Moby Dick Chapter 28 - 30
Chapter 28 - 30
Ahab/Enter Ahab; To Him, Stubb/The Pipe
Several days pass, with Ahab still staying below deck, and Ishmael's anticipation of seeing him grows. Then, one day, when Ishmael comes up for his afternoon watch, he finds the captain standing on deck, staring out to sea. He is a feverish, intense looking man, with a vivid line running down from his hair through his neck, and possibly even the length of his entire body. There are holes made for his ivory peg leg on either side of the deck, and Ahab stood in one of them, with an air of determination and royalty about him.
Eventually, he goes back into his cabin, but he continues to make appearances above deck, and the gradual improvement of the weather improves his spirit.
"More than once did he put forth the faint blossom of a look, which, in any other man, would have soon flowered out in a smile." Chapter 28, pg. 103
More time passes, and as the ship goes further into the Tropics, Ahab spends more and more time up above deck, unable to sleep. One night, when he is pacing back and forth, Stubb comes up, and asks if there is any way the sound of Ahab's peg leg could be muffled. Ahab snaps at him, and when Stubb holds his ground, Ahab advances on him in such a fearsome manner that Stubb retreats. Going back to his bed, he doesn't know whether to go back up and strike Ahab, or to pray for him.
After Stubb leaves, Ahab calls for his pipe and stool. He tries to smoke, to soothe his nerves, but it fails to calm him.
"'What business have I with this pipe? This thing that is meant for sereneness, to send up mild white vapors among mild white hairs, not among torn iron-grey locks like mine. I'll smoke no more-'" Chapter 30, pg. 107
And with that, he tosses the pipe into the sea, and begins to pace the deck again.