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Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
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HEART OF DARKNESS

by Joseph Conrad




I


The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of
the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly
calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come
to and wait for the turn of the tide.

The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of
an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded
together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails
of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red
clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A
haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness.
The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed
condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest,
and the greatest, town on earth.

The Director of Companies was our captain and our host. We four
affectionately watched his back as he stood in the bows looking to
seaward. On the whole river there was nothing that looked half so
nautical. He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness
personified. It was difficult to realize his work was not out there in