Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad
No Fear Part 3 Page 18
No Fear Part 3: Page 18

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“‘Repeat them,’ she murmured in a heart-broken tone. ‘I want—I want—something—something—to—to live with.’ “‘Repeat them. I want—I want something—something—to—to live with.’
“I was on the point of crying at her, ‘Don’t you hear them?’ The dusk was repeating them in a persistent whisper all around us, in a whisper that seemed to swell menacingly like the first whisper of a rising wind. ‘The horror! The horror!’ “I almost screamed at her, ‘Don’t you hear them?’ The dusk was repeating his words in a whisper all around us. I sounded like the first menacing whisper of a rising storm. ‘The horror! The horror!’
“‘His last word—to live with,’ she insisted. ‘Don’t you understand I loved him—I loved him—I loved him!’ “‘His last word—to live with,’ she insisted. ‘Don’t you understand—I loved him—I loved him—I loved him!’
“I pulled myself together and spoke slowly. “I pulled myself together and spoke slowly.
“‘The last word he pronounced was—your name.’ “‘That last word he pronounced was—your name.’
“I heard a light sigh and then my heart stood still, stopped dead short by an exulting and terrible cry, by the cry of inconceivable triumph and of unspeakable pain. ‘I knew it—I was sure!’... She knew. She was sure. I heard her weeping; she had hidden her face in her hands. It seemed to me that the house would collapse before I could escape, that the heavens would fall upon my head. But nothing happened. The heavens do not fall for such a trifle. Would they have fallen, I wonder, if I had rendered Kurtz that justice which was his due? Hadn’t he said he wanted only justice? But I couldn’t. I could not tell her. It would have been too dark—too dark altogether....” “I heard a light sigh and my heart stood still, stopped short by a cry of triumph and pain. ‘I knew it—I was sure!’ She knew. She was sure. I heard her weeping. She hid her face in her hands. I felt like the house would collapse before I could escape. But nothing happened. The heavens do not fall for such a small affair. Would they have fallen if I gave Kurtz the justice he deserved? But I couldn’t. I couldn’t tell her. It would have been too dark—too dark. . . . ’”
Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved for a time. “We have lost the first of the ebb,” said the Director suddenly. I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness. Marlow stopped and sat silently in the post of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved. ‘We’re running late,’ said the Director suddenly. There were too many clouds to see the sea, and the river that led to the ends of the earth looked somber beneath the overcast sky. It seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.