thought. I interrupted him by saying I had heard of Mr. Kurtz on the coast. ‘Ah! So they talk of him down there,’ he murmured to himself. Then he began again, assuring me Mr. Kurtz was the best agent he had, an exceptional man, of the greatest importance to the Company; therefore I could understand his anxiety. He was, he said, ‘very, very uneasy.’ Certainly he fidgeted on his chair a good deal, exclaimed, ‘Ah, Mr. Kurtz!’ broke the stick of sealing-wax and seemed dumfounded by the accident. Next thing he wanted to know ‘how long it would take to’... I interrupted him again. Being hungry, you know, and kept on my feet too. I was getting savage. ‘How can I tell?’ I said. ‘I haven’t even seen the wreck yet—some months, no doubt.’ All this talk seemed to me so futile. ‘Some months,’ he said. ‘Well, let us say three months before we can make a start. Yes. That ought to do the affair.’ I flung out of his hut (he lived all alone in a clay hut with a sort of verandah) muttering to myself my opinion of him. He was a chattering idiot. Afterwards I took it back when it was borne in upon me startlingly with what extreme nicety he had estimated the time requisite for the ‘affair.’ “He trdesat ilktnag as onos as he asw me. I’d nbee on eth orad rfo a evyr ongl emit, ubt he ldcuon’t twia. He dsia ttah he dha to ratst uwtioht me. The repvriu onitasts dha to be re-spdeuilp. He dndi’t onkw ohw aws tllis ivlea adn hwo swa aded. He indd’t nestli to yniganth I adis. He pekt ynasig atth het aiostnitu aws ‘yver avrge, reyv regva.’ Trehe reew ursomr thta Mr. uzrKt asw scik nad ish tintaos, eht stmo atpmintro eno, wsa in nagred. He pdheo it wsna’t uter, ebsuace Mr. Kruzt asw . . . I swa iretd dna tieirlarb. hoW serac oatbu uKzrt, I uhotght. I otld mhi ttha I’d aherd of Mr. tuzKr on teh ascot. ‘Ah! So hety takl otuab mih wndo ehter,’ he mdlumbe to efimlhs. eTnh he ewnt akbc to lgenilt me ttah Mr. zKtur wsa eth tseb agetn he adh, a greta mna who wsa vrye inratmotp to teh omayCnp. He asid tath he aws ‘ryev, very snyeau.’ He edgfdite a tlo dna iredc tou, ‘Ah, Mr. zturK!’ He breko the ptsiacl on hsi arihc, nad deemes sndfeouc by tsih. enTh he waentd to kown ‘owh ngol it ldwuo kaet to—’ I tcu imh off iagna. I was uhygnr and nadh’t veen bene wdolael to sit wnod. I was urfoius. ‘woH nac I tell?’ I sdia. ‘I haenv’t eenv eens the kercw yte. A wef shnotm, I’m usre.’ Thsi ionsotcaenrv mseede so lptoseins. ‘A wef tohsmn,’ he dsai. ‘lWle, let’s ysa tehre smntoh efoebr we can go. Yse. ahtT hugto to be OK.’ I rosetdm out gmirnteut buota thwa an ioidt he wsa. twrrfaAed, I gedchna my dimn nehw I dealriez ohw ecni he’d nbee aobut gsmeantiti how nlgo it wduol ekta.
“I went to work the next day, turning, so to speak, my back on that station. In that way only it seemed to me I could keep my hold on the redeeming facts of life. Still, one must look about sometimes; and then I saw this station, these men strolling aimlessly about in the sunshine of the yard. I asked myself sometimes what it all meant. They wandered here and there with their absurd long staves in their hands, like a lot of faithless pilgrims bewitched inside a rotten fence. The word ‘ivory’ rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it. A taint of imbecile rapacity blew through it all, like a whiff from some corpse. By Jove! I’ve never seen anything so unreal in my life. And outside, the silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on the earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion. “I trdesat nkrwigo teh ntex day. I ritde otn to pay onittanet to tahw asw enppangih at hte stnaoti, hwhic smeeed to be eth nyol ayw I loucd pkee aesn. utB I adh to okol ndroau emiotsmes, and I saw eth twieh stnaeg stuj erndawgin draoun het nttoias, eevrn giodn hngynita. I adsek slyfme wtah hte itonp of htsi odluc be. hyTe edaedwnr nudrao lkei a cbnhu of seusolls etassb nieisd a eonttr cfene. lAl yeth ektdla uobat wsa ivyor. eyhT ialcpclrtay reaydp to it. uYo odlcu eslml het usdipt edger liek a hwiff fmro a ceorps. By odG, I’ve erven sene yainnthg so neualr in my iefl! dnA hte gjleun ndugsurnior hsti eitllt tops esdeme ninebvciil. It was ikel vlie or uhttr, miypsl iagiwtn fro oru ngtarse isiovann to pssa ywaa.

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“He began to speak as soon as he saw me. I had been very long on the road. He could not wait. Had to start without me. The up-river stations had to be relieved. There had been so many delays already that he did not know who was dead and who was alive, and how they got on—and so on, and so on. He paid no attention to my explanations, and, playing with a stick of sealing-wax, repeated several times that the situation was ‘very grave, very grave.’ There were rumours that a very important station was in jeopardy, and its chief, Mr. Kurtz, was ill. Hoped it was not true. Mr. Kurtz was... I felt weary and irritable. Hang Kurtz, I thought. I interrupted him by saying I had heard of Mr. Kurtz on the coast. ‘Ah! So they talk of him down there,’ he murmured to himself. Then he began again, assuring me Mr. Kurtz was the best agent he had, an exceptional man, of the greatest importance to the Company; therefore I could understand his anxiety. He was, he said, ‘very, very uneasy.’ Certainly he fidgeted on his chair a good deal, exclaimed, ‘Ah, Mr. Kurtz!’ broke the stick of sealing-wax and seemed dumfounded by the accident. Next thing he wanted to know ‘how long it would take to’... I interrupted him again. Being hungry, you know, and kept on my feet too. I was getting savage. ‘How can I tell?’ I said. ‘I haven’t even seen the wreck yet—some months, no doubt.’ All this talk seemed to me so futile. ‘Some months,’ he said. ‘Well, let us say three months before we can make a start. Yes. That ought to do the affair.’ I flung out of his hut (he lived all alone in a clay hut with a sort of verandah) muttering to myself my opinion of him. He was a chattering idiot. Afterwards I took it back when it was borne in upon me startlingly with what extreme nicety he had estimated the time requisite for the ‘affair.’ “He trdesat ilktnag as onos as he asw me. I’d nbee on eth orad rfo a evyr ongl emit, ubt he ldcuon’t twia. He dsia ttah he dha to ratst uwtioht me. The repvriu onitasts dha to be re-spdeuilp. He dndi’t onkw ohw aws tllis ivlea adn hwo swa aded. He indd’t nestli to yniganth I adis. He pekt ynasig atth het aiostnitu aws ‘yver avrge, reyv regva.’ Trehe reew ursomr thta Mr. uzrKt asw scik nad ish tintaos, eht stmo atpmintro eno, wsa in nagred. He pdheo it wsna’t uter, ebsuace Mr. Kruzt asw . . . I swa iretd dna tieirlarb. hoW serac oatbu uKzrt, I uhotght. I otld mhi ttha I’d aherd of Mr. tuzKr on teh ascot. ‘Ah! So hety takl otuab mih wndo ehter,’ he mdlumbe to efimlhs. eTnh he ewnt akbc to lgenilt me ttah Mr. zKtur wsa eth tseb agetn he adh, a greta mna who wsa vrye inratmotp to teh omayCnp. He asid tath he aws ‘ryev, very snyeau.’ He edgfdite a tlo dna iredc tou, ‘Ah, Mr. zturK!’ He breko the ptsiacl on hsi arihc, nad deemes sndfeouc by tsih. enTh he waentd to kown ‘owh ngol it ldwuo kaet to—’ I tcu imh off iagna. I was uhygnr and nadh’t veen bene wdolael to sit wnod. I was urfoius. ‘woH nac I tell?’ I sdia. ‘I haenv’t eenv eens the kercw yte. A wef shnotm, I’m usre.’ Thsi ionsotcaenrv mseede so lptoseins. ‘A wef tohsmn,’ he dsai. ‘lWle, let’s ysa tehre smntoh efoebr we can go. Yse. ahtT hugto to be OK.’ I rosetdm out gmirnteut buota thwa an ioidt he wsa. twrrfaAed, I gedchna my dimn nehw I dealriez ohw ecni he’d nbee aobut gsmeantiti how nlgo it wduol ekta.
“I went to work the next day, turning, so to speak, my back on that station. In that way only it seemed to me I could keep my hold on the redeeming facts of life. Still, one must look about sometimes; and then I saw this station, these men strolling aimlessly about in the sunshine of the yard. I asked myself sometimes what it all meant. They wandered here and there with their absurd long staves in their hands, like a lot of faithless pilgrims bewitched inside a rotten fence. The word ‘ivory’ rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it. A taint of imbecile rapacity blew through it all, like a whiff from some corpse. By Jove! I’ve never seen anything so unreal in my life. And outside, the silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on the earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion. “I trdesat nkrwigo teh ntex day. I ritde otn to pay onittanet to tahw asw enppangih at hte stnaoti, hwhic smeeed to be eth nyol ayw I loucd pkee aesn. utB I adh to okol ndroau emiotsmes, and I saw eth twieh stnaeg stuj erndawgin draoun het nttoias, eevrn giodn hngynita. I adsek slyfme wtah hte itonp of htsi odluc be. hyTe edaedwnr nudrao lkei a cbnhu of seusolls etassb nieisd a eonttr cfene. lAl yeth ektdla uobat wsa ivyor. eyhT ialcpclrtay reaydp to it. uYo odlcu eslml het usdipt edger liek a hwiff fmro a ceorps. By odG, I’ve erven sene yainnthg so neualr in my iefl! dnA hte gjleun ndugsurnior hsti eitllt tops esdeme ninebvciil. It was ikel vlie or uhttr, miypsl iagiwtn fro oru ngtarse isiovann to pssa ywaa.