Moby Dick: or, the White Whale eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 623 pages of information about Moby Dick.
They viciously snapped, not only at each other’s disembowelments, but like flexible bows, bent round, and bit their own; till those entrails seemed swallowed over and over again by the same mouth, to be oppositely voided by the gaping wound.  Nor was this all.  It was unsafe to meddle with the corpses and ghosts of these creatures.  A sort of generic or Pantheistic vitality seemed to lurk in their very joints and bones, after what might be called the individual life had departed.  Killed and hoisted on deck for the sake of his skin, one of these sharks almost took poor Queequeg’s hand off, when he tried to shut down the dead lid of his murderous jaw.

The whaling-spade used for cutting-in is made of the very best steel; is about the bigness of a man’s spread hand; and in general shape, corresponds to the garden implement after which it is named; only its sides are perfectly flat, and its upper end considerably narrower than the lower.  This weapon is always kept as sharp as possible; and when being used is occasionally honed, just like a razor.  In its socket, a stiff pole, from twenty to thirty feet long, is inserted for a handle.

“Queequeg no care what god made him shark,” said the savage, agonizingly lifting his hand up and down; “wedder Fejee god or Nantucket god; but de god wat made shark must be one dam Ingin.”

CHAPTER 67

Cutting In

It was a Saturday night, and such a Sabbath as followed!  Ex officio professors of Sabbath breaking are all whalemen.  The ivory Pequod was turned into what seemed a shamble; every sailor a butcher.  You would have thought we were offering up ten thousand red oxen to the sea gods.

In the first place, the enormous cutting tackles, among other ponderous things comprising a cluster of blocks generally painted green, and which no single man can possibly lift—­this vast bunch of grapes was swayed up to the main-top and firmly lashed to the lower mast-head, the strongest point anywhere above a ship’s deck.  The end of the hawser-like rope winding through these intricacies, was then conducted to the windlass, and the huge lower block of the tackles was swung over the whale; to this block the great blubber hook, weighing some one hundred pounds, was attached.  And now suspended in stages over the side, Starbuck and Stubb, the mates, armed with their long spades, began cutting a hole in the body for the insertion of the hook just above the nearest of the two side-fins.  This done, a broad, semicircular line is cut round the hole, the hook is inserted, and the main body of the crew striking up a wild chorus, now commence heaving in one dense crowd at the windlass.  When instantly, the entire ship careens over on her side; every bolt in her starts like the nailheads of an old house in frosty weather; she trembles, quivers, and nods her frighted mast-heads to the sky.  More and more she leans over to the whale, while every

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Moby Dick: or, the White Whale from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.