The waif is a pennoned pole, two or three of which are carried by every boat; and which, when additional game is at hand, are inserted upright into the floating body of a dead whale, both to mark its place on the sea, and also as token of prior possession, should the boats of any other ship draw near.
Printed brochures, gratis from Myrtle Somebody whose brother-in-law was a printer, were placed about town by tiny Tonya, an eight-year-old Latina waif hired by Fred for five bucks.
The allusion to the waif and waif-poles in the last chapter but one, necessitates some account of the laws and regulations of the whale fishery, of which the waif may be deemed the grand symbol and badge.
L There is no need to express in words the total euphoria, not only I felt, but everyone involved experienced when a bedraggled waif stumbled on a pack of boy scouts searching for her grave.
So, cutting the lashing of the waterproof match keg, after many failures Starbuck contrived to ignite the lamp in the lantern; then stretching it on a waif pole, handed it to Queequeg as the standard-bearer of this forlorn hope.