The isolated subterraneousness of the cabin made a certain humming silence to reign there, though it was hooped round by all the roar of the elements. The loaded muskets in the rack were shiningly revealed, as they stood upright against the forward bulkhead. Starbuck was an honest, upright man; but out of Starbuck's heart, at that instant when he saw the muskets, there strangely evolved an evil thought; but so blent with its neutral or good accompaniments that for the instant he hardly knew it for itself.
He would have shot me once, he murmured, "yes, there's the very musket that he pointed at me; — that one with the studded stock; let me touch it — lift it. Strange, that I, who have handled so many deadly lances, strange, that I should shake so now. Loaded? I must see. Aye, aye; and powder in the pan; — that's not good. Best spill it? — wait. I'll cure myself of this. I'll hold the musket boldly while I think. — I come to report a fair wind to him. But how fair? Fair for death and doom, — that's fair for Moby Dick. It's a fair wind that's only fair for that accursed fish.