frankenstein by mary shelley
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The stranger asks, "Before I come on board your vessel, will you have the kindness to inform me whither you are bound?" This is an odd question because the stranger is close to death, "on the brink of destruction". You, as a reader, would expect him to jump at the chance of being rescued by anyone and not care where the ship was going.
The line in question was from a man with a foreign accent,” Before I come on board your vessel," said he, "will you have the kindness to inform me whither you are bound?" This strikes Walton as odd. Walton says that, "I should have supposed that my vessel would have been a resource which he would not have exchanged for the most precious wealth the earth can afford." The place was barren and the man would have surely died if it was not for the ship.