The heart of Darkness

“Black shapes, crouched, lay, sat between the trees, leaning against the trunks, clinging to the earth, half coming out, half effaced within the dim light, in all the attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair. Another mine on the cliff went off, followed by a slight shudder of the soil under my feet. The work was going on. The work! And this was the place where some of the helpers had withdrawn to die.”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness,” in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002), 118.

Marlow can’t exactly make out the bodies, and realizes that this is the place where the diseased come to die.