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CHAPTER 48: The First Lowering. (continued)
"Captain Ahab?--" said Starbuck.
"Spread yourselves," cried Ahab; "give way, all four boats. Thou, Flask, pull out more to leeward!"
"Aye, aye, sir," cheerily cried little King-Post, sweeping round his great steering oar. "Lay back!" addressing his crew. "There!--there!--there again! There she blows right ahead, boys!--lay back!"
"Never heed yonder yellow boys, Archy."
"Oh, I don't mind'em, sir," said Archy; "I knew it all before now. Didn't I hear 'em in the hold? And didn't I tell Cabaco here of it? What say ye, Cabaco? They are stowaways, Mr. Flask."
"Pull, pull, my fine hearts-alive; pull, my children; pull, my little ones," drawlingly and soothingly sighed Stubb to his crew, some of whom still showed signs of uneasiness. "Why don't you break your backbones, my boys? What is it you stare at? Those chaps in yonder boat? Tut! They are only five more hands come to help us--never mind from where--the more the merrier. Pull, then, do pull; never mind the brimstone--devils are good fellows enough. So, so; there you are now; that's the stroke for a thousand pounds; that's the stroke to sweep the stakes! Hurrah for the gold cup of sperm oil, my heroes! Three cheers, men--all hearts alive! Easy, easy; don't be in a hurry--don't be in a hurry. Why don't you snap your oars, you rascals? Bite something, you dogs! So, so, so, then:--softly, softly! That's it--that's it! long and strong. Give way there, give way! The devil fetch ye, ye ragamuffin rapscallions; ye are all asleep. Stop snoring, ye sleepers, and pull. Pull, will ye? pull, can't ye? pull, won't ye? Why in the name of gudgeons and ginger-cakes don't ye pull?--pull and break something! pull, and start your eyes out! Here!" whipping out the sharp knife from his girdle; "every mother's son of ye draw his knife, and pull with the blade between his teeth. That's it--that's it. Now ye do something; that looks like it, my steel-bits. Start her--start her, my silver-spoons! Start her, marling-spikes!"
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