Moby Dick Chapter 110 - 112
Chapter 110 - 112
Queequeg in his Coffin/The Pacific/The Blacksmith
The casks are removed from the hold, and it is discovered that the leak is buried deep inside; almost everything has to be brought up. While this is going on, Queequeg takes violently ill with fever; everyone is sure he will die. He asks that a coffin be made for him, like the canoe-coffins he heard about in Nantucket. The carpenter is called over, and he takes Queequeg's measurements, and builds him a coffin. The thing is brought over to Queequeg, who puts his harpoon and some biscuits inside, and then climbs in it himself. While he's lying there, Pip comes over and rants at him; he is soon led away. But now that he is in his coffin, Queequeg's health improves, and the fever breaks. When asked how he got better, he says that he thought of something he needed to finish on land. He keeps the coffin, and uses it as a sort of sea-chest.
The Pequod passes into the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Ishmael wonders at it, but Ahab doesn't notice it at all, focused only on tracking Moby-Dick.
Perth, the blacksmith, after bringing his forge out to work on the buckle of Ahab's new leg, stays on deck. Over the course of time, his sad story is learned. He was once a successful man, with a wife and family, but one night a burglar came into his house and stole everything he had. His wife and children soon died, and the blacksmith was called to sea.