“Thou liest!” smiting him with his clenched fist. “Heading East at this hour in the morning, and the sun astern?” Upon this every soul was confounded; for the phenomenon just then observed by Ahab had unaccountably escaped every one else; but its very blinding palpableness must have been the cause. Thrusting his head half way into the binnacle, Ahab caught one glimpse of the compasses; his uplifted arm slowly fell; for a moment he almost seemed to stagger. Standing behind him Starbuck looked, and lo! the two compasses pointed East, and the Pequod was as infallibly going West. But ere the first wild alarm could get out abroad among the crew, the old man with a rigid laugh exclaimed, “I have it! It has happened before. Mr. Starbuck, last night’s thunder turned our compasses—that’s all. Thou hast before now heard of such a thing, I take it.” “Aye; but never
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