1. Briefly, how does the narrator describe the setting of the Gulf of Siam, in which the story opens?
The narrator describes the Gulf of Siam, in which the story opens, as being at once both mysterious in its emptiness and its evidence of long desertion, bearing only a pagoda to interrupt the monotony of the coast.
2. How is the second mate characterized in the beginning of the story?
The second mate is, in the beginning of the story, characterized as youthful, somber, and unusual, with a propensity to share information only when something relevant is explicitly brought to his attention.
3. How is the chief mate characterized according to the descriptions given by the captain in the early part of the story?
The chief mate, in the early part of the story, is described by the captain as being whiskered and painfully analytical of everything, even the most painful trivialities.
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