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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
by Jules Verne
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Part 1 Chapter 4 Summary
Ned Land Farragut is a good captain, Aronnax tells us. He's sure that the monster is out there, and he's ready to get it—or die trying. His officers are equally committed. Sweet. They spend every moment they can on lookout. Oh yeah, and it helps that there's a $2,000 reward for the first person to sight the monster. Aronnax obviously wants to find his Giant Narwhal as well. Only Conseil seems uninterested, to Aronnax's annoyance. While the Abraham Lincoln is armed to the teeth with guns and cannons and all sorts of things that kill, it's also got one very special weapon: a Canadian harpooner named Ned Land. For a man named Land, this Canadian sure is at home on the sea. He's a master with the harpoon. He's a real whale-killer's whale-killer, big and strong and more than a bit stubborn. Land is a French Canadian from Québec, so Aronnax treats him like a Frenchman… and the two men chat. Aronnax likes listening to his tales of adventure. Land doesn't think much of Aronnax's giant sea unicorn theory, but he prefers not to talk about it. On July 30, three weeks after leaving port, they find themselves off the coast of Argentina. Aronnax decides to ask Ned directly about his opinion regarding the whole sea monster thing. Ned tells him that, really, there's no way an animal could have pierced the side of a metal ship. Aronnax attempts to convince him with scientific talk and "statistics," but Ned remains skeptical. In the end, Aronnax just reassures himself, while Ned's mind remains unchanged.
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