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16. The Ship
In bed we concocted our plans for the morrow. But to my surprise and no small concern,
Queequeg now gave me to understand, that he had been diligently consulting Yojo--the
name of his black little god--and Yojo had told him two or three times over, and strongly
insisted upon it everyway, that instead of our going together among the whaling-fleet in
harbor, and in concert selecting our craft; instead of this, I say, Yojo earnestly enjoined
that the selection of the ship should rest wholly with me, inasmuch as Yojo purposed
befriending us; and, in order to do so, had already pitched upon a vessel, which, if left to
myself, I, Ishmael, should infallibly light upon, for all the world as though it had turned
out by chance; and in that vessel I must immediately ship myself, for the present
irrespective of Queequeg.
I have forgotten to mention that, in many things, Queequeg placed great confidence in
the excellence of Yojo's judgment and surprising forecast of things; and cherished Yojo
with considerable esteem, as a rather good sort of god, who perhaps meant well
enough upon the whole, but in all cases did not succeed in his benevolent designs.
Now, this plan of Queequeg's, or rather Yojo's, touching the selection of our craft; I did
not like that plan at all. I had not a little relied upon Queequeg's sagacity to point out the
whaler best fitted to carry us and our fortunes securely. But as all my remonstrances
produced no effect upon Queequeg, I was obliged to acquiesce; and accordingly
prepared to set about this business with a determined rushing sort of energy and vigor,
that should quickly settle that trifling little affair. Next morning early, leaving Queequeg
shut up with Yojo in our little bedroom--for it seemed that it was some sort of Lent or
Ramadan, or day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer with Queequeg and Yojo that day;
HOW it was I never could find out, for, though I applied myself to it several times, I
never could master his liturgies and XXXIX Articles--leaving Queequeg, then, fasting on
his tomahawk pipe, and Yojo warming himself at his sacrificial fire of shavings, I sallied
out among the shipping. After much prolonged sauntering and many random inquiries, I
learnt that there were three ships up for three-years' voyages--The Devil-dam, the Tit-
bit, and the Pequod. DEVIL-DAM, I do not know the origin of; TIT-BIT is obvious;
PEQUOD, you will no doubt remember, was the name of a celebrated tribe of
Massachusetts Indians; now extinct as the ancient Medes. I peered and pryed about the
Devil-dam; from her, hopped over to the Tit-bit; and finally, going on board the Pequod,
looked around her for a moment, and then decided that this was the very ship for us.
You may have seen many a quaint craft in your day, for aught I know;--square-toed
luggers; mountainous Japanese junks; butter-box galliots, and what not; but take my
word for it, you never saw such a rare old craft as this same rare old Pequod. She was
a ship of the old school, rather small if anything; with an old-fashioned claw-footed look
about her. Long seasoned and weather-stained in the typhoons and calms of all four
oceans, her old hull's complexion was darkened like a French grenadier's, who has
alike fought in Egypt and Siberia. Her venerable bows looked bearded. Her masts--cut
somewhere on the coast of Japan, where her original ones were lost overboard in a