Short summary - Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard - Joseph Conrad

British literature summaries - 2020

Short summary - Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard
Joseph Conrad

The city of Sulako, the capital of the Western province of the South American Republic of Costaguana, is located on the shores of the vast Gulf of Placido. The smooth arc of the gulf coast is bounded on one side by Pointe Mala cape, and on the other hand by a mountain called Iguerota, the peak of which sparkles with snow overlooking the whole surrounding area. In the middle of the bay are Isabella - two small islands, one of which has a lighthouse. During the Spanish rule, the Western province, separated from the rest of the country by the spurs of the Cordillera, was independent, and Sulaco was a prosperous trading city. Later, after joining the Costaguan Confederation, the city lost its significance. However, the discovery of a few decades ago in Sao Tome at the foot of Iguerota silver deposits changed the fate of the entire province. The mines of Sao Tome make up tremendous wealth, regularly delivered to Sulako in the form of wagons loaded with silver bullion. Therefore, one of the most important figures in the city is the Englishman Charles Gould, the “silver king”, who inherited a silver mining company from his father. He lives in Sulako, in a huge palace, along with his young, energetic wife. Senate don José Avellianos and his daughter Antonia also belong to the provincial high society.

Aristocrats-liberals, merchants, priests, emigrants - immigrants from different countries of the world, military men, workers from mines, sailors, dockers, robbers, secular ladies - this is a colorful crowd of inhabitants of this area and this city, an outpost of European civilization within a remote and wild new of the world. Among these people stands out a man known to everyone under the nickname Nostromo - as the boatswain is usually called on Italian ships. This is the “Kapatas of the Kargadors” - the oldest among the port workers, Italian Gian Batista Fidanza. His honesty, strength, influence on ordinary people, his ability to keep up with the powerful of this world, his sound mind won him the fame of a man who can be relied on more than anyone else in all of Sulako. With a firm and confident hand, capable of holding weapons when necessary, he puts things in order in the port and in the mine,

Meanwhile, this region, open to civilization and prosperity, is turned into a subordinate position and stagnation with self-serving, ignorant and cruel rulers of Costaguana. But the day came when the historical fate of Sulako and the whole country underwent decisive changes. The tyrant Guzman Bento, who ruled for many years, died. After a short civil war, liberal Vicente Ribeira came to power, supported by the enlightened aristocrats of the Western province and the “king of silver” Gould. Soon, however, his Minister of War, General Montero, rebelled against him. The war continued. In Sulako, a rebellion of statues was suppressed, people who could hardly be called scum. Then two thousand Sulak volunteers under the command of General Barrios, armed with brand new rifles purchased by Mr. Gould, set off on a steamer, to recapture the strategically important North Port from the rebels. However, the bad news came: the government troops were defeated, chaos reigned in the country. New robber gangs of monteries attack the city, which was left without protection - from the east due to the mountains and from the north by the sea. There is not even the opportunity to report this to General Barrios.

Recently returned from Europe, a native of Sulaco and a well-known journalist in Paris, Martin Decoude, a deeply sensitive man, passionate about the dream of freedom of his homeland, in love with noble Anthony Avellianos, offers a plan of salvation - the only, romantic, deadly, noble, unexpected. Sulako should secede from Costaguana and become an independent republic. This is salvation from anarchy and exploitation, it is the path to prosperity and prosperity, it can inspire people to fight. However, this is real only with the support of the United States, and the uninterrupted sending of silver can provide this support. Just now, the cargo of the semi-annual mine of the Sao Tome mines must be sent before the arrival of the enemies.

To entrust this most important matter can only be known to all the most reliable person in Sulako. At night, at the last moment, a longboat with a load of silver ingots leaves the port. On it is Decud and Nostromo. The longboat is very unreliable, there is a leak in it. Having unloaded the treasures on one of the islands and leaving Decuda there, Nostromo sets off to find out the situation, back to the city already occupied by the enemy. He does not appear for more than ten days, and Decud does not withstand torture by loneliness: he is sure that their cause is lost and commits suicide. Nostromo, meanwhile, did not appear because he was carrying out a new assignment, which no one could do but anyone else: having made his way through enemy outposts and overcame a long danger to the north, full of danger, he brought the troops of General Barrios to the city. Together with the workers of the mine who have risen up against the tyranny of montages, soldiers are liberating the city. A new state is proclaimed, the flag of the Western Republic of Sulako (on a silver background a green olive wreath in the center of which a golden lily) the American gunboat is the first to salute. Decoud's fantastic plan was a tremendous success.

It so happened that everyone was sure: the longboat with silver sank in an unknown place and Decud died along with it, and Nostromo escaped only because he was a wonderful swimmer. Nostromo does not tell anyone the truth about the hidden treasures, at first just out of caution, but then he realizes that no one knows the truth and now he is the only owner of the treasure ...

On the uninhabited island of Big Isabella near the coast of Sulako stands a lighthouse. As a caretaker there, a compatriot and friend of Nostromo, the old Garibaldian Viola, he settled on the island with two daughters thanks to a national hero, one of the most respected and influential people in the city. Nostromo, the groom of his eldest daughter, was the only person who regularly visited the old widower. Each time he took with him one or two ingots. “I have to get rich slowly” - this became his motto. The hero of the Sulak revolution has changed a lot. He was as lucky as before, but, suspicious, reserved, irritable, he was so unlike the former favorite of the authorities and people. Treasures took possession of him. Secretly checking the treasure has become an irresistible need. Now the faithful Nostromo was faithful only to him, and everything around him seemed to breathe theft and betrayal,

One night, the stern Viola, alarmed by rumors that one of the port apaches was about to encroach on the honor of his youngest daughter, noticed an unknown man who sailed to the island in a boat. The shot of the old soldier Garibaldi was accurate. The murdered with horror recognized Nostromo.

A white cloud, sparkling like a pile of silver, floats above the luminous horizon, and the spirit of the treasure lord dominates over the dark waters of the gulf - faithful, invincible, lucky, restless, secretive, unsolved and irresistible.