Chapter 135 The Chase --- Third Day

        Ahab acknowledges the beauty of the dawning day, and then -- as part of a rambling, self-contradictory soliloquy he states, "Were I the wind, I'd blow no more on such a wicked, miserable world." He thinks over the Parsee's prediction that he would come back from the dead to pilot Ahab to death. But this appears impossible to him with Fedallah at the bottom of the sea. Again the old man is hoisted up in the rigging; again he is first to see the White Whale.

        As Ahab is lowered in his boat he calls, "Starbuck!" . . . "Sir?" . . . "For the third time my soul's ship starts on this voyage, Starbuck." . . . "Aye, sir, thou wilt have it so." . . . "Starbuck, I am old. Shake hands with me, man.". . . Weeping, Starbuck begs his captain not to go. "'Lower away!' cried Ahab." At that moment, the voice of Pip was heard from the cabin window, "The sharks! O master, my master, come back!" And as the three boats rowed to meet Moby Dick, only Ahab's was surrounded, vulture-like, by sharks. The old man scoffs, "No coffin and no hearse can be mine -- and only hemp can kill me! Ha! ha!"

        Before the boats get away from the ship, Moby Dick, maddened by the harpoons in him, breaches up. Lashed round the whale's body, wrapped there by turns of whale lines, the dead body of Fedallah is seen. Two predictions have come true: dead Fedallah appears to pilot Ahab to his death. The first hearse is Moby Dick himself. Again the vicious whale smashes two boats, but Ahab's is unharmed. Befooled, Ahab sends the mates back to the ship to repair their boats, while threatening to harpoon his boat's crew as "things" if they dare jump out.

        Moby Dick seems to be fleeing from the scene, prompting Starbuck to call to Ahab, "See! Moby Dick seeks thee not. Not too late to desist!" But it's too late now. Back on the Pequod, the stove boats are being hammered on -- a lethal mistake -- for the noise of hammering from the ship will attract the rage of a bull whale. Chasing the whale past the ship, Ahab calls to Tashtego to nail another flag up on the mast. Catching up to Moby Dick, Ahab is able to dart a harpoon into him, but as he attempted to tow on the line, it snapped! Free of the whale line, but freshly tormented by yet another harpoon, Moby Dick takes aim at the approaching Pequod. As the infuriated whale swims at top speed towards the ship, Starbuck and Stubb can see what's coming: "Oh Ahab, Ahab, lo thy work!" -- and they start saying their prayers. "'Up helm, I say -- ye fools!' shouts Starbuck. 'He turns to meet us!' . . . Retribution, swift vengeance, eternal malice were in Moby Dick's solid white forehead that smote the ship's starboard bow. Falling flat on their faces, through the breach they heard the waters pour. 'The ship! The second hearse!' cried Ahab from the boat; 'its wood could only be American! Thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!'"

        "The harpoon was darted; the stricken whale flew forward; with igniting velocity the line ran through the groove; -- ran foul. Ahab stooped to clear it; he did clear it; but the flying turn caught him round the neck, and voicelessly as Turkish mutes bowstring their victim, he was shot out of the boat, ere the crew knew he was gone." So dies Captain Ahab -- killed by a hemp rope as the Parsee predicted. "The ship? Great God, where is the ship?"

        "And now concentric circles seized the lone boat itself, and all its crew, and each floating oar, and every lance-pole, and spinning all round and round in one vortex, carried the smallest chip of the Pequod out of sight. And the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."