While narrating these things, every time Queequeg received the tomahawk from me, he flourished the hatchet-side of it over the sleeper’s head. “What’s that for, Queequeg?” “Perry easy, kill-e; oh! perry easy!” He was going on with some wild reminiscences about his tomahawk-pipe, which, it seemed, had in its two uses both brained his foes and soothed his soul, when we were directly attracted to the sleeping rigger. The strong vapour now completely filling the contracted hole, it began to tell upon him.
He breathed with a sort of muffledness; then seemed troubled in the nose; then revolved over once or twice; then sat up and rubbed his eyes. “Holloa!” he breathed at last, “who be ye smokers?” “Shipped men,” answered I, “when does she sail?” “Aye, aye, ye are going in her, be ye? She sails to-day. The Captain came aboard last night.” “What Captain?—Ahab?” “Who but him indeed?” I was going to ask him some further questions concerning Ahab, when we heard a noise on deck. “Holloa! Starbuck’s astir,” said the rigger. “He’s a lively chief mate, that; good man, and a pious; but all alive now, I must turn to.” And so saying he went on deck, and we followed. It was now clear sunrise.
Soon the crew came on board in twos and threes; the riggers bestirred themselves; the mates were actively engaged; and several of the shore people were busy in bringing various last things on board. Meanwhile Captain Ahab remained invisibly enshrined within his cabin. At length, towards noon, upon the final dismissal of the ship’s riggers, and after the Pequod had been hauled out from the wharf, and after the ever-thoughtful Charity had come off in a whale-boat, with her last gift—a night-cap for Stubb, the second mate.
her brother-in-law, and a spare Bible for the steward—after all this, the two Captains, Peleg and Bildad, issued from the cabin, and turning to the chief mate, Peleg said: “Now, Mr. Starbuck, are you sure everything is right? Captain Ahab is all ready—just spoke to him—nothing more to be got from shore, eh? Well, call all hands, then. Muster ‘em aft here—blast ‘em!” “No need of profane words, however great the hurry, Peleg,” said Bildad, “but away with thee, friend Starbuck, and