by Herman Melville
Moby-Dick Chapter 117: The Whale Watch Summary
- Ahab’s boat stays beside the whale he killed all night, waiting for the ship to be able to pick it up. Everyone is asleep except Fedallah.
- Ahab jerks awake and tells Fedallah he’s had the same dream again.
- Fedallah explains the dream and Ahab’s fate in cryptic terms: before Ahab can die on the voyage, he will see two hearses on the sea, "the first not made by mortal hands" and the second made of American wood.
- Fedallah also predicts that he will "go before" Ahab.
- Plus, Ahab can only be killed by hemp—which he takes to mean being hanged on the gallows.