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Moby Dick Chapter 49 The Hyena 
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Post Moby Dick Chapter 49 The Hyena
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/270 ... m#2HCH0049

Quote:
That odd sort of wayward mood I am speaking of, comes over a man only in some time of extreme tribulation; it comes in the very midst of his earnestness, so that what just before might have seemed to him a thing most momentous, now seems but a part of the general joke. There is nothing like the perils of whaling to breed this free and easy sort of genial, desperado philosophy; and with it I now regarded this whole voyage of the Pequod, and the great White Whale its object.


Ishmaeil is mildly taken aback by his first experience of a first hand encounter with a whale. Queequeg assures his it is not unfrequent that boats get smashed, sending their occupants into the deep. And so Ishmael enquires about this desperado business, and receives an affirmative reply to this rather difficult question.
Quote:
is going plump on a flying whale with your sail set in a foggy squall the height of a whaleman's discretion?"


The more experienced hands might have noted that whales do not fly, or that staying home in Nantucket might be more discreet. But no.

Quote:
squalls and capsizings in the water and consequent bivouacks on the deep, were matters of common occurrence

Therefore, his life in the hands of the prudent Starbuck, and the with terrifying tales of Moby Dick in prospect
Quote:
taking all things together, I say, I thought I might as well go below and make a rough draft of my will. "Queequeg," said I, "come along, you shall be my lawyer, executor, and legatee."


Speaking as one who has already cheated his Maker
Quote:
all the days I should now live would be as good as the days that Lazarus lived after his resurrection; a supplementary clean gain ... here goes for a cool, collected dive at death and destruction, and the devil fetch the hindmost.

Desperado indeed, out on the wild seas. Perhaps the hyena is considered a desperado animal, I'm not sure, taking the universe for a joke, taking on lions, gobbling bullets like an ostrich. One discussion of this source is at http://desperadophilosophy.net/about/

And a desperate hyena

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