Billy Budd Chapters 12, 13 & 14
Claggart does not look evil, and he is very careful in the way he dresses. Billy looks heroic, although he is not an intellectual by any means. Billy's handsomeness, which causes others to like him, is the very thing that Claggart cannot stand. His envy runs deep. Billy's morality is as pure as his looks. Claggart knows this and hates it. His envy turns into a venomous energy that cannot be suppressed. Billy is the young and liked soldier who is sure to do well in the navy; Claggart is older and disliked. He thinks that he must compete with the younger sailors.
When Claggart saw the spilled soup, he may have thought it was spilled on purpose. This behavior is in line with the report of a corporal, the Grizzled man. The corporal relayed to Claggart that Billy didn't like him and he ridiculed him among the other sailors. Claggart never doubted this. For such behavior, men in power are liable to act disproportionately. In this, Claggart is more extreme than others.
Some days after this incident, when he is dozing in his hammock, Billy is stirred by someone telling him to move over to the shadows. Billy does this and the man shows him two gold objects. He asks if he is impressed and tells him what he wants him to do for the gold. Billy interrupts him with the knowledge that he is up to no good. Billy is amazed at what is going on. He stutters and wakes up other men. Billy goes over to the veterans and quiets them. He makes up some story and allays their suspicions. The gold objects were guineas.