The house opposite commanded a plain view into the room, and observing more and more the indecorous figure that Queequeg made, staving about with little else but his hat and boots on I begged him as well as I could, to accelerate his toilet somewhat, and particularly to get into his pantaloons as soon as possible. Ahab’s harpoon, the one forged at Perth’s fire, remained firmly lashed in its conspicuous crotch, so that it projected beyond his whale-boat’s bow the sea that had stove its bottom had caused the loose leather sheath to drop off from the keen steel barb there now came a leveled flame of pale, forked fire.
As the silent harpoon burned there like a serpent’s tongue, Starbuck grasped Ahab by the arm continued let me square the yards, while we may old man and make a fair wind of it homewards, to go on a better voyage. He doubtless has tarried whole weeks ashore.
The bar-room was now full of the boarders who had been dropping in the night previous, and whom I had not as yet had a good look at. You could pretty plainly tell how long each one had been ashore. This young fellow’s healthy cheek is like a sun-toasted pear in hue, and would seem to smell almost as musky; he cannot have been three days landed from his Indian voyage. That man next him looks a few shades lighter you might say a touch of satin wood is in him. In the complexion of a third still lingers a tropic tawn.