"Heart of Darkness"
by Joseph Conrad

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     I had no reason to doubt his statement; and to this day I am unable to say what was Kurtz's profession, whether he ever had any -- which was the greatest of his talents. I had taken him for a painter who wrote for the papers, or else for a journalist who could paint -- but even the cousin (who took snuff during the interview) could not tell me what he had been -- exactly. He was a universal genius -- on that point I agreed with the old chap, who thereupon blew his nose noisily into a large cotton handkerchief and withdrew in senile agitation, bearing off some family letters and memoranda without importance.


     Ultimately a journalist anxious to know something of the fate of his "dear colleague" turned up. This visitor informed me Kurtz's proper sphere ought to have been politics "on the popular side."

     He had furry straight eyebrows, bristly hair cropped short, an eyeglass on a broad ribbon, and, becoming expansive, confessed his opinion that Kurtz really couldn't write a bit -- "but heavens! how that man could talk. He electrified large meetings. He had faith -- don't you see? -- he had the faith. He could get himself to believe anything -- anything. He would have been a splendid leader of an extreme party."

     "What party?" I asked.

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