In Part One, the man with the "black moustaches" informs the narrator that his steamboat has sunk to the bottom of the river. Then he takes him in to see the manager. Later, the same man talks about how to control discipline among the slaves:
"Serve him right. Transgression—punishment—bang! Pitiless, pitiless. That’s the only way. This will prevent all conflagrations for the future" (18).