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"And I didn't do badly either, since I managed not to sink that steamboat on my first trip. It's a wonder to me yet. Imagine a blindfolded man set to drive a van over a bad road. I sweated and shivered over that business considerably, I can tell you […] I don't pretend to say that steamboat floated all the time. More than once she had to wade for a bit, with twenty cannibals splashing around and pushing." (2.7)
Marlow manages to get the steamboat whole and unscathed up the Congo and to the Inner Station. He endures a great deal of difficulty keeping it afloat and one wonders whether or not he was meant to get there alive. Marlow himself admits that he scraped the bottom more than once with the steamboat. But Fate seems to be on Marlow’s side.
"I couldn't have felt more of lonely desolation somehow, had I been robbed of a belief or had missed my destiny in life […]." (2.25)
Marlow has felt all this time that it was his destiny to meet Kurtz – now he feels cheated out of it.
"It appears these niggers do bury the tusks sometimes - but evidently they couldn't bury this parcel deep enough to save the gifted Mr. Kurtz from his fate." (2.29)
The black native Africans’ attempts to hide Kurtz’s stash of ivory could not save him from his destiny – that of being discovered by Marlow’s crew and eventually of being taken away from the interior.