Captain Ahab stands on the quarterdeck, darting his eyes among the crew.

AHAB: Lemme have your attention for a moment. Let’s talk about something important. What do ye do when ye see a whale, men?

CREW: Sing out for him?

AHAB: That’s right, cocksuckers.

Stubb sidles over to the rum barrel. He begins to fill his flask.

AHAB: Put that rum down. Rum’s for harpooners only, you think I’m fuckin’ with you, I am NOT fuckin’ with you: I’m here from Nantucket, I’m here from Bildad and Peleg… and I’m here on a mission of vengeance… [checks notes] Yer name’s Stubb? You call yourself a whaler, you son of a bitch…

Dough Boy gets up, starts to leave.

DOUGH BOY: I don’t have to listen to this shit.

AHAB: You certainly don’t pal, ’cause the good news is: you’re fired.

Ahab shoves Dough Boy overboard, into the sea. Complete silence.

AHAB: Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. ’Cause we’re having a little contest.

He removes a coin from his pocket and raises it aloft.

AHAB: Look ye! D’ye see this Spanish ounce of gold? It is a sixteen dollar piece, men — a doubloon. D’ye see it? I made three hundred seventy of these last year. What did you make, ye long-layed oily bastards??


AHAB: Now. We’re going to see who can raise me a white-headed whale with a wrinkled brow and a crooked jaw.

He nails the doubloon to the mainmast.

AHAB: First prize is this here gold ounce. Want to see second prize?

He pulls up his pant leg, revealing his stump.

AHAB: Second prize is he eats yer fucking leg. Third prize is you drown. You get the picture. Peleg and Bildad paid good money, you got the whole ocean. I’ve told ye of Moby Dick — white whale, punctured fluke, stuck with irons — and still, ye’ve not found him, ye’ve not harpooned shit

QUEEQUEG: But Captain, the leads… they all weake-tee.

AHAB: “Weake-tee?” Fucking “weake-tee"?? YER “weake-tee.” I command the motherfucking Pequod. That’s my name. And, if you can’t play in a man’s game, if you can’t harpoon, then head back to your berth and tell your husband your troubles.

Queequeg sulks. Ishmael pats his shoulder.

AHAB: Because one thing counts in this life: Chase the white whale till he spouts black blood. What say ye, men? What do ye know? What do YE know?

He unfurls a large sail, inked with letters.

AHAB: A.B.C. Always. Be. Chasing. Always be chasing.

He gestures wide.

AHAB: A.H.A.B. Attention: Harpoon. Alabaster. Bitches. A. Attention: Skin yer eyes for him, men. H. Harpoon: Will ye splice your hands on it now? A. Alabaster: The whiteness of the whale. B. Bitches: See ye his inscrutable malice? A.H.A.B. Now, get out there and wreak my hate upon him!

Starbuck raises his hand.

AHAB: What is it, pal? You. Starbuck.

STARBUCK: You’re such a hero, you’re so rich — how many barrels will thy vengeance yield even if thou gettest it, Captain Ahab? It will not fetch thee much in our Nantucket market.

AHAB: You see this leg?

Again, he reveals his ivory peg-leg.

AHAB: Tore this ivory from a monster’s jawbone. That’s who I am. I’d fight the fucking sun. You’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you. You want to be first mate on this ship? Bring me Moby Dick. You don’t like it, you leave.

STARBUCK (aside): God keep me — keep us all!

AHAB: You know what it takes to kill the white whale?

He hefts a harpoon into the air.

AHAB: It takes a girthy goddamn lance. You go and do likewise, gents. The spermaceti’s out there, you squeeze it out, it’s yours, you don’t, I got not sympathy for you. You get out there tonight and CHASE. Slay the pale leviathan, it’s yours. Not, yer going to be shining my only shoe. And you know what you’ll be saying? “Call me Ishmael — I’ve no money in my purse… Yeah, I used to be a whaler.” Pathetic.

He points out over the open ocean.

AHAB: There she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! There’s your lead. And this gold?

He pries the doubloon from the mast, puts it back in his own pocket.

AHAB: You don’t get it. Doubloons are for Ahabs.

Ahab turns and stumps toward the helm. Silence.