"Hob's Leviathan": At the World's End Inn, a sailor named Jim tells his tale:
Appearing in "Hob's Leviathan"
- Jim the Sailor (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- The Landlady
- Bhartari Raja (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
- Burgrave (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
- Nathaniel Dawning (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
- Canby (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
- Worlds' End
Synopsis for "Hob's Leviathan"
At the World's End Inn, a sailor named Jim tells his tale:
On his thirteenth birthday, Jim had run away from home and joined a sailing ship's crew to Singapore. Eventually, he found himself on a ship in Bombay under Captain Herbert Burgrave. One day, a gentleman had come to see the Captain. After some time of talking, the captain and the man called Jim in.
The captain introduced the gentleman as Hob Gadling, and stated that the man would be their passenger back to England. The captain assigned Jim as Mr. Gadling's steward for the voyage.
One day, Jim and some other crew men discovered that food had been going missing on the ship, and so they did some detective work, and found a stowaway in the hold. It was a small indian man, who had a great need to get to Liverpool. Against the captain's protests, Mr. Gadling paid the man's way to Liverpool, and the Indian man became their newest passenger.
One night, the new passenger told a story of a strange holy man who came to the palace of a king who loved his wife more than life itself. The holy man offered the king a fruit which he claimed could extend his life eternally. The king shrewdly asked why the man never ate of it himself. The holy man explained that he was too old, and that he wanted to remain on the Karmic wheel. Additionally, he feared it.
The old man proved his fruit's power by feeding it to a mongoose, who then survived the flames of a furnace. The king took the fruit to his wife and gave it to her instead of himself. However, the wife was unfaithful, and she gave the fruit to the captain of the guard. The guard gave it to a courtesan, and that courtesan returned it to the king. Angrily, he had his wife and her lover killed. He dressed himself as a beggard and ate the fruit himself. He left his palace, and was never seen again.
One day, Jim and his crew were surprised by the sudden appearance of a multitude of fish. They gathered much of the bounty, but the experience culminated when a massive sea-serpent rose up from the waves. After it was gone, Jim was perturbed by the fact that no one else on the ship was willing to speak about what they saw. Mr. Gadling suggested that perhaps no one would believe them if they told. When they got ashore later, Gadling asked Jim whether he had told anyone. Jim confessed that he did not. Gadling surmised that this was because Jim didn't want to draw attention to the fact that he was, in fact, a girl.
Jim confessed that her real name was Margaret, and Mr. Gadling likewise confessed that he was actually quite old indeed. The two of them agreed not to reveal each other's secrets, and they boarded the ship again.
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