The following is from a work-in-progress called "Moby Dick: a Book Report" in which I read each chapter of Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick, and write about what I read.
As the Pequod sails on, Ahab begins spending his evenings alone on the quiet deck of the ship, while the other sailors sleep. The captain’s first lines of the book, which he mutters to himself, are prescient: “It feels like going down into one’s tomb.”
One night, on his evening stroll about the deck, Ahab is approached by the second-mate Stubb, who asks if the captain could muffle the loud noise that his ivory leg makes upon the deck. Bad move, Stubb. Ahab harshly insults Stubb, calling him a “dog” and “a donkey, a mule, and an ass.” This scolding disturbs the otherwise happy-go-lucky Stubb, who quietly descends back to his cabin. As he approaches his bunk, we get the inner thoughts of Stubb, who thinks Ahab to be “full of riddles.”