“You ask me about my time with Kurtz. Well, I’m prepared to tell you everything about him for the short time that I knew him. There is one thing that I need to know before I tell you this narrative. Are you sure that you want to know everything,” Marlow cautioned. “Yes, I want to know everything. I loved him so much. You see I don’t just want to know what happened with him, I have to know,” Kurtz’s Intended said in desperation. “Let’s sit down, because it will take some time to relate all of the events. ” They both took their seats in the parlor.
She sat on the sofa and Marlow settled into the over stuffed chair. “When I reached the Congo, I first heard about Kurtz from the chief accountant. I knew that he had to be a courageous man to have become the chief of the inner station. Most others would never have taken the job. He was first-rate agent. That’s right he brought in more precious ivory than anyone. Ivory that could cover piano keys and could adorn a beautiful woman. Needless to say, I was intrigued. I wanted to meet the man who could conquer the ivory trade and the natives.
I soon realized that my steamer had been wrecked and the. The bottom had been ripped open by the rocks. At first I was suspicious that I was being kept from Kurtz. I didn’t know why, but I just had a gnawing feeling about it. My suspicions were laid to rest when I met the general manager. Now he tells me that he was the one who had taken the boat to get supplies to the inner stations. It had been especially important that he get help to Kurtz because he was ill. He was not a man whose loss would be taken lightly. I realized that my attempt to acquire rivets had failed.
Then Kurtz entered my thoughts and I began to contemplate his ideals. I found out that he was a talented musician, something that I envied. Then I discovered that he was a gifted painter when I saw his painting of the blind folded woman. It was a strange subject matter, but that only intrigued me more. I then learned that Kurtz could be dying of a tropical disease. I must admit that I was fearful for him. It wasn’t long until my steamer was repaired. Along with some pilgrims, I headed toward him traveling down the Congo. The trip was perilous.
Finally, we came upon a hut that housed a Russian trader. He knew Kurtz and filled me with information about him. This fascinated me even more. We then proceeded on toward Kurtz. Before we arrive we met with cannibals who declared that they were hungry and were determined to eat us. Apparently, they had been dining on rotted flesh of a hippo. There was an exchange of gunfire from our steamer and arrows from them. I lost my helmsman from an arrow. I was beginning to believe that I would never meet with this legend of a man named Kurtz. I was wrong.
At the station house, I first saw Kurtz being carried on a stretcher. Natives appeared, but Kurtz ordered them to depart. He was placed in the cabin on the steamer. He was given his mail to read. I left him alone and retreated to the deck. It was there that I saw a beautiful native woman with an elephant tusk tied around her lovely neck. I was informed that she was his mistress. I’m sorry, but you wanted to know everything. He loved you dearly. You were the one that inhabited his heart. You see Kurtz was a man, and a man has…well needs.
He never considered loving anyone else but you. It was the first night that Kurtz was placed in the cabin that I realized he was gone. I didn’t alert the rest. I don’t know why except that I just had a feeling. I followed his trail through the jungle until I came upon him. Together we encountered a native camp with a sorcerer silhouetted against the fire. I felt vulnerable because I knew the power that Kurtz had over the natives. He could call to them, and I would be history. It was strange to see that a man so weak physically could be so powerful.
I convinced him that he was famous for his success. I helped him back to the steamer for a nights rest before we were to leave the next day. The next day at noon, some of the natives came to watch the departure. Among them was the mistress. She rushes to the shore and her wails could be heard for quite a distance. The pilgrims drew their guns after I sounded my whistle. The natives scatter as the woman is left on the shore mourning her loss. It was on our journey back that Kurtz realized that because of a stop for repairs to the steamer, he would not reach Europe alive.
He gave me many papers which allowed me to believe that I had gained his trusted. It was soon after this that he became much worse and he became somewhat disoriented. I felt for him, but soon realized that I was not well. One night in the darkness, he informed me that he was resigned to wait for death. I approached him and was overwhelmed by the expression on his face. It was as if he were seeing a vision of some sort. He screamed ‘The horror! The horror! ’ I retreated when I heard this. I thought of myself as a brave man, but I could not watch this remarkable man die.
It was only minutes until a servant came with the dreadful news that Kurtz was dead. After I recovered from my illness, I headed straight back to Brussels. I knew I had to call on you with the story of your beloved’s last weeks of life. ” She rose from the sofa and watching me with the same intenseness she had watched throughout my narrative, she politely extended her hand. “Mr. Marlow, I appreciate your candor about my fiance. However, I do not believe much of your story. You have not described the actions of the man I gave my heart and was to willingly share the remainder of my life.
I wish you good day, sir. I don’t think that we need to call on each other again. ” Her lips were set, and I immediately detected that she was not to allow her mind to entertain anything but true devotion to the one she loved. I didn’t say anything else, but I picked up my hat from the table and made my way to the door. I heard the click immediately as I stepped onto the porch. I left to never again call on Kurtz’s Intended.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. Cheswold, Deleware: Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Press, 1936.