Moby Dick Chapter 116 - 120
Chapter 116 - 120
The Dying Whale/The Whale Watch/The Quadrant/The Candles/The Deck Towards the End of the First Night Watch
The day after they met the Bachelor, the Pequod manages to kill four whales. Watching them, Ahab watches one die, and it seems to reveal wonders to him.
Of the four whales killed, one is too far away from the ship, and Ahab's boat spends a night watching. Ahab wakes up and speaks with Fedellah, who tells him that he, Ahab, will not die until he sees two hearses on the sea: the first, not made by mortal hands, and the second, made of wood from America. Fedellah predicts he will die before Ahab, and that rope will be what kills Ahab. Ahab takes all these as signs of his immortality, and laughs.
The Pequod approaches the Line, and Ahab gives orders to point the ship towards the equator. He uses a quadrant, a kind of viewer, to check his place with the sun, then curses the thing for not being able to tell him what will come of the future, and destroys it.
The Pequod is tossed into a Typhoon. Starbuck sees this as an ill omen, because the storm is directly in their path; they would not have hit it if Ahab had not steered this way after Moby-Dick. Lightning strikes down and lights the tops of the masts on fire. Ahab stands before them and calls for a blessing to hunt the whale.
Ahab's harpoon is lit on fire as well. Ahab blows out the blaze, but the crew shrinks away from him in fear.
Starbuck tells Ahab they need to takes things down, but Ahab refuses, and orders him to lash everything in to ride out the storm.