Chapters 28-29 Summary

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Last Updated February 21, 2023.

Once again, the crew gathers together, but this time it's to observe a burial at sea. After the ceremony is finished, there is another unusual noise that can be heard, but it's different from the first one. This time, the noise mixes in with the calls of the sea birds that are flying around the location of the burial.

The sea birds' existence holds a lot of importance for sailors who believe in superstitions. The sailors are greatly affected by this sign, and they start behaving in a way that goes against naval etiquette. The officers take prompt action and give orders, and the crew is dispersed quickly with the help of drumbeats. Despite being used to following strict military rules, the sailors now stand upright and remain quiet.

During the journey back to England, the Indomitable gets into a conflict with a French vessel called the Atheiste, and in the course of this engagement, Captain Vere sustains an injury from a musket shot. Along with the other wounded individuals, Vere is taken to Gibraltar and left there for medical treatment. However, Vere eventually passes away in Gibraltar, and his final words are "Billy Budd, Billy Budd."

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