trying_out

Chapter 96. Trying-Out

The hatch, removed from the top of the works, now
afforded a wide hearth in front of them. Standing on this
were the Tartarean shapes of the pagan harpooneers,
always the whale-ship's stokers. With huge pronged
poles they pitched hissing masses of blubber into the
scalding pots, or stirred up the
fires beneath, till the
snaky flames darted, curling, out of the doors to catch
them by the feet. The smoke rolled away in sullen heaps.