Twenty-eight chapters into the novel, the mysterious Captain Ahab final makes his appearance. Ever since the Pequod sailed from Nantucket on Christmas Day, Ishmael finds himself looking aft — toward the quarter-deck at the stern of the ship, the captain’s domain — to see if Captain Ahab is there. Although as the voyage begins, the mates seem to be the ones running the ship, every now and then they seem to “[issue] from the cabin with orders so sudden and peremptory, that after all it was plain they but cfommanded vicariously.” There is a captain aboard.

And then one day Ishmael looks to the stern and finds the object of his desire: “foreboding shivers ran over me. Reality outran