’Take him,’ says the governor—and by the Lord, Flask, if the devil didn’t give John the Asiatic cholera before he got through with him, I’ll eat this whale in one mouthful.
I say this continual smoking must have been one cause, at least, of his peculiar disposition; for every one knows that this earthly air, whether ashore or afloat, is terribly infected with the nameless miseries of the numberless mortals who have died exhaling it; and as in time of the cholera, some people go about with a camphorated handkerchief to their mouths; so, likewise, against all mortal tribulations, Stubb’s tobacco smoke might have operated as a sort of disinfecting agent.
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So far, 21 people have died in a suspected cholera outbreak in a remote southern Philippine township.
But there was no clean water and people started dying from cholera.