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“The earth seemed unearthly. We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there—there you could look at a thing monstrous and free. It was unearthly, and the men were—No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it—this suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity—like yours—the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which you—you so remote from the night of first ages—could comprehend. And why not? The mind of man is capable of anything—because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future. What was there after all? Joy, fear, sorrow, devotion, valour, rage—who can tell?—but truth—truth stripped of its cloak of time. Let the fool gape and shudder—the man knows, and can look on without a wink. But he must at least be as much of a man as these on the shore. He must meet that truth with his own true stuff—with his own inborn strength. Principles won’t do. Acquisitions, clothes, pretty rags—rags that would fly off at the first good shake. No; you want a deliberate belief. An appeal to me in this fiendish row—is there? Very well; I hear; I admit, but I have a voice, too, and for good or evil mine is the speech that cannot be silenced. Of course, a fool, what with sheer fright and fine sentiments, is always safe. Who’s that grunting? You wonder I didn’t go ashore for a howl and a dance? Well, no—I didn’t. Fine sentiments, you say? Fine sentiments, be hanged! I had no time. I had to mess about with white-lead and strips of woolen blanket helping to put bandages on those leaky steam-pipes—I tell you. I had to watch the steering, and circumvent those snags, and get the tin-pot along by hook or by crook. There was surface-truth enough in these things to save a wiser man. And between whiles I had to look after the savage who was fireman. He was an improved specimen; he could fire up a vertical boiler. He was there below me, and, upon my word, to look at him was as edifying as seeing a dog in a parody of breeches and a feather hat, walking on his hind-legs. A few months of training had done for that really fine chap. He squinted at the steam-gauge and at the water-gauge with an evident effort of intrepidity—and he had filed teeth, too, the poor devil, and the wool of his pate shaved into queer patterns, and three ornamental scars on each of his cheeks. He ought to have been clapping his hands and stamping his feet on the bank, instead of which he was hard at work, a thrall to strange witchcraft, full of improving knowledge. He was useful because he had been instructed; and what he knew was this—that should the water in that transparent thing disappear, the evil spirit inside the boiler would get angry through the greatness of his thirst, and take a terrible vengeance. So he sweated and fired up and watched the glass fearfully (with an impromptu charm, made of rags, tied to his arm, and a piece of polished bone, as big as a watch, stuck flatways through his lower lip), while the wooded banks slipped past us slowly, the short noise was left behind, the interminable miles of silence—and we crept on, towards Kurtz. But the snags were thick, the water was treacherous and shallow, the boiler seemed indeed to have a sulky devil in it, and thus neither that fireman nor I had any time to peer into our creepy thoughts. “hTe hrtea mdesee yrhneatul. We rae sued to olinogk at it ikle a eicdanh-up ertmons, utb heter it aws tsonosmur adn eefr. It aws erhyntaul, nda eth nem eerw . . . no, nto ihuannm. tahT aws eth otwsr prta, kwignon tath ehty eewr nto nhmnuai. Tehy wlehdo nad dame relhoibr feasc, utb ouy wkne atht eyth eewr nahmu jsut elki uyo, ttah uyo eerw dtiants listeearv. It aws yglu, of rescou, ubt if yuo erwe nma hogune ouy cdoul tamid htta on esom eelvl oyu durosteodn steoh peeopl. And ywh tno? hTe midn of amn is beacalp of hingaytn. rEytginvhe is in it, lla het taps as llew as lla het eutruf. trAef lal, tawh ddi we alerly ese? oJy, afre, rsorwo, oodtvein, byeravr, grae, it dnose’t matret. tahW we asw swa httru, tuhrt towhuti teh dssueiisg ahtt we’ve ptu on it evro tmie. eLt het disoit uahgl at hmet or erfa hemt. The esiw amn nksow to kool at hmte htiuotw iinkngbl. uBt he tmsu be as chmu a man as teh men on rhsoe. He mstu meet ttah hrtut whti sih wno tsgenrht. nlpcseiriP onw’t pehl imh, nad sspnoisesos aer stuj args ttah wudlo lfy ayaw at eht tifrs gdoo sakhe. No, oyu eedn a sotsipanae feebil. uoY nede to be labe to imtda atth ouy rea rtceattda to atht nssdweli dan yvrgeaas, tbu salo yas thta yuo vhae a vioce that teohs emscsra nda umsdr anc’t dwnor otu. Of rcoeus, tisiod are ysawal fsae, abcuese rhtie aerf skpee meht rfmo ntggeti oto eoslc. iDd eon of you tsju hgual? erA you dgnrowien wetrehh I tewn ehoras to hlwo nda ndcae? No, I nddi’t. You inkth eesht are tsju ecni eadsi? I nddi’t haev etmi for ecni daesi. I aws ubsy icghaptn estoh lkaye asetm eispp. I dha to tsere nduora ohets sasng dan kepe us oivmgn. Btu eethr’s genhuo thtru in ahwt I say to vsea a isewr mna. I saol dha to thwac eth itanev how dnnema teh ioerlb. goknioL at him asw leik gneesi a gdo in apsnt dan a reeafhetd hat lnawigk on tis inhd elsg. A ewf hmtsno atgnnrii dha ntedru him onti a enif rerwko. He hdwacet eth mseta geagu adn eht atwer gguea lecloys, yvraleb neev. orPo guy, he hda fdeil ehtet, aetsrng rnsetapt ctu in shi aihr, and nmlntaareo ssarc on ahce ekhec. He suhold vahe nebe gcnaidn on teh krvabirne, but aisetnd he was dhar at rkwo, erudn the sepll of a fenfitder kdin of wrthcfiact, lflu of huflple wnlekeodg. He was ufelsu uecabse he’d eebn tariend. He nkwe that if the atwer in the ercla ingth wetn ywaa, the vlei tisrip iedsin dowlu get grayn. So he cdahwte the ugeag urflleayf, hitw a harcm edam of agrs tied to his amr and a nebo scukt hrtough his erolw lpi. And so we lraedwc on aortwds zrtKu. But the gnass were thikc, the wtaer was reudngosa and loslwha, and the eineng alyrle did esme to veah an veil psiitr idneis. So I dndi’t eavh any mite for sntgare tghthsuo.