1 An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest.
2 The sun set; the dusk fell on the stream, and lights began to appear along the shore.
3 As we had plenty of wood, and caution was the word, I brought up in the middle of the stream.
4 A continuous shower of small flies streamed upon the lamp, upon the cloth, upon our hands and faces.
5 We were going half-speed, keeping right in the middle of the stream, and I listened to the talk about me.
6 The twigs overhung the current thickly, and from distance to distance a large limb of some tree projected rigidly over the stream.
7 We had just floundered and flopped round a bend, when I saw an islet, a mere grassy hummock of bright green, in the middle of the stream.
8 There was an eddy in the mass of human bodies, and the woman with helmeted head and tawny cheeks rushed out to the very brink of the stream.
9 We looked at the venerable stream not in the vivid flush of a short day that comes and departs for ever, but in the august light of abiding memories.
10 Hunters for gold or pursuers of fame, they all had gone out on that stream, bearing the sword, and often the torch, messengers of the might within the land, bearers of a spark from the sacred fire.
11 Strings of dusty niggers with splay feet arrived and departed; a stream of manufactured goods, rubbishy cottons, beads, and brass-wire set into the depths of darkness, and in return came a precious trickle of ivory.
12 Trees, trees, millions of trees, massive, immense, running up high; and at their foot, hugging the bank against the stream, crept the little begrimed steamboat, like a sluggish beetle crawling on the floor of a lofty portico.
13 I shall see this eloquent phantom as long as I live, and I shall see her too, a tragic and familiar Shade, resembling in this gesture another one, tragic also, and bedecked with powerless charms, stretching bare brown arms over the glitter of the infernal stream, the stream of darkness.