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Chapter 14 and 15

Chapter 14

A few days after the soup-spilling incident, a man approached Billy to ask him to join a gang of mutineers. Billy was sleeping on the foretop because it was less hot and crowded than the decks below, and he was one of the few who had the right to sleep there. The mutineer took this opportunity because he was less likely to get caught with so few people around. The mutineer woke Billy up and whispered for him to meet at the forechains, a secluded location. Billy was extremely trusting and he didn't want to disappoint anyone, and so he met the man at the forechains.
It was dark and Billy couldn't see the face of the mutineer at the forechains. The mutineer said to Billy that there was a gang of impressed sailors aboard who wanted his help, and the mutineer offered him two coins. Now that Billy fully understood the situation, he got nervous and angry, and he stuttered. He eventually managed to say that he would toss the mutineer overboard if he didn't leave, and that made the mutineer disappear. A couple of Billy's companions on the foretop awoke from the commotion and asked Billy what the matter was because they heard him stutter. Billy simply said that he found an afterguardsman on their part of the ship and he chased the man off (hiding the news of the mutiny from them). The other foretopmen were satisfied by Billy's explanation, disappointed perhaps only because Billy didn't do anything more severe than chase the man off their "territory."

Chapter 15

Billy couldn't get the incident with the mutineer out of his head. Since he couldn't see the afterguardsman well in the dark, Billy wondered what he might look like in the day. Billy also wondered if the coins he offered were really made of gold. As curious as he was, Billy also knew instinctively that it would mean trouble and he resolved to stay away. The next afternoon, Billy recognized the mutineer (from the shape of his body) who was smoking with some of his friends. It confused Billy that someone who seemed to be so carefree would be the type to help in the planning of a dangerous mutiny. Little did Billy realize that the mutineer saw Billy first and then pretended with his smoking friends to be having a lot of fun in order to put on a show for Billy. A day or two later, the mutineer passed by Billy on the deck and gave him a nice greeting, a surprising gesture since they never formally met before. Completely embarrassed by this, Billy didn't say anything and pretended not to hear it.
Billy really didn't know what to do now. Although the thought never occurred to him to report the incident to his superiors, he never would have done so anyway because he was afraid to be considered a telltale. Thus, he kept the matter to himself except on one occasion with the Dansker. Billy gave a brief account of the incident to the Dansker, whose response was still, "Jemmy Legs is down on you." The Dansker was implying that Claggart ordered the afterguardsman to say these things to Billy, but Billy refused to believe that Claggart had anything to do with the mutineer.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3 and 4
Chapter 5 and 6
Chapter 7 and 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10 and 11
Chapter 12 and 13
Chapter 14 and 15
Chapter 16 and 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22 and 23
Chapter 24 and 25
Chapter 26 and 27
Chapter 28, 29, and 30


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