It only took 120 pages, but we finally catch a glimpse of Captain Ahab. We’ve been told that he has a peg leg, but it’s really a whale-bone peg leg (arhhhh!). Ahab also possesses one hell of a scar, origins seemingly unknown, “right down one side of his tawny scorched face and neck.” Once Ahab starts making appearances on the deck, he does so late at night, and he PACES with that whale-bone peg leg, which in turn causes mate Stubb to hint to him that maybe pacing the decks of the ship with a peg leg while people are sleeping is a bit inconsiderate, to which Ahab yells out “AVAST!” (which means STOP – did you know that? I had to look it up). Anyhoo, Stubb gets aggravated that Ahab would be both inconsiderate AND kind of an asshole to boot, and sort of picks a fight, but then skulks away. In Chapter 30, called THE PIPE, Ahab gives up smoking. So, to recap: we have a crabby, peg-legged insomniac in charge of a three-year voyage who gives up smoking before we even hit Florida. Sweet!
MOBY DICK reading #10, Chapters 28-30: