Nostromo has a brilliant opening sentence. Note how it is dynamically interrupted by a full-sentence subclause before we even know what is being said, mirroring the dynamic, self-interrupting form of the whole novel. Within the sentence we are referred back to the old Spanish conquest as well as forward to the implied "commercial" invasion, giving us a chronological sweep that conveys the novel's concern with all history. The Spanish and commercial conquests are subtly linked, especially by the comparison of their ships in the next sentence (the narrator differs them only in terms of efficiency). "Ox-hides and indigo" juxtaposes slaughtered beasts of burden with the heraldic color of royalty, continuing the theme of conquest.