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Moby Dick: or, the White Whale eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 623 pages of information about Moby Dick.
that two fellow beings should be so companionable; as though a white man were anything more dignified than a whitewashed negro.  But there were some boobies and bumpkins there, who, by their intense greenness, must have come from the heart and centre of all verdure.  Queequeg caught one of these young saplings mimicking him behind his back.  I thought the bumpkin’s hour of doom was come.  Dropping his harpoon, the brawny savage caught him in his arms, and by an almost miraculous dexterity and strength, sent him high up bodily into the air; then slightly tapping his stern in mid-somerset, the fellow landed with bursting lungs upon his feet, while Queequeg, turning his back upon him, lighted his tomahawk pipe and passed it to me for a puff.

“Capting!  Capting! yelled the bumpkin, running toward that officer; “Capting, Capting, here’s the devil.”

“Hallo, you sir,” cried the Captain, a gaunt rib of the sea, stalking up to Queequeg, “what in thunder do you mean by that?  Don’t you know you might have killed that chap?”

“What him say?” said Queequeg, as he mildly turned to me.

“He say,” said I, “that you came near kill-e that man there,” pointing to the still shivering greenhorn.

“Kill-e,” cried Queequeg, twisting his tattooed face into an unearthly expression of disdain, “ah! him bevy small-e fish-e; Queequeg no kill-e so small-e fish-e; Queequeg kill-e big whale!”

“Look you,” roared the Captain, “I’ll kill-e you, you cannibal, if you try any more of your tricks aboard here; so mind your eye.”

But it so happened just then, that it was high time for the Captain to mind his own eye.  The prodigious strain upon the main-sail had parted the weather-sheet, and the tremendous boom was now flying from side to side, completely sweeping the entire after part of the deck.  The poor fellow whom Queequeg had handled so roughly, was swept overboard; all hands were in a panic; and to attempt snatching at the boom to stay it, seemed madness.  It flew from right to left, and back again, almost in one ticking of a watch, and every instant seemed on the point of snapping into splinters.  Nothing was done, and nothing seemed capable of being done; those on deck rushed toward the bows, and stood eyeing the boom as if it were the lower jaw of an exasperated whale.  In the midst of this consternation, Queequeg dropped deftly to his knees, and crawling under the path of the boom, whipped hold of a rope, secured one end to the bulwarks, and then flinging the other like a lasso, caught it round the boom as it swept over his head, and at the next jerk, the spar was that way trapped, and all was safe.  The schooner was run into the wind, and while the hands were clearing away the stern boat, Queequeg, stripped to the waist, darted from the side with a long living arc of a leap.  For three minutes or more he was seen swimming like a dog, throwing his long arms straight out before him, and by turns

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