Lord Jim eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 490 pages of information about Lord Jim.
“I was going on though.  Was I not?” It was impossible to be angry with him:  I could not help a smile, and told him that in the old days people who went on like this were on the way of becoming hermits in a wilderness.  “Hermits be hanged!” he commented with engaging impulsiveness.  Of course he didn’t mind a wilderness. . . .  “I was glad of it,” I said.  That was where he would be going to.  He would find it lively enough, I ventured to promise.  “Yes, yes,” he said, keenly.  He had shown a desire, I continued inflexibly, to go out and shut the door after him. . . .  “Did I?” he interrupted in a strange access of gloom that seemed to envelop him from head to foot like the shadow of a passing cloud.  He was wonderfully expressive after all.  Wonderfully!  “Did I?” he repeated bitterly.  “You can’t say I made much noise about it.  And I can keep it up, too—­only, confound it! you show me a door.” . . .  “Very well.  Pass on,” I struck in.  I could make him a solemn promise that it would be shut behind him with a vengeance.  His fate, whatever it was, would be ignored, because the country, for all its rotten state, was not judged ripe for interference.  Once he got in, it would be for the outside world as though he had never existed.  He would have nothing but the soles of his two feet to stand upon, and he would have first to find his ground at that.  “Never existed—­that’s it, by Jove,” he murmured to himself.  His eyes, fastened upon my lips, sparkled.  If he had thoroughly understood the conditions, I concluded, he had better jump into the first gharry he could see and drive on to Stein’s house for his final instructions.  He flung out of the room before I had fairly finished speaking.’

CHAPTER 23

’He did not return till next morning.  He had been kept to dinner and for the night.  There never had been such a wonderful man as Mr. Stein.  He had in his pocket a letter for Cornelius ("the Johnnie who’s going to get the sack,” he explained, with a momentary drop in his elation), and he exhibited with glee a silver ring, such as natives use, worn down very thin and showing faint traces of chasing.

’This was his introduction to an old chap called Doramin—­one of the principal men out there—­a big pot—­who had been Mr. Stein’s friend in that country where he had all these adventures.  Mr. Stein called him “war-comrade.”  War-comrade was good.  Wasn’t it?  And didn’t Mr. Stein speak English wonderfully well?  Said he had learned it in Celebes—­of all places!  That was awfully funny.  Was it not?  He did speak with an accent—­a twang—­did I notice?  That chap Doramin had given him the ring.  They had exchanged presents when they parted for the last time.  Sort of promising eternal friendship.  He called it fine—­did I not?  They had to make a dash for dear life out of the country when that Mohammed—­Mohammed—­What’s-his-name had been killed.  I knew the story, of course.  Seemed a beastly shame, didn’t it? . . .

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Lord Jim from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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