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The Cruise Of The Cachalot After Sperm Whales

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An Excerpt:  ""Thet whale 'll stay down fifty minutes, I guess," said he, "fer
he's every gill ov a hundred en twenty bar'l; and don't yew
fergit it."  "Do the big whales give much more trouble than the
little ones?"  I asked, seeing him thus chatty.  "Wall, it's jest
ez it happens, boy--just ez it happens.  I've seen a fifty-bar'l
bull make the purtiest fight I ever hearn tell ov--a fight thet
lasted twenty hours, stove three boats, 'n killed two men.  Then,
again, I've seen a hundred 'n fifty bar'l whale lay 'n take his
grooel 'thout hardly wunkin 'n eyelid--never moved ten fathom
from fust iron till fin eout.  So yew may say, boy, that they're
like peepul--got thair iudividooal pekyewlyarities, an' thars no
countin' on 'em for sartin nary time."  I was in great hopes of
getting some useful information while his mood lasted; but it was
over, and silence reigned.  Nor did I dare to ask any more
questions; he looked so stern and fierce.  The scene was very
striking.  Overhead, a bright blue sky just fringed with fleecy
little clouds; beneath, a deep blue sea with innumerable tiny
wavelets dancing and glittering in the blaze of the sun; but all
swayed in one direction by a great, solemn swell that slowly
rolled from east to west, like the measured breathing of some
world-supporting monster."

 

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