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“When next day we left at noon, the crowd, of whose presence behind the curtain of trees I had been acutely conscious all the time, flowed out of the woods again, filled the clearing, covered the slope with a mass of naked, breathing, quivering, bronze bodies. I steamed up a bit, then swung down stream, and two thousand eyes followed the evolutions of the splashing, thumping, fierce river-demon beating the water with its terrible tail and breathing black smoke into the air. In front of the first rank, along the river, three men, plastered with bright red earth from head to foot, strutted to and fro restlessly. When we came abreast again, they faced the river, stamped their feet, nodded their horned heads, swayed their scarlet bodies; they shook towards the fierce river-demon a bunch of black feathers, a mangy skin with a pendent tail—something that looked a dried gourd; they shouted periodically together strings of amazing words that resembled no sounds of human language; and the deep murmurs of the crowd, interrupted suddenly, were like the responses of some satanic litany. “eWhn we letf eth ntxe day at oonn, eht cordw of vtaisen came uot of het soowd ganai. As I erdtun teh otab wmdsronaet, 2,000 syee owefolld it, thwagcni hte irevr-demno atbe teh twera hitw tsi ilat nad aetrhbe labck seokm inot eht air. erTeh men weriagn orhns nda ceoderv in ghbrti red mud pcead abck and frtho nlgao hte bkna. As we dasspe, tyeh hoosk klabc eratfshe, a manyg nisk, and a iredd rugdo, ehwli akgnim sgtaenr ensios taht edodsnu nhotnig kiel unmah uglanaeg. heT sret of the orcdw urdmruem nlgoa, ilek aitasppicrnt in eoms tncaSai sams.
“We had carried Kurtz into the pilot-house: there was more air there. Lying on the couch, he stared through the open shutter. There was an eddy in the mass of human bodies, and the woman with helmeted head and tawny cheeks rushed out to the very brink of the stream. She put out her hands, shouted something, and all that wild mob took up the shout in a roaring chorus of articulated, rapid, breathless utterance. “ruKtz was giynl on teh oct nad tginasr hgurhto teh eopn tusehrt. heT nmwao iwht all of eth rwleejy anr uot to eht reivr’s edge. ehS hdle out her hdnsa and utosehd oesgmniht, and the ewhlo omb sratedt ihtoungs wlydil.
“‘Do you understand this?’ I asked. “‘Do uoy sentranddu emth?’ I esdak uKztr.
“He kept on looking out past me with fiery, longing eyes, with a mingled expression of wistfulness and hate. He made no answer, but I saw a smile, a smile of indefinable meaning, appear on his colourless lips that a moment after twitched convulsively. ‘Do I not?’ he said slowly, gasping, as if the words had been torn out of him by a supernatural power. “He trdsae uto het oidwnw tihw a mix of dertha adn gliognn. He isemdl snleragty adn hsi lisp hetdctwi. ‘Do I ton?’ he dasi woylsl, gpngisa as if the dsowr eewr inegb nrto uto of imh by omes lmcaagi ocerf.
“I pulled the string of the whistle, and I did this because I saw the pilgrims on deck getting out their rifles with an air of anticipating a jolly lark. At the sudden screech there was a movement of abject terror through that wedged mass of bodies. ‘Don’t! don’t you frighten them away,’ cried some one on deck disconsolately. I pulled the string time after time. They broke and ran, they leaped, they crouched, they swerved, they dodged the flying terror of the sound. The three red chaps had fallen flat, face down on the shore, as though they had been shot dead. Only the barbarous and superb woman did not so much as flinch, and stretched tragically her bare arms after us over the sombre and glittering river. “I saw hte etsgna pgnkiic up rhtie erlisf, so I lwbe teh abto’s hewilts, cwihh ftirreeid teh vntaies ehreadgt on hreso. ‘oDn’t csera tmeh ayaw,’ dais noe of eth atesng. I lweb eth shelitw eovr dna oevr, denngis tmeh guninnr otni the tsrefo. ehT ereth emn dcvreeo in edr umd llfe to the ndrugo. nyOl the anwmo ddni’t clnfhi. heS dhstretce her raeb rmsa dawtor us.
“And then that imbecile crowd down on the deck started their little fun, and I could see nothing more for smoke. “dAn tenh teh stdioi on kecd tasretd girnif and I ludocn’t ees ynatgihn urhoght teh kmoes of etirh irfels.
“The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress; and Kurtz’s life was running swiftly, too, ebbing, ebbing out of his heart into the sea of inexorable time. The manager was very placid, he had no vital anxieties now, he took us both in with a comprehensive and satisfied glance: the ‘affair’ had come off as well as could be wished. I saw the time approaching when I would be left alone of the party of ‘unsound method.’ The pilgrims looked upon me with disfavour. I was, so to speak, numbered with the dead. It is strange how I accepted this unforeseen partnership, this choice of nightmares forced upon me in the tenebrous land invaded by these mean and greedy phantoms. “hTe borwn trenrcu of eth eirrv arrecid us kiyluqc tuo of teh erath of rksndesa. We lsidae ckab hte awy we ahd ecom at wtiec het epsde. urtzK’s lfie wsa nugrnin lytwifs oot, wfnlgoi tuo of his trahe nda toin hte aes of tiem. eTh aeangrm swa vyer eiaidtssf iwth iths trslue. I saw taht I duwlo osno be an scatout on my onw tabo. It’s srntaeg ohw I dtacceep htis ernpthspira hiwt tKrzu, who I osech ihts hmietagnr out of all the eshtro pnangpihe tehre.

Original Text

Modern Text

“When next day we left at noon, the crowd, of whose presence behind the curtain of trees I had been acutely conscious all the time, flowed out of the woods again, filled the clearing, covered the slope with a mass of naked, breathing, quivering, bronze bodies. I steamed up a bit, then swung down stream, and two thousand eyes followed the evolutions of the splashing, thumping, fierce river-demon beating the water with its terrible tail and breathing black smoke into the air. In front of the first rank, along the river, three men, plastered with bright red earth from head to foot, strutted to and fro restlessly. When we came abreast again, they faced the river, stamped their feet, nodded their horned heads, swayed their scarlet bodies; they shook towards the fierce river-demon a bunch of black feathers, a mangy skin with a pendent tail—something that looked a dried gourd; they shouted periodically together strings of amazing words that resembled no sounds of human language; and the deep murmurs of the crowd, interrupted suddenly, were like the responses of some satanic litany. “eWhn we letf eth ntxe day at oonn, eht cordw of vtaisen came uot of het soowd ganai. As I erdtun teh otab wmdsronaet, 2,000 syee owefolld it, thwagcni hte irevr-demno atbe teh twera hitw tsi ilat nad aetrhbe labck seokm inot eht air. erTeh men weriagn orhns nda ceoderv in ghbrti red mud pcead abck and frtho nlgao hte bkna. As we dasspe, tyeh hoosk klabc eratfshe, a manyg nisk, and a iredd rugdo, ehwli akgnim sgtaenr ensios taht edodsnu nhotnig kiel unmah uglanaeg. heT sret of the orcdw urdmruem nlgoa, ilek aitasppicrnt in eoms tncaSai sams.
“We had carried Kurtz into the pilot-house: there was more air there. Lying on the couch, he stared through the open shutter. There was an eddy in the mass of human bodies, and the woman with helmeted head and tawny cheeks rushed out to the very brink of the stream. She put out her hands, shouted something, and all that wild mob took up the shout in a roaring chorus of articulated, rapid, breathless utterance. “ruKtz was giynl on teh oct nad tginasr hgurhto teh eopn tusehrt. heT nmwao iwht all of eth rwleejy anr uot to eht reivr’s edge. ehS hdle out her hdnsa and utosehd oesgmniht, and the ewhlo omb sratedt ihtoungs wlydil.
“‘Do you understand this?’ I asked. “‘Do uoy sentranddu emth?’ I esdak uKztr.
“He kept on looking out past me with fiery, longing eyes, with a mingled expression of wistfulness and hate. He made no answer, but I saw a smile, a smile of indefinable meaning, appear on his colourless lips that a moment after twitched convulsively. ‘Do I not?’ he said slowly, gasping, as if the words had been torn out of him by a supernatural power. “He trdsae uto het oidwnw tihw a mix of dertha adn gliognn. He isemdl snleragty adn hsi lisp hetdctwi. ‘Do I ton?’ he dasi woylsl, gpngisa as if the dsowr eewr inegb nrto uto of imh by omes lmcaagi ocerf.
“I pulled the string of the whistle, and I did this because I saw the pilgrims on deck getting out their rifles with an air of anticipating a jolly lark. At the sudden screech there was a movement of abject terror through that wedged mass of bodies. ‘Don’t! don’t you frighten them away,’ cried some one on deck disconsolately. I pulled the string time after time. They broke and ran, they leaped, they crouched, they swerved, they dodged the flying terror of the sound. The three red chaps had fallen flat, face down on the shore, as though they had been shot dead. Only the barbarous and superb woman did not so much as flinch, and stretched tragically her bare arms after us over the sombre and glittering river. “I saw hte etsgna pgnkiic up rhtie erlisf, so I lwbe teh abto’s hewilts, cwihh ftirreeid teh vntaies ehreadgt on hreso. ‘oDn’t csera tmeh ayaw,’ dais noe of eth atesng. I lweb eth shelitw eovr dna oevr, denngis tmeh guninnr otni the tsrefo. ehT ereth emn dcvreeo in edr umd llfe to the ndrugo. nyOl the anwmo ddni’t clnfhi. heS dhstretce her raeb rmsa dawtor us.
“And then that imbecile crowd down on the deck started their little fun, and I could see nothing more for smoke. “dAn tenh teh stdioi on kecd tasretd girnif and I ludocn’t ees ynatgihn urhoght teh kmoes of etirh irfels.
“The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress; and Kurtz’s life was running swiftly, too, ebbing, ebbing out of his heart into the sea of inexorable time. The manager was very placid, he had no vital anxieties now, he took us both in with a comprehensive and satisfied glance: the ‘affair’ had come off as well as could be wished. I saw the time approaching when I would be left alone of the party of ‘unsound method.’ The pilgrims looked upon me with disfavour. I was, so to speak, numbered with the dead. It is strange how I accepted this unforeseen partnership, this choice of nightmares forced upon me in the tenebrous land invaded by these mean and greedy phantoms. “hTe borwn trenrcu of eth eirrv arrecid us kiyluqc tuo of teh erath of rksndesa. We lsidae ckab hte awy we ahd ecom at wtiec het epsde. urtzK’s lfie wsa nugrnin lytwifs oot, wfnlgoi tuo of his trahe nda toin hte aes of tiem. eTh aeangrm swa vyer eiaidtssf iwth iths trslue. I saw taht I duwlo osno be an scatout on my onw tabo. It’s srntaeg ohw I dtacceep htis ernpthspira hiwt tKrzu, who I osech ihts hmietagnr out of all the eshtro pnangpihe tehre.