A young sea captain tests his mettle off the coast of Siam in this nineteenth-century psychological tale from the author of Heart of Darkness.
When his sailing ship is anchored in the Gulf of Siam—now Thailand—a first-time sea captain questions his ability to command. Anxious and eager for his crew to like him, he takes the first shift of the night watch. Alone in the dark, he encounters a mysterious man swimming alongside the vessel. The captain allows him to board and learns that the stranger, Leggatt, was first mate on another ship and he claims to have accidentally murdered a man.
Torn between arresting Leggatt for his crime and secretly harboring him in his own cabin, the young captain faces a choice more difficult than any he has ever known. Forced to determine Leggatt’s fate, the captain must consider the safety of his crew and the ramifications his decision will have on his own future.
As in his classic works Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim, author Joseph Conrad crafts a gripping read, endowing a nautical adventure with questions of morality and self-discovery.
Praise for Joseph Conrad
“[Conrad has a] particular form of jolting the reader’s attention . . . practically every paragraph contains its little jolt.” —Ford Madox Ford
Joseph Conrad (1857–1924), born to Polish parents in a region of the Russian Empire that is now part of Ukraine, was orphaned at eleven years old and joined the French merchant marine at sixteen. He sailed to the West Indies, Australia, and Borneo, and spent six months captaining a steamer on the Congo River, an experience that inspired his best-known work, Heart of Darkness. One of the great prose stylists, he wrote all of his novels—including the masterworks Lord Jim, Nostromo, and The Secret Agent—in English, his third language.