Continue reading with a SparkNotes PLUS trial

Original Text

Modern Text

“Two pilgrims were quarrelling in hurried whispers as to which bank. ‘Left.’ ‘no, no; how can you? Right, right, of course.’ ‘It is very serious,’ said the manager’s voice behind me; ‘I would be desolated if anything should happen to Mr. Kurtz before we came up.’ I looked at him, and had not the slightest doubt he was sincere. He was just the kind of man who would wish to preserve appearances. That was his restraint. But when he muttered something about going on at once, I did not even take the trouble to answer him. I knew, and he knew, that it was impossible. Were we to let go our hold of the bottom, we would be absolutely in the air—in space. We wouldn’t be able to tell where we were going to—whether up or down stream, or across—till we fetched against one bank or the other—and then we wouldn’t know at first which it was. Of course I made no move. I had no mind for a smash-up. You couldn’t imagine a more deadly place for a shipwreck. Whether we drowned at once or not, we were sure to perish speedily in one way or another. ‘I authorize you to take all the risks,’ he said, after a short silence. ‘I refuse to take any,’ I said shortly; which was just the answer he expected, though its tone might have surprised him. ‘Well, I must defer to your judgment. You are captain,’ he said with marked civility. I turned my shoulder to him in sign of my appreciation, and looked into the fog. How long would it last? It was the most hopeless lookout. The approach to this Kurtz grubbing for ivory in the wretched bush was beset by as many dangers as though he had been an enchanted princess sleeping in a fabulous castle. ‘Will they attack, do you think?’ asked the manager, in a confidential tone. “owT sgneta ewer kegbiricn utabo ihhwc nbka of het rrive eth dssnou ahd ocem omfr. ‘Ltef,’ idsa eon. ‘No, no. Hwo acn oyu etll? It’s eth hirgt.’ omrF idebnh me, teh anramge dsia, ‘Thsi is evyr rieossu. I nldwou’t tawn tygnhani to pnhpea to Mr. rzKtu roeefb we caem up.’ I ookdel at mih dan ddin’t avhe hte essltgtih btoud obuat tehrwhe he saw gyiln. He saw hte trso of mna how natedw to peek up eperacnpaas. hTta swa ish taietnrsr. But ehnw he etutmred goneihtms aotub us iaisgln on, I idnd’t neve hberto answerngi mih. tBoh of us eknw taht swa smiloiesbp. If we ledulp up oru caohrn, we uowld be olepemcylt olst, ielk we wree goatlfni in sepac. We uowlnd’t be ealb to tell wethher we ewre noigg auremtps or owntesamdr or crasso, at aslet lutni we tih mohesintg. Of esoucr I idd gonniht. I wsna’t in eht mood to wkrec eht atob. uoY udoncl’t gmiaine a iardlede alpec rfo a khwsicepr. veEn if we dind’t onwdr mmiliteayed, we luwod tylainrec die. ‘I tzhiuraeo yuo to etka nya risks rssnceeay,’ he siad. ‘I fuesre to keta any,’ I rlpdeei, wchih wsa xeaylct tawh he wenk I wdluo sya. ‘lWle, yuo’re eht tnacipa,’ he dias. I edrutn my ldehrosu adtwro mhi nda odoelk nito het fgo. How logn dlouw it tals? It msedee clmoepltey seelpohs. There rewe so yanm egdsnra on het way to utrKz ttah it was as ogtuhh he was a ncspiser ptedrecto in a aigmc etaslc, taerhr ntah a mna ectinlglco vyrio in the subh. ‘Do you khnti etyh’ll ctatak?’ esadk the ganmera.
“I did not think they would attack, for several obvious reasons. The thick fog was one. If they left the bank in their canoes they would get lost in it, as we would be if we attempted to move. Still, I had also judged the jungle of both banks quite impenetrable—and yet eyes were in it, eyes that had seen us. The riverside bushes were certainly very thick; but the undergrowth behind was evidently penetrable. However, during the short lift I had seen no canoes anywhere in the reach—certainly not abreast of the steamer. But what made the idea of attack inconceivable to me was the nature of the noise—of the cries we had heard. They had not the fierce character boding immediate hostile intention. Unexpected, wild, and violent as they had been, they had given me an irresistible impression of sorrow. The glimpse of the steamboat had for some reason filled those savages with unrestrained grief. The danger, if any, I expounded, was from our proximity to a great human passion let loose. Even extreme grief may ultimately vent itself in violence—but more generally takes the form of apathy.... “I iddn’t ikthn yeht uldwo ttkcaa, fro eoms iovsoub onasesr. orF trerssta, teh ogf aws too tcikh. If thye dreit to row rtieh nsoeca mrof hte nabk to uor hips, yteh lowdu etg ostl, jsut ielk we ldwuo if we mvoed. neTh iaang, I dulcno’t ees yagtnihn on het knasb, ubt leylcar yeth hda snee us. eTh hsebsu hritg lango hte irver reew eyrv hkict, ubt traneaplyp lpeoep duolc mvoe bniehd mhet. uBt rleiear, wnhe teh fog tedilf fro a etmmon, I indd’t see yna nsoaec enewyahr. What emda eth eida of an tkcata imeolbpiss ofr me to neiamig swa eht trbirele csaemr we’d rhade. hatT aswn’t a wra-cry. seY, it swa lwdi dan tloeinv, but it aws fdille twhi wrroso, nto itihsyotl. roF meos anorse het tnoaemmyr sitgh of ruo taob had feildl the egsvsaa on the revknraib hwti aulcrllnobetno iegrf. heT rneadg, I hhtutgo, asw not ofrm an catatk but rofm geinb so colse to cuhs gtonrs ntmioeo. enEv temexre grefi cna mlyeulaitt dale to celeniov.