Victory By Joseph Conrad Summary and Analysis Part 4: Chapter 10

Summary

Lena rises and passes Heyst as though blinded by "some secret, lurid, and consuming glare into which she is about to enter." She hurries into the bedroom. Heyst has seen Pedro hanging about the bungalow door, and now he tells Ricardo that he doesn't want Pedro around. Ricardo orders Pedro to the boat and insists that he leave by the front door.

Heyst goes into the bedroom and insists that Lena put on a black dress and dark veil. He tells her that, as soon as he leaves with Ricardo, she must slip out the back door and hide in the forest in sight of the bungalow and wait for a signal he will make with the candles. If no signal appear, she must conclude that he is dead and must hurry off to beg sanctuary with Wang until Davidson comes back. Then she can signal him.

Lena promises nothing. She lifts his hand, holds it close, and kisses it. Heyst cannot trust himself to speak, and as he opens the door he sees her kneeling by the bed "all in black in the desolation of a mourning sinner."

Heyst goes out to find Ricardo contemplating his writing desk. The bandit turns on Heyst a contorted look as though shaken by an inner convulsion. Heyst orders him to precede him out of the house.

There is something "cruel in the absolute dumbness of the night." The thunderstorm rises like a menacing curtain hiding preparations of violence. Ricardo welcomes the storm. "Let it come!" he says viciously. "I am in the mood for it!"

Ricardo runs up the steps of the counting house, thrusts his head through the doorway, and says, "Here he is, Governor! Keep him with you as long as you can — till you hear me whistle. I am on the track."

Ricardo steps aside to let Heyst pass, and when Heyst enters the room, it is with his peculiar Heystian smile "lurking under his martial moustache."

Analysis

Ricardo grows bolder and bolder. He insults Heyst by sending Pedro out the front door. In the Orient, no servant is ever allowed to use the front door. His speech to Jones, when he takes Heyst over to the counting house, is such as one might make about a dog. Ricardo feels so sure in his conquest of Lena that he defies Heyst with consummate scorn.

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