About what does Marlow tell his shipmates, "I hate, detest, and can't bear"?
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There are many rumors about Kurtz as they float down the river. Kurtz is something of an anomaly. To some white imperialists he is crazy and to others he is a traitor to his race. So, naturally there are plenty of lies spread about him. Marlow has no connection with Kurtz yet but explains how much he detests lies,
"You know I hate, detest, and can't bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies — which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world — what I want to forget. It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do.... "
At this point Marlow isn't so much defending Kurtz more than condemning the fickle lies that are so abundant from his own people.