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own grounds. Were the scheme ticular sport. Frankly, if the carried out, the probability is conversion of the Thames into that the river would be brought a game-fish river is possible, we under a Fishery Board, and should not oppose it for all the that they would be charged angling interests in the world. a licence

excellent measures But there is no reason why, if both, in our way of thinking. the Thames becomes a trouting Recollecting the opposition of river, the majority of London many of the club anglers to anglers should not practise flythe raising of the standards for fishing upon it. The change Thames fish some years ago, in the river would come very we do not rate very highly gradually, and anglers would their perception of their own have plenty of time in which to best interests, and we have no accommodate themselves to the difficulty in understanding their new conditions. The advocates selfishness. Those who object of them cannot be charged with to pay for a thing so long as selfishness, for it is succeeding they can get it for nothing generations, not the present one, do not compose the majority that will reap the benefit of in Thames anglers only. So them. We feel certain, howthat very great stress need not

ever,
that the

the metropolitan be laid on the number of those anglers would

accommodate who would oppose the imposi- themselves to the new order tion of a licence. And let us

very easily. The Thames has freely admit that the interests a fascination for old Thames of game-fish and of coarse-fish fishermen, so that those among will become more, not less, an- them whose lot it is to fish the tagonistic as time goes on, and finest salmon-pools and troutthat ultimately the weaker ing-streams come back to their must go to the wall. The favourite river with delight, weaker are the coarse-fish, and, and would come back to it in the interests of sport they with delight enhanced tenfold would go.

For that sport with were the river stocked with game-fish is of a higher order trout. The Thames has no less than that with coarse, we need fascination for the angler who not demonstrate when address- never cast a fly, and we need ing anglers. But that, as some not believe that he would desert anglers have said, and will say it because he had to change his again, sport with game-fish is old methods for others more of necessity for a privileged delicate and more sportsmanand wealthy class only, we like. Many a time, conversing deny. All Scotland fishes for with anglers on Thames - side, trout. It is the policy of some we have heard the exclamation, game-fish anglers there which “If only this were a trouting opposes the protection that river!" and we confess that, has become urgent for trout from those who believe that in that country; which shows that wish is likely to be realthat the selfishness and the ised, it is impossible not to shortsightedness lie in human catch something of their hopenature, and not in any par- ful enthusiasm.

THE HEART OF DARKNESS. 1

-CONCLUSION.

BY JOSEPH CONRAD.

6

“I LOOKED at him, lost in onwards at the greatest possible astonishment. There he was risk, and with a maximum of before me, in motley, as though privation. If the absolutely he had absconded from a troupe pure, uncalculating, unpractical of mimes, enthusiastic, fabu- spirit of adventure had ever lous. His very existence was ruled a human being, it ruled improbable, inexplicable, and this be-patched youth. I alaltogether bewildering. He most envied him the possession was an insoluble problem. It of this modest and clear flame. was inconceivable how he had It seemed to have consumed all existed, how he had succeeded thought of self so completely, in getting so far, how he had that, even while he was talking managed to remain - why he to you, you forgot that it was

– did not instantly disappear. I he—the man before your eyes

" went a little farther,' he said, —who had gone through these

then still a little farther—till I things. I did not envy him had gone so far that I don't his devotion to Kurtz, though. know how I'll ever get back. He had not meditated over Never mind. Plenty time. I can it. It came to him, and he manage. You take Kurtz away accepted it with a sort of quick-quick-I tell you.' The eager fatalism. glamour of youth enveloped his that to me it appeared about particoloured rags, his destitu- the most dangerous thing in tion, his loneliness, the essen- every way he had come upon tial desolation of his futile wanderings. For months—for “ They had come together years -- his life hadn't been unavoidably, like

two ships worth a day's purchase ; and becalmed near each other, and there he was gallantly, thought- lay rubbing sides at last. I lessly alive, to all appearance in- suppose Kurtz wanted an audidestructible solely by the virtue ence, because on a certain occaof his few years and of his sion, when encamped in the unreflecting audacity. I was forest, they had talked all night, seduced into something like ad- or more probably Kurtz had miration-like envy. Glamour talked. We talked of everyurged him on, glamour kept thing,' he said, quite transhim unscathed.

He surely ported at the recollection. I wanted nothing from the wil- forgot there was such a thing derness but space to breathe in as sleep. The night did not and to push on through. His seem to last an hour. Everyneed was to exist, and to move thing! Everything! ... Of

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6

1 Copyright, 1899, by S. S. M'Clure Co., in the United States of America.

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love too.' *Ah, he talked to no goods to trade with by you of love!' I said, much that time,' I objected. There's amused. It isn't what you a good lot of cartridges left think,' he cried, almost pas- even yet,' he answered, looking sionately. “It was in general. away. “To speak plainly, he He made see things

things — raided the country, I said. things.

He nodded. “Not alone, sure“ He threw his

He muttered something We were on deck at the time, about the villages round that and the head-man of

my

wood- lake. 'Kurtz got the tribe to cutters, lounging by, follow him, did he?' I sugturned upon him his heavy gested. He fidgeted a little. and glittering eyes.

I looked They adored him,' he said. around, and I don't know why, The tone of these words was but I assure you that never, so extraordinary that I looked never before, did this land, at him searchingly.

It was this river, this jungle, the very curious to his mingled arch of this blazing sky, appear eagerness and reluctance to to me so hopeless and so dark, speak of Kurtz. The

impenetrable to human filled his life, occupied his thought, so pitiless to human thoughts, swayed his emotions. weakness. . And, ever since, “What can you expect!' he you have been with him, of burst out; "he came to them course?' said.

with thunder and lightning, “On the contrary.

It ap- you know—and they had never pears

their intercourse seen anything like it—and very very much broken by various terrible.

He could be very He had, as he in- terrible. You can't judge Mr formed me proudly, managed Kurtz as you would an ordinto nurse Kurtz through two ary man. No, no, no! Now illnesses (he spoke of it as just to give you an idea —I you would of

risky don't mind telling you, he achievement), but as rule wanted to shoot me too one Kurtz wandered alone, far in day—but I don't judge him.' the depths of the forest. "Shoot you!' I cried. What Very often coming to this for?' Well, I had a small station, I had to wait days lot of ivory the chief of that and days for him to turn village near my house gave up,' he said. “Ah, it

You see I used to shoot worth waiting for sometimes.' game for them. Well, he What was he doing? explor- wanted it, and wouldn't hear ing or what?' I asked. “Oh reason.

He said he would yes,

of

course he had dis- shoot me unless I gave him covered lots of villages, a lake the ivory and cleared out of too—he did not know exactly the country, because he could in what direction; it was dan- do so, and had a fancy for it, gerous to inquire too much, and there was nothing on earth but mostly his expeditions had to prevent him killing whom been for ivory.' ‘But he had he jolly well pleased. And it

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was true too. I gave him the desolate exclamations, ivory. What did I care! But pleted by shrugs, in interI didn't clear out. No, no. rupted phrases, in hints ending I couldn't leave him. I had in deep sighs. The woods were to be careful, though, for a unmoved, like a mask-heavy, time. Then we got friendly, like the closed door of a prison as before.

He had his second they looked with their air illness then. Afterwards I had of hidden knowledge, of patient to keep out of the way again. expectation, of unapproachable But he was mostly living in silence. The house came into those villages on the lake. the range of the glass. The When he came down to the Russian was telling me that river, sometimes he would take it was only lately that Mr to me, and sometimes I had Kurtz had come down to the to keep out of his way. Just river, bringing along with him as it happened. This man that lake tribe. He had been suffered too much. He hated away for several months all this, and somehow he getting himself adored, I supcouldn't get away,

When I pose—and came down purposhad a chance I begged him ing a raid either across the to try and leave while there river or down stream. Eviwas time. I offered to go dently the appetite for more back with him. And he would ivory had got the better of say yes, and then he would the—what shall I say?- less remain; go off on

on another material aspirations. However ivory hunt; disappear for he had got much worse suddenly. . weeks; forget himself amongst 'I heard he was lying helpless, these people—forget himself, and so I came up-took my you know.' Why! he's mad, chance,' said the Russian. "Oh, Í said. He protested indig- he is bad, very bad.' I kept nantly. Mr Kurtz couldn't my glass steadily on the house. be mad. If I had heard him There were no signs of life, talk, only two days ago, I but there was the ruined roof, wouldn't dare hint at such a the long mud wall peeping thing. I had taken up my above the grass, with three binoculars while we talked, little square window-holes, no and was looking at the shore, two of the same size; all this sweeping the limit of the for- brought within reach of my est at each side and at the hand, as it were. And then back of the house. The con- I made a brusque movement, sciousness of there being people and one of the remaining posts in that bush, so silent, so quiet of that vanished fence leaped —as silent and quiet as the up in the field of my glass. ruined house on the hill—made You remember I told you I me uneasy. There was no sign had been struck at the distance on the face of nature of this by certain attempts at ornaamazing tale of cruelty and mentation, rather remarkable greed that was not so much in the ruinous neglect of the told as suggested to me in place. Now I had suddenly

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nearer view, and its first thing profitable in these heads result was to make me throw being there. They only showed my head back as if before a that Mr Kurtz lacked restraint blow. Then I went carefully in the gratification of his varifrom post to post with my ous lusts, that there was someglass, and I saw my mistake thing wanting in him — some

. These round knobs were not small matter which, when the ornamental but symbolic; they pressing need arose, could not were symbolic of some cruel be found under his magnificent and forbidden knowledge. eloquence. Whether he knew They expressive and of this deficiency himself I can't puzzling, striking and say. I think the knowledge turbing, food for thought and came to him at last-only at also for the vultures if there the very last. But the wilderhad been any looking down ness had found him out early, from the sky; but at all events and had taken on him a terrible for such ants as were indus- vengeance

for the fantastic intrious enough to ascend the vasion. It had tempted him pole. They would have been with all the sinister suggestions more impressive, those of its loneliness.

, of its loneliness. I think it had heads on the stakes, if their whispered to him things about faces had not been turned to himself which he did not know, the house. Only one, the first things of which he had no conI had made out, was facing ception till he took counsel with my way. I was not so shocked this great solitude — and the as you may think. The start whisper had proved irresistibly back I had given was really fascinating. It echoed loudly nothing but a movement of within him because he was holsurprise. I had expected to low at the core. I put down see a knob of wood there, you the glass, and the head that know. I returned deliberately had appeared near enough to to the first I had seen and be spoken to seemed at once to there was, black, dried, have leaped away from me into sunken, with closed eyelids, the illusion of an inaccessible a head that seemed to sleep distance. at the top of that pole, and, “ The admirer of Mr Kurtz with the shrunken dry lips hung his head. With a hurried, showing a narrow white line indistinct voice he began to tell of the teeth, was smiling too, me he had not dared to take smiling continuously at some these — say, symbols — down. endless and jocose dream of He was not afraid of the nathat eternal slumber.

tives; they would not move till “I am not disclosing any Mr Kurtz gave the word. His trade secrets. In fact the ascendancy was extraordinary. manager said afterwards that The camps of these people surMr Kurtz had ruined that dis- rounded the place, and the trict. I have no opinion as to chiefs came every day to see that, but I want you clearly to him. They crawled. I don't understand that there was no- want to know anything of the

VOL. CLXV.NO. MII.

it was,

2 T

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