"the body of a middle-aged negro, with a bullet-hole in the forehead"

Conrad's Congo Diary entry for 3 July reads: 'Met an off[ic]er of the State inspecting. A few minutes afterwards saw at a camp[in]g place the dead body of a Backongo*. Shot?'

The following day, Conrad reports ‘another dead body lying by the path in an attitude of meditative repose’, and on the 29th a ‘skeleton tied-up to a post’. The diary also records how, on 1 August, he had to administer first aid to a boy of about thirteen years old with a gunshot wound in the head.


* The Backongo are a Bantu-speaking people descended from the Kongo people who gave the river its name. Many Backongos inhabited the area around Matadi.