Lord Jim eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 490 pages of information about Lord Jim.
the words with difficulty, like a man in the cold fit of a fever.  “No!” shouted Jim in a passion.  “I have not, and I don’t intend to.  I am going to live here, in Patusan.”  “You shall d-d-die h-h-here,” answered Cornelius, still shaking violently, and in a sort of expiring voice.  The whole performance was so absurd and provoking that Jim didn’t know whether he ought to be amused or angry.  “Not till I have seen you tucked away, you bet,” he called out, exasperated yet ready to laugh.  Half seriously (being excited with his own thoughts, you know) he went on shouting, “Nothing can touch me!  You can do your damnedest.”  Somehow the shadowy Cornelius far off there seemed to be the hateful embodiment of all the annoyances and difficulties he had found in his path.  He let himself go—­his nerves had been over-wrought for days—­and called him many pretty names,—­swindler, liar, sorry rascal:  in fact, carried on in an extraordinary way.  He admits he passed all bounds, that he was quite beside himself—­defied all Patusan to scare him away—­declared he would make them all dance to his own tune yet, and so on, in a menacing, boasting strain.  Perfectly bombastic and ridiculous, he said.  His ears burned at the bare recollection.  Must have been off his chump in some way. . . .  The girl, who was sitting with us, nodded her little head at me quickly, frowned faintly, and said, “I heard him,” with child-like solemnity.  He laughed and blushed.  What stopped him at last, he said, was the silence, the complete deathlike silence, of the indistinct figure far over there, that seemed to hang collapsed, doubled over the rail in a weird immobility.  He came to his senses, and ceasing suddenly, wondered greatly at himself.  He watched for a while.  Not a stir, not a sound.  “Exactly as if the chap had died while I had been making all that noise,” he said.  He was so ashamed of himself that he went indoors in a hurry without another word, and flung himself down again.  The row seemed to have done him good though, because he went to sleep for the rest of the night like a baby.  Hadn’t slept like that for weeks.  “But I didn’t sleep,” struck in the girl, one elbow on the table and nursing her cheek.  “I watched.”  Her big eyes flashed, rolling a little, and then she fixed them on my face intently.’

CHAPTER 31

’You may imagine with what interest I listened.  All these details were perceived to have some significance twenty-four hours later.  In the morning Cornelius made no allusion to the events of the night.  “I suppose you will come back to my poor house,” he muttered, surlily, slinking up just as Jim was entering the canoe to go over to Doramin’s campong.  Jim only nodded, without looking at him.  “You find it good fun, no doubt,” muttered the other in a sour tone.  Jim spent the day with the old nakhoda, preaching the necessity of vigorous action to the principal men of the Bugis community, who had

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Lord Jim from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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