Omoo

Omoo
Adventures in the South Seas

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Omoo by Herman Melville

Published:

1847

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Omoo
Adventures in the South Seas

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Book Excerpt

But a few moments passed ere I was sent for into the cabin by thecaptain.

He was quite a young man, pale and slender, more like a sicklycounting-house clerk than a bluff sea-captain. Bidding me be seated,he ordered the steward to hand me a glass of Pisco. In the state Iwas, this stimulus almost made me delirious; so that of all I thenwent on to relate concerning my residence on the island I canscarcely remember a word. After this I was asked whether I desired to"ship"; of course I said yes; that is, if he would allow me to enter for one cruise, engaging to discharge me, if I so desired, at thenext port. In this way men are frequently shipped on board whalemen in the South Seas. My stipulation was acceded to, and the ship'sarticles handed me to sign.

The mate was now called below, and charged to make a "well man" of me;not, let it be borne in mind, that the captain felt any greatcompassion for me, he only desired to have the benefit of my servicesas soon as possible.

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