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Lord Jim - cover

Lord Jim

Joseph Conrad

Publisher: Serapis Classics

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Summary

Recovered from an injury, Jim seeks a position on the Patna, a steamer serving the transport of 800 "pilgrims of an exacting faith" to a port on the Red Sea. He is hired as first mate. After some days of smooth sailing, the ship hits something in the night and begins taking on water. The captain thinks the ship will sink, and Jim agrees, but wants to put the passengers on the few boats before that can happen. The captain and two other crewmen think only to save themselves, and prepare to lower a boat. The helmsmen remain, as no order has been given to do otherwise. In a crucial moment, Jim jumps into the boat with the captain. A few days later, they are picked up by an outbound steamer. When they reach port, they learn that the Patna and its passengers were brought in safely by a crew from a French navy ship. The captain's actions in abandoning both ship and passengers are against the code of seamen and the crew is publicly vilified. When the other men leave town before the magistrate's court can be convened, Jim is the only crew member left to testify. All lose their certificates to sail. Brierly, a captain of perfect reputation who is on the panel of the court, commits suicide days after the trial.

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