"Heart of Darkness"
by Joseph Conrad

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     And for a moment it seemed to me as if I also were buried in a vast grave full of unspeakable secrets. I felt an intolerable weight oppressing my breast, the smell of the damp earth, the unseen presence of victorious corruption, the darkness of an impenetrable night... The Russian tapped me on the shoulder. I heard him mumbling and stammering something about "brother seaman -- couldn't conceal -- knowledge of matters that would affect Mr. Kurtz's reputation." I waited. For him evidently Mr. Kurtz was not in his grave; I suspect that for him Mr. Kurtz was one of the immortals.

     "Well!" said I at last, "speak out. As it happens, I am Mr. Kurtz's friend -- in a way."


     He stated with a good deal of formality that had we not been "of the same profession," he would have kept the matter to himself without regard to consequences. "He suspected there was an active ill-will towards him on the part of these white men that -- "

     "You are right," I said, remembering a certain conversation I had overheard. "The manager thinks you ought to be hanged."

     He showed a concern at this intelligence which amused me at first.

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