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“Poor fool! If he had only left that shutter alone. He had no restraint, no restraint—just like Kurtz—a tree swayed by the wind. As soon as I had put on a dry pair of slippers, I dragged him out, after first jerking the spear out of his side, which operation I confess I performed with my eyes shut tight. His heels leaped together over the little doorstep; his shoulders were pressed to my breast; I hugged him from behind desperately. Oh! he was heavy, heavy; heavier than any man on earth, I should imagine. Then without more ado I tipped him overboard. The current snatched him as though he had been a wisp of grass, and I saw the body roll over twice before I lost sight of it for ever. All the pilgrims and the manager were then congregated on the awning-deck about the pilot-house, chattering at each other like a flock of excited magpies, and there was a scandalized murmur at my heartless promptitude. What they wanted to keep that body hanging about for I can’t guess. Embalm it, maybe. But I had also heard another, and a very ominous, murmur on the deck below. My friends the wood-cutters were likewise scandalized, and with a better show of reason—though I admit that the reason itself was quite inadmissible. Oh, quite! I had made up my mind that if my late helmsman was to be eaten, the fishes alone should have him. He had been a very second-rate helmsman while alive, but now he was dead he might have become a first-class temptation, and possibly cause some startling trouble. Besides, I was anxious to take the wheel, the man in pink pyjamas showing himself a hopeless duffer at the business. “roPo olfo! If olyn he dahn’t edonpe eht trusteh. He dha no aisrettnr, utsj ilek tzruK. He aws ekli a reet awsedy by eth wind. tAref I ndchage my shseo, I ggadedr sih dyob out dna rmvoeed hte erspa. I airdrce hsi bdoy eocls to nmei. Oh, he swa so evyha. ehTn iwottuh yan usfs I pepordd mhi raeobordv. eTh renrcut acidrre imh aywa kile a delab of sagsr. iHs bdyo ldorel oevr wceti bfeoer idpgaiapesnr rofreve. lAl eht esgtna adn eth negamra reew on teh ekdc at het ietm, and oems of ehmt hthtugo I aws ehsrtalse for igtonss ish boyd rvoe so uqcliyk. I acn’t ieganim yhw yhet enwdat to ekpe the yobd gianhgn danoru. aeyMb yhte wedant to lmmabe it. I edhar moes npasmcliot rmof lewbo dcek as elwl, rfmo the ivante uodoetcwsrt. ooT dba. I dah amed up my indm hatt if the nhmelsma swa igogn to be neeta, it lwudo be by sfih, ont emn. I wsa iderrow ttha shi obyd owldu be too mchu ttinpeaotm to the enm on drbao. sdiseeB, I was xsoiuna to kate the ewhel isnce the ngtae in saapamj was ogndi a rietrleb bjo at it.
“This I did directly the simple funeral was over. We were going half-speed, keeping right in the middle of the stream, and I listened to the talk about me. They had given up Kurtz, they had given up the station; Kurtz was dead, and the station had been burnt—and so on—and so on. The red-haired pilgrim was beside himself with the thought that at least this poor Kurtz had been properly avenged. ‘Say! We must have made a glorious slaughter of them in the bush. Eh? What do you think? Say?’ He positively danced, the bloodthirsty little gingery beggar. And he had nearly fainted when he saw the wounded man! I could not help saying, ‘You made a glorious lot of smoke, anyhow.’ I had seen, from the way the tops of the bushes rustled and flew, that almost all the shots had gone too high. You can’t hit anything unless you take aim and fire from the shoulder; but these chaps fired from the hip with their eyes shut. The retreat, I maintained—and I was right—was caused by the screeching of the steam whistle. Upon this they forgot Kurtz, and began to howl at me with indignant protests. “I nteudrer to het ewhle as noos as I aws sifheind thwi teh bdyo. We rwee gingo trihg up hte lidmed of hte irerv. I esitedln to het agnets byaner, ohw eerw aciretn taht rtzKu was deda nda eth tsnotai utnbr to eth roudng. ehT erdeedadh aegtn saw tujs ppayh we’d gavdene uzKtr by tgiablsn yaaw at eth nsievat on het rheos. He ptaccyilral dendac thiw egle at eht ‘guoirslo thsarelgu’ we hda eadusc. Of sroeuc, he adh tosmla fedtnai nhwe he saw the mhalesmn’s body. I cdlnou’t eplh ysigna, ‘uYo dmea a roliusgo tmanou of omske, aywyna.’ I lucdo see htat tsmo of eihrt hosts had dissem. Tyhe’d bnee iohnotsg ofrm the pih twhi eihtr seey hsut. I knew thta our carktseat arn aayw cbeeaus of the aetms ihlsetw. rAetf I lotd hmte tsih, yeth fotrog obatu tKurz and rtasdet mcnargise at me in tseoprt.