Did not his malicious gossip provide the pivotal force of the novel, Schomberg would scarcely be worthy of a detailed characterization. His deadly mixture of cowardice and malignant hatred reminds the reader of Cornelius, a character in one of Conrad's earlier novels, Lord Jim. Too abject to fight or even to defend himself and his table-d'hote from Jones and Ricardo, he nevertheless manages to precipitate the bloody climax of the story. Conrad makes much of Schomberg's German ancestry. He regards him as a prime example of "the Teutonic temperament." Physically, Schomberg is a big pompous fellow who considers himself, at forty-five, a "man in the prime of life." He despises his wooden and long-suffering wife, while he presses his amorous attentions on Lena. He has a positive genius for spreading gossip, and from the beginning, he hates Axel Heyst. Later, when Heyst steals Lena from his hotel, his rage mounts to murderous proportions. He sends three villains to Samburan to punish Heyst.