In his prefactory te to this vel, Conrad said, When this vel first appeared in book form a tion got about that I had been bolted away with. Some reviewers maintained that the work starting as a short story had got beyond the writer's control. One or two discovered internal evidence of the fact, which seemed to amuse them. They pointed out the limitations of the narrative form. They argued that man could have been expected to talk all that time, and other men to listen so long. It was t, they said, very credible. . . . After thinking it over for something like sixteen years, I am t so sure about that. Men have been kwn, both in the tropics and in the temperate zone, to sit up half the night 'swapping yarns.' This, however, is but one yarn, yet with interruptions affording some measure of relief. . . .