And half concealed in this queer tenement, I at length found one who by his aspect seemed to have authority; and who, it being noon, and the ship’s work suspended, was now enjoying respite from the burden of command. He was seated on an old-fashioned oaken chair, wriggling all over with curious carving; and the bottom of which was formed of a stout interlacing of the same elastic stuff of which the wigwam was constructed.
There was nothing so very particular, perhaps, about the appearance of the elderly man I saw; he was brown and brawny, like most old seamen, and heavily rolled up in blue pilot-cloth, cut in the Quaker style; only there was a fine and almost microscopic net-work of the minutest wrinkles interlacing round his eyes, which must have arisen from his continual sailings in many hard gales, and always looking to windward;—for this causes the muscles about the eyes to become pursed together. Such eye-wrinkles are very effectual in a scowl.
«Is this the Captain of the Pequod?» said I, advancing to the door of the tent.
«Supposing it be the captain of the Pequod, what dost thou want of him?» he demanded.
«I was thinking of shipping.»
«Thou wast, wast thou? I see thou art no Nantucketer—ever been in a stove boat?»
«No, Sir, I never have.»