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The chapter opens with Marlow describing Patusan, which is truly a wild and remote island. It is the place where the seventeenth century spice traders went to obtain pepper and adventure; many lost their lives in the process. Since pepper is no longer a valued treasure, the island is not presently an important trading post. Currently, the hills are inhabited by two different factions of Malays. The Sultan of the island is an "imbecile youth" whose uncles are constantly at war. The most evil of the uncles is Raja Tungku Allang, a man who lives by terrorizing all those who have to use the river.
After the opening descriptions, Marlow flashes back to the time when he first told Jim about Patusan. At first the young sailor was unexcited about the opportunity, but the more he thought about the remote island, the more excited he grew. His excitement blossomed into joy, for he soon realized that Patusan offered him the chance he had been seeking. No one there would know his past history. He would be judged only by what he could perform.
Marlow take Jim to Stein's house for further instructions about Patusan. While there, Jim is given a ring that Stein wants him to take to Doramin.
Jim is delighted with the Patusan opportunity, for he thinks it will allow him to start afresh. Because of its remote location, the island will offer him a refuge; Jim can pretend that the world outside does not exist. Since he is a romantic, Jim is not the least bit fearful about the strange island or concerned about whether he will be successful there. He considers himself superior to ordinary men and is eager for the chance to prove his worth.
Marlow takes Jim to introduce him to Stein, who gives the young man further instructions about his responsibilities in Patusan. Stein's romantic nature is again emphasized. The ring that he gives Jim to take to Doramin has great significance and plays a very important role at the end of the novel.