Van Weyden isn’t sure what to make of Wolf Larsen; he can’t decide whether Larsen is a genius or a primitive man. The cook Mugridge loses all his money in a card game with Wolf Larsen. Wolf Larsen wins $185—exactly what was stolen from Van Weyden, but he refuses to give it back. This prompts Larsen and Van Weyden to argue about ethics.
That night, however, Van Weyden deals with the Wolf Larsen and the hunters while Mugridge waits on them. Wolf Larsen and Van Weyden talk about things the hunters don’t understand, which angers the hunters.
Wolf Larsen’s harsh refusal to hand over Van Weyden’s money may seem harsh contrasts with the compassion he exhibits now when he treats Van Weyden well at dinner. This reinforces Larsen’s unpredictability. It also suggests Larsen’s need to be in control.