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2. PART II
"One evening as I was lying flat on the deck of my steamboat, I heard voices approaching--and there were the nephew and the uncle strolling along the bank. I laid my head on my arm again, and had nearly lost myself in a doze, when somebody said in my ear, as it were: `I am as harmless as a little child, but I don't like to be dictated to. Am I the manager--or am I not? I was ordered to send him there. It's incredible.' . . . I became aware that the two were standing on the shore alongside the forepart of the steamboat, just below my head. I did not move; it did not occur to me to move: I was sleepy. `It IS unpleasant,' grunted the uncle. `He has asked the Administration to be sent there,' said the other, `with the idea of showing what he could do; and I was instructed accordingly. Look at the influence that man must have. Is it not frightful?' They both agreed it was frightful, then made several bizarre remarks: `Make rain and fine weather--one man--the Council--by the nose'-- bits of absurd sentences that got the better of my drowsiness, so that I had pretty near the whole of my wits about me when the uncle said, `The climate may do away with this difficulty for you. Is he alone there?' `Yes,' answered the manager; `he sent his assistant down the river with a note to me in these terms: "Clear this poor devil out of the country, and don't bother sending more of that sort. I had rather be alone than have the kind of men you can dispose of with me." It was more than a year ago. Can you imagine such impudence!' `Anything since then?' asked the other, hoarsely. `Ivory,' jerked the nephew; `lots of it--prime sort--lots--most annoying, from him.' `And with that?' questioned the heavy rumble. `Invoice,' was the reply fired out, so to speak. Then silence. They had been talking about Kurtz.
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