This is Moby Dick Chapter 20: All Astir (summary)
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After a day or two, the employed men mended the old sails, and brought some new sails, new bolts, and new coils on board. Meanwhile, Captain Peleg was the look-out to these working men; Bildad purchased all the materials and supplies needed.
The next day, following the time when Queegqueg signed the papers, they said something about the departure of the ship: they’re not sure when the Pequod will leave, but they still need to get prepared. However, the ship did not sail for several days.
The length of the voyage is three years, so a lot of things should be brought to necessitate the needs of the crew. For example: beds, pans, knives and forks, etc. And they are away from all doctors, grocers, bakers, etc.
Furthermore, compared with all other kinds of vessels, whaling vessels are the most exposed to accidents and destruction. Hence, they always bring spares for their necessities.
One of the helpers of the Pequod was Captain Bildad’s sister. She is a lean old lady who tirelessly and persistently fetches and carries the supplies to the Pequod. For once, she went on board with a jar of pickles for the steward’s pantry; another time with a bunch of quills for the chief mate’s desk; and a third time with a facecloth for someone’s rheumatic back.
No one better deserves her name, for her name was Charity; everybody calls her Aunt Charity. She was ready to give all her heart to help with the safety and comfort of everybody.
As for Bildad, he held a long list of the things needed for the voyage. Once they carry a certain item on board, he checked it out in his list. Concerning Peleg, he roared and yelled at everybody every once and awhile to get them to work, until he went back into his wigwam.
Queegqueg and Ishmael often visited the Pequod during these days of preparations to ask how Ahab was doing, and to ask when he could ship. They say he’s getting better and they actually expect him to be there anyday.
In the meantime, Captain Peleg and Captain Bildad took care of the things on the ship. Honestly, Ishmael didn’t like the fact that he hadn’t seen the captain even for once, for so long. But at last, they said that the Pequod will sail tomorrow. The next morning, Queegqueg and Ishmael started early.
End of Moby Dick Chapter 20: All Astir (summary)