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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesVictory - PART THREE - Chapter TWO
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Victory - PART THREE - Chapter TWO Post by :abfinger Category :Long Stories Author :Joseph Conrad Date :June 2011 Read :2505

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Victory - PART THREE - Chapter TWO


During his master's absence at Sourabaya, Wang had busied himself
with the ground immediately in front of the principal bungalow.
Emerging from the fringe of grass growing across the shore end of
the coal-jetty, Heyst beheld a broad, clear space, black and level,
with only one or two clumps of charred twigs, where the flame had
swept from the front of his house to the nearest trees of the

"You took the risk of firing the grass?" Heyst asked.

Wang nodded. Hanging on the arm of the white man before whom he
stood was the girl called Alma; but neither from the Chinaman's eyes
nor from his expression could anyone have guessed that he was in the
slightest degree aware of the fact.

"He has been tidying the place in his labour-saving way," explained
Heyst, without looking at the girl, whose hand rested on his
forearm. "He's the whole establishment, you see. I told you I
hadn't even a dog to keep me company here."

Wang had marched off towards the wharf.

"He's like those waiters in that place," she said. That place was
Schomberg's hotel.

"One Chinaman looks very much like another," Heyst remarked. "We
shall find it useful to have him here. This is the house."

They faced, at some distance, the six shallow steps leading up to
the veranda. The girl had abandoned Heyst's arm.

"This is the house," he repeated.

She did not offer to budge away from his side, but stood staring
fixedly at the steps, as if they had been something unique and
impracticable. He waited a little, but she did not move.

"Don't you want to go in?" he asked, without turning his head to
look at her. "The sun's too heavy to stand about here." He tried
to overcome a sort of fear, a sort of impatient faintness, and his
voice sounded rough. "You had better go in," he concluded.

They both moved then, but at the foot of the stairs Heyst stopped,
while the girl went on rapidly, as if nothing could stop her now.
She crossed the veranda swiftly, and entered the twilight of the big
central room opening upon it, and then the deeper twilight of the
room beyond. She stood still in the dusk, in which her dazzled eyes
could scarcely make out the forms of objects, and sighed a sigh of
relief. The impression of the sunlight, of sea and sky, remained
with her like a memory of a painful trial gone through--done with at

Meanwhile Heyst had walked back slowly towards the jetty; but he did
not get so far as that. The practical and automatic Wang had got
hold of one of the little trucks that had been used for running
baskets of coal alongside ships. He appeared pushing it before him,
loaded lightly with Heyst's bag and the bundle of the girl's
belongings, wrapped in Mrs. Schomberg's shawl. Heyst turned about
and walked by the side of the rusty rails on which the truck ran.
Opposite the house Wang stopped, lifted the bag to his shoulder,
balanced it carefully, and then took the bundle in his hand.

"Leave those things on the table in the big room--understand?"

"Me savee," grunted Wang, moving off.

Heyst watched the Chinaman disappear from the veranda. It was not
till he had seen Wang come out that he himself entered the twilight
of the big room. By that time Wang was out of sight at the back of
the house, but by no means out of hearing. The Chinaman could hear
the voice of him who, when there were many people there, was
generally referred to as "Number One." Wang was not able to
understand the words, but the tone interested him.

"Where are you?" cried Number One.

Then Wang heard, much more faint, a voice he had never heard before-
-a novel impression which he acknowledged by cocking his head
slightly to one side.

"I am here--out of the sun."

The new voice sounded remote and uncertain. Wang heard nothing
more, though he waited for some time, very still, the top of his
shaven poll exactly level with the floor of the back veranda. His
face meanwhile preserved an inscrutable immobility. Suddenly he
stooped to pick up the lid of a deal candle-box which was lying on
the ground by his foot. Breaking it up with his fingers, he
directed his steps towards the cook-shed, where, squatting on his
heels, he proceeded to kindle a small fire under a very sooty
kettle, possibly to make tea. Wang had some knowledge of the more
superficial rites and ceremonies of white men's existence, otherwise
so enigmatically remote to his mind, and containing unexpected
possibilities of good and evil, which had to be watched for with
prudence and care.

Content of PART THREE CHAPTER TWO (Joseph Conrad's novel: Victory)

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Victory - PART THREE - Chapter THREE Victory - PART THREE - Chapter THREE

Victory - PART THREE - Chapter THREE
PART THREE: CHAPTER THREEThat morning, as on all the others of the full tale of morningssince his return with the girl to Samburan, Heyst came out on theveranda and spread his elbows on the railing, in an easy attitude ofproprietorship. The bulk of the central ridge of the island cut offthe bungalow from sunrises, whether glorious or cloudy, angry orserene. The dwellers therein were debarred from reading early thefortune of the new-born day. It sprang upon them in its fulnesswith a swift retreat of the great shadow when the sun, clearing theridge, looked down, hot and dry, with

Victory - PART THREE - Chapter ONE Victory - PART THREE - Chapter ONE

Victory - PART THREE - Chapter ONE
PART THREE: CHAPTER ONETropical nature had been kind to the failure of the commercialenterprise. The desolation of the headquarters of the Tropical BeltCoal Company had been screened from the side of the sea; from theside where prying eyes--if any were sufficiently interested, eitherin malice or in sorrow--could have noted the decaying bones of thatonce sanguine enterprise.Heyst had been sitting among the bones buried so kindly in the grassof two wet seasons' growth. The silence of his surroundings, brokenonly by such sounds as a distant roll of thunder, the lash of rainthrough the foliage of some big trees, the noise