Steering as she had done, the wind had been somewhat on the Pequod's quarter, so that now being pointed in the reverse direction, the braced ship sailed hard upon the breeze as she rechurned the cream in her own white wake.
Against the wind he now steers for the open jaw, murmured Starbuck to himself, as he coiled the new-hauled main-brace upon the rail. "God keep us, but already my bones feel damp within me, and from the inside wet my flesh. I misdoubt me that I disobey my God in obeying him!"
Stand by to sway me up! cried Ahab, advancing to the hempen basket. "We should meet him soon."
Aye, aye, sir, and straightway Starbuck did Ahab's bidding, and once more Ahab swung on high.
A whole hour now passed; gold-beaten out to ages. Time itself now held long breaths with keen suspense. But at last, some three points off the weather bow, Ahab descried the spout again, and instantly from the three mast-heads three shrieks went up as if the tongues of fire had voiced it.
Forehead to forehead I meet thee, this third time, Moby Dick! On deck there! — brace sharper up; crowd her into the wind's eye. He's too far off to lower yet, Mr. Starbuck. The sails shake!