Marlow sits at the Thames River in the evening with several other people and begins telling the story about how he entered into the dark continent out of nowhere. No one wants to listen but he continues anyway.
Marlow expressed a desire to go to Africa to his Aunt who got him a position as a captain of a steamboat of an ivory company. The previous captain Freslaven died in a scuffle with the natives and Marlow took his place. A few days later, Marlow travels to Africa and gets to the first station where he meets the accountant who keeps track of the funds in Kurtz’s company. The man is interesting to Marlow since he’s been on the continent for three years, yet he keeps himself clean and well dressed. Marlow finds the blacks being poorly treated and ordered to do meaningless work by the whites. Marlow continues down the river on his steamboat with a crew of several whites and about 20 to 30 blacks. As he travels down the river, he comes across this shack where he picks up wood, and a note cautioning him to travel carefully. He continues down the river and becomes surrounded by savages in the fog. Marlow is frightened but the savages don’t do anything... until the fog rises. The savages attack and Marlows men fire back. The arrows of the savages have little effect on Marlow’s men or his boat. And the guns of Marlow’s men have little effect on the savages since they fire too high. Only Marlow’s helmsman dies. Marlow blows the whistle and mysteriously, all the savages retreat in fear. Marlow shortly reaches the inner station where he is greeted by the Russian Fool who seems to survive in the heart of the continent by not knowing what’s going on around him. Kurtz is very ill and needs to be taken back to England, but he does not want to go. In fact, he is the one who ordered the attack on the steamboat so that they couldn’t take him back to England. Kurtz is worshipped by the natives and completely exploits them. Kurtz tries to escape to the natives but Marlow catches him and takes him back to the steamboat head back for England. While still on the river, Kurtz dies saying, “The horror, the horror.” Marlow returns to England. He visits Kurtz’s intended who is still in mourning a year after Kurtz’s death. She still remembers Kurtz as the great man he was before he left, and Marlow doesn’t tell her what he had become before he dies. Marlow gives Kurtz her old letters and leaves. (non illustrated)