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Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

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HEART OF DARKNESS

I

The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor with-
out a flutter of the sails, and was at rest.  The flood
had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound
down the river, the only thing for it was to come to
and wait for the turn of the tide.

The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like
the beginning of an interminable waterway.  In the
offing the sea and the sky were welded together without
a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of
the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand
still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with
gleams of varnished sprits.  A haze rested on the low
shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness.  The
air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still
seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding mo-
tionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth.

The Director of Companies was our captain and our
host.  We four affectionately watched his back as he
stood in the bows looking to seaward.  On the whole
river there was nothing that looked half so nautical.  He
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