At first Claggart is friendly toward Billy and seems pleased with his performance of duty. Later Billy is surprised when he is admonished for petty errors. Fearing punishment, Billy seeks advice from a veteran sailor called the Dansker, who says Jemmy Legs (Claggart) is "down on him [Billy]." The Dansker's observation proves correct. Squeak, one of Claggart's corporals, furnishes desired false information to the master-at-arms.One night, an afterguardsman awakens Billy, who is sleeping on deck, and dispatches him to a secluded spot on the ship. There he asks Billy to join a group of impressed sailors in an insurrection and offers him a bribe. Enraged, Billy begins to stutter and threatens to throw the sailor overboard. The sailor flees.Shortly after the Bellipotent gives chase to a French vessel, the master-at-arms reports to Captain Vere that Billy is involved in an attempted mutiny. Shocked, the captain orders Claggart and Billy to
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