Allied to the bottom of the river rather than the surface, by reason of the slime and ooze with which it was covered, and its sodden state, this boat and the two figures in it obviously were doing something that they often did, and were seeking what they often sought.
But, it happened now, that a slant of light from the setting sun glanced into the bottom of the boat, and, touching a rotten stain there which bore some resemblance to the outline of a muffled human form, coloured it as though with diluted blood.
Whereupon planting his feet firmly against two opposite planks of the boat, the gigantic negro, stooping a little, presented his flat palm to Flask's foot, and then putting Flask's hand on his hearse-plumed head and bidding him spring as he himself should toss, with one dexterous fling landed the little man high and dry on his shoulders.
And so shouting, he pulled his hat from his head, and stamped up and down on it; then picking it up, flirted it far off upon the sea; and finally fell to rearing and plunging in the boat's stern like a crazed colt from the prairie.
Captain Mayhew, stand by now to receive it; and taking the fatal missive from Starbuck's hands, he caught it in the slit of the pole, and reached it over towards the boat
. But as he did so, the oarsmen expectantly desisted from rowing; the boat
drifted a little towards the ship's stern; so that, as if by magic, the letter suddenly ranged along with Gabriel's eager hand.
proceeded for the greater part of the day without seeing any signs of an enemy.
We were now dead before the wind, the boat
far away and abreast of us.
Then the second man climbs out of the boat
and comes to help him, and they get in each other's way, and hinder one another.
Light as the task would have been for a strong man to lower the small boat
to the ground, it took Daylight hours.
As we came upon the fleet of law-breaking fishermen, each boat
two or three hundred yards from its neighbors, and boats
and nets dotting the river as far as we could see, Charley said:
As soon as they got to the place where their other boat
lay, they ran their boat
into the beach and came all on shore, hauling the boat
up after them, which I was glad to see, for I was afraid they would rather have left the boat
at an anchor some distance from the shore, with some hands in her to guard her, and so we should not be able to seize the boat
We certainly had not been, and at that time as certainly we were not, either attended or followed by any boat
. If we had been waited on by any boat
, I should have run in to shore, and have obliged her to go on, or to make her purpose evident.
Some pointed their guns at the boat
, and threatened to fire; others stripped, plunged into the stream, and came swimming across.
At the finish there was not an oar's length between the first and second boat
, with Death coming in a good third on the top of the very next smooth swell, for all one knew to the contrary.
"Get in, my dears," said the shaggy man; "I'm sure I can manage this boat
as well as any sailor.