"I had better get out of the way quietly," he said earnestly. "I can do no more for Kurtz now, and they would soon find some excuse. What's to stop them? There's a military post three hundred miles from here."
"Well, upon my word," said I, "perhaps you had better go if you have any friends amongst the savages near by."
"Plenty," he said. "They are simple people -- and I want nothing, you know." He stood biting his lip, then: "I don't want any harm to happen to these whites here, but of course I was thinking of Mr. Kurtz's reputation -- but you are a brother seaman and -- "
"All right," said I, after a time. "Mr. Kurtz's reputation is safe with me." I did not know how truly I spoke.
He informed me, lowering his voice, that it was Kurtz who had ordered the attack to be made on the steamer.
"He hated sometimes the idea of being taken away -- and then again... But I don't understand these matters. I am a simple man. He thought it would scare you away -- that you would give it up, thinking him dead. I could not stop him. Oh, I had an awful time of it this last month."
"Very well," I said. "He is all right now."