In Joseph Conrad's classic
Heart of Darkness, Marlow is a steamboat captain working on the Congo River for a Belgian trading company. Marlow is asked to retrieve Kurtz, a legendary ivory trader who has lost contact with the home office and may have fallen ill. During the expedition Marlow is struck by the Company's mistreatment of the Congo natives. When Marlow arrives at Kurtz's station, he discovers that Kurtz has set himself up as a sort of god to the natives he had once wanted to civilize. Just before he dies Kurtz experiences a moment of clarity and speaks his final words: "The horror! The horror!"