"Heart of Darkness"
by Joseph Conrad

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     I had been dimly aware for some time of a worrying noise, and when I lifted my eyes I saw the wood-pile was gone, and the manager, aided by all the pilgrims, was shouting at me from the riverside. I slipped the book into my pocket. I assure you to leave off reading was like tearing myself away from the shelter of an old and solid friendship.

     I started the lame engine ahead.

     "It must be this miserable trader -- this intruder," exclaimed the manager, looking back malevolently at the place we had left.


     "He must be English," I said.

     "It will not save him from getting into trouble if he is not careful," muttered the manager darkly.

     I observed with assumed innocence that no man was safe from trouble in this world.

     The current was more rapid now, the steamer seemed at her last gasp, the stern-wheel flopped languidly, and I caught myself listening on tiptoe for the next beat of the boat, for in sober truth I expected the wretched thing to give up every moment. It was like watching the last flickers of a life.

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