Summary – Chapters Twenty Four, Twenty Five and Twenty Six
Chapter Twenty Four begins with a description of Patusan, which Marlow visits nearly two years later. It is ‘straight and sombre, and faces a misty ocean’. When Marlow goes there, the elderly headsman, who acts as his pilot, calls Jim ‘Tuan Jim’ (which means Lord Jim) with a tone of familiarity and awe.
The narrative switches back to the time of Jim’s arrival (and the story he has told Marlow). On his journey up the river, Jim sat on Marlow’s box and held the unloaded revolver. He tells Marlow later that he never felt as depressed and tired as when he was sitting there. When Jim thought he had arrived, he jumped out and a boat full of armed men appeared alongside him. He was startled and would have shot somebody if his gun had been loaded. Kassim then ran out to him and told him the Rajah wants to see him.
Jim points out to Marlow that if he had been ‘wiped out’, this place ‘would have been the loser’. Jim tells him this in the moonlight and says he is now trusted in all the houses. He also says he has no thought of leaving especially since he has been informed that Stein wants him to keep the house and trading goods. Initially Jim wants to disagree with this idea, but Marlow corrects him. Marlow also sees that ‘all these things that made him master had made him captive too’. Jim looks at his surroundings with an ‘owner’s eye’, but Marlow believes that it is they that possess him.
In Chapter Twenty Five, Marlow and Jim visit the Rajah. They are both given coffee and Jim tells him he does not have to drink it. When they leave, Jim explains there is a risk that the Rajah might try to poison them. Jim takes the risk every month as many people trust him to do so. He then explains how he escaped the Rajah’s courtyard (where he was held on his arrival). He suddenly decided to escape when his ‘extreme peril dawned upon him’. He leapt over his confines and landed on a soft and sticky mud bank. He managed to crawl up it and, covered in mud, he crossed half the settlement. He noticed children run away in fear, but he is taken in by Doramin, the chief of the Bugis and rival of the Rajah (he is also the friend of Stein).
Chapter Twenty Six begins with Marlow describing Doramin as ‘one of the most remarkable men of his race I had ever seen’. He has an immense bulk and looks ‘monumental’. His son, Dain Waris, is a most distinguished youth and Jim now sees him as his best friend (barring Marlow).
Jim realizes how lucky he has been because when he first arrived in the Bugis community, he ‘was in a most critical position’. Each man was afraid for himself and of the Rajah and a newcomer, Sherif Ali, and Jim could see that something needed to be done. He devised a plan and gained the community’s confidence including that of Doramin and Dain Waris. Jim’s idea was to take Sherif Ali’s camp in the hills and directed the attack (which they won). Marlow recalls looking at Jim and thinking he dominated the forest. He also remembers the incident which gave Jim this new direction and thinks of it as ‘a shadow in the light’.
Analysis – Chapters Twenty Four, Twenty Five and Twenty Six
On Marlow’s visit to Jim in Patusan, it transpires that Jim has not only settled into having a new life there, he is also highly regarded (as he desires). At last, Jim has found the admiration and status he has sought since he was child reading literature of heroic deeds. His successful plan to attack Sherif Ali’s camp has helped to bring him this trusted status and his decision to formulate this can be seen to be inspired by his dreams of leadership and honorability.