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When Ishmael wakes up he recounts a story about his childhood. he had misbehaved and been sent to bed, but he also realized the length of time he'd need to stay in bed (it was only the afternoon) that he asked his step-mother fat another punishment. His step-mother refused, and he was sent back to bed.
After awhile he fell asleep, and when he woke up it was dark. He was laying in bed with his arm hanging over the side and suddenly felt a supernatural hand within his own. Waking up with Queequeg had given him the same eerie feeling.