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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 623 pages of information about Moby Dick.

His story being ended with his pipe’s last dying puff, Queequeg embraced me, pressed his forehead against mine, and blowing out the light, we rolled over from each other, this way and that, and very soon were sleeping.

CHAPTER 13

Wheelbarrow

Next morning, Monday, after disposing of the embalmed head to a barber, for a block, I settled my own and comrade’s bill; using, however, my comrade’s money.  The grinning landlord, as well as the boarders, seemed amazingly tickled at the sudden friendship which had sprung up between me and Queequeg—­ especially as Peter Coffin’s cock and bull stories about him had previously so much alarmed me concerning the very person whom I now companied with.

We borrowed a wheelbarrow, and embarking our things, including my own poor carpet-bag, and Queequeg’s canvas sack and hammock, away we went down to “the Moss,” the little Nantucket packet schooner moored at the wharf.  As we were going along the people stared; not at Queequeg so much—­ for they were used to seeing cannibals like him in their streets,—­ but at seeing him and me upon such confidential terms.  But we heeded them not, going along wheeling the barrow by turns, and Queequeg now and then stopping to adjust the sheath on his harpoon barbs.  I asked him why he carried such a troublesome thing with him ashore, and whether all whaling ships did not find their own harpoons.  To this, in substance, he replied, that though what I hinted was true enough, yet he had a particular affection for his own harpoon, because it was of assured stuff, well tried in many a mortal combat, and deeply intimate with the hearts of whales.  In short, like many inland reapers and mowers, who go into the farmer’s meadows armed with their own scythes—­though in no wise obliged to furnish them—­ even so, Queequeg, for his own private reasons, preferred his own harpoon.

Shifting the barrow from my hand to his, he told me a funny story about the first wheelbarrow he had ever seen.  It was in Sag Harbor.  The owners of his ship, it seems, had lent him one, in which to carry his heavy chest to his boarding house.  Not to seem ignorant about the thing—­though in truth he was entirely so, concerning the precise way in which to manage the barrow—­Queequeg puts his chest upon it; lashes it fast; and then shoulders the barrow and marches up the wharf.  “Why,” said I, “Queequeg, you might have known better than that, one would think.  Didn’t the people laugh?”

Upon this, he told me another story.  The people of his island of Rokovoko, it seems, at their wedding feasts express the fragrant water of young cocoanuts into a large stained calabash like a punchbowl; and this punchbowl always forms the great central ornament on the braided mat where the feast is held.  Now a certain grand merchant ship once touched at Rokovoko, and its commander—­from all accounts, a very stately punctilious gentleman, at least for

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