Moby Dick Chapter 84 Pitchpoling
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To make them run easily and swiftly whalers grease the bottom to make the boat slide bravely. Queequeg believed strongly in anointing his boat, rubbing in the unctuousness as though diligently seeking to insure a crop of hair from the craft's bald keel.
Whales were raised; but turned and fled with swift precipitancy; a disordered flight, as of Cleopatra's barges from Actium.
Tashtego at last succeeded in planting one iron, leading then to that fine manoeuvre with the lance called pitchpoling. The long lance is accurately darted from a violently rocking, jerking boat, under extreme headway.
Stubb was specially qualified to excel in pitchpoling. Handling the long lance lightly, in a superb lofty arch the bright steel spans the foaming distance, and quivers in the life spot of the whale. Instead of sparkling water, he now spouts red blood.
"That drove the spigot out of him!" cried Stubb. "'Tis July's immortal Fourth; all fountains must run wine today!"
The agonized whale goes into his flurry; the tow-line is slackened, and the pitchpoler dropping astern, folds his hands, and mutely watches the monster die.