The next day something that happens that would seem to dispel all of Billy's doubts about whether or not Claggart likes him.
Billy is down below deck joking with the other sailors. It's a stormy day, and the ship lurches, causing Billy to spill his soup just as Claggart is walking by.
At first Claggart ignores it and is about to step over the puddle, but when he realizes who spilled the soup, he makes a wisecrack at Billy.
He says, "Handsomely done, my lad! And handsome is as handsome did it, too!" (10.1).
Billy and all the men take it as a joke, and Billy scoffs at the Dansker's idea that Claggart doesn't like him.
But as Claggart passes on there's a distorted expression on his face that frightens a little drummer boy. When the boy looks at him, he threatens him with his rattan (the tough stem of a palm) and tells him to move on.