Moby Dick Chapter 130 - 132
Chapter 130 - 132
The Hat/The Pequod Meets the Delight/The Symphony
Now that Ahab's goal is in sight, he paces the deck more relentlessly than before. He and Fedellah stand on guard all through the day and night, without saying a word to each other. If the crew casts frightened looks Ahab's way, he looks fearfully upon Fedellah. Days pass with out sight of Moby-Dick, and Ahab becomes more and more certain that he must see the whale himself. To this end, he fixes himself a rigging of sorts, and has Starbuck hoist him up the main mast. While he's up there, a hawk circles round his head and steals his hat.
The Pequod meets the Delight. They have seen Moby-Dick, and the whale has sunk one of their boats, killing five men. The captain swears that there is not a weapon on this earth that will kill Moby-Dick, but Ahab shows him his harpoon, and has the Pequod sail on.
It is a beautiful, clear day; the weather affects Ahab for a moment:
"Slowly crossing the deck from the scuttle, Ahab leaned over the side, and watched how his shadow in the water sank and sank to his gaze... But the lovely aromas in that enchanted air did at last seem to dispel, for a moment, the cankerous thing in his soul... the step-mother world, so long cruel- forbidding- now threw affectionate arms round his stubborn neck, and did seem to joyously sob over him, as if over one, that however wilful and erring, she could yet find it in her heart to save and to bless. From beneath his slouched hat Ahab dropped a tear into the sea; nor did all the Pacific contain such a wealth as that one wee drop." Chapter 132, pg. 450
Starbuck comes over to him, and Ahab talks about spending forty years on the sea. He tells Starbuck not to lower with him when Moby-Dick is spotted, to avoid his death. Starbuck tries to convince Ahab to turn around and head back for home, but Ahab refuses. He is driven by something he cannot understand.