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Chance - Joseph Conrad

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CHANCE--A TALE IN TWO PARTS

by Joseph Conrad

PART I--THE DAMSEL

CHAPTER ONE--YOUNG POWELL AND HIS CHANCE



I believe he had seen us out of the window coming off to dine in the
dinghy of a fourteen-ton yawl belonging to Marlow my host and
skipper.  We helped the boy we had with us to haul the boat up on
the landing-stage before we went up to the riverside inn, where we
found our new acquaintance eating his dinner in dignified loneliness
at the head of a long table, white and inhospitable like a snow
bank.

The red tint of his clear-cut face with trim short black whiskers
under a cap of curly iron-grey hair was the only warm spot in the
dinginess of that room cooled by the cheerless tablecloth.  We knew
him already by sight as the owner of a little five-ton cutter, which
he sailed alone apparently, a fellow yachtsman in the unpretending
band of fanatics who cruise at the mouth of the Thames.  But the
first time he addressed the waiter sharply as 'steward' we knew him
at once for a sailor as well as a yachtsman.

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