Study Guide

Nostromo Part 2, Chapter 6

By Joseph Conrad

Part 2, Chapter 6

  • After his company leaves, Mr. Gould retires to his room, where he finds his wife.
  • Mrs. Gould is worried about their precarious position in light of recent events. Mr. Gould doesn't really want to talk about it, however, and doesn't seem inclined to acknowledge her worries.
  • He then mentions he is going up to the mine later that evening, so he can bring some silver back down the next day. She leaves him so he can get some sleep before heading out.
  • Upon leaving her husband, Mrs. Gould discovers that Martin had supposedly returned to search for Antonia's lost fan.
  • However, she soon discovers this is a cover story offered for the benefit of Basilio, the head servant. He has actually returned to talk to Mrs. Gould.
  • He explains that he has received news from the local telegraphist that Sta. Marta, an important Costaguana town, has reportedly fallen to the Monterists, which put the anti-Monterist military effort in jeopardy.
  • Although they aren't sure the rumors can be believed, they discuss possible solutions to this new crisis. Martin's idea is to bring about another revolution. Before he gets into the details, he suggests keeping Mr. Gould in the dark, thinking him too much an "idealist" (II.6.70).
  • Mrs. Gould guesses correctly that Martin's idea is to separate the Western (Occidental) province of Costaguana from the rest. They then discuss ideas and strategies for how to make that happen, as well as other logistics (e.g., the silver shipment coming down the next day, which will be bait for looters, revolutionaries, etc.).
  • Martin mentions that he has gotten Nostromo to agree to help out the European contingent in Sulaco if rioting breaks out. They then discuss Nostromo's trustworthiness.