Study Guide

Nostromo Part 3, Chapter 4

By Joseph Conrad

Part 3, Chapter 4

  • After seeing Antonia off in his own carriage, Charles rides toward home.
  • Once there, he receives a visit from Don Juste López and two other members of the Provincial Assembly. They have come to ask Charles to join members of the Assembly for the new government authorities (when they arrived). He refuses—and suggests that these dudes just hide out in their houses to wait for whatever is coming rather than giving themselves up formally to Montero.
  • Don Juste and his friends are very upset to hear that Gould won't join them, feeling abandoned by their powerful ally.
  • A bit later, the doctor arrives at Casa Gould. He finds that Charles has gone to bed and asked not to be disturbed.
  • Instead, the doctor goes to find Mrs. Gould, demanding that the servant wake her up. As he waits, he laments Charles's handling of recent events, including his willingness to be involved in Martin's scheme.
  • He also thinks about events in his own history that have framed his behavior and reaction to the current situation, including how he was tortured and imprisoned under Guzmán Bento. That sounds massively unpleasant.
  • We also learn that he feels a tremendous amount of loyalty to Mrs. Gould and is really concerned about her welfare in all this political hoopla.
  • Eventually, the doctor meets with Mrs. Gould, and Mr. Gould joins them shortly after. The doctor relays the rumors that the silver has sunk and Nostromo and Martin have died in the process.
  • Gould comes to the conclusion that, now that Martin is dead, he will ultimately have to get more directly involved in political maneuverings to ensure the safety of his family and economic interests.
  • Then, Mrs. Gould suddenly becomes overcome at the thought that Antonia will kill herself once she hears that Martin is dead.
  • Then, Mr. Gould remarks that he will write to Holroyd relaying his assurances that the San Tomé mine can successfully help bring about a new state. He is confident the American moneyman will get on board with this plan.
  • As they are talking, the bells of some nearby churches start pealing loudly. The noise sends the servants into a panic, since they take it as a sign of impending violence. Gould just tells them to shut the windows. A cool customer, he is.