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Chance

Chance

Joseph Conrad
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CONTENTS PART I THE DAMSEL CHAPTER ONE YOUNG POWELL AND HIS CHANCE . CHAPTER TWO THE FYNES AND THE GIRL-FRIEND THRIFT AND THE CHILD THE GOVERNESS THE TEA-PARTY FLORA ON THE PAVEMENT CHAPTER THREE CHAPTER FOUR CHAPTER FIVE CHAPTER SIX CHAPTER SEVEN PAGE 3 60 88 122 149 179 CONTENTS vii PART II THE KNIGHT CHAPTER ONE PAGE THE FERNDALE . . . . . .233 CHAPTER TWO YOUNG POWELL SEES AND HEARS . . . .247 CHAPTER THREE DEVOTED SERVANTS AND THE LIGHT OF A FLARE . CHAPTER FOUR 269 ANTHONY AND FLORA . . . . .295 CHAPTER FIVE THE GREAT DE BARRAL . . . .316 CHAPTER SIX . . . A MOONLESS NIGHT, GHT, THICK WH WITH STARS ABOVE, VERY DARK ON THE WATER . . . .36 PART I THE DAMSEL CHAPTER ONE YOUNG POWELL AND HIS CHANCE T BELIEVE he had seen us out of the window coming I off to dine in the dinghy of a fourteen-ton yawl belonging to Marlow my host and skipper. We helped the boy we had with us to haul the boat up on the landing-stage before we went up to the riverside inn, where we found our new acquaintance eating his dinner in digni- fied loneliness at the head of a long table, white and inhospitable like a snow bank. The red tint of his clear-cut face with trim short black whiskers under a cap of curly iron-grey hair was the only warm spot in the dinginess of that room cooled by the cheerless tablecloth. We knewhim already by sight as the owner of a little five-ton cutter, which he sailed alone apparently, a fellow yachtsman in the unpretending band of fanatics who cruise at the mouth of the Thames. But the first time he addressed the waiter sharply as steward we knew him at once for a sailor as well as a yachtsman. Presently he had occasion to reprove that same waiter for the slovenly manner in which thedinner was served. He did it with considerable energy and then turned to us. If we at sea, he declared, went about our work as people ashore high and low go about theirs we should never make a living. No one would employ us. And moreover no ship navigated and sailed in the happy-go-lucky manner people conduct their business on shore would ever arrive into port. Since he had retired from the sea he had been astonished to discover that the educated people were not much better than the others. No one seemed to take any proper pride in his work from plumbers who were simply thieves to, say, newspaper men he seemed to think them a specially intellectual class who never by any chance gave a correct version of the simplest affair. This universal inefficiency of what he called the shore gang he ascribed in general to the want of responsibility and to a sense of security. They see, he went on, that no matter what they do this tight little island wont turn turtle with them or spring a leak and go to the bottom with their wives and children. From this point the conversation took a special turn relating exclusively to sea-life. On that subject he got quickly in touch with Marlow who in his time had followed the sea. They kept up a lively exchange of reminiscences while I listened. They agreed that the happiest time in their lives was as youngsters in good ships, with no care in the world but not to lose a watch below when at sea and not a moments time in going ashore after work hours when in harbour...
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