Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Though they resemble pilgrims due to their dress and their staves, the pilgrims are actually European tradesmen who work for the Company, but due to lack of materials and/or opportunity, they are completely idle. They fill their idle time with backbiting and dreaming about growing rich from ivory. They are cowardly, though bloodthirsty when given the opportunity. A handful of pilgrims accompany the manager upriver to retrieve Kurtz.
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