A demon addresses the narrator, placing its hand upon the latter's head, and begins to describe a desolate and restless region in Libya, near the borders of the Zaire River, emphasizing the absence of peace and silence in that area. The Zaire River is described with saffron and unhealthy colored waters, which do not flow towards the sea but continuously agitate under the red eye of the sun, creating a tumultuous and convulsive movement that pervades the environment. Surrounding the river's muddy bed is a pale desert populated by gigantic water lilies, which sigh towards each other, stretching their long and spectral necks towards the sky, and continuously moving their heads in a disturbing manner.

Beyond the realm of the water lilies lies a dark and terrible forest, where the underbrush is continuously agitated like the waves around the Hebrides, despite the absence of wind, contributing to the atmosphere of unrest. The ancient trees of the forest move incessantly, producing a powerful sound, while eternal dewdrops fall from their tops, and at their feet lie poisonous flowers in a troubled sleep. The narration continues by describing a moving sky, with gray clouds that rapidly shift westward, creating a loud and constant noise, adding to the sense of turmoil and the lack of peace along the banks of the Zaire River.

As the demon describes the scene, the narrator begins to perceive a change in their experience: they find themselves, as if transported by the narration itself, among the tall water lilies of the Zaire River, feeling the rain fall on their head, a direct witness to the desolation surrounding them. The atmosphere becomes even more unsettling when, under the effect of an unusually red lunar light, the narrator observes the river's waters turning blood-like.

A large gray rock is illuminated by the moonlight, and the narrator notices characters engraved on it. They try to decipher the inscription but are unable to do so. Meanwhile, the moon becomes increasingly red, highlighting a human figure on the rock, tall, majestic, and wrapped in a Roman toga. Their appearance is divine, and their face bears an expression of pain and disgust. The individual on the rock observes the desolation around them, looking at both the low, restless vegetation and the ancient trees and moving sky, while the narrator watches them hidden among the water lilies, noting their disturbance in the face of solitude.

Suddenly, the narrator begins to invoke the hippopotamuses and the behemoth, which respond to his call with loud roars and emerge from the depths of the swamp. The narrator calls upon the hippopotamuses and the behemoth from the depths of the swamp, and they respond to his call and approach, while the man on the rock remains motionless and observes, trembling in solitude. Subsequently, he curses the elements, unleashing a terrible storm in a previously windless sky, causing a drastic transformation of the landscape, with rain, thunder, lightning, and wind that destroy the forest and agitate the river and the water lilies.

Finally, they impose a curse of silence on the entire environment, calming the storm and bringing a total absence of sounds and movements, while the moon ceases to move, and everything halts in a vast and unfathomable desert, with the characters on the rock changing to "SILENCE." Faced with these ultimate events, the man on the rock is literally terrified and flees hastily into the distance, disappearing from the narrator's view.