Heart of Darkness

At beginning of part II, Marlow overhears a conversation. What do we learn about Kurtz here?


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Marlow overhears a conversation between the Manager and his uncle, leader of the Expedition group that has arrived. Snatches of talk indicate that the two are conferring about Kurtz. The Manager says he was "forced to send him there." They say his influence is frightful, and they add that he is alone, having sent away all his assistants. The word "ivory" is also overheard. The two men are wondering how all this ivory has arrived and why Kurtz did not return to the main station as he should have. Marlow believes that this circumstance allows him to see Kurtz for the first time. The Manager and his uncle say that either Kurtz or his assistant must be hanged as an example, so that they can get rid of unfair competition. Realizing that Marlow is nearby, they stop talking.