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About th electronic verzhun
Conrad, Joseph, 1857-1924
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Noet: Uva 1995: We cannot determin th print sors for this text; however, th 1993 Oxford Text Archive verzhun of this text contaens th foloeing staetment: "Transcriebd frum th 1961 re-print of th ferst edishun. Orijinaly transcriebd and depozited bi Michael Sperberg-Mcqueen, Ueniversity of Illinois at Chicago." It seems liekly that th 1992 Uva copy is th saem transcripshun.
Noet: Uva 1996: Electronic text chekt agenst 1968 Norton Critical Edishun, ed. Thomas Moser. UVA Liebrairy call number PR 6005 .O 4L6 1968
Prepaird for th Ueniversity of Virginia Liebrairy Electronic Text Senter.
Spel-chek and verrificaeshun maed agenst printed text uezing Wordperfect spel cheker.
Revizhuns to th electronic verzhun
October 1992 corector Peeter-john Byrnes, Electronic Text Senter, Ueniversity of Virginia Text contaens several instanses of accidentals which corespond to no standard edishun; thees hav bin retaend. Epigraf and dedicaeshun aded. Text contaens no italics, alltho thae ar prezent in uther staets of th text. Baesic TEI taging aded. Text has bin spel-chekt, and "errors" corected.
June 1996 corector Catherine Tousignant, Electronic Text Senter, Ueniversity of Virginia Updaeted heder; Corected th foloeing error: paej 162, para. 4: lt] It
firstname.lastname@example.org. Comershal ues proehibited; all uesej guvernd bi our Condishuns of Ues: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/condishuns.html
Fienal cheking: David
It is serten mi convicshun gaens infinitly,
th moement anuther soel wil beleev in it.
To Mr. and Mrs. G. F. W. Hoep with graetful afecshun after meny yeers of
When this novel ferst apeerd in buuk form a noeshun got about that I had bin boelted awae with. Sum revueers maentaend that th werk starting as a short story had got beyond th writer's controel. Wun or too discuverd internal evidens of th fact, which seemd to amuez them. Thae pointed out th limitaeshuns of th narrativ form. Thae argued that no man cuud hav bin expected to tauk all that tiem, and uther men to lisen so long. It was not, thae sed, verry credibl.
After thinking it oever for sumthing liek sixteen yeers, I am not so shur about that. Men hav bin noen, boeth in th tropics and in th temperet zoen, to sit up haf th niet 'swapping yarns'. This, however, is but wun yarn, yet with interupshuns afording sum mezher of releef; and in regard to th listeners' endurans, th poschulaet must be acsepted that th story was interesting. It is th nesesairy preliminairy asumpshun. If I hadn't beleevd that it was interesting I cuud never hav begun to riet it. As to th meer fizical posibility we all noe that sum speeches in Parlament hav taeken neerer six than three ours in delivery; wherras all that part of th buuk which is Marlow's narrativ can be reed thru aloud, I shuud sae, in les than three ours. Besieds -- tho I hav kept strictly all such insignificant deetaels out of th tael -- we mae prezoom that thair must hav bin refreshments on that niet, a glas of mineral wauter of sum sort to help th narraetor on.
But, seeriusly, th trooth of th mater is, that mi ferst thaut was of a short story, consernd oenly with th pilgrim ship episoed; nuthing mor. And that was a lejitimet consepshun. After rieting a fue paejes, however, I becaem for sum reezon discontented and I laed them asied for a tiem. I didn't taek them out of th dror til th laet Mr. William Blackwood sugjested I shuud giv sumthing agen to his magazeen.
It was oenly then that I perseevd that th pilgrim ship episoed was a guud starting-point for a free and waandering tael; that it was an event, too, which cuud conseevably colour th hoel 'sentiment of existence' in a simpl and sensitiv carracter. But all thees preliminairy moods and sterings of spirit wer rather obscuer at th tiem, and thae do not apeer cleerer to me now after th laps of so meny yeers.
Th fue paejes I had laed asied wer not without thair waet in th chois of subject. But th hoel was re-riten deliberetly. When I sat doun to it I nue it wuud be a long buuk, tho I
I hav bin askt at tiems whether this was not th buuk of mien I liekt best. I am a graet foe to favouritism in public lief, in prievet lief, and eeven in th deliket relaeshunship of an author to his werks. As a mater of prinsipl I wil hav no favourites; but I don't go so far as to feel greevd and anoid bi th preferens sum peepl giv to mi Lord Jim. I woen't eeven sae that I 'fail to understand . . .' No! But wuns I had ocaezhun to be puzld and serpriezd.
A frend of mien reterning frum Italy had taukt with a laedy thair hoo did not liek th buuk. I regreted that, of cors, but whut serpriezd me was th ground of her disliek. 'you noe,' she sed, 'it is all so morbid.'
Th pronounsment gaev me food for an hour's ankshus thaut. Fienaly I arievd at th concloozhun that, maeking due alowanses for th subject itself being rather forin to women's normal sensibilitys, th laedy cuud not hav bin an Italian. I wunder whether she was European at all? In eny caes, no Latin temperament wuud hav perseevd enything morbid in th acuet conshusnes of lost onor. Such a conshusnes mae be rong, or it mae be riet, or it mae be condemd as artifishal; and, perhaps, mi Jim is not a tiep of wied comonnes. But I can saefly ashur mi reeders that he is not th product of coeldly perverted thinking. He's not a figuer of Northern Mists eether. Wun suny morning, in th comonplaes seroundings of an Eestern roedsted, I saw his form pas bi- apeeling-significant-under a cloud-perfectly sielent. Which is as it shuud be. It was for me, with all th simpathy of which I was caepabl, to seek fit werds for his meening. He was 'one of us'.
J.C. 1917. LORD JIM
He was an inch, perhaps too, under six feet, powerfuly bilt, and he advanst straet at U with a sliet stoop of th shoelders, hed forward, and a fixt frum-under stair which maed U think of a charjing buul. His vois was deep, loud, and his maner displaed a kiend of daugd self-asershun which had nuthing agresiv in it. It seemd a nesesity, and it was directed aparrently as much at himself as at enybody els. He was spotlesly neet, apparelled in imacuelet whiet frum shoos to hat, and in th vairius Eestern ports wherr he got his living as ship-chandler's wauter-clerk he was verry popuelar.
A wauter-clerk need not pas an examinaeshun in enything under th sun, but he must hav Ability in th abstract and demonstraet it practicaly. His werk consists in raesing under sael, steem, or ors agenst uther wauter-clerks for eny ship about to ankor, greeting her capten cheerily, forsing upon him a card -- th biznes card of th ship-chandler -- and on his ferst vizit on shor pieloting him fermly but without ostentaeshun to a vast, cavern-liek shop which is fuul of things that ar eeten and drunk on bord ship; wherr U can get evrything to maek her seewerthy and buetyful, frum a set of chaen-huuks for her caebl to a buuk of goeld-leef for th carvings of her stern; and wherr her comander is reseevd liek a bruther bi a ship-chandler he has never seen befor. Thair is a cool parlour, eezy-chairs, botls, sigars, rieting implements, a copy of harbour reguelaeshuns, and a wormth of welcum that melts th sallt of a three months' pasej out of a seaman's hart. Th conecshun thus begun is kept up, as long as th ship remaens in harbour, bi th daely vizits of th wauter-clerk. To th capten he is faethful liek a frend and atentiv liek a sun, with th paeshens of Job, th unselfish devoeshun of a wuuman, and th jolity of a boon companyon. Laeter on th bil is sent in. It is a buetyful and huemaen ocuepaeshun. Thairfor guud wauter-clerks ar scairs. When a wauter-clerk hoo pozeses Ability in th abstract has allso th advantej of having bin braut up to th see, he is werth to his emploier a lot of muny and sum humouring. Jim had allwaes guud waejes and as much humouring as wuud hav baut th fiedelity of a feend. Nevertheles, with blak ingratitued he wuud thro up th job sudenly and depart. To his
To th whiet men in th wautersied biznes and to th captens of ships he was just Jim -- nuthing mor. He had, of cors, anuther naem, but he was ankshus that it shuud not be pronounst. His incogneeto, which had as meny hoels as a siv, was not ment to hied a personality but a fact. When th fact broek thru th incogneeto he wuud leev sudenly th seeport wherr he hapend to be at th tiem and go to anuther -- jeneraly farther eest. He kept to seeports becauz he was a seeman in exiel frum th see, and had Ability in th abstract, which is guud for no uther werk but that of a wauter-clerk. He retreeted in guud order tords th riezing sun, and th fact foloed him cazhualy but inevitably. Thus in th cors of yeers he was noen sucsesivly in Bombay, in Calcutta, in Rangoon, in Penang, in Batavia -- and in eech of thees hallting-plaeses was just Jim th wauter-clerk. Afterwards, when his keen persepshun of th Intolerabl droev him awae for guud frum seeports and whiet men, eeven into th verjin forest, th Malays of th junggl vilej, wherr he had elected to conseel his deplorabl faculty, aded a werd to th monosilabl of his incogneeto. Thae calld him Tuan Jim: as wun miet sae -- Lord Jim.
Orijinaly he caem frum a parsonej. Meny comanders of fien merchant-ships cum frum thees abodes of pieety and pees. Jim's faather pozest such serten nolej of th Unknowable as maed for th riechusnes of peepl in cotejes without disterbing th eez of miend of thoes hoom an unerring Providens enaebls to liv in manshuns. Th litl cherch on a hil had th mossy greyness of a rok seen thru a raged screen of leevs. It had stuud thair for sencherys, but th trees around probably rememberd th laeing of th ferst stoen. Belo, th red frunt of th rectory gleemd with a worm tint in th midst of gras-plots, flower-beds, and fer-trees, with an orchard at th bak, a paevd staebl-yard to th left, and th sloeping glas of greenhouzes takt along a wall of briks. Th living had belongd to th family for jeneraeshuns; but Jim was wun of fiev suns, and when after a cors of liet holidae literachur his voecaeshun for th see had declaird itself, he was sent at wuns to a 'training-ship for offisers of th mercantiel mareen.'
He lernd thair a litl trigonometry and how to cross top-galant yards. He was jeneraly liekt. He had th therd plaes in navigaeshun and puuld stroek in th ferst cuter. Having a stedy hed with an
On th loeer dek in th babel of too hundred voises he wuud forget himself, and beforhand liv in his miend th see-lief of liet literachur. He saw himself saeving peepl frum sinking ships, cuting awae masts in a hericaen, swiming thru a serf with a lien; or as a loenly cast-awae, bairfuuted and haf naeked, wauking on uncuverd reefs in serch of shellfish to staev off starvaeshun. He confrunted savejes on tropical shors, quelled muetinys on th hi sees, and in a small boet upon th oeshan kept up th harts of despairing men -- allwaes an exampl of devoeshun to duety, and as unflinching as a heero in a buuk.
'something's up. Cum along.'
He leept to his feet. Th bois wer streeming up th ladders. Abuv cuud be herd a graet scurying about and shouting, and when he got thru th hachwae he stuud stil -- as if confounded.
It was th dusk of a winter's dae. Th gael had freshend sinss noon, stoping th trafic on th river, and now bloo with th strength of a hericaen in fitful bersts that boomd liek salvoes of graet guns fiering oever th oeshan. Th raen slanted in sheets that flikt and subsieded, and between whiles Jim had thretening glimpses of th tumbling tied, th small craft jumbld and tossing along th shor, th moeshunles bildings in th drieving mist, th braud ferry-boets piching ponderously at ankor, th vast landing-staejes heeving up and doun and smutherd in spraes. Th next gust seemd to blo all this awae. Th air was fuul of flieing wauter. Thair was a feers perpos in th gael, a fuerius ernestnes in th screech of th wind, in th brootal toomult of erth and skie, that seemd directed at him, and maed him hoeld his breth in au. He stuud stil. It seemd to him he was wherld around.
He was jostled. 'man th cuter!' Bois rusht past him. A coester runing in for shelter had crasht thru a scooner at ankor, and wun of th ship's instructors had seen th acsident. A mob of bois clamberd on th raels, clusterd round th davits. 'collision. Just ahed of us. Mr Symons saw it.' A puush maed him stager agenst th mizen-mast, and he caut hoeld of a roep. Th oeld traening-ship chained to her moorings qiverd all oever, bowing
Jim felt his shoelder gript fermly. 'too laet, yungster.' Th capten of th ship laed a restraening hand on that boi, hoo seemd on th point of leeping oeverbord, and Jim luukt up with th paen of conshus defeet in his ies. Th capten smield simpatheticaly. 'better luk next tiem. This wil teech U to be smart.'
A shril cheer greeted th cuter. She caem dansing bak haf fuul of wauter, and with too exausted men woshing about on her botom bords. Th toomult and th menis of wind and see now apeerd verry contemptibl to Jim, increesing th regret of his au at thair inefishent menis. Now he nue whut to think of it. It seemd to him he caird nuthing for th gael. He cuud afrunt graeter perrils. He wuud do so -- beter than enybody. Not a particl of feer was left. Nevertheles he brooded apart that eevning whiel th boeman of th cuter -- a boi with a faes liek a girl's and big grae ies -- was th heero of th loeer dek. Eeger qeschuners crouded round him. He narraeted: 'I just saw his hed bobing, and I dasht mi boet-huuk in th wauter. It caut in his breeches and I neerly went oeverbord, as I thaut I wuud, oenly oeld Symons let go th tiler and grabd mi legs -- th boet neerly swompt. Oeld Symons is a fien oeld chap. l don't miend a bit him being grumpy with us. He swor at me all th tiem he held mi leg, but that was oenly his wae of teling me to stik to th boet-huuk. Oeld Symons is aufuly exsietabl -- isn't he? No -- not th litl fair chap -- th uther, th big wun with a beerd. When we puuld him in he groend, "O, mi leg! o, mi leg!" and ternd up his ies. Fansy such a big chap fainting liek a gerl. Wuud eny of U feloes faent for a jab with a boet-huuk? -- I wuudn't. It went into his leg so far.' He shoed th boet-huuk, which he had carryd belo for th perpos, and produest a sensaeshun. 'no, sily! It was not his flesh that held him -- his breeches did. Lots of blud, of cors.'
Jim thaut it a pityful displae of vanity. Th gael had ministerd to a herroeizm as spuerius as its oen preetens of terror. He felt anggry with th brootal toomult of erth and skie for taeking him unawares and cheking unfairly a jenerus redynes for narro escaeps. Utherwiez he was rather glad he had not gon into th cuter, sinss a
After too yeers of traening he went to see, and entering th reejons so wel noen to his imajinaeshun, found them straenjly barren of advencher. He maed meny voiejes. He nue th majic monotony of existens between skie and wauter: he had to bair th critisizm of men, th exactions of th see, and th proezaeic severrity of th daely task that givs bred -- but hoos oenly reword is in th perfect luv of th werk. This reword elooded him. Yet he cuud not go bak, becauz thair is nuthing mor entiesing, disenchanting, and enslaeving than th lief at see. Besieds, his prospects wer guud. He was jentlmanly, stedy, tractabl, with a thero nolej of his duetys; and in tiem, when yet verry yung, he becaem cheef maet of a fien ship, without ever having bin tested bi thoes events of th see that sho in th liet of dae th iner werth of a man, th ej of his temper, and th fieber of his stuf; that reveel th qolity of his rezistans and th seecret trooth of his pretences, not oenly to uthers but allso to himself.
Oenly wuns in all that tiem he had agen a glimps of th ernestnes in th angger of th see. That trooth is not so offen maed aparrent as peepl miet think. Thair ar meny shaeds in th daenjer of advenchers and gaels, and it is oenly now and then that thair apeers on th faes of facts a sinister vieolens of intenshun -- that indefienabl sumthing which forses it upon th miend and th hart of a man, that this complicaeshun of acsidents or thees elemental furies ar cuming at him with a perpos of malis, with a strength beyond controel, with an unbriedld crooelty that meens to tair out of him his hoep and his feer, th paen of his fateeg and his longing for rest: which meens to smash, to destroi, to anieilaet all he has seen, noen, luvd, enjoid, or haeted; all that is priesles and nesesairy -- th sunshien, th memorys, th fuecher; which meens to sweep th hoel preshus werld uterly awae frum his siet bi th simpl and apalling act of taeking his lief.
Jim, disaebld bi a falling spar at th begining of a week of which his Scottish capten uezd to sae afterwards, 'man! it's a pairfect meeracle to me how she livd thru it!' spent meny daes strecht
His lameness, however, persisted, and when th ship arievd at an Eestern port he had to go to th hospital. His recuvery was slo, and he was left behiend.
Thair wer oenly too uther paeshents in th whiet men's word: th perser of a gunboet, hoo had broeken his leg falling doun a hach- wae; and a kiend of raelwae contractor frum a neighbouring provins, aflicted bi sum misteerius tropical dizeez, hoo held th doctor for an as, and induljd in seecret debaucheries of patent medisin which his Tamil servant uezd to smugl in with unwearied devoeshun. Thae toeld eech uther th story of thair lievs, plaed cards a litl, or, yauning and in pyjamas, lounjd thru th dae in eezy-chairs without saeing a werd. Th hospital stuud on a hil, and a jentl breez entering thru th windoes, allwaes flung wied oepen, braut into th bair room th sofftnes of th skie, th langgor of th erth, th bewiching breth of th Eestern wauters. Thair wer perfuems in it, sugjeschuns of infinit repoez, th gift of endles dreems. Jim luukt evry dae oever th thikets of gardens, beyond th roofs of th toun, oever th fronds of paams groeing on th shor, at that roedsted which is a theroefair to th Eest, -- at th roedsted doted bi garlanded islets, lieted bi festal sunshien, its ships liek tois, its brilyant activity rezembling a holidae pajent, with th eternal serenity of th Eestern skie oeverhed and th smieling pees of th Eestern sees pozesing th spaes as far as th horiezon.
Directly he cuud wauk without a stik, he desended into th toun to luuk for sum oportuenity to get hoem. Nuthing offerd just then, and, whiel waeting, he asoeshiaeted nacheraly with th men of his calling in th port. Thees wer of too kiends. Sum, verry fue and seen thair but seldom, led misteerius lievs, had prezervd an undefaced enerjy with th temper of buccaneers and th ies of dreamers. Thae apeerd to liv in a craezy maez of plans, hoeps, daenjers, enterpriezes,
To Jim that gosiping croud, vued as seemen, seemd at ferst mor unsubstantial than so meny shadoes. But at length he found a fasinaeshun in th siet of thoes men, in thair apeerans of doing so wel on such a small alowans of daenjer and toil. In tiem, besied th orijinal disdaen thair groo up sloely anuther sentiment; and sudenly, giving up th iedeea of going hoem, he tuuk a berth as cheef maet of th Patna.
Th Patna was a loecal steemer as oeld as th hils, leen liek a graehound, and eeten up with rust wers than a condemd wauter- tank. She was oend bi a Chinaman, charterd bi an Arab, and comanded bi a sort of renegaed Nue South Wales German, verry ankshus to curs publicly his naetiv cuntry, but hoo, aparrently on th strength of Bismarck's victorius polisy, brutalised all thoes he was not afraed of, and wor a 'blood-and-iron' air,' combiend with a perpl noez and a red mustash. After she had bin paented outsied and whietwosht insied, aet hundred pilgrims (mor or les) wer driven on bord of her as she lae with steem up alongsied a wuuden jety.
Thae streemd abord oever three gangways, thae streemd in erjd bi faeth and th hoep of parradies, thae streemd in with a continueus tramp and shufl of bair feet, without a werd, a mermer, or
'look at dese catl,' sed th German skiper to his nue cheef maet.
An Arab, th leeder of that pieus voiej, caem last. He waukt sloely abord, hansum and graev in his whiet goun and larj terban. A string of servants foloed, loeded with his lugej; th Patna cast off and bakt awae frum th whorf.
She was heded between too small islets, crosst obleekly th ankoring-ground of saeling-ships, swung thru haf a sercl in th shado of a hil, then raenjd cloes to a lej of foeming reefs. Th Arab, standing up aft, resieted aloud th prair of travelers bi see. He invoekt th faevor of th Moest Hi upon that jerny, implord His blesing on men's toil and on th seecret perposes of thair harts; th steemer pounded in th dusk th caam wauter of th Straet; and far astern of th pilgrim ship a scroo-piel liet-hous, planted bi unbelievers on a trecherus shoel, seemd to wink at her its ie of flaem, as if in derizhun of her errand of faeth.
She cleerd th Straet, crosst th bae, continued on her wae thru th 'one-degree' pasej. She held on straet for th Red See under a sereen skie, under a skie scorching and unclouded, enveloped in a fulgor of sunshien that kild all thaut, oprest
Evry morning th sun, as if keeping paes in his revolooshuns with th progres of th pilgrimej, emerjd with a sielent berst of liet exactly at th saem distans astern of th ship, caut up with her at noon, poring th consentraeted fier of his raes on th pieus perposes of th men, glieded past on his desent, and sank misteeriusly into th see eevning after eevning, prezerving th saem distans ahed of her advansing bows. Th fiev whiets on bord livd amidships, iesolaeted frum th hueman cargo. Th aunings cuverd th dek with a whiet roof frum stem to stern, and a faent hum, a lo mermer of sad voises, aloen reveeld th prezens of a croud of peepl upon th graet blaez of th oeshan. Such wer th daes, stil, hot, hevy, disapeering wun bi wun into th past, as if falling into an abis for ever oepen in th waek of th ship; and th ship, loenly under a wisp of smoek, held on her stedfast wae blak and smouldering in a loominus imensity, as if scorcht bi a flaem flikt at her frum a heven without pity.
Th niets desended on her liek a benedicshun.
A marvellous stilnes pervaeded th werld, and th stars, together with th serenity of thair raes, seemd to shed upon th erth th ashurans of everlasting secuerity. Th yung moon recurved, and shiening lo in th west, was liek a slender shaeving throen up frum a bar of goeld, and th Arabian See, smooth and cool to th ie liek a sheet of ies, extended its perfect level to th perfect sercl of a dark horiezon. Th propeler ternd without a chek, as tho its beet had bin part of th skeem of a saef uenivers; and on eech sied of th Patna too deep foelds of wauter, permanent and somber on th unrinkld shimer, encloezd within thair straet and diverjing rijes a fue whiet swerls of foem bersting in a lo his, a fue wavelets, a fue ripls, a fue undulations that, left behiend, ajitaeted th serfis of th see for an instant after th pasej of th ship, subsieded splashing jently, caamd doun at last into th sercuelar stilnes of wauter and skie with th blak spek of th mooving hul remaening everlastingly in its senter.
Jim on th brij was penetraeted bi th graet sertitued of unbounded saefty and pees that cuud be reed on th sielent aspect of
A draft of air, fand frum forward bi th speed of th ship, past stedily thru th long gloom between th hi bulwarks, swept oever th roes of proen bodys; a fue dim flaems in gloeb- lamps wer hung short heer and thair under th rij-poels, and in th blerd sercls of liet throen doun and trembling slietly to th unseesing viebraeshun of th ship apeerd a chin upternd, too cloezd ielids, a dark hand with silver rings, a meagre lim draept in a torn cuvering, a hed bent bak, a naeked fuut, a throet bared and strecht as if offering itself to th nief. Th wel-to-do had maed for thair familys shelters with hevy boxes and dusty mats; th pur repoezd sied bi sied with all thae had on erth tied up in a rag under thair heds; th loen oeld men slept, with drawn-up legs, upon thair prair-carpets, with thair hands oever thair eers and wun elbo on eech sied of th faes; a faather, his shoelders up and his nees under his forhed, doezd dejectedly bi a boi hoo slept on his bak with touzld hair and wun arm commandingly extended; a wuuman cuverd frum hed to fuut, liek a corps, with a pees of whiet sheeting, had a naeked chield in th holo of eech arm; th Arab's belongings, pield riet aft, maed a hevy mound of broeken outliens, with a cargo-lamp swung abuv, and a graet confuezhun of vaeg forms behiend: gleams of paunchy bras pots, th fuut-rest of a dek-chair, blaeds of spears, th straet scabard of an oeld sord leening agenst a heep of piloes, th spout of a tin coffy-pot. Th patent log on th taffrail peeriodicaly rang a singgl tinkling stroek for evry miel traverst on an errand of faeth. Abuv th mas of sleepers a faent and paeshent si at tiems floeted, th exhalaeshun of a trubld dreem; and short metalic clangs bersting out sudenly in th depths of th ship, th harsh scraep of a shuvel, th vieolent slam of a fernis-dor, exploeded brootaly, as if th men handling th misteerius things belo had thair brests fuul of feers angger: whiel th slim hi hul of th steemer went on eevenly ahed, without a swae of her bair masts, cleaving continueusly th graet caam of th wauters under th inacsesibl serenity of th skie.
Jim paest athwort, and his fuutsteps in th vast sielens wer loud to his oen eers, as if ekoed bi th wochful stars: his ies, roeming
Th ash-bukets racketed, clanking up and doun th stoke-hoeld ventilaetors, and this tin-pot clater wornd him th end of his woch was neer. He sied with content, with regret as wel at having to part frum that serenity which fosterd th advencherus freedom of his thauts. He was a litl sleepy too, and felt a plezherabl langgor
Th thin goeld shaeving of th moon floeting sloely dounwards had lost itself on th darkend serfis of th wauters, and th eternity beyond th skie seemd to cum doun neerer to th erth, with th augmented gliter of th stars, with th mor profound sombreness in th luster of th haf-transpairent doem cuvering th flat disk of an oepaek see. Th ship moovd so smoothly that her onward moeshun was imperseptibl to th senses of men, as tho she had bin a crouded planet speeding thru th dark spaeses of eether behiend th sworm of suns, in th apalling and caam solitueds awaeting th breth of fuecher creaeshuns. 'hot is no naem for it doun belo,' sed a vois.
Jim smield without luuking round. Th skiper prezented an unmoovd bredth of bak: it was th renegade's trik to apeer pointedly unawair of yur existens unles it sooted his perpos to tern at U with a devouring glair befor he let loos a torent of foemy, abuesiv jargon that caem liek a gush frum a sooer. Now he emited oenly a sulky grunt; th second enjineer at th hed of th brij-lader, kneading with damp paams a derty swet-rag, unabasht, continued th tael of his complaents. Th saelors had a guud tiem of it up heer, and whut was th ues of them in th werld he wuud be blowed if he cuud see. Th pur devils of enjineers had to get th ship along enyhow, and thae cuud verry wel do th rest too; bi gosh thae -- 'shut up!' grould th German stolidly. 'oh yes! Shut up -- and when enything goes rong U fli to us, don't U?' went on th uther. He was mor than haf cuukt, he expected; but enywae, now, he did not miend how much he sind, becauz thees last three daes he had past thru a fien cors of traening for th plaes wherr th bad bois go when thae die -- b'gosh, he had -- besieds
Th second enjineer was cuming bi eezy tranzishuns to th consideraeshun of his fienanses and of his curej.
'who's drunk? I? No, no, capten! That woen't do. U aut to noe bi this tiem th cheef ain't free-hearted enuf to maek a sparro drunk, b'gosh. I'v never bin th wers for likor in mi lief; th stuf ain't maed yet that wuud maek me drunk. I cuud drink liqid fier agenst yur whisky peg for peg, b'gosh, and keep as cool as a cuecumber. If I thaut I was drunk I wuud jump oeverbord -- do awae with mieself, b'gosh. I wuud! Straet! And I woen't go off th brij. Wherr do U expect me to taek th air on a niet liek this, eh? On dek amungst that vermin doun thair? Liekly -- ain't it! And I am not afraed of enything U can do.'
Th German lifted too hevy fists to heven and shuuk them a litl without a werd.
'I don't noe whut feer is,' persood th enjineer, with th enthooziazm of sinseer convicshun. 'I am not afraed of doing all th bloomin' werk in this roten hooker, b'gosh! And a joly guud thing for U that thair ar sum of us about th werld that arn't afraed of thair lievs, or wherr wuud U be -- U and this oeld thing heer with her plates liek broun paeper -- broun paeper, s'elp me? It's all verry fien for U -- U get a power of peeses out of her wun wae and anuther; but whut about me -- whut do I get? A meezly hundred and fifty dolars a munth and fiend yurself. I wish to ask U respectfuly
He let go th rael and maed ampl jeschers as if demonstraeting in th air th shaep and extent of his valour; his thin vois darted in prolongd squeaks upon th see, he tiptoed bak and forth for th beter emfasis of uterans, and sudenly picht doun hed-ferst as tho he had bin clubd frum behiend. He sed 'damn!' as he tumbld; an instant of sielens foloed upon his screeching: Jim and th skiper stagerd forward bi comon acord, and caching themselvs up, stuud verry stif and stil gaezing, amaezd, at th undisterbd level of th see. Then thae luukt upwards at th stars.
Whut had hapend? Th wheezy thump of th enjins went on. Had th erth bin chekt in her cors? Thae cuud not understand; and sudenly th caam see, th skie without a cloud, apeerd formidably insecuer in thair imoebility, as if poizd on th brow of yauning destrucshun. Th enjineer rebounded verticaly fuul length and colapst agen into a vaeg heep. This heep sed 'what's that?' in th mufld acsents of profound greef. A faent noiz as of thunder, of thunder infinitly remoet, les than a sound, hardly mor than a viebraeshun, past sloely, and th ship qiverd in respons, as if th thunder had grould deep doun in th wauter. Th ies of th too Malays at th wheel gliterd tords th whiet men, but thair dark hands remaend cloezd on th spoeks. Th sharp hul drieving on its wae seemd to riez a fue inches in sucseshun thru its hoel length, as tho it had becum plieabl, and setld doun agen rijidly to its werk of cleaving th smooth serfis of th see. Its qivering stopt, and th faent noiz of thunder seest all at wuns, as tho th ship had steemd across a narro belt of viebraeting wauter and of huming air.
A munth or so afterwards, when Jim, in anser to pointed qeschuns, tried to tel onestly th trooth of this expeeryens, he sed, speeking of th ship: 'she went oever whutever it was as eezy as a snaek cralling oever a stik.' Th ilustraeshun was guud: th qeschuns wer aeming at facts, and th ofishal Inqiery was being held in th polees cort of an Eestern port. He stuud elevaeted in th witnes-box, with berning cheeks in a cool loffty room: th big fraemwerk of punkahs moovd jently to and fro hi abuv his hed, and frum belo meny ies wer luuking at him out of dark faeses, out of whiet faeses, out of red faeses, out of faeses atentiv, spelbound, as if all thees peepl siting in orderly roes upon narro benches had bin enslaevd bi th fasinaeshun of his vois. It was verry loud, it rang
'after U had conclooded U had colieded with sumthing floeting awosh, sae a wauter-logd rek, U wer orderd bi yur capten to go forward and asertaen if thair was eny damej dun. Did U think it liekly frum th fors of th blo?' askt th asesor siting to th left. He had a thin hors-shoo beerd, saelyent cheek-boens, and with boeth elboes on th desk claspt his ruged hands befor his faes, luuking at Jim with thautful bloo ies; th uther, a hevy, scornful man, throen bak in his seet, his left arm extended fuul length, drumd deliketly with his fingger-tips on a bloting-pad: in th midl th majistraet upriet in th roomy arm-chair, his hed incliend slietly on th shoelder, had his arms crosst on his brest and a fue flowers in a glas vaes bi th sied of his inkstand.
'I did not,' sed Jim. 'I was toeld to call no wun and to maek no noiz for feer of creaeting a panic. I thaut th precaushun reezonabl. I tuuk wun of th lamps that wer hung under th aunings and went forward. After oepening th forepeak hach I herd splashing in thair. I loeerd then th lamp th hoel drift of its lan-yard, and saw that th forepeak was mor than haf fuul of wauter allredy. I nue then thair must be a big hoel belo th wauter-lien.' He pauzd.
'yes,' sed th big asesor, with a dreemy smiel at th bloting- pad; his finggers plaed insesantly, tuching th paeper without noiz.
'I did not think of daenjer just then. I miet hav bin a litl startld: all this hapend in such a qieet wae and so verry sudenly. I nue thair was no uther bulkhed in th ship but th colizhun bulkhed separaeting th forepeak frum th forehold. I went bak to tel th capten. I caem upon th second enjineer geting up at
He spoek sloely; he rememberd swiftly and with extreem vividnes; he cuud hav re-produest liek an eko th moaning of th enjineer for th beter informaeshun of thees men hoo wonted facts. After his ferst feeling of revoelt he had cum round to th vue that oenly a meticuelus presizhun of staetment wuud bring out th troo horror behiend th apalling faes of things. Th facts thoes men wer so eeger to noe had bin vizibl, tanjibl, oepen to th senses, ocuepieing thair plaes in spaes and tiem, reqiering for thair existens a forteen-hundred-tun steemer and twenty-seven minits bi th woch; thae maed a hoel that had feechers, shaeds of expreshun, a complicaeted aspect that cuud be rememberd bi th ie, and sumthing els besieds, sumthing invisibl, a directing spirit of perdishun that dwelt within, liek a malevolent soel in a detestabl body. He was ankshus to maek this cleer. This had not bin a comon afair, evrything in it had bin of th utmoest importans, and forchunetly he rememberd evrything. He wonted to go on tauking for truth's saek, perhaps for his oen saek allso; and whiel his uterans was deliberet, his miend pozitivly floo round and round th serried sercl of facts that had serjd up all about him to cut him off frum th rest of his kiend: it was liek a creecher that, fiending itself imprizond within an encloezher of hi staeks, dashes round and round, distracted in th niet, trieing to fiend a weak spot, a crevis, a plaes to scael, sum oepening thru which it mae sqeez itself and escaep. This auful activity of miend maed him hezitaet at tiems in his speech....
'the capten kept on mooving heer and thair on th brij; he seemd caam enuf, oenly he stumbld several tiems; and wuns as I stuud speeking to him he waukt riet into me as tho he had bin stoen-bliend. He maed no definit anser to whut I had to tel. He mumbld to himself; all I herd of it wer a fue werds that
He was becuming irrelevant; a qeschun to th point cut short his speech, liek a pang of paen, and he felt extreemly discurejd and weery. He was cuming to that, he was cuming to that -- and now, chekt brootaly, he had to anser bi yes or no. He anserd troothfuly bi a curt 'yes, I did'; and fair of faes, big of fraem, with yung, gloomy ies, he held his shoelders upriet abuv th box whiel his soel riethd within him. He was maed to anser anuther qeschun so much to th point and so uesles, then waeted agen. His mouth was taestlesly dri, as tho he had bin eeting dust, then sallt and biter as after a drink of see-wauter. He wiept his damp forhed, past his tung oever parcht lips, felt a shiver run doun his bak. Th big asesor had dropt his ielids, and drumd on without a sound, cairles and mornful; th ies of th uther abuv th sunbernt, claspt finggers seemd to glo with kiendlynes; th majistraet had swaed forward; his pael faes huverd neer th flowers, and then droping siedwaes oever th arm of his chair, he rested his templ in th paam of his hand. Th wind of th punkahs eddied doun on th heds, on th dark-faest naetivs wound about in voloominus draeperys, on th Europeans siting together verry hot and in dril soots that seemd to fit them as cloes as thair skins, and hoelding thair round pith hats on thair nees; whiel gliding along th walls th cort peeons, butond tiet in long whiet coets, flited rapidly to and fro, runing on bair toes, red-sashed, red terban on hed, as noizles as goests, and on th alert liek so meny retrievers.
Jim's ies, waandering in th intervals of his ansers, rested upon a whiet man hoo sat apart frum th uthers, with his faes worn and clouded, but with qieet ies that glanst straet, interested and cleer. Jim anserd anuther qeschun and was tempted to cri out, 'what's th guud of this! whut's th guud!' He tapt with his fuut slietly, bit his lip, and luukt awae oever th heds. He met th ies of th whiet man. Th glans directed at him was not th fasinaeted stair of th uthers. It was an act of intelijent voelishun. Jim between too qeschuns forgot himself so far as to fiend leezher for a thaut. This felo -- ran th thaut -- luuks at me as tho he cuud see sumbody or sumthing past mi shoelder. He had cum across that man befor -- in th street perhaps. He was pozitiv he had never spoeken to him. For daes, for meny daes, he had spoeken to no wun, but had held sielent, incoeheerent, and endles convers with himself, liek a prizoner aloen in his sel or liek a waefairer lost in a wildernes. At prezent he was ansering qeschuns that did not mater tho thae had a perpos, but he douted whether he wuud ever agen speek out as long as he livd. Th sound of his oen
And laeter on, meny tiems, in distant parts of th werld, Marlow shoed himself wiling to remember Jim, to remember him at length, in deetael and audibly.
Perhaps it wuud be after diner, on a veranda draept in moeshunles foelej and cround with flowers, in th deep dusk spekld bi fiery sigar-ends. Th elonggaeted bulk of eech caen-chair harboured a sielent lisener. Now and then a small red glo wuud moov abruptly, and expanding liet up th finggers of a langgwid hand, part of a faes in profound repoez, or flash a crimzon gleem into a pair of pensiv ies oevershadoed bi a fragment of an unrufld forhed; and with th verry ferst werd uterd Marlow's body, extended at rest in th seet, wuud becum verry stil, as tho his spirit had wingd its wae bak into th laps of tiem and wer speeking thru his lips frum th past.
'oh yes. I atended th inqiery,' he wuud sae, 'and to this dae I havn't left off wundering whi I went. I am wiling to beleev eech of us has a gardian aenjel, if U feloes wil conseed to me that eech of us has a familyar devil as wel. I wont U to oen up, becauz I don't liek to feel exsepshunal in eny wae, and I noe I hav him -- th devil, I meen. I havn't seen him, of cors, but I go upon sercumstanshal evidens. He is thair riet enuf, and, being malishus, he lets me in for that kiend of thing. Whut kiend of thing, U ask? Whi, th inqiery thing, th yelo-daug thing -- U wuudn't think a maenjy, naetiv tyke wuud be alowd to trip up peepl in th veranda of a magistrate's cort, wuud U? -- th kiend of thing that bi deevius, unexpected, trooly dieabolical waes cauzes me to run up agenst men with sofft spots, with hard spots, with hiden plaeg spots, bi Jove! and loosens thair tungs at th siet of me for thair infernal confidenses; as tho, forsooth, I had no confidenses to maek to mieself, as tho -- God help me! -- I didn't hav enuf confidenshal informaeshun about mieself to harro mi oen soel til th end of mi apointed tiem. And whut I hav dun to be thus favoured I wont to noe. I declair I am as fuul of mi oen conserns as th next man, and I hav as much memory as th averej pilgrim in this valy, so U see I am not particuelarly fit to be a reseptacl of confeshuns. Then whi? Can't tel -- unles it be to
'talk! So be it. And it's eezy enuf to tauk of Master Jim, after a guud spred, too hundred feet abuv th see-level, with a box of deesent sigars handy, on a blesed eevning of freshnes and starliet that wuud maek th best of us forget we ar oenly on suferans heer and got to pik our wae in cross liets, woching evry preshus minit and evry irremeediabl step, trusting we shal manej yet to go out deesently in th end -- but not so shur of it after all -- and with dasht litl help to expect frum thoes we tuch elboes with riet and left. Of cors thair ar men heer and thair to hoom th hoel of lief is liek an after-diner our with a sigar; eezy, plezant, empty, perhaps enlievend bi sum faebl of strief to be forgoten befor th end is toeld -- befor th end is toeld -- eeven if thair hapens to be eny end to it.
'my ies met his for th ferst tiem at that inqiery. U must noe that evrybody conected in eny wae with th see was thair, becauz th afair had bin noetorius for daes, ever sinss that misteerius caebl mesej caem frum Aden to start us all cackling. I sae misteerius, becauz it was so in a sens tho it contaend a naeked fact, about as naeked and ugly as a fact can wel be. Th hoel wautersied taukt of nuthing els. Ferst thing in th morning as I was dresing in mi staet-room, I wuud heer thru th bulkhed mi Parsee Dubash jabering about th Patna with th stooard, whiel he drank a cup of tee, bi faevor, in th pantry. No sooner on shor I wuud meet sum aqaentans, and th ferst remark wuud be, "Did U ever heer of enything to beet this?" and acording to his kiend th man wuud smiel sinicaly, or luuk sad, or let out a swair or too. Compleet straenjers wuud acost eech uther familyarly, just for th saek of eezing thair miends on th subject: evry confounded loefer in th toun caem in for a harvest of drinks oever this afair: U herd of it in th harbour offis, at evry ship-broker's, at yur agent's, frum whiets, frum naetivs, frum haf-castes, frum th verry boetmen sqoting haf naeked on th stoen steps as U went up -- bi Jove! Thair was sum indignaeshun, not a fue joeks, and no end of discushuns as to whut had becum of them, U noe. This went on for a cupl of weeks or mor, and th opinyon that whutever was misteerius in this afair wuud tern out to be trajic as wel, began to prevael, when wun fien morning, as I was standing in th shaed bi th steps of th harbour offis, I perseevd foer men wauking tords me along th quay. I wunderd for a whiel wherr that qeer lot had sprung frum, and sudenly, I mae sae, I shouted to mieself,
'there thae wer, shur enuf, three of them as larj as lief, and wun much larjer of gerth than eny living man has a riet to be, just landed with a guud brekfast insied of them frum an outward-bound Dael Lien steemer that had cum in about an our after sunriez. Thair cuud be no mistaek; I spoted th joly skiper of th Patna at th ferst glans: th fattest man in th hoel blesed tropical belt cleer round that guud oeld erth of ours. Moroever, nien munths or so befor, I had cum across him in Samarang. His steemer was loeding in th Roeds, and he was abuezing th tiranical institueshuns of th German empier, and soeking himself in beer all dae long and dae after dae in De Jongh's bak-shop, til De Jongh, hoo charjd a gilder for evry botl without as much as th qiver of an ielid, wuud bekon me asied, and, with his litl lethery faes all pukerd up, declair confidenshaly, "Biznes is biznes, but this man, capten, he maek me verry sik. Tfui!"
'I was luuking at him frum th shaed. He was herying on a litl in advans, and th sunliet beeting on him braut out his bulk in a startling wae. He maed me think of a traend baeby elefant wauking on hiend-legs. He was extravagantly gorjus too -- got up in a soild sleeping-soot, briet green and deep orenj vertical strieps, with a pair of raged straw slipers on his bair feet, and somebody's cast-off pith hat, verry derty and too siezes too small for him, tied up with a manilla roep-yarn on th top of his big hed. U understand a man liek that hasn't th goest of a chans when it cums to borroeing cloeths. Verry wel. On he caem in hot haest, without a luuk riet or left, past within three feet of me, and in th inosens of his hart went on pelting upstairs into th harbour offis to maek his depozishun, or report, or whutever U liek to call it.
'it apeers he adrest himself in th ferst instans to th prinsipal shiping-master. Archie Ruthvel had just cum in, and, as his story goes, was about to begin his arjuos dae bi giving a dresing-doun to his cheef clerk. Sum of U miet hav noen him -- an obliejing litl Portuguese haf-cast with a mizerably skiny nek, and allwaes on th hop to get sumthing frum th shipmasters in th wae of eetabls -- a pees of sallt pork, a bag of biskits, a fue potaetoes, or whut not. Wun voiej, I recolect, I tipt him a liev sheep out of th remnant of mi see-stok: not that I wonted him to do enything for me -- he cuudn't, U noe -- but becauz his chield-liek beleef in th saecred riet to perquisites qiet tucht mi hart. It was so strong as to be allmoest buetyful. Th raes -- th too raeses rather -- and th cliemet . . . However, never miend. I noe wherr I hav a frend for lief.
'well, Ruthvel ses he was giving him a seveer lekcher -- on ofishal morality, I supoez -- when he herd a kiend of subdued comoeshun
'thus in a verry fue moements I saw his monstrus bulk desend in haest and stand stil on th outer steps. He had stopt cloes to me for th perpos of profound meditaeshun: his larj perpl cheeks qiverd. He was bieting his thum, and after a whiel noetist me with a siedlong vext luuk. Th uther three chaps that had landed with him maed a litl groop waeting at sum distans. Thair was a salo-faest, meen litl chap with his arm in a sling, and a long indivijual in a bloo flanel coet, as dri as a chip and no stouter than a broomstik, with drooping grae moustaches, hoo luukt about him with an air of jaunty imbisility. Th therd was an upstanding, braud-shoelderd yooth, with his hands in his pokets, terning his bak on th uther too hoo apeerd to be tauking together ernestly. He staird across th empty Esplanaed. A ramshakl gharry, all dust and venetian bliends, puuld up short opozit th groop, and th driever, throeing up his riet fuut oever his nee, gaev himself up to th critical examinaeshun of his toes. Th yung chap, maeking no moovment, not eeven stering his hed, just staird into th sunshien. This was mi ferst vue of Jim. He luukt as unconsernd and unapproachable as oenly th yung can luuk. Thair he stuud, cleen-limbed, cleen-faest, ferm on his feet, as promising a boi as th sun ever shoen on; and, luuking at him, noeing all he nue and a litl mor too, I was as anggry as tho I had detected him trieing to get sumthing out of me bi falls pretences. He had no biznes to luuk so sound. I thaut to mieself -- wel, if this sort can go rong liek that . . . and I felt as tho I cuud fling doun mi hat and dans on it frum sheer mortificaeshun, as I wuns saw th skiper of an Italian barque do becauz his dufer of a maet got into a mes with his ankors when maeking a flieing mur in a roedsted fuul of ships. I askt mieself, seeing him thair aparrently so much at eez -- is he sily? is he calus? He seemd redy to start whisling a tuen. And noet, I did not cair a rap about th behaevuer of th uther too. Thair persons sumhow fited th tael that was public property, and was going to be th subject of an ofishal inqiery. "That oeld mad roeg upstairs calld me a hound," sed th capten of th Patna. I can't tel whether he recogniezd me -- I rather think he did; but at eny raet our glanses met. He glaird -- I smield; hound was th verry mildest epithet that had reecht me thru th oepen windo. "Did he?" I sed frum sum straenj inability to hoeld mi tung. He noded, bit his thum agen, swor under his breth: then lifting his hed
'"U Englishmen ar all roegs," went on mi paetriotic Flensborg or Stettin Australian. I reealy don't recolect now whut deesent litl port on th shors of th Baltic was defiled bi being th nest of that preshus berd. "Whut ar U to shout? Eh? U tel me? U no beter than uther peepl, and that oeld roeg he maek Gottam fus with me." His thik carcas trembld on its legs that wer liek a pair of pilars; it trembld frum hed to fuut. "That's whut U English allwaes maek -- maek a tam' fus -- for eny litl thing, becauz I was not born in yur tam' cuntry. Taek awae mi sertifiket. Taek it. I don't wont th sertifiket. A man liek me don't wont yur verfluchte sertifiket. I shpit on it." He spat. "I vill an Amerigan sitizen begome," he cried, freting and fueming and shufling his feet as if to free his ankls frum sum invisibl and misteerius grasp that wuud not let him get awae frum that spot. He maed himself so worm that th top of his buulet hed pozitivly smoekt. Nuthing misteerius prevented me frum going awae: cueriosity is th moest obvius of sentiments, and it held me thair to see th efect of a fuul informaeshun upon that yung felo hoo, hands in pokets, and terning his bak upon th siedwauk, gaezd across th gras-plots of th Esplanaed at th yelo portico of th Malabar Hoetel with th air of a man about to go for a wauk as soon as his frend is redy. That's how he luukt, and it was oedius. I waeted to see him oeverwhelmd, confounded, peerst thru and thru, sqerming liek an impaeld beetl -- and I was haf afraed to see it too -- if U understand whut I meen. Nuthing mor auful than to woch a man hoo has bin found out, not in a criem but in a mor than criminal weeknes. Th comonest sort of fortitued prevents us frum becuming criminals in a leegal sens; it is frum weeknes unnoen, but perhaps
'this has nuthing to do with Jim, directly; oenly he was outwardly so tipical of that guud, stoopid kiend we liek to feel marching riet and left of us in lief, of th kiend that is not disterbd bi th vaegarys of intelijens and th perversions of -- of nervs, let us sae. He was th kiend of felo U wuud, on th strength of his luuks, leev in charj of th dek -- figuerativly and profeshunaly speeking. I sae I wuud, and I aut to noe. Havn't I ternd out yungsters enuf in mi tiem, for th servis of th Red Rag, to th craft of th see, to th craft hoos hoel seecret cuud be exprest in wun short sentens, and yet must be driven afresh evry dae into yung heds til it becums th compoenent part of evry waeking thaut -- til it is prezent in evry dreem of thair yung sleep! Th see has bin guud to me, but when I remember all thees bois that past thru mi hands, sum groen up now and sum dround bi this tiem, but all guud stuf for th see, I don't think I hav dun badly bi it eether. Wer I to go hoem to-morro, I bet that befor too daes past oever mi hed sum sunbernt yung cheef maet wuud oevertaek me at sum dok gaetwae or uther, and a fresh deep vois speeking abuv mi hat wuud ask: "Don't U remember
'I tel U this is guud; it tels U that wuns in yur lief at leest U had gon th riet wae to werk. I hav bin thus slapt, and I hav winst, for th slap was hevy, and I hav gloed all dae long and gon to bed feeling les loenly in th werld bi verchoo of that harty thump. Don't I remember th litl So-and-so's! I tel U I aut to noe th riet kiend of luuks. I wuud hav trusted th dek to that yungster on th strength of a singgl glans, and gon to sleep with boeth ies -- and, bi Jove! it wuudn't hav bin saef. Thair ar depths of horror in that thaut. He luukt as jenuein as a nue sovrin, but thair was sum infernal aloi in his metal. How much? Th leest thing -- th leest drop of sumthing rair and acurst; th leest drop! -- but he maed U -- standing thair with his don't-cair-hang air -- he maed U wunder whether perchans he wer nuthing mor rair than bras.
'I cuudn't beleev it. I tel U I wonted to see him sqerm for th onor of th craft. Th uther too no-acount chaps spoted thair capten, and began to moov sloely tords us. Thae chated together as thae stroeld, and I did not cair eny mor than if thae
'all this hapend in much les tiem than it taeks to tel, sinss I am trieing to interpret for U into slo speech th instantaenius efect of vizhual impreshuns. Next moement th haf-cast clerk, sent bi Archie to luuk a litl after th pur castaways of th Patna, caem upon th seen. He ran out eeger and bairheded, luuking riet and left, and verry fuul of his mishun. It was doomd to be a faeluer as far as th prinsipal person was consernd, but he aproecht th uthers with fusy importans, and, allmoest imeedyetly, found himself involvd in a vieolent alltercaeshun with th chap that carryd his arm in a sling, and hoo ternd out to be extreemly ankshus for a row. He wasn't going to be orderd about -- "not he, b'gosh." He wuudn't be terrified with a pak of lies bi a coky haf-bred litl qil-driever. He was not going to be bullied bi "no object of that sort," if th story wer troo "ever so"! He balld his wish, his dezier, his determinaeshun to go to bed. "If U wern't a God-forsaeken Portuguee," I herd him yel, "U wuud noe that th hospital is th riet plaes for me." He puusht th fist of his sound arm under th other's noez; a croud began to colect; th haf-cast, flusterd, but doing his best to apeer dignified, tried to explaen his intenshuns. I went awae without waeting to see th end.
'but it so hapend that I had a man in th hospital at th tiem, and going thair to see about him th dae befor th oepening of th Inqiery, I saw in th whiet men's word that litl chap tossing on his bak, with his arm in splints, and qiet liet-heded. To mi graet serpriez th uther wun, th long indivijual with drooping whiet mustash, had allso found his wae thair. I rememberd I had seen him slinking awae during th qorrel, in a haf prans, haf shufl, and trieing verry hard not to luuk scaird. He was no straenjer to th port, it seems, and in his distres was aebl to maek traks straet for Mariani's bilyard-room and grog-shop neer th bazar. That unspeekabl vagabond, Mariani, hoo had noen th man and had ministerd to his vieses in wun or too uther plaeses, kist th ground, in a maner of speeking, befor him, and
'this maed me pauz. Whut did he meen? Th unstedy fantom of terror behiend his glasy ies seemd to stand stil and luuk into mien wistfuly. "Thae ternd me out of mi bunk in th midl woch to luuk at her sinking," he persood in a reflectiv toen. His vois sounded alarmingly strong all at wuns. I was sorry for mi foly. Thair was no snoey-wingd coif of a nersing sister to be seen fliting in th perspectiv of th word; but awae in th midl of a long ro of empty ieern bedsteads an acsident caes frum sum ship in th Roeds sat up broun and gaunt with a whiet bandej set raekishly on th forhed. Sudenly mi interesting invalid shot out an arm thin liek a tentacl and clawd mi shoelder. "Oenly mi ies wer guud enuf to see. I am faemus for mi iesiet. That's whi thae calld me, I expect. Nun of them was qik enuf to see her go, but thae saw that she was gon riet enuf, and sang out together -- liek this . " . . . A wolfish houl sercht th verry reseses of mi soel. "O! maek 'im dri up," whiend th acsident caes iritably. "U don't beleev me, I supoez," went on th uther, with an air of inefabl conseet. "I tel U thair ar no such ies as mien this sied of th Persian
'of cors I stoopt instantly. I defi enybody not to hav dun so. "Whut can U see?" he askt. "Nuthing," I sed, feeling aufuly ashaemd of mieself. He scrutinised mi faes with wield and withering contempt. "Just so," he sed, "but if I wer to luuk I cuud see -- thair's no ies liek mien, I tel U." Agen he clawd, puuling at me dounwards in his eegernes to releev himself bi a confidenshal comuenicaeshun. "Milyons of pink toads. Thair's no ies liek mien. Milyons of pink toads. It's wers than seeing a ship sink. I cuud luuk at sinking ships and smoek mi piep all dae long. Whi don't thae giv me bak mi piep? I wuud get a smoek whiel I wocht thees toads. Th ship was fuul of them. Thae'v got to be wocht, U noe." He winkt faseeshusly. Th perspiraeshun dript on him off mi hed, mi dril coet clung to mi wet bak: th afternoon breez swept impetuously oever th ro of bedsteads, th stif foelds of curtens sterd perpendicuelarly, ratling on bras rods, th cuvers of empty beds bloo about noiselessly neer th bair flor all along th lien, and I shiverd to th verry marro. Th sofft wind of th tropics plaed in that naeked word as bleek as a winter's gael in an oeld barn at hoem. "Don't U let him start his holering, mister," haeld frum afar th acsident caes in a distrest anggry shout that caem ringing between th walls liek a qaevering call doun a tunel. Th clawing hand halld at mi shoelder; he leerd at me noeingly. "Th ship was fuul of them, U noe, and we had to cleer out on th strict Q.T.," he whisperd with extreem rapidity. "All pink. All pink -- as big as mastifs, with an ie on th top of th hed and claws all round thair ugly mouths. Ough! Ough!" Qik jerks as of galvanic shoks discloezd under th flat cuverlet th outliens of meagre and ajitaeted legs; he let go mi shoelder and reecht after sumthing in th air; his body trembld tensly liek a releest harp-string; and whiel I luukt doun, th spectral horror in him broek thru his glasy gaez. Instantly his faes of an oeld soeljer, with its noebl and caam outliens, becaem decomposed befor mi ies bi th corupshun of stelthy cuning, of an abominabl caushun and of desperet feer. He restraend a cri -- "Ssh! whut ar thae doing now doun thair?" he askt, pointing to th flor with fantastic precaushuns of vois and jescher, hoos meening, born upon mi miend in a lurid flash, maed me verry sik of mi clevernes. "Thae ar all asleep," I anserd, woching him narroely. That was it. That's whut he wonted to heer; thees wer th exact werds that cuud caam him. He droo a long breth. "Ssh! Qieet, stedy. I am an oeld staejer out heer. I noe them brutes. Bash in th hed of th ferst that sters. Thair's too meny of them, and she woen't swim mor than ten minits." He panted agen. "Hery up," he yeld sudenly, and went on in a stedy screem: "Thae ar all awaek -- milyons of them. Thae ar trampling on
'I had bin all along exibiting th uezhual poliet siens of interest, but now asooming an air of regret I mermerd of wont of tiem, and shuuk hands in a hery. "I sae," he cried after me; "he can't atend that inqiery. Is his evidens mateerial, U think?"
' "Not in th leest," I calld bak frum th gaetwae.'
'the authoritys wer evidently of th saem opinyon. Th inqiery was not ajernd. It was held on th apointed dae to satisfi th law, and it was wel atended becauz of its hueman interest, no
'the yung chap cuud hav toeld them, and, tho that verry thing was th thing that interested th audyens, th qeschuns puut to him nesesairily led him awae frum whut to me, for instans, wuud hav bin th oenly trooth werth noeing. U can't expect th constitueted authoritys to inqier into th staet of a man's soel -- or is it oenly of his liver? Thair biznes was to cum doun upon th conseqenses, and frankly, a cazhual polees majistraet and too nautical asesors ar not much guud for enything els. I don't meen to impli thees feloes wer stoopid. Th majistraet was verry paeshent. Wun of th asesors was a saeling-ship skiper with a redish beerd, and of a pieus dispozishun. Brierly was th uther. Big Brierly. Sum of U must hav herd of Big Brierly -- th capten of th crak ship of th Bloo Star lien. That's th man.
'he seemd consoomedly bord bi th onor thrust upon him. He had never in his lief maed a mistaek, never had an acsident, never a mis-hap, never a chek in his stedy riez, and he seemd to be wun of thoes luky feloes hoo noe nuthing of indesizhun, much les of self-mistrust. At therty-too he had wun of th best comands going in th Eestern traed -- and, whut's mor, he thaut a lot of whut he had. Thair was nuthing liek it in th werld, and I supoez if U had askt him point-blank he wuud hav confest that in his opinyon thair was not such anuther comander. Th chois had fallen upon th riet man. Th rest of man-kiend that did not comand th sixteen-not steel steemer Ossa wer rather pur creechers. He had saevd lievs at see, had rescued ships in distres, had a goeld cronometer prezented to him bi th under-rieters, and a pair of bi-nocuelars with a sootabl inscripshun frum sum forin Guvernment, in comemoraeshun
'no wunder Jim's caes bord him, and whiel I thaut with sumthing akin to feer of th imensity of his contempt for th yung man under examinaeshun, he was probably hoelding sielent inqiery into his oen caes. Th verdict must hav bin of unmitigaeted gilt, and he tuuk th seecret of th evidens with him in that leep into th see. If I understand enything of men, th mater was no dout of th graevest import, wun of thoes trifles that awaeken iedeeas -- start into lief sum thaut with which a man unuezd to such a companyonship fiends it imposibl to liv. I am in a pozishun to noe that it wasn't muny, and it wasn't drink, and it wasn't wuuman. He jumpt oeverbord at see bairly a week after th end of th inqiery, and les than three daes after leeving port on his outward pasej; as tho on that exact spot in th midst of wauters he had sudenly perseevd th gaets of th uther werld flung oepen wied for his resepshun.
'yet it was not a suden impuls. His grae-heded maet, a ferst- raet saelor and a nies oeld chap with straenjers, but in his relaeshuns
'"We wer pasing to th north of th Hector Bank that voiej. I sed, 'all riet, ser,' wundering whut he was fusing about, sinss I had to call him befor alltering th cors enyhow. lust then aet bels wer struk: we caem out on th brij, and th second maet befor going off menshuns in th uezhual wae -- 'seventy-wun on th log.' Capten Brierly luuks at th compas and then all round. It was dark and cleer, and all th stars wer out as plaen as on a frosty niet in hi latitueds. Sudenly he ses with a sort of a litl si: 'I am going aft, and shal set th log at zero for U mieself, so that thair can be no mistaek. Therty-too miels mor on this cors and then U ar saef. Let's see -- th corecshun on th log is six per sent. aditiv; sae, then, therty bi th dieal to run, and U mae cum twenty degrees to starbord at wuns. No ues loozing eny distans -- is thair?' I had never herd him tauk so much at a
' "This was th last tiem I herd his vois, Capten Marlow. Thees ar th last werds he spoek in th heering of eny living hueman being, ser." At this point th oeld chap's vois got qiet unstedy. "He was afraed th pur broot wuud jump after him, don't U see?" he persood with a qaever. "Yes, Capten Marlow. He set th log for me; he -- wuud U beleev it? -- he puut a drop of oil in it too. Thair was th oil-feeder wherr he left it neer bi. Th boet -- swain's maet got th hoez along aft to wosh doun at haf-past fiev; bi-and-bi he noks off and runs up on th brij -- 'will U pleez cum aft, Mr. Jones,' he ses. 'there's a funy thing. I don't liek to tuch it.' It was Capten Brierly's goeld cronometer woch cairfuly hung under th rael bi its chaen.
' "As soon as mi ies fel on it sumthing struk me, and I nue, ser. Mi legs got sofft under me. It was as if I had seen him go oever; and I cuud tel how far behiend he was left too. Th taffrail-log markt aeteen miels and three-qorters, and foer ieern belaying-pins wer mising round th maenmast. Puut them in his pokets to help him doun, I supoez; but, Lord! whut's foer ieern pins to a powerful man liek Capten Brierly. Maebe his confidens in himself was just shuuk a bit at th last. That's th oenly sien of fluster he gaev in his hoel lief, I shuud think; but I am redy to anser for him, that wuns oever he did not tri to swim a stroek, th saem as he wuud hav had pluk enuf to keep up all dae long on th bair chans had he fallen oeverbord acsidentaly. Yes, ser. He was second to nun -- if he sed so himself, as I herd him wuns. He had riten too leters in th midl woch, wun to th Cumpany and th uther to me. He gaev me a lot of instrucshuns as to th pasej -- I had bin in th traed befor he was out of his tiem -- and no end of hints as to mi conduct with our peepl in Shanghai, so that I shuud keep th comand of th Ossa. He roet liek a faather wuud to a favourite sun, Capten Marlow, and I was fiev-and-twenty yeers his seenyor and had taested sallt wauter befor he was fairly breeched. In his leter to th oeners -- it was left oepen for me to see -- he sed that he had allwaes dun his duety bi them -- up to that moement -- and eeven now he was not betraeing thair confidens, sinss he was leeving th ship to as competent a seeman as cuud be found -- meening me, ser, meening me! He toeld them that if th last act of his lief didn't taek awae all his credit with them, thae
'all this was taeking plaes, mor than too yeers afterwards, on bord that nautical rooin th Fier-Qeen this Jones had got charj of -- qiet bi a funy acsident, too -- frum Matherson -- mad Matherson thae jeneraly calld him -- th saem hoo uezd to hang out in Hai-phong, U noe, befor th ocuepaeshun daes. Th oeld chap snuffled on --
' "Ay, ser, Capten Brierly wil be rememberd heer, if thair's no uther plaes on erth. I roet fuuly to his faather and did not get a werd in repli -- neether Thank U, nor Go to th devil! -- nuthing! Perhaps thae did not wont to noe."
'the siet of that wautery-ied oeld Jones moping his balld hed with a red coton hankerchif, th sorroeing yelp of th daug, th sqolor of that fli-bloen cuddy which was th oenly shrien of his memory, throo a vael of inexpresibly meen paethos oever Brierly's rememberd figuer, th poest-huemus revenj of faet for that beleef in his oen splendour which had allmoest cheeted his lief of its lejitimet terrors. Allmoest! Perhaps hoely. Hoo can tel whut flatering vue he had induest himself to taek of his oen sooisied?
' "Whi did he comit th rash act, Capten Marlow -- can U think?" askt Jones, presing his paams together. "Whi? It beets me! Whi?" He slapt his lo and rinkld forhed. "If he had bin pur and oeld and in det -- and never a sho -- or els mad. But he wasn't of th kiend that goes mad, not he. U trust me. Whut a maet don't noe about his skiper isn't werth noeing. Yung, helthy, wel off, no cairs.... I sit heer sumtiems thinking, thinking, til mi hed fairly begins to buz. Thair was sum reezon."
' "U mae depend on it, Capten Jones," sed I, "it wasn't enything that wuud hav disterbd much eether of us too," I sed; and then, as if a liet had bin flasht into th mudl of his braen, pur oeld Jones found a last werd of amaezing profundity. He bloo his noez, noding at me doelfuly: "Ay, ay! neether U nor I, ser, had ever thaut so much of ourselvs."
'of cors th recolecshun of mi last conversaeshun with Brierly is tinged with th nolej of his end that foloed so cloes upon it. I spoek with him for th last tiem during th progres of th inqiery. It was after th ferst ajernment, and he caem up with me in th street. He was in a staet of iritaeshun, which I noetist with serpriez, his uezhual behaevuer when he condescended to convers being perfectly cool, with a traes of amuezd tolerans, as if th existens of his interlocuetor had bin a rather guud joek. "Thae caut me for that inqiery, U see," he began, and for a whiel enlarjd complainingly upon th inconveniences of daely atendans in cort. "And guudnes noes how long it wil last. Three daes, I supoez."
'we had bin wauking sloely meentiem, and now stopt opozit th harbour offis, in siet of th verry spot frum which th imens capten of th Patna had vanisht as uterly as a tieny fether bloen awae in a hericaen. I smield. Brierly went on: "This is a disgraes. We'v got all kiends amungst us -- sum anointed scoundrels in th lot; but, hang it, we must prezerv profeshunal deesensy or we becum no beter than so meny tinkers going about loos. We ar trusted. Do U understand? -- trusted! Frankly, I don't cair a snap for all th pilgrims that ever caem out of Asia, but a deesent man wuud not hav behaevd liek this to a fuul cargo of oeld rags in baels. We arn't an organiezd body of men, and th oenly thing that hoelds us together is just th naem for that kiend of deesensy. Such an afair destroys one's confidens. A man mae go prity neer thru his hoel see-lief without eny call to sho a stif uper lip. But when th call cums . . . Aha! . . . If I . . ."
'he broek off, and in a chaenjd toen, "I'l giv U too hundred roopees now, Marlow, and U just tauk to that chap. Confound him! I wish he had never cum out heer. Fact is, I rather think sum of mi peepl noe his. Th oeld man's a parson, and I remember now I met him wuns when staeing with mi cuzin in Essex last yeer. If I am not mistaeken, th oeld chap seemd rather to fansy his saelor sun. Horribl. I can't do it mieself -- but U . . ."
'thus, apropo of Jim, I had a glimps of th reeal Brierly a fue daes befor he comited his reality and his sham together to th keeping of th see. Of cors I decliend to medl. Th toen of this last "but U" (pur Brierly cuudn't help it), that seemd to impli I was no mor noetisabl than an insect, cauzd me to luuk at th propoezal with indignaeshun, and on acount of that provocaeshun, or for sum uther reezon, I becaem pozitiv in mi miend that th inqiery was a seveer punishment to that Jim, and that his faesing it -- practicaly of his oen free wil -- was a redeeming feecher in his abominabl caes. I hadn't bin so shur of it befor. Brierly went off in a huf. At th tiem his staet of miend was mor of a mistery to me than it is now.
'next dae, cuming into cort laet, I sat bi mieself. Of cors I
'the next caes was that of asallt and batery comited upon a muny-lender, I beleev; and th defendant -- a venerabl vilejer with a straet whiet beerd -- sat on a mat just outsied th dor with his suns, dauters, suns-in-law, thair wievs, and, I shuud think, haf th popuelaeshun of his vilej besieds, sqoting or standing around him. A slim dark wuuman, with part of her bak and wun blak shoelder bared, and with a thin goeld ring in her noez, sudenly began to tauk in a hi-picht, shrooish toen. Th man with me instinktivly luukt up at her. We wer then just thru th dor, pasing behiend Jim's berly bak.
'whether thoes vilejers had braut th yelo daug with them, I don't noe. Enyhow, a daug was thair, weeving himself in and out amungst people's legs in that muet stelthy wae naetiv daugs hav, and mi companyon stumbld oever him. Th daug leept awae without a sound; th man, raezing his vois a litl, sed with a slo laf, "Luuk at that reched cur," and directly afterwards we becaem separaeted bi a lot of peepl puushing in. I stuud bak for a moement agenst th wall whiel th straenjer manejd to get doun th steps and disapeerd. I saw Jim spin round. He maed a step forward and bard mi wae. We wer aloen; he glaird at me with an air of stuborn rezolooshun. I becaem awair I was being held up, so to speek, as if in a wuud. Th veranda was empty bi then, th noiz and moovment in cort had seest: a graet sielens fel upon th bilding, in which, sumwherr far within, an oryental vois began
' "Did U speek to me?" askt Jim verry lo, and bending forward, not so much tords me but at me, if U noe whut I meen. I sed "No" at wuns. Sumthing in th sound of that qieet toen of his wornd me to be on mi defence. I wocht him. It was verry much liek a meeting in a wuud, oenly mor unsertan in its ishoo, sinss he cuud posibly wont neether mi muny nor mi lief -- nuthing that I cuud simply giv up or defend with a cleer conshens. "U sae U didn't," he sed, verry somber. "But I herd." "Sum mistaek," I proetested, uterly at a loss, and never taeking mi ies off him. To woch his faes was liek woching a darkening skie befor a clap of thunder, shaed upon shaed imperseptibly cuming on, th doom groeing misteeriusly intens in th caam of maturing vieolens.
' "As far as I noe, I havn't oepend mi lips in yur heering," I afermd with perfect trooth. I was geting a litl anggry, too, at th abserdity of this encounter. It strieks me now I hav never in mi lief bin so neer a beeting -- I meen it literaly; a beeting with fists. I supoez I had sum haezy preeshyens of that evenchuality being in th air. Not that he was activly thretening me. On th contrairy, he was straenjly pasiv -- don't U noe? but he was loeering, and, tho not exsepshunaly big, he luukt jeneraly fit to demolish a wall. Th moest re-ashuring simptom I noetist was a kiend of slo and ponderus hezitaeshun, which I tuuk as a tribuet to th evident sinserrity of mi maner and of mi toen. We faest eech uther. In th cort th asallt caes was proseeding. I caut th werds: "Wel -- bufalo -- stik -- in th graetnes of mi feer...."
' "Whut did U meen bi stairing at me all th morning?" sed Jim at last. He luukt up and luukt doun agen. "Did U expect us all to sit with douncast ies out of regard for yur susceptibilities?" I retorted sharply. I was not going to submit meekly to eny of his nonsens. He raezd his ies agen, and this tiem continued to luuk me straet in th faes. "No. That's all riet," he pronounst with an air of deliberaeting with himself upon th trooth of this staetment -- "that's all riet. I am going thru with that. Oenly" -- and thair he spoek a litl faster -- "I woen't let eny man call me naems outsied this cort. Thair was a felo with U. U spoek to him -- o yes -- I noe; 'tis all verry fien. U spoek to him, but U ment me to heer...."
'I ashurd him he was under sum extraordinairy deloozhun. I had no consepshun how it caem about. "U thaut I wuud be afraed to rezent this," he sed, with just a faent tinge of biternes. I was interested enuf to disern th slietest shaeds of expreshun, but I was not in th leest enlietend; yet I don't noe whut in thees werds, or perhaps just th intoenaeshun of that fraez, induest me
'he had bin scaning mi feechers as tho luuking for a plaes wherr he wuud plant his fist. "I wil alow no man," . . . he mumbld threteningly. It was, indeed, a hidius mistaek; he had given himself awae uterly. I can't giv U an iedeea how shokt I was. I supoez he saw sum reflecshun of mi feelings in mi faes, becauz his expreshun chaenjd just a litl. "Guud God!" I stamerd, "U don't think I . . ." "But I am shur I'v herd," he persisted, raezing his vois for th ferst tiem sinss th begining of this deplorabl seen. Then with a shaed of disdaen he aded, "It wasn't U, then? Verry wel; I'l fiend th uther." "Don't be a fool," I cried in exasperaeshun; "it wasn't that at all." "I'v herd," he sed agen, with an unshaken
'there mae be thoes hoo cuud hav laft at his pertinasity; I didn't. O, I didn't! Thair had never bin a man so mersylesly shoen up bi his oen nacheral impuls. A singgl werd had stript him of his discreshun -- of that discreshun which is mor nesesairy to th deesensys of our iner being than cloething is to th decorum of our body. "Don't be a fool," I repeeted. "But th uther man sed it, U don't deni that?" he pronounst distinktly, and luuking in mi faes without flinching. "No, I don't deni," sed I, reterning his gaez. At last his ies foloed dounwards th direcshun of mi pointing fingger. He apeerd at ferst uncomprehending, then confounded, and at last amaezd and scaird as tho a daug had bin a monster and he had never seen a daug befor. "Noebody dremt of insulting U," I sed.
'he contemplaeted th reched animal, that moovd no mor than an efijy: it sat with eers prikt and its sharp muzl pointed into th dorwae, and sudenly snapt at a fli liek a pees of mecanizm.
'I luukt at him. Th red of his fair sunbernt complexshun deepend sudenly under th doun of his cheeks, invaeded his forhed, spred to th roots of his curly hair. His eers becaem intensly crimzon, and eeven th cleer bloo of his ies was darkend meny shaeds bi th rush of blud to his hed. His lips pouted a litl, trembling as tho he had bin on th point of bersting into teers. I perseevd he was incaepabl of pronounsing a werd frum th exses of his huemiliaeshun. Frum disapointment too -- hoo noes? Perhaps he luukt forward to that hammering he was going to giv me for re-habilitaeshun, for apeezment? Hoo can tel whut releef he expected frum this chans of a row? He was naaeev enuf to expect enything; but he had given himself awae for nuthing in this caes. He had bin frank with himself -- let aloen with me -- in th wield hoep of arieving in that wae at sum efectiv refuetaeshun, and th stars had bin ieronicaly unpropitious. He maed an inarticuelet noiz in his throet liek a man imperfectly stund bi a blo on th hed. It was pityful.
'I didn't cach up agen with him til wel outsied th gaet. I had eeven to trot a bit at th last, but when, out of breth at his elbo, I taxt him with runing awae, he sed, "Never!" and at wuns ternd at bae. I explaend I never ment to sae he was runing awae frum me. "Frum no man -- frum not a singgl man on erth," he afermd with a stuborn meen. I forbor to point out th wun obvius exsepshun which wuud hoeld guud for th braevest of us; I thaut he wuud fiend out bi himself verry soon. He luukt at me paeshently whiel I was thinking of sumthing to sae, but I cuud fiend nuthing on th sper of th moement, and he began to wauk on. I kept up, and,
'this oepend sudenly a nue vue of him to mi wunder. I luukt at him cueriusly and met his unabasht and impenetrabl ies. "I can't puut up with this kiend of thing," he sed, verry simply, "and I don't meen to. In cort it's diferent; I'v got to stand that -- and I can do it too."
'I don't pretend I understuud him. Th vues he let me hav of himself wer liek thoes glimpses thru th shifting rents in a thik fog -- bits of vivid and vanishing deetael, giving no conected iedeea of th jeneral aspect of a cuntry. Thae fed one's cueriosity without satisfieing it; thae wer no guud for perposes of oryentaeshun. Upon th hoel he was misleeding. That's how I sumd him up to mieself after he left me laet in th eevning. I had bin staeing at th Malabar Hous for a fue daes, and on mi presing invitaeshun he diend with me thair.'
'an outward-bound mael-boet had cum in that afternoon, and th big diening-room of th hoetel was mor than haf fuul of peepl with a-hundred-pounds-round-th-werld tikets in thair pokets. Thair wer marryd cupls luuking domesticated and bord with eech uther in th midst of thair travels; thair wer small partys and larj partys, and loen indivijuals diening solemly or feesting boisterously, but all thinking, conversing, joeking, or scouling as was thair wont at hoem; and just as intelijently reseptiv of nue impreshuns as thair trunks upstairs. Hensforth thae wuud be laebeld as having past thru this and that plaes, and so wuud be thair lugej. Thae wuud cherrish this distinkshun of thair persons, and prezerv th gumd tikets on thair portmanteaus as docuementery evidens, as th oenly permanent traes of thair improoving enterpriez. Th dark-faest servants tript without noiz oever th vast and polisht flor; now and then a girl's laf wuud be herd, as inosent
'this moovment and thees werds cauzd too wel-groomd mael gloeb-troters at a neighbouring taebl to luuk up in alarm frum thair iest puuding. I roez, and we past into th frunt galery for coffy and sigars.
'on litl octagon taebls candls bernd in glas gloebs; clumps of stif-leaved plants separaeted sets of coezy wiker chairs; and between th pairs of colums, hoos redish shafts caut in a long ro th sheen frum th tall windoes, th niet, glitering and somber, seemd to hang liek a splendid draepery. Th rieding liets of ships winkt afar liek seting stars, and th hils across th roed-sted rezembld rounded blak mases of arested thunder-clouds.
' "I cuudn't cleer out," Jim began. "Th skiper did -- that's all verry wel for him. I cuudn't, and I wuudn't. Thae all got out of it in wun wae or anuther, but it wuudn't do for me."
'I lisend with consentraeted atenshun, not dairing to ster in mi chair; I wonted to noe -- and to this dae I don't noe, I can oenly ges. He wuud be confident and deprest all in th saem breth,
'I can't tel U whether Jim nue he was espeshaly "fansyd," but th toen of his referenses to "mi Dad" was calcuelaeted to giv me a noeshun that th guud oeld rural deen was about th fienest man that ever had bin weryd bi th cairs of a larj family sinss th begining of th werld. This, tho never staeted, was implied with an angzieity that thair shuud be no mistaek about it, which was reealy verry troo and charming, but aded a poinyant sens of lievs far off to th uther elements of th story. "He has seen it all in th hoem paepers bi this tiem," sed Jim. "I can never faes th pur oeld chap." I did not dair to lift mi ies at this til I herd him ad, "I cuud never explaen. He wuudn't understand." Then I luukt up. He was smoeking reflectively, and after a moement, rouzing himself, began to tauk agen. He discuverd at wuns a dezier that I shuud not confound him with his partners in -- in criem, let us call it. He was not wun of them; he was alltogether of anuther sort. I gaev no sien of disent. I had no intenshun, for th saek of barren trooth, to rob him of th smallest particl of eny saeving graes that wuud cum in his wae. I didn't noe how much of it he beleevd himself. I didn't noe whut he was plaeing up to -- if he was plaeing up to enything at all -- and I suspect he did not noe eether; for it is mi beleef no man ever understands qiet his oen artful dojes to escaep frum th grim shado of self-nolej. I maed no sound all th tiem he was wundering whut he had beter do after "that stoopid inqiery was oever."
'apparently he shaird Brierly's contempchuos opinyon of thees proseedings ordaend bi law. He wuud not noe wherr to tern, he confest, cleerly thinking aloud rather than tauking to me. Sertifiket gon, career broeken, no muny to get awae, no werk that he cuud obtaen as far as he cuud see. At hoem he cuud perhaps get sumthing; but it ment going to his peepl for help, and that he wuud not do. He saw nuthing for it but ship befor th mast -- cuud get perhaps a quartermaster's bilet in sum steemer. Wuud do for a qortermaster.... "Do U think U wuud?" I askt pitylesly. He jumpt up, and going to th stoen balustraed luukt out into th niet. In a moement he was bak, towering abuv mi chair with his yoothful faes clouded yet bi th paen of a conkerd emoeshun. He had understuud verry wel I did not dout his ability to steer a ship. In a vois that qaeverd a bit he askt me whi did I sae that? I had bin "no end kiend" to him. I had not eeven laft
'and with this -- upon mi onor! -- he luukt up at me inquisitively. It was a qeschun it apeers -- a bond-fide qeschun! However, he didn't waet for an anser. Befor I cuud recuver he went on, with his ies straet befor him, as if reeding off sumthing riten on th body of th niet. "It is all in being redy. I wasn't; not -- not then. I don't wont to excuez mieself; but I wuud liek to explaen -- I wuud liek sumbody to understand -- sumbody -- wun person at leest! U! Whi not U?"
'it was solem, and a litl ridicuelus too, as thae allwaes ar, thoes strugls of an indivijual trieing to saev frum th fier his iedeea of whut his moral iedentity shuud be, this preshus noeshun of a convenshun, oenly wun of th rools of th gaem, nuthing mor, but all th saem so terribly efectiv bi its asumpshun of unlimited power oever nacheral instinkts, bi th auful penaltys of its faeluer. He began his story qieetly enuf. On bord that Dael Lien steemer that had pikt up thees foer floeting in a boet upon th discreet sunset glo of th see, thae had bin after th ferst dae luukt askans upon. Th fat skiper toeld sum story, th uthers had bin sielent, and at ferst it had bin acsepted. U don't cross-examin pur castaways U had th guud luk to saev, if not frum crooel deth, then at leest frum crooel sufering. Afterwards, with tiem to think it oever, it miet hav struk th offisers of th Avondale that thair was "sumthing fishy" in th afair; but of cors thae wuud keep thair douts to themselvs. Thae had pikt up th capten, th maet, and too enjineers of th steemer Patna sunk at see, and that, verry properly, was enuf for them. I did not ask Jim about th naecher of his feelings during th ten daes he spent on bord. Frum th wae he narraeted that part I was at liberty to infer he was partly stund bi th discuvery he had maed -- th discuvery about himself -- and no dout was at werk trieing to explaen it awae to th oenly man hoo was caepabl of apreeshiaeting all its tremendus magnitued. U must understand he did not tri to minimise its importans. Of that I am shur; and thairin lies his distinkshun. As to whut sensaeshuns he expeeryenst when he got ashor and herd th unforseen concloozhun of th tael in which he had taeken such a pityful part, he toeld me
'I wunder whether he felt th ground cut frum under his feet? I wunder? But no dout he manejd to get a fresh fuut-hoeld verry soon. He was ashor a hoel fortniet waeting in th Sailors' Hoem, and as thair wer six or seven men staeing thair at th tiem, I had herd of him a litl. Thair langgwid opinyon seemd to be that, in adishun to his uther shortcumings, he was a sulky broot. He had past thees daes on th veranda, berryd in a long chair, and cuming out of his plaes of sepulcher oenly at meel-tiems or laet at niet, when he waanderd on th quays all bi himself, detacht frum his seroundings, irezoloot and sielent, liek a goest without a hoem to haunt. "I don't think I'v spoeken three werds to a living soel in all that tiem," he sed, maeking me verry sorry for him; and directly he aded, "Wun of thees feloes wuud hav bin shur to blert out sumthing I had maed up mi miend not to puut up with, and I didn't wont a row. No! Not then. I was too -- too . . . I had no hart for it." "So that bulkhed held out after all," I remarkt cheerfuly. "Yes," he mermerd, "it held. And yet I swair to U I felt it bulj under mi hand. " "It's extraordinairy whut straens oeld ieern wil stand sumtiems," I sed. Throen bak in his seet, his legs stifly out and arms hanging doun, he noded slietly several tiems. U cuud not conseev a sader spectacl. Sudenly he lifted his hed; he sat up; he slapt his thi. "Aa! whut a chans mist! Mi God! whut a chans mist!" he blaezd out, but th ring of th last "mist" rezembld a cri wrung out bi paen.
'he was sielent agen with a stil, far-awae luuk of feers yerning after that mist distinkshun, with his nostrils for an instant dielaeted, snifing th intoxicaeting breth of that waested oportuenity. If U think I was eether serpriezd or shokt U do me an injustis in mor waes than wun! Aa, he was an imajinativ begar! He wuud giv himself awae; he wuud giv himself up. I cuud see in his glans darted into th niet all his iner being carryd on, projected hedlong into th fansyful relm of reklesly heroeic aspiraeshuns. He had no leezher to regret whut he had lost, he was so hoely and nacheraly consernd for whut he had faeld to obtaen. He was verry far awae frum me hoo wocht him across three feet of spaes. With evry instant he was penetraeting deeper into th imposibl werld of roemantic acheevments. He got to th hart of it at last! A straenj luuk of beatitued oeverspred his feechers, his ies sparkld in th liet of th candl berning between us; he pozitivly smield! He had penetraeted to th verry hart -- to th verry hart. It was an extatic smiel that yur faeses -- or mien eether -- wil never wair, mi deer bois. I whiskt him bak bi saeing, "If U had stuk to th ship, U meen!"
'he ternd upon me, his ies sudenly amaezd and fuul of paen,
'I was not in a mersyful mood. He provoekt wun bi his contradictory indiscretions. "It is unforchunet U didn't noe beforhand!" I sed with evry unkiend intenshun; but th perfidius shaft fel harmles -- dropt at his feet liek a spent arro, as it wer, and he did not think of piking it up. Perhaps he had not eeven seen it. Prezently, loling at eez, he sed, "Dash it all! I tel U it buljd. I was hoelding up mi lamp along th anggl-ieern in th loeer dek when a flaek of rust as big as th paam of mi hand fel off th plaet, all of itself." He past his hand oever his forhed. "Th thing sterd and jumpt off liek sumthing aliev whiel I was luuking at it. " "That maed U feel prity bad," I obzervd cazhualy. "Do U supoez," he sed, "that I was thinking of mieself, with a hundred and sixty peepl at mi bak, all fast asleep in that for-'tween-dek aloen -- and mor of them aft; mor on th dek -- sleeping -- noeing nuthing about it -- three tiems as meny as thair wer boets for, eeven if thair had bin tiem? I expected to see th ieern oepen out as I stuud thair and th rush of wauter going oever them as thae lae.... Whut cuud I do -- whut?"
'I can eezily pikcher him to mieself in th peepld gloom of th cavernus plaes, with th liet of th gloeb-lamp falling on a small porshun of th bulkhed that had th waet of th oeshan on th uther sied, and th breething of unconshus sleepers in his eers. I can see him glairing at th ieern, startld bi th falling rust, oeverberdend bi th nolej of an iminent deth. This, I gatherd, was th second tiem he had bin sent forward bi that skiper of his, hoo, I rather think, wonted to keep him awae frum th brij. He toeld me that his ferst impuls was to shout and straetwae maek all thoes peepl leep out of sleep into terror; but such an oeverwhelming sens of his helplesnes caem oever him that he was not aebl to produes a sound. This is, I supoez, whut peepl meen bi th tung cleaving to th roof of th mouth. "Too dri," was th consies expreshun he uezd in referens to this staet. Without a sound, then, he scrambld out on dek thru th number wun hach. A windsail rigd doun thair swung agenst him acsidentaly, and he rememberd that th liet tuch of th canvas on his faes neerly nokt him off th hachwae lader.
'he confest that his nees wobld a guud deel as he stuud on th foredeck luuking at anuther sleeping croud. Th enjins having bin stopt bi that tiem, th steem was bloeing off. Its deep rumbl maed th hoel niet viebraet liek a baes string. Th ship trembld to it.
'he saw heer and thair a hed lifted off a mat, a vaeg form uprise in siting poscher, lisen sleepily for a moement, sink doun agen into th biloey confuezhun of boxes, steem-winches, ventilaetors. He was awair all thees peepl did not noe enuf to taek intelijent noetis of that straenj noiz. Th ship of ieern, th men with whiet faeses, all th siets, all th sounds, evrything on bord to that ignorant and pieus multitued was straenj aliek, and as trustwerthy as it wuud for ever remaen incomprehensibl. It ocurd to him that th fact was forchunet. Th iedeea of it was simply terribl.
'you must remember he beleevd, as eny uther man wuud hav dun in his plaes, that th ship wuud go doun at eny moement; th buljing, rust-eeten plates that kept bak th oeshan, faetaly must giv wae, all at wuns liek an undermiend dam, and let in a suden and oeverwhelming flud. He stuud stil luuking at thees recumbent bodys, a doomd man awair of his faet, servaeing th sielent cumpany of th ded. Thae wer ded! Nuthing cuud saev them! Thair wer boets enuf for haf of them perhaps, but thair was no tiem. No tiem! No tiem! It did not seem werth whiel to oepen his lips, to ster hand or fuut. Befor he cuud shout three werds, or maek three steps, he wuud be floundering in a see whietend aufuly bi th desperet strugls of hueman beings, clamorus with th distres of cries for help. Thair was no help. He imajind whut wuud hapen perfectly; he went thru it all moeshunles bi th hachwae with th lamp in his hand -- he went thru it to th verry last harroeing deetael. I think he went thru it agen whiel he was teling me thees things he cuud not tel th cort.
' "I saw as cleerly as I see U now that thair was nuthing I cuud do. It seemd to taek all lief out of mi lims. I thaut I miet just as wel stand wherr I was and waet. I did not think I had meny seconds . . ." Sudenly th steem seest bloeing off. Th noiz, he remarkt, had bin distracting, but th sielens at wuns becaem intolerably opresiv.
' "I thaut I wuud choek befor I got dround," he sed.
'he proetested he did not think of saeving himself. Th oenly distinkt thaut formd, vanishing, and re-forming in his braen, was: aet hundred peepl and seven boets; aet hundred peepl and seven boets.
' "Sumbody was speeking aloud insied mi hed," he sed a litl wieldly. "Aet hundred peepl and seven boets -- and no tiem! Just think of it." He leend tords me across th litl taebl, and I tried to avoid his stair. "Do U think I was afraed of deth?" he askt in a vois verry feers and lo. He braut doun his oepen hand with a bang that maed th coffy-cups dans. "I am redy to swair I was not -- I was not.... Bi God -- no!" He
'the sofft clashes of crokery reecht us faently thru th hi windoes. Thair was a berst of voises, and several men caem out in hi guud-huemor into th galery. Thae wer exchaenjing jocuelar reminisenses of th donkeys in Cairo. A pael ankshus yooth steping sofftly on long legs was being chaffed bi a struting and rubicund gloeb-troter about his perchases in th bazar. "No, reealy -- do U think I'v bin dun to that extent?" he inqierd, verry ernest and deliberet. Th band moovd awae, droping into chairs as thae went; maches flaird, iloominaeting for a second faeses without th goest of an expreshun and th flat glaez of whiet shert-frunts; th hum of meny conversaeshuns animaeted with th ardour of feesting sounded to me abserd and infinitly remoet.
' "Sum of th croo wer sleeping on th number wun hach within reech of mi arm," began Jim agen.
'you must noe thae kept Kalashee woch in that ship, all hands sleeping thru th niet, and oenly th reliefs of quartermasters and luuk-out men being calld. He was tempted to grip and shaek th shoelder of th neerest lascar, but he didn't. Sumthing held his arms doun along his sieds. He was not afraed -- o no! oenly he just cuudn't -- that's all. He was not afraed of deth perhaps, but I'l tel U whut, he was afraed of th emerjensy. His confounded imajinaeshun had evoekt for him all th horrors of panic, th trampling rush, th pityful screems, boets swompt -- all th apalling insidents of a dizaster at see he had ever herd of. He miet hav bin reziend to die, but I suspect he wonted to die without aded terrors, qieetly, in a sort of peesful trans. A serten redynes to perrish is not so verry rair, but it is seldom that U meet men hoos soels, steeld in th impenetrabl armour of rezolooshun, ar redy to fiet a loozing batl to th last; th dezier of pees waxes strongger as hoep decliens, til at last it conquers th verry dezier of lief. Which of us heer has not obzervd this, or maebe expeeryenst sumthing of that feeling in his oen person -- this extreem weerynes of emoeshuns, th vanity of efort, th yerning for rest? Thoes strieving with unreezonabl forses noe it wel -- th shiprekt castaways in boets, waanterers lost in a dezert, men batling agenst th unthinking miet of naecher, or th stoopid brootality of crouds.'
'how long he stuud stok-stil bi th hach expecting evry moement to feel th ship dip under his feet and th rush of wauter taek him at th bak and toss him liek a chip, I cannot sae. Not
'the Patna had a long brij, and all th boets wer up thair, foer on wun sied and three on th uther -- th smallest of them on th port sied and neerly abrest of th steering-geer. He ashurd me, with evident angzieity to be beleevd, that he had bin moest cairful to keep them redy for instant servis. He nue his duety. I dair sae he was a guud enuf maet as far as that went. "I allwaes beleevd in being prepaird for th werst," he comented, stairing ankshusly in mi faes. I noded mi aprooval of th sound prinsipl, averting mi ies befor th sutl unsoundness of th man.
'he started unstedily to run. He had to step oever legs, avoid stumbling agenst th heds. Sudenly sum wun caut hoeld of his coet frum belo, and a distrest vois spoek under his elbo. Th liet of th lamp he carryd in his riet hand fel upon an upternd dark faes hoos ies entreeted him together with th vois. He had pikt up enuf of th langgwej to understand th werd wauter repeeted several tiems in a toen of insistens, of prair, allmoest of despair. He gaev a jerk to get awae, and felt an arm embraes his leg.
' "Th begar clung to me liek a drouning man," he sed impresivly. "Wauter, wauter! Whut wauter did he meen? Whut did he noe? As caamly as I cuud I orderd him to let go. He was stoping me, tiem was presing, uther men began to ster; I wonted tiem -- tiem to cut th boets adrift. He got hoeld of mi hand now, and I felt that he wuud begin to shout. It flasht upon me it was enuf to start a panic, and I halld off with mi free arm and slung th lamp in his faes. Th glas jinggld, th liet went out, but th blo maed him let go, and I ran off -- I wonted to get at th boets; I wonted to get at th boets. He leept after me frum behiend. I ternd on him. He wuud not keep qieet; he tried to shout; I had haf throtld him befor I maed out whut he wonted. He wonted sum wauter -- wauter to drink; thae wer on strict alowans, U noe, and he had with him a yung boi I had noetist several tiems. His chield was sik -- and thersty. He had caut siet of me as I past bi, and was beging for a litl wauter. That's all. We wer under th brij, in th dark. He kept on snaching at mi rists; thair was no geting rid of him. I dasht into mi berth,
'I felt a creepy sensaeshun all doun mi bakboen; thair was sumthing pecuelyar in all this. Th finggers of th hand that shaeded his brow trembld slietly. He broek th short sielens.
' "Thees things hapen oenly wuns to a man and . . . Aa! wel! When I got on th brij at last th begars wer geting wun of th boets off th choks. A boet! I was runing up th lader when a hevy blo fel on mi shoelder, just mising mi hed. It didn't stop me, and th cheef enjineer -- thae had got him out of his bunk bi then -- raezd th boet-strecher agen. Sumhow I had no miend to be serpriezd at enything. All this seemd nacheral -- and auful -- and auful. I dojd that mizerabl maeniac, lifted him off th dek as tho he had bin a litl chield, and he started whispering in mi arms: 'don't! don't! I thaut U wer wun of them niggers.' I flung him awae, he skided along th brij and nokt th legs frum under th litl chap -- th second. Th skiper, bizy about th boet, luukt round and caem at me hed doun, grouling liek a wield beest. I flinched no mor than a stoen. I was as solid standing thair as this," he tapt lietly with his nukls th wall besied his chair. "It was as tho I had herd it all, seen it all, gon thru it all twenty tiems allredy. I wasn't afraed of them. I droo bak mi fist and he stopt short, mutering-
' " 'ah! it's U. Lend a hand qik.'
' "That's whut he sed. Qik! As if enybody cuud be qik enuf. 'aren't U going to do sumthing?' I askt. 'yes. Cleer out,' he snarld oever his shoelder.
' "I don't think I understuud then whut he ment. Th uther too had pikt themselvs up bi that tiem, and thae rusht together to th boet. Thae trampt, thae wheezd, thae shuvd, thae curst th boet, th ship, eech uther -- curst me. All in muters. I didn't moov, I didn't speek. I wocht th slant of th ship. She was as stil as if landed on th bloks in a dri dok -- oenly she was liek this," He held up his hand, paam under, th tips of th finggers incliend dounwards. "Liek this," he repeeted. "I cuud see th lien of th horiezon befor me, as cleer as a bel, abuv her stem-hed; I cuud see th wauter far off thair blak and sparkling, and stil -- stil as a-pond, dedly stil, mor stil than ever see was befor -- mor stil than I cuud bair to luuk at. Hav U wocht a ship floeting hed doun, chekt in sinking bi a sheet of oeld ieern too roten to stand being shored up? Hav U? O yes, shored up? I thaut of that -- I thaut of evry mortal thing; but can U shor up a bulkhed in fiev minits -- or in fifty for that mater?
'he droo qik breths at evry fue werds and shot qik glanses at mi faes, as tho in his anggwish he wer wochful of th efect. He was not speeking to me, he was oenly speeking befor me, in a dispuet with an invisibl personality, an antagonistic and inseparable partner of his existens -- anuther pozesor of his soel. Thees wer ishoos beyond th competensy of a cort of inqiery: it was a sutl and moementus qorrel as to th troo esens of lief, and did not wont a juj. He wonted an ali, a helper, an acomplis. I felt th risk I ran of being circumvented, bliended, decoyed, bullied, perhaps, into taeking a definit part in a dispuet imposibl of desizhun if wun had to be fair to all th phantoms in pozeshun -- to th repuetabl that had its claems and to th disrepuetabl that had its exijensys. I can't explaen to U hoo havn't seen him and hoo heer his werds oenly at second hand th mixt naecher of mi feelings. It seemd to me I was being maed to comprehend th Inconseevabl -- and I noe of nuthing to compair with th discumfort of such a sensaeshun. I was maed to luuk at th convenshun that lerks in all trooth and on th esenshal sinserrity of falls-huud. He apeeld to all sieds at wuns -- to th sied ternd perpechualy to th liet of dae, and to that sied of us which, liek th uther hemisfeer of th moon, exists stelthily in perpechual darknes, with oenly a feerful ashy liet falling at tiems on th ej. He swaed me. I oen to it, I oen up. Th ocaezhun was obscuer, insignificant -- whut U wil: a lost yungster, wun in a milyon -- but then he was wun of us; an insident as compleetly devoid of importans as th fluding of an ant-heep, and yet th mistery of his atitued got hoeld of me as tho he had bin an indivijual in th forfrunt of his kiend, as if th obscuer trooth involvd wer moementus enuf to afect mankind's consepshun of itself. .. . '
Marlow pauzd to puut nue lief into his expiering sheroot, seemd to forget all about th story, and abruptly began agen.
'my fallt of cors. Wun has no biznes reealy to get interested. It's a weeknes of mien. His was of anuther kiend. Mi weeknes consists in not having a discriminaeting ie for th insidental -- for th externals -- no ie for th hod of th rag-piker or th fien linen of th next man. Next man -- that's it. I hav met so meny men,' he persood, with moementairy sadnes -- 'met them too with a serten -- serten -- impact, let us sae; liek this felo, for instans -- and in eech caes all I cuud see was meerly th hueman being. A confounded democratic qolity of vizhun which mae be beter than toetal bliendnes, but has bin of no advantej to me, I can ashur U. Men expect wun to taek into acount thair fien linen. But I never cuud get up eny enthooziazm about thees things. O! it's a faeling; it's a faeling; and then cums a sofft eevning; a lot of men too indolent for whist -- and a story.... '
He pauzd agen to waet for an encurejing remark, perhaps, but noebody spoek; oenly th hoest, as if reluctantly performing a duety, mermerd --
'you ar so sutl, Marlow.'
'who? I?' sed Marlow in a lo vois. 'oh no! But he was; and tri as I mae for th sucses of this yarn, I am mising inuemerabl shaeds -- thae wer so fien, so dificult to render in colourless werds. Becauz he complicaeted maters bi being so simpl, too -- th simplest pur devil! . . . Bi Jove! he was amaezing. Thair he sat teling me that just as I saw him befor mi ies he wuudn't be afraed to faes enything -- and beleeving in it too. I tel U it was fabulously inosent and it was enormus, enormus! I wocht him cuvertly, just as tho I had suspected him of an intenshun to taek a joly guud riez out of me. He was confident that, on th sqair, "on th sqair, miend!" thair was nuthing he cuudn't meet. Ever sinss he had bin "so hi" -- "qiet a litl chap," he had bin prepairing himself for all th dificultys that can beset wun on land and wauter. He confest proudly to this kiend of forsiet. He had bin elaborating daenjers and defences, expecting th werst, rehersing his best. He must hav led a moest exallted existens. Can U fansy it? A sucseshun of advenchers, so much glory, such a victorius progres! and th deep sens of his sagasity crouning evry dae of his iner lief. He forgot himself; his ies shoen; and with evry werd mi hart, sercht bi th liet of his abserdity, was groeing hevyer in mi brest. I had no miend to laf, and lest I shuud smiel I maed for mieself a stolid faes. He gaev siens of iritaeshun.
' "It is allwaes th unexpected that hapens," I sed in a propishiatory toen. Mi obtuseness provoekt him into a contempchuos "Pshaw!" I supoez he ment that th unexpected cuudn't tuch
'nothing in th werld moovd befor his ies, and he cuud depict to himself without hindrans th suden swing upwards of th dark skie-lien, th suden tilt up of th vast plaen of th see, th swift stil riez, th brootal fling, th grasp of th abis, th strugl without hoep, th starliet cloezing oever his hed for ever liek th vallt of a toom -- th revoelt of his yung lief -- th blak end. He cuud! Bi Jove! hoo cuudn't? And U must remember he was a finisht artist in that pecuelyar wae, he was a gifted pur devil with th faculty of swift and forestalling vizhun. Th siets it shoed him had ternd him into coeld stoen frum th soels of his feet to th nape of his nek; but thair was a hot dans of thauts in his hed, a dans of laem, bliend, muet thauts -- a wherl of auful cripples. Didn't I tel U he confest himself befor me as tho I had th power to biend and to loos? He burroed deep, deep, in th hoep of mi absolooshun, which wuud hav bin
'he stuud on th starbord sied of th brij, as far as he cuud get frum th strugl for th boet, which went on with th ajitaeshun of madnes and th stealthiness of a conspirasy. Th too Malays had meentiem remaend hoelding to th wheel. Just pikcher to yurselvs th actors in that, thank God! ueneek, episoed of th see, foer besied themselvs with feers and seecret exershuns, and three luuking on in compleet imoebility, abuv th aunings cuvering th profound ignorans of hundreds of hueman beings, with thair weerynes, with thair dreems, with thair hoeps, arested, held bi an invisibl hand on th brink of anieilaeshun. For that thae wer so, maeks no dout to me: given th staet of th ship, this was th dedlyest posibl descripshun of acsident that cuud hapen. Thees begars bi th boet had evry reezon to go distracted with funk. Frankly, had I bin thair, I wuud not hav given as much as a counterfit farthing for th ship's chans to keep abuv wauter to th end of eech sucsesiv second. And stil she floeted! Thees sleeping pilgrims wer destind to acomplish thair hoel pilgrimej to th biternes of sum uther end. It was as if th Omnipotens hoos mersy thae confest had needed thair humbl testimoeny on erth for a whiel longger, and had luukt doun to maek a sien, "Thow shalt not!" to th oeshan. Thair escaep wuud trubl me as a prodigiously inexplicabl event, did I not noe how tuf oeld ieern can be -- as tuf sumtiems as th spirit of sum men we meet now and then, worn to a shado and breasting th waet of lief. Not th leest wunder of thees twenty minits, to mi miend, is th behaevuer of th too helmsmen. Thae wer amungst th naetiv bach of all sorts braut oever frum Aden to giv evidens at th inqiery. Wun of them, labouring under intens bashfulness, was verry yung, and with his smooth, yelo, cheery countenans luukt eeven yungger than he was. I remember perfectly Brierly asking him, thru th interpreter, whut he thaut of it at th tiem, and th interpreter, after a short coloqy, terning to th cort with an important air --
' "He ses he thaut nuthing."
'the uther, with paeshent blinking ies, a bloo coton hankerchif, faeded with much woshing, bound with a smart twist oever a lot of grae wisps, his faes shrunk into grim holoes, his broun skin maed darker bi a mesh of rinkls, explaend that he had a nolej of sum eevil thing befalling th ship, but thair had bin no order; he cuud not remember an order; whi shuud he leev th helm? To sum ferther qeschuns he jerkt bak his spair shoelders, and declaird it never caem into his miend then
'so thees too lascars stuk to th helm of that ship without steerej-wae, wherr deth wuud hav found them if such had bin thair destiny. Th whiets did not giv them haf a glans, had probably forgoten thair existens. Ashuredly Jim did not remember it. He rememberd he cuud do nuthing; he cuud do nuthing, now he was aloen. Thair was nuthing to do but to sink with th ship. No ues maeking a disterbans about it. Was thair? He waeted upstanding, without a sound, stifend in th iedeea of sum sort of heroeic discreshun. Th ferst enjineer ran caushusly across th brij to tug at his sleev.
' "Cum and help! For God's saek, cum and help!"
'he ran bak to th boet on th points of his toes, and reternd directly to wery at his sleev, beging and cursing at th saem tiem.
' "I beleev he wuud hav kist mi hands," sed Jim savejly, "and, next moement, he starts foeming and whispering in mi faes, 'if I had th tiem I wuud liek to crak yur skul for U.' I puusht him awae. Sudenly he caut hoeld of me round th nek. Dam him! I hit him. I hit out without luuking. 'won't U saev yur oen lief -- U infernal coward?' he sobs. Coward! He calld me an infernal coward! Haa! haa! haa! haa! He calld me -- haa! haa! haa! . . ."
'he had throen himself bak and was shaeking with lafter. I had never in mi lief herd enything so biter as that noiz. It fel liek a bliet on all th merriment about donkeys, piramids, bazaars, or whut not. Along th hoel dim length of th galery th
' "U mustn't laf liek this, with all thees peepl about," I remonstraeted. "It isn't nies for them, U noe."
'he gaev no sien of having herd at ferst, but after a whiel, with a stair that, mising me alltogether, seemd to proeb th hart of sum auful vizhun, he muterd cairlesly -- "O! thae'l think I am drunk . "
'and after that U wuud hav thaut frum his apeerans he wuud never maek a sound agen. But -- no feer! He cuud no mor stop teling now than he cuud hav stopt living bi th meer exershun of his wil.'
' "I was saeing to mieself, 'sink -- curs U! Sink!' " Thees wer th werds with which he began agen. He wonted it oever. He was seveerly left aloen, and he formuelaeted in his hed this adres to th ship in a toen of imprecaeshun, whiel at th saem tiem he enjoid th privilej of witnesing seens -- as far as I can juj -- of lo comedy. Thae wer stil at that boelt. Th skiper was ordering, "Get under and tri to lift"; and th uthers nacheraly sherkt. U understand that to be sqeezd flat under th keel of a boet wasn't a dezierabl pozishun to be caut in if th ship went doun sudenly. "Whi don't U -- U th stronggest?" whiend th litl enjineer. "Gott-for-dam! I am too thik," spluttered th skiper in despair. It was funy enuf to maek aenjels weep. Thae stuud iedl for a moement, and sudenly th cheef enjineer rusht agen at Jim.
' "Cum and help, man! Ar U mad to thro yur oenly chans awae? Cum and help, man! Man! Luuk thair -- luuk!"
'and at last Jim luukt astern wherr th uther pointed with manieacal insistens. He saw a sielent blak sqall which had eeten up allredy wun-therd of th skie. U noe how thees sqalls cum up thair about that tiem of th yeer. Ferst U see a darkening of th horiezon -- no mor; then a cloud riezes oepaek liek a wall. A straet ej of vapour liend with sikly whitish gleams flies up frum th south-west, swoloeing th stars in hoel constellations; its shado flies oever th wauters, and confounds see and skie into wun abis of obscuerity. And all is stil. No thunder, no wind, no sound; not a fliker of lietning. Then in th tenebrus imensity a livid arch apeers; a swel or too liek undulations of th verry darknes run past, and, sudenly, wind and raen striek together with a pecuelyar impechuosity as if thae had berst thru sumthing solid. Such a
' "It was blak, blak," persood Jim with moody stedynes. "It had sneekt upon us frum behiend. Th infernal thing! I supoez thair had bin at th bak of mi hed sum hoep yet. I don't noe. But that was all oever enyhow. It maddened me to see mieself caut liek this. I was anggry, as tho I had bin trapt. I was trapt! Th niet was hot, too, I remember. Not a breth of air."
'he rememberd so wel that, gasping in th chair, he seemd to swet and choek befor mi ies. No dout it maddened him; it nokt him oever afresh -- in a maner of speeking -- but it maed him allso remember that important perpos which had sent him rushing on that brij oenly to slip cleen out of his miend. He had intended to cut th liefboets cleer of th ship. He whipt out his nief and went to werk slashing as tho he had seen nuthing, had herd nuthing, had noen of no wun on bord. Thae thaut him hoeplesly rong-heded and craezy, but daird not protest noizily agenst this uesles loss of tiem. When he had dun he reternd to th verry saem spot frum which he had started. Th cheef was thair, redy with a cluch at him to whisper cloes to his hed, scaethingly, as tho he wonted to biet his eer --
' "U sily fool! do U think U'l get th goest of a sho when all that lot of brutes is in th wauter? Whi, thae wil bater yur hed for U frum thees boets."
'he wrung his hands, ignord, at Jim's elbo. Th skiper kept up a nervus shufl in wun plaes and mumbld, "Hamer! hamer! Mein Gott! Get a hamer."
'the litl enjineer whimpered liek a chield, but, broeken arm and all, he ternd out th leest craeven of th lot as it seems, and, akchualy, musterd enuf pluk to run an errand to th enjin-room. No triefl, it must be oend in fairnes to him. Jim toeld me he darted desperet luuks liek a cornerd man, gaev wun lo wael, and dasht off. He was bak instantly clambering, hamer in hand, and without a pauz flung himself at th boelt. Th uthers gaev up Jim at wuns and ran off to asist. He herd th tap, tap of th hamer, th sound of th releest chock falling oever. Th boet was cleer. Oenly then he ternd to luuk -- oenly then. But he kept his distans -- he kept his distans. He wonted me to noe he had kept his distans;
'his feet wer glood to that remoet spot and his ies to thair indistinct groop bowd together and swaeing straenjly in th comon torment of feer. A hand-lamp lasht to a stanshun abuv a litl taebl rigd up on th brij -- th Patna had no chart-room amidships -- throo a liet on thair labouring shoelders, on thair archt and bobing baks. Thae puusht at th bow of th boet; thae puusht out into th niet; thae puusht, and wuud no mor luuk bak at him. Thae had given him up as if indeed he had bin too far, too hoeplesly separaeted frum themselvs, to be werth an apeeling werd, a glans, or a sien. Thae had no leezher to luuk bak upon his pasiv herroeizm, to feel th sting of his abstenshun. Th boet was hevy; thae puusht at th bow with no breth to spair for an encurejing werd: but th termoil of terror that had scaterd thair self-comand liek chaf befor th wind, converted thair desperet exershuns into a bit of fooling, upon mi werd, fit for nokabout clouns in a fars. Thae puusht with thair hands, with thair heds, thae puusht for deer lief with all th waet of thair bodys, thae puusht with all th miet of thair soels -- oenly no sooner had thae sucseeded in canting th stem cleer of th davit than thae wuud leev off liek wun man and start a wield scrambl into her. As a nacheral conseqens th boet wuud swing in abruptly, drieving them bak, helples and jostling agenst eech uther. Thae wuud stand nonplussed for a whiel, exchaenjing in feers whispers all th infamus naems thae cuud call to miend, and go at it agen. Three tiems this ocurd. He descriebd it to me with moroes thautfulnes. He hadn't lost a singgl moovment of that comic biznes. "I loethd them. I haeted them. I had to luuk at all that," he sed without emfasis, terning upon me a sombrely wochful glans. "Was ever thair eny wun so shamefully tried?"
'he tuuk his hed in his hands for a moement, liek a man driven to distracshun bi sum unspeekabl outraej. Thees wer things he cuud not explaen to th cort -- and not eeven to me; but I wuud hav bin litl fited for th resepshun of his confidenses had I not bin aebl at tiems to understand th pauzes between th werds. In this asallt upon his fortitued thair was th jeering intenshun of a spietful and viel vengeance; thair was an element of berlesk in his ordeel -- a degradaeshun of funy grimaces in th aproech of deth or dishonour.
'he relaeted facts which I hav not forgoten, but at this distans
'he rouzd himself.
' "I maed up mi miend to keep mi ies shut," he sed, "and I cuudn't. I cuudn't, and I don't cair hoo noes it. Let them go thru that kiend of thing befor thae tauk. Just let them -- and do beter -- that's all. Th second tiem mi ielids floo oepen and mi mouth too. I had felt th ship moov. She just dipt her bows -- and lifted them jently -- and slo! everlastingly slo; and ever so litl. She hadn't dun that much for daes. Th cloud had raest ahed, and this ferst swel seemd to travel upon a see of leed. Thair was no lief in that ster. It manejd, tho, to nok oever sumthing in mi hed. Whut wuud U hav dun? U ar shur of yurself -- arn't U? Whut wuud U do if U felt now -- this minit -- th hous heer moov, just moov a litl under yur chair. Leep! Bi hevens! U wuud taek wun spring frum wherr U sit and land in that clump of buushes yonder."
'he flung his arm out at th niet beyond th stoen balustraed. I held mi pees. He luukt at me verry stedily, verry seveer. Thair cuud be no mistaek: I was being bullied now, and it behoved me to maek no sien lest bi a jescher or a werd I shuud be drawn into a faetal admishun about mieself which wuud hav had sum bairing on th caes. I was not dispoezd to taek eny risk of that sort. Don't forget I had him befor me, and reealy he was too much liek wun of us not to be daenjerus. But if U wont to noe I don't miend teling U that I did, with a rapid glans, estimet th distans to th mas of denser blaknes in th midl of th gras-plot befor th
'the last moement had cum, as he thaut, and he did not moov. His feet remaend glood to th planks if his thauts wer noking about loos in his hed. It was at this moement too that he saw wun of th men around th boet step bakwards sudenly, cluch at th air with raezd arms, toter and colaps. He didn't exactly fall, he oenly slid jently into a siting poscher, all huncht up, and with his shoelders propt agenst th sied of th enjin-room skieliet. "That was th donky-man. A hagard, whiet-faest chap with a raged mustash. Acted therd enjineer," he explaend.
' "Ded," I sed. We had herd sumthing of that in cort.
' "So thae sae," he pronounst with somber indiferens. "Of cors I never nue. Weak hart. Th man had bin complaening of being out of sorts for sum tiem befor. Exsietment. Oever-exershun. Devil oenly noes. Haa! haa! haa! It was eezy to see he did not wont to die eether. Droel, isn't it? Mae I be shot if he hadn't bin foold into kiling himself! Foold -- neether mor nor les. Foold into it, bi hevens! just as I . . . Aa! If he had oenly kept stil; if he had oenly toeld them to go to th devil when thae caem to rush him out of his bunk becauz th ship was sinking! If he had oenly stuud bi with his hands in his pokets and calld them naems!"
'he got up, shuuk his fist, glaird at me, and sat doun.
' "A chans mist, eh?" I mermerd.
' "Whi don't U laf?" he sed. "A joek hacht in hel. Weak hart! . . . I wish sumtiems mien had bin."
'this iritaeted me. "Do U?" I exclaemd with deep-rooted ierony. "Yes! Can't U understand?" he cried. "I don't noe whut mor U cuud wish for," I sed anggrily. He gaev me an uterly uncomprehending glans. This shaft had allso gon wied of th mark, and he was not th man to bother about strae arroes. Upon mi werd, he was too unsuspecting; he was not fair gaem. I was glad that mi misil had bin throen awae, -- that he had not eeven herd th twang of th bow.
'of cors he cuud not noe at th tiem th man was ded. Th next minit -- his last on bord -- was crouded with a toomult of events and sensaeshuns which beet about him liek th see upon a rok. I uez th simily adviezedly, becauz frum his relaeshun I am forst to beleev he had prezervd thru it all a straenj iloozhun of pasivnes, as tho he had not acted but had suferd himself to be handld bi th infernal powers hoo had selected him for th victim of thair practical joek. Th ferst thing that caem to him was th griending serj of th hevy davits swinging out at last -- a jar which seemd to enter his body frum th dek thru th soels of his feet, and travel up his spien to th croun of his hed. Then, th
'this was th ferst I herd of his having moovd at all. I cuud not restraen a grunt of serpriez. Sumthing had started him off at last, but of th exact moement, of th cauz that tore him out of his imoebility, he nue no mor than th uprooted tree noes of th wind that laed it lo. All this had cum to him: th sounds, th siets, th legs of th ded man -- bi Jove! Th infernal joek was being cramd devilishly doun his throet, but -- luuk U -- he was not going to admit of eny sort of swoloeing moeshun in his gulet. It's extraordinairy how he cuud cast upon U th spirit of his iloozhun. I lisend as if to a tael of blak majic at werk upon a corps.
' "He went oever siedwaes, verry jently, and this is th last thing I remember seeing on bord," he continued. "I did not cair whut he did. It luukt as tho he wer piking himself up: I thaut he was piking himself up, of cors: I expected him to boelt past me oever th rael and drop into th boet after th uthers. I cuud heer them noking about doun thair, and a vois as if crieing up a shaft calld out 'george!' Then three voises together raezd a yel. Thae caem to me separetly: wun bleated, anuther screemd, wun hould. Ough!"
'he shiverd a litl, and I beheld him riez sloely as if a stedy hand frum abuv had bin puuling him out of th chair bi his hair. Up, sloely -- to his fuul hiet, and when his nees had lokt stif th hand let him go, and he swaed a litl on his feet. Thair was a sugjeschun of auful stilnes in his faes, in his moovments, in his verry vois when he sed "Thae shouted" -- and involuntairily I prikt up mi eers for th goest of that shout that wuud be herd directly thru th falls efect of sielens. "Thair wer aet hundred
'he raezd his hand deliberetly to his faes, and maed piking moeshuns with his finggers as tho he had bin botherd with cobwebs, and afterwards he luukt into th oepen paam for qiet haf a second befor he blerted out --
' "I had jumpt . . . " He chekt himself, averted his gaez.... "It seems," he aded.
'his cleer bloo ies ternd to me with a pitius stair, and luuking at him standing befor me, dumfounded and hert, I was oprest bi a sad sens of reziend wizdom, minggld with th amuezd and profound pity of an oeld man helples befor a chieldish dizaster.
' "Luuks liek it," I muterd.
' "I nue nuthing about it til I luukt up," he explaend haestily. And that's posibl too. U had to lisen to him as U wuud to a small boi in trubl. He didn't noe. It had hapend sumhow. It wuud never hapen agen. He had landed partly on sumbody and fallen across a thwort. He felt as tho all his ribs on his left sied must be broeken; then he roeld oever, and saw vaegly th ship he had dezerted upriezing abuv him, with th red sied-liet gloeing larj in th raen liek a fier on th brow of a hil seen thru a mist. "She seemd hieer than a wall; she loomd liek a clif oever th boet . . . I wisht I cuud die," he cried. "Thair was no going bak. It was as if I had jumpt into a wel -- into an everlasting deep hoel.... " '
'he lokt his finggers together and tore them apart. Nuthing cuud be mor troo: he had indeed jumpt into an everlasting deep hoel. He had tumbld frum a hiet he cuud never scael
'they wocht in th dark with thair heds haf ternd to windward as if expecting to heer cries. At ferst he was thankful th niet had cuverd up th seen befor his ies, and then to noe of it and yet to hav seen and herd nuthing apeerd sumhow th culminaeting point of an auful misforchen. "Straenj, isn't it?" he mermerd, interrupting himself in his disjointed narrativ.
'it did not seem so straenj to me. He must hav had an unconshus convicshun that th reality cuud not be haf as bad, not haf as anguishing, apalling, and venjful as th creaeted terror of his imajinaeshun. I beleev that, in this ferst moement, his hart was wrung with all th sufering, that his soel nue th acuemuelaeted savour of all th feer, all th horror, all th despair of aet hundred hueman beings pounst upon in th niet bi a suden and vieolent deth, els whi shuud he hav sed, "It seemd to me that I must jump out of that acurst boet and swim bak to see -- haf a miel --
Marlow sat up abruptly and flung awae his sheroot with fors. It maed a darting red trael liek a toi roket fierd thru th draepery of creepers. Noebody sterd.
'hey, whut do U think of it?' he cried with suden animaeshun. 'wasn't he troo to himself, wasn't he? His saevd lief was oever for wont of ground under his feet, for wont of siets for his ies, for wont of voises in his eers. Anieilaeshun -- hae! And all th tiem it was oenly a clouded skie, a see that did not braek, th air that did not ster. Oenly a niet; oenly a sielens.
'it lasted for a whiel, and then thae wer sudenly and uenanimusly moovd to maek a noiz oever thair escaep. "I nue frum th ferst she wuud go." "Not a minit too soon." "A narro sqeek, b'gosh!" He sed nuthing, but th breez that had dropt caem bak, a jentl draft freshend stedily, and th see joind its murmuring vois to this taukativ reacshun sucseeding th dum moements of au. She was gon! She was gon! Not a dout of it. Noebody cuud hav helpt. Thae repeeted th saem werds oever and oever agen as tho thae cuudn't stop themselvs. Never douted she wuud go. Th liets wer gon. No mistaek. Th liets wer gon. Cuudn't expect enything els. She had to go.... He noetist that thae taukt as tho thae had left behiend them nuthing
'his hand groept stelthily, caem in contact with a liker-glas, and was withdrawn sudenly as if it had tucht a red-hot coel. I puusht th botl slietly. "Woen't U hav sum mor?" I askt. He luukt at me anggrily. "Don't U think I can tel U whut thair is to tel without scrooing mieself up?" he askt. Th sqod of gloeb-troters had gon to bed. We wer aloen but for a vaeg whiet form erect in th shado, that, being luukt at, crinjd forward, hezitaeted, bakt awae sielently. It was geting laet, but I did not hery mi gest.
'in th midst of his forlorn staet he herd his companyons begin to abuez sum wun. "Whut kept U frum jumping, U loonatic?" sed a scoelding vois. Th cheef enjineer left th stern-sheets, and cuud be herd clambering forward as if with hostil intenshuns agenst "th graetest idiot that ever was." Th skiper shouted with rasping efort ofensiv epithets frum wherr he sat at th or. He lifted his hed at that upror, and herd th naem "George," whiel a hand in th dark struk him on th brest. "Whut hav U got to sae for yurself, U fool?" qeeryd sumbody, with a sort of verchuos fuery. "Thae wer after me," he sed. "Thae wer abuezing me -- abuezing me . . . bi th naem of George. "
'he pauzd to stair, tried to smiel, ternd his ies awae and went on. "That litl second puuts his hed riet under mi noez, 'why, it's that blasted maet!' 'what!' houls th skiper frum th uther end of th boet. 'no!' shrieks th cheef. And he too stoopt to luuk at mi faes."
'the wind had left th boet sudenly. Th raen began to fall agen, and th sofft, uninterupted, a litl misteerius sound with which th see reseevs a shower aroez on all sieds in th niet. "Thae wer too taeken abak to sae enything mor at ferst," he narraeted
'I cuudn't help exclaeming, "Whut an extraordinairy afair!"
' "Not bad -- eh?" he sed, as if in sum sort astounded. "Thae pretended to think I had dun awae with that donky-man for
'he oepend and cloezd his curvd finggers, and his hands had an eeger and crooel fluter. "Stedy, stedy," I mermerd.
' "Eh? Whut? I am not exsieted," he remonstraeted, aufuly hert, and with a convulsiv jerk of his elbo nokt oever th conyac botl. I started forward, scraeping mi chair. He bounst off th taebl as if a mien had bin exploeded behiend his bak, and haf ternd befor he alieted, crouching on his feet to sho me a startld pair of ies and a faes whiet about th nostrils. A luuk of intens anoians sucseeded. "Aufuly sorry. How clumzy of me!" he mumbld, verry vext, whiel th punjent odour of spilt alcohol enveloped us sudenly with an atmosfeer of a lo drinking-bout in th cool, puer darknes of th niet. Th liets had bin puut out in th diening-hall; our candl glimmered solitairy in th long galery, and th colums had ternd blak frum pediment to capital. On th vivid stars th hi corner of th Harbour Offis stuud out distinkt across th Esplanaed, as tho th somber piel had glieded neerer to see and heer.
'he asoomd an air of indiferens.
' "I dair sae I am les caam now than I was then. I was redy for enything. Thees wer trifles.... "
' "U had a lievly tiem of it in that boet," I remarkt
' "I was redy," he repeeted. "After th ship's liets had gon, enything miet hav hapend in that boet -- enything in th werld -- and th werld no wiezer. I felt this, and I was pleezd. It was just dark enuf too. We wer liek men walld up qik in a roomy graev. No consern with enything on erth. Noebody to pas an opinyon. Nuthing materd." For th therd tiem during this conversaeshun he laft harshly, but thair was no wun about to suspect him of being oenly drunk. "No feer, no law, no sounds, no ies -- not eeven our oen, til -- til sunriez at leest."
'I was struk bi th sugjestiv trooth of his werds. Thair is sumthing pecuelyar in a small boet upon th wied see. Oever th lievs born frum under th shado of deth thair seems to fall th shado of madnes. When yur ship faels U, yur hoel werld seems to fael U; th werld that maed U, restraend U, tuuk cair of U. It is as if th soels of men floeting on an abis and in tuch with imensity had bin set free for eny exses of herroeizm, abserdity, or abominaeshun. Of cors, as with beleef, thaut, luv, haet, convicshun, or eeven th vizhual aspect of mateerial things, thair ar as meny shipwrecks as thair ar men, and in this wun thair was sumthing abject which maed th iesolaeshun mor compleet -- thair was a vilany of sercumstanses that cut thees men off mor compleetly frum th rest of man-kiend, hoos iedeel of conduct had never undergon th trieal of a feendish and apalling joek. Thae wer exasperaeted with him for being a haf-hearted shirker: he foecust on them his haetred of th hoel thing; he wuud hav liekt to taek a signal revenj for th abhorent oportuenity thae had puut in his wae. Trust a boet on th hi sees to bring out th Irrashunal that lerks at th botom of evry thaut, sentiment, sensaeshun, emoeshun. It was part of th berlesk meennes pervaeding that particuelar dizaster at see that thae did not cum to bloes. It was all threts, all a terribly efectiv faent, a sham frum begining to end, pland bi th tremendus disdaen of th Dark Powers hoos reeal terrors, allwaes on th verj of trieumf, ar perpechualy foild bi th steadfastness of men. I askt, after waeting for a whiel, "Wel, whut hapend?" A fuetil qeschun. I nue too much allredy to hoep for th graes of a singgl uplifting tuch, for th faevor of hinted madnes, of shadoed horror. "Nuthing," he sed. "I ment biznes, but thae ment noiz oenly. Nuthing hapend."
'and th riezing sun found him just as he had jumpt up ferst in th bows of th boet. Whut a persistens of redynes! He had bin hoelding th tiler in his hand, too, all th niet. Thae had dropt
' "Thae sat in th stern shoelder to shoelder, with th skiper in th midl, liek three derty ouls, and staird at me," I herd him sae with an intenshun of haet that distild a coroesiv verchoo into th comonplaes werds liek a drop of powerful poizon falling into a glas of wauter; but mi thauts dwelt upon that sunriez. I cuud imajin under th pellucid emptynes of th skie thees foer men imprizond in th solitued of th see, th loenly sun, regardles of th spek of lief, asending th cleer curv of th heven as if to gaez ardently frum a graeter hiet at his oen splendour reflected in th stil oeshan. "Thae calld out to me frum aft," sed Jim, "as tho we had bin chums together. I herd them. Thae wer beging me to be sensibl and drop that 'blooming pees of wuud.' Whi wuud I carry on so? Thae hadn't dun me eny harm -- had thae? Thair had bin no harm.... No
'his faes crimsoned as tho he cuud not get rid of th air in his lungs.
' "No harm!" he berst out. "I leev it to U. U can understand. Can't U? U see it -- don't U? No harm! Guud God! Whut mor cuud thae hav dun? O yes, I noe verry wel -- I jumpt. Sertenly. I jumpt! I toeld U I jumpt; but I tel U thae wer too much for eny man. It was thair doing as plaenly as if thae had reecht up with a boet-huuk and puuld me oever. Can't U see it? U must see it. Cum. Speek -- straet out."
His uneezy ies fasend upon mien, qeschund, begd, chalenjd, entreeted. For th lief of me I cuudn't help murmuring, "U'v bin tried." "Mor than is fair," he caut up swiftly. "I wasn't given haf a chans -- with a gang liek that. And now thae wer frendly -- o, so damnably frendly! Chums, shipmaets. All in th saem boet. Maek th best of it. Thae hadn't ment enything. Thae didn't cair a hang for George. George had gon bak to his berth for sumthing at th last moement and got caut. Th man was a manifest fool. Verry sad, of cors.... Thair ies luukt at me; thair lips moovd; thae wagd thair heds at th uther end of th boet -- three of them; thae bekond -- to me. Whi not? Hadn't I jumpt? I sed nuthing. Thair ar no werds for th sort of things I wonted to sae. If I had oepend mi lips just then I wuud hav simply hould liek an animal. I was asking mieself when I wuud waek up. Thae erjd me aloud to cum aft and heer qieetly whut th skiper had to sae. We wer shur to be pikt up befor th eevning -- riet in th trak of all th Canal trafic; thair was smoek to th north-west now.
' "It gaev me an auful shok to see this faent, faent bler, this lo trael of broun mist thru which U cuud see th boundery of see and skie. I calld out to them that I cuud heer verry wel wherr I was. Th skiper started swairing, as hors as a cro. He wasn't going to tauk at th top of his vois for mi acomodaeshun. 'are U afraed thae wil heer U on shor?' I askt. He glaird as if he wuud hav liekt to claw me to peeses. Th cheef enjineer adviezd him to huemor me. He sed I wasn't riet in mi hed yet. Th uther roez astern, liek a thik pilar of flesh -- and taukt -- taukt.... "
'jim remaend thautful. "Wel?" I sed. "Whut did I cair whut story thae agreed to maek up?" he cried reklesly. "Thae cuud tel whut thae joly wel liekt. It was thair biznes. I nue th story. Nuthing thae cuud maek peepl beleev cuud allter it for me. I let him tauk, argue -- tauk, argue. He went on and on and
'he began to wauk with mezherd steps to and fro befor mi chair, wun hand in his trouzers-poket, his hed bent thautfuly, and his riet arm at long intervals raezd for a jescher that seemd to puut out of his wae an invisibl introoder.
' "I supoez U think I was going mad," he began in a chaenjd toen. "And wel U mae, if U remember I had lost mi cap. Th sun crept all th wae frum eest to west oever mi bair hed, but that dae I cuud not cum to eny harm, I supoez. Th sun cuud not maek me mad.... " His riet arm puut asied th iedeea of madnes.... "Neether cuud it kil me.... " Agen his arm repulst a shado.... "That rested with me."
' "Did it?" I sed, inexpresibly amaezd at this nue tern, and I luukt at him with th saem sort of feeling I miet be fairly conseevd to expeeryens had he, after spining round on his heel, prezented an alltogether nue faes.
' "I didn't get braen feever, I did not drop ded eether," he went on. "I didn't bother mieself at all about th sun oever mi hed. I was thinking as cooly as eny man that ever sat thinking in th shaed. That greezy beest of a skiper poekt his big cropt hed frum under th canvas and scrood his fishy ies up at me. 'donnerwetter! U wil die,' he grould, and droo in liek a tertl. I had seen him. I had herd him. He didn't interupt me. I was thinking just then that I wuudn't."
'he tried to sound mi thaut with an atentiv glans dropt on me in pasing. "Do U meen to sae U had bin deliberaeting with yurself whether U wuud die?" I askt in as impenetrabl a toen as I cuud comand. He noded without stoping. "Yes, it had cum to that as I sat thair aloen," he sed. He past on a fue steps to th imajinairy end of his beet, and when he flung round to cum bak boeth his hands wer thrust deep into his pokets. He stopt short in frunt of mi chair and luukt doun. "Don't U beleev it?" he inqierd with tens cueriosity. I was moovd to maek a solem declaraeshun of mi redynes to beleev implisitly enything he thaut fit to tel me.'
'he herd me out with his hed on wun sied, and I had anuther glimps thru a rent in th mist in which he moovd and had his being. Th dim candl spluttered within th ball of glas, and that was all I had to see him bi; at his bak was th dark niet with th cleer stars, hoos distant gliter dispoezd in retreeting plaens lurd th ie into th depths of a graeter darknes; and yet a misteerius liet seemd to sho me his boiish hed, as if in that moement th yooth within him had, for a second, gloed and expierd. "U ar an auful guud sort to lisen liek this," he sed. "It duz me guud. U don't noe whut it is to me. U don't" . . . werds seemd to fael him. It was a distinkt glimps. He was a yungster of th sort U liek to see about U; of th sort U liek to imajin yurself to hav bin; of th sort hoos apeerans claems th feloeship of thees iloozhuns U had thaut gon out, extinkt, coeld, and which, as if rekindled at th aproech of anuther flaem, giv a fluter deep, deep doun sumwherr, giv a fluter of liet . . . of heet! . . . Yes; I had a glimps of him then . . . and it was not th last of that kiend.... "U don't noe whut it is for a felo in mi pozishun to be beleevd -- maek a cleen brest of it to an elder man. It is so dificult -- so aufuly unfair -- so hard to understand."
'the mists wer cloezing agen. I don't noe how oeld I apeerd to him -- and how much wiez. Not haf as oeld as I felt just then; not haf as ueslesly wiez as I nue mieself to be. Shurly in no uther craft as in that of th see do th harts of thoes allredy launcht to sink or swim go out so much to th yooth on th brink, luuking with shiening ies upon that gliter of th vast serfis which is oenly a reflecshun of his oen glanses fuul of fier. Thair is such magnifisent vaegnes in th expectaeshuns that had driven eech of us to see, such a glorius indefinitnes, such a buetyful greed of advenchers that ar thair oen and oenly reword. Whut we
' "I was so lost, U noe. It was th sort of thing wun duz not expect to hapen to wun. It was not liek a fiet, for instans."
' "It was not," I admited. He apeerd chaenjd, as if he had sudenly maturd.
' "Wun cuudn't be shur," he muterd.
' "Aa! U wer not shur," I sed, and was placated bi th sound of a faent si that past between us liek th fliet of a berd in th niet.
' "Wel, I wasn't," he sed curaejusly. "It was sumthing liek that reched story thae maed up. It was not a lie -- but it wasn't trooth all th saem. It was sumthing.... Wun noes a dounriet lie. Thair was not th thiknes of a sheet of paeper between th riet and th rong of this afair."
' "How much mor did U wont?" I askt; but I think I spoek so lo that he did not cach whut I sed. He had advanst his arguement as tho lief had bin a netwerk of paths separaeted bi cazms. His vois sounded reezonabl.
' "Supoez I had not -- I meen to sae, supoez I had stuk to th ship? Wel. How much longger? Sae a minit -- haf a minit. Cum. In therty seconds, as it seemd serten then, I wuud hav bin oeverbord; and do U think I wuud not hav laed hoeld of th ferst thing that caem in mi wae -- or, lief-booy, graeting -- enything? Wuudn't U?"
' "And be saevd," I interjected.
' "I wuud hav ment to be," he retorted. "And that's mor than I ment when I" . . . he shiverd as if about to swolo sum nauzius drug . . . "jumpt," he pronounst with a convulsiv efort, hoos stres, as if propagaeted bi th waevs of th air, maed mi body ster a litl in th chair. He fixt me with loeering ies. "Don't U beleev me?" he cried. "I swair! . . . Confound it! U got me heer to tauk, and . . . U must! . . . U sed U wuud beleev." "Of cors I do," I proetested, in a mater-of-fact toen which produest a caaming efect. "Forgiv me," he sed. "Of cors I wuudn't hav taukt to U about all this if U had not bin a jentlman. I aut to hav noen . . . I am -- I am -- a jentlman too . . ." "Yes, yes," I sed haestily. He was luuking me sqairly in th faes, and withdroo his gaez sloely. "Now U understand whi I didn't after all . . . didn't go out in that wae. I wasn't going to be frietend at whut I had dun. And, enyhow, if I had stuk to th ship I wuud hav dun mi best to be saevd. Men hav bin noen to floet for ours -- in th oepen see -- and be pikt up not much th wers for it. I miet hav lasted it out beter than meny uthers. Thair's nuthing th mater with mi hart." He withdroo his riet fist frum his poket, and th blo he struk on his chest rezounded liek a mufld detonaeshun in th niet.
' "No," I sed. He meditaeted, with his legs slietly apart and his chin sunk. "A hair's-bredth," he muterd. "Not th bredth of a hair between this and that. And at th tiem . . ."
' "It is dificult to see a hair at midniet," I puut in, a litl vishusly I feer. Don't U see whut I meen bi th solidarrity of th craft? I was agreevd agenst him, as tho he had cheeted me -- me! -- of a splendid oportuenity to keep up th iloozhun of mi beginings, as tho he had robd our comon lief of th last spark of its glamor. "And so U cleerd out -- at wuns."
' "Jumpt," he corected me insiesivly. "Jumpt -- miend!" he repeeted, and I wunderd at th evident but obscuer intenshun. "Wel, yes! Perhaps I cuud not see then. But I had plenty of tiem and eny amount of liet in that boet. And I cuud think too. Noebody wuud noe, of cors, but this did not maek it eny eezyer for me. U'v got to beleev that too. I did not wont all this tauk.... No . . . Yes . . . I woen't lie . . . I wonted it: it is th verry thing I wonted -- thair. Do U think U or enybody cuud hav maed me if I . . . I am -- I am not afraed to tel. And I wasn't afraed to think eether. I luukt it in th faes. I wasn't going to run awae. At ferst -- at niet, if it hadn't bin for thoes feloes I miet hav . . . No! bi hevens! I was not going to giv them that satisfacshun. Thae had dun enuf. Thae maed up a story, and beleevd it for all I noe. But I nue th trooth, and I wuud liv it doun
'he had bin wauking up and doun, but with th last werd he ternd short at me.
' "Whut do U beleev?" he askt with vieolens. A pauz ensood, and sudenly I felt mieself oevercum bi a profound and hoeples fateeg, as tho his vois had startld me out of a dreem of waandering thru empty spaeses hoos imensity had harrast mi soel and exausted mi body.
' ". . . Wuud hav ended nuthing," he muterd oever me obstinately, after a litl whiel. "No! th proper thing was to faes it out -- aloen -- for mieself -- waet for anuther chans -- fiend out . . ." '
'all around evrything was stil as far as th eer cuud reech. Th mist of his feelings shifted between us, as if disterbd bi his strugls, and in th rifts of th imateerial vael he wuud apeer to mi stairing ies distinkt of form and pregnant with vaeg apeel liek a simbolic figuer in a pikcher. Th chil air of th niet seemd to lie on mi lims as hevy as a slab of marbl.
' "I see," I mermerd, mor to proov to mieself that I cuud braek mi staet of numnes than for eny uther reezon.
' "Th Avondale pikt us up just befor sunset," he remarkt moodily. "Steemd riet straet for us. We had oenly to sit and waet."
'after a long interval, he sed, "Thae toeld thair story." And agen thair was that opresiv sielens. "Then oenly I nue whut it was I had maed up mi miend to," he aded.
' "U sed nuthing," I whisperd.
' "Whut cuud I sae?" he askt, in th saem lo toen.... "Shok sliet. Stopt th ship. Asertaend th damej. Tuuk mezhers to get th boets out without creaeting a panic. As th ferst boet was loeerd ship went doun in a sqall. Sank liek leed.... Whut cuud be mor cleer" . . . he hung his hed . . . "and mor auful?" His lips qiverd whiel he luukt straet into mi ies. "I had jumpt -- hadn't I?" he askt, dismaed. "That's whut I had to liv doun. Th story didn't mater." . . . He claspt his hands for an instant, glanst riet and left into th gloom: "It was liek cheeting th ded," he stamerd.
' "And thair wer no ded," I sed.
'he went awae frum me at this . That is th oenly wae I can descrieb it. In a moement I saw his bak cloes to th balustraed. He stuud thair for sum tiem, as if admiering th puerity and th pees of th niet. Sum flowering-shrub in th garden belo spred its powerful sent thru th damp air. He reternd to me with haesty steps.
' "And that did not mater," he sed, as stubornly as U pleez.
' "Perhaps not," I admited. I began to hav a noeshun he was too much for me. After all, whut did I noe?
' "Ded or not ded, I cuud not get cleer," he sed. "I had to liv; hadn't I?"
' "Wel, yes -- if U taek it in that wae," I mumbld.
' "I was glad, of cors," he throo out cairlesly, with his miend fixt on sumthing els. "Th expoezher," he pronounst sloely, and lifted his hed. "Do U noe whut was mi ferst thaut when I herd? I was releevd. I was releevd to lern that thoes shouts-did I tel U I had herd shouts? No? Wel, I did. Shouts for help . . . bloen along with th drizl. Imajinaeshun, I supoez. And yet I can hardly ... How stoopid.... Th uthers did not. I askt them afterwards. Thae all sed No. No? And I was heering them eeven then! I miet hav noen -- but I didn't think -- I oenly lisend. Verry faent screems -- dae after dae. Then that litl haf- cast chap heer caem up and spoek to me. 'the Patna . . . French gunboet. . . toed sucsesfuly to Aden. . . Investigaeshun. . . Mareen Offis . . . Sailors' Hoem . . . araenjments maed for yur bord and lojing!' I waukt along with him, and I enjoid th sielens. So thair had bin no shouting. Imajinaeshun. I had to beleev him. I cuud heer nuthing eny mor. I wunder how long I cuud hav stuud it. It was geting wers, too . . . I meen -- louder." 'he fel into thaut.
' "And I had herd nuthing! Wel -- so be it. But th liets! Th liets did go! We did not see them. Thae wer not thair. If thae had bin, I wuud hav swam bak -- I wuud hav gon bak and shouted alongsied -- I wuud hav begd them to taek me on bord.... I wuud hav had mi chans.... U dout me? ... How do U noe how I felt?... Whut riet hav U to dout? . . . I verry neerly did it as it was -- do U understand?" His vois fel. "Thair was not a glimer -- not a glimer," he proetested mornfuly. "Don't U understand that if thair had bin, U wuud not hav seen me heer? U see me -- and U dout."
'I shuuk mi hed negativly. This qeschun of th liets being lost siet of when th boet cuud not hav bin mor than a qorter of a miel frum th ship was a mater for much discushun. Jim stuk to it that thair was nuthing to be seen after th ferst shower had cleerd awae; and th uthers had afermd th saem thing to th
'the Frenchman haeld, cuud get no intelijibl repli, and after ascertaining thru his bi-nocuelars that th croud on dek did not luuk plaeg-striken, desieded to send a boet. Too offisers caem on bord, lisend to th serang, tried to tauk with th Arab, cuudn't maek hed or tael of it: but of cors th naecher of th emerjensy was obvius enuf. Thae wer allso verry much struk bi discuvering a whiet man, ded and curld up peesfuly on th brij. "Fort intrigués par ce cadavre," as I was informd a long tiem after bi an elderly French lootenant hoom I caem across wun afternoon in Sydney, bi th meerest chans, in a sort of cafae, and hoo rememberd th afair perfectly. Indeed this afair, I mae noetis in pasing, had an extraordinairy power of defieing th shortnes of memorys and th length of tiem: it seemd to liv, with a sort of uncany vietality, in th miends of men, on th tips of thair tungs. I'v had th qeschunabl plezher of meeting it offen, yeers afterwards, thouzands of miels awae, emerjing frum th remoetest posibl tauk, cuming to th serfis of th moest distant aloozhuns. Has it not ternd up to-niet between us? And I am th oenly seeman heer. I am th oenly wun to hoom it is a memory. And yet it has maed its wae out! But if too men hoo, unnoen to eech uther, nue of this afair met acsidentaly on eny spot of this erth, th thing wuud pop up between them as shur as faet, befor thae parted. I had never seen that Frenchman befor, and at th end of an our we had dun with eech uther for lief: he did not seem particuelarly taukativ eether; he was a qieet, masiv chap in a creest ueniform, siting drouzily oever a tumbler haf fuul of sum dark liqid. His shoelder-straps wer a bit tarnisht, his cleen-shaevd cheeks wer larj and salo; he luukt liek a man hoo wuud be given to taeking snuff -- don't U noe? I woen't sae he did; but th habit wuud hav fited that kiend of man. It all began bi his handing me a number of Hoem Nues, which I didn't wont, across th marbl taebl. I sed "Merci." We exchaenjd a fue aparrently inosent remarks, and sudenly, befor I nue how it had cum about, we wer in th midst of it, and he was teling me how much thae had bin "intreegd bi that corps." It ternd out he had bin wun of th bording offisers.
'in th establishment wherr we sat wun cuud get a varieety of forin drinks which wer kept for th viziting naeval offisers, and he tuuk a sip of th dark medical-luuking stuf, which probably was nuthing mor nasty than cassis à l'eau, and glansing with wun ie into th tumbler, shuuk his hed slietly. "Imposibl de comprendre -- vous concevez," he sed, with a cuerius mixcher of unconsern and thautfulnes. I cuud verry eezily conseev how imposibl it had bin for them to understand. Noebody in th gunboet nue enuf English to get hoeld of th story as toeld bi th serang. Thair
' "U did!" I exclaemd. Stil gaezing at his hands, he perst his lips a litl, but this tiem maed no hising sound. "It was jujd proper," he sed, lifting his iebrows dispashunetly, "that wun of th offisers shuud remaen to keep an ie oepen (por ouvrir l'oeil)" . . . he sied iedly . . . "and for comuenicaeting bi signals with th towing ship -- do U see? -- and so on. For th rest, it was mi opinyon too. We maed our boets redy to drop oever -- and I allso on that ship tuuk mezhers.... Enfin! Wun has dun one's posibl. It was a deliket pozishun. Therty ours! Thae prepaird me sum food. As for th wien -- go and whisl for it -- not a drop." In sum extraordinairy wae, without eny markt chaenj in his inert atitued and in th plasid expreshun of his faes, he manejd to convae th iedeea of profound disgust. "I -- U noe -- when it cums to eeting without mi glas of wien -- I am noewherr."
'I was afraed he wuud enlarj upon th greevans, for tho he didn't ster a lim or twich a feecher, he maed wun awair how much he was iritaeted bi th recolecshun. But he seemd to forget all about it. Thae deliverd thair charj to th "port authoritys," as he exprest it. He was struk bi th caamnes with which it had bin reseevd. "Wun miet hav thaut thae had such a droel fiend (drôle de trouvaille) braut them evry dae. U ar extraordinairy -- U uthers," he comented, with his bak propt agenst th wall, and luuking himself as incaepabl of an emoeshunal displae as a sak of meel. Thair hapend to be a man-of-wor and an Indian Mareen steemer in th harbour at th tiem, and he did not conseel his admeraeshun of th efishent maner in which th boets of thees too ships cleerd th Patna of her pasenjers. Indeed his torpid demeanour conseeld nuthing: it had that misteerius, allmoest miracuelus, power of produesing strieking efects bi meens imposibl of detecshun which is th last werd of th hieest art. "Twenty-fiev minits -- woch in hand -- twenty-fiev, no mor." . . . He unclaspt and claspt agen his finggers without remooving his hands
'after thees werds, and without a chaenj of atitued, he, so to speek, submited himself pasivly to a staet of sielens. I kept him cumpany; and sudenly, but not abruptly, as if th apointed tiem had arievd for his moderet and husky vois to cum out of his imoebility, he pronounst, "Mon Dieu! how th tiem pases!" Nuthing cuud hav bin mor comonplaes than this remark; but its uterans coeinsieded for me with a moement of vizhun. It's extraordinairy how we go thru lief with ies haf shut, with dul eers, with dormant thauts. Perhaps it's just as wel; and it mae be that it is this verry dulnes that maeks lief to th incalcuelabl majority so supportable and so welcum. Nevertheles, thair can be but fue of us hoo had never noen wun of thees rair moements of awaekening when we see, heer, understand ever so much -- evrything -- in a flash -- befor we fall bak agen into our agreeabl somnolens. I raezd mi ies when he spoek, and I saw him as tho I had never seen him befor. I saw his chin sunk on his brest, th clumzy foelds of his coet, his claspt hands, his moeshunles poez, so cueriusly sugjestiv of his having bin simply left thair. Tiem had past indeed: it had oevertaeken him and gon ahed. It had left him hoeplesly behiend with a fue pur gifts: th ieern-grae hair, th hevy fateeg of th tand faes, too scars, a pair of tarnisht shoelder-straps; wun of thoes stedy, relieabl men hoo ar th raw mateerial of graet repuetaeshuns, wun of thoes uncounted lievs that ar berryd without drums and trumpets under th foundaeshuns of monuemental sucseses. "I am now therd lootenant of th Victorieuse" (she was th flagship of th French Pacific sqodron at th tiem), he sed, detaching his shoelders frum th wall a cupl of inches to introdues himself. I bowd slietly on mi sied of th
' "Thair wer living men too," I sed; "much mor cuerius."
' "No dout, no dout," he agreed haf audibly, then, as if after matur consideraeshun, mermerd, "Evidently." I maed no dificulty in comuenicaeting to him whut had interested me moest in this afair. It seemd as tho he had a riet to noe: hadn't he spent therty ours on bord th Patna -- had he not taeken th sucseshun, so to speek, had he not dun "his posibl"? He lisend to me, luuking mor preest-liek than ever, and with whut -- probably on acount of his douncast ies -- had th apeerans of devout consentraeshun. Wuns or twies he elevaeted his iebrows (but without raezing his ielids), as wun wuud sae "Th devil!" Wuns he caamly exclaemd, "Aa, baa!" under his breth, and when I had finisht he perst his lips in a deliberet wae and emited a sort of sorroeful whisl.
'in eny wun els it miet hav bin an evidens of bordom, a sien of indiferens; but he, in his ocult wae, manejd to maek his imoebility apeer profoundly responsiv, and as fuul of valueabl thauts as an eg is of meet. Whut he sed at last was nuthing mor than a "Verry interesting," pronounst polietly, and not much abuv a whisper. Befor I got oever mi disapointment he aded, but as if speeking to himself, "That's it. That is it." His chin seemd to sink loeer on his brest, his body to wae hevyer on his seet. I was about to ask him whut he ment, when a sort of preparratory tremor past oever his hoel person, as a faent ripl mae be seen upon stagnant wauter eeven befor th wind is felt. "And so that pur yung man ran awae along with th uthers," he sed, with graev tranquillity.
'I don't noe whut maed me smiel: it is th oenly jenuein smiel of mien I can remember in conecshun with Jim's afair. But sumhow
'I perseevd that th three last finggers of his woonded hand wer stif and cuud not moov independently of eech uther, so that he tuuk up his tumbler with an ungaenly cluch. "Wun is allwaes afraed. Wun mae tauk, but ..." He puut doun th glas aukwardly.... "Th feer, th feer -- luuk U -- it is allwaes thair." . . . He tucht his brest neer a bras buton, on th verry spot wherr Jim had given a thump to his oen when proetesting that thair was nuthing th mater with his hart. I supoez I maed sum sien of disent, becauz he insisted, "Yes! yes! Wun tauks, wun tauks; this is all verry fien; but at th end of th rekoning wun is no cleverer than th next man -- and no mor braev. Braev! This is allwaes to be seen. I hav roeld mi hump (roulé maa bosse)," he sed, uezing th slang expreshun with imperterbabl seeriusnes, "in all parts of th werld; I hav noen braev men -- faemus wuns! Allez!" . . . He drank cairlesly.... "Braev -- U conseev -- in th Servis -- wun has got to be -- th traed demands it (le méteer veut ça). Is it not so?" he apeeld to me reezonably. "Eh bien! Eech of them -- I sae eech of them, if he wer an onest man -- bien entendu -- wuud confes that thair is a point -- thair is a point -- for th best of us -- thair is sumwherr a point when U let go evrything (vous lachez tout). And U hav got to liv with that trooth -- do U see? Given a serten combinaeshun of sercumstanses, feer is shur to cum. Abominabl funk (un trac épouvantable). And eeven for thoes hoo do not beleev this trooth thair is feer all th saem -- th feer of themselvs. Absolootly so. Trust me. Yes. Yes.... At mi aej wun noes whut wun is tauking about-qee diable!" . . . He had deliverd himself of all this as imoovably as tho he had bin th mouthpees of abstract wizdom, but at this point he hietend th efect of detachment bi begining to twerl his thums sloely. "It's evident -- parbleu!" he continued; "for, maek up yur miend as much as U liek, eeven a simpl hedaek or a fit of indijeschun (un dérangement d'estomac) is enuf to . . . Taek me, for instans -- I hav maed mi proofs. Eh bien! I, hoo am speeking to U, wuns . . ."
'he draend his glas and reternd to his twerling. "No, no; wun
'his vois seest.
' "That yung man -- U wil obzerv -- had nun of thees induesments -- at leest at th moement," I remarkt.
'he raezd his iebrows forgivingly: "I don't sae; I don't sae. Th yung man in qeschun miet hav had th best dispozishuns -- th best dispozishuns," he repeeted, wheezing a litl.
' "I am glad to see U taeking a leenyent vue," I sed. "His oen feeling in th mater was -- aa! -- hoepful, and . . ."
'the shufl of his feet under th taebl interupted me. He droo up his hevy ielids. Droo up, I sae -- no uther expreshun can descrieb th stedy deliberaeshun of th act -- and at last was discloezd compleetly to me. I was confrunted bi too narro grae circlets, liek too tieny steel rings around th profound blaknes of th puepils. Th sharp glans, cuming frum that masiv body, gaev a noeshun of extreem efishensy, liek a raezor-ej on a batl-ax. "Pardon," he sed punctiliously. His riet hand went up, and he swaed forward. "Alow me . . . I contended that wun mae get on noeing verry wel that one's curej duz not cum of itself (ne vient paa tout seul). Thair's nuthing much in that to get upset about. Wun trooth th mor aut not to maek lief imposibl.... But th onor -- th onor, monsieur! . . . Th onor . . . that is reeal -- that is! And whut lief mae be werth when" . . . he got on his feet with a ponderus impechuosity, as a startld ox miet scrambl up frum th gras . . . "when th onor is gon -- aa ça! par exemple -- I can offer no opinyon. I can offer no opinyon -- becauz -- monsieur -- I noe nuthing of it."
'I had rizen too, and, trieing to thro infinit polietnes into our atitueds, we faest eech uther muetly, liek too chiena daugs on a mantelpees. Hang th felo! he had prikt th bubl. Th bliet of fuetility that lies in waet for men's speeches had fallen upon our conversaeshun, and maed it a thing of empty sounds. "Verry wel," I sed, with a disconserted smiel; "but cuudn't it redues itself to not being found out?" He maed as if to retort redily, but when
'I sat doun agen aloen and discurejd -- discurejd about Jim's caes. If U wunder that after mor than three yeers it had prezervd its akchuality, U must noe that I had seen him oenly verry laetly. I had cum straet frum Samarang, wherr I had loeded a cargo for Sydney: an uterly uninteresting bit of biznes, -- whut Charley heer wuud call wun of mi rashunal transacshuns, -- and in Samarang I had seen sumthing of Jim. He was then werking for De Jongh, on mi recomendaeshun. Wauter-clerk. "Mi reprezentativ afloet," as De Jongh calld him. U can't imajin a moed of lief mor barren of consolaeshun, les caepabl of being invested with a spark of glamor -- unles it be th biznes of an inshurans canvasser. Litl Bob Stanton -- Charley heer nue him wel -- had gon thru that expeeryens. Th saem hoo got dround afterwards trieing to saev a lady's-maed in th Sephora dizaster. A caes of colizhun on a haezy morning off th Spanish coest -- U mae remember. All th pasenjers had bin pakt tidily into th boets and shuvd cleer of th ship, when Bob sheerd alongsied agen and scrambld bak on dek to fech that gerl. How she had bin left behiend I can't maek out; enyhow, she had gon compleetly craezy -- wuudn't leev th ship -- held to th rael liek grim deth. Th resling-mach cuud be seen plaenly frum th boets; but pur Bob was th shortest cheef maet in th merchant servis, and th wuuman stuud fiev feet ten in her shoos and was as strong as a hors, I'v bin toeld. So it went on, puul devil, puul baeker, th reched gerl screeming all th tiem, and Bob leting out a yel now and then to worn his boet to keep wel cleer of th ship. Wun of th hands toeld me, hieding a smiel at th recolecshun, "It was for all th werld, ser, liek a nauty yungster fieting with his muther. " Th saem oeld chap sed that "At th last we cuud see that Mr. Stanton had given up halling at th gal, and just stuud bi luuking at her, wochful liek. We thaut afterwards he must've bin rekoning that, maebe, th rush of wauter wuud tair her awae frum th rael
'I sat thinking of him after th French lootenant had left, not, however, in conecshun with De Jongh's cool and gloomy bak-shop, wherr we had herydly shaeken hands not verry long ago, but as I had seen him yeers befor in th last flickers of th candl, aloen with me in th long galery of th Malabar Hous, with th chil and th darknes of th niet at his bak. Th respectabl sord of his country's law was suspended oever his hed. To-morro -- or was it to-dae? (midniet had slipt bi long befor we parted) -- th marbl-faest polees majistraet, after distribueting fiens and terms of imprizonment in th asallt-and-batery caes, wuud taek up th auful wepon and smite his bowd nek. Our comuenyon in th niet was uncomonly liek a last vijil with a condemd man. He was gilty too. He was gilty -- as I had toeld mieself repeetedly,
'well! he had refuezd this ueneek offer. He had struk asied mi helping hand; he was redy to go now, and beyond th balustraed th niet seemd to waet for him verry stil, as tho he had bin markt doun for its prae. I herd his vois. "Aa! heer it is." He had found his hat. For a fue seconds we hung in th wind. "Whut wil U do after -- after . . ." I askt verry lo. "Go to th daugs as liekly as not," he anserd in a gruf muter. I had recuverd mi wits in a mezher, and jujd best to taek it lietly. "Prae remember," I sed, "that I shuud liek verry much to see U agen befor U go." "I don't noe whut's to prevent U. Th damd thing woen't maek me invisibl," he sed with intens biternes, -- "no such luk." And then at th moement of taeking leev he treeted me to a gastly mudl of doobius stamers and moovments, to an auful displae of hesitations. God forgiv him -- me! He had taeken it into his fansyful hed that I was liekly to maek sum dificulty as to shaeking hands.
'I slept litl, heryd oever mi brekfast, and after a sliet hezitaeshun gaev up mi erly morning vizit to mi ship. It was reealy verry rong of me, becauz, tho mi cheef maet was an exselent man all round, he was th victim of such blak imajinings that if he did not get a leter frum his wief at th expected tiem he wuud go qiet distracted with raej and jelusy, looz all grip on th werk, qorrel with all hands, and eether weep in his cabin or develop such a ferosity of temper as all but droev th croo to th verj of muetiny. Th thing had allwaes seemd inexplicabl to me: thae had bin marryd therteen yeers; I had a glimps of her wuns, and, onestly, I cuudn't conseev a man abandond enuf to plunj into sin for th saek of such an unatractiv person. I don't noe whether I hav not dun rong bi refraening frum puuting that vue befor pur Selvin: th man maed a litl hel on erth for himself, and I allso suferd indirectly, but sum sort of, no dout, falls delicasy prevented me. Th marrital relaeshuns of seemen wuud maek an interesting subject, and I cuud tel U instanses.... However, this is not th plaes, nor th tiem, and we ar consernd with Jim -- hoo was unmarryd. If his imajinativ conshens or his pried; if all th extravagant goests and austeer shaeds that wer th dizastrus familiars of his yooth wuud not let him run awae frum th blok, I, hoo of cors can't be suspected of such familiars, was irrezistibly impeld to go and see his hed roel off. I wended mi wae tords th cort. I didn't hoep to be verry much imprest or edified, or interested or eeven frietend -- tho, as long as thair is eny lief befor wun, a joly guud friet now and then is a saluetairy disiplin. But neether did I expect to be so aufuly deprest. Th biternes of his punishment was in its chil and meen atmosfeer. Th reeal significans of criem is in its being a breech of faeth with th comuenity of man-kiend, and frum that point of vue he was no meen traetor, but his execueshun was a hoel-and-corner afair. Thair
'by Jove! For all mi foolishnes about scafolds and heds roeling off -- I ashur U it was infinitly wers than a beheding. A hevy sens of fienality brooded oever all this, unreleevd bi th hoep of rest and saefty foloeing th fall of th ax. Thees proseedings had
'there wer several qeschuns befor th cort. Th ferst as to whether th ship was in evry respect fit and seewerthy for th voiej. Th cort found she was not. Th next point, I remember, was, whether up to th tiem of th acsident th ship had bin navigated with proper and seemanliek cair. Thae sed Yes to that, guudnes noes whi, and then thae declaird that thair was no evidens to sho th exact cauz of th acsident. A floeting derrelict probably. I mieself remember that a Norwegian barque bound out with a cargo of pich-pien had bin given up as mising about that tiem, and it was just th sort of craft that wuud capsiez in a sqall and floet botom up for munths -- a kiend of marritiem gool on th proul to kil ships in th dark. Such waandering corpses ar comon enuf in th North Atlantic, which is haunted bi all th terrors of th see, -- fogs, icebergs, ded ships bent upon mischif, and long sinister gaels that fasen upon wun liek a vampier til all th strength and th spirit and eeven hoep ar gon, and wun feels liek th empty shel of a man. But thair -- in thoes sees -- th insident was rair enuf to rezembl a speshal araenjment of a malevolent providens, which, unles it had for its object th kiling of a donkeyman and th bringing of wers than deth upon Jim, apeerd an uterly aemles pees of devilry. This vue ocuring to me tuuk off mi atenshun. For a tiem I was awair of th magistrate's vois as a sound meerly; but in a moement it shaept itself into distinkt werds . . . "in uter disregard of thair plaen duety," it sed. Th next sentens escaept me sumhow, and then . . . "abandoning in th moement of daenjer th lievs and property confieded to thair charj" . . . went on th vois eevenly, and stopt. A pair of ies under th whiet forhed shot darkly a glans abuv th ej of th paeper. I luukt for Jim herydly, as tho I had expected him to disapeer. He was verry stil -- but he was thair. He sat pink and fair and extreemly atentiv. "Thairfor,..." began th vois emfaticaly. He staird with parted lips, hanging
' "Man oeverbord," sed a deep vois behiend me. Terning round, I saw a felo I nue slietly, a West Australian; Chester was his naem. He, too, had bin luuking after Jim. He was a man with an imens gerth of chest, a ruged, cleen-shaevd faes of mahogany colour, and too blunt tufts of ieern-grae, thik, wiery hairs on his uper lip. He had bin pearler, wrecker, traeder, whaler too, I beleev; in his oen werds -- enything and evrything a man mae be at see, but a pieret. Th Pacific, north and south, was his proper hunting-ground; but he had waanderd so far afeeld luuking for a cheep steemer to bi. Laetly he had discuverd -- so he sed -- a guano ieland sumwherr, but its aproeches wer daenjerus, and th ankorej, such as it was, cuud not be considerd saef, to sae th leest of it. "As guud as a goeld-mien," he wuud exclaem. "Riet bang in th midl of th Walpole Reefs, and if it's troo enuf that U can get no hoelding-ground enywhair in les than forty fathom, then whut of that? Thair ar th hurricanes, too. But it's a ferst-raet thing. As guud as a goeld-mien -- beter! Yet thair's not a fool of them that wil see it. I can't get a skiper or a shipowner to go neer th plaes. So I maed up mi miend to cart th blesed stuf mieself." . . . This was whut he reqierd a steemer for, and I nue he was just then negoeshiaeting enthooziasticaly with a Parsee ferm for an oeld, brig-rigd, see-anacronizm of nienty hors-power. We had met and spoeken together several tiems. He luukt noeingly after
'an emaeshiaeted paetriark in a soot of whiet dril, a solah topi with a green-liend rim on a hed trembling with aej, joind us after crossing th street in a troting shufl, and stuud propt with boeth hands on th handl of an umbrela. A whiet beerd with amber streeks hung lumpily doun to his waest. He blinkt his creest ielids at me in a bewilderd wae. "How do U do? how do U do?" he piept amiably, and toterd. "A litl def," sed Chester asied. "Did U drag him oever six thouzand miels to get a cheep steemer?" I askt. "I wuud hav taeken him twies round th werld as soon as luuk at him," sed Chester with imens enerjy. "Th steemer wil be th maeking of us, mi lad. Is it mi fallt that evry skiper and shipowner in th hoel of blesed Australasia terns out a blaemd fool? Wuns I taukt for three ours to a man in Auckland. 'send a ship,' I sed, 'send a ship. I'l giv U haf of th ferst cargo for yurself, free gratis for nuthing -- just to maek a guud start.' Ses he, 'I wuudn't do it if thair was no uther plaes on erth to send a ship to.' Perfect as, of cors. Roks, curents, no ankor-aej, sheer clif to lae to, no inshurans cumpany wuud taek th risk, didn't see how he cuud get loeded under three yeers. As! I neerly went on mi nees to him. 'but luuk at th thing as it is,' ses I. 'damn roks and hurricanes. Luuk at it as it is. Thair's guano thair Queensland shuugar-planters wuud fiet for -- fiet for on th quay, I tel U.' . . . Whut can U do with a fool? . . . 'that's wun of yur litl joeks, Chester,' he ses.... Joek! I cuud hav wept. Ask Capten Robinson heer.... And thair was anuther shipowning felo -- a fat chap in a whiet waestcoet in Wellington, hoo seemd to think I was up to sum swindl or uther. 'I don't noe whut sort of fool U'r luuking for,' he ses, 'but I am bizy just now. Guud morning.' I longd to taek him in mi too hands and smash him thru th windo of his oen offis. But I didn't. I was as mield as a cueret. 'think of it,' ses I. 'do think it oever. I'l call to-morro.' He grunted sumthing about being 'out all dae.' On th stairs I felt redy to beet mi hed agenst th wall frum vexaeshun. Capten Robinson heer can tel U. It was auful to think of all that luvly stuf lieing waest under th sun -- stuf that wuud send th shuugar-caen shooting skie-hi. Th maeking of Queensland! Th maeking of Queensland! And in Brisbane, wherr I went to hav a last tri, thae gaev me th naem of a loonatic. Idiots! Th oenly sensibl man I caem across was th cabman hoo droev me about. A broeken-doun swel he was, I fansy. Hae! Capten Robinson? U remember I toeld U about mi cabby in Brisbane -- don't U? Th chap had a wunderful
'he poekt th ribs of his partner. "He! he! he!" laft th Aenshent, luukt aemlesly doun th street, then peerd at me dout-fuuly with sad, dim puepils.... "He! he! he!" ... He leend hevyer on th umbrela, and dropt his gaez on th ground. I needn't tel U I had tried to get awae several tiems, but Chester had foild evry atempt bi simply caching hoeld of mi coet. "Wun minit. I'v a noeshun." "Whut's yur infernal noeshun?" I exploeded at last. "If U think I am going in with U . . ." "No, no, mi boi. Too laet, if U wonted ever so much. We'v got a steemer." "U'v got th goest of a steemer," I sed. "Guud enuf for a start -- thair's no supeerior nonsens about us. Is thair, Capten Robinson?" "No! no! no!" croekt th oeld man without lifting his ies, and th seeniel trembl of his hed becaem allmoest feers with determinaeshun. "I understand U noe that yung chap," sed Chester, with a nod at th street frum which Jim had disapeerd long ago. "He's bin having grub with U in th Malabar last niet -- so I was toeld."
'I sed that was troo, and after remarking that he too liekt to liv wel and in stiel, oenly that, for th prezent, he had to be saeving of evry peny -- "nun too meny for th biznes! Isn't that so, Capten Robinson?" -- he sqaird his shoelders and stroekt his dumpy mustash, whiel th noetorius Robinson, caufing at his sied, clung mor than ever to th handl of th umbrela, and seemd redy to subsied pasivly into a heep of oeld boens. "U see, th oeld chap has all th muny," whisperd Chester confidenshaly. "I'v bin cleend out trieing to enjineer th dratted thing. But waet a bit, waet a bit. Th guud tiem is cuming." . . . He seemd sudenly astonisht at th siens of impaeshens I gaev. "O, crakee!" he cried; "I am teling U of th bigest thing that ever was, and U . . ." "I hav an apointment," I pleeded mieldly. "Whut of that?" he askt with jenuein serpriez; "let it waet." "That's exactly whut I am doing now," I remarkt; "hadn't U beter tel me whut it is U wont?" "Bi twenty hoetels liek that," he grould to himself; "and evry joeker bording in them too -- twenty tiems oever." He lifted his hed smartly "I wont that yung chap." "I don't understand," I sed. "He's no guud, is he?" sed Chester crisply. "I noe nuthing about it," I proetested. "Whi, U toeld me yurself he was taeking it to hart," argued Chester. "Wel, in mi opinyon a chap
'I sed nuthing. I had a rapid vizhun of Jim percht on a shado-les rok, up to his nees in guano, with th screems of see-berds in his eers, th incandesent ball of th sun abuv his hed; th empty skie and th empty oeshan all a-qiver, simmering together in th heet as far as th ie cuud reech. "I wuudn't adviez mi werst enemy . . ." I began. "Whut's th mater with U?" cried Chester; "I meen to giv him a guud scroo -- that is, as soon as th thing is set going, of cors. It's as eezy as falling off a log. Simply nuthing to do; too six-shooters in his belt . . . Shurly he wuudn't be afraed of enything forty coolies cuud do -- with too six-shooters and he th oenly armd man too! It's much beter than it luuks. I wont U to help me to tauk him oever." "No!" I shouted. Oeld Robinson lifted his bleared ies dizmaly for a moement, Chester luukt at me with infinit contempt. "So U wuudn't adviez him?" he uterd sloely. "Sertenly not," I anserd, as indignant as tho he had reqested me to help merder sumbody; "moroever, I am shur he wuudn't. He is badly cut up, but he isn't mad as far as I noe." "He is no erthly guud for enything," Chester muezd aloud. "He wuud just hav dun for me. If U oenly cuud see a thing as it is, U wuud see it's th verry thing for him. And besieds . . . Whi! it's th moest splendid, shur chans . . ." He got anggry sudenly. "I must hav a man. Thair! . . ." He stampt his fuut and smield unplezantly. "Enyhow, I cuud garrantee th ieland wuudn't sink under him -- and I beleev he is a bit particuelar on that point." "Guud morning," I sed curtly. He luukt at me as tho I had bin an incomprehensibl fool.... "Must be mooving, Capten Robinson," he yeld sudenly into th oeld man's eer. "Thees Parsee Johnnies ar
'I did not start in serch of Jim at wuns, oenly becauz I had reealy an apointment which I cuud not neglect. Then, as il-luk wuud hav it, in mi agent's offis I was fasend upon bi a felo fresh frum Madagascar with a litl skeem for a wunderful pees of biznes. It had sumthing to do with catl and cartrijes and a Prins Ravonalo sumthing; but th pivot of th hoel afair was th stoopidity of sum admeral -- Admeral Pierre, I think. Evrything ternd on that, and th chap cuudn't fiend werds strong enuf to expres his confidens. He had globuelar ies starting out of his hed with a fishy gliter, bumps on his forhed, and wor his long hair brusht bak without a parting. He had a favourite fraez which he kept on repeeting trieumfantly, "Th minimum of risk with th maximum of profit is mi moto. Whut?" He maed mi hed aek, spoild mi tiffin, but got his oen out of me all riet; and soon as
'he foloed me as manejabl as a litl chield, with an oebeedyent air, with no sort of manifestaeshun, rather as tho he had bin waeting for me thair to cum along and carry him off. I need not hav bin so serpriezd as I was at his tractability. On all th round erth, which to sum seems so big and that uthers afect to consider as rather smaller than a mustard-seed, he had no plaes wherr he cuud -- whut shal I sae? -- wherr he cuud withdraw. That's it! Withdraw -- be aloen with his loenlynes. He waukt bi mi sied verry caam, glansing heer and thair, and wuns ternd his hed to luuk after a Sidiboy fierman in a cut-awae coet and yeloeish trouzers, hoos blak faes had silky gleams liek a lump of anthrasiet coel. I dout, however, whether he saw enything, or eeven remaend all th tiem awair of mi companyonship, becauz if I had not ejd him to th left heer, or puuld him to th riet thair, I beleev he wuud hav gon straet befor him in eny direcshun til stopt bi a wall or sum uther obstacl. I steerd him into mi bedroom, and sat doun at wuns to riet leters. This was th oenly plaes in th werld (unles, perhaps, th Walpole Reef -- but that was not so handy) wherr he cuud hav it out with himself without being botherd bi th rest of th uenivers. Th damd thing -- as he had exprest it -- had not maed him invisibl, but I behaevd exactly as tho he wer. No sooner in mi chair I bent oever mi rieting-desk liek a medyeeval scrieb, and, but for th moovment of th hand hoelding th pen, remaend ankshusly qieet. I can't sae I was frietend; but I sertenly kept as stil as if thair had bin sumthing daenjerus in th room, that at th ferst hint of a moovment on mi part wuud be provoekt to pouns upon me. Thair was not much in th room -- U noe how thees bedrooms ar -- a sort of foer-poester bedsted under a moskeeto-net, too or three chairs, th taebl I was rieting at, a bair flor. A glas dor oepend on an upstairs veranda, and he stuud with his faes to it, having a hard tiem with all posibl prievasy. Dusk fel; I lit a candl with th graetest economy of moovment and as much proodens as tho it wer an ileegal proseeding. Thair is no dout that he had a verry hard tiem of it, and so had I, eeven to th point, I must oen, of wishing him to th devil, or on Walpole Reef at leest. It ocurd to me wuns or twies that, after all, Chester was, perhaps, th man to deel efectivly with such a dizaster. That straenj iedeealist had found a practical ues
'the tiem was cuming when I shuud see him luvd, trusted, admierd, with a lejend of strength and prowes forming round his naem as tho he had bin th stuf of a heero. It's troo -- I ashur U; as troo as I'm siting heer tauking about him in vaen. He, on his sied, had that faculty of beholding at a hint th faes of his dezier and th shaep of his dreem, without which th erth wuud noe no luver and no advencherer. He capcherd much onor and an Arcadian hapynes (I woen't sae enything about inosens) in th buush, and it was as guud to him as th onor and th Arcadian hapynes of th streets to anuther man. Felisity, felisity -- how shal I sae it? -- is quaffed out of a goelden cup in evry latitued: th flavour is with U -- with U aloen, and U can maek it as intoxicaeting as U pleez. He was of th sort that wuud drink deep,
'and thair is a sens of blesed fienality in such discreshun, which is whut we all mor or les sinseerly ar redy to admit -- for whut els is it that maeks th iedeea of deth supportable? End! Finis! th poetent werd that exorcises frum th hous of lief th haunting shado of faet. This is whut -- notwithstanding th testimoeny of mi ies and his oen ernest ashuranses -- I mis when I luuk bak upon Jim's sucses. Whiel thair's lief thair is hoep, trooly; but thair is feer too. I don't meen to sae that I regret mi acshun, nor wil I pretend that I can't sleep o' niets in conseqens; stil, th iedeea obtroods itself that he maed so much of his disgraes whiel it is th gilt aloen that maters. He was not -- if I mae sae so -- cleer to me. He was not cleer. And thair is a suspishun he was not cleer to himself eether. Thair wer his fien sensibilitys, his fien feelings, his
'but he was too interesting or too unforchunet to be throen to th daugs, or eeven to Chester. I felt this whiel I sat with mi faes oever th paeper and he faut and gaspt, strugling for his breth in that terribly stelthy wae, in mi room; I felt it when he rusht out on th veranda as if to fling himself oever -- and didn't; I felt it mor and mor all th tiem he remaend outsied, faently lieted on th bakground of niet, as if standing on th shor of a somber and hoeples see.
'an abrupt hevy rumbl maed me lift mi hed. Th noiz seemd to roel awae, and sudenly a serching and vieolent glair fel on th bliend faes of th niet. Th sustaend and dazling flickers seemd to last for an unconshunabl tiem. Th groul of th thunder increest stedily whiel I luukt at him, distinkt and blak, planted solidly upon th shors of a see of liet. At th moement of graetest brilyans th darknes leept bak with a culminaeting crash, and he vanisht befor mi dazld ies as uterly as tho he had bin bloen to atoms. A blustering si past; fuerius hands seemd to tair at th shrubs, shaek th tops of th trees belo, slam dors, braek windo-paens, all along th frunt of th bilding. He stept in, cloezing th dor behiend him, and found me bending oever th taebl: mi suden angzieity as to whut he wuud sae was verry graet, and akin to a friet. "Mae I hav a sigaret?" he askt. I gaev a puush to th box without raezing mi hed. "I wont -- wont -- tobaco," he muterd. I becaem extreemly boiant. "Just a moement." I grunted plezantly. He tuuk a fue steps heer and thair. "That's oever," I herd him sae. A singgl distant clap of thunder caem frum th see liek a gun of distres. "Th monsoon braeks up erly this yeer," he remarkt conversationally, sumwherr behiend me. This encurejd me to tern round, which I did as soon as I had finisht adresing th last enveloep. He was smoeking greedily in th midl of th room, and tho he herd th ster I maed, he remaend with his bak to me for a tiem.
' "Cum -- I carryd it off prity wel," he sed, wheeling sudenly. "Something's paed off -- not much. I wunder whut's to cum." His faes did not sho eny emoeshun, oenly it apeerd a litl darkend and swoelen, as tho he had bin hoelding his breth. He smield reluctantly as it wer, and went on whiel I gaezd up at him muetly.... "Thank U, tho -- yur room -- joly conveenyunt -- for a chap -- badly hipped." . . . Th raen paterd and swisht in th
'A flash of faeded lietning darted in thru th blak fraemwerk of th windoes and ebd out without eny noiz. I was thinking how I had best aproech him (I did not wont to be flung off agen) when he gaev a litl laf. "No beter than a vagabond now" . . . th end of th sigaret smouldered between his finggers . . . "with-out a singgl -- singgl," he pronounst sloely; "and yet . . ." He pauzd; th raen fel with re-doubld vieolens. "Sum dae one's bound to cum upon sum sort of chans to get it all bak agen. Must!" he whisperd distinktly, glairing at mi boots.
'I did not eeven noe whut it was he wisht so much to regaen, whut it was he had so terribly mist. It miet hav bin so much that it was imposibl to sae. A pees of ass's skin, acording to Chester.... He luukt up at me inquisitively. "Perhaps. If life's long enuf," I muterd thru mi teeth with unreezonabl animosity. "Don't rekon too much on it."
' "Jove! I feel as if nuthing cuud ever tuch me," he sed in a toen of somber convicshun. "If this biznes cuudn't nok me oever, then thair's no feer of thair being not enuf tiem to -- cliem out, and . . ." He luukt upwards.
'it struk me that it is frum such as he that th graet army of waifs and straes is recrooted, th army that marches doun, doun into all th guters of th erth. As soon as he left mi room, that "bit of shelter," he wuud taek his plaes in th ranks, and begin th jerny tords th botomles pit. I at leest had no iloozhuns; but it was I, too, hoo a moement ago had bin so shur of th power of werds, and now was afraed to speek, in th saem wae wun dairs not moov for feer of loozing a slipery hoeld. It is when we tri to grapl with anuther man's intimet need that we perseev how incomprehensibl, wavering, and misty ar th beings that shair with us th siet of th stars and th wormth of th sun. It is as if loenlynes wer a hard and absoloot condishun of existens; th enveloep of flesh and blud on which our ies ar fixt melts befor th out-strecht hand, and thair remaens oenly th caprishus, unconsolable, and eloosiv spirit that no ie can folo, no hand can grasp. It was th feer of loozing him that kept me sielent, for it was born upon me sudenly and with unacountabl fors that shuud I let him slip awae into th darknes I wuud never forgiv mieself.
' "Wel. Thanks -- wuns mor. U'v bin -- er -- uncomonly -- reealy thair's no werd to . . . Uncomonly! I don't noe whi, I am shur. I am afraed I don't feel as graetful as I wuud if th hoel thing hadn't bin so brootaly sprung on me. Becauz at botom . . . U, yurself . . ." He stuterd.
' "Posibly," I struk in. He fround.
' "All th saem, wun is responsibl." He wocht me liek a hauk.
' "And that's troo, too," I sed.
' "Wel. I'v gon with it to th end, and I don't intend to let eny man cast it in mi teeth without -- without -- rezenting it." He clencht his fist.
' "Thair's yurself," I sed with a smiel -- merthles enuf, God noes -- but he luukt at me menisingly. "That's mi biznes," he sed. An air of indomitabl rezolooshun caem and went upon his faes liek a vaen and pasing shado. Next moement he luukt a deer guud boi in trubl, as befor. He flung awae th sigaret. "Guud-bi," he sed, with th suden haest of a man hoo had linggerd too long in vue of a presing bit of werk waeting for him; and then for a second or so he maed not th slietest moovment. Th dounpor fel with th hevy uninterupted rush of a sweeping flud, with a sound of unchekt oeverwhelming fuery that calld to one's miend th imejes of colapsing brijes, of uprooted trees, of undermiend mountens. No man cuud brest th colosal and hedlong streem that seemd to braek and swerl agenst th dim stilnes in which we wer precairiusly shelterd as if on an ieland. Th perforaeted piep gergld, choekt, spat, and splasht in oedius ridicuel of a swimmer fieting for his lief. "It is raening," I remonstraeted, "and I . . ." "Raen or shien," he began bruskly, chekt himself, and waukt to th windo. "Perfect deluej," he muterd after a whiel: he leend his forhed on th glas. "It's dark, too."
' "Yes, it is verry dark," I sed.
'he pivoted on his heels, crosst th room, and had akchualy oepend th dor leeding into th coridor befor I leept up frum mi chair. "Waet," I cried, "I wont U to . . ." "I can't dien with U agen to-niet," he flung at me, with wun leg out of th room allredy. "I havn't th slietest intenshun of asking U," I shouted. At this he droo bak his fuut, but remaend mistrustfully in th verry dorwae. I lost no tiem in entreeting him ernestly not to be abserd; to cum in and shut th dor.'
'he caem in at last; but I beleev it was moestly th raen that did it; it was falling just then with a devastaeting vieolens which qieeted doun grajualy whiel we taukt. His maner was verry soeber and set; his bairing was that of a nacheraly tasitern man pozest bi an iedeea. Mi tauk was of th mateerial aspect of his pozishun; it had th soel aem of saeving him frum th degradaeshun, rooin, and despair that out thair cloez so swiftly upon a frendles, hoemles man; I pleeded with him to acsept mi help; I argued reezonably: and
' "I supoez U intend to eet and drink and to sleep under shelter in th uezhual wae," I remember saeing with iritaeshun. "U sae U woen't tuch th muny that is due to U." . . . He caem as neer as his sort can to maeking a jescher of horror. (Thair wer three weeks and fiev days' pae oeing him as maet of th Patna.) "Wel, that's too litl to mater enyhow; but whut wil U do to-morro? Wherr wil U tern? U must liv . . ." "That isn't th thing," was th coment that escaept him under his breth. I ignord it, and went on combating whut I asoomd to be th scroopls of an exajeraeted delicasy. "On evry conseevabl ground," I conclooded, "U must let me help U." "U can't," he sed verry simply and jently, and hoelding fast to sum deep iedeea which I cuud detect shimering liek a pool of wauter in th dark, but which I despaird of ever aproeching neer enuf to fathom. I servaed his wel-proportioned bulk. "At eny raet," I sed, "I am aebl to help whut I can see of U. I don't pretend to do mor." He shuuk his hed skepticaly without luuking at me. I got verry worm. "But I can," I insisted. "I can do eeven mor. I am doing mor. I am trusting U . . ." "Th muny . . ." he began. "Upon mi werd U dezerv being toeld to go to th devil," I cried, forsing th noet of indignaeshun. He was startld, smield, and I prest mi atak hoem. "It isn't a qeschun of muny at all. U ar too sooperfishal," I sed (and at th saem tiem I was thinking to mieself: Wel, heer goes! And perhaps he is, after all). "Luuk at th leter I wont U to taek. I am rieting to a man of hoom I'v never askt a faevor, and I am rieting about U in terms that wun oenly venchers to uez when speeking of an intimet frend. I maek mieself unrezervedly responsibl for U. That's whut I am doing. And reealy if U wil oenly reflect a litl whut that meens . . ."
'he lifted his hed. Th raen had past awae; oenly th wauter- piep went on sheding teers with an abserd drip, drip outsied th windo. It was verry qieet in th room, hoos shadoes hudld together in corners, awae frum th stil flaem of th candl flairing upriet in th shaep of a dager; his faes after a whiel seemd sufuezd bi a reflecshun of a sofft liet as if th daun had broeken allredy.
' "Jove!" he gaspt out. "It is noebl of U!"
'had he sudenly puut out his tung at me in derizhun, I cuud not hav felt mor huemiliaeted. I thaut to mieself -- Serv me riet for a sneeking humbug.... His ies shoen straet into mi faes, but I perseevd it was not a moking brietnes. All at wuns he
'of cors it was th thing. It was ten to wun that I had saevd him frum starvaeshun -- of that pecuelyar sort that is allmoest invairiably asoeshiaeted with drink. This was all. I had not a singgl iloozhun on that scor, but luuking at him, I alowd mieself to wunder at th naecher of th wun he had, within th last three minits, so evidently taeken into his buuzom. I had forst into his hand th meens to carry on deesently th seerius biznes of lief, to get food, drink, and shelter of th customairy kiend, whiel his woonded spirit, liek a berd with a broeken wing, miet hop and fluter into sum hoel, to die qieetly of inanition thair. This is whut I had thrust upon him: a definitly small thing; and -- behoeld! -- bi th maner of its resepshun it loomd in th dim liet of th candl liek a big, indistinct, perhaps a daenjerus shado. "U don't miend me not saeing enything aproepryet," he berst out. "Thair isn't enything wun cuud sae. Last niet allredy U had dun me no end of guud. Lisening to me -- U noe. I giv U mi werd I'v thaut mor than wuns th top of mi hed wuud fli off. . ." He darted -- pozitivly darted -- heer and thair, ramd his hands into his pokets, jerkt them out agen, flung his cap on his hed. I had no iedeea it was in him to be so airily brisk. I thaut of a dri leef imprizond in an edy of wind, whiel a misteerius aprehenshun, a loed of indefinit dout, waed me doun in mi chair. He stuud stok-stil, as if struk moeshunles bi a discuvery. "U hav given me confidens," he declaird soeberly. "O! for God's saek, mi deer felo -- don't!" I entreeted, as tho he had hert me. "All riet. I'l shut up now and hensforth. Can't prevent me thinking tho.... Never miend! . . . I'l sho yet . . ." He went to th dor in a hery, pauzd with his hed doun, and caem bak, steping deliberetly. "I allwaes thaut that if a felo cuud
'but as to me, left aloen with th solitairy candl, I remaend straenjly unenlightened. I was no longger yung enuf to behoeld at evry tern th magnifisens that besets our insignificant fuutsteps in guud and in eevil. I smield to think that, after all, it was yet he, of us too, hoo had th liet. And I felt sad. A cleen slaet, did he sae? As if th inishal werd of eech our destiny wer not graeven in imperrishabl carracters upon th faes of a rok.'
'six munths afterwards mi frend (he was a sinical, mor than midl-ajed bachelor, with a repuetaeshun for ecsentrisity, and oend a ries-mil) roet to me, and jujing, frum th wormth of mi recomendaeshun, that I wuud liek to heer, enlarjd a litl upon Jim's perfections. Thees wer aparrently of a qieet and efectiv sort. "Not having bin aebl so far to fiend mor in mi hart than a reziend toleraeshun for eny indivijual of mi kiend, I hav livd til now aloen in a hous that eeven in this steeming cliemet cuud be considerd as too big for wun man. I hav had him to liv with me for sum tiem past. It seems I havn't maed a mistaek." It seemd to me on reeding this leter that mi frend had found in his hart mor than tolerans for Jim -- that thair wer th beginings of activ lieking. Of cors he staeted his grounds in a carracteristic wae. For wun thing, Jim kept his freshnes in th cliemet. Had he bin a gerl -- mi frend roet -- wun cuud hav sed he was blooming -- blooming modestly -- liek a vieolet, not liek sum of thees blaetant tropical flowers. He had bin in th hous for six weeks, and had not as yet atempted to slap him on th bak, or adres him as "oeld boi," or tri to maek him feel a superannuated fosil. He had nuthing of th exasperaeting yung man's chater. He was guud-temperd, had not much to sae for himself, was not clever bi eny meens, thank guudnes -- roet mi frend. It apeerd, how-ever, that Jim was clever enuf to be qieetly apreeshiaetiv of his wit, whiel, on th uther hand, he amuezd him bi his naiveness. "Th due is yet on him, and sinss I had th briet iedeea of giving him a room in th hous and having him at meels I feel les witherd mieself. Th uther dae he tuuk it into his hed to cross th room with no uther perpos but to oepen a dor for me; and I felt mor in tuch with man-kiend than I had bin for yeers. Ridicuelus, isn't it? Of cors I ges thair is sumthing -- sum auful litl scraep --
'I maed a trip to th northward, and when I reternd I found anuther leter frum mi frend waeting for me. It was th ferst enveloep I tore oepen. "Thair ar no spoons mising, as far as I noe," ran th ferst lien; "I havn't bin interested enuf to inqier. He is gon, leeving on th brekfast-taebl a formal litl noet of apolojy, which is eether sily or hartles. Probably boeth -- and it's all wun to me. Alow me to sae, lest U shuud hav sum mor misteerius yung men in rezerv, that I hav shut up shop, definitly and for ever. This is th last ecsentrisity I shal be gilty of. Do not imajin for a moement that I cair a hang; but he is verry much regreted at tenis-partys, and for mi oen saek I'v toeld a plauzibl lie at th club...." I flung th leter asied and started luuking thru th bach on mi taebl, til I caem upon Jim's hand-rieting. Wuud U beleev it? Wun chans in a hundred! But it is allwaes that hundredth chans! That litl second enjineer of th Patna had ternd up in a mor or les destituet staet, and got a temporairy job of luuking after th masheenery of th mil. "I cuudn't stand th familiarrity of th litl beest," Jim roet frum a seeport seven hundred miels south of th plaes wherr he shuud hav bin in cloever. "I am now for th tiem with Egström & Blake, ship-chandlers, as thair -- wel -- runer, to call th thing bi its riet naem. For referens I gaev them yur naem, which thae noe of cors, and if U cuud riet a werd in mi faevor it wuud be a permanent emploiment." I was uterly crusht under th rooins of mi casl, but of cors I roet as dezierd. Befor th end of th yeer mi nue charter tuuk
'he was stil with Egström & Blake, and we met in whut thae calld "our parlour" oepening out of th stor. He had that moement cum in frum bording a ship, and confrunted me hed doun, redy for a tusl. "Whut hav U got to sae for yurself?" I began as soon as we had shaeken hands. "Whut I roet U -- nuthing mor," he sed stubornly. "Did th felo blab -- or whut?" I askt. He luukt up at me with a trubld smiel. "O no! He didn't. He maed it a kiend of confidenshal biznes between us. He was moest damnably misteerius whenever I caem oever to th mil; he wuud wink at me in a respectful maner -- as much as to sae 'we noe whut we noe.' Infernaly fauning and familyar -- and that sort of thing . . ." He throo himself into a chair and staird doun his legs. "Wun dae we hapend to be aloen and th felo had th cheek to sae, 'well, Mr. James' -- I was calld Mr. James thair as if I had bin th sun -- 'here we ar together wuns mor. This is beter than th oeld ship -- ain't it?' . . . Wasn't it apalling, eh? I luukt at him, and he puut on a noeing air. 'don't U be uneezy, ser,' he ses. 'I noe a jentlman when I see wun, and I noe how a jentlman feels. I hoep, tho, U wil be keeping me on this job. I had a hard tiem of it too, along of that roten oeld Patna raket.' Jove! It was auful. I don't noe whut I shuud hav sed or dun if I had not just then herd Mr. Denver calling me in th pasej. It was tiffin-tiem, and we waukt together across th yard and thru th garden to th bunggalo. He began to chaf me in his kiendly wae . . . I beleev he liekt me . . ."
'jim was sielent for a whiel.
' "I noe he liekt me. That's whut maed it so hard. Such a splendid man! . . . That morning he slipt his hand under mi arm.... He, too, was familyar with me." He berst into a short laf, and dropt his chin on his brest. "Paa! When I rememberd how that meen litl beest had bin tauking to me," he began sudenly in a viebraeting vois, "I cuudn't bair to think of mieself ... I supoez U noe ..." I noded.... "Mor liek a faather," he cried; his vois sank. "I wuud hav had to tel him. I cuudn't let it go on -- cuud I?" "Wel?" I mermerd, after waeting a whiel. "I preferd to go," he sed sloely; "this thing must be berryd."
'we cuud heer in th shop Blake upbraeding Egström in an abuesiv, straend vois. Thae had bin asoeshiaeted for meny yeers, and evry dae frum th moement th dors wer oepend to th last minit befor cloezing, Blake, a litl man with sleek, jety hair and unhapy, beedy ies, cuud be herd rowing his partner insesantly with a sort of scaething and plaentiv fuery. Th sound of that everlasting scoelding was part of th plaes liek th uther fixchers; eeven straenjers wuud verry soon cum to disregard it compleetly unles it
'I did not see him agen that trip, but on mi next (I had a six months' charter) I went up to th stor. Ten yards awae frum th dor Blake's scoelding met mi eers, and when I caem in he gaev me a glans of uter rechednes; Egström, all smiels, advanst, extending a larj boeny hand. "Glad to see U, capten.... Sssh.... Bin thinking U wer about due bak heer. Whut did U sae, ser? ... Sssh.... O! him! He has left us. Cum into th parlour." . . . After th slam of th dor Blake's straend vois becaem faent, as th vois of wun scoelding desperetly in a wildernes.... "Puut us to a graet inconveenyuns, too. Uezd us badly -- I must sae . . ." "Wherr's he gon to? Do U noe?" I askt. "No. It's no ues asking eether," sed Egström, standing bewhiskerd and obliejing befor me with his arms hanging doun his sieds clumzily, and a thin silver woch-chaen loopt verry lo on a rucked-up bloo
'egström apeerd oevercum with emoeshun.
' "Whi, ser -- it seemd as tho he wuudn't miend going a hundred miels out to see in an oeld shoo to nab a ship for th ferm. If th biznes had bin his oen and all to maek yet, he cuudn't hav dun mor in that wae. And now . . . all at wuns . . . liek this! Thinks I to mieself: 'oho! a riez in th scroo -- that's th trubl -- is it?' 'all riet,' ses I, 'no need of all that fus with me, Jimy. Just menshun yur figuer. Enything in reezon.' He luuks at me as if he wonted to swolo sumthing that stuk in his throet. 'I can't stop with U.' 'what's that blooming joek?' I asks. He shaeks his hed, and I cuud see in his ie he was as guud as gon allredy, ser. So I ternd to him and slanged him til all was bloo. 'what is it U'r runing awae frum?' I asks. 'who has bin geting at U? Whut scaird U? U havn't as much sens as a rat; thae don't cleer out frum a guud ship. Wherr do U expect to get a beter berth? -- U this and U that.' I maed him luuk sik, I can tel U. 'this biznes ain't going to sink,' ses I. He gaev a big jump. 'good-bi,' he ses, noding at me liek a lord; 'you ain't haf a bad chap, Egström. I giv U mi werd that if U nue mi reezons U wuudn't cair to keep me.' 'that's th bigest lie U ever toeld in yur lief,' ses I; 'I noe mi oen miend.' He maed me so mad that I had to laf. 'can't U reealy stop long enuf to drink this glas of beer heer, U funy begar, U?' I don't noe whut caem oever him; he didn't seem aebl to fiend th dor; sumthing comical, I can tel U, capten. I drank th beer mieself. 'well, if U'r in such a hery, heer's luk to U in yur oen drink,' ses I; 'only, U mark mi werds, if U keep up this gaem U'l verry soon fiend that th erth ain't big enuf to hoeld U -- that's all.' He gaev me wun blak luuk, and out he rusht with a faes fit to scair litl children."
'egström snorted biterly, and coemd wun auburn whisker with
' "He was th maet of th Patna that voiej," I sed, feeling that I oed sum explanaeshun. For a tiem Egström remaend verry stil, with his finggers plunjd in th hair at th sied of his faes, and then exploeded. "And hoo th devil cairs about that?" "I dair sae no wun," I began . . . "And whut th devil is he -- enyhow -- for to go on liek this?" He stuft sudenly his left whisker into his mouth and stuud amaezd. "Jee!" he exclaemd, "I toeld him th erth wuudn't be big enuf to hoeld his caeper." '
'I hav toeld U thees too episoeds at length to sho his maner of deeling with himself under th nue condishuns of his lief. Thair wer meny uthers of th sort, mor than I cuud count on th finggers of mi too hands. Thae wer all eeqaly tinged bi a hi-miended abserdity of intenshun which maed thair fuetility profound and tuching. To fling awae yur daely bred so as to get yur hands free for a grapl with a goest mae be an act of proezaeic herroeizm. Men had dun it befor (tho we hoo hav livd noe fuul wel that it is not th haunted soel but th hunggry body that maeks an outcast), and men hoo had eeten and ment to eet evry dae had aplauded th creditabl foly. He was indeed unforchunet, for all his reklesnes cuud not carry him out frum under th shado. Thair was allwaes a dout of his curej. Th trooth seems to be that it is imposibl to lae th goest of a fact. U can faes it or sherk it -- and I hav cum across a man or too hoo cuud wink at thair familyar shaeds. Obviusly Jim was not of th winking sort; but whut I cuud never maek up mi miend about was whether his lien of conduct amounted to sherking his goest or to faesing him out.
'I straend mi mental iesiet oenly to discuver that, as with th complexshun of all our acshuns, th shaed of diferens was so deliket that it was imposibl to sae. It miet hav bin fliet and it miet hav bin a moed of combat. To th comon miend he becaem noen as a roeling stoen, becauz this was th funyest part: he did after a tiem becum perfectly noen, and eeven noetorius, within th sercl of his waanderings (which had a dieameter of, sae, three thouzand miels), in th saem wae as an ecsentric carracter is noen to a hoel cuntrysied. For instans, in Bankok, wherr he found emploiment with Yucker Bruthers, charterers and teak merchants, it was allmoest pathetic to see him go about in sunshien huging his seecret,
'I don't noe that I blaem Jim verry much, but it was a trooly regretabl insident. It belongd to th lamentabl speeshys of bar-room scuffles, and th uther party to it was a cross-ied Dane of sorts hoos viziting-card resieted, under his misbegoten naem: ferst lootenant in th Roial Siamese Naevy. Th felo, of cors, was uterly hoeples at bilyards, but did not liek to be beeten, I supoez. He had had enuf to drink to tern nasty after th sixth gaem, and maek sum scornful remark at Jim's expens. Moest of th peepl thair didn't heer whut was sed, and thoes hoo had herd seemd to hav had all presies recolecshun scaird out of them bi th apalling naecher of th conseqenses that imeedyetly ensood. It was verry luky for th Dane that he cuud swim, becauz th room oepend on a veranda and th Menam floed belo verry wied and blak. A boet-loed of Chinamen, bound, as liekly as not, on sum theeving expedishun, fished out th offiser of th King of Siam, and
'this was th werst insident of all in his -- his retreet. Noebody cuud deplor it mor than mieself; for if, as sumbody sed heering him menshund, "O yes! I noe. He has nokt about a guud deel out heer," yet he had sumhow avoided being baterd and chipt in th proses. This last afair, however, maed me seeriusly uneezy, becauz if his exqizit sensibilitys wer to go th length of involving him in pot-hous shindies, he wuud looz his naem of an inofensiv, if agravaeting, fool, and aqier that of a comon loefer. For all mi confidens in him I cuud not help reflecting that in such caeses frum th naem to th thing itself is but a step. I supoez U wil understand that bi that tiem I cuud not think of woshing mi hands of him. I tuuk him awae frum Bankok in mi ship, and we had a longish pasej. It was pityful to see how he shrank within himself. A seeman, eeven if a meer pasenjer, taeks an interest in a ship, and luuks at th see-lief around him with th critical enjoiment of a paenter, for instans, luuking at anuther man's werk. In evry sens of th expreshun he is "on dek"; but mi Jim, for th moest part, skulked doun belo as tho he had bin a sto-awae. He infected me so that I avoided speeking on profeshunal maters, such as wuud sugjest themselvs nacheraly to too saelors during a pasej. For hoel daes we did not exchaenj a werd; I felt extreemly unwiling to giv orders to mi offisers in his prezens. Offen, when aloen with
'I plaest him with De Jongh, as U noe, glad enuf to dispoez of him in eny wae, yet perswaeded that his pozishun was now groeing intolerabl. He had lost sum of that elastisity which had enaebld him to rebound bak into his uncompromiezing pozishun after evry oeverthro. Wun dae, cuming ashor, I saw him standing on th quay; th wauter of th roedsted and th see in th offing maed wun smooth asending plaen, and th outermoest ships at ankor seemd to ried moeshunles in th skie. He was waeting for his boet, which was being loeded at our feet with pakejes of small stors for sum vesel redy to leev. After exchaenjing greetings, we remaend sielent -- sied bi sied. "Jove!" he sed sudenly, "this is kiling werk."
'he smield at me; I must sae he jeneraly cuud manej a smiel. I maed no repli. I nue verry wel he was not alooding to his duetys; he had an eezy tiem of it with De Jongh. Nevertheles, as soon as he had spoeken I becaem compleetly convinst that th werk was kiling. I did not eeven luuk at him. "Wuud U liek," sed I, "to leev this part of th werld alltogether; tri California or th West Coest? I'l see whut I can do . . ." He interupted me a litl scorn-fuuly. "Whut diferens wuud it maek?" . . . I felt at wuns convinst that he was riet. It wuud maek no diferens; it was not releef he wonted; I seemd to perseev dimly that whut he wonted, whut he was, as it wer, waeting for, was sumthing not eezy to defien -- sumthing in th naecher of an oportuenity. I had given him meny oportuenitys, but thae had bin meerly oportuenitys to ern his bred. Yet whut mor cuud eny man do? Th pozishun struk me as hoeples, and pur Brierly's saeing recurd to me, "Let him creep twenty feet underground and stae thair." Beter that, I thaut, than this waeting abuv ground for th imposibl. Yet wun cuud not be shur eeven of that. Thair and then, befor his boet was three oars' lengths awae frum th quay, I had maed up mi miend to go and consult Stien in th eevning.
'this Stien was a welthy and respected merchant. His "hous" (becauz it was a hous, Stien & Co., and thair was sum sort of partner hoo, as Stien sed, "luukt after th Moluccas") had a larj inter-ieland biznes, with a lot of traeding poests establisht in th moest out-of-th-wae plaeses for colecting th produes. His welth and his respectability wer not exactly th reezons whi I was ankshus to seek his advies. I dezierd to confied mi dificulty to him becauz he was wun of th moest trustwerthy men I had ever noen. Th jentl liet of a simpl, unwearied, as it wer, and intelijent guud-naecher iloomind his long hairles faes. It had deep dounward foelds, and was pael as of a man hoo had allwaes led a sedentairy
'late in th eevning I enterd his study, after traversing an impoezing but empty diening-room verry dimly lit. Th hous was sielent. I was preseeded bi an elderly grim Javanese servant in a sort of livery of whiet jaket and yelo sarong, hoo, after throeing th dor oepen, exclaemd lo, "O master!" and steping asied, vanisht in a misteerius wae as tho he had bin a goest oenly moementairily
' "So U see me -- so," he sed. His hand huverd oever th caes wherr a buterfli in solitairy granjer spred out dark bronz wings, seven inches or mor across, with exqizit whiet veinings and a gorjus border of yelo spots. "Oenly wun spesimen liek this thae hav in yur London, and then -- no mor. To mi small naetiv toun this mi colecshun I shal beqeeth. Sumthing of me. Th best."
'he bent forward in th chair and gaezd intently, his chin oever th frunt of th caes. I stuud at his bak. "Marvellous," he whisperd, and seemd to forget mi prezens. His history was cuerius. He had bin born in Bavaria, and when a yooth of twenty-too had taeken an activ part in th revolooshunairy moovment of 1848. Hevily compromiezd, he manejd to maek his escaep, and at ferst found a refuej with a pur republican wochmaeker in Trieste. Frum thair he maed his wae to Tripoli with a stok of cheep woches to hauk about, -- not a verry graet oepening trooly, but it ternd out luky enuf, becauz it was thair he caem upon a Dutch traveler -- a rather faemus man, I beleev, but I don't remember his naem. It was that nacheralist hoo, engaejing him as a sort of asistant, tuuk him to th Eest. Thae traveld in th Arkipelago together and separetly, colecting insects and berds, for foer yeers or mor. Then th nacheralist went hoem, and Stien, having no hoem to go to, remaend with an oeld traeder he had cum across in his jernys in th inteerior
'by meens of this simpl formality Stien inherrited th Scotsman's privilejd pozishun and all his stok-in-traed, together with a fortified hous on th banks of th oenly navigabl river in th cuntry. Shortly afterwards th oeld qeen, hoo was so free in her speech, died, and th cuntry becaem disterbd bi vairius pretenders to th throen. Stien joind th party of a yungger sun, th wun of hoom therty yeers laeter he never spoek utherwiez but as "mi pur Mohammed Bonso." Thae boeth becaem th heeroes of inuemerabl exploits; thae had wunderful advenchers, and wuns stuud a seej in th Scotsman's hous for a munth, with oenly a scor of foloeers agenst a hoel army. I beleev th naetivs tauk of that wor to this dae. Meentiem, it seems, Stien never faeld to anex on his oen acount evry buterfli or beetl he cuud lae hands on. After sum aet yeers of wor, negoeshiaeshuns, falls truces, suden outbraeks, reconsiliaeshun, trechery, and so on, and just as pees seemd at last permanently establisht, his "pur Mohammed Bonso" was asasinaeted at th gaet of his oen roial rezidens whiel dismounting in th hieest spirits on his retern frum a sucsesful deer-hunt. This event renderd Stein's pozishun extreemly insecuer, but he wuud hav staed perhaps had it not bin that a short tiem after-words he lost Mohammed's sister ("mi deer wief th prinses," he uezd to sae solemly), bi hoom he had had a dauter -- muther and chield boeth dieing within three daes of eech uther frum sum infecshus feever. He left th cuntry, which this crooel loss had maed unbairabl to him. Thus ended th ferst and advencherus part of his existens. Whut foloed was so diferent that, but for th reality of sorro which remaend with him, this straenj past must hav rezembld a dreem. He had a litl muny; he started lief afresh, and in th cors of yeers aqierd a considerabl forchun. At ferst he had traveld a guud deel amungst th ielands, but aej had stoelen upon him, and of laet he seldom left his spaeshus hous three miels out of
' "Marvellous!" he repeeted, luuking up at me. "Luuk! Th buety -- but that is nuthing -- luuk at th acuerasy, th harmony. And so frajil! And so strong! And so exact! This is Naecher -- th balans of colosal forses. Evry star is so -- and evry blaed of gras stands so -- and th miety Kosmos in perfect eeqilibrium produeses -- this. This wunder; this masterpees of Naecher -- th graet artist."
' "Never herd an entomolojist go on liek this," I obzervd cheerfuly. "Masterpees! And whut of man?"
' "Man is amaezing, but he is not a masterpees," he sed, keeping his ies fixt on th glas caes. "Perhaps th artist was a litl mad. Eh? Whut do U think? Sumtiems it seems to me that man is cum wherr he is not wonted, wherr thair is no plaes for him; for if not, whi shuud he wont all th plaes? Whi shuud he run about heer and thair maeking a graet noiz about himself, tauking about th stars, disterbing th blaeds of gras? . . ."
' "Caching buterflies," I chimed in.
'he smield, throo himself bak in his chair, and strecht his legs. "Sit doun," he sed. "I capcherd this rair spesimen mieself wun verry fien morning. And I had a verry big emoeshun. U don't noe whut it is for a colector to capcher such a rair spesimen. U can't noe."
'I smield at mi eez in a roking-chair. His ies seemd to luuk far beyond th wall at which thae staird; and he narraeted how, wun niet, a mesenjer arievd frum his "pur Mohammed," reqiering his prezens at th "residenz" -- as he calld it -- which was distant sum nien or ten miels bi a briedl-path oever a cultivaeted plaen, with paches of forest heer and thair. Erly in th morning he started frum his fortified hous, after embraesing his
"'so halt' ich's endlich denn in meinen Händen,
Und nenn' es in gewissem Sinne mein.' "
He gaev to th last werd th emfasis of a sudenly loeerd vois, and withdroo his ies sloely frum mi faes. He began to charj a long-stemd piep bizily and in sielens, then, pauzing with his thum on th orifis of th boel, luukt agen at me significantly.
' "Yes, mi guud frend. On that dae I had nuthing to dezier; I had graetly anoid mi prinsipal enemy; I was yung, strong; I had frendship; I had th luv" (he sed "lof") "of wuuman, a chield I had, to maek mi hart verry fuul -- and eeven whut I had wuns dreemd in mi sleep had cum into mi hand too!"
'he struk a mach, which flaird vieolently. His thautful plasid faes twicht wuns.
' "Frend, wief, chield," he sed sloely, gaezing at th small flaem -- "phoo!" Th mach was bloen out. He sied and ternd agen to th glas caes. Th frael and buetyful wings qiverd faently, as if his breth had for an instant calld bak to lief that gorjus object of his dreems.
' "Th werk," he began sudenly, pointing to th scaterd slips,
' "To tel U th trooth, Stien," I sed with an efort that serpriezd me, "I caem heer to descrieb a spesimen...."
' "Buterfli?" he askt, with an unbeleeving and huemorus eegernes.
' "Nuthing so perfect," I anserd, feeling sudenly dispirited with all sorts of douts. "A man!"
' "Ach so!" he mermerd, and his smieling countenans, ternd to me, becaem graev. Then after luuking at me for a whiel he sed sloely, "Wel -- I am a man too."
'here U hav him as he was; he nue how to be so jenerusly encurejing as to maek a scroopuelus man hezitaet on th brink of confidens; but if I did hezitaet it was not for long.
'he herd me out, siting with crosst legs. Sumtiems his hed wuud disapeer compleetly in a graet erupshun of smoek, and a simpathetic groul wuud cum out frum th cloud. When I finisht he uncrossed his legs, laed doun his piep, leend forward tords me ernestly with his elboes on th arms of his chair, th tips of his finggers together.
' "I understand verry wel. He is roemantic."
'he had dieagnoest th caes for me, and at ferst I was qiet startld to fiend how simpl it was; and indeed our conferens rezembld so much a medical consultaeshun -- Stien, of lernd aspect, siting in an arm-chair befor his desk; I, ankshus, in anuther, faesing him, but a litl to wun sied -- that it seemd nacheral to ask --
' "Whut's guud for it?"
'he lifted up a long forfingger.
' "Thair is oenly wun remedy! Wun thing aloen can us frum being ourselvs cuer!" Th fingger caem doun on th desk with a smart rap. Th caes which he had maed to luuk so simpl befor becaem if posibl stil simpler -- and alltogether hoeples. Thair was a pauz. "Yes," sed I, "strictly speeking, th qeschun is not how to get cuerd, but how to liv."
'he aproovd with his hed, a litl sadly as it seemd. "Ja! ja! In jeneral, adapting th werds of yur graet poeet: That is th qeschun...." He went on noding simpatheticaly.... "How to be! Ach! How to be."
'he stuud up with th tips of his finggers resting on th desk.
' "We wont in so meny diferent waes to be," he began agen. "This magnifisent buterfli fiends a litl heep of dert and sits stil on it; but man he wil never on his heep of mud keep stil. He wont to be so, and agen he wont to be so...." He moovd his
'he loeerd th glas lid, th automatic lok clikt sharply, and taeking up th caes in boeth hands he bor it relijusly awae to its plaes, pasing out of th briet sercl of th lamp into th ring of fainter liet -- into shaeples dusk at last. It had an od efect -- as if thees fue steps had carryd him out of this concreet and perplext werld. His tall form, as tho robd of its substans, huverd noiselessly oever invisibl things with stooping and indefinit moovments; his vois, herd in that remoetnes wherr he cuud be glimpst misteeriusly bizy with imateerial cairs, was no longger insiesiv, seemd to roel voloominus and graev -- meloed bi distans.
' "And becauz U not allwaes can keep yur ies shut thair cums th reeal trubl -- th hart paen -- th werld paen. I tel U, mi frend, it is not guud for U to fiend U cannot maek yur dreem cum troo, for th reezon that U not strong enuf ar, or not clever enuf. .Ja! . . . And all th tiem U ar such a fien felo too! Wie? Was? Gott im Himmel! How can that be? Haa! haa! haa!"
'the shado prouling amungst th graevs of buterflies laft boisterously.
' "Yes! Verry funy this terribl thing is. A man that is born falls into a dreem liek a man hoo falls into th see. If he tries to cliem out into th air as inexpeeryenst peepl endevor to do, he drouns -- nicht wahr? . . . No! I tel U! Th wae is to th destructiv element submit yurself, and with th exershuns of yur hands and feet in th wauter maek th deep, deep see keep U up. So if U ask me -- how to be?"
'his vois leept up extraordinairily strong, as tho awae thair in th dusk he had bin inspierd bi sum whisper of nolej. "I wil tel U! For that too thair is oenly wun wae."
'with a haesty swish-swish of his slipers he loomd up in th ring of faent liet, and sudenly apeerd in th briet sercl of th lamp. His extended hand aemd at mi brest liek a pistol; his deep- set ies seemd to peers thru me, but his twiching lips uterd no werd, and th austeer exalltaeshun of a sertitued seen in th dusk vanisht frum his faes. Th hand that had bin pointing at mi brest fel, and bi-and-bi, cuming a step neerer, he laed it jently on mi shoelder. Thair wer things, he sed mornfuly, that perhaps cuud never be toeld, oenly he had livd so much aloen that sumtiems
'he shuuk his hed sloely, and afterwards luukt at me with a paeshent and inqiering glans. It was a shaem, he sed. Thair we wer siting and tauking liek too bois, insted of puuting our heds together to fiend sumthing practical -- a practical remedy -- for th eevil -- for th graet eevil -- he repeeted, with a huemorus and induljent smiel. For all that, our tauk did not gro mor practical. We avoided pronounsing Jim's naem as tho we had tried to keep flesh and blud out of our discushun, or he wer nuthing but an ering spirit, a sufering and naemles shaed. "Na!" sed Stien, riezing. "To-niet U sleep heer, and in th morning we shal do sumthing practical -- practical...." He lit a too-brancht candlstik and led th wae. We past thru empty dark rooms, escorted bi gleams frum th liets Stien carryd. Thae glieded along th waxt flors, sweeping heer and thair oever th polisht serfis of a taebl, leept upon a fragmentairy curv of a pees of fernicher, or flasht perpendicuelarly in and out of distant
' "He is roemantic -- roemantic," he repeeted. "And that is verry bad -- verry bad.... Verry guud, too," he aded. "But is he?" I qeeryd.
' "Gewiss," he sed, and stuud stil hoelding up th candelabrum, but without luuking at me. "Evident! Whut is it that bi inward paen maeks him noe himself? Whut is it that for U and me maeks him -- exist?"
'at that moement it was dificult to beleev in Jim's existens -- starting frum a cuntry parsonej, blerd bi crouds of men as bi clouds of dust, sielenst bi th clashing claems of lief and deth in a mateerial werld -- but his imperrishabl reality caem to me with a convinsing, with an irrezistibl fors! I saw it vividly, as tho in our progres thru th loffty sielent rooms amungst fleeting gleams of liet and th suden revelaeshuns of hueman figuers steeling with flickering flaems within unfathomabl and pellucid depths, we had aproecht neerer to absoloot Trooth, which, liek Buety itself, floets eloosiv, obscuer, haf submerjd, in th sielent stil wauters of mistery. "Perhaps he is," I admited with a sliet laf, hoos unexpectedly loud reverberaeshun maed me loeer mi vois directly; "but I am shur U ar." With his hed droping on his brest and th liet held hi he began to wauk agen. "Wel -- I exist too," he sed.
'he preseeded me. Mi ies foloed his moovments, but whut I did see was not th hed of th ferm, th welcum gest at afternoon resepshuns, th corespondent of lernd sosieetys, th entertaener of strae naturalists; I saw oenly th reality of his destiny, which he had noen how to folo with unfaltering fuutsteps, that lief begun in humbl seroundings, rich in jenerus enthooziazms, in frendship, luv, wor -- in all th exallted elements of roemans. At th dor of mi room he faest me. "Yes," I sed, as tho carrying on a discushun, "and amungst uther things U dreemd foolishly of a serten buterfli; but when wun fien morning yur dreem caem in yur wae U did not let th splendid oportuenity escaep. Did U? Wherras he . . ." Stien lifted his hand. "And do U noe how meny oportuenitys I let escaep; how meny dreems I had lost that had cum in mi wae?" He shuuk his hed regretfuly. "It seems to me that sum wuud hav bin verry fien -- if I had maed them cum troo. Do U noe how meny? Perhaps I mieself don't noe. " "Whether his wer fien or not," I
'he shuuk hands on th threshhoeld, peerd into mi room under his raezd arm. "Sleep wel. And to-morro we must do sumthing practical -- practical...."
'though his oen room was beyond mien I saw him retern th wae he caem. He was going bak to his buterflies.'
'I don't supoez eny of U hav ever herd of Patusan?' Marlow rezoomd, after a sielens ocuepied in th cairful lieting of a sigar. 'it duz not mater; thair's meny a hevenly body in th lot crouding upon us of a niet that man-kiend had never herd of, it being outsied th sfeer of its activitys and of no erthly importans to enybody but to th astronomers hoo ar paed to tauk learnedly about its compozishun, waet, path -- th irreguelarritys of its conduct, th aberaeshuns of its liet -- a sort of sieentific scandal-mongering. Thus with Patusan. It was referd to noeingly in th iner guvernment sercls in Batavia, espeshaly as to its irreguelarritys and aberaeshuns, and it was noen bi naem to sum fue, verry fue, in th mercantiel werld. Noebody, however, had bin thair, and I suspect no wun dezierd to go thair in person -- just as an astronomer, I shuud fansy, wuud strongly object to being transported into a distant hevenly body, wherr, parted frum his erthly emoluments, he wuud be bewilderd bi th vue of an unfamilyar heven. However, neether hevenly bodys nor astronomers hav enything to do with Patusan. It was Jim hoo went thair. I oenly ment U to understand that had Stien araenjd to send him into a star of th fifth magnitued th chaenj cuud not hav bin graeter. He left his erthly failings behiend him and whut sort of repuetaeshun he had, and thair was a toetaly nue set of condishuns for his imajinativ faculty to werk upon. Entierly nue, entierly remarkabl. And he got hoeld of them in a remarkabl wae.
'stein was th man hoo nue mor about Patusan than enybody els. Mor than was noen in th guvernment sercls I suspect. I hav no dout he had bin thair, eether in his buterfli-hunting daes or laeter on, when he tried in his incorijibl wae to seezon
'of cors I don't noe that story; I can oenly ges that wuns befor Patusan had bin uezd as a graev for sum sin, transgreshun, or misforchen. It is imposibl to suspect Stien. Th oenly wuuman that had ever existed for him was th Malay gerl he calld "Mi wief th prinses," or, mor rairly, in moements of expanshun, "th muther of mi Emma." Hoo was th wuuman he had menshund in conecshun with Patusan I can't sae; but frum his aloozhuns I understand she had bin an ejucaeted and verry guud-luuking Dutch-Malay gerl, with a trajic or perhaps oenly a pityful history, hoos moest paenful part no dout was her marrej with a Malacca Portuguese hoo had bin clerk in sum comershal hous in th Dutch colonys. I gatherd frum Stien that this man was an unsatisfactory person in mor waes than wun, all being mor or les indefinit and ofensiv. It was soely for his wife's saek that Stien had apointed him manejer of Stien & Co.'s traeding poest in Patusan; but comershaly th araenjment was not a sucses, at eny raet for th ferm, and now th wuuman had died, Stien was dispoezd to tri anuther aejent thair. Th Portuguese, hoos naem was Cornelius, considerd himself a verry dezerving but il-uezd person, entietld bi his abilitys to a beter pozishun. This man Jim wuud hav to releev. "But I don't think he wil go awae frum th plaes," remarkt Stien. "That has nuthing to do with me. It was oenly for th saek of th wuuman that I . . . But as I think thair is a dauter left, I shal let him, if he lieks to stae, keep th oeld hous."
'patusan is a remoet district of a naetiv-roold staet, and th cheef setlment bairs th saem naem. At a point on th river about forty miels frum th see, wherr th ferst houses cum into
'and this qeschun was puut with a noet of personal pried that maed me smiel, as tho he had had a hand in reguelaeting that ueneek spectacl. He had reguelaeted so meny things in Patusan -- things that wuud hav apeerd as much beyond his controel as th moeshuns of th moon and th stars.
'it was inconseevabl. That was th distinktiv qolity of th part into which Stien and I had tumbld him unwitingly, with no uther noeshun than to get him out of th wae; out of his oen wae, be it understuud. That was our maen perpos, tho, I oen, I miet hav had anuther moetiv which had inflooenst me a litl. I was about to go hoem for a tiem; and it mae be I dezierd, mor than I was awair of mieself, to dispoez of him -- to dispoez of him, U understand -- befor I left. I was going hoem, and he had cum to me frum thair, with his mizerabl trubl and his shadoey claem, liek a man panting under a berden in a mist. I cannot sae I had ever seen him distinktly -- not eeven to this dae, after I had mi last vue of him; but it seemd to me that th les I understuud th mor I was bound to him in th naem of that dout which is th inseparable part of our nolej. I did not noe so much mor about mieself. And then, I repeet, I was going hoem -- to that hoem distant enuf for all its hearthstones to be liek wun harthstoen, bi which th humblest of us has th riet to sit. We waander in our thouzands oever th faes of th erth, th ilustrius and th obscuer, erning beyond th sees our faem, our muny, or oenly a crust of bred; but it seems to me that for eech of us going hoem must be liek going to render an acount. We retern to faes our supeeriors, our kindred, our frends -- thoes hoom we oebae, and thoes hoom we luv; but eeven thae hoo hav neether, th moest free, loenly, irresponsibl and bereft of ties, -- eeven thoes
'the conqest of luv, onor, men's confidens -- th pried of it, th power of it, ar fit mateerials for a heroeic tael; oenly our miends ar struk bi th externals of such a sucses, and to Jim's sucseses thair wer no externals. Therty miels of forest shut it off frum th siet of an indiferent werld, and th noiz of th whiet serf along th coest oeverpowerd th vois of faem. Th streem of civilisation, as if divieded on a hedland a hundred miels north of Patusan, branches eest and south-eest, leeving its plaens and valys, its oeld trees and its oeld man-kiend, neglected and iesolaeted, such as an insignificant and crumbling ielet between th too branches of a miety, devouring streem. U fiend th naem of th cuntry prity offen in colecshuns of oeld voiejes. Th seventeenth-senchery traeders went thair for peper, becauz th pashun for peper seemd to bern liek a flaem of luv in th brest of Dutch and English advencherers about th tiem of James th Ferst. Wherr wuudn't thae go for peper! For a bag of peper thae wuud cut eech other's throets without hezitaeshun, and wuud forswair thair soels, of which thae wer so cairful utherwiez: th bizar obstinasy of that dezier maed them defi deth in a thouzand shaeps -- th unnoen sees, th loethsum and straenj dizeezes; woonds, captivity, hungger, pestilens, and despair. It maed them graet! Bi hevens! it maed them heroeic; and it maed them pathetic too in thair craeving for traed with th inflexibl deth levying its toel on yung and oeld. It seems imposibl to beleev that meer greed cuud hoeld men to such a steadfastness of perpos, to such a bliend persistens in endevor and sacrifies. And indeed thoes hoo adventured thair persons and lievs riskt all thae had for a slender reword. Thae left thair boens to lie bleeching on distant shors, so that welth miet flo to th living at hoem. To us, thair les tried sucsesors, thae apeer magnified,
'in Patusan thae had found lots of peper, and had bin imprest bi th magnifisens and th wizdom of th Sultan; but sumhow, after a senchery of chequered intercors, th cuntry seems to drop grajualy out of th traed. Perhaps th peper had given out. Be it as it mae, noebody cairs for it now; th glory has departed, th Sultan is an imbisil yooth with too thums on his left hand and an unsertan and begarly revenue extorted frum a mizerabl popuelaeshun and stoelen frum him bi his meny unkls.
'this of cors I hav frum Stien. He gaev me thair naems and a short skech of th lief and carracter of eech. He was as fuul of informaeshun about naetiv staets as an ofishal report, but infinitly mor amuezing. He had to noe. He traeded in so meny, and in sum districts -- as in Patusan, for instans -- his ferm was th oenly wun to hav an aejensy bi speshal permit frum th Dutch authoritys. Th Guvernment trusted his discreshun, and it was understuud that he tuuk all th risks. Th men he emploid understuud that too, but he maed it werth thair whiel aparrently. He was perfectly frank with me oever th brekfast-taebl in th morning. As far as he was awair (th last nues was therteen munths oeld, he staeted presiesly), uter insecuerity for lief and property was th normal condishun. Thair wer in Patusan antagonistic forses, and wun of them was Rajah Allang, th werst of th Sultan's unkls, th guvernor of th river, hoo did th extorting and th steeling, and ground doun to th point of extinkshun th cuntry-born Malays, hoo, uterly defenceless, had not eeven th resors of emigraeting -- "For indeed," as Stien remarkt, "wherr cuud thae go, and how cuud thae get awae?" No dout thae did not eeven dezier to get awae. Th werld
'it is presiesly th casualness of it that strieks me moest. Neether Stien nor I had a cleer consepshun of whut miet be on th uther sied when we, metaforicaly speeking, tuuk him up and hoev him oever th wall with scant serremoeny. At th moement I meerly wisht to acheev his disapeerans; Stien characteristically enuf had a sentimental moetiv. He had a noeshun of paeing off (in kiend, I sup- poez) th oeld det he had never forgoten. Indeed he had bin all
'upon evry uther point I was perfectly frank with him, and I eeven (as I beleevd at th tiem) exajeraeted th daenjer of th undertaeking. As a mater of fact I did not do it justis; his ferst dae in Patusan was neerly his last -- wuud hav bin his last if he had not bin so rekles or so hard on himself and had condescended to loed that revolver. I remember, as I unfoelded our preshus skeem for his retreet, how his stuborn but weery rezignaeshun was grajualy replaest bi serpriez, interest, wunder, and bi boiish eegernes. This was a chans he had bin dreeming of. He cuudn't think how he merrited that I . . . He wuud be shot if he cuud see to whut he oed . . .And it was Stien, Stien th merchant, hoo . . .but of cors it was me he had to . . . I cut him short. He was not articuelet, and his gratitued cauzd me inexplicabl paen. I toeld him that if he oed this chans to eny wun espeshaly, it was to an oeld Scot of hoom he had never herd, hoo had died meny yeers ago, of hoom litl was rememberd besieds a roring vois and a ruf sort of onesty. Thair was reealy no wun to reseev his thanks. Stien was pasing on to a yung man th help he had reseevd in his oen yung daes, and I had dun no mor than to menshun his naem. Upon this he culord, and, twisting a bit of paeper in his finggers, he remarkt bashfully that I had allwaes trusted him.
'I admited that such was th caes, and aded after a pauz that I wisht he had bin aebl to folo mi exampl. "U think I don't?" he askt uneezily, and remarkt in a muter that wun had to get sum sort of sho ferst; then brightening up, and in a loud vois he proetested he wuud giv me no ocaezhun to regret mi confidens, which -- which . . .
' "Do not misaprehend," I interupted. "It is not in yur power to maek me regret enything." Thair wuud be no regrets; but if thair wer, it wuud be alltogether mi oen afair: an th uther hand, I wisht him to understand cleerly that this araenjment, this -- this -- experriment, was his oen doing; he was responsibl for it and
'he did not retern til next morning. He had bin kept to diner and for th niet. Thair never had bin such a wunderful man as Mr. Stien. He had in his poket a leter for Cornelius ("th Johnnie hoo's going to get th sak," he explaend, with a moementairy drop in his elaeshun), and he exibited with glee a silver ring, such as naetivs uez, worn doun verry thin and shoeing faent traeses of chaesing.
'this was his introducshun to an oeld chap calld Doramin -- wun of th prinsipal men out thair -- a big pot -- hoo had bin Mr. Stein's frend in that cuntry wherr he had all thees advenchers. Mr. Stien calld him "wor-comrad." Wor-comrad was guud. Wasn't it? And didn't Mr. Stien speek English wunderfuly wel? Sed he
'he ran on liek this, forgeting his plaet, with a nief and fork in hand (he had found me at tiffin), slietly flusht, and with his ies darkend meny shaeds, which was with him a sien of exsietment. Th ring was a sort of credenshal -- ("It's liek sumthing U reed of in buuks," he throo in apreeshiaetivly) -- and Doramin wuud do his best for him. Mr. Stien had bin th meens of saeving that chap's lief on sum ocaezhun; puerly bi acsident, Mr. Stien had sed, but he -- Jim -- had his oen opinyon about that. Mr. Stien was just th man to luuk out for such acsidents. No mater. Acsident or perpos, this wuud serv his tern imensly. Hoept to guudnes th joly oeld begar had not gon off th huuks meentiem. Mr. Stien cuud not tel. Thair had bin no nues for mor than a yeer; thae wer kiking up no end of an all-fierd row amungst themselvs, and th river was cloezd. Joly aukward, this; but, no feer; he wuud manej to fiend a crak to get in.
'he imprest, allmoest frietend me with his elaeted ratl. He was voluebl liek a yungster on th eev of a long holidae with a prospect of delietful scraeps, and such an atitued of miend in a groen man and in this conecshun had in it sumthing fenomenal, a litl mad, daenjerus, unsaef. I was on th point of entreeting him to taek things seeriusly when he dropt his nief and fork (he had begun eeting, or rather swoloeing food, as it wer, unconshusly), and began a serch all round his plaet. Th ring! Th ring! Wherr th devil . . . Aa! Heer it was . . . He cloezd his big hand on it, and tried all his pokets wun after anuther. Jove! wuudn't do to looz th thing. He meditaeted graevly oever his fist. Had it? Wuud hang th bally afair round his nek! And he proseeded to do this imeedyetly, produesing a string (which luukt liek a bit of a coton shoo-laes) for th perpos. Thair! That wuud do th trik! It wuud be th deuce if . . . He seemd to cach siet of mi faes for th ferst tiem, and it stedyd him a litl. I probably didn't realise, he sed with a naaeev gravity, how much importans he atacht to that toeken. It ment a frend; and it is a guud thing to hav a frend. He nue sumthing about that. He noded at me expresivly, but befor mi disclaiming jescher he leend his hed on his hand and for a whiel sat sielent, plaeing thautfuly with th bred-crumbs on th
'he tosst his hed feerlesly, and I confes that for th ferst and last tiem in our aqaentans I perseevd mieself unexpectedly to be theroely sik of him. Whi thees vapourings? He was stumping about th room flerishing his arm abserdly, and now and then feeling on his brest for th ring under his cloeths. Wherr was th sens of such exalltaeshun in a man apointed to be a traeding-clerk, and in a plaes wherr thair was no traed -- at that? Whi herl defieans at th uenivers? This was not a proper fraem of miend to aproech eny undertaeking; an improper fraem of miend not oenly for him, I sed, but for eny man. He stuud stil oever me. Did I think so? he askt, bi no meens subdued, and with a smiel in which I seemd to detect sudenly sumthing insolent. But then I am twenty yeers his seenyor. Yooth is insolent; it is its riet -- its nesesity; it has got to asert itself, and all asershun in this werld of douts is a defieans, is an insolens. He went off into a far corner, and cuming bak, he, figuerativly speeking, ternd to rend me. I spoek liek that becauz I -- eeven I, hoo had bin no end kiend to him -- eeven I rememberd -- rememberd -- agenst him -- whut -- whut had hapend. And whut about uthers -- th -- th -- werld? Wherr's th wunder he wonted to get out, ment to get out, ment to stae out -- bi hevens! And I taukt about proper fraems of miend!
' "It is not I or th werld hoo remember," I shouted. "It is U -- U, hoo remember."
'he did not flinch, and went on with heet, "Forget evrything, evrybody, evrybody." . . . His vois fel. . . "But U," he
' "Yes -- me too -- if it wuud help," I sed, allso in a lo toen. After this we remaend sielent and langgwid for a tiem as if exausted. Then he began agen, composedly, and toeld me that Mr. Stien had instructed him to waet for a munth or so, to see whether it was posibl for him to remaen, befor he began bilding a nue hous for himself, so as to avoid "vaen expens." He did maek ues of funy expreshuns -- Stien did. "Vaen expens" was guud. . . . Remaen? Whi! of cors. He wuud hang on. Let him oenly get in-that's all; he wuud anser for it he wuud remaen. Never get out. It was eezy enuf to remaen.
' "Don't be foolhardy," I sed, renderd uneezy bi his thretening toen. "If U oenly liv long enuf U wil wont to cum bak."
' "Cum bak to whut?" he askt absently, with his ies fixt upon th faes of a clok on th wall.
'I was sielent for a whiel. "Is it to be never, then?" I sed. "Never," he repeeted dreemily without luuking at me, and then floo into suden activity. "Jove! Too o'clok, and I sael at foer!"
'it was troo. A briganteen of Stein's was leeving for th westward that afternoon, and he had bin instructed to taek his pasej in her, oenly no orders to delae th saeling had bin given. I supoez Stien forgot. He maed a rush to get his things whiel I went abord mi ship, wherr he promist to call on his wae to th outer roed-sted. He ternd up acordingly in a graet hery and with a small lether valees in his hand. This wuudn't do, and I offerd him an oeld tin trunk of mien supoezd to be wauter-tiet, or at leest damp- tiet. He efected th transfer bi th simpl proses of shooting out th contents of his valees as U wuud empty a sak of wheet. I saw three buuks in th tumbl; too small, in dark cuvers, and a thik green-and-goeld voluem -- a haf-croun compleet Shakespeare. "U reed this?" I askt. "Yes. Best thing to cheer up a felo," he sed haestily. I was struk bi this apreeshiaeshun, but thair was no tiem for Shakespearian tauk. A hevy revolver and too small boxes of cartrijes wer lieing on th cuddy-taebl. "Prae taek this," I sed. "It mae help U to remaen." No sooner wer thees werds out of mi mouth than I perseevd whut grim meening thae cuud bair. "Mae help U to get in," I corected mieself remorsefully. He however was not trubld bi obscuer meenings; he thankt me effusively and boelted out, calling Guud-bi oever his shoelder. I herd his vois thru th ship's sied erjing his boetmen to giv wae, and luuking out of th stern-port I saw th boet rounding under th counter. He sat in her leening forward, exsieting his men with vois and jeschers; and as he had kept th revolver in his hand and seemd to be prezenting it at thair heds, I shal never forget th scaird faeses of th foer Javanese, and th frantic swing of thair stroek which snacht that vizhun frum under mi ies. Then terning awae, th ferst thing I saw
'I orderd mi gig mand at wuns; but Jim's rowers, under th impreshun that thair lievs hung on a thred whiel thae had that madman in th boet, maed such exselent tiem that befor I had traverst haf th distans between th too vesels I caut siet of him clambering oever th rael, and of his box being past up. All th brigantine's canvas was loos, her maensael was set, and th windlas was just begining to clink as I stept upon her dek: her master, a daper litl haf-cast of forty or so, in a bloo flanel soot, with lievly ies, his round faes th colour of lemon-peel, and with a thin litl blak mustash drooping on eech sied of his thik, dark lips, caem forward smerking. He ternd out, notwithstanding his self-satisfied and cheery exteerior, to be of a cairworn temperament. In anser to a remark of mien (whiel Jim had gon belo for a moement) he sed, "O yes. Patusan." He was going to carry th jentlman to th mouth of th river, but wuud "never asend. " His floeing English seemd to be derievd frum a dicshunairy compield bi a loonatic. Had Mr. Stien dezierd him to "asend," he wuud hav "reverentially" -- (I think he wonted to sae respectfuly -- but devil oenly noes) -- "reverentially maed objects for th saefty of proper-ties." If disregarded, he wuud hav prezented "rezignaeshun to qit." Twelv munths ago he had maed his last voiej thair, and tho Mr. Cornelius "propitiated meny offertories" to Mr. Rajah Allang and th "prinsipal popuelaeshuns," on condishuns which maed th traed "a snair and ashes in th mouth," yet his ship had bin fierd upon frum th wuuds bi "irresponsive partys" all th wae doun th river; which cauzing his croo "frum expoezher to lim to remaen sielent in hidings," th briganteen was neerly stranded on a sandbank at th bar, wherr she "wuud hav bin perrishabl beyond th act of man." Th anggry disgust at th recolecshun, th pried of his flooensy, to which he ternd an atentiv eer, strugld for th pozeshun of his braud simpl faes. He scould and beemd at me, and wocht with satisfacshun th undenieabl efect of his fraeziolojy. Dark frouns ran swiftly oever th plasid see, and th briganteen, with her for-topsael to th mast and her maen-boom amidships, seemd bewilderd amungst th cat's-paws. He toeld me ferther, nashing his teeth, that th Rajah was a "lafabl hyæna" (can't imajin how he got hoeld of hyænas); whiel sumbody els was meny tiems falser than th "wepons of a crocodiel." Keeping wun ie on th moovments of his croo forward, he let loos his voluebility -- compairing th plaes to a "caej of beests maed ravenus bi long impenitence." I fansy he ment impuenity. He had no intenshun, he cried, to "exibit himself to be maed atacht perposfuly to robery." Th long-drawn waels, giving th tiem for th puul of th men catting th
'I herd afterwards he had bin so indiscreet as to get himself tied up bi th nek with a ratan hallter to a poest planted in th midl of a mud-hoel befor th Rajah's hous. He spent th best part of a dae and a hoel niet in that unhoelsum sichuaeshun, but thair is evry reezon to beleev th thing had bin ment as a sort of joek. He brooded for a whiel oever that horrid memory, I supoez, and then adrest in a qorrelsum toen th man cuming aft to th helm. When he ternd to me agen it was to speek joodishaly, without pashun. He wuud taek th jentlman to th mouth of th river at Batu Kring (Patusan toun "being sichuaeted internaly," he remarkt, "therty miels"). But in his ies, he continued -- a toen of bord, weery convicshun replaesing his preevius voluebl delivery -- th jentlman was allredy "in th similitued of a corps." "Whut? Whut do U sae?" I askt. He asoomd a startlingly feroeshus demeanour, and imitaeted to perfecshun th act of stabing frum behiend. "Allredy liek th body of wun deported," he explaend, with th insuferably conseeted air of his kiend after whut thae imajin a displae of clevernes. Behiend him I perseevd Jim smieling sielently at me, and with a raezd hand cheking th exclamaeshun on mi lips.
'then, whiel th haf-cast, bersting with importans, shouted his orders, whiel th yards swung creeking and th hevy boom caem serjing oever, Jim and I, aloen as it wer, to leeward of th maensael, claspt eech other's hands and exchaenjd th last heryd werds. Mi hart was freed frum that dul rezentment which had existed sied bi sied with interest in his faet. Th abserd chater of th haf-cast had given mor reality to th mizerabl daenjers of his path than Stein's cairful staetments. On that ocaezhun th sort of formality that had bin allwaes prezent in our intercors vanisht frum our speech; I beleev I calld him "deer boi," and he takt on th werds "oeld man" to sum haf-uterd expreshun of gratitued, as tho his risk set off agenst mi yeers had maed us mor eeqal in aej and in feeling. Thair was a moement of reeal and pro-found intimasy, unexpected and short-livd liek a glimps of sum everlasting, of sum saeving trooth. He exerted himself to sooth me as tho he had bin th mor matur of th too. "All riet, all riet," he sed rapidly and with feeling. "I promis to taek cair of mieself. Yes; I woen't taek eny risks. Not a singgl blesed risk. Of cors not. I meen to hang out. Don't U wery. Jove! I feel as if nuthing cuud tuch me. Whi! this is luk frum th werd Go. I wuudn't spoil such a magnifisent chans!" . . . A magnifisent chans! Wel, it was magnifisent, but chanses ar whut men maek them, and how was I to noe? As he had sed, eeven I -- eeven I rememberd -- his -- his misforchen agenst him. It was troo. And th
'my gig had dropt in th waek of th briganteen, and I saw him aft detacht upon th liet of th westering sun, raezing his cap hi abuv his hed. I herd an indistinct shout, "U -- shal -- heer -- of -- me." Of me, or frum me, I don't noe which. I think it must hav bin of me. Mi ies wer too dazld bi th gliter of th see belo his feet to see him cleerly; I am faeted never to see him cleerly; but I can ashur U no man cuud hav apeerd les "in th similitued of a corps," as that haf-cast croaker had puut it. I cuud see th litl wretch's faes, th shaep and colour of a riep pumpkin, poekt out sumwherr under Jim's elbo. He too raezd his arm as if for a dounward thrust. Absit oemen!'
'the coest of Patusan (I saw it neerly too yeers afterwards) is straet and somber, and faeses a misty oeshan. Red traels ar seen liek cataracts of rust streeming under th dark-green foelej of buushes and creepers cloething th lo clifs. Swompy plaens oepen out at th mouth of rivers, with a vue of jaged bloo peeks beyond th vast forests. In th offing a chaen of ielands, dark, crumbling shaeps, stand out in th everlasting sunlit haez liek th remnants of a wall breached bi th see.
'there is a vilej of fisher-foek at th mouth of th Batu Kring branch of th eschuairy. Th river, which had bin cloezd so long, was oepen then, and Stein's litl scooner, in which I had mi pasej, werkt her wae up in three tieds without being expoezd to a fuesilaed frum "irresponsive partys." Such a staet of afairs belongd allredy to aenshent history, if I cuud beleev th elderly hedman of th fishing vilej, hoo caem on bord to act as a sort of pielot. He taukt to me (th second whiet man he had ever seen) with confidens, and moest of his tauk was about th ferst whiet man he had ever seen. He calld him Tuan Jim and th toen of his referenses was maed remarkabl bi a straenj mixcher of familiarrity and au. Thae, in th vilej, wer under that lord's speshal protecshun, which shoed that Jim bor no gruj. If he had wornd me that I wuud heer of him it was perfectly troo. I was heering of him. Thair was allredy a story that th tied had ternd too ours befor its tiem to help him on his jerny up th river. Th taukativ oeld man himself had steerd th canoo and had marveld at th fenomenon. Moroever, all th glory was in his family. His sun and his sun-in-law had paddled; but thae wer
'jim's cuming to that fishing vilej was a blesing; but to them, as to meny of us, th blesing caem herralded bi terrors. So meny jeneraeshuns had bin releest sinss th last whiet man had vizited th river that th verry tradishun had bin lost. Th apeerans of th being that desended upon them and demanded inflexibly to be taeken up to Patusan was discomposing; his insistens was alarming; his jenerosity mor than suspishus. It was an unherd-of reqest. Thair was no presedent. Whut wuud th Rajah sae to this? Whut wuud he do to them? Th best part of th niet was spent in consultaeshun; but th imeedyet risk frum th angger of that straenj man seemd so graet that at last a cranky dug-out was got redy. Th wimen shreekt with greef as it puut off. A feerles oeld hag curst th straenjer.
'he sat in it, as I'v toeld U, on his tin box, nersing th unloeded revolver on his lap. He sat with precaushun -- than which thair is nuthing mor fatiguing -- and thus enterd th land he was destind to fil with th faem of his verchoos, frum th bloo peeks inland to th whiet ribon of serf on th coest. At th ferst bend he lost siet of th see with its labouring waevs for ever riezing, sinking, and vanishing to riez agen -- th verry imej of strugling man-kiend -- and faest th imoovabl forests rooted deep in th soil, soring tords th sunshien, everlasting in th shadoey miet of thair tradishun, liek lief itself. And his oportuenity sat vaeld bi his sied liek an Eestern bried waeting to be uncuverd bi th hand of th master. He too was th err of a shadoey and miety tradishun! He toeld me, however, that he had never in his lief felt so deprest and tierd as in that canoo. All th moovment he daird to alow himself was to reech, as it wer bi stelth, after th shel of haf a coeco-nut floeting between his shoos, and bael sum of th wauter out with a cairfuly restraend acshun. He discuverd how hard th lid of a blok-tin caes was to sit upon. He had heroeic helth; but several tiems during that jerny he expeeryenst fits of gidynes, and between whiles he specuelaeted haezily as to th siez of th blister th sun was raezing on his bak. For amuezment he tried bi luuking ahed to desied whether th mudy object he saw lieing on th water's ej was a log of wuud or an aligaetor. Oenly verry soon he had to giv that up. No fun in it. Allwaes aligaetor. Wun of them flopt into th river and all but capsiezd th canoo. But this exsietment was oever directly. Then in a long empty reech he was verry graetful to a troop of munkys hoo caem riet doun on th bank and maed an insulting hulabaloo on his pasej. Such was th wae in which he was aproeching graetnes as jenuein as eny man ever acheevd. Prinsipaly, he
' "I supoez I must hav bin stoopid with fateeg, or perhaps I did doez off for a tiem," he sed. Th ferst thing he nue was his canoo cuming to th bank. He becaem instantaeniusly awair of th forest having bin left behiend, of th ferst houses being vizibl hieer up, of a stokaed on his left, and of his boetmen leeping out together upon a lo point of land and taeking to thair heels. Instinktivly he leept out after them. At ferst he thaut himself dezerted for sum inconseevabl reezon, but he herd exsieted shouts, a gaet swung oepen, and a lot of peepl pord out, maeking tords him. At th saem tiem a boet fuul of armd men apeerd on th river and caem alongsied his empty canoo, thus shuting off his retreet.
' "I was too startld to be qiet cool -- don't U noe? and if that revolver had bin loeded I wuud hav shot sumbody -- perhaps too, three bodys, and that wuud hav bin th end of me. But it wasn't...." "Whi not?" I askt. "Wel, I cuudn't fiet th hoel popuelaeshun, and I wasn't cuming to them as if I wer afraed of mi lief," he sed, with just a faent hint of his stuborn sulkynes in th glans he gaev me. I refraend frum pointing out to him that thae cuud not hav noen th chaembers wer akchualy empty. He had to satisfi himself in his oen wae.... "Enyhow it wasn't," he repeeted guud-humouredly, "and so I just stuud stil and askt them whut was th mater. That seemd to striek them dum. I saw sum of thees theevs going off with mi box. That long-legd oeld scoundrel Kassim (I'l sho him to U to-morro) ran out fusing to me about th Rajah wonting to see me. I sed, 'all riet.' I too wonted to see th Rajah, and I simply waukt in thru th gaet and -- and -- heer I am." He laft, and then with unexpected emfasis, "And do U noe whut's th best in it?" he askt. "I'l tel U. It's th nolej that had I bin wiept out it is this plaes that wuud hav bin th loozer."
'he spoek thus to me befor his hous on that eevning I'v menshund -- after we had wocht th moon floet awae abuv th cazm between th hils liek an asending spirit out of a graev; its sheen desended, coeld and pael, liek th goest of ded sunliet. Thair is sumthing haunting in th liet of th moon; it has all th dispassionateness of a disembodyd soel, and sumthing of its inconseevabl mistery. It is to our sunshien, which -- sae whut U liek -- is all we hav to liv bi, whut th eko is to th sound: misleeding and confuezing whether th noet be moking or sad. It robs all forms of mater -- which, after all, is our doemaen -- of thair substans, and givs a sinister reality to shadoes
'he confest to me that he offen wocht thees tieny worm gleams go out wun bi wun, that he luvd to see peepl go to sleep under his ies, confident in th secuerity of to-morro. "Peesful heer, eh?" he askt. He was not eloqent, but thair was a deep meening in th werds that foloed. "Luuk at thees houses; thair's not wun wherr I am not trusted. Jove! I toeld U I wuud hang on. Ask eny man, wuuman, or chield . . ." He pauzd. "Wel, I am all riet enyhow."
'I obzervd qikly that he had found that out in th end. I had bin shur of it, I aded. He shuuk his hed. "Wer U?" He prest mi arm lietly abuv th elbo. "Wel, then -- U wer riet."
'there was elaeshun and pried, thair was au allmoest, in that lo exclamaeshun. "Jove!" he cried, "oenly think whut it is to me." Agen he prest mi arm. "And U askt me whether I thaut of leeving. Guud God! I! wont to leev! Espeshaly now after whut U toeld me of Mr. Stein's . . . Leev! Whi! That's whut I was afraed of. It wuud hav bin -- it wuud hav bin harder than dieing. No -- on mi werd. Don't laf. I must feel -- evry dae, evry tiem I oepen mi ies -- that I am trusted -- that noebody has a riet -- don't U noe? Leev! For wherr? Whut for? To get whut?"
'I had toeld him (indeed it was th maen object of mi vizit) that it was Stein's intenshun to prezent him at wuns with th hous and th stok of traeding guuds, on serten eezy condishuns which wuud maek th transacshun perfectly reguelar and valid. He began to snort and plunj at ferst. "Confound yur delicasy!" I shouted. "It isn't Stien at all. It's giving U whut U had maed for yurself. And in eny caes keep yur remarks for Mcneil -- when U meet him in th uther werld. I hoep it woen't hapen soon...." He had to giv in to mi arguements, becauz all his
'it was sumthing to be proud of. I too was proud -- for him, if not so serten of th fabuelus value of th bargen. It was wunderful. It was not so much of his feerlesnes that I thaut. It is straenj how litl acount I tuuk of it: as if it had bin sumthing too convenshunal to be at th root of th mater. No. I was mor struk bi th uther gifts he had displaed. He had proovd his grasp of th unfamilyar sichuaeshun, his intelekchual alertnes in that feeld of thaut. Thair was his redynes too! Amaezing. And all this had cum to him in a maner liek keen sent to a wel-bred hound. He was not eloqent, but thair was a dignity in this constitueshunal retisens, thair was a hi seeriusnes in his stammerings. He had stil his oeld trik of stuborn blushing. Now and then, tho, a werd, a sentens, wuud escaep him that shoed how deeply, how solemly, he felt about that werk which had given him th sertitued of re-habilitaeshun. That is whi he seemd to luv th land and th peepl with a sort of feers egoeizm, with a contempchuos tendernes.'
' "This is wherr I was prizoner for three daes," he mermerd to me (it was on th ocaezhun of our vizit to th Rajah), whiel we wer maeking our wae sloely thru a kiend of awestruck rieot of dependants across Tunku Allang's cort-yard. "Filthy plaes, isn't it? And I cuudn't get enything to eet eether, unles I maed a row about it, and then it was oenly a small plaet of ries and a fried fish not much biger than a stickleback -- confound them! Jove! I'v bin hunggry prouling insied this stinking encloezher with sum of thees vagabonds shuving thair mugs riet under mi noez. I had given up that faemus revolver of yurs at th ferst demand. Glad to get rid of th bally thing. Luukt liek a fool wauking about with an empty shooting-ieern in mi hand." At that moement we caem into th prezens, and he becaem unflinchingly graev and complimentery with his laet captor. O! magnifisent! I wont to laf when I think of it. But I was imprest too. Th oeld disrepuetabl Tank Allang cuud not help shoeing his feer (he was no heero, for all th taels of his hot yooth he was fond of teling); and at th saem tiem thair was a wistful confidens in his maner tords his laet
'that's how it was -- and th oportuenity ran bi his sied, leept oever th gap, flounderd in th mud . . . stil vaeld. Th unexpectedness of his cuming was th oenly thing, U understand, that saevd him frum being at wuns dispacht with krisses and flung into th river. Thae had him, but it was liek geting hoeld of an aparishun, a raeth, a portent. Whut did it meen? Whut to do with it? Was it too laet to consiliaet him? Hadn't he beter be kild without mor delae? But whut wuud hapen then? Reched oeld Allang went neerly mad with aprehenshun and thru th dificulty of maeking up his miend. Several tiems th counsil was broeken up, and th adviezers maed a braek helter-skelter for th dor and out on to th veranda. Wun -- it is sed -- eeven jumpt doun to th ground -- fifteen feet, I shuud juj -- and broek his leg. Th roial guvernor of Patusan had bizar manerizms, and wun of them was to intro-duce boestful rhapsodies into evry arjuos discushun, when, geting grajualy exsieted, he wuud end bi flieing off his perch with a kriss in his hand. But, baring such interupshuns, th deliberaeshuns upon Jim's faet went on niet and dae.
'meanwhile he waanderd about th cort-yard, shund bi sum, glaird at bi uthers, but wocht bi all, and practicaly at th mersy of th ferst cazhual ragamufin with a choper, in thair. He tuuk pozeshun of a small tumbl-doun shed to sleep in; th efloovia of filth and roten mater incommoded him graetly: it seems he had not lost his apetiet tho, becauz -- he toeld me -- he had bin hunggry all th blesed tiem. Now and agen "sum fusy as" deputed frum th counsil-room wuud cum out runing to him, and in honeyed toens wuud administer amaezing interrogatories: "Wer th Dutch cuming to taek th cuntry? Wuud th whiet man liek to go bak doun th river? Whut was th object of cuming to such a mizerabl cuntry? Th Rajah wonted to noe whether th whiet man cuud repair a woch?" Thae did akchualy bring out to him a nikel clok of Nue England maek, and out of sheer unbairabl bordom he bizyd himself in trieing to get th alarum to werk. It was aparrently when thus ocuepied in his shed that th troo persepshun of his extreem perril daund upon him. He dropt th thing -- he ses -- "liek a hot
'he seemd to hav a graet lieking for Doramin's oeld wief. She on her sied had taeken a mutherly fansy to him. She had a round, nut- broun, sofft faes, all fien rinkls, larj, briet red lips (she chood betel assiduously), and scrood up, winking, benevolent ies. She was constantly in moovment, scoelding bizily and ordering unseesingly a troop of yung wimen with cleer broun
'she invairiably tukt up her feet under her, but oeld Doramin sat sqairly, sat imposingly as a mounten sits on a plaen. He was oenly of th nakhoda or merchant clas, but th respect shoen to him and th dignity of his bairing wer verry strieking. He was th cheef of th second power in Patusan. Th imigrants frum Celebes (about sixty familys that, with dependants and so on, cuud muster sum too hundred men "wairing th kriss") had elected him yeers ago for thair hed. Th men of that raes ar intelijent, enterpriezing, revenjful, but with a mor frank curej than th uther Malays, and restles under opreshun. Thae formd th party opoezd to th Rajah. Of cors th qorrels wer for traed. This was th priemairy cauz of facshun fiets, of th suden outbraeks that wuud fil this or that part of th setlment with smoek, flaem, th noiz of shots and shrieks. Vilejes wer bernt, men wer dragd into th Rajah's stokaed to be kild or torcherd for th criem of traeding with enybody els but himself. Oenly a dae or too befor Jim's arieval several heds of hous-hoelds in th verry fishing vilej that was afterwards taeken under his espeshal protecshun had bin driven oever th clifs bi a party of th Rajah's spearmen, on suspishun of having bin colecting edibl birds' nests for a Celebes traeder. Rajah Allang pretended to be th oenly traeder in his cuntry, and th penalty for th breech of th monopoly was deth; but his iedeea of traeding was indistinguishable frum th comonest forms of robery. His crooelty and rapasity had no uther bounds than his coward-ies, and he was afraed of th organiezd power of th Celebes men, oenly -- til Jim caem -- he was not afraed enuf to keep qieet. He struk at them thru his subjects, and thaut himself patheticaly in th riet. Th sichuaeshun was complicaeted bi a waandering straenjer, an Arab haf-breed, hoo, I beleev, on puerly relijus grounds, had insieted th triebs in th inteerior (th buush-foek, as Jim himself calld them) to riez, and had establisht himself in a fortified camp on th sumit of wun of th twin hils. He hung oever th toun of Patusan liek a hauk oever
'doramin was wun of th moest remarkabl men of his raes I had ever seen. His bulk for a Malay was imens, but he did not luuk meerly fat; he luukt impoezing, monuemental. This moeshunles body, clad in rich stuffs, culord silks, goeld embroiderys; this huej hed, enfolded in a red-and-goeld headkerchief; th flat, big, round faes, rinkld, feroed, with too semysercuelar hevy foelds starting on eech sied of wied, feers nostrils, and encloezing a thik-lipped mouth; th throet liek a buul; th vast corugaeted brow oever-hanging th stairing proud ies -- maed a hoel that, wuns seen, can never be forgoten. His impasiv repoez (he seldom sterd a lim when wuns he sat doun) was liek a displae of dignity. He was never noen to raez his vois. It was a hors and powerful mermer, slietly vaeld as if herd frum a distans. When he waukt, too short, sterdy yung feloes, naeked to th waest, in whiet sarongs and with blak skul-caps on th baks of thair heds, sustaend his elboes; thae wuud eez him doun and stand behiend his chair til he wonted to riez, when he wuud tern his hed sloely, as if with dificulty, to th riet and to th left, and then thae wuud cach him under his armpits and help him up. For all that, thair was nuthing of a cripl about him: on th contrairy, all his ponderus moovments wer liek manifestaeshuns of a miety deliberet fors. It was jeneraly beleevd he consulted his wief as to public afairs; but noebody, as far as I noe, had ever herd them exchaenj a singgl werd. When thae sat in staet bi th wied oepening it was in sielens. Thae cuud see belo them in th decliening liet th vast expans of th forest
'they had him laet in lief. Perhaps he was not reealy so yung as he luukt. Foer-or fiev-and-twenty is not so yung when a man is allredy faather of a family at aeteen. When he enterd th larj room, liend and carpeted with fien mats, and with a hi seeling of whiet sheeting, wherr th cupl sat in staet serounded bi a moest deferenshal retinue, he wuud maek his wae straet to Doramin, to kis his hand -- which th uther abandond to him, majesticaly -- and then wuud step across to stand bi his mother's chair. I supoez I mae sae thae idolised him, but I never caut them giving him an oevert glans. Thoes, it is troo, wer public funkshuns. Th room was jeneraly thronged. Th solem formality of greetings and leev- taekings, th profound respect exprest in jeschers, on th faeses, in th lo whispers, is simply indescriebabl. "It's wel werth seeing," Jim had ashurd me whiel we wer crossing th river, on our wae bak. "Thae ar liek peepl in a buuk, arn't thae?" he sed trieumfantly. "And Dain Waris -- thair sun -- is th best frend (baring U) I ever had. Whut Mr. Stien wuud call a guud 'war-comrad.' I was in luk. Jove! I was in luk when I tumbld amungst them at mi last gasp." He meditaeted with bowd hed, then rouzing himself he aded --
' "Of cors I didn't go to sleep oever it, but . . ." He pauzd agen. "It seemd to cum to me," he mermerd. "All at wuns I saw whut I had to do . . ."
'there was no dout that it had cum to him; and it had cum thru wor, too, as is nacheral, sinss this power that caem to him was th power to maek pees. It is in this sens aloen that miet so offen is riet. U must not think he had seen his wae at wuns. When he arievd th Bugis comuenity was in a moest critical pozishun. "Thae wer all afraed," he sed to me -- "eech man afraed for himself; whiel I cuud see as plaen as posibl that thae must do sumthing at wuns, if thae did not wont to go under wun after anuther, whut between th Rajah and that vagabond Sherif." But to see that was nuthing. When he got his iedeea he had to driev it into reluctant miends, thru th bulwarks of feer, of selfishnes. He droev it
'the story! Havn't I herd th story? I'v herd it on th march, in camp (he maed me scour th cuntry after invisibl gaem); I'v lisend to a guud part of it on wun of th twin summits, after clieming th last hundred feet or so on mi hands and nees. Our escort (we had volunteer foloeers frum vilej to vilej) had campt meentiem on a bit of level ground haf-wae up th sloep, and in th stil brethles eevning th smel of wuud-smoek reecht our nostrils frum belo with th penetraeting delicasy of sum chois sent. Voises allso asended, wunderful in thair distinkt and imateerial cleernes. Jim sat on th trunk of a feld tree, and puuling out his piep began to smoek. A nue groeth of gras and buushes was springing
'but it had bin taeken, tho. That had bin his iedeea. He had mounted Doramin's oeld ordnans on th top of that hil; too rusty ieern 7-pounders, a lot of small bras canon -- curensy canon. But if th bras guns reprezent welth, thae can allso, when cramd reklesly to th muzl, send a solid shot to sum litl distans. Th thing was to get them up thair. He shoed me wherr he had fasend th caebls, explaend how he had improviezd a rood capstan out of a hollowed log terning upon a pointed staek, indicaeted with th boel of his piep th outlien of th erthwerk. Th last hundred feet of th asent had bin th moest dificult. He had maed himself responsibl for sucses on his oen hed. He had induest th wor party to werk hard all niet. Big fiers lieted at intervals blaezd all doun th sloep, "but up heer," he explaend, "th hoisting gang had to fli around in th dark. " Frum th top he saw men mooving on th hilsied liek ants at werk. He himself on that niet had kept on rushing doun and clieming up liek a sqerel, directing, encurejing, woching all along th lien. Oeld Doramin had himself carryd up th hil in his arm-chair. Thae puut him doun on th level plaes upon th sloep, and he sat thair in th liet of wun of th big fiers -- "amaezing oeld chap -- reeal oeld cheeften," sed Jim, "with his litl feers ies -- a pair of imens flintlok pistols on his nees. Magnifisent things, ebony, silver-mounted, with buetyful loks and a caliber liek an oeld blunderbus. A prezent frum Stien, it seems -- in exchaenj for that ring, U noe. Uezd to belong to guud oeld Mcneil. God oenly noes how he caem bi them. Thair he sat, mooving neether hand nor fuut, a flaem of dri brushwuud behiend him, and lots of peepl rushing about, shouting and puuling round him -- th moest solem, impoezing oeld chap U can imajin. He wuudn't hav had much chans if Sherif Ali had let his infernal croo loos at us and stampeeded mi lot. Eh? Enyhow, he had cum up thair to die if enything went rong. No mistaek! Jove! It thrild me to see him thair -- liek a rok. But th Sherif must hav thaut us mad, and never trubld to cum and see how we got on. Noebody beleevd it cuud be dun. Whi! I think th verry chaps hoo puuld and shuvd and sweted oever it did not beleev it cuud be dun! Upon mi werd I don't think thae did...."
'he stuud erect, th smouldering brier-wuud in his cluch, with a smiel on his lips and a sparkl in his boiish ies. I sat on th stump of a tree at his feet, and belo us strecht th land, th graet expans of th forests, somber under th sunshien, roeling liek a see,
'and thair I was with him, hi in th sunshien on th top of that historic hil of his. He dominaeted th forest, th secuelar doom, th oeld man-kiend. He was liek a figuer set up on a pedestal, to reprezent in his persistent yooth th power, and perhaps th verchoos, of raeses that never gro oeld, that hav emerjd frum th gloom. I don't noe whi he shuud allwaes hav apeerd to me simbolic. Perhaps this is th reeal cauz of mi interest in his faet. I don't noe whether it was exactly fair to him to remember th insident which had given a nue direcshun to his lief, but at that verry moement I rememberd verry distinktly. It was liek a shado in th liet.'
'already th lejend had gifted him with soopernacheral powers. Yes, it was sed, thair had bin meny roeps cuningly dispoezd, and a straenj contrievans that ternd bi th eforts of meny men, and eech gun went up tairing sloely thru th buushes, liek a wield pig rooting its wae in th undergroeth, but . . . and th wiezest shuuk thair heds. Thair was sumthing ocult in all this, no dout; for whut is th strength of roeps and of men's arms? Thair is a rebelyus soel in things which must be oevercum bi powerful charms and incantations. Thus oeld Sura -- a verry respectabl hous-hoelder of Patusan -- with hoom I had a qieet chat wun eevning. However, Sura was a profeshunal sorserer allso, hoo atended all th ries sowings and reapings for miels around for th perpos of subdueing th stuborn soels of things. This ocuepaeshun he seemd to think a moest arjuos wun, and perhaps th soels of things ar mor stuborn than th soels of men. As to th simpl foek of outlieing vilejes, thae beleevd and sed (as th moest nacheral thing in th werld) that Jim had carryd th guns up th hil on his bak -- too at a tiem.
'this wuud maek Jim stamp his fuut in vexaeshun and exclaem with an exasperaeted litl laf, "Whut can U do with such sily begars? Thae wil sit up haf th niet tauking bally rot, and th graeter th lie th mor thae seem to liek it." U cuud traes th sutl inflooens of his seroundings in this iritaeshun. It was part of his captivity. Th ernestnes of his denials was amuezing, and at last I sed, "Mi deer felo, U don't supoez I beleev this." He luukt
'I remember how, at this point, he pauzd with his ies fixt upon me. "As far as he nue, thae never had an ocaezhun to regret it yet," he sed. "Never. He hoept to God thae never wuud. Meentiem -- wers luk! -- thae had got into th habit of taeking his werd for enything and evrything. I cuud hav no iedeea! Whi, oenly th uther dae an oeld fool he had never seen in his lief caem frum sum vilej miels awae to fiend out if he shuud divors his wief. Fact. Solem werd. That's th sort of thing. . . He wuudn't hav beleevd it. Wuud I? Sqoted on th veranda chooing betel-nut, sieing and spiting all oever th plaes for mor than an our, and as glum as an undertaeker befor he caem out with that dasht conundrum. That's th kiend of thing that isn't so funy as it luuks. Whut was a felo to sae? -- Guud wief? -- Yes. Guud wief -- oeld tho. Started a confounded long story about sum bras pots. Bin living
'thus he ilustraeted th moral efect of his victory in wor. It was in trooth imens. It had led him frum strief to pees, and thru deth into th inermoest lief of th peepl; but th gloom of th land spred out under th sunshien prezervd its apeerans of inscrootabl, of secuelar repoez. Th sound of his fresh yung vois -- it's extraordinairy how verry fue siens of wair he shoed -- floeted lietly, and past awae oever th unchaenjd faes of th forests liek th sound of th big guns on that coeld duey morning when he had no uther consern on erth but th proper controel of th chils in his body. With th ferst slant of sun-raes along thees imoovabl tree-tops th sumit of wun hil reethd itself, with hevy reports, in whiet clouds of smoek, and th uther berst into an amaezing noiz of yels, wor-cries, shouts of angger, of serpriez, of dismae. Jim and Dain Waris wer th ferst to lae thair hands on th staeks. Th popuelar story has it that Jim with a tuch of wun fingger had throen doun th gaet. He was, of cors, ankshus to disclaem this acheevment. Th hoel stokaed -- he wuud insist on explaening to U -- was a pur
'the rout, it seems, had bin compleet. Doramin, waeting imoovably in his chair on th hilsied, with th smoek of th guns spreding sloely abuv his big hed, reseevd th nues with a deep grunt. When informd that his sun was saef and leeding th persoot, he, without anuther sound, maed a miety efort to riez; his atendants heryd to his help, and, held up reverently, he shufld with graet dignity into a bit of shaed, wherr he laed himself doun to sleep, cuverd entierly with a pees of whiet sheeting. In Patusan th exsietment was intens. Jim toeld me that frum th hil, terning his bak on th stokaed with its embers, blak ashes, and haf-consoomd corpses, he cuud see tiem after tiem th oepen spaeses between th houses on boeth sieds of th streem fil sudenly with a seething rush of peepl and get empty in a moement. His eers caut feebly frum belo th tremendus din of gongs and drums; th wield shouts of th croud reecht him in bersts of faent roring. A lot of streemers maed a fluter as of litl whiet, red, yelo berds amungst th broun rijes of roofs. "U must hav enjoid it," I mermerd, feeling th ster of simpathetic emoeshun.
' "It was . . . it was imens! Imens!" he cried aloud, flinging
'immense! No dout it was imens; th seel of sucses upon his werds, th conkerd ground for th soels of his feet, th bliend trust of men, th beleef in himself snacht frum th fier, th solitued of his acheevment. All this, as I'v wornd U, gets dworft in th teling. I can't with meer werds convae to U th impreshun of his toetal and uter iesolaeshun. I noe, of cors, he was in evry sens aloen of his kiend thair, but th unsuspected qolitys of his naecher had braut him in such cloes tuch with his seroundings that this iesolaeshun seemd oenly th efect of his power. His loenlynes aded to his stacher. Thair was nuthing within siet to compair him with, as tho he had bin wun of thoes exsepshunal men hoo can be oenly mezherd bi th graetnes of thair faem; and his faem, remember, was th graetest thing around for meny a day's jerny. U wuud hav to padl, poel, or trak a long weery wae thru th junggl befor U past beyond th reech of its vois. Its vois was not th trumpeting of th disrepuetabl godes we all noe -- not blaetant -- not braezen. It tuuk its toen frum th stilnes and gloom of th land without a past, wherr his werd was th wun trooth of evry pasing dae. It shaird sumthing of th naecher of that sielens thru which it acumpanyd U into unexplord depths, herd continueusly bi yur sied, penetraeting, far-reeching -- tinged with wunder and mistery on th lips of whispering men.'
'the defeeted Sherif Ali fled th cuntry without maeking anuther stand, and when th mizerabl hunted vilejers began to crall out of th junggl bak to thair roting houses, it was Jim hoo, in consultaeshun with Dain Waris, apointed th hedmen. Thus he becaem th verchual rooler of th land. As to oeld Tunku Allang, his feers at ferst had noen no bounds. It is sed that at th intelijens of th sucsesful storming of th hil he flung himself, faes doun, on th bamboo flor of his audyens-hall, and lae moeshunles for a hoel niet and a hoel dae, utering stiefld sounds of such an apalling naecher that no man daird aproech his prostraet form neerer than a spear's length. Allredy he cuud see himself driven ignominiously out of Patusan, waandering, abandond, stript, without oepium, without his wimen, without foloeers, a fair gaem for
'I tried to puut th subject asied. It was dificult, for thair cuud be no qeschun that Jim had th power; in his nue sfeer thair did not seem to be enything that was not his to hoeld or to giv. But that, I repeet, was nuthing in comparrison with th noeshun, which ocurd to me, whiel I lisend with a sho of atenshun, that he seemd to hav cum verry neer at last to mastering his faet. Doramin was ankshus about th fuecher of th cuntry, and I was struk bi th tern he gaev to th arguement. Th land remaens wherr God had puut it; but whiet men -- he sed -- thae cum to us and in a litl whiel thae go. Thae go awae. Thoes thae leev behiend do not noe when to luuk for thair retern. Thae go to thair oen land, to thair peepl, and so this whiet man too wuud.... I don't noe whut induest me to comit mieself at this point bi a vigorus "No, no." Th hoel extent of this indiscreshun becaem aparrent when Doramin, terning fuul upon me his faes, hoos expreshun, fixt in ruged deep foelds, remaend unallterabl, liek a huej broun mask, sed that this was guud nues indeed, reflectively; and then wonted to noe whi.
'his litl, mutherly wich of a wief sat on mi uther hand, with her hed cuverd and her feet tukt up, gaezing thru th graet shuter-hoel. I cuud oenly see a straying lok of grae hair, a hi cheek-boen, th sliet masticating moeshun of th sharp chin. Without remooving her ies frum th vast prospect of forests streching as far as th hils, she askt me in a pitying vois whi was it that he so yung had waanderd frum his hoem, cuming so far, thru so meny daenjers? Had he no hous-hoeld thair, no kinzmen in his oen cuntry? Had he no oeld muther, hoo wuud allwaes remember his
'I was compleetly unprepaird for this. I cuud oenly muter and shaek mi hed vaegly. Afterwards I am perfectly awair I cut a verry pur figuer trieing to extricaet mieself out of this dificulty. Frum that moement, however, th oeld nakhoda becaem tasitern. He was not verry pleezd, I feer, and evidently I had given him food for thaut. Straenjly enuf, on th eevning of that verry dae (which was mi last in Patusan) I was wuns mor confrunted with th saem qeschun, with th unanswerable whi of Jim's faet. And this brings me to th story of his luv.
'I supoez U think it is a story that U can imajin for yurselvs. We hav herd so meny such storys, and th majority of us don't beleev them to be storys of luv at all. For th moest part we luuk upon them as storys of oportuenitys: episoeds of pashun at best, or perhaps oenly of yooth and temptaeshun, doomd to forgetfulnes in th end, eeven if thae pas thru th reality of tendernes and regret. This vue moestly is riet, and perhaps in this caes too.... Yet I don't noe. To tel this story is bi no meens so eezy as it shuud be -- wer th ordinairy standpoint adeqet. Aparrently it is a story verry much liek th uthers: for me, however, thair is vizibl in its bakground th melancoly figuer of a wuuman, th shado of a crooel wizdom berryd in a loenly graev, luuking on wistfuly, helplesly, with seeld lips. Th graev itself, as I caem upon it during an erly morning stroel, was a rather shaeples broun mound, with an inlaed neet border of whiet lumps of corral at th baes, and encloezd within a sercuelar fens maed of split saplings, with th bark left on. A garland of leevs and flowers was woeven about th heds of th slender poests -- and th flowers wer fresh.
'thus, whether th shado is of mi imajinaeshun or not, I can at all events point out th significant fact of an unforgotten graev. When I tel U besieds that Jim with his oen hands had werkt at th rustic fens, U wil perseev directly th diferens, th indivijual sied of th story. Thair is in his espouzal of memory and afecshun belonging to anuther hueman being sumthing carracteristic of his seeriusnes. He had a conshens, and it was a roemantic conshens. Thru her hoel lief th wief of th unspeekabl Cornelius had no uther companyon, confidant, and frend but her dauter. How th pur wuuman had cum to marry th auful litl Malacca Portuguese -- after th separaeshun frum th faather of her gerl -- and how that separaeshun had bin braut about, whether bi deth, which can be sumtiems mersyful, or bi th mersyles presher of convenshuns, is a mistery to me. Frum th litl which Stien (hoo nue so meny storys) had let drop in mi heering, I am convinst that she was no ordinairy wuuman. Her oen faather had bin a whiet; a hi ofishal; wun of th brilyantly endowd men hoo
'this was th theeory of Jim's marrital eevning wauks. I maed a therd on mor than wun ocaezhun, unplezantly awair evry tiem of Cornelius, hoo nursed th agreevd sens of his leegal paternity, slinking in th naeborhuud with that pecuelyar twist of his
'it cums to me now that I had, on th hoel, seen verry litl of her. Whut I remember best is th eeven, oliv palor of her complexshun, and th intens bloo-blak gleams of her hair, floeing abundantly frum under a small crimzon cap she wor far bak on her shaeply hed. Her moovments wer free, ashurd, and she blusht a dusky red. Whiel Jim and I wer tauking, she wuud cum and go with rapid glanses at us, leeving on her pasej an impreshun of graes and charm and a distinkt sugjeschun of watchfulness. Her maner prezented a cuerius combinaeshun of shyness and audasity. Evry prity smiel was sucseeded swiftly bi a luuk of sielent, represt angzieity, as if puut to fliet bi th recolecshun of sum abieding daenjer. At tiems she wuud sit doun with us and, with her sofft cheek dimpled bi th nukls of her litl hand, she wuud lisen to our tauk; her big cleer ies wuud remaen fasend on our lips, as tho eech pronounst werd had a vizibl shaep. Her muther had taut her to reed and riet; she had lernd a guud bit of English frum Jim, and she spoek it moest amuezingly, with his oen cliping, boiish intoenaeshun. Her tendernes huverd oever him liek a fluter of wings. She livd so compleetly in his contemplaeshun that she had aqierd sumthing of his outward aspect, sumthing that recalld him in her moovments, in th wae she strecht her arm, ternd her hed, directed her glanses. Her vijilant afecshun had an intensity that maed it allmoest perseptibl to th senses; it seemd akchualy to exist in th ambyent mater of spaes, to envelop him liek a pecuelyar fraegrans, to dwel in th sunshien liek a tremuelus, subdued, and impashund noet. I supoez U think that I too am roemantic, but it is a mistaek. I am relaeting to U th soeber impreshuns of a bit of yooth, of a straenj uneezy roemans that had cum in mi wae. I obzervd with interest th werk of his -- wel -- guud forchun. He was jelusly luvd, but whi she shuud be jelus, and of whut, I cuud not tel. Th land, th peepl, th forests wer her acomplises, garding him with vijilant acord, with an air of secloozhun, of mistery, of invinsibl pozeshun. Thair was no apeel, as it wer; he was imprizond within th verry freedom of his power, and she, tho redy to maek a fuutstool of her hed for his feet, garded her conqest inflexibly -- as tho he wer hard to keep.
'you must noe he had left Doramin's plaes verry soon after his arieval -- much too soon, in fact, for his saefty, and of cors a long tiem befor th wor. In this he was akchuaeted bi a sens of duety; he had to luuk after Stein's biznes, he sed. Hadn't he? To that end, with an uter disregard of his personal saefty, he crosst th river and tuuk up his qorters with Cornelius. How th later had manejd to exist thru th trubld tiems I can't sae. As Stein's aejent, after all, he must hav had Doramin's protecshun in a mezher; and in wun wae or anuther he had manejd to rigl thru all th dedly complicaeshuns, whiel I hav no dout that his conduct, whutever lien he was forst to taek, was markt bi that abjectness which was liek th stamp of th man. That was his carracteristic; he was fundamentaly and outwardly abject, as uther men ar markedly of a jenerus, distinggwisht, or venerabl apeerans. It was th element of his naecher which permiaeted all his acts and pashuns and emoeshuns; he raejd abjectly, smield abjectly, was abjectly sad; his civilities and his indignations wer aliek abject. I am shur his luv wuud hav bin th moest abject of sentiments -- but can wun imajin a loethsum insect in luv? And his loathsomeness, too, was abject, so that a simply disgusting person wuud hav apeerd noebl bi his sied. He has his plaes neether in th bakground nor in th forground of th story; he is simply seen skulking on its outskerts, enigmatical and uncleen, taenting th fraegrans of its yooth and of its naiveness.
'his pozishun in eny caes cuud not hav bin uther than extreemly mizerabl, yet it mae verry wel be that he found sum advantejes in it. Jim toeld me he had bin reseevd at ferst with an abject displae of th moest amicabl sentiments. "Th felo aparrently cuudn't contaen himself for joi," sed Jim with disgust. "He floo at me evry morning to shaek boeth mi hands -- confound him! -- but I cuud never tel whether thair wuud be eny brekfast. If I got three meels in too daes I considerd mieself joly luky, and he maed me sien a chit for ten dolars evry week. Sed he was shur Mr. Stien did not meen him to keep me for nuthing. Wel -- he kept me on nuthing as neer as posibl. Puut it doun to th unsetld staet of th cuntry, and maed as if to tair his hair out, beging
'he toeld me ferther that he didn't noe whut maed him hang on -- but of cors we mae ges. He sympathised deeply with th defenceless gerl, at th mersy of that "meen, cowardly scoundrel." It apeers Cornelius led her an auful lief, stoping oenly short of akchual il-uesej, for which he had not th pluk, I supoez. He insisted upon her calling him faather -- "and with respect too -- with respect," he wuud screem, shaeking a litl yelo fist in her faes. "I am a respectabl man, and whut ar U? Tel me -- whut ar U? U think I am going to bring up sumbody else's chield and not be treeted with respect? U aut to be glad I let U. Cum -- sae Yes, faather.... No? ... U waet a bit." Thairupon he wuud begin to abuez th ded wuuman, til th gerl wuud run off with her hands to her hed. He persood her, dashing in and out and round th hous and amungst th sheds, wuud driev her into sum corner, wherr she wuud fall on her nees stoping her eers, and then he wuud stand at a distans and declaem filthy denunsiaeshuns at her bak for haf an our at a strech. "Yur muther was a devil, a deseetful devil -- and U too ar a devil," he wuud shreek in a fienal
'jim, however, let th staetment pas, and did not giv it a singgl thaut. Uther maters ocuepied his miend, and besieds he had neether seen nor herd enything. He contented himself bi saeing, "O!" absently, got a drink of wauter out of a picher standing thair, and leeving Cornelius a prae to sum inexplicabl emoeshun -- that maed him embraes with boeth arms th werm-eeten rael of th veranda as if his legs had faeld -- went in agen and lae doun on his mat to think. Bi-and-bi he herd stelthy fuutsteps. Thae stopt. A vois whisperd tremuelusly thru th wall, "Ar U asleep?" "No! Whut is it?" he anserd briskly, and thair was an abrupt moovment outsied, and then all was stil, as if th whisperer had bin startld. Extreemly anoid at this, Jim caem out impetuously, and Cornelius with a faent shreek fled along th veranda as far as th steps, wherr he hung on to th broeken banister. Verry puzld, Jim calld out to him frum th distans to noe whut th devil he ment. "Hav U given yur consideraeshun to whut I spoek to U about?" askt Cornelius, pronounsing th werds with dificulty, liek a man in th coeld fit of a feever. "No!" shouted Jim in a pashun. "I hav not, and I don't intend to. I am going to liv heer, in Patusan." "U shal d-d-die h-h-heer," anserd Cornelius, stil shaeking vieolently, and in a sort of expiering vois. Th hoel performans was so abserd and provoeking that Jim didn't noe whether he aut to be amuezd or anggry. "Not til I hav seen U tukt awae, U bet," he calld out, exasperaeted yet redy to laf. Haf seeriusly (being exsieted with his oen thauts, U noe) he went on shouting, "Nuthing can tuch me! U can do yur damnedest." Sumhow th shadoey Cornelius far off thair seemd to be th haetful embodyment of all th anoianses and dificultys he had found in his path. He let himself go -- his nervs had bin oever-raut for daes -- and calld him meny prity naems, -- swindler, lieer, sorry rascal: in fact, carryd on in an extraordinairy wae. He admits he past all bounds, that he was qiet besied himself -- defied all Patusan to scair him awae -- declaird he wuud maek them all dans to his oen tuen yet, and
'you mae imajin with whut interest I lisend. All thees deetaels wer perseevd to hav sum significans twenty-foer ours laeter. In th morning Cornelius maed no aloozhun to th events of th niet. "I supoez U wil cum bak to mi pur hous," he muterd surlily, slinking up just as Jim was entering th canoo to go oever to Doramin's campong. Jim oenly noded, without luuking at him. "U fiend it guud fun, no dout," muterd th uther in a sour toen. Jim spent th dae with th oeld nakhoda, preeching th nesesity of vigorus acshun to th prinsipal men of th Bugis comuenity, hoo had bin sumond for a big tauk. He rememberd with plezher how verry eloqent and perswaesiv he had bin. "I manejd to puut sum bakboen into them that tiem, and no mistaek," he sed. Sherif Ali's last raed had swept th outskerts of th setlment, and sum wimen belonging to th toun had bin carryd off to th stokaed. Sherif Ali's emisairys had bin seen in th market-plaes th dae befor, struting about hautily in whiet cloaks, and boesting of th Rajah's frendship for thair master. Wun of them stuud forward in th shaed of a tree, and, leening on th long barrel of a riefl, exhorted th peepl to prair and repentans, adviezing them to kil all th straenjers in thair midst, sum of hoom, he sed, wer infidels and uthers eeven wers -- children of Saetan in th giez of Moslems. It was reported that several of th Rajah's peepl amungst th liseners had loudly exprest thair aprobaeshun. Th
'as he had got th Bugis irretreevably comited to acshun, and had maed himself responsibl for sucses on his oen hed, he was so elaeted that in th lietnes of his hart he absolootly tried to be sivil with Cornelius. But Cornelius becaem wieldly joevial in respons, and it was allmoest mor than he cuud stand, he ses, to heer his litl squeaks of falls lafter, to see him rigl and blink, and sudenly cach hoeld of his chin and crouch lo oever th taebl with a distracted stair. Th gerl did not sho herself, and Jim retierd erly. When he roez to sae guud-niet, Cornelius jumpt up, noking his chair oever, and dukt out of siet as if to pik up sumthing he had dropt. His guud-niet caem huskily frum under th taebl. Jim was amaezd to see him emerj with a droping jaw, and stairing, stoopidly frietend ies. He clucht th ej of th taebl. "Whut's th mater? Ar U unwel?" askt Jim. "Yes, yes, yes. A graet colic in mi stumac," ses th uther; and it is Jim's opinyon that it was perfectly troo. If so, it was, in vue of his contemplaeted acshun, an abject sien of a stil imperfect calusnes for which he must be given all due credit.
'be it as it mae, Jim's slumbers wer disterbd bi a dreem of hevens liek bras rezounding with a graet vois, which calld upon him to Awaek! Awaek! so loud that, notwithstanding his desperet determinaeshun to sleep on, he did waek up in reality. Th glair of a red spluttering conflagraeshun going on in mid-air fel on his ies. Coils of blak thik smoek curvd round th hed of sum aparishun, sum unerthly being, all in whiet, with a seveer, drawn, ankshus faes. After a second or so he recogniezd th gerl. She was hoelding a dammar torch at arm's-length alofft, and in a persistent, erjent monotoen she was repeeting, "Get up! Get up! Get up!"
'suddenly he leept to his feet; at wuns she puut into his hand a revolver, his oen revolver, which had bin hanging on a nael, but loeded this tiem. He gript it in sielens, bewilderd, blinking in th liet. He wunderd whut he cuud do for her.
'she askt rapidly and verry lo, "Can U faes foer men with this?" He laft whiel narraeting this part at th recolecshun of his poliet alacrity. It seems he maed a graet displae of it. "Sertenly -- of cors -- sertenly -- comand me." He was not properly awaek, and had a noeshun of being verry sivil in thees extraordinairy sercumstanses, of shoeing his unqeschuning, devoeted redynes. She left th room, and he foloed her; in th pasej thae disterbd an oeld hag hoo did th cazhual cuuking of th hous-hoeld, tho she was so decrepit as to be hardly aebl to understand hueman speech. She got up and hobld behiend them, mumbling toothlessly. On th veranda a hamok of sael-clauth, belonging to Cornelius,
'the Patusan establishment, liek all th poests of Stein's Traeding Cumpany, had orijinaly consisted of foer bildings. Too of them wer reprezented bi too heeps of stiks, broeken bamboos, roten thach, oever which th foer corner-poests of hardwuud leend sadly at diferent anggls: th prinsipal stor-room, however, stuud yet, faesing th agent's hous. It was an oblong hut, bilt of mud and clae; it had at wun end a wied dor of stout planking, which so far had not cum off th hinjes, and in wun of th sied walls thair was a sqair apercher, a sort of windo, with three wuuden bars. Befor desending th fue steps th gerl ternd her faes oever her shoelder and sed qikly, "U wer to be set upon whiel U slept." Jim tels me he expeeryenst a sens of desepshun. It was th oeld story. He was weery of thees atempts upon his lief. He had had his fil of thees alarms. He was sik of them. He ashurd me he was anggry with th gerl for deseeving him. He had foloed her under th impreshun that it was she hoo wonted his help, and now he had haf a miend to tern on his heel and go bak in disgust. "Do U noe," he comented profoundly, "I rather think I was not qiet mieself for hoel weeks on end about that tiem." "O yes. U wer tho," I cuudn't help contradicting.
'but she moovd on swiftly, and he foloed her into th cort-yard. All its fenses had fallen in a long tiem ago; th neighbours' bufaloes wuud paes in th morning across th oepen spaes, snorting profoundly, without haest; th verry junggl was invaeding it allredy. Jim and th gerl stopt in th rank gras. Th liet in which thae stuud maed a dens blaknes all round, and oenly abuv thair heds thair was an opuelent gliter of stars. He toeld me it was a buetyful niet -- qiet cool, with a litl ster of breez frum th river. It seems he noetist its frendly buety. Remember this is a luv story I am teling U now. A luvly niet seemd to breeth on them a sofft cares. Th flaem of th torch streemd now and then with a flutering noiz liek a flag, and for a tiem this was th oenly sound. "Thae ar in th stor-room waeting," whisperd th gerl; "thae ar waeting for th signal." "Hoo's to giv it?" he askt. She shuuk th torch, which blaezd up after a shower of sparks. "Oenly U hav bin sleeping so restlesly," she continued in a mermer; "I wocht yur sleep, too." "U!" he exclaemd, craning his nek to luuk about him. "U think I wocht on this niet oenly!" she sed, with a sort of despairing indignaeshun..
'he ses it was as if he had reseevd a blo on th chest. He gaspt. He thaut he had bin an auful broot sumhow, and he felt remorsful, tucht, hapy, elaeted. This, let me remiend U agen, is a luv story; U can see it bi th imbisility, not a repulsiv imbisility, th exallted imbisility of thees proseedings, this staeshun in torchliet, as if thae had cum thair on perpos to hav it out for th edificaeshun of conseeld merderers. If Sherif Ali's emisairys had
'he toeld me that he had never felt so small, so powerles -- and as to curej, whut was th guud of it? he thaut. He was so helples that eeven fliet seemd of no ues; and tho she kept on whispering, "Go to Doramin, go to Doramin," with feeverish insistens, he realised that for him thair was no refuej frum that loenlynes which centupled all his daenjers exsept -- in her. "I thaut," he sed to me, "that if I went awae frum her it wuud be th end of evrything sumhow." Oenly as thae cuudn't stop thair for ever in th midl of that cort-yard, he maed up his miend to go and luuk into th storhous. He let her folo him without thinking of eny protest, as if thae had bin indisoluebly uenieted. "I am feerles -- am I?" he muterd thru his teeth. She restraend his arm. "Waet til U heer mi vois," she sed, and, torch in hand, ran lietly round th corner. He remaend aloen in th darknes, his faes to th dor: not a sound, not a breth caem frum th uther sied. Th oeld hag let out a dreery groen sumwherr behiend his bak. He herd a hi-picht allmoest screeming call frum th gerl. "Now! Puush!" He puusht vieolently; th dor swung with a creek and a clater, discloezing to his intens astonishment th lo dunjon-liek inteerior iloominaeted bi a lurid, wavering glair. A termoil of smoek eddied doun upon an empty wuuden craet in th midl of th flor, a liter of rags and straw tried to sor, but oenly sterd feebly in th draft. She had thrust th liet thru th bars of th windo. He saw her bair round arm extended and rijid, hoelding up th torch with th stedynes of an ieern braket. A conical raged heep of oeld mats cumbered a distant corner allmoest to th seeling, and that was all.
'he explaend to me that he was biterly disapointed at this. His fortitued had bin tried bi so meny wornings, he had bin for weeks serounded bi so meny hints of daenjer, that he wonted th releef of
'jim noeted all this. He toeld me he was expeeryensing a feeling of unutterable releef, of venjful elaeshun. He held his shot, he ses, deliberetly. He held it for th tenth part of a second, for three strieds of th man -- an unconshunabl tiem. He held it for th plezher of saeing to himself, That's a ded man! He was absolootly pozitiv and serten. He let him cum on becauz it did not mater. A ded man, enyhow. He noetist th dielaeted nostrils, th wied ies, th intent, eeger stilnes of th faes, and then he fierd.
'the exploezhun in that confiend spaes was stuning. He stept bak a paes. He saw th man jerk his hed up, fling his arms forward, and drop th kriss. He asertaend afterwards that he had shot him thru th mouth, a litl upwards, th buulet cuming out hi at th bak of th skul. With th impetus of his rush th man droev straet on, his faes sudenly gaeping disfiguerd, with his hands oepen befor him gropingly, as tho bliended, and landed with terific vieolens on his forhed, just short of Jim's bair toes. Jim ses he didn't looz th smallest deetael of all this. He found himself caam, apeezd, without rancour, without uneezynes, as if th deth of that man had atoned for evrything. Th plaes was geting verry fuul of suuty smoek frum th torch, in which th unswaying flaem bernd blud-red without a fliker. He waukt in rezolootly, strieding oever th ded body, and cuverd with his revolver anuther
'jim tuuk up an advantaejus pozishun and shepherded them out in a bunch thru th dorwae: all that tiem th torch had remaend vertical in th grip of a litl hand, without so much as a trembl. Th three men oebaed him, perfectly muet, mooving automaticaly. He raenjd them in a ro. "Link arms!" he orderd. Thae did so. "Th ferst hoo withdraws his arm or terns his hed is a ded man," he sed. "March!" Thae stept out together, rijidly; he foloed, and at th sied th gerl, in a traeling whiet goun, her blak hair falling as lo as her waest, bor th liet. Erect and swaeing, she seemd to glied without tuching th erth; th oenly sound was th silky swish and rusl of th long gras. "Stop!" cried Jim.
'the river-bank was steep; a graet freshnes asended, th liet fel on th ej of smooth dark wauter frauthing without a ripl; riet and left th shaeps of th houses ran together belo th sharp outliens of th roofs. "Taek mi greetings to Sherif Ali -- til I cum mieself," sed Jim. Not wun hed of th three budged. "Jump!" he thunderd. Th three splashes maed wun splash, a shower floo up, blak heds bobd convulsivly, and disapeerd; but a graet bloeing and spluttering went on, groeing faent, for thae wer dieving industriusly, in graet feer of a parting shot. Jim ternd to th gerl, hoo had bin a sielent and atentiv obzerver. His hart seemd sudenly to gro too big for his brest and choek him in th holo of his throet. This probably maed him speechles for so long, and after reterning his gaez she flung th berning torch with a wied sweep of th arm into th river. Th rudy fiery glair, taeking a long fliet thru th niet, sank with a vishus his, and th caam sofft starliet desended upon them, unchekt.
'he did not tel me whut it was he sed when at last he recuverd his vois. I don't supoez he cuud be verry eloqent. Th werld was stil, th niet breethd on them, wun of thoes niets that seem creaeted for th sheltering of tendernes, and thair ar moements when our soels, as if freed frum thair dark enveloep, glo with an exqizit sensibility that maeks serten sielenses mor loosid than
'then he got up and began to wauk about in sum ajitaeshun. "I -- I luv her deerly. Mor than I can tel. Of cors wun cannot tel. U taek a diferent vue of yur acshuns when U cum to understand, when U ar maed to understand evry dae that yur existens is nesesairy -- U see, absolootly nesesairy -- to anuther person. I am maed to feel that. Wunderful! But oenly tri to think whut her lief has bin. It is too extravagantly auful! Isn't it? And me fiending her heer liek this -- as U mae go out for a stroel and cum sudenly upon sumbody drouning in a loenly dark plaes. Jove! No tiem to looz. Wel, it is a trust too . . . I beleev I am eeqal to it . . ."
'I must tel U th gerl had left us to ourselvs sum tiem befor. He slapt his chest. "Yes! I feel that, but I beleev I am eeqal to all mi luk!" He had th gift of fiending a speshal meening in evrything that hapend to him. This was th vue he tuuk of his luv afair; it was iedilic, a litl solem, and allso troo, sinss his beleef had all th unshaekabl seeriusnes of yooth. Sum tiem after, on anuther ocaezhun, he sed to me, "I'v bin oenly too yeers heer, and now, upon mi werd, I can't conseev being aebl to liv enywhair els. Th verry thaut of th werld outsied is enuf to giv me a friet; becauz, don't U see," he continued, with douncast ies woching th acshun of his boot bizyd in sqoshing theroely a tieny bit of dried mud (we wer stroeling on th river-bank) -- "becauz I hav not forgoten whi I caem heer. Not yet!"
'I refraend frum luuking at him, but I think I herd a short si; we tuuk a tern or too in sielens. "Upon mi soel and conshens," he began agen, "if such a thing can be forgoten, then I think I hav a riet to dismis it frum mi miend. Ask eny man heer" . . . his vois chaenjd. "Is it not straenj," he went on in a jentl, allmoest yerning toen, "that all thees peepl, all thees peepl hoo wuud do enything for me, can never be maed to understand? Never! If U disbeleevd me I cuud not call them up. It seems hard, sumhow. I am stoopid, am I not? Whut mor can I wont? If U ask them hoo is braev -- hoo is troo -- hoo is just -- hoo is it thae wuud trust with thair lievs? -- thae wuud sae, Tuan Jim. And yet thae can never noe th reeal, reeal trooth . . ."
'that's whut he sed to me on mi last dae with him. I did not let a mermer escaep me: I felt he was going to sae mor, and cum no neerer to th root of th mater. Th sun, hoos consentraeted glair dworfs th erth into a restles moet of dust, had sunk behiend th forest, and th difuezd liet frum an opal skie seemd to cast
' "Jove!" he began abruptly, "thair ar daes when a felo is too abserd for enything; oenly I noe I can tel U whut I liek. I tauk about being dun with it -- with th bally thing at th bak of mi hed . . . Forgeting . . . Hang me if I noe! I can think of it qieetly. After all, whut has it proovd? Nuthing. I supoez U don't think so . . ."
'I maed a proetesting mermer.
' "No mater," he sed. "I am satisfied . . . neerly. I'v got to luuk oenly at th faes of th ferst man that cums along, to regaen mi confidens. Thae can't be maed to understand whut is going on in me. Whut of that? Cum! I havn't dun so badly."
' "Not so badly," I sed.
' "But all th saem, U wuudn't liek to hav me abord yur oen ship hae?"
' "Confound U!" I cried. "Stop this."
' "Aha! U see," he sed, croeing, as it wer, oever me plasidly. "Oenly," he went on, "U just tri to tel this to eny of them heer. Thae wuud think U a fool, a lieer, or wers. And so I can stand it. I'v dun a thing or too for them, but this is whut thae hav dun for me."
' "Mi deer chap," I cried, "U shal allwaes remaen for them an insoluebl mistery." Thairupon we wer sielent.
' "Mistery," he repeeted, befor luuking up. "Wel, then let me allwaes remaen heer."
'after th sun had set, th darknes seemd to driev upon us, born in evry faent puf of th breez. In th midl of a hejd path I saw th arested, gaunt, wochful, and aparrently wun-legd silooet of Tamb' Itam; and across th dusky spaes mi ie detected sumthing whiet mooving to and fro behiend th suports of th roof. As soon as Jim, with Tamb' Itam at his heels, had started upon his eevning rounds, I went up to th hous aloen, and, unexpectedly, found mieself waelaed bi th gerl, hoo had bin cleerly waeting for this oportuenity.
'it is hard to tel U whut it was presiesly she wonted to rest frum me. Obviusly it wuud be sumthing verry simpl -- th simplest imposibility in th werld; as, for instans, th exact descripshun of th form of a cloud. She wonted an ashurans, a staetment, a promis, an explanaeshun -- I don't noe how to call it: th thing has no naem. It was dark under th projecting roof, and all I
'she had caut hoeld of mi arm fermly, and as soon as I had stopt she had withdrawn her hand in haest. She was audaeshus and shrinking. She feerd nuthing, but she was chekt bi th profound insertitued and th extreem straenjnes -- a braev person groeping in th dark. I belongd to this Unnoen that miet claem Jim for its oen at eny moement. I was, as it wer, in th seecret of its naecher and of its intenshuns -- th confidant of a thretening mistery -- armd with its power, perhaps! I beleev she supoezd I cuud with a werd whisk Jim awae out of her verry arms; it is mi soeber convicshun she went thru agonys of aprehenshun during mi long tauks with Jim; thru a reeal and intolerabl anggwish that miet hav conseevably driven her into ploting mi merder, had th feersnes of her soel bin eeqal to th tremendus sichuaeshun it had creaeted. This is mi impreshun, and it is all I can giv U: th hoel thing daund grajualy upon me, and as it got cleerer and cleerer I was oeverwhelmd bi a slo increjulus amaezment. She maed me beleev her, but thair is no werd that on mi lips cuud render th efect of th hedlong and veeement whisper, of th sofft, pashunet toens, of th suden brethles pauz and th apeeling moovment of th whiet arms extended swiftly. Thae fel; th goestly figuer swaed liek a slender tree in th wind, th pael oeval of th faes droopt; it was imposibl to distinggwish her feechers, th darknes of th ies was unfathomabl; too wied
'I was imensly tucht: her yooth, her ignorans, her prity buety, which had th simpl charm and th deliket vigour of a wield flower, her pathetic pleeding, her helplesnes, apeeld to me with allmoest th strength of her oen unreezonabl and nacheral feer. She feerd th unnoen as we all do, and her ignorans maed th unnoen infinitly vast. I stuud for it, for mieself, for U feloes, for all th werld that neether caird for Jim nor needed him in th leest. I wuud hav bin redy enuf to anser for th indiferens of th teeming erth but for th reflecshun that he too belongd to this misteerius unnoen of her feers, and that, however much I stuud for, I did not stand for him. This maed me hezitaet. A mermer of hoeples paen unseeld mi lips. I began bi proetesting that I at leest had cum with no intenshun to taek Jim awae.
'why did I cum, then? After a sliet moovment she was as stil as a marbl stachoo in th niet. I tried to explaen breefly: frendship, biznes; if I had eny wish in th mater it was rather to see him stae.... "Thae allwaes leev us," she mermerd. Th breth of sad wizdom frum th graev which her pieety reethd with flowers seemd to pas in a faent si.... Nuthing, I sed, cuud separaet Jim frum her.
'it is mi ferm convicshun now; it was mi convicshun at th tiem; it was th oenly posibl concloozhun frum th facts of th caes. It was not maed mor serten bi her whispering in a toen in which wun speeks to wunself, "He swor this to me." "Did U ask him?" I sed.
'she maed a step neerer. "No. Never!" She had askt him oenly to go awae. It was that niet on th river-bank, after he had kild th man -- after she had flung th torch in th wauter becauz he was luuking at her so. Thair was too much liet, and th daenjer was oever then -- for a litl tiem -- for a litl tiem. He sed then he wuud not abandon her to Cornelius. She had insisted. She wonted him to leev her. He sed that he cuud not -- that it was imposibl. He trembld whiel he sed this. She had felt him trembl.... Wun duz not reqier much imajinaeshun to see th seen, allmoest to heer thair whispers. She was afraed for him too. I beleev that then she saw in him oenly a predestind victim of daenjers which she understuud beter than himself. Tho bi nuthing but his meer prezens he had masterd her hart, had fild all her thauts, and had pozest himself of all her afecshuns, she underestimaeted his chanses of sucses. It is obvius that at about that tiem evrybody
'she was unselfish when she erjd Jim to leev her, and eeven to leev th cuntry. It was his daenjer that was formoest in her thauts -- eeven if she wonted to saev herself too -- perhaps unconshusly: but then luuk at th worning she had, luuk at th leson that cuud be drawn frum evry moement of th reesently ended lief in which all her memorys wer centred. She fel at his feet -- she toeld me so -- thair bi th river, in th discreet liet of stars which shoed nuthing exsept graet mases of sielent shadoes, indefinit oepen spaeses, and trembling faently upon th braud streem maed it apeer as wied as th see. He had lifted her up. He lifted her up, and then she wuud strugl no mor. Of cors not. Strong arms, a tender vois, a stallwart shoelder to rest her pur loenly litl hed upon. Th need -- th infinit need -- of all this for th aeking hart, for th bewilderd miend; -- th promptings of yooth -- th nesesity of th moement. Whut wuud U hav? Wun understands -- unles wun is incaepabl of understanding enything under th sun. And so she was content to be lifted up -- and held. "U noe -- Jove! this is seerius -- no nonsens in it!" as Jim had whisperd herydly with a trubld consernd faes on th threshhoeld of his hous. I don't noe so much about nonsens, but thair was nuthing liet-hearted in thair roemans: thae caem together under th shado of a life's dizaster, liek niet and maeden meeting to exchaenj vows amungst haunted rooins. Th starliet was guud enuf for that story, a liet so faent and remoet that it cannot rezolv
' "U did not wont to die weeping?" I repeeted after her. "Liek mi muther," she aded redily. Th outliens of her whiet shaep did not ster in th leest. "Mi muther had wept biterly befor she died," she explaend. An inconseevabl caamnes seemd to hav rizen frum th ground around us, imperseptibly, liek th stil riez of a flud in th niet, obliteraeting th familyar landmarks of emoeshuns. Thair caem upon me, as tho I had felt mieself loozing mi fuuting in th midst of wauters, a suden dred, th dred of th unnoen depths. She went on explaening that, during th last moements, being aloen with her muther, she had to leev th sied of th couch to go and set her bak agenst th dor, in order to keep Cornelius out. He dezierd to get in, and kept on druming with boeth fists, oenly desisting now and agen to shout huskily, "Let me in! Let me in! Let me in!" In a far corner upon a fue mats th moribund wuuman, allredy speechles and unaebl to lift her arm, roeld her hed oever, and with a feebl moovment of her hand seemd to comand-"No! No!" and th oebeedyent dauter, seting her shoelders with all her strength agenst th dor, was luuking on. "Th teers fel frum her ies -- and then she died," conclooded th gerl in an imperterbabl monotoen, which mor than enything els, mor than th whiet stachooesk imoebility of her person, mor than meer werds cuud do, trubld mi miend profoundly with th pasiv, irremeediabl horror of th seen. It had th power to driev me out of mi consepshun of existens, out of that shelter eech of us maeks for himself to creep under in moements of daenjer, as a tortoss withdraws within its shel. For a moement I had a vue of a werld that seemd to wair a vast and dizmal aspect of disorder, whiel, in trooth, thanks to our unwearied eforts, it is as suny as araenjment of small conveenyunses as th miend of man can conseev. But stil -- it was oenly a moement: I went bak into mi shel directly. Wun must -- don't U noe? -- tho I seemd to hav lost all mi werds in th caeos of dark thauts I had contemplaeted for a second or too beyond th pael. Thees caem bak, too, verry soon, for werds allso belong to th sheltering consepshun of liet and order which is our refuej. I had them redy at mi dispoezal befor she
'I think she maed a moovment at this. "Mor braev," she went on in a chaenjd toen. "Feer wil never driev him awae frum U," I sed a litl nervusly. Th song stopt short on a shril noet, and was sucseeded bi several voises tauking in th distans. Jim's vois too. I was struk bi her sielens. "Whut has he bin teling U? He has bin teling U sumthing?" I askt. Thair was no anser. "Whut is it he toeld U?" I insisted.
' "Do U think I can tel U? How am I to noe? How am I to understand?" she cried at last. Thair was a ster. I beleev she was wringing her hands. "Thair is sumthing he can never forget."
' "So much th beter for U," I sed gloomily.
' "Whut is it? Whut is it?" She puut an extraordinairy fors of apeel into her suplicaeting toen. "He ses he had bin afraed. How can I beleev this? Am I a mad wuuman to beleev this? U all remember sumthing! U all go bak to it. Whut is it? U tel me! Whut is this thing? Is it aliev? -- is it ded? I haet it. It is crooel. Has it got a faes and a vois -- this calamity? Wil he see it -- wil
'it was a wunderful expeeryens. She mistrusted his verry slumbers -- and she seemd to think I cuud tel her whi! Thus a pur mortal seduest bi th charm of an aparishun miet hav tried to ring frum anuther goest th tremendus seecret of th claem th uther werld hoelds oever a disembodyd soel astrae amungst th pashuns of this erth. Th verry ground on which I stuud seemd to melt under mi feet. And it was so simpl too; but if th spirits evoekt bi our feers and our unrest hav ever to vouch for eech other's constansy befor th forlorn majishans that we ar, then I -- I aloen of us dwelers in th flesh -- hav shuderd in th hoeples chil of such a task. A sien, a call! How teling in its expreshun was her ignorans. A fue werds! How she caem to noe them, how she caem to pronouns them, I can't imajin. Wimen fiend thair inspiraeshun in th stres of moements that for us ar meerly auful, abserd, or fuetil. To discuver that she had a vois at all was enuf to striek au into th hart. Had a spernd stoen cried out in paen it cuud not hav apeerd a graeter and mor pityful miracl. Thees fue sounds waandering in th dark had maed thair too benieted lievs trajic to mi miend. It was imposibl to maek her understand. I chafed sielently at mi impotens. And Jim, too -- pur devil! Hoo wuud need him? Hoo wuud remember him? He had whut he wonted. His verry existens probably had bin forgoten bi this tiem. Thae had masterd thair faets. Thae wer trajic.
'her imoebility befor me was cleerly expectant, and mi part was to speek for mi bruther frum th relm of forgetful shaed. I was deeply moovd at mi responsibility and at her distres. I wuud hav given enything for th power to sooth her frael soel, tormenting itself in its invinsibl ignorans liek a small berd beeting about th crooel wiers of a caej. Nuthing eezyer than to sae, Hav no feer! Nuthing mor dificult. How duz wun kil feer, I wunder? How do U shoot a specter thru th hart, slash off its spectral hed, taek it bi its spectral throet? It is an enterpriez U rush into whiel U dreem, and ar glad to maek yur escaep with wet hair and evry lim shaeking. Th buulet is not run, th blaed not forjd, th man not born; eeven th wingd werds of trooth drop at yur feet liek lumps of leed. U reqier for such a desperet encounter an enchanted and poizond shaft dipt in a lie too sutl to be found on erth. An enterpriez for a dreem, mi masters!
'I began mi exorsizm with a hevy hart, with a sort of sulen angger in it too. Jim's vois, sudenly raezd with a stern intoenaeshun, carryd across th cort-yard, reprooving th cairlesnes of sum dum siner bi th river-sied. Nuthing -- I sed, speeking in a
'I felt I had dun nuthing. And whut is it that I had wisht to do? I am not shur now. At th tiem I was animaeted bi an inexplicabl ardour, as if befor sum graet and nesesairy task -- th inflooens of th moement upon mi mental and emoeshunal staet. Thair ar in all our lievs such moements, such inflooenses, cuming frum th outsied, as it wer, irrezistibl, incomprehensibl -- as if braut about bi th misteerius conjunkshuns of th planets. She oend, as I had puut it to her, his hart. She had that and evrything els -- if she cuud oenly beleev it. Whut I had to tel her was that in th hoel werld thair was no wun hoo ever wuud need his hart, his miend, his hand. It was a comon faet, and yet it seemd an auful thing to sae of eny man. She lisend without a werd, and her stilnes now was liek th protest of an invinsibl unbeleef. Whut need she cair for th werld beyond th forests? I askt. Frum all th multitueds that peepld th vastnes of that unnoen thair wuud cum, I ashurd her, as long as he livd, neether a call nor a sien for him. Never. I was carryd awae. Never! Never! I remember with wunder th sort of daugd feersnes I displaed. I had th iloozhun of having got th specter bi th throet at last. Indeed th hoel reeal thing has left behiend th deetaeld and amaezing impreshun of a dreem. Whi shuud she feer? She nue him to be strong, troo, wiez, braev. He was all that. Sertenly. He was mor. He was graet -- invinsibl -- and th werld did not wont him, it had forgoten him, it wuud not eeven noe him.
'I stopt; th sielens oever Patusan was profound, and th feebl dri sound of a padl strieking th sied of a canoo sumwherr
' "This is th verry thing he sed.... U lie!"
'the last too werds she cried at me in th naetiv diealect. "Heer me out!" I entreeted. She caut her breth tremuelusly, flung mi arm awae. "Noebody, noebody is guud enuf," I began with th graetest ernestnes. I cuud heer th sobing laebor of her breth frietfuly qikend. I hung mi hed. Whut was th ues? Fuutsteps wer aproeching; I slipt awae without anuther werd....'
Marlow swung his legs out, got up qikly, and stagerd a litl, as tho he had bin set doun after a rush thru spaes. He leend his bak agenst th balustraed and faest a disorderd arae of long caen chairs. Th bodys proen in them seemd startld out of thair torpor bi his moovment. Wun or too sat up as if alarmd; heer and thair a sigar gloed yet; Marlow luukt at them all with th ies of a man reterning frum th exsesiv remoetnes of a dreem. A throet was cleerd; a caam vois encurejd negligently, "'well.'"
'nothing,' sed Marlow with a sliet start. 'he had toeld her -- that's all. She did not beleev him -- nuthing mor. As to mieself, I do not noe whether it be just, proper, deesent for me to rejois or to be sorry. For mi part, I cannot sae whut I beleevd -- indeed I don't noe to this dae, and never shal probably. But whut did th pur devil beleev himself? Trooth shal prevael -- don't U noe. Magna est veritas et . . . Yes, when it gets a chans. Thair is a law, no dout -- and liekwiez a law regulates yur luk in th throeing of dies. It is not Justis th servant of men, but acsident, hazard, Forchun -- th ali of paeshent Tiem -- that hoelds an eeven and scroopuelus balans. Boeth of us had sed th verry saem thing. Did we boeth speek th trooth -- or wun of us did -- or neether? . . .'
Marlow pauzd, crosst his arms on his brest, and in a chaenjd toen --
'she sed we lied. Pur soel! Wel -- let's leev it to Chans, hoos ali is Tiem, that cannot be heryd, and hoos enemy is Deth, that wil not waet. I had retreeted -- a litl cowed, I must oen. I had tried a fall with feer itself and got throen -- of cors. I had oenly sucseeded in ading to her anggwish th hint of sum misteerius coloozhun, of an inexplicabl and incomprehensibl conspirasy to keep her for ever in th dark. And it had cum eezily, nacheraly, unavoidably, bi his act, bi her oen act! It was as tho I had bin shoen th werking of th implacabl destiny of which we ar th victims -- and th tools. It was apalling to think of th gerl hoom I had left standing thair moeshunles; Jim's fuutsteps had a faetful sound as he trampt bi, without seeing me, in his hevy laest boots. "Whut? No liets!" he sed in a loud, serpriezd vois. "Whut ar U doing in th dark -- U too?" Next moement he caut siet of her, I supoez. "Hallo, gerl!" he cried cheerily. "Hallo, boi!" she anserd at wuns, with amaezing pluk.
'this was thair uezhual greeting to eech uther, and th bit of swager she wuud puut into her rather hi but sweet vois was verry droel, prity, and chieldliek. It delieted Jim graetly. This was th last ocaezhun on which I herd them exchaenj this familyar hael, and it struk a chil into mi hart. Thair was th hi sweet vois, th prity efort, th swager; but it all seemd to die out preematurly, and th plaeful call sounded liek a moen. It was too confoundedly auful. "Whut hav U dun with Marlow?" Jim was asking; and then, "Gon doun -- has he? Funy I didn't meet him.... U thair, Marlow?"
'I didn't anser. I wasn't going in -- not yet at eny raet. I reealy cuudn't. Whiel he was calling me I was engaejd in maeking mi escaep thru a litl gaet leeding out upon a strech of nuely cleerd ground. No; I cuudn't faes them yet. I waukt haestily with loeerd hed along a trodden path. Th ground roez jently, th fue big trees had bin feld, th undergroeth had bin cut doun and th gras fierd. He had a miend to tri a coffy-plantaeshun thair. Th big hil, reering its dubl sumit coel-blak in th cleer yelo glo of th riezing moon, seemd to cast its shado upon th ground prepaird for that experriment. He was going to tri ever so meny experriments; I had admierd his enerjy, his enterpriez, and his shrewdness. Nuthing on erth seemd les reeal now than his plans, his enerjy, and his enthooziazm; and raezing mi ies, I saw part of th moon glitering thru th buushes at th botom of th cazm. For a moement it luukt as tho th smooth disk, falling frum its plaes in th skie upon th erth, had roeld to th botom of that presipis: its asending moovment was liek a
'it was a graet pees, as if th erth had bin wun graev, and for a tiem I stuud thair thinking moestly of th living hoo, berryd in remoet plaeses out of th nolej of man-kiend, stil ar faeted to shair in its trajic or groetesk mizerys. In its noebl strugls too -- hoo noes? Th hueman hart is vast enuf to contaen all th werld. It is valyant enuf to bair th berden, but wherr is th curej that wuud cast it off?
'I supoez I must hav fallen into a sentimental mood; I oenly noe that I stuud thair long enuf for th sens of uter solitued to get hoeld of me so compleetly that all I had laetly seen, all I had herd, and th verry hueman speech itself, seemd to hav past awae out of existens, living oenly for a whiel longger in mi memory, as tho I had bin th last of man-kiend. It was a straenj and melancoly iloozhun, evolvd haf-conshusly liek all our iloozhuns, which I suspect oenly to be vizhuns of remoet unataenabl trooth, seen dimly. This was, indeed, wun of th lost, forgoten, unnoen plaeses of th erth; I had luukt under its obscuer serfis; and I felt that when to-morro I had left it for ever, it wuud slip out of existens, to liv oenly in mi memory til I mieself past into oblivion. I hav that feeling about me now; perhaps it is that feeling which has insieted me to tel U th story, to tri to hand oever to U, as it wer, its verry existens, its reality -- th trooth discloezd in a moement of iloozhun.
'cornelius broek upon it. He boelted out, vermin-liek, frum th long gras groeing in a depreshun of th ground. I beleev his hous was roting sumwherr neer bi, tho I'v never seen it, not having bin far enuf in that direcshun. He ran tords me upon th path; his feet, shod in derty whiet shoos, twinkled on th dark erth; he puuld himself up, and began to whien and crinj under a
'I don't noe whether it was th demoralisation of mi uter defeet in mi encounter with a specter of feer les than an our ago, but I let him capcher me without eeven a sho of rezistans. I was doomd to be th resipyent of confidenses, and to be confrunted with unanswerable qeschuns. It was trieing; but th contempt, th unreasoned contempt, th man's apeerans provoekt, maed it eezyer to bair. He cuudn't posibly mater. Nuthing materd, sinss I had maed up mi miend that Jim, for hoom aloen I caird, had at last masterd his faet. He had toeld me he was satisfied . . . neerly. This is going ferther than moest of us dair. I -- hoo hav th riet to think mieself guud enuf -- dair not. Neether duz eny of U heer, I supoez? . . .'
Marlow pauzd, as if expecting an anser. Noebody spoek.
'quite riet,' he began agen. 'let no soel noe, sinss th trooth can be wrung out of us oenly bi sum crooel, litl, auful catastrofy. But he is wun of us, and he cuud sae he was satisfied . . . neerly. Just fansy this! Neerly satisfied. Wun cuud allmoest envy him his catastrofy. Neerly satisfied. After this nuthing cuud mater. It did not mater hoo suspected him, hoo trusted him, hoo luvd him, hoo haeted him -- espeshaly as it was Cornelius hoo haeted him.
'yet after all this was a kiend of recognishun. U shal juj of a man bi his foes as wel as bi his frends, and this enemy of Jim was such as no deesent man wuud be ashaemd to oen, without, however, maeking too much of him. This was th vue Jim tuuk, and in which I shaird; but Jim disregarded him on jeneral grounds. "Mi deer
' "Til U ar qiet satisfied," I struk in.
'we wer siting at th tiem under th roof in th stern of his boet; twenty padls flasht liek wun, ten on a sied, strieking th wauter with a singgl splash, whiel behiend our baks Tamb' Itam dipt sielently riet and left, and staird riet doun th river, atentiv to keep th long canoo in th graetest strength of th curent. Jim bowd his hed, and our last tauk seemd to fliker out for guud. He was seeing me off as far as th mouth of th river. Th scooner had left th dae befor, werking doun and drifting on th eb, whiel I had prolongd mi stae oeverniet. And now he was seeing me off.
'jim had bin a litl anggry with me for menshuning Cornelius at all. I had not, in trooth, sed much. Th man was too insignificant to be daenjerus, tho he was as fuul of haet as he cuud hoeld. He had calld me "honourable ser" at evry second sentens, and had whiend at mi elbo as he foloed me frum th graev of his "laet wief" to th gaet of Jim's compound. He declaird himself th moest unhapy of men, a victim, crusht liek a werm; he entreeted me to luuk at him. I wuudn't tern mi hed to do so; but I cuud see out of th corner of mi ie his obseeqius shado gliding after mien, whiel th moon, suspended on our riet hand, seemd to gloet sereenly upon th spectacl. He tried to explaen -- as I'v toeld U -- his shair in th events of th memorabl niet. It was a mater of expeedyensy. How cuud he noe hoo was going to get th uper hand? "I wuud hav saevd him, honourable ser! I wuud hav saevd him for aety dolars," he proetested in dulset toens, keeping a paes behiend me. "He has saevd himself," I sed, "and he has forgiven U." I herd a sort of titering, and ternd upon him; at wuns he apeerd redy to taek to his heels. "Whut ar U lafing at?" I askt, standing stil. "Don't be deseevd, honourable ser!" he shreekt, seemingly loozing all controel oever his feelings. "He saev himself! He noes nuthing, honourable ser -- nuthing whutever. Hoo is he? Whut duz he wont heer -- th big theef? Whut duz he wont heer? He throes dust into everybody's ies; he throes dust into yur
'I stuud thair and marveld. That kiend of thing, with him, was evidently a voecaeshun. I discuverd sudenly in his crinjing atitued a sort of ashurans, as tho he had bin all his lief deeling in sertitueds. He must hav thaut I was dispashunetly considering his propoezal, becauz he becaem as sweet as huny. "Evry jentlman maed a provizhun when th tiem caem to go hoem," he began insinuatingly. I slamd th litl gaet. "In this caes, Mr. Cornelius," I sed, "th tiem wil never cum." He tuuk a fue seconds to gather this in. "Whut!" he fairly sqeeld. "Whi," I continued frum mi sied of th gaet,"havn't U herd him sae so himself? He wil never
'but next morning, at th ferst bend of th river shuting off th houses of Patusan, all this dropt out of mi siet bodily, with its colour, its dezien, and its meening, liek a pikcher creaeted bi fansy on a canvas, upon which, after long contemplaeshun, U tern yur bak for th last tiem. It remaens in th memory moeshunles, unfaded, with its lief arested, in an unchaenjing liet. Thair ar th ambishuns, th feers, th haet, th hoeps, and thae remaen in mi miend just as I had seen them -- intens and as if for ever suspended in thair expreshun. I had ternd awae frum th pikcher and was going bak to th werld wherr events moov, men chaenj, liet flickers, lief floes in a cleer streem, no mater whether oever mud or oever stoens . I wasn't going to diev into it; I wuud hav enuf to do to keep mi hed abuv th serfis. But as to whut I was leeving behiend, I cannot imajin eny allteraeshun. Th imens and magnanimus
'jim, as I'v toeld U, acumpanyd me on th ferst staej of mi jerny bak to th werld he had renounced, and th wae at tiems seemd to leed thru th verry hart of untucht wildernes. Th empty reeches sparkld under th hi sun; between th hi walls of vejetaeshun th heet drouzd upon th wauter, and th boet, impeld vigorusly, cut her wae thru th air that seemd to hav setld dens and worm under th shelter of loffty trees.
'the shado of th impending separaeshun had allredy puut an imens spaes between us, and when we spoek it was with an efort, as if to fors our lo voises across a vast and increesing distans. Th boet fairly floo; we sweltered sied bi sied in th stagnant superheated air; th smel of mud, of mush, th priemeeval smel of feecund erth, seemd to sting our faeses; til sudenly at a bend it was as if a graet hand far awae had lifted a hevy curten, had flung oepen un imens portal. Th liet itself seemd to ster, th skie abuv our heds wiedend, a far-off mermer reecht our eers, a freshnes enveloped us, fild our lungs, qikend our thauts, our blud, our regrets -- and, straet ahed, th forests sank doun agenst th dark-bloo rij of th see.
'I breethd deeply, I revelled in th vastnes of th oepend horiezon, in th diferent atmosfeer that seemd to viebraet with th toil of lief, with th enerjy of an impecabl werld. This skie and this see wer oepen to me. Th gerl was riet -- thair was a sien, a call in them -- sumthing to which I responded with evry fieber of mi being. I let mi ies roem thru spaes, liek a man releest frum bonds hoo streches his cramped lims, runs, leeps, responds to th inspiering elaeshun of freedom. "This is glorius!" I cried, and then I luukt at th siner bi mi sied . He sat with his hed sunk on his brest and sed "Yes," without raezing his ies, as if afraed to see rit larj on th cleer skie of th offing th reproech of his roemantic conshens.
'I remember th smallest deetaels of that afternoon. We landed on a bit of whiet beech. It was bakt bi a lo clif wuuded on th brow, draept in creepers to th verry fuut. Belo us th plaen of th
' "Th trubl is," remarkt Jim moodily, "that for jeneraeshuns thees begars of fishermen in that vilej thair had bin considerd as th Rajah's personal slaevs -- and th oeld rip can't get it into his hed that . . ."
'he pauzd. "That U hav chaenjd all that," I sed.
' "Yes I'v chaenjd all that," he muterd in a gloomy vois.
' "U hav had yur oportuenity," I persood.
' "Hav I?" he sed. "Wel, yes. I supoez so. Yes. I hav got bak mi confidens in mieself -- a guud naem -- yet sumtiems I wish . . . No! I shal hoeld whut I'v got. Can't expect enything mor." He flung his arm out tords th see. "Not out thair enyhow." He stampt his fuut upon th sand. "This is mi limit, becauz nuthing
'we continued paesing th beech. "Yes, I'v chaenjd all that," he went on, with a siedlong glans at th too paeshent sqoting fishermen; "but oenly tri to think whut it wuud be if I went awae. Jove! can't U see it? Hel loos. No! To-morro I shal go and taek mi chans of drinking that sily oeld Tunku Allang's coffy, and I shal maek no end of fus oever thees roten turtles' egs. No. I can't sae -- enuf. Never. I must go on, go on for ever hoelding up mi end, to feel shur that nuthing can tuch me. I must stik to thair beleef in me to feel saef and to -- to" . . . He cast about for a werd, seemd to luuk for it on th see . . . "to keep in tuch with" . . . His vois sank sudenly to a mermer . . . "with thoes hoom, perhaps, I shal never see eny mor. With -- with -- U, for instans."
'I was profoundly humbld bi his werds. "For God's saek," I sed, "don't set me up, mi deer felo; just luuk to yurself." I felt a gratitued, an afecshun, for that straggler hoos ies had singgld me out, keeping mi plaes in th ranks of an insignificant multitued. How litl that was to boest of, after all! I ternd mi berning faes awae; under th lo sun, gloeing, darkend and crimzon, liek un ember snacht frum th fier, th see lae outspred, offering all its imens stilnes to th aproech of th fiery orb. Twies he was going to speek, but chekt himself; at last, as if he had found a formuela --
' "I shal be faethful," he sed qieetly. "I shal be faethful," he repeeted, without luuking at me, but for th ferst tiem leting his ies waander upon th wauters, hoos blueness had chaenjd to a gloomy perpl under th fiers of sunset. Aa! he was roemantic, roemantic. I recalld sum werds of Stein's.... "In th destructiv element imers! . . . To folo th dreem, and agen to folo th dreem -- and so -- allwaes -- usque ad finem . . ." He was roemantic, but nun th les troo. Hoo cuud tel whut forms, whut vizhuns, whut faeses, whut forgivnes he cuud see in th glo of th west! . . . A small boet, leeving th scooner, moovd sloely, with a reguelar beet of too ors, tords th sandbank to taek me off. "And then thair's Jooel," he sed, out of th graet sielens of erth, skie, and see, which had masterd mi verry thauts so that his vois maed me start. "Thair's Jooel. " "Yes," I mermerd. "I need not tel U whut she is to me," he persood. "U'v seen. In tiem she wil cum to understand . . . " "I hoep so," I interupted. "She trusts me, too," he muezd, and then chaenjd his toen. "When shal we meet next, I wunder?" he sed.
' "Never -- unles U cum out," I anserd, avoiding his glans. He didn't seem to be serpriezd; he kept verry qieet for a whiel.
' "Guud-bi, then," he sed, after a pauz. "Perhaps it's just as wel."
'we shuuk hands, and I waukt to th boet, which waeted with her noez on th beech. Th scooner, her maensael set and jib-sheet to windward, curveted on th perpl see; thair was a roezy tinge on her saels. "Wil U be going hoem agen soon?" askt Jim, just as I swung mi leg oever th gunel. "In a yeer or so if I liv," I sed. Th forfuut graeted on th sand, th boet floeted, th wet ors flasht and dipt wuns, twies. Jim, at th water's ej, raezd his vois. "Tel them . . . " he began. I siend to th men to sees rowing, and waeted in wunder. Tel hoo? Th haf-submerjd sun faest him; I cuud see its red gleem in his ies that luukt dumly at me.... "No -- nuthing," he sed, and with a sliet waev of his hand moeshund th boet awae. I did not luuk agen at th shor til I had clamberd on bord th scooner.
'by that tiem th sun had set. Th twieliet lae oever th eest, and th coest, ternd blak, extended infinitly its somber wall that seemd th verry stronghoeld of th niet; th western horiezon was wun graet blaez of goeld and crimzon in which a big detacht cloud floeted dark and stil, casting a slaty shado on th wauter beneeth, and I saw Jim on th beech woching th scooner fall off and gather hedwae.
'the too haf-naeked fishermen had arizen as soon as I had gon; thae wer no dout poring th plaent of thair triefling, mizerabl, oprest lievs into th eers of th whiet lord, a no dout he was lisening to it, maeking it his oen, for was it not a part of his luk -- th luk "frum th werd Go" -- th luk to which he had ashurd me he was so compleetly eeqal? Thae too, I shuud think, wer in luk, and I was shur thair pertinasity wuud be eeqal to it. Thair dark-skind bodys vanisht on th dark bakground long befor I had lost siet of thair protector. He was whiet frum hed to fuut, and remaend persistently vizibl with th stronghoeld of th niet at his bak, th see at his feet, th oportuenity bi his sied -- stil vaeld. Whut do U sae? Was it stil vaeld? I don't noe. For me that whiet figuer in th stilnes of coest and see seemd to stand at th hart of a vast enigma. Th twieliet was ebing fast frum th skie abuv his hed, th strip of sand had sunk allredy under his feet, he himself apeerd no biger than a chield -- then oenly a spek, a tieny whiet spek, that seemd to cach all th liet left in a darkend werld .. .. And, sudenly, I lost him. . ..
With thees werds Marlow had ended his narrativ, and his audyens had broeken up forthwith, under his abstract, pensiv gaez. Men drifted off th veranda in pairs or aloen without loss of tiem, without offering a remark, as if th last imej of that incompleet
Th privilejd man oepend th paket, luukt in, then, laeing it doun, went to th windo. His rooms wer in th hieest flat of a loffty bilding, and his glans cuud travel afar beyond th cleer paens of glas, as tho he wer luuking out of th lantern of a liet-hous. Th sloeps of th roofs glisend, th dark broeken rijes sucseeded eech uther without end liek somber, uncrested waevs, and frum th depths of th toun under his feet asended a confuezd and unseesing muter. Th spiers of cherches, nuemerus, scaterd haphazard, uprose liek beacons on a maez of shoels without a chanel; th drieving raen minggld with th falling dusk of a winter's eevning; and th booming of a big clok on a tower, strieking th our, roeld past in voloominus, austeer bersts of sound, with a shril viebraeting cri at th cor. He droo th hevy curtens.
Th liet of his shaeded reeding-lamp slept liek a shelterd pool, his fuutfalls maed no sound on th carpet, his waandering daes wer oever. No mor horiezons as boundles as hoep, no mor twilights within th forests as solem as templs, in th hot qest for th Ever-undiscovered Cuntry oever th hil, across th streem, beyond th waev. Th our was strieking! No mor! No mor! -- but th oepend paket under th lamp braut bak th sounds, th vizhuns, th verry savour of th past -- a multitued of faeding faeses, a toomult of lo voises, dieing awae upon th shors of distant sees under a pashunet and unconsoling sunshien. He sied and sat doun to reed.
At ferst he saw three distinkt enclosures. A guud meny paejes cloesly blakend and pind together; a loos sqair sheet of greyish paeper with a fue werds traest in a hand-rieting he had never seen befor, and an explanatory leter frum Marlow. Frum this last fel anuther leter, yeloed bi tiem and fraed on th foelds. He pikt it up and, laeing it asied, ternd to Marlow's mesej, ran swiftly oever th oepening liens, and, cheking himself, thairafter reed on deliberetly, liek wun aproeching with slo feet and alert ies th glimps of an undiscovered cuntry.
'. . . I don't supoez U'v forgoten,' went on th leter. 'you aloen hav shoed an interest in him that servievd th teling of his story, tho I remember wel U wuud not admit he had masterd his faet. U profesied for him th dizaster of weerynes
'I aferm nuthing. Perhaps U mae pronouns -- after U'v reed. Thair is much trooth -- after all -- in th comon expreshun "under a cloud." It is imposibl to see him cleerly -- espeshaly as it is thru th ies of uthers that we taek our last luuk at him. I hav no hezitaeshun in imparting to U all I noe of th last episoed that, as he uezd to sae, had "cum to him." Wun wunders whether this was perhaps that supreem oportuenity, that last and satisfieing test for which I had allwaes suspected him to be waeting, befor he cuud fraem a mesej to th impecabl werld. U remember that when I was leeving him for th last tiem he had askt whether I wuud be going hoem soon, and sudenly cried after me, "Tel them . . ." I had waeted -- cuerius I'l oen, and hoepful too -- oenly to heer him shout, "No -- nuthing." That was all then -- and thair wil be nuthing mor; thair wil be no mesej, unles such as eech of us can interpret for himself frum th langgwej of facts, that ar so offen mor enigmatic than th craftiest araenjment of werds. He maed, it is troo, wun mor atempt to deliver himself; but that too faeld, as U mae perseev if U luuk at th sheet of greyish foolzcap encloezd heer. He had tried to riet; do U noetis th comonplaes hand? It is heded "Th Fort, Patusun." I supoez he had carryd out his intenshun of maeking out of his hous a plaes of defence. It was an exselent plan: a deep
'I send U allso an oeld leter -- a verry oeld leter. It was found cairfuly prezervd in his rieting-caes. It is frum his faather, and bi th daet U can see he must hav reseevd it a fue daes befor he joind th Patna. Thus it must be th last leter he ever had frum hoem. He had trezherd it all thees yeers. Th guud oeld parson fansyd his saelor sun. I'v luukt in at a sentens heer and thair. Thair is nuthing in it exsept just afecshun. He tels his "deer James" that th last long leter frum him was verry "onest and entertaening." He wuud not hav him "juj men harshly or haestily. " Thair ar foer paejes of it, eezy morality and family nues. Tom had "taeken orders." Carrie's huzband had "muny losses." Th oeld chap goes on eqably trusting Providens and th establisht order of th uenivers, but aliev to its small daenjers and its small mercies. Wun can allmoest see him, grae-haired and sereen in th invieolabl shelter of his buuk-liend, faeded, and cumfortabl study, wherr for forty yeers he had conscientiously gon oever and oever agen th round of his litl thauts about faeth and verchoo, about th conduct of lief and th oenly proper maner of dieing; wherr he had riten so meny sermons, wherr he sits tauking to his boi, oever thair, on th uther sied of th erth. But whut of th distans? Verchoo is wun all oever th werld, and thair is oenly wun faeth, wun conseevabl conduct of lief, wun maner of dieing. He hoeps his "deer James" wil never
'the story of th last events U wil fiend in th fue paejes encloezd heer. U must admit that it is roemantic beyond th wieldest dreems of his boihuud, and yet thair is to mi miend a sort of profound and terrifieing lojic in it, as if it wer our imajinaeshun aloen that cuud set loos upon us th miet of an oeverwhelming destiny. Th imprudence of our thauts recoils upon our heds; hoo tois with th sord shal perrish bi th sord. This astounding advencher, of which th moest astounding part is that it is troo, cums on as an unavoidabl conseqens. Sumthing of th sort had to hapen. U repeet this to yurself whiel U marvel that such a thing cuud hapen in th yeer of graes befor last. But it has hapend -- and thair is no dispueting its lojic.
'I puut it doun heer for U as tho I had bin an iewitnes. Mi informaeshun was fragmentairy, but I'v fited th peeses together, and thair is enuf of them to maek an intelijibl pikcher. I wunder how he wuud hav relaeted it himself. He has confieded so much in me that at tiems it seems as tho he must cum in prezently and tel th story in his oen werds, in his cairles yet feeling vois, with his offhand maner, a litl puzld, a litl botherd, a litl hert, but now and then bi a werd or a fraez
'it all begins with a remarkabl exploit of a man calld Broun, hoo stoel with compleet sucses a Spanish scooner out of a small bae neer Zamboanga. Til I discuverd th felo mi informaeshun was incompleet, but moest unexpectedly I did cum upon him a fue ours befor he gaev up his arrogant goest. Forchunetly he was wiling and aebl to tauk between th choeking fits of azma, and his rakt body riethd with malishus exultaeshun at th bair thaut of Jim. He exulted thus at th iedeea that he had "paed out th stuckup begar after all." He gloeted oever his acshun. I had to bair th sunken glair of his feers cro-fuuted ies if I wonted to noe; and so I bor it, reflecting how much serten forms of eevil ar akin to madnes, derievd frum intens egoeizm, inflaemd bi rezistans, tairing th soel to peeses, and giving factishus vigour to th body. Th story allso reveels unsuspected depths of cuning in th reched Cornelius, hoos abject and intens haet acts liek a sutl inspiraeshun, pointing out an unerring wae tords revenj.
' "I cuud see directly I set mi ies on him whut sort of a fool he was," gaspt th dieing Broun. "He a man! Hel! He was a holo sham. As if he cuudn't hav sed straet out, 'hands off mi plunder!' blast him! That wuud hav bin liek a man! Rot his supeerior soel! He had me thair -- but he hadn't devil enuf in him to maek an end of me. Not he! A thing liek that leting me off as if I wasn't werth a kik! ..." Broun strugld desperetly for breth.... "Fraud.... Leting me off.... And so I did maek an end of him after all...." He choekt agen.... "I expect this thing'll kil me, but I shal die eezy now. U . . . U heer . . . I don't noe yur naem -- I wuud giv U a fiev-pound noet if -- if I had it -- for th nues -- or mi name's not Broun...." He grind horribly.... "Jentlman Broun."
'he sed all thees things in profound gasps, stairing at me with his yelo ies out of a long, ravaged, broun faes; he jerkt his left arm; a peper-and-sallt matted beerd hung allmoest into his lap; a derty raged blanket cuverd his legs. I had found him out in Bankok thru that busybody Schomberg, th hoetel-keeper, hoo had, confidenshaly, directed me wherr to luuk. It apeers that a sort of loafing, fuddled vagabond -- a whiet man living amungst
'he taukt feeverishly; but in th midl of a werd, perhaps, an invisibl hand wuud taek him bi th throet, and he wuud luuk at me dumly with an expreshun of dout and anggwish. He seemd to feer that I wuud get tierd of waeting and go awae, leeving him with his tael untoeld, with his exultaeshun unexpressed. He died during th niet, I beleev, but bi that tiem I had nuthing mor to lern.
'so much as to Broun, for th prezent.
'eight munths befor this, cuming into Samarang, I went as uezhual to see Stien. On th garden sied of th hous a Malay on th veranda greeted me shiely, and I rememberd that I had seen him in Patusan, in Jim's hous, amungst uther Bugis men hoo uezd to cum in th eevning to tauk interminably oever thair wor reminisenses and to discus Staet afairs. Jim had pointed him out to me wuns as a respectabl pety traeder oening a small seegoing naetiv craft, hoo had shoed himself "wun of th best at th taeking of th stokaed. " I was not verry serpriezd to see him, sinss eny Patusan traeder venchering as far as Samarang wuud nacheraly fiend his wae to Stein's hous. I reternd his greeting and past on. At th dor of Stein's room I caem upon anuther Malay in hoom I recogniezd Tamb' Itam.
'I askt him at wuns whut he was doing thair; it ocurd to me that Jim miet hav cum on a vizit. I oen I was pleezd and exsieted at th thaut. Tamb' Itam luukt as if he did not noe whut to sae. "Is Tuan Jim insied?" I askt impaeshently. "No," he mumbld, hanging his hed for a moement, and then with suden ernestnes, "He wuud not fiet. He wuud not fiet," he repeeted twies. As he seemd unaebl to sae enything els, I puusht him asied and went in,
'stein, tall and stooping, stuud aloen in th midl of th room between th roes of buterfli caeses. "Ach! is it U, mi frend?" he sed sadly, peering thru his glases. A drab sak-coet of alpaca hung, unbuttoned, doun to his nees. He had a Panama hat on his hed, and thair wer deep feroes on his pael cheeks. "Whut's th
'you noe Stein's big hous and th too imens resepshun- rooms, uninhabited and uninhabitable, cleen, fuul of solitued and of shiening things that luuk as if never beheld bi th ie of man? Thae ar cool on th hotest daes, and U enter them as U wuud a scrubd caev underground. I past thru wun, and in th uther I saw th gerl siting at th end of a big mahogany taebl, on which she rested her hed, th faes hiden in her arms. Th waxt flor reflected her dimly as tho it had bin a sheet of froezen wauter. Th ratan screens wer doun, and thru th straenj greenish gloom maed bi th foelej of th trees outsied a strong wind bloo in gusts, swaeing th long draeperys of windoes and dorwaes. Her whiet figuer seemd shaept in sno; th pendent cristals of a graet shandeleer clikt abuv her hed liek glitering icicles. She luukt up and wocht mi aproech. I was child as if thees vast apartments had bin th coeld aboed of despair.
'she recogniezd me at wuns, and as soon as I had stopt, luuking doun at her: "He has left me," she sed qieetly; "U allwaes leev us -- for yur oen ends." Her faes was set. All th heet of lief seemd withdrawn within sum inacsesibl spot in her brest. "It wuud hav bin eezy to die with him," she went on, and maed a sliet weery jescher as if giving up th incomprehensibl. "He wuud not! It was liek a bliendnes -- and yet it was I hoo was speeking to him; it was I hoo stuud befor his ies; it was at me that
'I tuuk her hand; it did not respond, and when I dropt it, it hung doun to th flor. That indiferens, mor auful than teers, cries, and reproeches, seemd to defi tiem and consolaeshun. U felt that nuthing U cuud sae wuud reech th seet of th stil and benumbing paen.
'stein had sed, "U shal heer." I did heer. I herd it all, lisening with amaezment, with au, to th toens of her inflexibl weerynes. She cuud not grasp th reeal sens of whut she was teling me, and her rezentment fild me with pity for her -- for him too. I stuud rooted to th spot after she had finisht. Leening on her arm, she staird with hard ies, and th wind past in gusts, th cristals kept on cliking in th greenish gloom. She went on whispering to herself: "And yet he was luuking at me! He cuud see mi faes, heer mi vois, heer mi greef! When I uezd to sit at his feet, with mi cheek agenst his nee and his hand on mi hed, th curs of crooelty and madnes was allredy within him, waeting for th dae. Th dae caem! . . . and befor th sun had set he cuud not see me eny mor -- he was maed bliend and def and without pity, as U all ar. He shal hav no teers frum me. Never, never. Not wun teer. I wil not! He went awae frum me as if I had bin wers than deth. He fled as if driven bi sum acurst thing he had herd or seen in his sleep...."
'her stedy ies seemd to straen after th shaep of a man torn out of her arms bi th strength of a dreem. She maed no sien to mi sielent bow. I was glad to escaep.
'I saw her wuns agen, th saem afternoon. On leeving her I had gon in serch of Stien, hoom I cuud not fiend indors; and I waanderd out, persood bi distressful thauts, into th gardens, thoes faemus gardens of Stien, in which U can fiend evry plant and tree of tropical loelands. I foloed th cors of th canalised streem, and sat for a long tiem on a shaeded bench neer th ornamental pond, wherr sum waterfowl with clipt wings wer dieving and splashing noizily. Th branches of casuarina trees behiend me swaed lietly, insesantly, remiending me of th soughing of fer trees at hoem.
'this mornful and restles sound was a fit acumpanyment to mi meditaeshuns. She had sed he had bin driven awae frum her bi a dreem, -- and thair was no anser wun cuud maek her -- thair seemd to be no forgivnes for such a transgreshun. And yet is not man-kiend itself, puushing on its bliend wae, driven bi a dreem of its graetnes and its power upon th dark paths of exsesiv crooelty and of exsesiv devoeshun? And whut is th persoot of trooth, after
'when I roez to get bak to th hous I caut siet of Stein's drab coet thru a gap in th foelej, and verry soon at a tern of th path I caem upon him wauking with th gerl. Her litl hand rested on his forarm, and under th braud, flat rim of his Panama hat he bent oever her, grae-haired, paternal, with compashunet and shivalrus deferens. I stuud asied, but thae stopt, faesing me. His gaez was bent on th ground at his feet; th gerl, erect and sliet on his arm, staird somberly beyond mi shoelder with blak, cleer, moeshunles ies. "Schrecklich," he mermerd. "Terribl! Terribl! Whut can wun do?" He seemd to be apeeling to me, but her yooth, th length of th daes suspended oever her hed, apeeld to me mor; and sudenly, eeven as I realised that nuthing cuud be sed, I found mieself pleeding his cauz for her saek. "U must forgiv him," I conclooded, and mi oen vois seemd to me mufld, lost in un irresponsive def imensity. "We all wont to be forgiven," I aded after a whiel.
' "Whut hav I dun?" she askt with her lips oenly.
' "U allwaes mistrusted him," I sed.
' "He was liek th uthers," she pronounst sloely.
' "Not liek th uthers," I proetested, but she continued eevenly, without eny feeling --
' "He was falls." And sudenly Stien broek in. "No! no! no! Mi pur chield! . . ." He pated her hand lieing pasivly on his sleev. "No! no! Not falls! Troo! Troo! Troo!" He tried to luuk into her stoeny faes. "U don't understand. Ach! Whi U do not understand? . . . Terribl," he sed to me. "Sum dae she shal understand."
' "Wil U explaen?" I askt, luuking hard at him. Thae moovd on.
'I wocht them. Her goun traeld on th path, her blak hair fel loos. She waukt upriet and liet bi th sied of th tall man, hoos long shaeples coet hung in perpendicuelar foelds frum th stooping shoelders, hoos feet moovd sloely. Thae disapeerd beyond that spinney (U mae remember) wherr sixteen diferent kiends of bamboo gro together, all distinggwishabl to th lernd ie. For mi part, I was fasinaeted bi th exqizit graes and buety of that flooted groev, cround with pointed leevs and fethery heds, th lietnes, th vigour, th charm as distinkt as a vois of that unperplexed luxuriating lief. I remember staeing to luuk at it for a long tiem, as wun wuud lingger within reech of a consoeling whisper. Th skie was perly grae. It was wun of thoes oevercast daes so rair in th tropics, in which memorys croud upon wun -- memorys of uther shors, of uther faeses.
'I droev bak to toun th saem afternoon, taeking with me Tamb' Itam and th uther Malay, in hoos seegoing craft thae had escaept
Thair with Marlow's signacher th leter proper ended. Th privilejd reeder scrood up his lump, and solitairy abuv th biloey roofs of th toun, liek a liet-hous-keeper abuv th see, he ternd to th paejes of th story.
'it all begins, as I'v toeld U, with th man calld Broun,' ran th oepening sentens of Marlow's narrativ. 'you hoo hav nokt about th Western Pacific must hav herd of him. He was th sho rufian on th Australian coest -- not that he was offen to be seen thair, but becauz he was allwaes troted out in th stoens of lawles lief a vizitor frum hoem is treeted to; and th mildest of thees storys which wer toeld about him frum Caep York to Eden Bae was mor than enuf to hang a man if toeld in th riet plaes. Thae never faeld to let U noe, too, that he was supoezd to be th sun of a barronet. Be it as it mae, it is serten he had dezerted frum a hoem ship in th erly goeld-diging daes, and in a fue yeers becaem taukt about as th terror of this or that groop of ielands in Polynesia. He wuud kidnap naetivs, he wuud strip sum loenly whiet traeder to th verry pyjamas he stuud in, and after he had robd th pur devil, he wuud as liekly as not inviet him to fiet a dueel with shot-guns on th beech -- which wuud hav bin fair enuf as thees things go, if th uther man hadn't bin bi that tiem allredy haf-ded with friet. Broun was a later-dae bucaneer, sorry enuf, liek his mor selebraeted prototypes; but whut distinggwisht him frum his contemporairy bruther rufians, liek Buuly Hayes or th melifloous Pease, or that perfuemd, Dundreary-whiskerd, dandified scoundrel noen as Derty Dick, was th arrogant temper of his misdeeds and a veeement scorn for man-kiend at larj and for his victims in particuelar. Th uthers wer meerly vulgar and greedy brutes, but he seemd moovd bi sum complex intenshun. He wuud rob a man as if oenly to demonstraet
'his tael goes that when a Spanish patroel cuter capcherd him he was simply trieing to run a fue guns for th inserjents. If so, then I can't understand whut he was doing off th south coest of Mindanao. Mi beleef, however, is that he was blackmailing th naetiv vilejes along th coest. Th prinsipal thing is that th cuter, throeing a gard on bord, maed him sael in cumpany tords Zamboanga. On th wae, for sum reezon or uther, boeth vesels had to call at wun of thees nue Spanish setlments -- which never caem to enything in th end -- wherr thair was not oenly a sivil ofishal in charj on shor, but a guud stout coasting scooner lieing at ankor in th litl bae; and this craft, in evry wae much beter than his oen, Broun maed up his miend to steel.
'he was doun on his luk -- as he toeld me himself. Th werld he had bullied for twenty yeers with feers, agresiv disdaen, had
'but in Brown's croo thair was a Solomon Islander, kidnapt in his yooth and devoeted to Broun, hoo was th best man of th hoel gang. That felo swam off to th coester -- fiev hundred yards or so -- with th end of a worp maed up of all th runing geer unrove for th perpos. Th wauter was smooth, and th bae dark, "liek th insied of a cow," as Broun descriebd it. Th Solomon Islander clamberd oever th bulwarks with th end of th roep in his teeth. Th croo of th coester -- all Tagals -- wer ashor having a jollification in th naetiv vilej. Th too shipkeepers left on bord woek up sudenly and saw th devil. It had glitering ies and leept qik as lietning about th dek. Thae fel on thair nees, paralysed with feer, crossing themselvs and mumbling prairs. With a long nief he found in th caboos th Solomon Islander, without interrupting thair orisons, stabd ferst wun, then th uther; with th saem nief he st to sawing paeshently at th shipkeepers taebl til sudenly it parted under th blaed with a splash. Then in th sielens of th bae he let out a caushus shout, and Brown's gang, hoo meentiem had bin peering and straening thair hoepful eers in th darknes, began to puul jently at thair end of th worp. In les than fiev minits th too scooners caem together with a sliet shok and a creek of spars.
'brown's croud transferd themselvs without loozing an instant, taeking with them thair fierarms and a larj supli of amuenishun. Thae wer sixteen in all: too run-awae bloo-jakets, a lanky dezerter frum a Yankee man-of-wor, a cupl of simpl, blond
'they got cleer awae. Broun relaeted to me in deetael thair pasej doun th Straets of Macassar. It is a harroeing and desperet story. Thae wer short of food and wauter; thae borded several naetiv craft and got a litl frum eech. With a stoelen ship Broun did not dair to puut into eny port, of cors. He had no muny to bi enything, no paepers to sho, and no lie plauzibl enuf to get him out agen. An Arab barque, under th Dutch flag, serpriezd wun niet at ankor off Poulo Laut, yeelded a litl derty ries, a bunch of bananas, and a cask of wauter; three daes of squally, misty wether frum th north-eest shot th scooner across th Java See. Th yelo mudy waevs drencht that colecshun of hunggry rufians. Thae sieted mael-boets mooving on thair apointed roots; past wel-found hoem ships with rusty ieern sieds ankord in th shalo see waeting for a chaenj of wether or th tern of th tied; an English gunboet, whiet and trim, with too slim masts, crosst thair bows wun dae in th distans; and on anuther ocaezhun a Dutch corvet, blak and hevily sparred, loomd up on thair qorter, steeming ded slo in th mist. Thae slipt thru unseen or disregarded, a waan, salo-faest band of uter outcasts, enraejd with hungger and hunted bi feer. Brown's iedeea was to maek for Madagascar, wherr he expected, on grounds not alltogether iloosory, to sel th scooner in Tamatave, and no qeschuns askt, or perhaps obtaen sum mor or les forjd paepers for her. Yet befor he cuud faes th long pasej across th Indian Oeshan food was wonted -- wauter too.
'perhaps he had herd of Patusan -- or perhaps he just oenly hapend to see th naem riten in small leters on th chart -- probably that of a largish vilej up a river in a naetiv staet, perfectly defenceless, far frum th beeten traks of th see and frum th ends of submareen caebls. He had dun that kiend of thing befor -- in th wae of biznes; and this now was an absoloot nesesity, a qeschun of lief and deth -- or rather of liberty. Of liberty! He was shur to get provizhuns -- buuloks -- ries -- sweet-potaetoes. Th sorry gang likt thair chops. A cargo of produes for th scooner perhaps
'luck servd him as to wether. A fue daes of caam wuud hav braut unmentionable horrors on bord that scooner, but with th help of land and see breezes, in les than a week after cleering th Sunda Straets, he ankord off th Batu Kring mouth within a pistol-shot of th fishing vilej.
'fourteen of them pakt into th schooner's long-boet (which was big, having bin uezd for cargo-werk) and started up th river, whiel too remaend in charj of th scooner with food enuf to keep starvaeshun off for ten daes. Th tied and wind helpt, and erly wun afternoon th big whiet boet under a raged sael shoelderd its wae befor th see breez into Patusan Reech, mand bi forteen asorted scaircroes glairing hunggrily ahed, and finggering th breech-bloks of cheep riefls. Broun calcuelaeted upon th terrifieing serpriez of his apeerans. Thae saeld in with th last of th flud; th Rajah's stokaed gaev no sien; th ferst houses on boeth sieds of th streem seemd dezerted. A fue canoos wer seen up th reech in fuul fliet. Broun was astonisht at th siez of th plaes. A profound sielens raend. Th wind dropt between th houses; too ors wer got out and th boet held on up-streem, th iedeea being to efect a lojment in th senter of th toun befor th inhabitants cuud think of rezistans.
'it seems, however, that th hedman of th fishing vilej at Batu Kring had manejd to send off a tiemly worning. When th long-boet caem abrest of th mosk (which Doramin had bilt: a strukcher with gaebls and roof finials of carvd corral) th oepen spaes befor it was fuul of peepl. A shout went up, and was foloed bi a clash of gongs all up th river. Frum a point abuv too litl bras 6-pounders wer discharjd, and th round-shot caem skiping doun th empty reech, spirting glitering jets of wauter in th sunshien. In frunt of th mosk a shouting lot of men began fiering in volys that whipt athwort th curent of th river; an irreguelar, roeling fuesilaed was oepend on th boet frum boeth banks, and Brown's men replied with a wield, rapid fier. Th ors had bin got in.
'the tern of th tied at hi wauter cums on verry qikly in that river, and th boet in mid-streem, neerly hiden in smoek, began to drift bak stern formoest. Along boeth shors th smoek thikend allso, lieing belo th roofs in a level streek as U mae see a long cloud cuting th sloep of a mounten. A toomult of wor-cries, th viebraeting clang of gongs, th deep snoring of drums,
'all th events of that niet hav a graet importans, sinss thae braut about a sichuaeshun which remaend unchaenjd til Jim's retern. Jim had bin awae in th inteerior for mor than a week, and it was Dain Waris hoo had directed th ferst repuls. That braev and intelijent yooth ("hoo nue how to fiet after th maner of whiet men") wisht to setl th biznes off-hand, but his peepl wer too much for him. He had not Jim's raeshal presteej and th repuetaeshun of invinsibl, soopernacheral power. He was not th vizibl, tanjibl incarnaeshun of unfaeling trooth and of unfaeling victory. Beluvd, trusted, and admierd as he was, he was stil wun of them, whiel Jim was wun of us. Moroever, th whiet man, a tower of strength in himself, was invulnerabl, whiel Dain Waris cuud be kild. Thoes unexpressed thauts gieded th opinyons of th cheef men of th toun, hoo elected to asembl in Jim's fort for deliberaeshun upon th emerjensy, as if expecting to fiend wizdom and curej in th dweling of th absent whiet man. Th shooting of Brown's rufians was so far guud, or luky, that thair had bin haf- a-duzen cazhualtys amungst th defenders. Th woonded wer lieing on th veranda tended bi thair wimen-foek. Th wimen and children frum th loeer part of th toun had bin sent into th fort at th ferst alarm. Thair Jooel was in comand, verry efishent and hi-spirited, oebaed bi Jim's "oen peepl," hoo, qiting in a body thair litl setlment under th stokaed, had gon in to form th garrison. Th refuejees crouded round her; and thru th hoel afair, to th verry dizastrus last, she shoed an extraordinairy marshal ardour. It was to her that Dain Waris had gon at wuns at th ferst intelijens of daenjer, for U must noe that Jim was th oenly wun in Patusan hoo pozest a stor of gunpouder. Stien, with hoom he had kept up intimet relaeshuns bi leters, had obtaend frum th Dutch Guvernment a speshal authorisation to export fiev hundred kegs of it to Patusan. Th pouder-magazeen was a small hut of ruf logs cuverd entierly with erth, and in Jim's absens th gerl had th kee. In th counsil, held at eleven o'clok in th eevning in Jim's diening-room, she bakt up Waris's advies for imeedyet and vigorus acshun. I am toeld that she stuud up bi th sied of Jim's empty chair at th hed of th long taebl and maed a worliek impashund
'that acomplisht diplomatist and confidant of th Rajah, on leeving th fort to go bak to his master, tuuk into his boet Cornelius, hoom he found slinking muetly amungst th peepl in th cort-yard. Kassim had a litl plan of his oen and wonted him for an interpreter. Thus it caem about that tords morning Broun, reflecting upon th desperet naecher of his pozishun, herd frum th marshy oevergroen holo an amicabl, qaevering, straend vois crieing -- in English -- for permishun to cum up, under a promis of personal saefty and on a verry important errand. He was overjoyed. If he was spoeken to he was no longger a hunted wield beest. Thees frendly sounds tuuk off at wuns th auful stres of vijilant watchfulness as of so meny bliend men not noeing whens th dethblo miet cum. He pretended a graet reluctans. Th vois declaird itself "a whiet man -- a pur, rooind, oeld man hoo had bin living heer for yeers." A mist, wet and chily, lae on th sloeps of th hil, and after sum mor shouting frum wun to th uther, Broun calld out, "Cum on, then, but aloen, miend!" As a mater of fact -- he toeld me, riething with raej at th recolecshun of his helplesnes -- it maed no diferens. Thae cuudn't see mor than a fue yards befor them, and no trechery cuud maek thair pozishun wers. Bi-and-bi Cornelius, in his week-dae atier of a raged derty shert and pants, bairfuuted, with a broeken-rimd pith hat on his hed, was maed out vaegly, sidling up to th defences, hezitaeting, stoping to lisen in a peering poscher. "Cum along! U ar saef," yeld Broun, whiel his men staird. All thair hoeps of lief becaem sudenly centred in that dilapidaeted, meen nuecumer, hoo in profound sielens clamberd clumzily oever a feld tree-trunk, and shivering, with his sour, mistrustful faes, luukt about at th not
'half an hour's confidenshal tauk with Cornelius oepend Brown's ies as to th hoem afairs of Patusan. He was on th alert at wuns. Thair wer posibilitys, imens posibilitys; but befor he wuud tauk oever Cornelius's propoezals he demanded that sum food shuud be sent up as a garrantee of guud faeth. Cornelius went off, creeping slugishly doun th hil on th sied of th Rajah's palis, and after sum delae a fue of Tunku Allang's men caem up, bringing a scanty supli of ries, chillies, and dried fish. This was imezherably beter than nuthing. Laeter on Cornelius reternd acumpanying Kassim, hoo stept out with an air of perfect guud-humoured trustfulness, in sandals, and mufld up frum nek to ankls in dark-bloo sheeting. He shuuk hands with Broun discreetly, and th three droo asied for a conferens. Brown's men, recuvering thair confidens, wer slaping eech uther on th bak, and cast noeing glanses at thair capten whiel thae bizyd themselvs with preparaeshuns for cuuking.
'kassim disliekt Doramin and his Bugis verry much, but he haeted th nue order of things stil mor. It had ocurd to him that thees whiets, together with th Rajah's foloeers, cuud atak and defeet th Bugis befor Jim's retern. Then, he reezond, jeneral defecshun of th townfolk was shur to folo, and th raen of th whiet man hoo protected pur peepl wuud be oever. Afterwards th nue alies cuud be delt with. Thae wuud hav no frends. Th felo was perfectly aebl to perseev th diferens of carracter, and had seen enuf of whiet men to noe that thees nuecumers wer outcasts, men without cuntry. Broun prezervd a stern and inscrootabl demeanour. When he ferst herd Cornelius's vois demanding admitans, it braut meerly th hoep of a loophoel for escaep. In les than an our uther thauts wer seething in his hed. Erjd bi an extreem nesesity, he had cum thair to steel food, a fue tuns of ruber or gum mae be, perhaps a handful of dolars, and had found himself enmesht bi dedly daenjers. Now in conseqens of thees oeverchers frum Kassim he began to think of steeling th hoel cuntry. Sum confounded felo had aparrently acomplisht sumthing of th kiend -- singgl-handed at that. Cuudn't hav dun it verry wel tho. Perhaps thae cuud werk together -- sqeez evrything dri and then go out qieetly. In th cors of his negoeshiaeshuns with Kassim he becaem awair that he was supoezd to hav a big ship with plenty of men outsied. Kassim begd him ernestly to hav this big ship with his meny guns and men braut up th river without delae for th Rajah's servis. Broun profest himself wiling, and on this baesis th negoeshiaeshun was carryd on with muechual distrust. Three tiems in th cors of th morning th curtius and activ Kassim went doun to consult
'in such convers and in gloeting oever th vue of Patusan, which he had determind in his miend shuud becum his prae, Broun whiled awae moest of th afternoon, his men, meentiem, resting. On that dae Dain Waris's fleet of canoos stoel wun bi wun under th shor farthest frum th creek, and went doun to cloez th river agenst his retreet. Of this Broun was not awair, and Kassim, hoo caem up th noel an our befor sunset, tuuk guud cair not to enlieten him. He wonted th whiet man's ship to cum up th river, and this nues, he feerd, wuud be discurejing. He was verry presing with Broun to send th "order," offering at th saem tiem a trusty mesenjer, hoo for graeter seecresy (as he explaend) wuud maek his wae bi land to th mouth of th river and deliver th "order" on bord. After sum reflecshun Broun jujd it expeedyent to tair a paej out of his poket-buuk, on which he simply roet, "We ar geting on. Big job. Detaen th man." Th stolid yooth selected bi Kassim for that servis performd it faethfuly, and was reworded bi being sudenly tipt, hed ferst, into th schooner's empty hoeld bi
'brown's object was to gaen tiem bi fooling with Kassim's diploemasy. For doing a reeal stroek of biznes he cuud not help thinking th whiet man was th person to werk with. He cuud not imajin such a chap (hoo must be confoundedly clever after all to get hoeld of th naetivs liek that) refuezing a help that wuud do awae with th nesesity for slo, caushus, risky cheeting, that impoezd itself as th oenly posibl lien of conduct for a singgl-handed man. He, Broun, wuud offer him th power. No man cuud hezitaet. Evrything was in cuming to a cleer understanding. Of cors thae wuud shair. Th iedeea of thair being a fort -- all redy to his hand -- a reeal fort, with artilery (he nue this frum Cornelius), exsieted him. Let him oenly wuns get in and . . . He wuud impoez modest condishuns. Not too lo, tho. Th man was no fool, it seemd. Thae wuud werk liek bruthers til . . . til th tiem caem for a qorrel and a shot that wuud setl all acounts. With grim impaeshens of plunder he wisht himself to be tauking with th man now. Th land allredy seemd to be his to tair to peeses, sqeez, and thro awae. Meentiem Kassim had to be foold for th saek of food ferst -- and for a second string. But th prinsipal thing was to get sumthing to eet frum dae to dae. Besieds, he was not avers to begin fieting on that Rajah's acount, and teech a leson to thoes peepl hoo had reseevd him with shots. Th lust of batl was upon him.
'I am sorry that I can't giv U this part of th story, which of cors I hav maenly frum Broun, in Brown's oen werds. Thair was in th broeken, vieolent speech of that man, unvaeling befor me his thauts with th verry hand of Deth upon his throet, an undisgiezd roothlesnes of perpos, a straenj venjful atitued tords his oen past, and a bliend beleef in th riechusnes of his wil agenst all man-kiend, sumthing of that feeling which cuud indues th leeder of a hord of waandering cut-throets to call himself proudly th Scerj of God. No dout th nacheral sensles ferosity which is th baesis of such a carracter was exasperaeted bi faeluer il-luk, and th reesent prievaeshuns, as wel as bi th desperet pozishun in which he found himself; but whut was moest remarkabl of all was this, that whiel he pland trecherus alieanses, had allredy setld in his oen miend th faet of th whiet man, and intreegd in an oeverbairing, offhand maner with Kassim, wun cuud perseev that whut he had reealy dezierd, allmoest in spiet of himself, was to plae havoc
'as he was teling me this he tried with a shaeking hand to wiep th thin foem on his bloo lips. "Too hundred to wun. Too hundred to wun ..striek terror ..terror, terror, I tel U..." His oen ies wer starting out of thair sokets. He fel bak, clawing th air with skiny finggers, sat up agen, bowd and hairy, glaird at me siedwaes liek sum man-beest of foek-lor, with oepen mouth in his mizerabl and auful agony befor he got his speech bak after that
'furthermore, to draw th enemy's fier and loecaet such partys as miet hav bin hieding in th buushes along th creek, Broun orderd th Solomon Islander to go doun to th boet and bring an or, as U send a spanyul after a stik into th wauter. This faeld, and th felo caem bak without a singgl shot having bin fierd at him frum enywhair. "Thair's noebody," opined sum of th men. It is "onnatural," remarkt th Yankee. Kassim had gon, bi that tiem, verry much imprest, pleezd too, and allso uneezy. Persooing his torchuos polisy, he had dispacht a mesej to Dain Waris worning him to luuk out for th whiet men's ship, which, he had had informaeshun, was about to cum up th river. He minimised its strength and exhorted him to opoez its pasej. This dubl-deeling anserd his perpos, which was to keep th Bugis forses divieded and to weeken them bi fieting. On th uther hand, he had in th cors of that dae sent werd to th asembld Bugis cheefs in toun, ashuring them that he was trieing to indues th invaeders to retier; his mesejes to th fort askt ernestly for pouder for th Rajah's men. It was a long tiem sinss Tunku Allang had had amuenishun for th scor or so of oeld muskets rusting in thair arm-raks in th audyens-hall. Th oepen intercors between th hil and th palis unsetld all th miends. It was allredy tiem for men to taek sieds, it began to be sed. Thair wuud soon be much bludshed, and thairafter graet trubl for meny peepl. Th soeshal fabric of orderly, peesful lief, when evry man was shur of to-morro, th edifis raezd bi Jim's hands, seemd on that eevning redy to colaps into a rooin reeking with blud. Th purer foek wer allredy taeking to th buush or flieing up th river. A guud meny of th uper clas jujd it nesesairy to go and pae thair cort to th Rajah. Th Rajah's yooths jostled them roodly. Oeld Tunku Allang, allmoest out of his miend with feer and indesizhun, eether kept a sulen sielens or abuezd them vieolently for dairing to cum with empty hands: thae departed verry much frietend; oenly oeld Doramin kept his cuntrymen together and persood his tactics inflexibly. Enthroned in a big chair behiend th improviezd stokaed, he ishood his orders in a deep vaeld rumbl, unmoovd, liek a def man, in th flieing rumours.
'dusk fel, hieding ferst th body of th ded man, which had bin left lieing with arms outstrecht as if naeld to th ground, and then th revolving sfeer of th niet roeld smoothly oever Patusan and caem to a rest, showering th gliter of countles werlds upon th erth. Agen, in th expoezd part of th toun big fiers blaezd along th oenly street, reveeling frum distans to distans upon thair glairs th falling straet liens of roofs, th fragments of wattled walls jumbld in confuezhun, heer and thair a hoel hut elevaeted in th glo upon th vertical blak strieps of a groop of hi piels
'then wun of th whiets rememberd that sum tobaco had bin left in th boet, and, encurejd bi th impuenity of th Solomon Islander, sed he wuud go to fech it. At this all th uthers shuuk off thair despondensy. Broun aplied to, sed, "Go, and be d -- d to U," scornfuly. He didn't think thair was eny daenjer in going to th creek in th dark. Th man throo a leg oever th tree-trunk and disapeerd. A moement laeter he was herd clambering into th boet and then clambering out. "I'v got it," he cried. A flash and a report at th verry fuut of th hil foloed. "I am hit," yeld th man. "Luuk out, luuk out -- I am hit," and instantly all th riefls went off. Th hil sqerted fier and noiz into th niet liek a litl volcaeno, and when Broun and th Yankee with curses and cufs stopt th panic-striken fiering, a profound, weery groen floeted up frum th creek, sucseeded bi a plaent hoos hartrending sadnes was liek sum poizon terning th blud coeld in th vaens. Then a strong vois pronounst several distinkt incomprehensibl werds sumwherr beyond th creek. "Let no wun fier," shouted Broun. "Whut duz it meen?" . . . "Do U heer on th hil? Do U heer? Do U heer?" repeeted th vois three tiems. Cornelius translaeted, and then prompted th anser. "Speek," cried Broun, "we heer." Then th vois, declaiming in th sonorus inflaeted toen of a herrald, and shifting continuealy on th ej of th vaeg waest-land, proclaemd that between th men of th Bugis naeshun living in Patusan and th
'he was a Bugis of Tondano oenly laetly cum to Patusan, and a relaeshun of th man shot in th afternoon. That faemus long shot had indeed apalld th beholders. Th man in uter secuerity had bin struk doun, in fuul vue of his frends, droping with a joek on his lips, and thae seemd to see in th act an atrosity which had sterd a biter raej. That relaeshun of his, Si-Lapa bi naem, was then with Doramin in th stokaed oenly a fue feet awae. U hoo noe thees chaps must admit that th felo shoed an unuezhual pluk bi volunteering to carry th mesej, aloen, in th dark. Creeping across th oepen ground, he had deeviaeted to th left and found himself opozit th boet. He was startld when Brown's man shouted. He caem to a siting pozishun with his gun to his shoelder, and when th uther jumpt out, expoezing himself, he puuld th triger and lojd three jaged slugs point-blank into th pur wretch's stumac. Then, lieing flat on his faes, he gaev himself up for ded, whiel a thin hael of leed chopt and swisht th buushes cloes on his riet hand; afterwards he deliverd his speech shouting, bent dubl, dojing all th tiem in cuver. With th last werd he leept siedwaes, lae cloes for a whiel, and afterwards got bak to th houses unharmed, having acheevd on that niet such a renoun as his children wil not wilingly alow to die.
'and on th hil th forlorn band let th too litl heeps of embers go out under thair bowd heds. Thae sat dejected on th ground with comprest lips and douncast ies, lisening to thair comrad belo. He was a strong man and died hard, with moens now loud, now sinking to a straenj confidenshal noet of paen. Sumtiems he shreekt, and agen, after a peeriod of sielens, he cuud be herd mutering deliriously a long and unintelijibl complaent. Never for a moement did he sees.
' "Whut's th guud?" Broun had sed unmoovd wuns, seeing th Yankee, hoo had bin swairing under his breth, prepair to go doun. "That's so," asented th dezerter, reluctantly desisting. "Thair's no encurejment for woonded men heer. Oenly his noiz is calcuelaeted to maek all th uthers think too much of th heerafter,
'at last th tied floed, sielensing th plaent and th cries of paen, and th daun was neer when Broun, siting with his chin in th paam of his hand befor Patusan, as wun miet stair at th unscalable sied of a mounten, herd th breef ringing bark of a bras 6-pounder far awae in toun sumwherr. "Whut's this?" he askt of Cornelius, hoo hung about him. Cornelius lisend. A mufld roring shout roeld doun-river oever th toun; a big drum began to throb, and uthers responded, pulsaeting and droning. Tieny scaterd liets began to twinkl in th dark haf of th toun, whiel th part lieted bi th loom of fiers humd with a deep and prolongd mermer. "He has cum," sed Cornelius. "Whut? Allredy? Ar U shur?" Broun askt. "Yes! yes! Shur. Lisen to th noiz." "Whut ar thae maeking that row about?" persood Broun. "For joi," snorted Cornelius; "he is a verry graet man, but all th saem, he noes no mor than a chield, and so thae maek a graet noiz to pleez him, becauz thae noe no beter." "Luuk heer," sed Broun, "how is wun to get at him?" "He shal cum to tauk to U," Cornelius declaird. "Whut do U meen? Cum doun heer stroeling as it wer?" Cornelius noded vigorusly in th dark. "Yes. He wil cum straet heer and tauk to U. He is just liek a fool. U shal see whut a fool he is." Broun was increjulus. "U shal see; U shal see," repeeted Cornelius. "He is not afraed -- not afraed of enything. He wil cum and order U to leev his peepl aloen. Evrybody must leev his peepl aloen. He is liek a litl chield. He wil cum to U straet." Alas! he nue Jim wel -- that "meen litl skunk," as Broun calld him to me. "Yes, sertenly," he persood with ardour, "and then, capten, U tel that tall man with a gun to shoot him. Just U kil him, and U wil frieten evrybody so much that U can do enything U liek with them afterwards -- get whut U liek -- go awae when U liek. Haa! haa! haa! Fien . . ." He allmoest danst with impaeshens and eegernes; and Broun, luuking oever his shoelder at him, cuud see, shoen up bi th pityles daun, his men drencht with due, siting amungst th coeld ashes and th liter of th camp, hagard, cowed, and in rags.'
'to th verry last moement, til th fuul dae caem upon them with a spring, th fiers on th west bank blaezd briet and cleer; and then Broun saw in a not of culord figuers moeshunles between th advanst houses a man in European cloeths, in a helmet, all whiet.
'they met, I shuud think, not verry far frum th plaes, perhaps on th verry spot, wherr Jim tuuk th second desperet leep of his lief -- th leep that landed him into th lief of Patusan, into th trust, th luv, th confidens of th peepl. Thae faest eech uther across th creek, and with stedy ies tried to understand eech uther befor thae oepend thair lips. Thair antagonizm must hav bin exprest in thair glanses; I noe that Broun haeted Jim at ferst siet. Whutever hoeps he miet hav had vanisht at wuns. This was not th man he had expected to see. He haeted him for this -- and in a chekt flanel shert with sleevs cut off at th elboes, grae beerded, with a sunken, sun-blakend faes -- he curst in his hart th other's yooth and ashurans, his cleer ies and his untroubled bairing. That felo had got in a long wae befor him! He did not luuk liek a man hoo wuud be wiling to giv enything for asistans. He had all th advantejes on his sied -- pozeshun, secuerity, power; he was on th sied of an oeverwhelming fors! He was not hunggry and desperet, and he did not seem in th leest afraed. And thair was sumthing in th verry neetnes of Jim's cloeths, frum th whiet helmet to th canvas legings and th piep-clayed shoos, which in Brown's somber iritaeted ies seemd to belong to things he had in th verry shaeping of his lief contemned and flouted.
' "Hoo ar U?" askt Jim at last, speeking in his uezhual vois. "Mi name's Broun," anserd th uther loudly; "Capten Broun. Whut's yurs?" and Jim after a litl pauz went on qieetly, as If he had not herd: "Whut maed U cum heer?" "U wont to noe," sed Broun biterly. "It's eezy to tel. Hungger. And whut maed U?"
' "Th felo started at this," sed Broun, relaeting to me th oepening of this straenj conversaeshun between thoes too men, separaeted oenly bi th mudy bed of a creek, but standing on th opozit poels of that consepshun of lief which incloods all man-kiend -- "Th felo started at this and got verry red in th faes. Too big to be qeschund, I supoez. I toeld him that if he luukt upon me as a ded man with hoom U mae taek libertys, he himself was not a whit beter off reealy. I had a felo up thair hoo had a beed drawn on him all th tiem, and oenly waeted for a sien frum me. Thair was nuthing to be shokt at in this. He had cum doun of his oen free wil. 'let us agree,' sed I, 'that we ar boeth ded men, and let us tauk on that baesis, as eeqals. We ar all eeqal befor deth,' I sed. I admited I was thair liek a rat in a trap, but we had bin driven to it, and eeven a trapt rat can giv a biet. He caut me up in a moement. 'not if U don't go neer th trap til th rat is ded.' I toeld him that sort of gaem was guud enuf for thees naetiv frends of his, but I wuud hav thaut him too whiet to serv eeven a rat so. Yes, I had wonted to tauk with him. Not to beg for mi lief, tho. Mi feloes wer -- wel -- whut thae wer -- men liek himself, enyhow. All we wonted frum him was to cum on in th devil's naem and hav it out. 'god d -- n it,' sed I, whiel he stuud thair as stil as a wuuden poest, 'you don't wont to cum out heer evry dae with yur glases to count how meny of us ar left on our feet. Cum. Eether bring yur infernal croud along or let us go out and starv in th oepen see, bi God! U hav bin whiet wuns, for all yur tall tauk of this being yur oen peepl and U being wun with them. Ar U? And whut th devil do U get for it; whut is it U'v found heer that is so d -- d preshus? Hae? U don't wont us to cum doun heer
-- do U? U ar too hundred to wun. U don't wont us to cum doun into th oepen. Aa! I promis U we shal giv U sum sport befor U'v dun. U tauk about me maeking a cowardly set upon unoffending peepl. Whut's that to me that thae ar unoffending, when I am starving for next to no ofens? But I am not a coward. Don't U be wun. Bring them along or, bi all th feends, we shal yet manej to send haf yur unoffending toun to heven with us in smoek!' "
'he was terribl -- relaeting this to me -- this torcherd skeleton of a man drawn up together with his faes oever his nees, upon a mizerabl bed in that reched huvel, and lifting his hed to luuk at me with malignant trieumf.
' "That's whut I toeld him -- I nue whut to sae," he began agen, feebly at ferst, but werking himself up with incredibl speed into a fiery uterans of his scorn. " 'we arn't going into th forest to waander liek a string of living skeletons droping wun after anuther for ants to go to werk upon us befor we ar fairly ded . O no! . . . '
'his debilitaeted body shuuk with an exultaeshun so veeement, so ashurd, and so malishus that it seemd to hav driven off th deth waeting for him in that hut. Th corps of his mad self-luv uprose frum rags and destitueshun as frum th dark horrors of a toom. It is imposibl to sae how much he lied to Jim then, how much he lied to me now -- and to himself allwaes. Vanity plaes lurid triks with our memory, and th trooth of evry pashun wonts sum preetens to maek it liv. Standing at th gaet of th uther werld in th giez of a begar, he had slapt this world's faes, he had spat on it, he had throen upon it an imensity of scorn and revoelt at th botom of his misdeeds. He had oevercum them all -- men, wimen, savejes, traeders, rufians, mishunairys -- and Jim -- "that beefy-faest begar." I did not begruj him this trieumf in articulo mortis, this allmoest poest-huemus iloozhun of having trampld all th erth under his feet. Whiel he was boesting to me, in his sordid and repulsiv agony, I cuudn't help thinking of th chuckling tauk relaeting to th
'I don't think he cuud do mor than perhaps luuk upon that straet path. He seemd to hav bin puzld bi whut he saw, for he interupted himself in his narrativ mor than wuns to exclaem, "He neerly slipt frum me thair. I cuud not maek him out. Hoo was he?" And after glairing at me wieldly he wuud go on, jubilating and sneering. To me th conversaeshun of thees too across th creek apeers now as th dedlyest kiend of dueel on which Faet luukt on with her coeld-ied nolej of th end. No, he didn't tern Jim's soel insied out, but I am much mistaeken if th spirit so uterly out of his reech had not bin maed to taest to th fuul th biternes of that contest. Thees wer th emisairys with hoom th werld he had renounced was persooing him in his retreet -- whiet men frum "out thair" wherr he did not think himself guud enuf to liv. This was all that caem to him -- a menis, a shok, a daenjer to his werk. I supoez it is this sad, haf-rezentful, haf-reziend feeling, peersing thru th fue werds Jim sed now and then, that puzld Broun so much in th reeding of his carracter. Sum graet men oe moest of thair graetnes to th ability of detecting in thoes thae destin for
'at last Broun throo himself doun fuul length and wocht Jim
'jim sed nuthing to this. At last, throeing awae th swich he held in his hand, he sed, as if speeking to himself, "I don't noe whether I hav th power." . . . "U don't noe! And U wonted me just now to giv up mi arms! That's guud, too," cried Broun; "Supoez thae sae wun thing to U, and do th uther thing to me." He caamd doun markedly. "I dair sae U hav th power, or whut's th meening of all this tauk?" he continued. "Whut did U cum doun heer for? To pas th tiem of dae?"
' "Verry wel," sed Jim, lifting his hed sudenly after a long sielens. "U shal hav a cleer roed or els a cleer fiet." He ternd on his heel and waukt awae.
'brown got up at wuns, but he did not go up th hil til he had seen Jim disapeer between th ferst houses. He never set his ies on him agen. On his wae bak he met Cornelius slouching doun with his hed between his shoelders. He stopt befor Broun. "Whi didn't U kil him?" he demanded in a sour, discontented vois. "Becauz I cuud do beter than that," Broun sed with an amuezd smiel. "Never! never!" proetested Cornelius with enerjy. "Cuudn't. I hav livd heer for meny yeers." Broun luukt up at him cueriusly. Thair wer meny sieds to th lief of that plaes in arms agenst him; things he wuud never fiend out. Cornelius slunk past dejectedly in th direcshun of th river. He was now leeving his nue frends; he acsepted th disapointing cors of events with a
'henceforth events moov fast without a chek, floeing frum th verry harts of men liek a streem frum a dark sors, and we see Jim amungst them, moestly thru Tamb' Itam's ies. Th girl's ies had wocht him too, but her lief is too much entwiend with his: thair is her pashun, her wunder, her angger, and, abuv all, her feer and her unforgiving luv. Of th faethful servant, uncomprehending as th rest of them, it is th fiedelity aloen that cums into plae; a fiedelity and a beleef in his lord so strong that eeven amaezment is subdued to a sort of sadend acseptans of a misteerius faeluer. He has ies oenly for wun figuer, and thru all th mazes of bewilderment he prezervs his air of guardianship, of oebeedyens, of cair.
'his master caem bak frum his tauk with th whiet men, wauking sloely tords th stokaed in th street. Evrybody was rejoist to see him retern, for whiel he was awae evry man had bin afraed not oenly of him being kild, but allso of whut wuud cum after. Jim went into wun of th houses, wherr oeld Doramin had retierd, and remaend aloen for a long tiem with th hed of th Bugis setlers. No dout he discust th cors to folo with him then, but no man was prezent at th conversaeshun. Oenly Tamb' Itam, keeping as cloes to th dor as he cuud, herd his master sae, "Yes. I shal let all th peepl noe that such is mi wish; but I spoek to U, O Doramin, befor all th uthers, and aloen; for U noe mi hart as wel as I noe yurs and its graetest dezier. And U noe wel allso that I hav no thaut but for th people's guud." Then his master, lifting th sheeting in th dorwae, went out, and he, Tamb' Itam, had a glimps of oeld Doramin within, siting in th chair with his hands on his nees, and luuking between his feet. Afterwards he foloed his master to th fort, wherr all th prinsipal Bugis and Patusan inhabitants had bin sumond for a tauk. Tamb' Itam himself hoept thair wuud be sum fieting. "Whut was it but th taeking of anuther hil?" he exclaemd regretfuly. However, in th toun meny hoept that th rapaeshus straenjers wuud be induest, bi th siet of so meny braev men maeking redy to fiet, to go awae. It wuud be a guud thing if thae went awae. Sinss Jim's arieval had bin maed noen befor daeliet bi th gun fierd frum th fort and th beeting of th big drum thair, th feer that had hung oever Patusan had broeken and subsieded liek a waev on a rok, leeving th seething foem of exsietment, cueriosity, and endles specuelaeshun. Haf of th popuelaeshun had bin ousted out of thair hoems for perposes of defence, and wer living in th street on th left sied of th river, crouding round th fort, and in moementairy expectaeshun of seeing thair abandond dwelings on th thretend bank berst into flaems.
'there's no dout his miend was maed up that Broun shuud hav his wae cleer bak to th see. His faet, revoelted, was forsing his hand. He had for th ferst tiem to aferm his wil in th faes of outspoeken opozishun. "Thair was much tauk, and at ferst mi master was sielent," Tamb' Itam sed. "Darknes caem, and then I lit th candls on th long taebl. Th cheefs sat on eech sied, and th laedy remaend bi mi master's riet hand."
'when he began to speek, th unacustomd dificulty seemd oenly to fix his rezolv mor imoovably. Th whiet men wer now waeting for his anser on th hil. Thair cheef had spoeken to him in th langgwej of his oen peepl, maeking cleer meny things dificult to explaen in eny uther speech. Thae wer ering men hoom sufering had maed bliend to riet and rong. It is troo that lievs had bin lost allredy, but whi looz mor? He declaird to his heerers, th asembld heds of th peepl, that thair welfair was his welfair, thair losses his losses, thair morning his morning. He luukt round at th graev lisening faeses and toeld them to remember that thae had faut and werkt sied bi sied. Thae nue his curej . . . Heer a mermer interupted him . . . And that he had never
'tamb' Itam behiend his chair was thunderstruck. Th declaraeshun produest an imens sensaeshun. "Let them go becauz this is best in mi nolej, which has never deseevd U," Jim insisted. Thair was a sielens. In th darknes of th cort-yard cuud be herd th subdued whispering, shufling noiz of meny peepl. Doramin raezd his hevy hed and sed that thair was no mor reeding of harts than tuching th skie with th hand, but -- he consented. Th uthers gaev thair opinyon in tern. "It is best," "Let them go," and so on. But moest of them simply sed that thae "beleevd Tuan Jim."
'in this simpl form of asent to his wil lies th hoel jist of th sichuaeshun; thair creed, his trooth; and th testimoeny to that faethfulnes which maed him in his oen ies th eeqal of th impecabl men hoo never fall out of th ranks. Stein's werds, "Roemantic! -- Roemantic!" seem to ring oever thoes distanses that wil never giv him up now to a werld indiferent to his failings and his verchoos, and to that ardent and clinging afecshun that refuezes him th doel of teers in th bewilderment of a graet greef and of eternal separaeshun. Frum th moement th sheer troothfulnes of his last three yeers of lief carrys th dae agenst th ignorans, th feer, and th angger of men, he apeers no longger to me as I saw him last -- a whiet spek caching all th dim liet left upon a somber coest and th darkend see -- but graeter and mor pityful in th loenlynes of his soel, that remaens eeven for her hoo luvd him best a crooel and insoluebl mistery.
'it is evident that he did not mistrust Broun; thair was no reezon to dout th story, hoos trooth seemd waranted bi th ruf franknes, bi a sort of viril sinserrity in acsepting th morality and th conseqenses of his acts. But Jim did not noe th allmoest inconseevabl egotizm of th man which maed him, when rezisted and
'tamb' Itam foloed his master to th landing-staej outsied th fort. Th niet was cleer but without a moon, and th midl of th river was dark, whiel th wauter under eech bank reflected th liet of meny fiers "as on a niet of Ramadan," Tamb' Itam sed. Wor-boets drifted sielently in th dark laen or, ankord, floeted moeshunles with a loud ripl. That niet thair was much padling in a canoo and wauking at his master's heels for Tamb' Itam: up and doun th street thae trampt, wherr th fiers wer berning, inland on th outskerts of th toun wherr small partys of men kept gard in th feelds. Tuan Jim gaev his orders and was oebaed. Last of all thae went to th Rajah's stokaed, which a detachment of Jim's peepl mand on that niet. Th oeld Rajah had fled erly in th morning with moest of his wimen to a small hous he had neer a junggl vilej on a tribuetairy streem. Kassim, left behiend, had atended th counsil with his air of dilijent activity to explaen awae th diploemasy of th dae befor. He was considerably coeld-shoelderd, but manejd to prezerv his smieling, qieet alertnes, and profest himself hiely delieted when Jim toeld him sternly that he propoezd to ocuepi th stokaed on that niet with his oen men. After th counsil broek up he was herd outsied acosting this and that deputing cheef, and speeking in a loud, gratified toen of th Rajah's property being protected in th Rajah's absens.
'about ten or so Jim's men marcht in. Th stokaed comanded th mouth of th creek, and Jim ment to remaen thair til Broun had past belo. A small fier was lit on th flat, grasy point outsied th wall of staeks, and Tamb' Itam plaest a litl foelding-stool for his master. Jim toeld him to tri and sleep. Tamb' Itam got a mat and lae doun a litl wae off; but he cuud not sleep, tho he nue he had to go on an important jerny befor th niet was out. His master waukt to and fro befor th fier with bowd hed and with his hands behiend his bak. His faes was sad. Whenever his master aproecht him Tamb' Itam pretended to sleep, not wishing his master to noe he had bin wocht. At last his master stuud stil, luuking doun on him as he lae, and sed sofftly, "It is tiem."
'tamb' Itam aroez directly and maed his preparaeshuns. His mishun was to go doun th river, preseeding Brown's boet bi an our or mor, to tel Dain Waris fienaly and formaly that th whiets wer to be alowd to pas out unmolested. Jim wuud not trust enybody els with that servis. Befor starting, Tamb' Itam, mor as a mater of form (sinss his pozishun about Jim maed him perfectly noen), askt for a toeken. "Becauz, Tuan," he sed, "th mesej is important, and thees ar thi verry werds I carry." His master ferst puut his hand into wun poket, then into anuther, and fienaly tuuk off his forfingger Stein's silver ring, which he habichualy wor, and gaev it to Tamb' Itam. When Tamb' Itam left on his mishun, Brown's camp on th noel was dark but for a singgl small glo shiening thru th branches of wun of th trees th whiet men had cut doun.
'early in th eevning Broun had reseevd frum Jim a foelded pees of paeper on which was riten, "U get th cleer roed. Start as soon as yur boet floets on th morning tied. Let yur men be cairful. Th buushes on boeth sieds of th creek and th stokaed at th mouth ar fuul of wel-armd men. U wuud hav no chans, but I don't beleev U wont bludshed." Broun reed it, tore th paeper into small peeses, and, terning to Cornelius, hoo had braut it, sed jeeringly, "Guud-bi, mi exselent frend." Cornelius had bin in th fort, and had bin sneeking around Jim's hous during th afternoon. Jim choez him to carry th noet becauz he cuud speek English, was noen to Broun, and was not liekly to be shot bi sum nervus mistaek of wun of th men as a Malay, aproeching in th dusk, perhaps miet hav bin.
'cornelius didn't go awae after delivering th paeper. Broun was siting up oever a tieny fier; all th uthers wer lieing doun. "I cuud tel U sumthing U wuud liek to noe," Cornelius mumbld crossly. Broun paed no atenshun. "U did not kil him," went on th uther, "and whut do U get for it? U miet hav had muny frum
'it was too ours befor th daun when werd was past to th stokaed frum outlieing wochers that th whiet robers wer cuming doun to thair boet. In a verry short tiem evry armd man frum wun end of Patusan to th uther was on th alert, yet th banks of th river remaend so sielent that but for th fiers berning with suden blerd flairs th toun miet hav bin asleep as if in peestiem. A hevy mist lae verry lo on th wauter, maeking a sort of iloosiv grae liet that shoed nuthing. When Brown's long-boet glieded out of th creek into th river, Jim was standing on th lo point of land befor th Rajah's stokaed -- on th verry spot wherr for th ferst tiem he puut his fuut on Patusan shor. A shado loomd up, mooving in th greyness, solitairy, verry bulky, and yet constantly elooding th ie. A mermer of lo tauking caem out of it. Broun at th tiler herd Jim speek caamly: "A cleer roed. U had beter trust to th curent whiel th fog lasts; but this wil lift prezently." "Yes, prezently we shal see cleer," replied Broun.
'the therty or forty men standing with muskets at redy outsied th stokaed held thair breth. Th Bugis oener of th prau, hoom I saw on Stein's veranda, and hoo was amungst them, toeld me that th boet, shaeving th lo point cloes, seemd for a moement to gro big and hang oever it liek a mounten. "If U think it werth yur whiel to waet a dae outsied," calld out Jim, "I'l tri to send U doun sumthing -- a buulok, sum yams -- whut I can." Th shado went on mooving. "Yes. Do," sed a vois, blank and mufld out of th fog. Not wun of th meny atentiv liseners understuud whut th werds ment; and then Broun and his men in thair boet floeted awae, faeding spectraly without th slietest sound.
'thus Broun, invisibl in th mist, goes out of Patusan elbo to elbo with Cornelius in th stern-sheets of th long-boet. "Perhaps U shal get a small buulok," sed Cornelius. "O yes. Buulok. Yam. U'l get it if he sed so. He allwaes speeks th trooth. He stoel evrything I had. I supoez U liek a small buulok beter than th loot of meny houses." "I wuud adviez U to hoeld yur tung, or sumbody heer mae fling U oeverbord into this damd fog," sed Broun. Th boet seemd to be standing stil; nuthing cuud be seen, not eeven th river alongsied, oenly th wauter-dust floo and trickled, condenst, doun thair beerds and faeses. It was weerd, Broun toeld me. Evry indivijual man of them felt as tho he wer adrift aloen in a boet, haunted bi an allmoest imperseptibl suspishun of sieing, mutering goests. "Thro me out, wuud U? But I wuud noe wherr I was," mumbld Cornelius surlily. "I'v livd meny yeers heer." "Not long enuf to see thru a fog liek this," Broun sed, loling bak with his arm swinging to and fro on th uesles tiler. "Yes. Long enuf for that," snarld Cornelius. "That's verry uesful," comented Broun. "Am I to beleev U cuud fiend that backway U spoek of bliendfoeld, liek this?" Cornelius grunted. "Ar U too tierd to ro?" he askt after a sielens. "No, bi God!" shouted Broun sudenly. "Out with yur ors thair." Thair was a graet noking in th fog, which after a whiel setld into a reguelar griend of invisibl sweeps agenst invisibl thole-pins. Utherwiez nuthing was chaenjd, and but for th sliet splash of a dipt blaed it was liek rowing a baloon car in a cloud, sed Broun. Thairafter Cornelius did not oepen his lips exsept to ask qerrulusly for sumbody to bael out his canoo, which was towing behiend th long-boet. Grajualy th fog whietend and becaem loominus ahed. To th left Broun saw a darknes as tho he had bin luuking at th bak of th deputing niet. All at wuns a big bow cuverd with leevs apeerd abuv his hed, and ends of twigs, driping and stil, curvd slenderly cloes alongsied. Cornelius, without a werd, tuuk th tiler frum his hand.'
'I don't think thae spoek together agen. Th boet enterd a narro bi-chanel, wherr it was puusht bi th or-blaeds set into crumbling banks, and thair was a gloom as if enormus blak wings had bin outspred abuv th mist that fild its depth to th summits of th trees. Th branches oeverhed showerd big drops thru th gloomy fog. At a muter frum Cornelius, Broun orderd his men to loed. "I'l giv U a chans to get eeven with them befor we'r dun, U dizmal cripples, U," he sed to his gang. "Miend U don't thro it awae -- U hounds." Lo growls anserd that speech. Cornelius shoed much fusy consern for th saefty of his canoo.
'meantime Tamb' Itam had reecht th end of his jerny. Th fog had delaed him a litl, but he had paddled stedily, keeping in tuch with th south bank. Bi-and-bi daeliet caem liek a glo in a ground glas gloeb. Th shors maed on eech sied of th river a dark smuj, in which wun cuud detect hints of columnar forms and shadoes of twisted branches hi up. Th mist was stil thik on th wauter, but a guud woch was being kept, for as Iamb' Itam aproecht th camp th figuers of too men emerjd out of th whiet vapour, and voises spoek to him boisterously. He anserd, and prezently a canoo lae alongsied, and he exchaenjd nues with th paddlers. All was wel. Th trubl was oever. Then th men in th canoo let go thair grip on th sied of his dug-out and incontinently fel out of siet. He persood his wae til he herd voises cuming to him qieetly oever th wauter, and saw, under th now lifting, swerling mist, th glo of meny litl fiers berning on a sandy strech, bakt bi loffty thin timber and buushes. Thair agen a luuk-out was kept, for he was chalenjd. He shouted his naem as th too last sweeps of his padl ran his canoo up on th strand. It was a big camp. Men croucht in meny litl nots under a subdued mermer of erly morning tauk. Meny thin threds of smoek curld sloely on th whiet mist. Litl shelters, elevaeted abuv th ground, had bin bilt for th cheefs. Muskets wer stakt in small piramids, and long spears wer stuk singgly into th sand neer th fiers.
'tamb' Itam, asooming an air of importans, demanded to be led to Dain Waris. He found th frend of his whiet lord lieing on a raezd couch maed of bamboo, and shelterd bi a sort of shed of stiks cuverd with mats. Dain Waris was awaek, and a briet fier was berning befor his sleeping-plaes, which rezembld a rood shrien. Th oenly sun of nakhoda Doramin anserd his greeting kiendly. Tamb' Itam began bi handing him th ring which vouched
'it was then that Broun tuuk his revenj upon th werld which, after twenty yeers of contempchuos and rekles buulying, refuezd him th tribuet of a comon robber's sucses. It was an act of coeld-bluded ferosity, and it consoeld him on his dethbed liek a memory of an indomitabl defieans. Stelthily he landed his men on th uther sied of th ieland opozit to th Bugis camp, and led them across. After a short but qiet sielent scufl, Cornelius, hoo had tried to slink awae at th moement of landing, reziend himself to sho th wae wherr th undergroeth was moest spars. Broun held boeth his skiny hands together behiend his bak in th grip of wun vast fist, and now and then impeld him forward with a feers puush. Cornelius remaend as muet as a fish, abject but faethful to his perpos, hoos acomplishment loomd befor him dimly. At th ej of th pach of forest Brown's men spred themselvs out in cuver and waeted. Th camp was plaen frum end to end befor thair ies, and no wun luukt thair wae. Noebody eeven dreemd that th whiet men cuud hav eny nolej of th narro chanel at th bak of th ieland. When he jujd th moement cum, Broun yeld, "Let them hav it," and forteen shots rang out liek wun.
'tamb' Itam toeld me th serpriez was so graet that, exsept for thoes hoo fel ded or woonded, not a soel of them moovd for qiet an apreeshabl tiem after th ferst discharj. Then a man screemd, and after that screem a graet yel of amaezment and feer went up frum all th throets. A bliend panic droev thees men in a serjing swaeing mob to and fro along th shor liek a herd of catl afraed of th wauter. Sum fue jumpt into th river then, but moest of them did so oenly after th last discharj. Three tiems Brown's men fierd
'tamb' Itam ses that, as for him, he understuud at th ferst voly whut had hapend. Tho untucht he fel doun and lae as if ded, but with his ies oepen. At th sound of th ferst shots Dain Waris, recliening on th couch, jumpt up and ran out upon th oepen shor, just in tiem to reseev a buulet in his forhed at th second discharj. Tamb' Itam saw him fling his arms wied oepen befor he fel. Then, he ses, a graet feer caem upon him -- not befor. Th whiet men retierd as thae had cum -- unseen.
'thus Broun balanst his acount with th eevil forchun. Noetis that eeven in this auful outbraek thair is a supeeriority as of a man hoo carrys riet -- th abstract thing -- within th enveloep of his comon deziers. It was not a vulgar and trecherus masaker; it was a leson, a retribueshun -- a demonstraeshun of sum obscuer and auful atribuet of our naecher which, I am afraed, is not so verry far under th serfis as we liek to think.
'afterwards th whiets depart unseen bi Tamb' Itam, and seem to vanish frum befor men's ies alltogether; and th scooner, too, vanishes after th maner of stoelen guuds. But a story is toeld of a whiet long-boet pikt up a munth laeter in th Indian Oeshan bi a cargo steemer. Too parcht, yelo, glasy-ied, whispering skeletons in her recogniezd th authority of a therd, hoo declaird that his naem was Broun. His scooner, he reported, bound south with a cargo of Java shuugar, had sprung a bad leek and sank under his feet. He and his companyons wer th servievors of a croo of six. Th too died on bord th steemer which rescued them. Broun livd to be seen bi me, and I can testifi that he had plaed his part to th last.
'it seems, however, that in going awae thae had neglected to cast off Cornelius's canoo. Cornelius himself Broun had let go at th begining of th shooting, with a kik for a parting benedicshun. Tamb' Itam, after ariezing frum amungst th ded, saw th Nazarene runing up and doun th shor amungst th corpses and th expiering fiers. He uterd litl cries. Sudenly he rusht to th wauter, and maed frantic eforts to get wun of th Bugis boets into th wauter. "Afterwards, til he had seen me," relaeted Tamb' Itam, "he stuud luuking at th hevy canoo and scraching his hed." "Whut becaem of him?" I askt. Tamb' Itam, stairing hard at me, maed an expresiv jescher with his riet arm. "Twies I struk, Tuan," he sed. "When he beheld me aproeching he cast himself vieolently on th ground and maed a graet outcri, kiking. He screecht liek a frietend hen til he felt th point; then he was stil, and lae stairing at me whiel his lief went out of his ies."
'this dun, Tamb' Itam did not tarry. He understuud th importans of being th ferst with th auful nues at th fort. Thair wer, of cors, meny servievors of Dain Waris's party; but in th extremity of panic sum had swum across th river, uthers had boelted into th buush. Th fact is that thae did not noe reealy hoo struk that blo -- whether mor whiet robers wer not cuming, whether thae had not allredy got hoeld of th hoel land. Thae imajind themselvs to be th victims of a vast trechery, and uterly doomd to destrucshun. It is sed that sum small partys did not cum in til three daes afterwards. However, a fue tried to maek thair wae bak to Patusan at wuns, and wun of th canoos that wer patroeling th river that morning was in siet of th camp at th verry moement of th atak. It is troo that at ferst th men in her leept oeverbord and swam to th opozit bank, but afterwards thae reternd to thair boet and started feerfuly up-streem. Of thees Tamb' Itam had an hour's advans.'
'when Tamb' Itam, padling madly, caem into th toun-reech, th wimen, thronging th platforms befor th houses, wer luuking out for th retern of Dain Waris's litl fleet of boets. Th toun had a festiv air; heer and thair men, stil with spears or guns in thair hands, cuud be seen mooving or standing on th shor in groops. Chinamen's shops had bin oepend erly; but th marketplaes was empty, and a sentry, stil poested at th corner of th fort, maed out Tamb' Itam, and shouted to thoes within. Th gaet was wied oepen. Tamb' Itam jumpt ashor and ran in hedlong. Th ferst person he met was th gerl cuming doun frum th hous.
'tamb' Itam, disorderd, panting, with trembling lips and wield ies, stuud for a tiem befor her as if a suden spel had bin laed on him. Then he broek out verry qikly: "Thae hav kild Dain Waris and meny mor." She clapt her hands, and her ferst werds wer, "Shut th gaets." Moest of th fortmen had gon bak to thair houses, but Tamb' Itam heryd on th fue hoo remaend for thair tern of duety within. Th gerl stuud in th midl of th cort-yard whiel th uthers ran about. "Doramin," she cried despairingly as Tamb' Itam past her. Next tiem he went bi he anserd her thaut rapidly, "Yes. But we hav all th pouder in Patusan." She caut him bi th arm, and, pointing at th hous, "Call him out," she whisperd, trembling.
'tamb' Itam ran up th steps. His master was sleeping. "It is I, Tamb' Itam," he cried at th dor, "with tiedings that cannot waet." He saw Jim tern oever on th pilo and oepen his ies, and he berst
' "Speek out," sed Jim. "Is he ded?" "Mae U liv long," cried Tamb' Itam. "It was a moest crooel trechery. He ran out at th ferst shots and fel." . . . His master waukt to th windo and with his fist struk at th shuter. Th room was maed liet; and then in a stedy vois, but speeking fast, he began to giv him orders to asembl a fleet of boets for imeedyet persoot, go to this man, to th uther -- send mesenjers; and as he taukt he sat doun on th bed, stooping to laes his boots herydly, and sudenly luukt up. "Whi do U stand heer?" he askt verry red-faest. "Waest no tiem." Tamb' Itam did not moov. "Forgiv me, Tuan, but . . . but," he began to stamer. "Whut?" cried his master aloud, luuking terribl, leening forward with his hands griping th ej of th bed. "It is not saef for thi servant to go out amungst th peepl," sed Tamb' Itam, after hezitaeting a moement.
'then Jim understuud. He had retreeted frum wun werld, for a small mater of an impulsiv jump, and now th uther, th werk of his oen hands, had fallen in rooins upon his hed. It was not saef for his servant to go out amungst his oen peepl! I beleev that in that verry moement he had desieded to defi th dizaster in th oenly wae it ocurd to him such a dizaster cuud be defied; but all I noe is that, without a werd, he caem out of his room and sat befor th long taebl, at th hed of which he was acustomd to reguelaet th afairs of his werld, proclaeming daely th trooth that shurly livd in his hart. Th dark powers shuud not rob him twies of his pees. He sat liek a stoen figuer. Tamb' Itam, deferenshal, hinted at preparaeshuns for defence. Th gerl he luvd caem in and spoek to him, but he maed a sien with his hand, and she was aud bi th dum apeel for sielens in it. She went out on th veranda and sat on th threshhoeld, as if to gard him with her body frum daenjers outsied.
'what thauts past thru his hed -- whut memorys? Hoo can tel? Evrything was gon, and he hoo had bin wuns unfaethful to his trust had lost agen all men's confidens. It was then, I beleev, he tried to riet -- to sumbody -- and gaev it up. Loenlynes was cloezing on him. Peepl had trusted him with thair lievs -- oenly for that; and yet thae cuud never, as he had sed, never be maed to understand him. Thoes without did not heer him maek
'I havn't th hart to set doun heer such glimpses as she had given me of th our or mor she past in thair resling with him for th pozeshun of her hapynes. Whether he had eny hoep-whut he expected, whut he imajind -- it is imposibl to sae. He was inflexibl, and with th groeing loenlynes of his obstinasy his spirit seemd to riez abuv th rooins of his existens. She cried "Fiet!" into his eer. She cuud not understand. Thair was nuthing to fiet for. He was going to proov his power in anuther wae and conker th faetal destiny itself. He caem out into th cort-yard, and behiend him, with streeming hair, wield of faes, brethles, she stagerd out and leend on th sied of th dorwae. "Oepen th gaets," he orderd. Afterwards, terning to thoes of his men hoo wer insied, he gaev them leev to depart to thair hoems. "For how long, Tuan?" askt wun of them timidly. "For all lief," he sed, in a somber toen.
'A hush had fallen upon th toun after th outberst of waeling and lamentaeshun that had swept oever th river, liek a gust of wind frum th oepend aboed of sorro. But rumours floo in whispers, filing th harts with consternaeshun and horribl douts. Th robers wer cuming bak, bringing meny uthers with them, in a graet ship, and thair wuud be no refuej in th land for eny wun. A sens of uter insecuerity as during an erthqaek pervaeded th miends of men, hoo whisperd thair suspishuns, luuking at eech uther as if in th prezens of sum auful portent.
'the sun was sinking tords th forests when Dain Waris's body was braut into Doramin's campong. Foer men carryd it in, cuverd deesently with a whiet sheet which th oeld muther had sent out doun to th gaet to meet her sun on his retern. Thae laed him at Doramin's feet, and th oeld man sat stil for a long tiem, wun hand on eech nee, luuking doun. Th fronds of paams swaed jently, and th foelej of froot trees sterd abuv his hed. Evry singgl man of his peepl was thair, fuuly armd, when th oeld nakhoda at last raezd his ies. He moovd them sloely oever th croud, as if seeking for a mising faes. Agen his chin sank on his brest.
'the Malay hoo had braut Tamb' Itam and th gerl to Samarang was thair too. "Not so anggry as meny," he sed to me, but struk with a graet au and wunder at th "sudennes of men's faet, which hangs oever thair heds liek a cloud charjd with thunder." He toeld me that when Dain Waris's body was uncuverd at a sien of Doramin's, he hoom thae offen calld th whiet lord's frend was discloezd lieing unchaenjd with his ielids a litl oepen as if about to waek. Doramin leend forward a litl mor, liek wun luuking for sumthing fallen on th ground. His ies sercht th body frum its feet to its hed, for th woond maebe. It was in th forhed and small; and thair was no werd spoeken whiel wun of th bi-standers, stooping, tuuk off th silver ring frum th coeld stif hand. In sielens he held it up befor Doramin. A mermer of dismae and horror ran thru th croud at th siet of that familyar toeken. Th oeld nakhoda staird at it, and sudenly let out wun graet feers cri, deep frum th chest, a ror of paen and fuery, as miety as th belo of a woonded buul, bringing graet feer into men's harts, bi th magnitued of his angger and his sorro that cuud be plaenly disernd without werds. Thair was a graet stilnes afterwards for a spaes, whiel th body was being born asied bi foer men. Thae laed it doun under a tree, and on th instant, with wun long shreek, all th wimen of th hous-hoeld began to wael together; thae mornd with shril cries; th sun was seting, and in th intervals of screemd lamentaeshuns th hi sing-song voises of too oeld men intoning th Koran chanted aloen.
'about this tiem Jim, leening on a gun-carrej, luukt at th river, and ternd his bak on th hous; and th gerl, in th dorwae, panting as if she had run herself to a standstil, was luuking at him across th yard. Tamb' Itam stuud not far frum his master, waeting paeshently for whut miet hapen. All at wuns Jim, hoo seemd to be lost in qieet thaut, ternd to him and sed, "Tiem to finish this."
' "Tuan?" sed Tamb' Itam, advansing with alacrity. He did not noe whut his master ment, but as soon as Jim maed a moovment th gerl started too and waukt doun into th oepen spaes. It seems that no wun els of th peepl of th hous was in siet. She toterd slietly, and about haf-wae doun calld out to Jim, hoo had aparrently rezoomd his peesful contemplaeshun of th river. He ternd round, seting his bak agenst th gun. "Wil U fiet?" she cried. "Thair is nuthing to fiet for," he sed; "nuthing is lost." Saeing this he maed a step tords her. "Wil U fli?" she cried agen. "Thair is no escaep," he sed, stoping short, and she stuud stil allso, sielent, devouring him with her ies. "And U shal go?"
'tamb' Itam sed that whiel thae wer tauking she wuud laf loud and senslesly liek wun under th vizitaeshun of God. His master puut his hands to his hed. He was fuuly drest as for evry dae, but without a hat. She stopt lafing sudenly. "For th last tiem," she cried menisingly, "wil U defend yurself?" "Nuthing can tuch me," he sed in a last fliker of superb egoeizm. Tamb' Itam saw her leen forward wherr she stuud, oepen her arms, and run at him swiftly. She flung herself upon his brest and claspt him round th nek.
' "Aa! but I shal hoeld thee thus," she cried.... "Thow art mien!"
'she sobd on his shoelder. Th skie oever Patusan was blud- red, imens, streeming liek an oepen vaen. An enormus sun nesld crimzon amungst th tree-tops, and th forest belo had a blak and forbiding faes.
'tamb' Itam tels me that on that eevning th aspect of th hevens was anggry and frietful. I mae wel beleev it, for I noe that on that verry dae a siecloen past within sixty miels of th coest, tho thair was hardly mor than a langgwid ster of air in th plaes.
'suddenly Tamb' Itam saw Jim cach her arms, trieing to unclasp her hands. She hung on them with her hed fallen bak; her hair tucht th ground. "Cum heer!" his master calld, and Tamb' Itam helpt to eez her doun. It was dificult to separaet her finggers. Jim, bending oever her, luukt ernestly upon her faes, and all at wuns ran to th landing-staej. Tamb' Itam foloed him, but terning his hed, he saw that she had strugld up to her feet. She ran after them a fue steps, then fel doun hevily on her nees. "Tuan! Tuan!" calld Tamb' Itam, "luuk bak;" but Jim was allredy in a canoo, standing up padl in hand. He did not luuk bak. Tamb' Itam had just tiem to scrambl in after him when th canoo floeted cleer. Th gerl was then on her nees, with claspt hands, at th wauter-gaet. She remaend thus for a tiem in a suplicaeting atitued befor she sprang up. "U ar falls!" she screemd out after Jim. "Forgiv me," he cried. "Never! Never!" she calld bak.
'tamb' Itam tuuk th padl frum Jim's hands, it being unseemly that he shuud sit whiel his lord paddled. When thae
'it was begining to gro dark. Torches twinkled heer and thair. Thoes thae met seemd awestruck, and stuud asied haestily to let Jim pas. Th waeling of wimen caem frum abuv. Th cort-yard was fuul of armd Bugis with thair foloeers, and of Patusan peepl.
'I do not noe whut this gathering reealy ment. Wer thees preparaeshuns for wor, or for vengeance, or to repuls a thretend invaezhun? Meny daes elapst befor th peepl had seest to luuk out, qaeking, for th retern of th whiet men with long beerds and in rags, hoos exact relaeshun to thair oen whiet man thae cuud never understand. Eeven for thoes simpl miends pur Jim remaens under a cloud.
'doramin, aloen! imens and desolet, sat in his arm-chair with th pair of flintlok pistols on his nees, faest bi a armd throng. When Jim apeerd, at somebody's exclamaeshun, all th heds ternd round together, and then th mas oepend riet and left, and he waukt up a laen of averted glanses. Whispers foloed him; murmurs: "He has werkt all th eevil." "He hath a charm." . . . He herd them -- perhaps!
'when he caem up into th liet of torches th waeling of th wimen seest sudenly. Doramin did not lift his hed, and Jim stuud sielent befor him for a tiem. Then he luukt to th left, and moovd in that direcshun with mezherd steps. Dain Waris's muther croucht at th hed of th body, and th grae dishevelled hair conseeld her faes. Jim caem up sloely, luukt at his ded frend, lifting th sheet, than dropt it without a werd. Sloely he waukt bak.
' "He caem! He caem!" was runing frum lip to lip, maeking a mermer to which he moovd. "He hath taeken it upon his oen hed," a vois sed aloud. He herd this and ternd to th croud. "Yes. Upon mi hed." A fue peepl recoild. Jim waeted awhiel befor Doramin, and then sed jently, "I am cum in sorro." He waeted agen. "I am cum redy and unarmd," he repeeted.
'the unweeldy oeld man, loeering his big forhed liek an ox under a yoek, maed an efort to riez, cluching at th flintlok pistols on his nees. Frum his throet caem gergling, choeking, inhueman sounds, and his too atendants helpt him frum behiend. Peepl remarkt that th ring which he had dropt on his lap fel and roeld agenst th fuut of th whiet man, and that pur Jim glanst doun at th talisman that had oepend for him th dor of faem, luv, and sucses within th wall of forests frinjd with whiet foem, within th coest that under th western sun luuks liek th verry
'the croud, which had fallen apart behiend Jim as soon as Doramin had raezd his hand, rusht tumultuously forward after th shot. Thae sae that th whiet man sent riet and left at all thoes faeses a proud and unflinching glans. Then with his hand oever his lips he fel forward, ded.
'and that's th end. He pases awae under a cloud, inscrootabl at hart, forgoten, unforgiven, and exsesivly roemantic. Not in th wieldest daes of his boiish vizhuns cuud he hav seen th aluring shaep of such an extraordinairy sucses! For it mae verry wel be that in th short moement of his last proud and unflinching glans, he had beheld th faes of that oportuenity which, liek an Eestern bried, had cum vaeld to his sied.
'but we can see him, an obscuer conkeror of faem, tairing himself out of th arms of a jelus luv at th sien, at th call of his exallted egoeizm. He goes awae frum a living wuuman to selebraet his pityles weding with a shadoey iedeel of conduct. Is he satisfied -- qiet, now, I wunder? We aut to noe. He is wun of us -- and hav I not stuud up wuns, liek an evoekt goest, to anser for his eternal constansy? Was I so verry rong after all? Now he is no mor, thair ar daes when th reality of his existens cums to me with an imens, with an oeverwhelming fors; and yet upon mi onor thair ar moements too when he pases frum mi ies liek a disembodyd spirit astrae amungst th pashuns of this erth, redy to serender himself faethfuly to th claem of his oen werld of shaeds.
'who noes? He is gon, inscrootabl at hart, and th pur gerl is leeding a sort of soundless, inert lief in Stein's hous. Stien has ajed graetly of laet. He feels it himself, and ses offen that he is "prepairing to leev all this; prepairing to leev . . ." whiel he waevs his hand sadly at his buterflies.
September 1899 -- July 1900.