Victory: An Island Tale
In Victory (1915) Conrad returns to the Malay Archipelago, to the setting of his first mature novel, Lord Jim, and in Axel Heyst he creates a hero who is in many ways similar to Jim, a noble altruist destroyed by his ideals. Heyst is emotionally crippled by the influence of his dead father, a sceptical philosopher who has bequeathed to Heyst an attitude to life summed up in the father's dying words: 'Look on - make no sound.' Despite this injunction Heyst allows himself to become inextricably involved with an English Cockney girl whom he rescues from Giancomo's Travelling Ladies' Orchestra and carries off to his isolated retreat on the island of Samburan. His action incurs the fatal wrath of Schomberg, the island's innkeeper, who sends in pursuit of Heyst three demonic strangers whose invasion of his island paradise leads rapidly to the novel's violent and tragic close.
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answer appeared arms asked believe better boat breath bungalow chair Chinaman clear close coming course dark Davidson didn't don't door doubt expected expression eyes face fact feeling feet fellow felt gave girl give glance gone governor hand head hear heard Heyst hold island Jones keep knew leave Lena light lips listened living looked manner matter mean mind Morrison moved movement murmured nature never night once passed Pedro perhaps raised reason remained Ricardo round Schomberg seemed seen shoulders side sight silence smile sort sound speak stand steps stopped strange suddenly suppose surprised talk tell There's thing thought told tone took trouble turned understand veranda voice waited walked Wang watched whispered woman wonder
Page 367 - Do you see them?" Heyst whispered into the girl's ear. "Here they are, the envoys of the outer world. Here they are before you — evil intelligence, instinctive savagery, arm in arm. The brute force is at the back. A trio of fitting envoys perhaps— but what about the welcome? Suppose I were armed, could I shoot those two down where they stand? Could I?
Page 257 - It was more like those myths, current in Polynesia, of amazing strangers, who arrive at an island, gods or demons, bringing good or evil to the innocence of the inhabitants — gifts of unknown things, words never heard before. Heyst noticed a cork helmet floating alongside the boat, evidently fallen from the head of the man doubled over the tiller, who displayed a dark, bony poll. An oar, too, had been knocked overboard, probably by the sprawling man, who was still struggling between the thwarts.
Page 239 - He moved uneasily, a little disappointed by her attitude, but indulgent to it, and feeling, in this moment of perfect quietness, that in holding her surrendered hand he had found a closer communion than they had ever achieved before. But even then there still lingered in him a sense of incompleteness not altogether overcome — which, it seemed, nothing ever would overcome — the fatal imperfection of all the gifts of life, which makes of them a delusion and a snare.
Page 75 - Where could he have gone to, after all these years? Not a single soul belonging to him lived anywhere on earth. Of this fact — not such a remote one, after all — he had only lately become aware; for it is failure that makes a man enter into himself and reckon up his resources. And though he had made up his mind to retire from the world in hermit fashion, yet he was irrationally moved by this sense of loneliness which had come to him in the hour of renunciation. It hurt him. Nothing is more painful...
Page 119 - He said these things, not for Mrs. Schomberg's information, but simply thinking aloud, and trying to work his fury up to a point where it would give him courage enough to face "plain Mr. Jones." "Impudent, overbearing, swindling sharper," he went on. "I have a good mind to " He was beside himself in his lurid, heavy, Teutonic manner, so unlike the picturesque, lively rage of the Latin races; and though his eyes strayed about irresolutely, yet his swollen, angry features awakened in the miserable...
Page 188 - No, unless by native craft," said Schomberg. Ricardo nodded, satisfied. Both these white men looked on native life as a mere play of shadows. A play of shadows the dominant race could walk through unaffected and disregarded in the pursuit of its incomprehensible aims and needs.
Page 127 - Schomberg's argument was met by Mr. Jones's statement that one must do something to kill time. Killing time was not forbidden. For the rest, being in a communicative mood, Mr. Jones said languidly and in a voice indifferent, as if issuing from a tomb, that he depended on himself, as if the world were still one great, wild jungle without law. Martin was something like that, too — for reasons of his own. All these statements Ricardo confirmed by short, inhuman grins. Schomberg lowered his eyes, for...
Page 83 - It was not distinguished — that could not be expected — but the features had more fineness than those of any other feminine countenance he had ever had the opportunity to observe so closely. There was in it something indefinably audacious and infinitely miserable — because the temperament and the existence of that girl were reflected in it. But her voice! It seduced Heyst by its amazing quality. It was a voice fit to utter the most exquisite things, a voice which would have made silly chatter...