Standard Post & Ordered List Vol. 2
- Thinks I, Queequeg, this is using Rogers’s best cutlery with a vengeance. Afterwards I wondered the less at this operation when I came to know of what fine steel the head of a harpoon is made, and how exceedingly sharp the long straight edges are always kept.This young fellow’s healthy cheek is like a sun-toasted pear in hue, and would seem to smell almost as he cannot have been three days landed from his Indian voyage. 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. The street being very narrow, the house opposite commanded a plain view into the room.
- 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, but slightly bleached withal. He doubtless has tarried whole weeks ashore. But who could show a cheek like Queequeg?
- Which, barred with various tints, seemed like the Andes’ western slope, to show forth in one array, contrasting climates, zone by zone. He then donned his waistcoat, and taking up a piece of hard soap on the wash-stand centre table, dipped it into water and commenced lathering his face. He complied, and then proceeded to wash himself. At that time in the morning any Christian would have washed his face; but Queequeg, to my amazement, contented himself with restricting his ablutions to his chest, arms, and hands.
- Now, the first time Ahab was perched aloft; ere he had been there ten minutes; one of those red-billed savage sea-hawks which so often fly incommodiously close round the manned mast-heads of whalemen in these latitudes one of these birds came wheeling and screaming round his head in a maze of untrackably swift circlings. Then it darted a thousand feet straight up into the air; then spiralized downwards, and went eddying again round his head.
- He complied, and then proceeded to wash himself. At that time in the morning any Christian would have washed his face; but Queequeg, to my amazement, contented himself with restricting his ablutions to his chest, arms, and hands. I was watching to see where he kept his razor, when lo and behold, he takes the harpoon from the bed corner, slips out the long wooden stock, unsheathes the head. Whets it a little on his boot, and striding up to the bit of mirror against the wall, begins a vigorous scraping, or rather harpooning of his cheeks.
Towards evening, when I felt assured that all his performances and rituals must be over, I went up to his room and knocked at the door; but no answer. I tried to open it, but it was fastened inside. Queequeg, said I softly through the key-hole all silent. All remained still as before I began to grow alarmed. I had allowed him such abundant time thought he might have had an apoplectic fit. Looked through the key-hole but the door opening into an odd corner of the room, the key-hole prospect was but a crooked and sinister one. Could only see part of the foot-board of the bed and a line of the wall, but nothing more. I was surprised to behold resting against the wall the wooden shaft of harpoon, which the landlady the evening previous had taken from him, before our mounting to the chamber.