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Title: With the Battle Fleet
       Cruise of the Sixteen Battleships of the United States
              Atlantic Fleet from Hampton Roads to the Golden Gate,
              December, 1907-May, 1908

Author: Franklin Matthews

Illustrator: Henry Reuterdahl

Release Date: November 4, 2012 [EBook #41244]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Greg Bergquist, Charlie Howard, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
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Book Cover


Courtesy of Collier's Weekly
In the Straits of Magellan



DECEMBER, 1907-MAY, 1908




(Courtesy of Collier's Weekly)


Copyright 1909

1st Printing, October, 1908
2d Printing, December, 1908
3d Printing, February, 1909

(Captain of the U.S.S. Louisiana on the Atlantic Fleet's Cruise to the Pacific)



I. From Hampton Roads to Trinidad 1
II. Christmas With the Fleet 25
III. Trinidad to Rio de Janeiro 47
IV. Neptune Ahoy! 64
V. Brazil's Enthusiastic Welcome 86
VI. National Salutes at Sea 114
VII. Punta Arenas, the World's Jumping-off Place 135
VIII. Through Magellan Strait 164
IX. In and Out of Valparaiso Harbor 182
X. Peru's Warm-hearted Greeting 198
XI. Target Shooting at Magdalena Bay 228
XII. Routine of a Battleship 254
XIII. Social Life on an American Man-o'-war 282
XIV. End and Lessons of the Cruise to the Pacific 309



On December 16, 1907, there sailed from Hampton Roads, bound for San Francisco, a fleet of sixteen American battleships, the most powerful collection of warships ever assembled under the American flag and about to undertake the longest cruise that any fleet of any nation had ever made. It was ordered to make this journey of about 14,000 miles by President Roosevelt, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy by virtue of his office, for reasons which he did not deem wise to make public fully and which up to this writing have not been revealed. In his annual message submitted to Congress a few days before the fleet sailed the President designated the fleet, still known officially as the U. S. Atlantic Fleet, as the Battle Fleet.

Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans was in command of the fleet, of the first squadron and of the first division of the first squadron. The ships of his division were the Connecticut, (Captain H. Osterhaus), Kansas (Captain C. E. Vreeland), Vermont (Captain W. P. Potter) and Louisiana (Captain Richard Wainwright). The ships of the second division of the first squadron were commanded by Rear Admiral William H. Emory and were the Georgia (Captain H. McCrea), New Jersey (Captain W. H. H. Southerland), Rhode Island (Captain J. B. Murdock) and Virginia (Captain S. Schroeder). The second squadron of the fleet and its third division were commanded by[x] Rear Admiral Charles M. Thomas, and the ships of his division were the Minnesota (Captain J. Hubbard), Ohio (Captain C. W. Bartlett), Missouri (Captain G. A. Merriam) and the Maine (Captain G. B. Harber). The ships of the fourth division were commanded by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry, and his ships were the Alabama (Captain T. E. DeW. Veeder), Illinois (Captain J. M. Bowyer), Kearsarge (Captain H. Hutchins) and Kentucky (Captain W. C. Cowles). There were about 14,000 men on the ships and the value of the vessels and stores was about $100,000,000.

The following compilation shows where the fleet stopped, how long each stay was and the distance travelled.

Sailed from Hampton Roads, Va., December 16, 1907.

Arrived Port of Spain, December 23, 1907; sailed December 29, 1907; 1,594.7 knots; time 7 days 9 hours.

Arrived Rio de Janeiro, January 12, 1908; sailed January 22, 1908; 3,225 knots; time, 13 days 20 hours.

Arrived Possession Bar, Chile, January 31, 1908; sailed February 1, 1908; 2,076 knots; time, 9 days.

Arrived Punta Arenas, Chile, February 1, 1908; sailed February 7, 1908; 75 knots; time, 9 hours.

Arrived Callao, Peru, February 20, 1908; sailed February 29, 1908; 2,693 knots; time, 12 days 10 hours.

Arrived Magdalena Bay, Mexico, March 12, 1908; sailed April 11, 1908; 3,025 knots; time, 12 days 23 hours.

Arrived San Diego, Cal., April 14, 1908; sailed April 18, 1908; 590 knots; time, 2 days 21 hours.

Arrived San Pedro, Cal., April 18, 1908; sailed April 25, 1908; 75 knots; time, 9 hours.

Arrived Santa Barbara, Cal., April 25, 1908; sailed April 30, 1908; 85 knots; time, 10 hours.

Arrived Monterey, Cal., May 1, 1908; sailed May 2, 1908; 210 knots; time, 25 hours.

Arrived Santa Cruz, Cal., May 2, 1908; sailed May 5, 1908; 15 knots; time, 2 hours.


Arrived San Francisco Lightship, May 5, 1908; sailed May 6, 1908; 60 knots; time, 6 hours.

Arrived San Francisco, Cal., May 6, 1908; 15 knots; time, 2 hours. Total knots, 13,738.

Actual time of cruising, 61 days 19 hours.

The departure of the fleet excited intense interest throughout the civilized world. Its progress was watched with eagerness at home and abroad. The letters printed herewith record what took place on this momentous journey, and they constitute practically a chronological story of the cruise. Every word of them was passed upon by duly appointed naval officers with the fleet. Their accuracy therefore must be unquestioned. They were written for The Sun of New York and they were printed originally by that newspaper and its clients simultaneously throughout the country. They are reproduced by the special permission of the Sun Printing and Publishing Association and in response to a large number of written and oral requests that a permanent record be made of the cruise and its incidents.

The author takes pleasure in making acknowledgment of the kindly co-operation of Lieut. F. Taylor Evans of the Louisiana in the preparation of the letters and in the elimination of technical naval errors through his watchful supervision. The author is also under obligations to very many officers of the fleet, especially to Lieutenant Commander C. T. Jewell, navigator of the Louisiana, for suggestions and for assistance in gathering information, as well as for the cordiality with which he and the other correspondents, all of whom were sent with the fleet by special direction of the President, were received on the ships.

F. M.
New York, July 1, 1908.




Run of the Battleships Down to the West Indies—The "Sweet Sixteen" Quick to Get Down to Business After the Sentiment of the Good-by—Formation of the Fleet—Difficulties of Maintaining the Proper Distances—Naval Routine—Gospel of Neatness—Neptune's Preparations for Celebrating the Crossing of the Line—Arrival at Trinidad.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Trinidad, Dec. 24.

"I call 'em 'Sweet Sixteen', sir," said the bos'n's mate to the Sun correspondent as Admiral Evans in the flagship Connecticut led the battle fleet past the capes of the Chesapeake out to sea just before noon on December 16 and the gentle swells lifted and lowered the bows of one ship after another to nod their own farewells to the Mayflower at anchor near the Tail of the Horseshoe.

The officers and men had stood at attention to receive the good-by and godspeed of the President, and they had thundered their farewells to him from the throats of the 3-pounder barkers that spat fire and snorted out great puffs of smoke, but when each ship began to find herself she too made her good-by as only a dignified ship could make it, taking no orders from Admiral or Captain as to when and[2] how often she should bow to the ship that carried the President.

A stiff northwest wind seized hold of the great streamers of smoke that poured over the tops of smoke-pipes, and as these streamers frayed themselves out against the blue sky and the bright sun the breeze seemed to lift them toward the southeastern heavens, where some power wove them together to pull the ships along and give them a fine sendoff. All of Monday and Tuesday whoever it was in the kingdom of Old Boreas that was doing the tugging on the ships made a good job of it, for practically every vessel in the fleet had to check speed constantly.

Admiral Evans had his own notions as to the way a great fleet should set sail on a prolonged voyage, and his commanding officers got down to business in a jiffy. All acted as if sending a fleet of sixteen battleships on a 14,000 mile cruise were a mere matter of ordinary routine. The officers of the deck on all the ships were concerned chiefly about keeping their proper distances, the navigators were taking bearings and already getting ready for figuring out latitudes and longitudes, the executive officers were going about to see that everything was in proper order for routine at sea and the captains were mostly on the bridges casting their eyes about and keeping their ears open, alert to correct any move that might mar the performance of their ships in the fleet formation.

Below decks in engine and fire rooms, and in all the other of the scores of places where men watch and work in a warship, routine was established quickly.

It was all very businesslike. Every ship was doing the same thing at the same time. True, the fleet had started[3] for San Francisco, but that was a mere detail, so little has the matter of destination to do with perfecting drill on a warship.

Copyright by Pictorial News Co.
The Fleet Leaving Hampton Roads

Getting away from Hampton Roads may have sent a lump into many a man's throat, but not one showed it. On every ship the band was playing the usual good-by medley composed of "Home, Sweet Home," "The Girl I Left Behind Me" and "Auld Lang Syne." The middle part of the medley brought thumping of many feet on the deck, but there was silence and stern looks ahead when the beginning and end were reached, over and over again.

A staff officer on the Louisiana showed the attitude of the naval man. He had told his wife and family exactly where to go in a remote but conspicuous place on the ramparts of old Fort Monroe so that he could distinguish them easily with his glass. He had told them he would be on the after bridge. When the ship came near the station of his family he stole far out on the bridge, fixed his glass on the family group and waved and waved his handkerchief. The answer came quickly and the flashes seemed to be wigwags, such as a naval officer's wife might be expected to know.

The officer stood it for about two minutes. Then he pulled himself together sharply, turned and walked away. He walked over to a group of his mates.

"Did you make out your people, Jones?" asked one of them who had noted what was going on.

"I believe they were over there somewhere in the crowd," was the reply with an apparently unconcerned smile.

He had finished with that side of his existence. From now on he knew no family; his duty was to his flag and[4] ship. What was that signal at the forward truck? Had anybody made it out? His heartstrings were out of sight and he was thankful they were.

The business side of the start was another story. Orders had been issued to steam in exact column, that is, one ship directly behind its leader at a distance of 400 yards from masthead to masthead. Steam was up; engines, steering gear, annunciators, and all the rest of the modern contrivances had been tested; boats hoisted in and gangways unrigged, and then came the flagship signal to get under way.

How the men did step around and the anchor engines tug! The division officer watched until the anchor was clear of the mud, when he reported it to the executive officer, who takes a ship in and out of port. Finally the anchor was sighted, the "All ready" signal made, the engines began to throb and the ships turned on their heels and got under way.

It was a pretty manœuvre in the crowded Roads with the swift tide sweeping the ships seaward. In the chains the leadsman was swinging his plummet and calling out such things as "By the mark seven," "By the deep six," "By the quarter less six," while the ships slowly paraded down the bay. The channel was so shallow that the ships stirred up the mud and some of it got into the machinery, and there were hot bearings that were cooled down with the hose. It would not do to falter or make a blunder of any kind, for the President was looking on and no excuses would be tolerated.

It was a far different story from the old days. The[5] old sloop of war Jamestown lay in the Roads, and if the fleet could have stopped to listen she would have spun a yarn on how they used to leave port. She would have remarked upon the change. When she set sail capstan bars would be shipped and all that part of the ship's company manning the bars would bring the anchor chain "up and down, sir," as the officer in charge of the fo'c's'le would report. The captain and First Luff (the executive officer who "had to have the ship working like a chronometer, no thanks if he did and his hide scorched by his superiors if he didn't") would stand on the quarter block on the weather side and the navigator and officer of the deck on the lee side.

Then would come the sharp commands, "Aloft light yardmen!" "Aloft topmen!" "Aloft lower yardmen!" "Lay out!" "Let fall!" and a cloud of snowy canvas would drop loose and limp. Then would come the commands, "Topsail sheets and halyards!" "To'gallant sheets and halyards!" "Set taut!" "Haul away!" with the shrill sound of the bos'n's whistle to the tramp of hundreds of feet.

When a band was on board there would be a martial air. If not the officer would shout "Stamp and go!" and this noise with the feet meant so much extra pulling, and the good ship was soon on her course. Sometimes a chanty would be sung instead of the "Stamp and go," and when the ship was bound for Rio, just as this fleet is, one could hear the light hearted, and the heavy hearted ones too, singing a refrain that the men of this fleet might well have sung if the days of the chanty had not gone to limbo:


Heave away for Rio!
Heave away for Rio!
My bonny young girl,
My head's in a whirl,
For I'm bound for the Rio Grande.

The old days have gone, but many a bluejacket's head (bluejacket, mind you; not Jackie, for many of Uncle Sam's tars and sea dogs don't like that term) was in a whirl over some bonny young girl, as witness the hundreds of letters that were sent ashore on the mail orderly's last trip.

And so the ships passed out to sea. The matter of fact officers occasionally cast their eyes about and when they had time to give expression to their feelings about all that one would hear from them would be:

"Mighty fine, sight, this. Wonder what they're doing back there? Distance seems wrong. Better get up his position pennant or the Admiral may get after him. What's that? We're fifty yards too close? Give her three revolutions slower. Only twenty-five now? Give her only one slower. Get her distance now? Standard speed."

And the signals to the engine room would quit jangling for a time while the Captain or officer of the deck looked around again and repeated:

"Mighty fine sight, this!"

It all depends on the way you look at it. You couldn't see much going down the Chesapeake Bay channel. There was a turn or two, but the smoke of the saluting obscured things and it was not until the ships headed out to sea and the Connecticut was past the whistling buoy, which also seemed to want to have a share in the sendoff, that it was[7] possible to get a satisfactory look at the entire fleet that stretched away for more than three miles.

Then came a signal for open order. The Admiral's ship went right on. The next following bore out to port and the next to starboard. Then the ships paired off to port and starboard, making two lines, each a quarter of a point off the flagship, which had a lane to itself in the centre, giving the Admiral and his staff on the after bridge a view of all. Perhaps the formation may be understood better by the average reader by saying that it was a wing and wing formation.

Signals were passing along the line constantly and semaphores were throwing their arms about as if they were manikins performing for the amusement of the 14,000 men afloat. It was pretty to see a mass of flags fall to the deck simultaneously from time to time. It was impressive to see the flag of the country fluttering from the gaffs of mainmasts. It was fine to see the ships keeping in line.

The commanding officers might refer to the spectacle as a mighty fine sight, but the few civilians with the fleet shared the sentiment of a tar who sidled up to the Sun man and said:

"This makes you proud of your country. You know already that the country is big and great and all that, but when you see it reduced to this kind of business on the ocean you are sure your country is great. None but a great country could produce such a sight as this. I'm glad I've had the chance to see it."

In single file for two hours the ships kept on their course. They were like so many Indians on a jaunt. Each ship stood for sovereignty. Each stood for brute strength.[8] Each stood for the development of science and skill. Each stood for an impressive expression of patriotism. In that fleet of sixteen ships there seemed to be concentrated, according to some of those who looked at them, the entire power of the United States for good or evil.

When it came to estimating the brute strength of the fleet it grew bewildering. The mathematicians got busy. They figured out that there were nearly 1,000 guns of various kinds on the entire fleet and they talked about the weight of projectiles and charges and then got down to muzzle velocity in foot seconds and muzzle energy in foot tons and a lot of other terms that would make a landlubber's head dizzy. They told how the average muzzle velocity of those guns was 2,700 feet a second and that a 13-inch gun's energy was equal to raising 31,372 tons a foot, while that of a 12-inch gun, with which these ships are all armed, could lift, by the power of one discharge, 44,025 tons a foot. Then they got to figuring out how much all the guns could lift and how swift the things they shoot could go. This ran the figures up into the millions of foot tons just for one discharge.

When some one tried to figure out how many millions upon millions of foot tons could be raised if all the projectiles in the fleet were fired—the exact number of the thousands upon thousands of these projectiles it would not be prudent even to indicate—why, an amateur at figures, the simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division man, got a headache.

Then the figure sharps got after the engine power, and they tried to show if one ship had something like 15,000 horse-power, more or less, what the combined ships[9] must have and what could be done with it on land—that is, how many railroad trains, each a mile long, could be pulled so many thousands of miles; how many bridges like those across the East River they could pull down with just one tug at them; how many cities such power could light; how many great factories and mills could be run with that power, and even how much goods could be made out of it—well, after that the amateur began to wonder if he could add up two and two.

After that it was figured out that the displacement in tons for the entire fleet was more than a quarter of a million, and the weight of a lot of other heavy things in the world was estimated. By this time the amateur was clear flabbergasted, and all he could say, landlubber that he is and will be until Neptune has him ducked, was that if the fleet did displace 250,000 tons of water the ocean didn't show any signs of it and Uncle Sam would have to try many, many thousands of times if he expected to get the better of old Neptune by displacing water.

After the mathematical sharps had finished, what are known as the word painters and grainers became busy. Some of the word painters compared the long file of ships to a line of gray geese in a long follow-your-leader flight to the south for a warmer clime. The ships did look gray at times, according to the atmospheric conditions, but the gray geese analogy was voted not a success because geese haven't things sticking up in the middle of their backs resembling the smoke-pipes of battleships. Besides, geese do not give out black or any other kind of smoke.

The painters got out their vocabulary of magnificent, awe inspiring, formidable demons of war, bulldogs of the[10] sea, peace compellers and all that string and began to weave them all together, and it was voted all right and probably appropriate, but it was said that these did not hit quite the right note.

That was that this fleet was going out for business of a different kind from that which any other American fleet had undertaken. The business in hand was the moulding of sixteen battleship units into one battle fleet unit, not sixteen times stronger than one unit, but with the strength increased in something like geometrical ratio. The problem, therefore, was to make this fleet a unit, not like a chain, strong only as its weakest link, but like a rope, far stronger than the multiplied strength of its various strands.

Charles H. Cramp, the veteran shipbuilder, nearly ten years ago pointed out in a paper read at the annual meeting of naval men and marine engineers in New York City that the greatest training need of the United States navy was what he called battleship seamanship. That meant not navigation merely, but the synchronizing of one battleship to others, the tuning up, so to speak, the team work, to use a football analogy, in sailing, manœuvring, shooting—all pulling together.

Two hours after clearing the Capes Admiral Evans gave the signal for one of his favorite cruising formations, that is, in columns of fours. The four divisions of the fleet drew up in parallel lines with an Admiral at the head of each line.

The five starred white flag, called the five of clubs, was run up at the fore truck of the Connecticut to indicate that that ship was the guard ship. The lines were run[11] at intervals of 1,600 yards, and the ships of each division, still in wing and wing fashion, were at distances of 400 yards. To be strictly naval you must call the space between two lines of ships interval and the space between two individual ships in line distance.

Well, after the ships were spread out they covered an area of more than two square miles, and then one began to realize what all these ships meant. The circle of twelve or fourteen miles that hemmed them in and that expanded in front and contracted in the rear seemed practically filled with them. Distances were kept fairly well and the ships plodded along in the smooth sea nodding their approval of what was going on.

It was this problem of distance that kept the officers of the decks busy. When you think that each of these ships represented a weight of from 15,000 to 18,000 tons more or less, and that you had to move that ship at the rate of 10 knots an hour and keep it within 400 yards of a ship in front of you; when you consider how some ships move a trifle of an inch faster than another ship at the same number of propeller revolutions; when you think that one of the propellers of your own ship will do more work than the other at the same number of revolutions, and that this will throw you out of your course and make you steer badly if you don't correct it; when you think that your leader may vary in his speed; when you think of all this, you can begin to understand the problem of those officers on the bridge to keep the ships in line and at proper distances.

It took some time for each ship to determine how many revolutions were necessary to produce ten knots speed, according to the standard of the flagship. For example,[12] the Louisiana's experts figured on sixty-seven revolutions. It was too much, for after an hour or two it was found that sixty-five would do the work. Some of the ships were between two numbers. All the time each ship was gaining or losing a trifle and this had to be corrected every minute or two. On each ship a young midshipman stood on the bridge beside the officer on watch looking through a little instrument of bars and glasses and wheels graduated to a scale of figures and called a stadimeter. He reduced the truckline and the waterline of the flagship to some mathematical basis involving triangulation—what's the use of trying to explain it? No one but a mathematician could understand it—and then he would say, "370 yards, sir," or perhaps the figures would be 325 or 460, or what not, and the officer of the deck would have to signal to the engine room to slow down or go faster.

It was to be watchful every minute of the hour. The midshipman often had to report distances every fifteen or twenty seconds and the corrections of speed were going on every two or three minutes.

When you got more than forty yards out of the way you had to fly a triangular pennant of white with red border and this was set down against your ship on the flagship, and that you didn't like, if you were the responsible officer.

And so the first day at sea wore on and the sun went down with a glow of gold in the west that seemed like a benediction. Just as it sank below the horizon the pink rays that were gathering reflected themselves on the starboard sides of the white ships and gave them a touch of color. Lights on the main truck on the foremast and at[13] the stern and at the sides appeared instantly, and it was night-time on the fleet.

The black smoke rose straight in the air, other lights began to twinkle and soon, in the glow of the twilight and the gleam of the lights on the vessels themselves and the illumination of the moon close to the full, the ships took on an aspect such as lower New York assumes early in the evening of mid-winter days when office buildings are lighted. When the smoke smudged the sky or clouded the moon, however, it was like a city of factories and it was decided that there was just one expression that would give some idea of its beauty. It was this:

"Spotless town afloat."

Zest was added to the day's sendoff and work when the officers were gathered in the wardroom at dinner and a wireless telegram of good wishes from the Mayflower, received a short time before, was read. There were cheers for the President, especially on the Louisiana, which is called the President's ship because he sailed on her to Panama, and hundreds of the officers and crew feel that they know him personally.

"Good for the President!" shouted one of the officers in the waist of the table.

"So say we all," responded a man on the other side, "but I wish he had told us where we are going."

That man didn't have to wait long, for soon there was sent into the wardroom of every ship a message signalled from the flagship which said that after a brief stay on the Pacific Coast the fleet would come home by way of Suez. This is what Admiral Evans signalled:


U. S. S. Connecticut
December 16th, 1907.

The President authorizes the Commander-in-Chief to inform the officers and men that after a short stay on the Pacific Coast it is the President's intention to have the fleet return to the Atlantic Coast by way of the Mediterranean.

Every man jumped at that news; every one wished his wife or sweetheart could know it at once. One of the puzzles about the fleet was settled.

There is no room in this first letter of the long cruise to go into detail about the thousand and one things—incidents, ceremonies and drills—that make up the routine and life on the warship. These will come afterward in other forms. One might tell how the men on guard at the side lights at night sing out after a bell is tapped: "Port light burning bright," "Starboard light burning bright," how "the 9 o'clock light is out, sir" report is made and received; how they "put the shirts on" the gun muzzles and mainmast; how the call to dinner to the officers is done on the Louisiana with a fife and drum, "rolling roast beef," they used to call it, and probably, do yet in the British navy, only the tune is different in ours, for it is "Yankee Doodle"; how "sweethearts and wives" are toasted once a week; how "make it eight bells" is said; how scores of these things, many of them well known, are done and why. Let it go for the present.

If there is one thing that impresses the civilian even more than the ceremonies or the peculiar routine of a warship it is the cleanliness of things. This applies as much to the men as it does to the remotest nook and cranny in the darkest and deepest part of the ship.

[15] The officer would take you into some corner where you had to bend your back and almost go on your hands and knees and show you that it was as clean as the most exposed parts of his bailiwick. The fleet had not been out two days before the executive officer issued an order about cleanliness.

The men were cautioned to keep themselves and their clothes clean on penalty of going on the scrubbing list. It did not mean that there were men on board who were slack in this respect, but there were a lot of youngsters who had never been to sea before and they needed to be broken in. What the scrubbing list is was well explained by an old time sailor on board. He said:

"Man-o'-war cleanliness is different from any other that I know. I distinguish it from all other kinds because it is the most searching and far reaching thing of the kind in the world.

"It really begins on the inside of a man, at his soul, although I am sorry to say you can't always see the effect of it there, and it works its way out to his skin, clothing and surroundings. All must be immaculately clean, and this habit is so thoroughly ingrained in the men that to maintain it they will even commit crime.

"I mean just what I say. Let me give you an instance:

"In one of the old ships in which I sailed fresh water—it was the case of all of 'em, sir—fresh water was a scarce article even to drink. No fresh water could be had to wash our clothes. Salt water does not clean clothing properly, no matter how you work over your duds.

"So our men in the old days actually used to steal the water out of the breakers, the small casks kept in the boats[16] at all times in case of emergency, such as shipwreck. That is what I mean by committing crime. We actually used to steal from the most important supply on the ship just for the sake of keeping ourselves clean.

"For uncleanliness a man would be stripped naked and his skin scrubbed with sand and canvas—no man ever forgot it who experienced that—and sometimes with ki-yar brushes, by two husky bos'n's mates. All hands soon got the habit of being clean."

There was much interest on the ships as to how the wireless telephone would work out. The system has been in operation only a few months and is largely in the experimental and almost the infantile stage.

All of the battleships are equipped with the apparatus and there was no doubt about it, you could talk to any ship in the fleet from any other and at times the sounds of the voice were as clear as through an ordinary telephone. At times they weren't, and there was a division of opinion among the officers as to the real value of the invention.

As is the case with the wireless telegraph only one ship of a fleet can use the telephone at one time. While one ship is talking to another all the other ships must keep out of it and even the ship to which the message is being sent must keep still and not break in. The receiver must wait until the sender has got all through with what he has to say and then he can talk back.

The sending and receiving machines use part of the apparatus of the wireless telegraph outfit. If an attempt is made to use the telegraph while the telephone is in use the telephone goes out of commission at once because it is absolutely drowned out. The telegraph apparatus uses so[17] much greater power that it is like a loud voice overwhelming a soft one.

The operator at the telephone would sound a signal with some sort of a buzzer that had the wail of a lost cat in its voice and then he would put a little megaphone into the mouthpiece of the telephone and would say, sharp and clear:

"Minnesota! Minnesota! Minnesota! This is the Louisiana! This is the Louisiana! This is the Louisiana! We have a press message for you to send to the beach. We have a press message for you to send to the beach. Do you hear us? Do you hear us? Minnesota! Minnesota! This is the Louisiana! Go ahead! Go ahead!"

Sometimes the message would fail. Sometimes the wireless, one kind or the other, would be working on other ships. Sometimes the answer would come at once and the operator would write down the reply and hand it over to you.

When connection would be established fully the operator instead of reading off your press message would click it off by a telegraph key to the Minnesota's operator. That was to make sure that he would get it correctly. Peculiarly spelled words employed in cabling could not be made out by the ordinary operator and it was taking chances to spell them out with the voice, and hence they were sent with the key, the operation really being a combination of the wireless telephone and telegraph, yet not at all complicated in practical operation.

Everyone of the electrical experts with the fleet is convinced that the wireless telephone is going to be of value. Most of them have talked with it clearly for distances of at least twenty miles. One difficulty is in keeping it tuned[18] up because the wireless telegraph apparatus is also on board.

Some of the experts seemed to think that one service dropped in efficiency if the other was kept keyed up to its best. All were confident that as soon as certain difficulties were overcome, difficulties no more serious, they said, than the ordinary telephone encountered in the beginning, the apparatus would be workable as readily as a telephone on land. Give it time, was the way the situation was summed up.

Speaking about wireless telegraph, have you heard the latest wrinkle in it, the most up to date use of it? Of course you haven't. It remained for the voyage of this fleet to disclose it.

Three days out, every ship got wireless messages from Father Neptune warning it to be ready to receive him on crossing the line. The message was genuine because it was posted up and a copy sent to the executive officer as soon as it was received. An orderly brought it to him with an unusually stiff salute while the wardroom was at mess.

It served notice on all "landlubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers" that they must be initiated and it appointed one Fore Topmast as "official representative of his Most Gracious Majesty Neptune Rex, Ruler of the Royal Domain." It called for a meeting of the "faithful subjects" to arrange for the ceremonies of his visit.

The meeting on the Louisiana was held in No. 12 casemate, on the port side of the gun deck aft. The proceedings were secret, but it was soon known that royal policemen, royal barbers, royal judges, royal counsel and a lot of other royal functionaries were appointed. The[19] word went through the ship that the ceremonies were to be pretty strenuous; that no one who had not crossed the Equator would escape.

To show how serious this was here is a copy of one of Neptune's messages and the order that followed its reception:


The following wireless was received at 11 p.m., December 19, 1907:

Fore Topmast, Official Representative on Board the Good Ship Louisiana of His Majesty Neptune Rex, Ruler of the Royal Domain.

At the time the Thomas W. Lawson turned turtle many of my trusted police were on board, and as a result they were more or less injured and all of the regulation uniforms carried by them were lost. Therefore it will be necessary for me to designate many of my royal subjects on board the good ship represented by you to act in their stead, and you are authorized to make the selection from among the most faithful of those who belong to the royal realm.

In making the appointments you will consider their qualifications as to severity, alertness, seadogness, their knowledge as to the interior plans of the ship and their ability to follow the trail of any landlubber, pollywog or sea lawyer who endeavors to escape the initiation as prescribed by me.

You will report to me by wireless the names of the subjects selected, the position assigned and the proficiency of each in order that I may forward their commission at once.

You will have the regulation uniforms made up at once and will carry out all orders in this connection.

Your Majesty,
Neptune Rex,
Ruler of the Royal Domain.

In view of the above I have this day, the 20th of December, 1907, selected from among the royal subjects on board the good ship Louisiana the trusted police as directed by his Majesty, and those selected have been notified of their appointment, all of whom have accepted. The attention of all the royal subjects is invited to paragraph X, article VIIX, regulations of the royal realm, relative to police duty and to the punishments prescribed for those who fail [20]to perform their duty properly and to the landlubber, pollywog or sea lawyer who tries to avoid the initiation as prescribed by his Majesty.

As noted in the wireless message from his Majesty many of the uniforms were lost, the trusted police selected will at once visit his Majesty's tailor, the sailmaker's mate, and be measured for the uniform to protect him from the crabs, eels and sharks.

Fore Top, O. R. H. M. N. R.

Two days later this wireless was received and an order issued complying with directions:


The following wireless was received at 1 a. m., December 21:

Fore Topmast, Official Representative of His Majesty Neptune Rex, Ruler of the Royal Domain, on Board the Good Ship Louisiana.

It has been reported to me by a member of my secret police on board of the good ship on which you are my representative that there are several landlubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers who intend to escape the initiation as prescribed by me by stowing themselves away; of course this is folly on their part, as there is not a hole or corner on board the good ship Louisiana that my faithful police and subjects are not familiar with, and it is therefore impossible for any one to avoid escaping the royal initiation. Those who do try to escape the initiation in this manner will of course be apprehended, and when brought before me on the day of the ceremonies they will not soon forget the trick they endeavored to play on the royal realm, and the dose they get will be more severe than any I have as yet prescribed. Referring to the secret code of the royal realm, the following landlubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers have been reported to me as mentioned above: Gabnokto, Thnruowk, Mawjtrqmorptzs, Wqquopbchr and Ybxquotrdhgle. You will therefore at once issue orders to the chief of police to attend to these crabs and to put his best men on their trail, and if the above is true they will so report to me upon my arrival on board.

Your Majesty,
Neptune Rex,
Ruler of the Royal Domain.



This is to inform the members of the royal realm on board the good ship Louisiana that I have this day issued orders to the chief of police to place five of his best men on the trail of the men as mentioned in his Majesty's wireless and whom you will all know by referring to the royal secret code which you have in your possession. You will also keep track of these animals and report to me any out of the way move which they should make. You will also be on the lookout for any other of these who happen to be on board, and should they make a false move I will make a special report to his Majesty with recommendations which will cover all defects.

Fore Top,
Official Representative of His Majesty.

After one day's steaming in four columns the fleet was deployed into two columns. For one day the speed was increased to 11 knots. The little tender Yankton, which is to be used as the Admiral's yacht in port and for short journeys and which has been running with the fleet off the starboard side of the flagship, was sent on ahead to get a good start. One day's steaming at 11 knots brought her back to us and then the fleet resumed the slower speed.

The weather was fine throughout. When the trade wind belt was encountered about 300 miles north of St. Thomas the ships pitched a good deal, but there was little rolling. Sea legs had been acquired by that time and few on board were incapacitated. There was a squall now and then in the Caribbean with a dash of rain for five or ten minutes, but that was nothing.

On Friday, December 20, the Missouri was detached from the fleet to take a sailor sick with peritonitis to San Juan, and later that night the Illinois was sent to Culebra with a sailor who had pneumonia. Of course both could have been treated on board ship, but Admiral Evans[22] thought that it would be more humane to give these men the best treatment that could be had on shore and so did not hesitate. Two great warships were sent away from the fleet formation, all for the comfort of two men. The ships joined the fleet again late on Saturday.

There were only one or two slight mishaps to ship machinery reported on the journey down, really nothing worthy of note, a pump or something of that kind being out of order. The fleet went along in splendid style. Three days out the intervals and distances were almost perfect at all hours of the day and night. The voyage soon became a double procession of warships, with just the ordinary routine going on.

On Sunday, December 22, the first death on the fleet was reported. It was that of Robert E. Pipes, an ordinary seaman on the Alabama, enlisted at Dallas, Tex., in August last. He died of spinal meningitis. Nothing was known of the death on the fleet until eight bells were sounded at 4 P.M. Admiral Evans had gone ahead of the fleet at noon to make a four or six hour test of the new fuel called briquettes, and his ship was out of sight. Admiral Thomas on the Minnesota was in command. His ship was leading the second squadron, 1,600 yards to port.

The men on watch saw the national colors being raised on the mainmast. There was a scurry on every ship to get up the colors. Every one wondered whether land or a ship had been sighted. Slowly the colors went up and then down to half mast. All colors on the other ships went to half mast. The order for half speed was given and then came a signal to stop. The rails of the ships were crowded at once. Up and down the columns the men looked and[23] then it was seen that the quarterdeck of the Alabama was crowded. The order had been given there: "All hands aft to bury the dead!"

The captain read the burial service. An opening in the lines of the men on the lee side was made and Pipes's body, sewed in a hammock and weighted with shot, was slipped gently over the side. It made very little splash. Three volleys were fired by the marines, taps were sounded, the colors were run up to the gaff on the mainmast on all the ships and standard speed was ordered again as the flags came down. The ceremony occupied exactly nine minutes and Admiral Thomas sent a wireless telegram to Admiral Evans notifying him of what had been done. The burial cast a gloom for a few minutes on all the ships.

Much to the regret of many officers and men, Admiral Evans took the Virgin instead of the Anegada passage into the Caribbean and then headed straight for Trinidad. Many had hoped that he would sail along the chain of islands and that they might catch a glimpse at least of Martinique and some of the other historic places. But business is business on a fleet as well as on shore. Coal must be saved, and the way to go to a place is to go on the shortest possible line consistent with safety.

So it was that on Monday, December 23, Trinidad, just off the Venezuelan coast, came in sight, the ships entered the Dragon's mouth into the Gulf of Paria and swung around the point and anchored in the roadstead off Port of Spain just before sunset.

The first leg of the journey was over. It was merely the warming up stage. To-morrow will be Christmas. A bunch of mistletoe is already hanging in the Louisiana's[24] wardroom. Some of the ships brought their Christmas trees and greens along. There'll be sports of all kinds—boxing, rowing by officers and men, athletic contests on ship—good cheer generally.

Just fancy a Christmas with the thermometer at 90 degrees!



Gay Day on the Battleships off Port of Spain—"Peace on Earth" the Motto on the Big Guns—Officers' Reception on the Minnesota—Boat Races and Athletic Sports for the Crew—How the Fleet Charged Into Port—Men on Their Good Behavior—Official Visits—Coaling Day.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Port of Spain, Trinidad, Dec. 28.

THE officers of the battleship Minnesota gave a reception Christmas Day on board their ship to all the officers of the other ships. The visitors were received at the gangway by the officer of the deck, who had the usual side boys stationed there for the guests to pass by. The visitors were first presented to Capt. Hubbard, after which they paid their respects to Admiral Thomas. Then, turning around on the beautifully decorated deck, they saw depending from the great 12-inch guns of the after turret a board festooned with greens, and on it painted in large letters:

"Peace on earth; good will to men!"

The first effect on the visitor was to startle him. What place was there on a warship, whose primary purpose is destruction, for such a motto and in such a place? Some of the more thoughtless visitors thought it was satire, or perhaps a naval man's idea of a grim joke.


Those who thought it a mockery, a satire or a joke were never more mistaken. The sentiment was made the most prominent decoration on the ship in all sincerity. Scores of naval officers pointed to it with pride and said it exemplified truly the spirit of the American Navy. All declared that if there was one thing more than any other which American naval officers and all true Americans wished for it was world-wide peace and brotherly love. It was declared that no better place outside a Christian church could be found for its display than on an American warship. Many an officer said he hoped it would always be prominent on our warships at the Christmas season.

Certainly good will to man was exemplified at the Christmas celebration on this fleet. It was the most impressive Christmas festival that the nine civilians with the fleet ever saw. Here was a city of 14,000, exclusively of men, some rough, some refined, some educated, some illiterate, some Christian, some with no religion, celebrating the season of good cheer on sixteen battleships in a foreign port five miles from shore. Port of Spain might as well have been 5,000 miles away, so far as its influence was concerned. More than one-half of the American Navy was holding its Christmas festival in its own way, with none else to look on. From first to last its spirit was kindly; from colors in the morning until the last serenading party, gliding over the smooth water in a floating city that had a Venetian aspect, singing songs to the accompaniment of guitars and mandolins, disappeared at midnight, the celebration was in absolute keeping with the sentiment of the day. All was merry and all were merry.

Perhaps a song sung by the Vermont's officers who were[27] towed about the fleet at night in a sailing launch as they called on every warship best reveals the tone of the occasion. They came to the Louisiana on their last call just before midnight. They allowed none of the Louisiana's officers who had gone to bed to dress, and pajamas were almost as common as dress clothes in the company that assembled in the wardroom. When the visitors were going away the last song which came across the water, a song which they sang as they came up the gangway strumming their instruments and lifting up their voices, was this:

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
We're happy and well;
Here comes the Vermont,
Say, don't we look swell?
We're a highrolling,
A lob-e-dob crew,
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you!

Probably that lob-e-dob crew sang that song two hundred times that night. It was adapted from a new Naval Academy song. It has a merry tune and the jingle and the swing of it was infectious. The crew was highrolling only in a naval sense, the rolling wave sense, and in five minutes after they first sang the song to their hosts the hosts were joining in with them. It meant merry Christmas to everybody. Certainly this fleet had one.

For two days boating parties had gone to the heavily wooded shores of this beautiful island and had brought in greens for Christmas. They were mostly palms and bamboo, with trailing vines in profusion. When darkness came on Christmas eve the work of decoration began. Late into the night some of the men toiled. When day[28]light came every ship was dressed in greens. From truck to water line, on signal yards, rigging, turrets, gangways, there were branches of trees and festoons of vines. Inside the ships the wardrooms and cabins were elaborately decorated. Every wardroom had its Christmas tree and around it were grouped gifts for all. No one was overlooked. Christmas boxes, brought from home with orders not to be unsealed until Christmas Day, were broken open in every part of the ship.

Then came a day of visiting, of sports—rowing in the morning, athletics aboard ship in the afternoon and boxing in the evening—of the big reception on the Minnesota and of the merriest kind of dinner parties with the distribution of Santa Claus gifts in the evening. The gifts were mostly trinkets, but they had hits and grinds in them, and the presentation elicited shouts of laughter. Although the matter of rank was not ignored, apparently the high and low officers, from Admiral and Captain down to midshipman, were seated on the good fellowship basis and as equals. The Fourth Ward at the foot of the table went out of business for one night. The middies and ensigns could burst into song when they chose, and if any one forgot to say sir no one thought it strange. Here on the Louisiana ten minutes after we sat down to dinner came an instance of the feeling that makes the whole world kin on Christmas. The youngsters had been singing the Louisiana song, the chorus of which runs thus:

Lou, Lou, I love you;
I love you, that's true;
Don't sigh, don't cry,
I'll see you in the morning;
[29]Dream, dream, dream of me
And I'll dream of you,
My Louisiana, Louisiana Lou.

Capt. Wainwright had been toying with a tin whistle which he had pulled from a bonbon. Stealthily he put it to his lips and blew it loud, and then that eye of his, which has the piercing power of a 12-inch shell, grew bright with the light of geniality and kindness that lie deep set and yet overflowing behind it, and he was a youngster, too. The Fourth Ward men might sing "Louisiana Lou," but he was willing to show that he could blow a tin whistle when the occasion demanded it.

One might fill columns with the songs that were sung. There is room for the chorus of just one more. The game is for about one-half of the company to sing the chorus and just before the finish the others shout an interrogatory of astonishment at the top of their voices. The chorus runs:

Dreamin', dreamin', dreamin' of dat happy lan,'
Where rivers ob beer aboun',
Where big gin rickeys fill de air
And highballs roll on de groun'.
Great shout:
What! Highballs roll on de groun'.
Yas, highballs roll on de groun'.

The merriment on the Louisiana was not exceptional. It was a mere copy of what was going on in sixteen wardrooms. Every ship was sure it had the merriest dinner and the merriest time all around in the fleet, and that was true strictly.

The bluejackets had their own fun, and they yielded to[30] none in their belief that they had the best time of all. Of course they were right. Look at this menu that Uncle Sam provided for their dinner:

  Cream of Celery Soup
  Roast Turkey
  Roast Ham
Sage Dressing   Giblet Gravy
  Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes   Lima Beans
  Peach Pie
Mixed Nuts   Raisins

And here is the music that Bandmaster Cariana provided:

1 March "The Man Behind the Gun" Sousa
2 Overture "The Bridal Rose" Lavaller
3 Waltz "I See Thee Again" Estrada
4 Selection "Woodland" Luders
5 Habanera "Escamilla" Redla
  Star Spangled Banner.  

And didn't the first class men have liberty to go ashore? Didn't they come back loaded down with souvenir postal cards, baskets of fruit, parrots and monkeys? And wasn't every man of them able to toe a seam as he answered to his name on the liberty list? If there was a suspicion of a rolling gait in two or three couldn't they lay it to the heat? Certain it was that not one of them had drunk any of that stuff down here that they call biograph whiskey, the kind that makes you see moving pictures, for the only moving pictures that any of them saw that night were the dozen sparring matches and two wrestling contests on the quarter deck, where the bluejackets were piled high on high under[31] the awning clear up over the turret to the after bridge—as packed a house for the space as Caruso ever sang to.

And didn't John Eglit, the Louisiana's American champion naval boxer, who knocked out the English champion, Leans of the Good Hope, last May, take on a man from another ship and promise only to tap him and not knock him out, so that the boys could admire him and cheer him? Eglit is a master at arms, a ship policeman at other times, and it isn't safe to say things to him, even flattering things, but here the boys could cheer him and he couldn't answer back. And didn't the officers sit close to the ropes just where President Roosevelt sat on his trip to Panama? And didn't Midshipman McKittrick, the recent champion boxer of the Naval Academy, referee the bouts? And didn't Midshipman Brainerd, the well known oarsman of the Naval Academy not long ago, act as time keeper? And it made no sort of difference to him that he sat next to a negro coal passer!

And then didn't the men who didn't have liberty have comic athletic sports in the afternoon? You bet they did! "Spud" races, obstacle races, sack races, three-legged and wheelbarrow races; lemon races, where the contestants held a lemon in a spoon between their teeth and the first man that crossed the line in the running won; shoe races, where a man's shoes were tied in a bag and shaken up and he had to open the bag after a run and then put them on and lace them up, the winner to be the first man reporting to the referee. It was all fun and the bullies shouted themselves hoarse over it. What matter if a dozen men reported at the sick call the next morning with feet so sore that they could hardly walk from the running in bare feet on the[32] hard decks? Oh, yes, the bluejackets had the best time of all!

And then there was rowing in the morning. You who have seen the Poughkeepsie and New London contests may think you have seen great rowing spectacles, and so you have, but you want to see rowing contests in a fleet of 14,000 Jack Tars to know what enthusiasm is. The men lined the rails, turrets, bridges, masts and tops and danced and yelled like Comanches as the crews passed down the line of ships. They yelled just as loud when fourteen officers' crews contested. A pretty incident occurred after this race. There had been great rivalry between the officers of the Vermont and the Louisiana. Each thought it would win. Neither did, the Louisiana coming in fourth and the Vermont fifth. The Vermont crew immediately rowed to the Louisiana and the two crews in their rowing clothes sat in the wardroom and passed the bowl around. When the Vermont's men went home the entire crew of the Louisiana gathered at the rail and cheered. The Vermont men tossed their oars and then the crew sang their Merry Christmas song, the first of the 200 or more times that it was heard by the fleet.

The reception on the Minnesota was also memorable. Henry Reuterdahl, the artist, who was with the fleet to make pictures of it, had carte blanche in the matter of decorations. The "Peace on Earth" emblem was his idea. He canopied the wardroom with flags. He put up shells and revolvers and cutlasses and other implements of war in effective places and he mingled the bunting in color and arrangement so deftly that the naval men were astonished over it. Old friends in the fleet gave greetings. It was[33] brought out in one of the conversations that Rear Admiral Evans, the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet, was the only man in the fleet who fought in the civil war. And it was also revealed that he was in the greatest pageant of warships that ever left Hampton Roads before this one. That was in December, 1864, almost forty-two years to the day that the present fleet left. That fleet went out to capture Fort Fisher, where Admiral Evans was wounded and where, with a revolver, he prevented a surgeon from cutting off his right leg. There were 14,000 men in that fleet, about the same number as in this. There were sixty naval vessels and the rest were ninety transports under command of Gen. B. F. Butler. Admiral Porter was the naval officer in charge. It took the fleet from 10 o'clock in the morning until after 4 in the afternoon to pass Cape Henry. This fleet did it in two hours. When Admiral Evans was asked about it he said that the little tender Yankton, which goes with this fleet for use on ceremonious or other useful occasions, could have whipped that entire fleet of itself. Its modern small guns—3-inch ones—could shoot so far that it could lie completely out of the range of any of the guns on that fleet and simply bombard the vessels to pieces.

But to return to Trinidad. The Venezuelan coast had been in sight for an hour on Monday, December 23, before Trinidad was made out a little after noon. A haze obscured things on shore. Gradually a dark lump on the horizon took shape, then it assumed color, a deep green, and then on the highest point, something like 400 feet above the sea, a white needle pierced the haze in the sky. It was the lighthouse that points the way to the four entrances into the Gulf of Paria from the Caribbean, called[34] the Dragon's Mouths. The lighthouse was a visible sign of the care of British for shipping. It is said to be one of the best in any of England's colonial possessions.

Admiral Evans headed his ships toward the narrow entrance to the east of the main one. It is called Boca de Navios, one of the many reminders of the old Spanish days before England swept down through these waters. The Admiral had ordered his ships in single file of the open order or wing and wing formation. Approaching more closely he ordered exact column, one directly behind another, at a distance of 400 yards. When within three miles of the entrance he veered off to take the large passage to the west, Boca Grande. Then he made a sharp turn after he had cleared the entrance to the gulf. For some time he stood in toward the shore.

Then came another turn to the south, and then followed what Admiral Evans said afterward was one of the finest naval sights he had ever witnessed. Orders had been signalled for the four ships of the first division of the fleet to turn to the east and come up the bay of Port of Spain in parallel formation. The other divisions were ordered to follow the same plan when they arrived in position. Here was a long line of warships that had been turning and twisting around headlands and in muddy waters, going in single file, as if headed for the Serpent's Mouth, the other entrance to the Gulf of Paria. A flag fluttered from the Connecticut's signal yards. At once the first four ships turned at right angles. You could have run a tape line across the bows of the Connecticut to the Louisiana and found the Kansas and Vermont exactly on the mark. The change in the course came so suddenly that it made[35] even naval men jump. Like four chariot horses the ships stood in as if on a battle charge.

Port of Spain could just be made out on the beach eight miles away. The ships were pointed directly for it, and if they had intended to bombard it they could scarcely have been more aggressive looking in the way they swung into that bay. The second division kept on in the lead of the single file of ships until they reached places directly behind the ships of the first division. Then they made a dramatic swing also. The third and fourth division in turn did the same thing.

The fleet was then in four columns headed directly for the beautiful little port with its shallow harbor. As long as standard speed of 11 knots was maintained the four leading vessels kept on a line that was as well dressed as a squad of fours in a military company. For two miles this formation kept up. Then half speed was signalled. The Vermont and Kansas being new in fleet evolutions and not yet being standardized completely as to speed revolutions, did not keep the line so well, but Admiral Evans was not displeased and said they did very well. The Vermont fell back nearly half a length by the time slow speed was ordered and the engines were stopped finally. The signal to come to anchor was hoisted and when it went up sixteen mud hooks splashed into the bay simultaneously. Before it had been slowed down the Louisiana had received its second special commendation for smart manœuvring from the Admiral.

"Well done, Louisiana," the flags on the Admiral's bridge said for all the rest of the fleet to see, and Capt. Wainwright and his officers took it modestly. The Louis[36]iana had been the only ship in the fleet to receive this signal and this was the second time it had come.

Long before the fleet had come to anchor it was noticed that the torpedo flotilla, which had started from Hampton Roads about two weeks before the fleet, was in the harbor. Mishaps to the Lawrence had brought the flotilla back that morning after it had gone eighty miles on the leg to Paria. The mishaps were not very serious, but it was better to make repairs in a port than at sea and so Lieut. Cone, in charge, had come back. The supply ships and colliers were also in port.

In a few minutes the full significance of all these ships became known. Here was a sight that no other foreign port in the world had ever seen. Twenty-nine ships were flying the American flag at once. There were really thirty-one connected with the navy, directly and indirectly, in port, but two of the colliers flew foreign flags. Far in toward the city, however, were three more vessels flying our flag, one a brigantine, another a small steamship, and another a little vessel that plies up the Orinoco. So thirty-two specimens of Old Glory fluttered in the breeze just before the sun went down.

The anchorage Admiral Evans selected was fully five miles from "the beach," as the naval man puts it. No ships can go directly to the landing places in Port of Spain and only small ones can approach within half a mile. As soon as the anchors were down the Admiral signalled that no one was to go ashore until he had gone the next morning to pay his official respects to Sir Henry M. Jackson, K. C. M. G., the Governor-General. It was nearly 8 o'clock that night when the health officer gave pratique, much to[37] the relief of some ships, because there had been a few cases of measles and some other diseases that are classed as contagious, but great care had been taken in the matters of isolation and disinfecting. Indeed, every patient in the fleet was convalescent. It was a relief to Admiral Evans also to learn that there had not been a case of yellow fever in Trinidad for six weeks. Accordingly he gave orders to allow liberty to all the first class men in the fleet.

The next morning Admirals Evans, Thomas, Sperry and Emory went ashore to pay their respects to the Governor-General. He had sent carriages with a guard of honor to escort them to the Government House. Port of Spain is not a saluting port, because no English garrison is kept here, and therefore no guns boomed on arrival.

Admiral Evans exhibited great tact and showed the nicest regard for the situation when he asked Governor-General Jackson to return his call that afternoon at the Queen's Park Hotel. The Governor and the Admiral are old friends. The Governor is not strong, having returned recently from London, where he underwent a surgical operation. A journey of five miles out to the ships in the blazing sun, Admiral Evans thought, would be too much for him and the Governor appreciated thoroughly the Admiral's solicitude for his health.

Soon the officers and liberty men began to come ashore. Trinidad is no new place to many officers. It lies at the foot of a splendid range of the St. Anne Mountains and it is heavy with the odors of tropical verdure. It has been called the most attractive of all British West Indian colonies. Its streets are kept beautifully, its negro constabulary are efficient and polite. Its schools are fine.[38] Those who had never visited the place were delighted with its appearance, its balconied houses, its abundance of flowers and vines creeping over walls and up the sides of houses, its great department stores, which send the heads of departments to Paris and London every year to get the latest in fashions; its motley population of English, Spanish, French and the thousands of Hindu coolies that are brought over here under contract to work on the plantations. Hindu beggars were on the streets and Hindu women, well gowned and clean as an American warship, were in evidence. Some wore rings in their noses and the more prosperous had their arms bejewelled up to the elbows with silver bracelets and other trinkets.

But let the truth be known! Trinidad didn't warm up to the fleet at all. It regarded it with apparent indifference. Officially nothing could have been more cordial than its reception. Popularly Port of Spain didn't seem to give a hang, except the fruit vendors, especially the alligator pear men, and the merchants who had things to sell. About three American flags flew over shops. American fleets have been welcomed here before with lawn parties and dances and great receptions. There was one reception at the Constabulary Barracks, and very cordial it was too, but the town didn't even take the trouble to come down to the waterfront to gaze over the water and see what sixteen battleships looked like in the distance. The ships may have been too far out. Or perhaps it was because the races were to come on during the last three days stay of the fleet. It was hardly the climate, because that never interfered with enthusiasm over an American fleet before, notably when Admiral Sampson dropped in here in 1899.

[39] Let it all go with the statement that on shore every one seemed glad to greet the Americans, even if the town seemed cold. Some of the officers renewed old acquaintances socially and several parties of friends visited the ships. One young officer came back with a story that pleased the fleet. He met a charming young English woman who said that she had travelled a good deal and had been in New York only three months ago. The young officer perked up at once.

"I suppose you saw the Great White Way in New York?" he asked.

"Oh, yes, indeed," was the innocent reply. "Mother and I went to see it one Sunday morning."

"It is beautiful," said the officer.

"Very," was the response.

Some of the visitors historically inclined recalled that Columbus visited this place and named it in honor of the Trinity; others that Sir Walter Raleigh had made this his headquarters for a long time; still others that Cortez took leave of Velasquez here when he started out on his conquest of Mexico. The commercially inclined went to visit the famous and malodorous Pitch Lake, from which Raleigh smeared his ships and which supplies a large part of the asphalt for American use. Others were glad to learn that they have struck oil here and that it is expected that this island will soon become the chief centre for a great British oil industry.

But there were those in the fleet who didn't care for Columbus or Raleigh or Cortez or asphalt or oil. One was an old bos'n's mate. He was down here in the late '80s on the old sloop Saratoga. He had a yarn to spin[40] and it was brought out by the fact that on the day of the fleet's arrival two men from one of the torpedo flotilla had drifted away from their vessel without oars and had been carried out of sight before their absence was noticed. It was feared that they had been lost in the Gulf, but the rough water calmed at night and they drifted ashore and came back at daylight the next morning.

The bos'n's mate told how a party of apprentices and three marines started out from the Saratoga in a sailing cutter one fine morning to go to Pitch Lake. They had not gone more than four miles before a heavy sea came up and a great gust capsized the cutter.

There were many sharks in the water and three of the party were either drowned or eaten by sharks. The others clambered on the overturned boat and were helpless, as the craft was drifting out to sea. Then it was that one of those men in the navy who can no more help showing bravery when it is demanded than they can help breathing, arose to the situation. He was Shorty Allen, an apprentice, and he declared that he would try to swim ashore to get help. The others told him he must not do it, but Shorty just laughed at them. They said the sharks would get him and that it was madness to try it. Again Shorty said he would go. They would all be lost, he said, if they got no help and it was better that one man should lose his life than a dozen.

Nothing could change Shorty's determination. He threw off his clothes and leaped into the sea. His companions watched him buffeting the waves for an hour or so and then he was lost to view. The sharks hung about the overturned boat and probably that fact saved Shorty.[41] He reached land in four or five hours thoroughly exhausted. After a rest on the beach he hunted up some fishermen, whom he induced to go after his shipmates. They were all rescued and regained the Saratoga the next morning.

"I tell ye, boys," said the bos'n's mate, "I have a likin' for this place. I was one of that party and Shorty saved my life here. I don't know where Shorty is now. He was commended for his bravery. He said it didn't amount to nothing, modest like. I don't know whether he's alive. If he's dead, God rest his soul!"

The chief incident of the stay of the fleet in this port, aside from the exchange of official courtesies, was the coaling of the ships. That is the dirtiest work that can be done about any ship, and to an American warship in its white dress it seems almost like profanation. It's a task that the navy has learned how to do with despatch and one might almost say with neatness. At daybreak the next morning after the arrival of the fleet the colliers steamed up slowly to the sides of the ships of the first division. All had been made ready for them. Tackle and coal bags and shovels and running trucks had been prepared while the ships were making port. All hands turned to. One section from each division of each ship was sent into the hold of the collier. Four such sections were employed in the collier at once. The coaling bags, each capable of holding 800 pounds, were thrown over and then the dust began to fly. All the ventilating machinery of the ship had been stopped and canvas had covered all the openings so that as little of the dust as possible could find its way into any other place than the bunkers. The chutes to the bunkers[42] were all open. The marines and the men of the powder division were on the turrets and other places to expedite things. Down in the coal bunkers the engineer division were put at stowing the coal away smoothly and evenly. The bunkers on such occasions in the tropics are veritable black holes and the men have to be relieved frequently.

Jack makes the best of a bad job, and coaling ship illustrates this. The men got out their old coal stowing clothes that once were white and theoretically still are white. Some of them got old discarded marine helmets for headgear. Some tied handkerchiefs around their heads, the brighter the color the better. Some had no head covering. Some rolled up the leg of one trouser just for the fun of the thing. Some wore socks over their shoes—anything to make things lively and get that coal in at the rate of 100 tons an hour.

The bags were filled, attached to the whip—as the derrick hoist is called—and swung up to the deck. There the bags were seized and those intended for stowage on the side next to the collier were dumped quickly. Those intended for the other side of the ship were placed on little trucks and pulled across the deck and then dumped. It was lively work, step and go, and laughter and good cheer enlivened the task. The ship's band was placed on the after bridge, where it played quicksteps and jigs and made the men run and heave and shovel and toss as if coaling ship was the greatest fun in the world.

The decks were sanded so that the dust would mingle with the sand and not grime the woodwork. After the coaling was over the gear was stowed away first. Then the men washed away the dirt from their hands and around[43] their mouths, noses and eyes and all turned to, baboonlike in appearance, to clean ship. Sides were washed down and decks scrubbed. In two or three hours no one would have known that the ship had been in a black dirt storm. Then the men scrubbed their clothes and finally they scrubbed themselves, got into clean clothes and the task was over.

Four days were occupied with this work for the fleet. The last ship to be coaled was the Maine, for that ship is the greatest coal eater in the fleet. She was reserved to the last, so that she would have the largest supply possible on board for the 3,000 mile run to Rio. The Maine was coaled on Saturday and it depended upon the alertness with which it was done whether the fleet was to sail for Rio at sunset on Saturday or Sunday.

The supply ships had little to do in this port because the ships were not in need of much provisioning. Most of the ships took meat from the "beef ships," as the sailors call the supply vessels, but it was only in limited quantities.

The torpedo flotilla got under way on Christmas morning. The bluejackets were sorry to see it go on that day, for they knew they were going to have fun and wished their mates on the flotilla could also join in the merriment. The Yankton and Panther, the latter a repair ship, sailed two days later. The supply ships Culgoa and Glacier were kept to go along with the fleet because they can steam easily at the rate of 11 knots.

Up to the last day of the stay in port liberty parties were going ashore from the ships every day. To the credit of Jack let it be said that he conducted himself with the dignity that becomes the true American man-o'-war's[44] man. Of course he patronized the saloons. Now and then one would stagger a little on coming to his ship. There were no rows, and the authorities had no complaints to make of unruly behavior. Before each party went ashore the executive officer on each ship read to them the order of Admiral Evans allowing them liberty to the fullest extent in keeping with discipline and warning them to be on their good behavior. The Admiral said that if any unhappy incident occurred ashore he would be obliged to stop all liberty. The men heeded the warning. They visited the shops, bought postal cards by the thousands, patronized jewelry stores, got all the pets they wanted, swaggered through the middle of the streets and gave Port of Spain such a coloring in local aspect as it had never seen before. Three or four baseball games were played on the great park's green. The one great stunt the bluejackets enjoyed most was to hire a hack by the hour and ride around the streets. They wrangled with the cabbies about fares, paid out their good money—it was payday on the ships the day before they arrived—and growled as true sailormen should growl when they got English money in change for their own gold and American notes. Trinidad is a place where prices are quoted mostly in dollars and cents, and yet the medium of exchange is pounds, shillings and pence. Most of the shops take American money at its face value.

The shopkeepers were alive to the situation and they made money from the call at their port. They were accommodating and profited by it. Hundreds of Panama hats were purchased. They were bought by men who would not think of purchasing such hats at home because of the high prices. The American hatters, therefore, have[45] lost little by the transactions except the sale of ordinary straw hats in the summer time for two or three years.

The races in the great oval in front of the Queen's Park Hotel were the chief social event of the stay. Thousands attended them and the Yankee propensity to bet made its effect felt. Some of the boys were a little slow in grasping the details of the mutual pool system. A few of them won money, but most of them didn't. There were all sorts of gambling devices, wheels and cards and the like, in operation near the betting ring, and it was like throwing your money away to go against them. But Jack didn't mind that. One of the bluejackets from the Ohio said he was going to bet all he had in the hope of beating the "blooming British," because some of the English bluejackets once had difficulty in pronouncing the word Ohio. They said the name of the Ohio was "Ho and a Haich and a blooming 10," and they didn't know what to call a ship named O H and 10. The American bluejacket will not try to get revenge again, for he lost.

After the races the Queen's Park Hotel was jammed for the rest of the day and evening. Patrons of the bar were lined up six deep. It was as difficult to get a table on the veranda, or even inside, as it is to get one on New Year's eve in New York. All the rest of Trinidad goes to sleep with the chickens except the Queen's Park Hotel, and that also has an early bedtime on ordinary occasions, but the presence of American officers and the races combined made it break the Ben Franklin rule of early to bed.

And so the visit to Trinidad wore away. The fleet was really glad to leave. Most of the visitors growled and said they'd be glad never to return, but all the same every[46] one who has once been here in the winter and experienced the delightful climate and picturesque surroundings will be glad to see it once again. The motto of the fleet now is: "Heave away for Rio."

Neptune will board us on the way.



How the Battleship Fleet Greeted the New Year at Sea—Good Will Fore and Aft—Beautiful Spectacle of a Searchlight Drill With Ninety-six Lights—Crews on the Whole Glad to Get Away from Port of Spain Despite Official Cordiality—The Culgoa and the Catamaran—Missouri's Man Overboard—The Sleepy Brigantine.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Rio Janeiro, January, 14.

IT is not exceeding the limits of strict accuracy to assert that there was not a man on Admiral Evans's fleet who was not glad to leave Trinidad. The statement must not be taken as reflecting in the least upon the officials of the place. No greetings to a fleet of foreign warships could have been more cordial and sincere than those given by Governor-General Jackson and his assistants. There was no reserve about it. It was genuine and from the heart.

But the Trinidad people did not wake up. Half a dozen merchants flew American flags above their shops, perhaps fifty persons all told came out to visit the ships, the clubs were thrown open to officers and now and then some of the residents might drive or stroll down to the waterfront to take a look at the fleet.

There were two reasons for this apparent indifference. One was that the ships were anchored fully five miles from town. It was like anchoring a fleet of vessels at Tomp[48]kinsville and expecting the citizens of Manhattan to flock to the Battery to gaze at them or hire small boats to go down to see them. A more powerful reason was that the Christmas horse races were on. That meant three days of closing the shops at noon, three days of betting, three days of sharpening wits to contest with three card monte men, roulette men, wheel of fortune men; three days when the most prosperous of the large Hindu population, in all their picturesque garb, women with rings in noses, bracelets on arms and legs, brilliant hued gowns, and men in their turbans and one garment of a sheet made into coat and trousers—came into town; three days when the society of the place imitated the Epsom and Derby customs and drove into the inner enclosure with their drags and other turnouts, and had luncheons and visits; three evenings of promenading and dining at the Queen's Park Hotel.

How could any one expect the people to get enthusiastic over an American fleet under such conditions? The people had talked for weeks, they said, over the arrival of the fleet, but straightway when it was announced that the races would be held at the same time—well, how can any person attend to two important things at one and the same time? Didn't one of the daily morning newspapers give a quarter of a column of space to the fleet on the second day after its arrival? Talk about enterprise in journalism! Trinidad is the place to go to see a specimen of it.

Admiral Evans expected to sail at 8 o'clock on Sunday morning, December 29, but there was some delay in coaling and he did not get away until 4 P. M. The night before sailing the flagship signalled this message to the entire fleet, to be published on each ship the next day:


The Commander-in-Chief takes pleasure in communicating to the officers and men of the fleet the following extract from a letter just received from the Governor of Trinidad:

"I would ask to be allowed to offer my congratulations on the good behavior of your men on leave. A residence of seven years in Gibraltar, which is a rendezvous of the fleets of the world, has given me some experience of Jack ashore, and I can assert that your men have established a reputation which would be hard to equal and impossible to beat."

The Commander-in-Chief wishes to express his gratification that the conduct of the men has been such as to merit the words quoted above.

That farewell banquet was fine. Every officer and man on the fleet appreciated its kindly and sincere tone and every man was ready to vote Gov. Jackson a brick. There was just one comment made throughout the fleet, and it might as well be set out here, with no intention of raking over the ashes of the past offensively. That comment was:

"There is nothing of Swettenham about Jackson. He's all right!"

The letter from Gov. Jackson sustains what has been said at the beginning of this letter; the official welcome was cordial, sincere and without reserve.

The trip to Rio was marked by two celebrations, New Year's Day and the visit of Neptune on crossing the line. One should not think, because these letters record considerable hilarity on three occasions—Christmas and the other two—all within two weeks, that such is the normal condition on an American warship. These celebrations happened all about the same time—that is all. The prevailing condition on a warship is anything but hilarity, as will be revealed later in these letters.

New Year's, like Christmas, was a general holiday for[50] the fleet. There were quarters in the morning as usual, but after that there was no work and the smoking lamp was lighted all day. Extra things at dinners were provided. As was general on shore, the new year was welcomed with due ceremony and celebrations on the ships. As soon as it was night on December 31 it was evident that something would be doing by midnight.

There was no concerted programme. About 10 P. M. the officers began to drift one by one, into the wardroom. It was a very decorous assemblage. Its members began to tell stories. Now and then a song would start up, and all would join in. A fruit cake made by a fond mother at home was brought out. In some way the eggnog cups seemed to steal out on a side table. Then came a mixture that touched the spot and unloosened the vocal powers.

It wasn't long before the "Coast of the High Barbaree," "Avast! Belay! We're Off for Baffin's Bay," and other songs were being rolled out to the swaying, dipping of the ship in the swells that the strong eastern trades were booming up against the port side. Naval Academy songs were shouted. One officer thoughtlessly sat in the barber's chair in the rear of the wardroom. A great rush was made for him and he was tousled and rumpled and pulled and hauled. He squirmed out of the grasp of his tormentors and then the "Coast of the High Barbaree," with "Blow High, Blow Low," was rolled out again.

Soon it became evident that a New Year's song must be sung. The Christmas song of the Vermont, with the highrolling, lob-e-dob swing in it, was taken as a model and[51] there were a few minutes for adaptation to the Louisiana. When it had been rehearsed properly, it was decided to send a special New Year's greeting to the Vermont's wardroom, because the officers of that ship had made a Christmas serenading call on all the ships on Christmas night in Trinidad. One of the Vermont's officers is Dr. F. M. Furlong. His mates on Christmas Day had nominated him for president and so informed the Louisiana's wardroom when they reached this ship. He was made to make a speech of acceptance and in apparent seriousness he grew eloquent over his chances and his platform. The New Years greeting from the Louisiana to the Vermont was something like this:

"The Louisiana's wardroom sends happy New Year greetings to the Vermont's wardroom and pledges the solid W. C. T. U. vote to Dr. Furlong. Back districts, from the grassy slopes of the Green Mountains to the saccharine depths of the Pelican canebrakes, all heard from. We're happy and well. Happy New Year! Happy New Year! Happy New Year to you!"

The greeting was sent to the bridge to be flung into the air on the illuminated semaphore signals at five minutes to midnight. Then came the final rehearsals of the New Year song, and just as the signals were sending the greeting to the Vermont a dozen lusty officers stole up to the quarterdeck and sang their song softly to see if it was all right. Then they climbed on the upper deck, stepped quietly along the gangway to the forward bridge. They were as silent as Indians. One of them had a great Christmas palm branch fully twelve feet long. One by one they sneaked up the port ladders and stowed themselves far out on the[52] port side of the bridge. All was quiet until eight bells was struck and then eight bells more for the New Year. A great burst of song startled the officer of the deck just as the last letter of the message to the Vermont had been flashed. The song was:

Happy New Year! Happy New Year!
We're happy and well.
Here's to the Lo'siana
And don't she look swell!
We're a highrolling,
Rollicking crew;
Happy New Year! Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you!

The great palm branch was swung around to the danger of utter disarrangement of engine room signals, and the officer of the deck growled out something about a lot of wild Indians. A high flinging dance followed on the bridge, with the Happy New Year song shouted twenty times or more.

"Get out of here!" ordered the bridge officer.

"All right; we'll serenade the Captain!" shouted the merry crew. Down to the lower bridge, where the Captain has his emergency quarters while at sea, they went. The Captain got a good dose of noise, but being a discreet man he said never a word. There was a rumor that he wasn't inside at all and that, knowing what to do on certain occasions, he had decided to remain in his private rooms below, where not even unofficial knowledge of any high jinks could reach his ears.

Then the procession started for the quarterdeck, and leaning far over the rails on the starboard side with the stiff trade wind blowing the sound from the megaphoned[53] throats of the singers, happy New Year's greetings were sung to the Georgia, 400 yards back and to starboard. That ship heard it easily.

Then came a procession through the Louisiana. The members of the crew were slung in their hammocks, but numerous noises of catcalls and horns and shouts told that no one was asleep. At every section of every division on every deck the sailors were greeted with song. They sat up and cheered. It was fine to have a party of officers come around and wish you a happy New Year. Every mess of the ship received a call. When the warrant officers' mess was reached there was a brilliant display of pajamas and—well, in print one musn't go into particulars too fully. Regulations must be obeyed strictly even when you're having a good time. All the regulations were obeyed—several times, and then some—in that big roundup.

Didn't the bos'n sing:

Bad luck to the day
I wandered away.

and then go into the forty-seven verses about life on the "Old Colorado"? Didn't the electrical gunner join with the chief engineer in giving down the twenty-seven bells song? Didn't the carpenter dance a highland fling? Didn't the scholarly warrant machinist from the Boston Tech. twang a banjo and set the pace for the "Old New York" and the "Dear Old Broadway" songs? And then didn't someone remark that "dear old Kim" hadn't been seen in all the parading that night? A rush was made for Kim's room but it was barricaded.

[54] "Come out, Kim!" was the order.

"Not on your life," was the response.

And then, for revenge, didn't the crowd sing a song about Kim? Every man who knows anything about the United States Navy knows Kim, the genial paymaster's clerk, who sits in the junior officer's mess to keep the youngsters in proper submission, and who has trained a generation of officers in things naval; Kim, who has sailed the high seas in the United States Navy for a quarter of a century and knows so much about the ships and officers that he wouldn't dare to tell it all and ought to be made an Admiral for his knowledge and his discretion; Kim, who has to salute many a man with a star on his sleeve and some of them with two stars, the minute he sees them, and then can call them Bill and Jim and Tom in private; Kim, the best beloved, all around good fellow on the ship; yes, everybody knows Kim. It isn't necessary to print the full name of this obliging, hard working autocrat of the paymaster's office. This is the song that greeted him:

Everybody works but dear old Kim,
He sits 'round all day,
Feet upon the table,
Smoking his Henry Clay;
Young Pay pays out money,
Old Pay takes it in;
Everybody works on this ship
But dear old Kim.

Howls of glee from warrant officers, from petty officers, from hundreds of hammocks greeted the song. Kim chuckled but wouldn't come out. Finally the siege could be resisted no longer and out came Kim in full regulation pajamas and the din was terrific. It was a dance all[55] around and some more strictly regulation things to drink. Happy New Year was sung for the 273d time and then came a further inspection of the ship. Wasn't it time for the dinner for New Year's Day to be tested in the cook's galley? Wasn't there as fine a specimen of the genus turkey as graced any board in the United States all ready to be tested? And wasn't it tested until nothing but the rack was left?

The fire rooms had to be visited and down slippery ladders with the machinery chugging and rolling and plunging the piratical crew stole. Where men were sweating in front of furnace doors in watertight compartments the greeting was sung and the words "Happy New Year" were chalked on furnace doors. Perhaps the engines lost a revolution or two, or the steam slowed off just a bit and the officer of the deck wondered why he was unable to keep his position of 1,200 yards from the flagship exactly, but what did it matter?

And when the rounds were all completed and the pirates assembled in the wardroom for their final song and final—well, never mind that—didn't a messenger from the bridge come down with a signalled message from the Vermont with a toast that was being offered in the Vermont's wardroom:

Here's to you, Louisiana,
Here's to you, our jovial friends?

Every ship was having a celebration something like that. It's impossible to give the details because when a big fleet is going along at the rate of ten knots an hour and fighting a mean Amazon current as well, and the semaphores and other signals are being kept busy with official mes[56]sages it isn't exactly good form for newspaper landlubbers to ask to be allowed to inquire what was done on the other ships, matters which, even if told unofficially, would not look exactly attractive all written out in a signal book, because you can't put much fun in a signal book entry. There must have been a good deal of the happy-go-lucky spirit on some of the ships, for on two or three of them the rollickers got at the siren whistles and blew them. That is something that might prove serious to a fleet sailing as this is, because the blowing of siren whistles, except at a certain hour of the day, when all the whistles are tested—they call the noise the loosening of the dogs of war—means grave danger and it is time to act at once. But New Year's came in happily all around and when the fun was over the one thought of the rollickers was that within a week Neptune would come aboard and after that there would be a long dry spell.

When quarters were sounded a little after 9 o'clock on New Year's morning all hands appeared. The usual formality marked the occasion. The Captain came up and looked precisely as if his ship had been as quiet as a grave all night; the executive officer answered salutes with an incisive manner, as each officer approached and reported his division "all present or accounted for"; the members of the crew gave no hint that they had seen any officer roaming about the ship only a few hours before in a free and easy manner violating all ordinary traditions of a naval officer's dignity. And as for the warrant officers, when they saluted and gave you an icy stare, as if they might have met you somewhere once upon a time but really had quite forgotten your name, you felt relieved and glad[57] that those two or three red streaks on your left eye ball had escaped general notice, and then it was that you felt like writing an apostrophe to discipline in the American Navy.

Of the trip itself to Rio—the mere sailing of it—there is not much to record. It was done in squadron formation—two lines of warships, with the supply ships Glacier and Culgoa bringing up the rear midway between the lines. For six days off the upper part of South America there was quite a heavy swell and a strong Amazon current that retarded the progress of the ships to some extent.

One day the swells were so heavy as to make the sea moderately rough. Every ship in the fleet buried its nose under the water constantly and sometimes the seas would slip up the sloping fronts of the turrets and splash their spray against the bridges. The sun was bright, and as these seas would come over the bow and spread their aprons of water over the forward parts of the ships the colors would change from blue to green, with white fringes, and then the sun would arch rainbows over the boiling torrents that would run from the sides as the ships rose to the tops of the waves. The sea was tossing and tumbling far out to the horizon circle, and as the ships dipped and rose they seemed like veritable warhorses of the sea rearing and plunging in royal sport. It was a beautiful spectacle, and it lasted all of one day.

Soon after rounding the far eastern corner of South America there came a little comedy. The Illinois had dropped out of column formation to adjust some trifling disarrangement of machinery and some one on her thought he saw a raft to the eastward with two men clinging to[58] it. Those in charge were evidently new to this coast and did not recall that fishermen of the Amazon region often sail 150 to 200 miles out to sea in the small catamarans that look more like logs or rafts than fishing vessels. A signal was sent to the Culgoa.

The fleet had no information at this time as to why the Culgoa suddenly dropped out of column and headed to the east and then to the north until she was nearly hull-down. Soon it became known that she was bent on a rescue and the correspondents got out their note books and began to prepare to make much of the incident. After two hours the Culgoa was back in her place with what seemed to be a sheepish look to those familiar with the situation. She had found two men on a raft—that is to say, on a catamaran—and they were fishing and seemed content with their station in life and especially honored because a naval vessel of the United States had gone out of her way to greet them. The intention was all right and good form did not permit the bantering of any humorous personalities on the situation.

Three nights out from Rio Admiral Evans ordered the first searchlight practice for the fleet. Let it be understood that there are certain things which a correspondent may not send from this fleet or even reveal afterward. They relate especially to tactical things, the things that may give information or some hint of information of importance to other nations. All navies have searchlights, however, and what will be said here of the drill will be of that nature familiar to every naval man and no more. It was merely a warming up, so to speak, of searchlight work, just a test to see if all the apparatus was in good condition.

[59] The drill was to begin at exactly 8 o'clock. Long before that time every searchlight had been uncovered and connected up and all eyes were waiting for the Connecticut to begin the flashing. Just as eight bells were struck, when not more than half a dozen lights were visible on each ship of the fleet, a great beam of white shot out across the starboard of the Connecticut. Instantly ninety-six beams like it darted into the air and the ocean for something like a square mile became illuminated as though the full glory of the heavens had descended upon it.

You who have seen Coney Island lighted up on a summer's night may form some idea of the scene if you can concentrate in your imagination the lights down there turned into a hundred great shafts, sweeping, dancing, swinging, soaring into space, each light with the sheen of a full moon brought right down within the grasp of a man who turned a cylinder about as he pleased and said to the rays go here and go there. It was like a new world sprung into existence before your very eyes. Something of the meaning of the power of a fleet of warships was revealed to you. It was merely a small part of this power, just a trifle of the strength of warships put on display because it could be tested in no other way.

Each ship had six of these lights. The rules do not permit the rays of one ship to be displayed upon another because it imperils navigation for one thing, and there are also other naval reasons. It required some skill to avoid lighting up your neighbor ship. As soon as the lights were turned on the men managing them began to swing and twist them, now fast, now slowly, about each ship. When the rays struck the water, say, about 300[60] yards away from a ship and each light was turned slowly around the vessel, it was as if so many sprites of the sea were dancing about like children around a May pole. Then a beam would go scampering away as if it had the concentrated velocity of a hundred 12-inch shots. Then there would come a period of helter-skelter playing of the lights until a slow movement of searching on the waters was in progress. Each ship looked as if it were a thousand legged spider, each leg made up of a ray of light. Sometimes the lights of a ship would be interlaced; again they would be centered on some spot far out in the water.

The rolling crests of the swells would be whitened with the gleam of thousands of diamonds. The reflection of the light beams made bands of purple and deep green upon the water. The stars lost their brightness. It was as if the Yankee ships had reached out and stolen a good share of the strength of the sun—which actually was the case from the standpoint of science—had stored it in their holds and then had sprung it at night, just to show what could be done in the way of robbing the powers of darkness of their evil aspect. For half an hour the thrilling exhibition continued and just as you were preparing to throw up your hat and give three cheers for Uncle Sam and his navy an officer brought you back to you feet with the quiet remark:

"Why, that isn't a patch compared with the real thing! This was just a sort of tuning up process, no more to be compared with the real thing than the tuning of a piano is to be compared with a Paderewski performance."

You thought him a little strong in his analogy until of a sudden all the lights went out and there were sixteen[61] battleships quietly sailing along a sea as smooth as Long Island Sound in the summer time, with only regulation lights showing, distances kept perfectly and nothing to indicate that there had been anything out of the ordinary in a sedate and peaceful passage from one port to another.

An unexpected use of the searchlights followed about thirty hours after this first display. It was 2:30 o'clock of the second morning after when the unforeseen happened. A gun on the Missouri boomed out. It was the signal for a man overboard. At once the life buoys were cast off from the ship, their lights burning brightly, and the Missouri and the entire eight ships of the second squadron, running parallel with the squadron that Admiral Evans was leading, burst into a blaze of light. In two minutes the entire fleet was stopped. Boats were lowered from the Missouri, the Illinois and Kearsarge following. The searchlights were thrown upon the water and upon the boats, showing the men at work rowing about and searching for the lost man. It made a brilliant scene in the dead of night. Carefully and systematically the boats were rowed about for half an hour. Then, when it was evident that if a man had fallen overboard he had been lost, perhaps by striking a propeller or being hit by some other part of the ship, recalls were given and the boats returned to the ships and the squadron proceeded. At that time the Missouri signalled that she was not sure she had lost a man, but a sentry had thought he had seen one fall overboard.

Later the facts came out. The alarm was given by a man who had a sailor's nightmare. No one was found[62] missing at roll call the next morning and every one felt so sheepish that no formal report was made.

A few hours previous, at 10:35 in the evening, one of the perils of navigation—especially for the other fellow was brought home vividly to the fleet. A barkentine with a dim light was sighted about 800 yards to the west of Admiral Evans's squadron. The vessel was going north. Probably the man on watch had gone to sleep. He suddenly awoke and before the officer of the deck on the Louisiana could recover from his amazement he headed straight for that vessel, the fourth ship in the squadron. It was soon plain that the barkentine would clear the stern of the Louisiana and would become a menace to the Georgia, the following ship. The officer of the deck of the Georgia had to sheer off and this made the officer of the deck of the Rhode Island sheer also. The barkentine went right between the Louisiana and the Georgia.

By that time the officer of the sailing vessel had got a lot of lights out and apparently was in a state of complete obfustication. He had never seen so many lights at sea in such a limited space in his life. Clearing the first squadron he came into full view of another over to the east. There he was, all mixed up in a fleet of warships going at the rate of ten knots an hour. He became rattled again and turned to go outside the line of the first squadron, which he had just pierced. He came near hitting the Virginia, but finally got away safely. It was a hair raising episode.

"That's what I call dancing a Virginia reel at sea by boats," said one officer after the incident was closed.

"It seems to me," said another, "to show that not only[63] does a kind Providence usually watch over a drunken man on shore, but seems to guard men at sea who go to sleep on watch."

It was a miraculous escape for the barkentine, threading her way in and out of a fleet of warships proceeding at fair speed and only 400 yards apart. No skipper would have dared take such chances in the daytime and in full control of his craft. The officers of the fleet breathed a sigh of relief to think that they didn't have to record against this cruise the running down of a vessel at sea with the consequent probable loss of life.

And so the voyage went on placidly with the usual drills and daily ceremonies until Cape Frio, some sixty miles east of Rio, was sighted and then there came the journey along the coast, the entrance into the magnificent harbor, the splash of the mud hooks and the feeling that one-third of the voyage to San Francisco was over, and the fleet was shaking itself down into a smooth working condition better and better with every day at sea.



Weird Nautical Doings on Crossing the Line—Officers, Sailors and Newspaper Man Pass Traditional Initiation—Ocean Monarch and His Gay Spouse Amphitrite Pick the Ship President Roosevelt Once Sailed on for Their Visit—Rest of the Fleet Only Thought He Was on Board—Court Physicians and Ducking Bears—Paternal Messages From the Flagship—Sons of Admiral Evans and Capt. Osterhaus Made Real Sailormen—A Great Sight.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Rio Janeiro, Jan. 14.

NEPTUNUS Rex! Long live the King!

Neptune, the only king who never dies, had the biggest job of his career on Monday, January 6, in the year of our Lord 1908 and the year of 4,000 or 5,000 and something since Noah set up a sea calendar and headed for Mount Ararat. More than 14,000 officers and men of the United States Navy, practically one-half of its membership, crossed the equator at longitude 37° 11' W., and of those fully 12,500 had to be initiated into the "solemn mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep." Like the man who tried the rheumatism cures, every one of the landlubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers was "done good."

It was the proudest day that Neptunus Rex ever experienced. He said so himself, and he put on great airs[65] and strutted about with the dignity and pomp that befit his majestic rule as he declared that he was the only king, by all the mermaids, sea serpents, whales, sharks, dolphins, skates, eels, suckers, lobsters, crabs, pollywogs and jellyfish, who could ever take possession of the United States Navy. And by the selfsame creatures of the deep he swore solemnly that none but he and Uncle Sam should ever have the right to boss that navy. Whereat the duly initiated members of his royal domain cheered him lustily and declared everlasting allegiance.

To get right down to business, let it be said at once that it was a spectacle worth travelling tens of thousands of miles to see. It was the most elaborate, painstaking, well planned, rip snorting initiation of the kind ever produced. For be it known that Neptune does not recognize as a thirty-third degree member of his domain any one who has not crossed the line on a warship.

Neptune, not having the attribute of omnipresence, was able to visit only one of the ships of this fleet. That ship was the Louisiana. Of course, every other ship will make the claim that he visited that vessel, but the fact is that he honored the Louisiana alone with his personal presence and had to send representatives to the other ships. He said he came to the Louisiana because he had heard she was the most famous ship of the fleet, President Roosevelt having made a trip close to his royal domain in her. He therefore selected her for his visit and he ordered that a special honorary certificate of membership in his realm be sent to the President and Mrs. Roosevelt.

The preparations for Neptune's visit began formally on December 19, three days out from Hampton Roads, when[66] "Fore Top, the Official Representative of his Majesty Neptunus Rex," received a wireless message to organize the members of the royal domain on the ship and prepare for the initiation ceremonies. Thereafter every day while the ship was at sea mysterious proclamations were posted at the scuttlebutt (the drinking tank) telling the landlubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers of the terrible things that would happen to them when they crossed the line. Dire penalties were provided for any who might try to hide, and long extracts from the Revised Statutes were posted prescribing the punishments to be inflicted upon the willing and the unwilling. There was decided uneasiness among the youngsters on board—and it should be remembered that most of the crew of the ship are just above or below 21, having come almost green to the vessel from the training station at Newport—when a proclamation was posted containing this notification to Fore Top:

"There has been ordered supplied to you upon arrival at Port of Spain, Trinidad, 750 gallons of coal tar, 90 gallons of varnish, 400 pounds of sulphur, 4 sets of razors complete, 18 brushes, 4 sets of fine rib saws, 4 surgical knives, 2 large meat axes and 15 pairs of handcuffs."

Orders were also given for sharpening the claws and appetites of the royal bears and warnings issued lest any one of the uninitiated should speak disrespectfully of Neptune's subjects. A day or so later came orders prescribing the height of the ducking chairs. These chairs were to be so high that four flipflaps would be turned by the victims before hitting the water in the royal tanks. Six powerful electrical batteries were also ordered for use.[67] The bears were not to have any food for fifty-seven hours preceding the crossing of the line.

Other proclamations provided for towing recalcitrants in the sea from the hawse pipes for from five minutes to four hours, according to the degree of the offence of the victim.

Marvellous yarns were spun at all mess tables of the severity of the initiation, all of which got on the nerves of the youngsters, and the crew was in a state of semi-trepidation as the day of the crossing approached. Then came a glimmer of fun, for one day there came a "scuttlebuttic, telephonic, atmospheric" communication in which after more warnings that there would be no escape this was said:

"I understand that there is a newspaper man on board, and if such is the case you will report to me at once, as there is a special provision in the Regulations of the Ceremonies of Initiation of the Royal Realm for such animals."

Many were the grins among the crew that greeted the Sun man that day, and some of them ventured respectfully to salute him and ask him if he had seen the message and had noticed that orders were also issued "to the royal doctors to have their pills and goggle water mixed in accordance with the regulations and the barbers to use the proper per cent. of coal tar, oil, molasses and india ink for their lather." The next day Neptune ordered his subjects to "do stunts" with the newspaper man. Printers' ink was to be used in his lather so as "to give him a dose of his own medicine." A special oven was to be constructed to roast him, and then he would know how it felt himself.

[68] General Order No. 7 of Fore Top told the barbers to mix mucilage with the printer's ink and to prepare the oven, and the officers and crew were now in broad grins as they greeted the Sun man and informed him that he was going to get his all right. Then came "brainstorms" from his Majesty telling how the policemen were to act, ordering that their "clubs be stuffed with grate bars" and such, and providing how the hair should be clipped. Forthwith it was remarkable how dozens of men rushed to to the ship's real barbers and had their hair clipped close.

"I ain't goin' to have none of that coal tar and grease in mine," said a frightened signal boy. A windsail was made to supply air to the officers' quarters, and the messenger boy of the executive officer came to him and asked him if it was true that the members of the crew were to be shot down that canvas tube.

So the proclamations grew in number and with them increased the power of the yarns. The royal electrician was ordered to test the batteries and the royal boatswain was told to prepare his towlines and co-operate with the royal diver to see that the towing was done properly, and finally came the last message from Neptune on the day before the line was reached. It approved all that had been done. Old Nep. howled with joy because the bears were hungry, the knives and razors were sharpened, the lather had been mixed just right, the electric batteries were sizzling, the drop into the tanks had been put up to thirty-eight feet, and he wound up with this sentiment:

"God help the poor rookies!"

Courtesy of Collier's Weekly
Neptune Ahoy!

Whereupon Fore Top issued this final order:



All loyal subjects will at once make their final reports to me in detail. Report to me the names of the pollywogs, landlubbers and sea lawyers whose names have been entered on the books for severe punishment.

Good-by and good luck to the poor rookies who will come under your notice to-morrow! Deal in a befitting manner with them all. See to it especially that the newspaper man gets his.

Fore Top, O R. O. H. M. G. M. N. R. R. R. D.

The names of about a dozen well known sea lawyers of the ship were posted immediately upon the scuttlebutt and the newspaper man "got his" later.

That afternoon Capt. Wainwright and his executive officer, Mr. Eberle, being sticklers for the preservation of as many of the old time naval and sea traditions in modern warships as possible, took official notice of what was going on and this order was published to the ship:

U. S. S. Louisiana,
At Sea, Lat. 1'-30' N., Long. 39-10 W.
January 5, 1908.


1. Official notification has been received that his Majesty, Neptunus Rex, will visit this ship in state at 9 a.m. on the 6th day of January, 1908.

2. His Majesty will be received with due ceremony at the time appointed. At 8:45 a. m. the divisions will be called to quarters, after which "all hands will be called to muster" to receive his Majesty in a manner befitting his high rank. The boatswain and eight boys will attend the side. When his Majesty reaches the quarterdeck the officers and crew will salute, the band will play a march and the Royal Standard of Neptune will be hoisted at the main.

3. After the official reception the royal ceremonies of initiation will begin.


4. All ceremonies will be conducted in an orderly manner, in keeping with the time honored traditions of the Naval Service.

E. W. Eberle
Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Navy,
Executive Officer.
R. Wainwright
Captain U. S. Navy,

At a general muster of the crew that Sunday morning each man who had not crossed the line—and a complete list had been prepared of them—received this subpoena as he was dismissed from the deck:

You Landlubber, Pollywog and Sea Lawyer: You are hereby notified that the good ship Louisiana, on which you are serving, will to-morrow enter the domain of which I am the ruler. As no landlubber, pollywog or sea lawyer can enter my domain or become one of my royal subjects unless he undergoes the initiation as prescribed by me, you will when the ceremonies commence present yourself for the initiation, and if you show that you are worthy you will become a member of my royal realm and be subject to my orders in all seas on which you may be.

If you do not present yourself for this initiation and I am required to despatch members of my staff to bring you before me by force I will deal severely with you.

Your Majesty,
Neptune Rex,
Ruler of the Royal Domain.

Of the 960 odd persons on the Louisiana only about 100 had ever crossed the line. The proportion was about the same on all the other ships of the fleet, so it is a fair estimate that 12,500 men were waiting the arrival of Neptune. A wireless message was sent to the Louisiana that his Majesty's secretary and orderly would come on board on the evening of January 5 to make the final prepara[71]tions for the ruler's visit the next morning. The call for hammocks was sounded about 7:30 o'clock that evening and while the men were aft the officer of the deck, Ensign N. W. Post heard a pistol shot across the bows of the ship followed by:

"Ship ahoy!"

"Aye, aye, sir," said the officer of the deck, giving the accepted greeting for an officer.

"What ship is that? Where are you from and whither are you bound?" came the voice.

"The U. S. S. Louisiana, from Hampton Roads, bound through the domains of his Majesty Neptune Rex for the Pacific Ocean," shouted Post through a megaphone.

"Heave to; I want to come aboard!"

"Aye, aye, sir. Come aboard."

Thereupon the ship was hove to theoretically and two men in fantastic dress popped over the starboard bow and made their way aft. Mr. Eberle, the executive officer, had been notified that Neptune's secretary, Main Top Bowline, was on board, and went forward to receive him.

Capt. Wainwright was notified and appeared on the quarter deck. Soon, with the bugles sounding attention, Main Top Bowline and his orderly emerged through the superstructure with Mr. Eberle. The secretary and assistant were in full dress, their swallowtails of bright red chintz accentuated by enormous negro minstrel collars and by ties of pink that flowed out to their shoulders. They carried full dress cocked hats of navy regulation pattern. Their faces were Indian red with various splashes of paint that suggested mermaids and sea serpents. Main Top Bowline had a pair of binoculars made from black beer[72] bottles which were capped by the rubber pieces that fit the eyes on the sighting apparatus of the guns.

Mr. Eberle presented the secretary to the captain, while the officers and dozens of the crew gathered around. The secretary said that Neptune would come aboard at 9 A. M. the next day and would be prepared to take possession of the ship and exercise due authority. He complimented the captain on the appearance of his "fine ship," said that Neptune would visit the Louisiana only because it had once carried his "distinguished colleague, the President," and he expressed the hope that the captain and the crew would extend the proper honors. Capt. Wainwright straightened himself to his full height and said:

"Mr. Secretary, Main Top Bowline: It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this ship and to receive the notification of the contemplated visit to-morrow of his Majesty Neptunus Rex. I beg of you to convey to him the expression of my highest esteem and to say to him that we shall pay him the distinguished honors that belong to his rank, and shall obey gladly all his august commands. If you will now proceed with me to my cabin we will discuss there the details of the ceremony."

Then the captain and the visitors disappeared down the captain's gangway and a bottle of champagne was opened and the health of Neptune toasted. The captain told Main Top Bowline that he had been a member of Neptune's domain for thirty-eight years but had not met Main Top Bowline before. Main Top said he had been in his Majesty's service only fifteen years. Full particulars of Mr. Roosevelt's trip on the Louisiana were requested to be reported to Neptune and then the secretary left and called[73] on the wardroom. He served subpœnas himself on the officers and asked especially for the newspaper man. He said that Neptune had been misrepresented so often in print and that it was so seldom that he ever found a reporter on a real ship of the line that he was bound to tell the newspaper man to be prepared for the worst. Then the visitors were escorted forward and they disappeared, after ordering this message sent to Admiral Evans:

The Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet.

By virtue of the authority invested in me by his Majesty, Neptunus Rex, ruler of the Royal Domain, I have to inform you that I have this night boarded the good ship Louisiana for the purpose of informing the commanding officer that he has entered the domain ruled by his Majesty and that he has a cargo of landlubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers on board whom it will be necessary to initiate into the royal realm before he can pass through, and as such his Most Gracious Majesty will to-morrow morning board the good ship Louisiana and carry out the ceremonies as prescribed by the regulations of the royal realm. His Majesty wishes me to convey his compliments to you and to state that he is pleased to have you with him once more in his royal domain, although it has been some time since he has been able to greet you personally.

Main Top Bowline,
Secretary of His Most Gracious Majesty,
Neptune Rex,
Ruler of the Royal Domain.

Admiral Evans signalled back his thanks for the greeting, sent his compliments to Neptune and expressed the hope that Neptune and his party would have a "royal good time on the Louisiana."

The next morning everybody was up bright and early. Word was sent throughout the ship to wear no arms at quarters. Every man put on his cleanest uniform. Quarters was sounded and the men assembled at their usual[74] stations. The officers emerged one by, one from the superstructure and reported to the executive officer that their divisions were all present or accounted for. Then came the bugle for general muster on the quarter deck. All hands were marched aft and the officers took their proper stations with a large space vacant about the captain and a passageway from the superstructure. Miss Sally Ann, the Trinidad monkey, was allowed to come along to see the fun. She perched on one of the 12-inch guns and flirted her tail about like an angry cat. A wait of several minutes followed after Mr. Eberle had gone forward to receive Neptune. This was due, it was reported afterward unofficially, to getting Amphitrite, Neptune's wife, up the gangways with all her toggery in good condition. Not being used to skirts, it was quite a job. At the entrance to the deck eight side boys and the boatswain's mates were stationed.

Suddenly a great blast from the bugles announced the approach. Then the shrill boatswains' whistles smote the ears and Sally Ann set up an awful screeching. The word "Salute!" rang out and every man stood at attention while Neptune and his wife preceded by two pages stepped on the quarter deck. At that moment a monster red flag, eighteen feet by twelve, with a white sea serpent on it that would have made any Chinese dragon run to cover, was raised to the main, the band struck up Neptune's march and his Majesty and consort and their court of fifty-two persons in stately step trod the deck to greet Capt. Wainwright. Neptune swung his trident proudly, and as he came to a full stop he said:

"Sir:—I have come to-day to your ship to exercise[75] the full command that pertains to the rule of my domain. I have come to initiate the landlubbers and pollywogs on this vessel. You will relinquish command to me and I expect that full honors will be paid to my rank. I am honoring this ship of the fleet especially because my distinguished friend and colleague, the President of the country from which you come, once used this ship on a near approach to my dominions. I am informed that he would be here to-day in person if the cares of State did not prevent. I am told he is here in spirit. I shall order, therefore, a special honorary certificate of membership for him. [Aside, "Can't some of you keep that damned monkey from screeching so much?"] I shall now proceed to your cabin, after which the ceremonies of the royal initiations will proceed."

Capt. Wainwright bowed profoundly and the irreverent in the crew set up a howl of laughter as they saw the makeup of Neptune and his party. Neptune and Amphitrite and the two pages went below with the Captain. The others remained on deck. There were the two secretaries that had come aboard the night before and next to them were two royal doctors, in long swallowtails and with tall hats that looked like the headgear of Corean high priests, only there were skulls and crossbones on them for ornament. The doctors carried dress suit cases. One was labelled "Dr. Flip" and the other "Dr. Flap." The cases contained the surgical instruments and medicines. Then came the royal counsellors with enormous law books. The lawyers wore the wigs of English practitioners and long black robes. Two "high cops," in chintz, followed and then there was a large squad of policemen each with[76] a badge numbered 23, with stuffed clubs, followed by the barbers, a dozen black bears and a lot of retainers.

Neptune himself wore a scarlet robe with sea serpents embroidered on it and with a golden hemp fringe all around the edges. His face and legs and arms were stained a beautiful mahogany color. A great beard of yellow rope hung down over his fat belly. Amphitrite was in white. She wore a sea green flat hat and carried a black cat done up in baby's clothes. That cat stayed with her for two hours without moving.

"My!" said one of the ordinary seamen who had cruised many a time along the Bowery, "don't she look just as if she came straight from the Bowery and Hester street? How are ye, Amph?"

A clout on the head by a mate made him "shorten his chin sail."

Before Neptune reappeared Dr. Flip went up to Dr. Wentworth, the ship's surgeon, to pay his professional respects. Dr. Flip said he was of the old school and a graduate of the "Royal College of the Doldrums, class of Umpdy-umpdy-ump-ump." He was strong, he said, on the use of leeches and bleeding. Dr. Wentworth tactfully admitted that the old school had its merits.

Then came Neptune on deck again and the party, followed by 800 officers and men, went to the fo'c'sle deck for the initiation. Neptune mounted his throne on a platform. Two tanks had been erected between that and the forward turret. The bears slipped over the sides as the retainers filled the tanks with water. Drs. Flip and Flap unloaded their saws, knives, teeth extractors and many bottles of vile looking medicine. The lawyers opened their[77] books to certain paragraphs of the "Revised Statutes," chiefly paragraph 4-11-44; the barbers sharpened their enormous razors, "made in Yarmany"; the policemen drew up in line, the orderlies rolled up the barrel of lather, made of oatmeal and water, and another barrel of "tonic," to be used in enormous squirt guns. It was Neptune's "dope" for the unruly. Then Neptune, with a flourish of his trident and settling his gilt crown well back on his head, as Amphitrite nestled to his side, asked if all preparations had been completed.

"Yes, your Majesty," replied Main Top Bowline.

"Then let the initiations proceed. Bring forward as the first victim that newspaper man. He shall have special attention," was the command.

The Sun man mounted the steps to the howls of 800 persons. Dr. Flip sounded his lungs, examined his teeth, felt his arms and legs, made him wiggle his fingers and then said:

"Your Majesty, a very bad case. 'E's got a ingrowin' brain!"

"What do you prescribe?"

"Well, your Majesty, we have here medicines for the cure of spavin, sore throat, consumption, chilblains, diphtheria, eczema, measles, neuralgia, heartburn—"

"Never mind the rest," said the King. "What is the treatment?"

"The same for all, sire," was the response. "A good shave, an injection in the arm of my 'dope' [composed of molasses and water] some powder on his head and a ducking in the briny seas."

"Very good!" replied his Majesty.

[78] Then the trouble began. A pill as big as a horse chestnut and made of bread crusts was forced down the victim's throat. The squirt gun hit him full in the face, a lotion was rubbed in his hair and then he was forced into the chair and shaved. A question was asked of him, and as he opened his mouth to reply a great paint brush of lather was thrust into it. Then came the order to pull out the plug from the chair and drop him over backwards into the tank. Well, that flight and that ducking! Here descriptive powers fail the Sun's correspondent. It can be described best in the words of Herman Melville, in his story of "White Jacket," relating to a cruise he made in 1843 around the horn in the United States frigate, United States, when he went into the water in another way.

"Time seemed to stand still and all the worlds poised on their poles as I fell. I was conscious at length of a swift flinging motion of my limbs. A thunder-boom sounded in my ears. My soul seemed flying from my mouth. Some current seemed hurrying me away. In a trance I yielded and sank down deeper with a glide. Purple and pathless was the deep calm now around me, flecked by summer lightnings in an azure afar.

"Then an agonizing revulsion came over me as I felt myself sinking. Next moment the force of my fall was expended and there I hung vibrating in the deep. What wild sounds then rang in my ear? One was a soft moaning, as of low waves on the beach, the other wild and heartlessly jubilant, as of the sea in the height of a tempest. The life and death poise soon passed, and then I felt myself slowly ascending and caught a dim glimmering of light. Quicker and quicker I mounted, till at last I[79] bounded up like a buoy and my whole head was bathed in the blessed air."

That was just as it was and when the Sun man escaped from the tank he was greeted with more applause and cheering than he had ever received in his life.

The first initiation on the Louisiana was over. Then came a roll call of the officers. They had to produce certificates or pay tribute. The crew was assembled in long lines. One by one they went up the ladders. Drs. Flip and Flap received them. Elaborate examinations were made of their condition.

"My, my, sire!" Dr. Flip would shout. "'E's got valvular contraction of the eyelids!"

"What is the remedy?" Neptune would ask.

"My usual treatment, sire," would be the response.

Then would come a dose of dope, a rub of hair oil, a shave and a toss over into the tank to the hungry bears. Souse, souse, souse again would follow, and when the victim came to the surface each time he would send up a stream of water from his mouth that resembled the spouting of a whale. Those who were waiting for their duckings would shout with the members of Neptune's party. Officers crowded to the front of the bridge and the midshipman who was using the stadimeter to get the proper distance in formation had the hardest day of his life trying to keep his eye on the flagship.

"Pass 'em up quick!" shouted Neptune.

Dr. Flip would diagnose a case as "Fatty degeneration of the shinbone, sire," and the usual remedy would be prescribed. Over the victim went into the tank. Dr. Flip would then announce a case:

[80] "Palpitation of the hair, sire. You can see for yourself how it is shaking."

"Let him have the prescribed treatment," was the order.

Dr. Flip then announced a case of "folderols in the right ear, sire."

"Soak it to him good!" was the command.

Dr. Flip then had a case of "tickdullerous." Similar treatment. All diseases looked alike to Neptune.

"Bunions!" was the next report of Dr. Flip.

"Poultice his hair good. It draws 'em up. Then saw off his leg at the knee," was the remedy prescribed for the bunion ailment. Dr. Flip brought out the saws with vile looking teeth. The two doctors sawed away.

"By cracky! sire, I can't cut it off," reported Dr. Flip.

"Give him an extra dousing!" ordered his Majesty.

Dr. Flip next reported a case of toothache.

"What do the Revised Statutes say?" asked Neptune.

"Beg pardon," said Dr. Flip, "that is in the pharmacopœia."

"Well, what does the farm—whatever it is—say?" roared Neptune.

"Gargle, sire," said Dr. Flip; "the fumes kill the pain." The victim got the gargle treatment.

"Mullygrubs in his back, sire," was the next from Dr. Flip. A lambasting with stuffed clubs was the extra treatment for that, in addition to the ducking.

Then came a strange case, that of a youngster who spends his spare time on board studying mathematics in the hope of getting higher in the service. Dr. Flip went over him with great care. He got out bottles and pills and saws[81] and bandages and plasters. The crowd could see that it was a most serious case.

Dr. Flap was called in consultation. The books were produced and the symptoms were pondered over with many grave shakes of the head. At last Dr. Flip made the right diagnosis.

"'E's got the hypotenuse rampant," he shouted. "My, my! I am astonished that a surgeon of the established reputation of Dr. Wentworth of the United States Navy, sire, should let all these ailments that we have here to-day escape 'im, sire," shouted Dr. Flip.

"Send for Dr. Wentworth!" roared Neptune. Dr. Wentworth came. He told Neptune that he had been a royal subject of his for more than twenty years. Nep softened a bit at that, and then said he was glad to see him again, but how about these strange ailments? Why had he not cured them?

Dr. Wentworth is a man of tact, great tact, and he explained that the ailments occurred nowhere else than in Neptune's domain and, therefore, he thought it was best to have them treated by Neptune's own specialists who were familiar with the newest developments and the best treatment.

While the initiations were going on Neptune ordered this message semaphored to Admiral Evans, the Commander in Chief:

Admiral R. D. Evans, U. S. Atlantic Fleet.

I am happy to inform you that your son and the son of the captain of your noble flagship have this day declared their allegiance as my loyal subjects.

Neptune Rex.

[82] Lieuts. F. T. Evans and H. W. Osterhaus are attached to the Louisiana and occasionally they have to take a good deal of chaffing and no favors when an "unofficial message" from "father" comes over the signals. This was the reply that Neptune received from the flagship:

Neptune Rex:

We are delighted that our sons are at last real sailors. They have served a long time. Soak 'em, boys!

Evans and Osterhaus.

Young Evans and young Osterhaus were soaked all right.

The initiation ceremonies were kept boiling all the time. Occasionally a sea lawyer, one with an established reputation as such among the crew, would come up. He was asked if he wanted to argue his case. Not one of them did.

"Give it to him good," Neptune would shout. And they did. The rest of the crew understood the significance of the extra ducking and howls of glee resulted. The sea lawyers usually had to be helped out of the tank. Now and then a man would lose his temper when he got into the tank. Small mercy for him! He would drag a bear under the water with him. Forthwith half a dozen bears would go to the rescue of their companion, and in the rescue that man who had dragged the bear under would think he was going to kingdom come before he got a breath of air. Oh, it didn't pay to be fresh in that salt water!

The ceremonies were half over when there came the unforeseen. A victim came up with a peculiar glitter in his eye. Dr. Flip saw it and diagnosed the case as "extremis mortuis of the right optic." The diagnosis was correct,[83] for, catching Dr. Flip in a favorable position, the victim toppled Dr. Flip over into the tank himself.

"Flip is taking a flap!" shouted the crowd. The bears fell on Dr. Flip, thinking he was a new arrival, and he got such a sousing as few who preceded him had received. He lost his glasses, but when he clambered back upon the platform he called out: "Next case!" as if nothing unusual had happened.

Long before the initiation was over the policemen had roused the excitement of Sally Ann, who was perched in the rigging over the bridge, watching the strange performance, as they ran about the ship chasing culprits who tried to escape. Each succeeding arrest stirred her up more and more, and she shrieked out her grief in unearthly yells. One of the bluejackets had to gather her in his arms and stroke her head and talk soothingly to her before she would be comforted.

Another thing that pleased Neptune and the bluejackets was the appearance of an enormous gull, a "goney bird," they called it, that hovered over the initiation ceremonies for more than an hour, turning and twisting its head and giving out strange calls. Where the bird came from no one saw. The ship was 300 miles out to sea. No other bird of the kind was in sight. It was the sailor's omen of good luck. When the bird alighted in the rigging a cheer went up. That sealed the matter of good luck and then the bird flew off to the other ships and watched the ceremonies there.

So hour after hour the initiation went on until the last man had been rounded up and Neptune pronounced the[84] day's work well done. He sent this signal to Admiral Evans:

The Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet.

I have to inform the Commander-in-Chief that I have completed the ceremonies on board the good ship Louisiana, will haul down my standard and take my departure. The Commander-in-Chief will accept my best wishes for himself, officers and men of the United States Atlantic fleet for a most pleasant voyage, and may all the royal subjects meet again.

Neptunus Rex,
Ruler of the Royal Domain.

Neptune then retreated into the fo'c'sle for refreshment and remained there until darkness came. Then a barrel filled with oakum and oil and tar was set on fire and put afloat. It sailed away in the night. It was "Neptune's boat," and he was going back to his royal domains.

After he had gone certificates duly signed and embellished with mermaids and sea urchins and starfish and ropes, with an octopus for a background and a picture of Neptune rising from the sea at the top and with the ship's seal affixed to bits of red, white and blue ribbon, were presented to all hands. Never again will a man who can show one of them have to take a dousing and barbering with suitable medical treatment on crossing the line.

The certificates read:

Domain of Neptunus Rex,
Ruler of the Raging Main.
To all Sailors, wherever ye may be, and to all Mermaids, Sea Serpents, Whales, Sharks, Porpoises, Dolphins, Skates, Eels, Suckers, Lobsters, Crabs, Pollywogs and other living things of the sea.

Greeting: Know ye that on this 6th day of January, 1908, in latitude 00,000 and longitude 37°, 11', W., there appeared within the limits of Our Royal Domain the U. S. S. Louisiana, bound southward for the Straits of Magellan and Pacific ports.



That the Vessel and Officers and Crew thereof have been inspected and passed on by Ourself and Our Royal Staff.

And be it known: By all ye Sailors, Marines, Landlubbers and others who may be honored by his Presence that


having been found worthy to be numbered as one of OUR TRUSTY SHELLBACKS, has been gathered to our fold and duly initiated into the


Be it further understood: That by virtue of the power invested in me I do hereby command all my subjects to show due honor and respect to him whenever he may enter Our Realm.


Given under our hand and seal this sixth day of January, 1908.

Neptunus Rex.
Davy Jones,
His Majesty's Scribe.
[Seal of the Louisiana.]

Neptune's Initiation on the Louisiana's Fo'c'sle



Never Before Did American Ships Have Such a Welcome—The Visit a Continual Exchange of Prisoners Made by Friendship—Americans Found it Easy to Sail Into This Bay of all Delights, but Very Hard to Sail Out—Jack Had a Fine Time Ashore and Behaved Properly—More Than 4,000 of Him on Liberty at One Time—Official Welcome Sincere, and That of the People From the Heart—Vice Admiral's Salutes Greeted Evans.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Rio Janeiro, Jan. 22.

IN describing the arrival, reception and stay of the American fleet in this port, the impulse is almost irresistible to use superlatives. There can be no error of judgment or of taste in employing the comparative degree, for strict accuracy compels the assertion that never was an American fleet greeted more cordially and never entertained more elaborately in a foreign port than in this port, the "Bay of All Beauties," and in this city, fast becoming the Paris of the Western Hemisphere.

The greetings were unmistakably of the heart. They were far more than official expressions of esteem. It was our old familiar friend of the North, the Vox Populi, that spoke, and no levity is intended when that expression is used. The people acclaimed the fleet and that aspect was so overwhelming, so constant, so omnipresent that it[87] dwarfed everything else. No foreign port and no American port ever saw so many American bluejackets ashore in ten days; no foreign port ever opened its arms more freely to American sailors of high and low degree.

The reception of the fleet was a decided surprise. The officers were confident that the welcome would be cordial, that the expressions of politeness customary on such occasions would ring true, that the entertainments would be in keeping with the situation. No one doubted that Brazil would do the handsome thing. It was expected that the officials would exert themselves to say pleasing things and provide receptions and dinners, and would exchange calls and observe punctiliously all the niceties that international courtesy demands. But no one expected what might be called strictly an uprising of the people, and the bestowal of that fiction of official receptions in a foreign port, known as the freedom of the city, in such a manner as to turn fiction into fact.

It seemed to be true and undoubtedly was true that the Americans captured Rio, took it by storm, if you please; it did not seem to be true but was true that Rio captured the Americans from Admirals down to coal passers. From the hour of arrival to the hour of departure it was a constant, an incessant exchange of friendship's prisoners. Without this the American fleet could never have sailed away, and the fears expressed in the United States when the fleet left on its cruise that it might never come back as a unit or in parts would have been realized.

It was easy as a matter of seamanship to sail into Rio harbor. It was as hard a job as any American Admiral ever tackled, as a matter of parting with friends, to sail[88] out. Any American President who may order a fleet of battleships into this harbor in the future should take that matter into serious consideration. The Americans do not want to lose their battleships. Prudence requires caution hereafter in running risks with Brazilian hospitality.

It was about 9 o'clock on Sunday morning, January 12, when the fleet passed Cape Frio, seventy-five miles to the east of Rio. Far back on the hills is a signal station. It used the international code and the flags that snapped in the breeze said:

"Welcome, American fleet!"

"Sounds pretty good," said a signal officer. Then came the Yankton, which had been sent on ahead to meet Admiral Evans and inform him of the plans for anchoring and receptions and the like. Just before noon three Brazilian warships were observed about a dozen miles out from Rio. On they came and bugles were sounded and rails manned and salutes exchanged. One, two, three, and so on, went the guns of the Brazilian cruiser that led the two torpedo boats. One by one the reports were counted carefully, as is always the case on a warship. Thirteen were boomed out and then came another and another and then a stop. It was a Vice-Admiral's salute.

Instantly the query ran through the fleet: Has Admiral Evans been promoted? The wiseacres were not deceived. They said that the Brazilians reasoned that the Commander-in-Chief of any fleet the size of this should be a Vice-Admiral, and that the Brazilians were taking no chances in not being sufficiently polite to cover any contingency.

Soon the mountains immediately surrounding the beau[89]tiful harbor came into view. A dozen steam launches had ventured outside. Then came the careful evolutions of getting into exact column for entering the harbor.

The day was beautiful, old Sugar Loaf and Corcovado and all the other peaks seemed to be standing up with the dignity of stiff salutes, and then came a peep into the narrow entrance of the harbor. The place was alive with small boats. The signal stations were all aflutter with welcome flags.

Slowly the Connecticut led the way and, when just beyond old Fort Santa Cruz on the eastern side, boomed a salute to the port. From a little rock all smoothed off and fairly polished, given up entirely to a fort, Villegagnon, came the answering salute. Instantly the whistles of hundreds of craft were set loose and tied down. No American has ever heard such a shrieking of vessels except at the international yacht races off Sandy Hook. The noise at Sandy Hook was greater because the number of boats about was greater; that's the only reason. How-de-do and welcome came from big and little craft all loaded down with people in their Sunday best, if they have such things down here. Parenthetically it may be remarked that judging from the way the women dress for street wear every day is Sunday with them in the matter of clothes. There were half a dozen boat crews out in eight-oared barges. Launches, rowboats, steamers, ferryboats, sailing craft of all kinds were just inside the harbor entrance.

Soon magnificent Botafoga Bay unfolded itself with that wonderfully beautiful long reach of avenue, Bairo-Mar, running four miles in a crescent from the heart of the city toward Sugar Loaf, all set out in artistic land[90]scape treatment. It was black with the people. Then the fleet approached the city proper. With a glass one could make out that the hills, the houses, the waterfront were black with the people. As Vice-Admiral Maurity afterward said in a speech:

"The whole of the population of Rio, of all ages, chiefly belonging to the fair sex, could not avoid going out of their houses to crowd the neighborhoods of the harbor, the hills and islands around it, and all other points of view from the city of Rio and the Nictheroy's side, in order to greet the passage of the American fleet and to better appreciate the interesting display of her manœuvres."

Moreover, the population had been waiting there practically for two days. The fleet was scheduled to come in on Saturday. All of Saturday and far into the night tens of thousands had waited upon the hills and waterfronts. They were back, we were told, early on Sunday morning and they blackened and whitened the entire city. The American officers were almost dumfounded. What does it all mean, was the general inquiry.

On steamed the Connecticut, and it was discovered that there was a German cruiser, the Bremen, in the harbor. More salutes! By the way, it may be remarked that Admiral Evans got the Rear Admiral's salute inside the harbor, the proper one that his two-starred flag requires. He got another Vice-Admiral's salute—and many persons thought it was a delicate hint to the United States—when the Italian cruiser Puglia came in a day or two later and gave him fifteen guns.

When the ships anchored in four lines opposite the central part of the city, the Brazilian ships, about a dozen of[91] them, were anchored inside. Pratique was granted within half an hour of the time of the anchoring, which required some slow manœuvring in order to reach the exact positions.

No official calls were made that night because it was well after 5 o'clock when the last anchor was down, and it was Sunday. The populace thronged the waterfront, in some places ten deep, until after dark, and then the Brazilian ships illuminated in honor of the fleet. Fireworks were set off from the hilltops. Still the people stayed on the waterfront. Up to midnight they could be seen in thousands. They were there when daylight came; if not the same ones, then a fresh relay. From that day on until the ships left there never was an hour when the waterfront, especially of the city proper, was not thronged with the people looking at the ships.

The far famed Bay of Rio! What shall be said about it? Travellers and guide books have told of its beauties without ceasing. Every well-informed person knows that it is regarded as the finest in the world, that even Naples is dwarfed in these descriptions in comparison. It is worth while to recount its glories again, especially as it revealed itself to naval men.

The writer knows of no better naval twist to give to such a description than was written by Herman Melville, who entered this bay on the United States frigate United States way back in 1843, and who has described the scene in his fascinating book "White Jacket." Nature is still the same. Old Sugar Loaf, the liberty capped Corcovado, literally the hunchback, the Organ Mountains and all the other peaks still rear their heads as they did then and en[92]circle Rio. Here is what Melville wrote from a naval standpoint:

"Talk not of Bahia de Todos os Santos, the Bay of All Saints, for though that be a glorious haven, yet Rio is the Bay of all Rivers, the Bay of all Delights, the Bay of all Beauties. From circumjacent hillsides untiring summer hangs perpetually in terraces of vivid verdure, and embossed with old mosses convent and castle nestle in valley and glen.

"All around deep inlets run into the green mountain land, and overhung with wild highlands more resemble Loch Katrine than Lake Leman, yet here in Rio both the loch and the lake are but two wild flowers in a prospect that is almost unlimited. For behold, far away and away stretches the broad blue of the water to yonder soft swelling hills of light green, backed by the purple pinnacles and pipes of the grand Organ Mountains fitly so-called, for in thunder time they roll cannonades down the bay, drowning the blended bass of all the cathedrals in Rio.

"Archipelago Rio, ere Noah on old Ararat anchored his ark, there lay anchored in you all these green rocky isles I now see, but God did not build on you, isles, those long lines of batteries, nor did our blessed Saviour stand godfather at the christening of you, you frowning fortress of Santa Cruz, though named in honor of Himself, the divine Prince of Peace.

"Amphitheatrical Rio! in your broad expanse might be held the Resurrection and Judgment Day of the whole world's men-o'-war, represented by the flagships of fleets—the flagships of the Phœnician armed galleys of Tyre and Sidon; of King Solomon's annual squadrons that[93] sailed to Ophir, whence in aftertimes, perhaps, sailed the Acapulco fleets of the Spaniards, with golden ingots for ballasting; the flagships of all the Greek and Persian craft that exchanged the warhug at Salamis; of all the Roman and Egyptian galleys that, eaglelike, with blood dripping prows, beaked each other at Actium; of all the Danish keels of the Vikings; of all the mosquito craft of Abba Thule, King of the Pelaws, when he went to vanquish Artinsall; of all the Venetian, Genoese and Papal fleets that came to shock at Lepanto; of both horns of the Spanish Armada; of the Portuguese squadron that under the gallant Gama chastised the Moors and discovered the Moluccas; of all the Dutch navies led by Van Tromp and sunk by Admiral Hawke; of the forty-seven French and Spanish sail-of-the-line that for three months essayed to batter down Gibraltar; of all Nelson's seventy-fours that thunderbolted off St. Vincent's, at the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar; of all the frigate merchantmen of the East India Company; of Perry's war brigs, sloops and schooners that scattered the British armament on Lake Erie; of all the Barbary corsairs captured by Bainbridge; of the war canoes of Polynesian Kings, Tamma-hammaha and Pomare—ay, one and all, with Commodore Noah for their Lord High Admiral, in this abounding Bay of Rio might all come to anchor and swing round in concert to the first of the flood.

"Rio is a small Mediterranean, and what was fabled of the entrance to that sea, in Rio is partly made true, for here at the mouth stands one of Hercules's Pillars, the Sugar Loaf Mountain, 1,000 feet high, inclining over a little like the leaning tower of Pisa. At its base crouch like mastiffs the batteries of José and Theodosia, while opposite[94] you are menaced by a rock bounded fort. The channel between—the sole inlet to the bay—seems but a biscuit's toss over, you see naught of the landlocked sea within until fairly in the strait. But then what a sight is beheld! Diversified as the harbor of Constantinople, but a thousandfold grander. When the Neversink (the frigate United States) swept in word was passed, 'Aloft, topmen! and furl t'-gallant sails and royals!' At the sound I sprang into the rigging and was soon at my perch. How I hung over that main royal yard in a rapture! High in air, poised over that magnificent bay, a new world to my ravished eyes. I felt like the foremost of a flight of angels new lighted upon earth from some star in the Milky Way."

Few men on this fleet felt the rapture that Melville described so poetically, but every one felt a thrill. Had Melville lived to more recent times he might have included the fleet of Farragut and Porter, of the Austrians and Italians, of the Russians and Japanese, of the Spanish, in that mighty roll call of the ressurrection of fleets of the world, for surely there is room for all.

For twenty miles up there is deep water in the bay, and hiding places too among the 365 islands, one for every day in the year, that stud the waters. Santa Cruz and all the other forts Melville mentions are still there and a dozen more besides, most of them inside the harbor, built, as one grim fighter on the American fleet said, more for use against domestic than foreign foes. The very situation of those forts spells out fear of revolution, but that's another matter.

The next morning after arrival came the unfolding of Rio to the visitors. Even those who had visited the place[95] before had shaken their heads solemnly about it. The scenery all about is grand, they said, wonderful, but the city itself—well, hands were raised in deprecation, nostrils dilated, followed by a sad shake of heads. Didn't the guide books tell you it was a foul, ill smelling place? Wasn't it a matter of course that the city would be reeking with yellow fever in this its midsummer time?

The officials told the fleet officers that there was no yellow fever in the place. Polite expressions of surprise with surreptitious nudges behind the back! They said that the city had been transformed in the last four years, was well paved and beautified and they expressed the hope that the Americans would like it. More expressions of polite surprise and assurances that the city always was attractive, with more nudges behind the back. And then when the officials went back to shore didn't the officers make a dive for the ships' libraries and read facts, real facts, mind you, about the place? Didn't W. E. Curtis write this about Rio:

"Viewed from the deck of a ship in the harbor the city of Rio looks like a fragment of fairyland—a cluster of alabaster castles decorated with vines; but the illusion is instantly dispelled upon landing, for the streets are narrow, damp, dirty, reeking with repulsive odors and filled with vermin covered beggars and wolfish looking dogs. There is now and then a lovely little spot where nature has displayed her beauties unhindered and the environs of the city are filled with the luxury of tropical vegetation; but there are only a few fine residences, a few pleasant promenades, and a few clusters of regal palms which look down upon the filth and squalor of the town with dainty indif[96]ference. The palm is the peacock of trees. Nothing can degrade it, and the filth in which it often grows only serves to heighten its beauty. The pavements are of the roughest cobblestone; the streets are so narrow that scarcely a breath of air can enter them, and the sunshine cannot reach the pools of filth that steam and fester in the gutters, breeding plagues."

There are half a dozen descriptions such as that, some of them as recent as 1900. Oh, yes, the Americans knew what kind of a city they were going to see. Hadn't some of them been here before? Didn't some of the surgeons on the fleet shake their heads gravely when it was signalled from the flagship that there would be general liberty?

What did the Americans find? This is part of what the Americans saw; it would take pages to tell it all:

They saw one of the cleanest and best paved cities in the world. New York in the Waring days never had cleaner streets. There was not a foul smell in evidence. There was even no West street or South street odor along the waterfront. Where the streets were not of asphalt they were of wood. There were no beggars on the highways; at any rate the Sun's correspondent did not see one, and he spent hours ashore every day.

The old part of town still has its narrow streets, the chief of which, Ouvridor, is about half as wide as Nassau street and which no vehicles are permitted to enter. But the great surprise of all was the magnificent Central avenue, built within the last four years right through the heart of the city from north to south, just as Napoleon built highways in Paris, connecting at the south with the[97] great sweeping shore boulevards, where the beautiful Monroe Palace stands.

This new avenue rivals anything that Paris can show. It is about 120 feet wide, with sidewalks fifteen feet broad. In the centre are lofty lights on artistic poles, each group set in a little isle of safety filled with flowers and grasses and plants. The architecture along the avenue is harmonious throughout. The effect is imposing and makes a New Yorker think.

But those sidewalks! It is mighty fortunate for New York that she has none like them. If she had, the psychopathic ward in Bellevue would have to be enlarged ten times over for the patrons of the Great White Way.

They are big mosaics, composed of small pieces of black and white granite. The black pieces are used for ornamentation. Every block has a different design. Some have zigzags, others curves and curlycues, others dragons and starfish (at least they resemble such), others swing here and there; others are straight, until you feel that all you need is a brass band to make you march; others take you in swoops this way and that; arrows and daggers point themselves at you; bouquets in stone attract you until you almost feel that you want to stoop to get a whiff; but the predominant feeling is that the designs were sunk for sailors to roll back to the ship on, heaving to occasionally for bearings; or for intoxicated men to take another tack in the hope of finding a shorter way.

One of the bluejackets hit this particular "beach" one afternoon after he had been drinking too much. He stopped short and called to his mate, a few feet away:

[98] "Bill, come here! Take me away! What do I see? Look at 'em! Snakes? Yes, they are snakes! I got 'em! Hit that big feller on the head! It's the brig fer me when I get back. Take me away, Bill! Think o' the disgrace o' gettin' the jimjams in a foreign port. Bowery booze fer me after this! Take me away, Bill! 'Tain't snakes? Honest? Jes' sidewalk? 'Ray for Brazil!"

Then the bluejacket got on his knees and felt to make sure it was "jes' sidewalk" while a crowd of Brazilians gathered around and some of them thought Yankee sailors either had queer ways of investigation or of making their devotions under the effect of libations and smiled, and in Portuguese told Bill and Tom they were good fellows.

As one went to the south on this Central avenue he came upon the nearly finished municipal theatre, one of the handsomest playhouses in the world and probably the largest in the western hemisphere. Then came the new public library and other Federal and municipal buildings that are being erected back of old Castello Hill, where the first settlers squatted, and the remains of their huddled manner of living still present themselves to the eye. And then one came to the white Renaissance pile, the strikingly beautiful Monroe Palace, named after our own Monroe, whose famous doctrine is woven into the woof and warp of the Brazilian institutions.

The building is segregated and is at the very gate of the great boulevard system fronting on the bay. It is conspicuous from the harbor. Brazil's flag—the green field, representing luxuriant vegetation; the yellow diamond, representing the gold and other mineral wealth; the broad, banded globe of blue in the centre, representing[99] the dominion of Brazil, with one star above the equator for its single State in the northern hemisphere, and other stars in the south portraying the southern States, and also the famous constellation of the Southern Cross at a certain significant date in the year—the Brazilian flag flew from the dome and on each corner were large American flags.

This palace is where the Pan-American Congress met, where Secretary Root made a profound impression in his address. Next to Roosevelt the name of Root is foremost on the lips of Brazilians. His visit made the deepest impression here. It is still talked of, even on the highways. That visit, the Monroe Palace and the visit of this fleet are bound to be felt for years in the expressions of genuine international friendship of various kinds which will be made between the two great republics of the North and South.

Then one saw the boulevard system. Again one must repress himself. It is safe to say that no city in the world has anything like it, that no avenue or highway is more beautiful and imposing. One might combine the beauties of the waterfront of Naples and Nice or of any spot in the Riviera with those of the Shore Drive of New York's Narrows and Riverside Drive and Lafayette Boulevard in New York, and still they could not compare with this beautifully ornamented stretch of boulevard that curves about the bright blue bay.

Illuminated with thousands of lights at night the effect from the harbor is that of a long crescent of diamonds flashing upon the forehead of the bay. No one who has ever seen this highway of miles with its palatial dwellings fronting upon it and set back against the hills can ever[100] forget it. It wasn't here when Melville wrote, but truly it makes the city Amphitheatrical Rio!

Then the Americans began to wander about the city. The narrow streets in the business district are like those of Havana and many other cities of people of Latin descent. Through this part of town run little mule propelled tramways with the narrow rails so close to the sidewalks that when the tram is crowded to the side steps there is danger of sweeping the passengers off by passing pedestrians. The visitors saw the cafés, real cafés, where the principal drink is coffee, "strong as the devil, as black as ink, as hot as hell and as sweet as love."

Some of the Americans liked the coffee, but the wise ones confined their drinking to limeades. Then the visitors saw the many crowded cinematograph shows, the crowded shops, the powdered, and what Americans would call overdressed women, the panorama of the highways, the newsboys, the hundreds of lottery shops.

But above all else they noted the clean condition of things. They asked if it was a sudden spurt of cleanliness and were told that it was not. They asked how about these new streets and the extensive, harmonious and comprehensive building that is going on. It was declared to be part of a broad policy that has been in progress for four or five years, part of a plan to make Rio one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a plan to make it fit the magnificent surroundings which nature has provided for it. American opinion was all summed up in this general expression:

"As handsome a city as I ever saw."

Courtesy of Collier's Weekly
At Anchor at Rio de Janeiro

It was when the bluejackets went ashore that the Ameri[101]cans began to realize what Brazil's welcome really meant. The boys landed with a whoop and began to scatter. Sailorlike some of them headed for the saloons, but the people expected that and were surprised that more of them didn't fall by the wayside. Most of the men, however, went in for rational enjoyment. They crowded the post card emporiums, they bought fruit and trinkets, they piled on the tramways and went any old place so long as it was somewhere.

They filled the streets, the cinematograph places. Yes, they hired automobiles and rode about like nabobs to the astonishment of the natives, who must have wondered at the princely wages the United States paid its men. They went to the best restaurants and hotels. Everywhere they were welcomed. "English spoken here" was a frequent sign. They were even allowed to loll on the grass of the many beautiful parks, an act that costs a native a fine of from five to fifteen milreis. They were respectful to all, but they had a commanding way about them that took. They owned the town; they knew it, but did not attempt to take the slightest advantage of it.

As the days went by and one saw the behavior of these bluejackets his American heart was filled with pride over them. They were clean, intelligent, manly, open, as fine a brand of sailor as ever wore a uniform, obeyed an order or sported their money lavishly in a foreign port.

The first thing that greeted the eye of every man who landed at the beautiful park that used to be an eyesore in the central part of the waterfront was a big sign reading:

"Information Bureau for American Seamen."

It was an information bureau, a real one. It was the[102] most useful kind of a welcome ever provided in a foreign port for the sailors of any people. The American and English residents, aided by those of other countries, had been busy preparing for weeks for the visit of Jack ashore. Every safeguard, every assistance that was possible to make his liberty comfortable, profitable, enjoyable was looked after. It took hard cash to do it, but the money was raised and it amounted to thousands of dollars.

In the first place, the ferry company to Nictheroy set apart a large room in its commodious new building. Counters were put up for information booths, postal card booths, exchange of money, sale of various kinds of tickets for things with guides by the score and attendants anxious to answer all kinds of questions. Men and women worked there from twelve to fourteen hours a day for ten days in the stifling heat, all eager to be of assistance to Jack ashore. A pamphlet was provided giving a map of the city and displaying all the chief places of interest. Full information was printed about everything that a man bent on rational enjoyment could desire. The pamphlets told all about transportation, about the places to see, about postage and the many general and special excursions that had been planned.

Jack soon found it out and he rushed there in throngs. He found long tables in the room with free writing paper, ink, pens, mucilage, and down he sat to write to sweetheart or wife. Then he went to change his money. Here he struck a snag. A dollar is worth 3,200 reis. One of the sailors got a $10 note changed. He received in exchange 32,000 reis. He was astonished.

"Here, fellers!" he shouted, "I got 32,000 reis for $10.[103] Gee, whiz! Me for Wall Street! When kin I get a steamer home, mister? Holy Moses! I've got rich and I didn't know it."

Jack found out quickly that he wasn't rich, for Rio is just now fairly oppressed with enormously high prices, due, it is said, to paying heavy taxes for all the improvements that have been going on. He found that he had to pay 300 reis for an ordinary postage stamp, 400 reis for a glass of limeade, about 800 reis for a handkerchief or a collar, and as for a bottle of beer, that was good for a thousand reis or so, and the money began to melt quickly. But what did Jack care? It was an automobile for him, or something equally expensive. What's the use of being an American man-o'-war's man if you can't act like a millionaire for an hour or so in a foreign port?

When the money was changed Jack found out the full value of these self-sacrificing men and women who had done so much for his comfort. He got a fair exchange for his money and wasn't robbed. This committee had provided him with guides to all sorts of places free of charge, had made up excursion parties all over the city and the surrounding country, had provided rubbernecks—and how Jack did grin when he saw the familiar things—carriages, special trams and what not; had provided for the sale of meal tickets, the best postal cards, had co-operated with the police to look for stragglers.

Well, Jack smiled and smiled, and he knew he was in the hands of his friends. The Prefect of the city, Gen. Souza Aguiar, was chairman of the committee, and all the leading Americans and Englishmen joined in. Especially active was the acting Consul-General of the United States,[104] J. J. Slechta, and Myron A. Clark, the Y. M. C. A. secretary. The Y. M. C. A. here is affiliated with the Sands street branch in Brooklyn. The placards told Jack all about it, and the first thing he asked was if Miss Gould had helped to pay the expenses. He was told that she had not, because she had probably not been informed about it. He answered invariably:

"Betch'r sweet life she would if she'd known about it. 'Ray for Helen Gould!"

Here is a summary of what work was done for our sailors by this bureau in ten days:

Eight thousand sheets of paper and 5,000 envelopes provided free of charge, 21,000 guides to the city printed and circulated, about 175,000 postage stamps sold, nearly 2,000 meal tickets sold, 3,500 special excursions provided, these in addition to the many general excursions; about $175,000 exchanged at the lowest possible rates, about 170,000 post cards sold, about 2,000 automobile trips arranged.

So Jack and all the others of the fleet went sightseeing. They went to Petropolis, the summer capital, with its temperate climate, in the tropics, and only twenty-two miles away, up back of the Organ Mountains. You climb the heights on a cog railroad, just as you climb Pike's Peak, and you see the magnificent views of valleys, the bay, the ravines and gulches that would do credit to the Rocky Mountains. Jack and his mates went to Corcovado in throngs, starting on trolleys that crossed the famous old aqueduct back of the hills right in the city and climbed on and up around the city for miles with scarce a hundred feet of straight track. Then they took the steep cog railroad,[105] and after a time found themselves poised on the peak 2,300 feet above the city, with this place of 800,000 inhabitants and its bay and the sea all spread out before them in probably the most fascinating panorama that the world presents. They visited the wonderful botanical garden, with its magnificent avenue of royal palms and its flower beds, its trees, its ferns, a truly royal place. One of the young officers told what he thought of this garden when he said:

"When I get married I am going to come down here and march up that mile of palms for the aisle in God's church. It will be the finest setting for the finest bride in the world. The newspapers needn't take the trouble to mention the bridegroom's name. That of the bride linked with the majestic aisle will be sufficient."

And so one might go on and on into raptures and extravagant expressions. The people's gracious mood matched their city and the visitors were simply overwhelmed with hospitality on every side.

The sailors grew to the situation. Day by day there were fewer signs of too much drinking. Occasionally a man or two would overstep the bounds, but the authorities saw to it that the Americans handled their own men in that condition.

Only one incident marred the visit, and it was a pity that any mention of it was cabled to the United States. After that had been done it was necessary to send the truth and correct misapprehension. It was on the first night of liberty. It was merely a saloon brawl. A native negro had a row with another and threw a bottle at him. The second dodged it and the bottle struck one of our seamen at a table and hurt him. He got after the negro, who[106] escaped. Back the negro came with a razor and fell upon the first bluejacket he saw.

Several of the best petty officers on one of the ships jumped in to quell the disturbance. The rabble thought they jumped in to fight. Stones were thrown and three of the peacemakers were hurt. The local police didn't size up the situation and were slow to act. They arrested the negro, but let him go. After that they said it was a deplorable blunder.

Liberty was recalled at once and marines were sent ashore, but it was soon over, and the next morning at the request of the authorities 2,000 men were sent ashore instead of 1,000 daily as had been planned. The men were warned to conduct themselves properly, and to the everlasting credit of our American seamen it must be said they heeded the caution well.

An illustration of what might have been occurred on the night of Sunday, January 19. Rival political clubs were parading about town carrying banners and flags and also giving cheers of "Vivan los Americanos!" They invited a lot of bluejackets to join them. Not knowing what the parades meant, good natured Jack of course would go along. About twenty of them joined each of two processions and had the distinction of carrying the flags and hurrahing every other step. It was great fun. The naval officers on shore heard of what was going on and dashed up in automobiles. The Brazilians would not let their dear friends go and the officers had a hard time to get the men free. They at once obeyed instructions to scatter, and said they were simply having a good time with their new friends.

[107] Ten minutes later those two parades minus the bluejackets came into a collision and there was quite severe rioting, with stone throwing and the use of knives and bludgeons. Had the bluejackets remained innocently with the parades they would have been in the thick of it and terrible reports would probably have been cabled to the United States of our sailors mixing in political affairs, probably instigating revolution and being most awful rioters. It was a narrow escape to get them away in time.

By the end of the week so completely had good feeling been established that from 4,000 to 5,000 men were sent ashore on Sunday. It was the largest liberty party of American sailors ever known. New York never saw so many of our men ashore at one time. It made one proud of his country and its men to see that party ashore. There were not twenty cases of drunkenness when the boys came home.

Nothing could have been more cordial and warmhearted, more lavish, than the entertainments given in the name of the Brazilian Government. The one regret was that Admiral Evans, because of an attack of his recurrent malady, rheumatism, was unable to take part in them personally. Admiral Thomas took his place admirably.

The tone of all the official greetings was that of undisguised friendship. President Penna made it manifest on the first day when he met the officers at Petropolis. Then Vice-Admiral Cordovil Maurity voiced it in English on the top of Corcovado the next day, and perhaps it is well to give his speech in full. Here it is as translated for the Americans:


Ladies, His Excellency Vice-Admiral the Minister of Marine, Gallant Admirals, Captains and officers of the Navy of the U. S. A., Gentlemen:

In my character of Admiral of the Brazilian Navy, Chief of the General Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet, as well as with the authority of an old sailor, who knows the rules of military and diplomatic pragmatic, I feel very happy in this moment, to speak to you, American sailors, in the name of my Government, of the Brazilian people and of my comrades of the National Navy, in order to salute and give the hearty welcome to Admiral R. Evans, the Commander-in-Chief, Admirals Charles Sperry, Charles Thomas and William Emory, the Captains, Officers and Crews of the powerful North American fleet that entered the day before yesterday in the harbour of Rio.

I beg then to avail myself of this fine opportunity, when we are just gathered at the summit of Corcovado, at 800 metres above the level of the sea, to present the warmest demonstration of sympathy and friendship towards our brothers of the great Navy of the United States of America, as a general and sincere greeting spontaneously born from the core of the Brazilian's hearts. The real proof of this true assertion of mine you have just met during the solemn occasion of the triumphal entrance of your brilliant fleet, the most efficient naval strength, up to the present, that has ever been seen crossing this side of the Atlantic Ocean and getting into waters of the bay of Guanabara.

Indeed, it was such an important naval scene, such a splendid maritime spectacle, that the whole of the population in Rio, of all ages, chiefly belonging to the fair sex could not avoid going out their houses to crowd the neighbourhoods of the harbour, the hills and islands around it, and all other points of view from the city of Rio and the Nictheroy side, in order to greet the passage of the American fleet and to better appreciate the interesting display of her manœuvres. So, I may assure you, gentlemen, with my experience of a sea man, that the splendor of the scenery just alluded to, in combination with the singular and natural beauties of the bay of Guanabara, in which you were fraternally received with open arms, by the mild people all classes of our society, was of the sort of those fairy things impossible to be described, written or spoken about.

Yes, gentlemen, the peaceful commission of your fleet waving the star spangled banner of the great Republic of the United States of [109]America around this continent of ours and training the crews of her men-of-war across the largest and deepest oceans, is certainly an act of very right naval policy, chiefly on the behalf of order and discipline of industry, labor and trade, of diplomacy and fraternal comity, and, at last, it means an exchange of civilisation amongst the peoples of the several countries of the young, immense and futurous continent of both Americas.

Therefore, I raise my cup for the health and prosperity of the sister Navy of the United States of America, one of the mightiest and more illustrious of the world, whose sacred emblem in command and perfect sisterhood with ours, let God grant may float side by side—ever for ever and ever—for the benefit of universal peace and general comfort of mankind.

President Penna again made the welcome plain when he said at his luncheon the day following to the Admirals and several Captains at Petropolis:

The warm and fraternal welcome which the people of the capital of the republic have given to the American fleet which is now visiting us ought to prove how deep and sincere the sympathy and friendship which the Brazilian nation feels for its great and prosperous sister of North America.

These are no fleeting or transitory sentiments, since they date from the hour of our birth as a nation and are ever growing in strength. Every day the bonds of friendship and of trade between the two nations are drawn closer.

When the South American peoples proclaimed their independence, at that moment so fraught with misgivings and uncertainty as to the future, the young American republic gave them strength by solemnly declaring the intangible unity of the peoples of the new world through the declaration of their great President Monroe, whose name figures in history with brilliance as a statesman of great perception and of rare political foresight.

The long and difficult voyage of the powerful fleet which to-day is the guest of Brazil, necessitating as it does the doubling of the American continent, is a fresh and splendid evidence of the unequalled vigor and the extraordinary energy of the great power which is a friend of Brazil.

With an expression of ardent and sincere wishes for the fortunate [110]continuation of the voyage of the friendly fleet I drink to the glorious American navy, to the prosperity of the republic of the United States of America and to the personal happiness of its eminent chief, that great statesman, President Roosevelt.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs added to all this in the great banquet given to the officers later in the Monroe Palace when, after offering a toast to President Roosevelt, he said:

The ancient sympathies between the American and Brazilian navies, added to by these deeds of war, could not fail to be augmented, until the point they have attained by the beneficial force of the increasing approximation between the two friendly peoples. In Norfolk and Washington last year the unequivocal demonstrations made to our officers, which the American Government so expressly associated itself with, caused the Brazilian gratitude and indebtedness; and it is to-day with the greatest satisfaction that in the entertainments promoted by the Brazilian Government, by our navy, and by our society the people of Rio de Janeiro welcome the American sailors with the same spontaneous enthusiasm with which they saluted, in his memorable passage by this country, the eminent propagandist of peace and of continental concord, Mr. Root.

Brazil is grateful for the visit of her Northern friends, arrived here in these powerful men of war, which, according to the fine expression of President Roosevelt, are messengers of friendship and good will, commissioned to celebrate with us the long continued and never to be broken amity and mutual helpfulness of the two great republics.

I invite my countrymen here present to unite with me in the name of the Brazilian nation and its Government in a toast to the gallant American navy, an example of skill and military discipline, a model of devotion to their country, and a formidable guardian of the immense prestige of the Great Republic, the pride of the continent.

The same thing was iterated and reiterated in hundreds of private dinner parties. It received its most vociferous expression on January 16 at a smoker given to the officers of the fleet at the Park Fluminense, an outdoor music hall[111] with a mere roof covering and a stage, set in a garden. It was like the outdoor suburban amusement places in which St. Louis and other of our Western cities abound. Four bands of the ships were massed at the entrance to the pavilion. An immense American shield was lighted with electricity.

The flags of Brazil and England and the United States were entwined. The place was reserved exclusively for American officers and their hosts. They had an unusually good vaudeville show and in the intervals our combined band played. Beer and cigars were served, and soon things began to warm up. When a medley of patriotic American airs was played the cheers began to rise. They could have been heard for blocks. Soon Annapolis songs and yells and shouts were being given. In the intermissions the place fairly rocked with the songs and yells of old days. Men who had been tablemates for months shook hands with one another as if they had just met after a prolonged separation. Speeches were going on at a dozen places at once.

Then came the close. Our bands first played the Brazilian national hymn. What a job that is will be told later. A great outburst of cheers followed after every man had ceased to stand at attention. The Brazilians were beside themselves with joy. Then came "God Save the King!" Every one could sing that, and while standing at attention a mighty chorus of song rolled out. More frantic cheering!

Then came "The Star Spangled Banner." Profound silence was observed to the last note. When the salute was finished a cyclone roar followed. Men jumped on[112] chairs and yelled and yelled. Hats went into the air. The Brazilians and English could not be contained. A score of men were on tables, each trying to take command of the occasion, each calling for three cheers for this person and that, for this country and that. None heard the others, but it was a grand acclaim of good fellowship and intense patriotism.

One little Brazilian called for three cheers for President Roosevelt. The Sun man heard him because he was only two feet away. The cheers rolled out and the Brazilian thought he had taken the place by storm, and was as happy as a child, but the cheers were simply a part of all that was going up and meant for everybody and everything in the way of international friendship. It was a night that stirred one.

And so the visit wore on, and it was a pretty tired crowd of guests and hosts before the finish came. Probably the weariest men on the ships were the bandmasters who struggled through the bars of the Brazilian national hymn. No disrespect is meant, but those Americans who are clamoring for a new national hymn ought to hear what the Brazilians have to put up with and then rest themselves content for all time with what we have.

In the first place the Brazilian hymn is so long that when you are playing it as a Brazilian warship passes the Brazilian gets out of hearing and almost out of sight before you finish. After a few struggles with the music the orders were given on some ships to shorten up if the other ship was out of hearing and save the wind of the players. Then too it is queer music. It goes hippety hop—it seems a combination of waltz and march, of anthem[113] and jig. It may be music, but the writer of this is frank to say that the Japanese national hymn, with its weird swoops and dives, curls and twists, seems like a gliding Strauss waltz compared with the Brazilian hymn. One of the bandmasters on the fleet complained that his men could not play it properly.

"Musish no-a good," he said. "No Italian musish players. All come from Kalamazoo, bah!"

The Brazilians had hard struggles with the names of our warships. Minnesota, Louisiana and such were all right, but Connecticut staggered them. They made almost as bad as a mess of it as when they pronounced the name of the High Life Club here or the Light and Power Company. The Brazilian name for the High Life Club is Higgie Leaffie Cloob. That of the Light and Power concern is Liggety Poor Companee. Let it go at that. The reader must imagine how they pronounced Connecticut, for it can't be put down on paper.

The departure of the fleet bids fair to be even more spectacular than the one at Hampton Roads, only the powder and smoke, and the blare of the bands and all the rest of the show will be in honor of another President than our own. When the last gun has boomed it will mean not only good-by to President Penna and Brazil, but it will be the blackthroated response of 14,000 American sailors to Rio. The guns will declare Rio to be not only the City of All Delights but the City of All Hospitality.



Unique Meeting of United States and Argentine Ships 300 Miles From Land—Grand Naval Spectacle—High Honors for Admiral Evans and Cordial Greetings for All His Men—Fine Display of Seamanship on South American Vessels—Picturesque Incidents of the Voyage From Rio to the Most Southern City in the World—Nature Put on Mourning as the Farewells Were Said and Signalled at Brazil's Capital—The Man-o'-War Mail From Home.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Punta Arenas, Chile, Jan. 31.

THE passage of the battle fleet from Rio to this the southernmost city of the world was marked by a marine spectacle unprecedented, so far as any one in this fleet can recall, in naval annals. A squadron of the Argentine navy came out hundreds of miles to greet our ships, and probably for the first time in the history of navies national salutes were fired upon the high seas. Squadrons and fleets have passed one another before time and time again, and honors have been exchanged, the flags of flag officers have been saluted, but after these courtesies have been finished they have gone their separate ways, all official proprieties having been observed.

But this greeting was so unusual that Admiral Evans set a new naval fashion, and after his flag had been sa[115]luted—seventeen guns, by the way; the number increases on the way around, and if the warships keep it up, each one giving the Rear Admiral more and more guns, he will soon be an Admiral of the fleet in the thundered judgment of other nations, no matter what action Congress may take—he ordered the salute of twenty-one guns for the Argentines. The Argentine ships gave full justification, for they had manned the rails on approaching our ships, an honor paid ordinarily only to the head of a nation.

Admiral Evans met this unusual compliment by choosing to regard it as an honor to our nation, not a personal matter, and he fired twenty-one guns, to which the Argentine flagship responded at once. In addition to those honors the crews of the various ships cheered one another as they passed. It was all different from the accepted rule of fleets or squadrons in passing and it left a fine feeling.

"I never saw sentiment carried so far in all my naval experience," said one man who will soon have the right to hoist a two-starred Rear Admiral's flag. "Perhaps it was unusual, but it was impressive; it was impressive."

Our fleet had no sooner reached Rio than Admiral Evans was informed that the Argentine ships would come out from Buenos Ayres to greet him on the way to Punta Arenas. Three days before sailing inquiries were made as to his probable course and the hour when he would be off the mouth of the River Plata. The information was cabled duly and our fleet held itself in readiness to do the proper and handsome thing for this unusual occasion. Saturday, January 25, was almost a wonder day at sea. The air, which had been accumulating a chill under cloudy skies and an eastern wind, became balmy and the sea was as[116] smooth as a pond. The sky remained overcast and the fleet had been running for three days practically by dead reckoning. Late on Saturday night the fleet overtook the tender Yankton and the "beef boats," Glacier and Culgoa. They were ordered to take their places with the fleet and when everybody except those on watch went to sleep it was expected that the three smaller craft would be in their places in the morning. But the wise weather sharps who know this region sniffed the air and said:

"Weather breeder!"

Sure enough at daybreak a heavy sea began rolling across from the southern coast of Africa and the wind began to blow. Before 7 o'clock the ships were plunging and making heavy weather of it. On the log books it was set down as a moderate gale. The waves sometimes were twenty-five feet high. The ships with quarter decks cut down were smothered with spray and solid water from time to time. The ships rolled very little—never in the strongest gale have the ships of the Connecticut class at least had their tables racks in place—but they yawed and dipped, as all ships in heavy weather are expected to do. The Yankton and Culgoa were not in sight. The weather had been too much for the little Yankton and she was ordered to slow down and the Culgoa was told to stand by her. The air was thick with rain squalls and mist and a more miserable day could hardly be imagined.

The morning wore on and nothing was heard from the Argentine ships.

"Guess the sea was too much for them," was the general comment. According to our reckoning we had passed the thirty-fifth parallel of latitude, right off the Plata, just[117] before noon. We were also in the proper longitude, but all was thick, and the general supposition was that the Argentine fleet had met our torpedo flotilla, which was more than a day ahead of us, and had escorted that into the Plata.

It was just about 1 o'clock in the afternoon when a wireless message was received from the Culgoa saying that the Argentine ships were asking him by wireless for our longitude and latitude. The figures were sent back promptly. Their figures were also given and some error was made in transmission. It was figured that they were something like 110 miles to the south and a little to the west of us. The weather began to moderate and then the opinion was that if they steered straight for us we ought to meet them about 6 o'clock that Sunday evening. But about 4 o'clock there came another message from the Culgoa, saying they were about five miles from that ship and going southwest, the same course as ours. It was a surprise.

Admiral Evans also received by wireless through the Culgoa this message of greeting from Admiral Oliva, in command of the Argentine ships:

Jan. 26, 1908, 2 p.m.

To Rear Admiral Evans:

The commander of the San Martin division of the Argentine navy salutes Rear Admiral Evans, his officers and men, and transmits to him the position of the Argentine division ordered to meet him as by dead reckoning latitude 36° 46' S., longitude 53° 41' W.

Hipolito Oliva.

To this greeting Admiral Evans sent this response:

Jan. 26, 1908, 2:43 p.m.

To Rear Admiral Oliva:

Rear Admiral Evans thanks the chief of the Argentine division [118]for his courtesy and begs that he will transmit to the Argentine Government his thanks for sending a naval division to meet the United States fleet.


Then came another surprise. The Culgoa told us that the Argentine ships were steaming at the rate of fourteen and a half knots and were only fifteen knots away.

"Fourteen and a half knots, eh!" was the open eyed and arch browed comment. "Wonder how long they can keep that up! Pretty smart that for a South American squadron!"

The sun burst out from the clouds half an hour before sunset and the navigators got satisfactory observations and it was possible to send back our exact position. The Argentines had been groping around for us up to that time and the best they could do was to find the Culgoa and the Yankton. The long twilight of the high latitude in midsummer followed, but just after 8 o'clock the Connecticut sent a signal to the fleet and immediately shot its after searchlight high in the heavens. It caught the clouds miles and miles back, a brilliant beam. Then came another signal to the fleet and instantly the after searchlights of all sixteen ships were combined in a monstrous shaft of light that cleft a path gleaming with the brilliance of a comet's tail through the lowering clouds. It vibrated and pulsated with the glow of an aurora borealis and every quiver and dart seemed to say to the Argentines:

"Here we are! Here we are! Follow this and you'll find us. We're only going ten knots an hour. You'll soon catch up. Hurry along; we'll be glad to see you."

For twenty minutes that extract of the sun bored into[119] the clouds behind, showing the way. It was a veritable pillar of fire by night. The combined smoke of all the smokepipes of the fleet would have made a pretty good pillar of cloud by day had it been clear, but it was too late for that now. Shortly before 9 o'clock, well astern, the faint light of a ship could be made out with the naked eye. The quartermaster on the bridge said there were four lights. Word was sent to the Captain—the usual rule when any vessel is sighted—and the news spread about, and soon dozens of men were straining their eyes to see the four lights. By a little after 10 o'clock all had become so plain that it was said the ships were within five miles. They came a little nearer and then slowed down for the night, keeping the same speed as our ships.

When daylight came on Monday, January 27, one of the fairest days nature ever provided, with a crisp southwest breeze, corresponding to the northwest breeze with us, every breath of it a tonic, the Argentine ships were about three miles astern of us. Shortly before 7 o'clock Admiral Evans ordered a double evolution. The fleet was in four divisions abreast, an Admiral leading each division. The second and fourth divisions were slowed down, and then by an oblique movement two squadrons were formed. These again were shifted into one column of sixteen ships proceeding wing and wing. The colors were hoisted at the gaff and the Argentines showed their beautiful blue and white ensigns.

Soon the Argentines were observed to put on more speed. The naval day begins at 8 o'clock in the morning. No greetings would be passed before that time. The Argentine ships kept creeping up, and when the first passed the[120] Kentucky, the last ship in our column, to starboard, it was seen that her rails were manned. The Argentine ships were in war color, dark olive green. Their crews were in white. Our crews had been shifted to blue in the chilly blow of the day before, but our ships were white.

Up along the line came the Argentines. Every ship had received a signal to pay the usual honors. Marine guards were drawn up, the crews were at attention, the bands on our ships played the Argentine national hymn and the bands on the four Argentine vessels played ours.

Sixty-four times the national air of each country was played as the Argentines slowly forged ahead. Many of the officers had got out the naval books to recognize the ships of the visitors, as they might be called. Most of the officers made them out correctly. They were two armored cruisers of the Cristobal Colon class and two protected cruisers. They were the San Martin, Buenos Ayres, Pueyrredon and 9 de Julio, and they made a smart show, each having a bone in her teeth. They were at intervals of 1,000 yards, and they kept the intervals as accurately as American ships would have done, and that is saying a great deal, as any one can testify who has seen this fleet sweep into a foreign harbor.

The San Martin had passed the Louisiana and Vermont and was abreast of the Kansas and just behind the Connecticut, and about a thousand yards to the westward, when up went the American ensign. It was a beautiful new flag, and the bright sun lit up its folds gloriously. The ensign could scarcely have looked better upon Old Ironsides. Then a gun barked out the first detonation of the salute.[121] One by one the guns were counted. Thirteen roared out. Then came another flash and report.

"Hello! They're going to follow the Brazilians' example and give Admiral Evans a Vice-Admiral's salute," was the comment.

Fifteen guns sounded and then came another flash and boom. Then there was another and then they stopped. Well! The Americans were surprised. An Admiral's salute!

"They do things in their own way down here," was the comment, and to this was added invariably: "Wish it was really true," for it must be recorded here in a spirit of accuracy that there is not an officer or sailor or marine on this fleet who, if he had his way, would not make Admiral Evans not only a vice but a full Admiral. It is the honest opinion of this fleet that he deserves to be at least a Vice-Admiral. The men in the fleet do not think it becoming to have the Commander-in-Chief fly a Rear Admiral's flag, a sight that would not be seen in any other navy.

The Connecticut responded to the salute gun for gun, as was quite proper as naval things go. The salute from the San Martin had scarcely ceased before the men on the Argentine ships broke into cheering, and well they might, for they were looking upon a naval spectacle such as few other navies have ever seen. The San Martin crept up beside the Connecticut, forged ahead and then the Connecticut with the Argentine ensign at the main fired the usual salute to the flag of another country upon the high seas. It made the men familiar with the etiquette of salutes jump. It was thrilling to them. The San Martin answered quickly and the exchange of courtesies with guns and bands and[122] manning of rails was ended. But not all the exchange was over. The wireless keys were ticking now and this message came from Admiral Oliva to Admiral Evans:

Jan. 27, 1908, 8:28 a.m.

To Rear Admiral Evans:

Having completed the honorable duty with which I am charged by my Government, I am about to part company for Buenos Ayres, and it would give me great pleasure to transmit any despatches for Admiral Evans.


Admiral Evans sent this reply:

Jan. 27, 1908, 8:57 a.m.

To Rear Admiral Oliva:

The Commander-in-Chief thanks you and the Argentine Government most heartily for the graceful honor done his fleet. He will thank you to transmit to Washington upon your arrival in port that we are all well and proceeding to our destination in the Pacific. He wishes you a pleasant cruise.


A further exchange of good wishes for pleasant trips followed.

Then the Argentine ships sheered off. They did it most politely. Although their destination was more than 300 miles to the rear, they turned a right oblique, the movement being done in a way that excited the admiration of the Americans, and went off in the same general direction in which our fleet was travelling.

"Don't want to turn their backs on us!" was the explanation given. In toward the coast they went, and not until they were nearly hull down did they turn about and head for home. It was a pretty compliment from most polite men on extremely smart ships.

[123] "That's a real navy!" said the Americans, "even if it is small!"

Coming, as the exchange of greetings did, upon the first bright day after the departure of our fleet from Rio amid gloom and other depressing surroundings, it warmed up the hearts of those on the fleet and the cheers for the Argentine Republic and her navy were genuine expressions of good will.

All that day and the day following the high seas greeting of the Argentines, the ocean was remarkable for its placidity. It was about as boisterous as the heaving billows of famous Cheesequake Creek under a hot summer sun. On the night of the second day of this there came indications of a change. The sea lumped itself a little, the wind changed and on the following morning, Wednesday, January 29, there came the first experience with fog on this voyage. The ships had been manœuvred into a different formation from that on the way to Rio. The four vessels of the first division were abreast at 400 yards interval, with the flagship as right guide. The three other divisions followed each at 1,600 yards distance, the flagship of each division acting as right guide and directly behind the Connecticut. It was a very open formation and seemed to fill the entire circle of the horizon.

Along about 8 o'clock in the morning a fog bank was noticed directly ahead. The temperature had risen about 10 degrees. The day was clear but a blanket of mist hung over the water. There was no time, even had there been any inclination to do so on the flagship, to order the fleet into exact column and put over the towing spars,[124] whereby each ship can tell when it is exactly 400 yards astern of its predecessor.

Orders were given to turn on searchlights in case the ships were obscured from one another. It wasn't long before each ship was cut off from the rest. Then came the turning on of searchlights. One naturally would think that this would be almost farcical when the sun was shining, but not so. Those bright little suns could be seen on the ships near by, gleaming through the mist, when the outlines of a ship only 400 yards away could not be made out. You could keep your distance easily in this way. You knew where your nearest neighbor was, and often you could make out the position of two or three of your neighbors. The lights looked like reflections of the sun in a mirror, only slightly obscured. You can see that, you know, any time a looking glass is used in daylight, as many a small boy has found out when he plays pranks. The glare from the ships was truly a beacon in the gloom, and it made you feel comfortable as you thought of the dangers of navigating those immense ships in close proximity in a treacherous fog.

Sometimes the fog would lift and you could get a view of the ships of your own division. Occasionally the ships of the division behind you would be revealed in the same way. Then would come another thick bank and you would be shut out from the rest of the world, and then you would take particular notice of the signalling by whistles. Each ship would sound its own letter by the toots which made the number corresponding to its letter. This is the way it would go:


Connecticut—Letter F—Toot, toot—toot, toot—toot, toot—t-o-o-t!

Kansas—Letter S—Toot, toot—t-o-o-t—toot, toot.

Vermont—Letter R—Toot, toot—t-o-o-t—t-o-o-t.

Louisiana—Letter W—T-o-o-t—t-o-o-t—toot, toot—t-o-o-t.

The Connecticut would sound her signal. Then across the line could be heard the signal of the Kansas, and then the Vermont would sound hers and then the Louisiana would get busy. After a short interval the whistling would be repeated. This and the searchlights made it possible to keep the line well fixed. The quartermasters were taking special pains to steer the exact course that had been set. You saw how nicely it all worked out when the fog lifted, and there would be the leading ships almost exactly in line, ploughing their ways to the southwest, just as if there had been no interception of vision. One glimpse of this really fine work reassured you at once and you began to think that a fleet of warships all huddled close together in a thick fog was not in the unsafe predicament you had fancied it to be. About noon the fog lifted entirely as the sun burned it away. One evening later there was about twenty minutes of fog, but that was the end of this kind of experience on the Atlantic coast.

For five days before Cape Virgin was sighted at the eastern end of the Strait of Magellan the change in the temperature became marked. The thermometer went down to the fifties. The air became bracing. Gradually all white was eliminated from the uniforms. You put on your overcoat and sweater when you went on the bridge to stay. You slept under a blanket at night. Then you closed your port. You rubbed your fingers together to[126] warm them up in the morning. Preparations were made for turning on steam. Only the cranks took a cold shower bath in the morning.

The men showed the change from the enervating climate of the tropics to the bracing one of the lower temperate zone by their sprightly movements. All hands felt good, as the saying is. We had gone from the beginning of winter at home, with the snowstorms, into the oppressive heat of the equator, and now we were back in the weather conditions of the Nova Scotia coast in midsummer, only the cold winds were from the south off the Antarctic ice, instead of from the frozen north, as at home.

Things do get turned around in this Southern Hemisphere, sure enough. It was strange to see the moon curving itself from east to west in the northern sky. We have already crossed the line of the sun and that is beginning to steal off to the north, although it is almost directly overhead at meridian. You see new stars—such bright ones!—with the beautiful Southern Cross as the most conspicuous constellation, just now in such a position that it has its top turned toward the eastern horizon as if to point toward Jerusalem. The winds come from an unusual direction and you soon become so mixed that you are not sure whether a clear, brilliant sunset with a dry air is an augury for clear weather on the morrow.

Cape Virgin's fine headland came in sight on Friday morning, January 31. It was thought desirable to swing ships before the strait was entered, and then it was too late to try to make the run through the eastern part of the strait to Punta Arenas, about 120 miles, with the first and second narrows, that day, and so we anchored for the[127] night in Possession Bay, a great open sheet of water, with the Patagonian mountains to the north. Early this morning we started on the first leg of the picturesque passage that Magellan first revealed to the world, and this afternoon came to anchor here.

The departure of our fleet from Rio was dramatic rather than spectacular. Nature took a hand in the snapping of the heartstrings and scolded and wept copiously. It was precisely as if an overwrought woman had been keeping a smiling face up to the last moment before the parting with some one close to her heart whom she might never see again and then giving way to hysterical weeping and even lamentations, her face turned away after one look and covered with a veil except for an occasional peep until the loved one was out of sight.

The morning had been blistering hot. Shore leaves had expired at 9 o'clock, all were aboard except those sent ashore to look out for any stragglers that had not reported and the mail orderlies who took off the last missives. By 10 o'clock the seams in the decks of the ships were exuding pitch. President Penna of Brazil was expected to come down the bay soon after noon to call upon Admiral Thomas on the Minnesota. About 11:30 one of those delightful sea breezes that make the summer afternoons in Rio not only tolerable but even attractive sprang up and every one was happy.

Just before noon it was observed that a few fog banks with darkening edges were being swept in over the tops of Sugar Loaf and Corcovado. It was soon a little lowery in the southern horizon. Then the word was passed that the Presidential yacht was approaching. At a sig[128]nal from the flagship the long lines of flags used to dress ship were swayed aloft and all the American battleships, the Brazilian ships, the Italian cruiser and the German cruiser in port suddenly were alive with snapping pennants from bows to taffrails. The American ensign was at the fore and the Brazilian ensign at the main of our ships.

The saluting signal came and the 3-inch guns on the ships roared out a welcome of twenty-one guns on each vessel to the President. Slowly the yacht approached the fleet and began to encircle it, passing first on the side opposite from Rio. The Louisiana was the first ship to be passed. The rail was manned with men with locked arms, the band played the Brazilian national air, the officers stood at salute. Then the Virginia was passed and the same greeting was repeated. Down around the line the yacht went until it drew up near the Minnesota on the opposite side. A launch steamed off to get the President. As he approached the Minnesota gave him twenty-one more guns.

Then the fleet gave itself up to final preparations for departure. Twenty minutes later the Minnesota fired another salute to mark the President's leavetaking. He went to the Brazilian cruiser, Benjamin Constant, which, with the rest of the Brazilian ships, sixteen in number, was to escort the American fleet out of the harbor. By that time the clouds had begun to descend from the hills, the wind to blow in gusts and a few raindrops to fall. It was seen that the waterfront was black with people. Then sharp dashes of rain swept over the city and hid it from view. The clouds fell upon the shore in great fog banks.

[129] The President by this time had gone to Fort Villegagnon, the naval station in the harbor half a mile from the beautiful Flamingo boulevard and beach. The starting signal for the American fleet was given precisely at 3 o'clock. Anchors were aweigh on the minute. The harbor was so thick and black that one could scarcely see 1,000 yards. With the black smoke of the funnels of the ships being swept down upon the water an inky darkness spread itself over everything, and often it was with difficulty that the ship ahead at 400 yards could be made out clearly.

As one ship after another swung in toward Villegagnon and thundered her twenty-one good-by guns the rain descended in sheets. If the President was reviewing the fleet no one on board could see him. Rio was wiped out. The thunder peals from Sugar Loaf and Corcovado at times outroared those of the guns. Nature was saluting in angry tones. She seemed indignant that the fleet was going away and made no bones about saying it. From 'way back on the north where the majestic Organ Mountains nearly pierce the clouds there came the roar of protest.

The mountain-encircled city was surely giving way to hysteria. Sackcloth and ashes were in evidence, the furiously driving fog clouds being the sackcloth and the soot from smoke of funnels and powder blasts being the ashes. Half the ships had passed Villegagnon when the rain became a patter suddenly and the veil was lifted from Rio. The waterfront was still black. The people had stood there for nearly an hour in a driving rain. Their fluttering handkerchiefs could be seen plainly.

[130] More and more the clouds lifted and once or twice old Corcovado and Sugar Loaf peeped out as if for a final look. Then they hid their faces. Soon the entire American fleet could be made out in the murky atmosphere. At last the line became clear. Directly behind it came the line of Brazilian ships. They added their salutes to the noise of the day in passing Villegagnon, but nature had ceased to cry out; the thunder was over.

Down at the harbor entrance were launches, rowboats, sailing craft, ferryboats, yachts and several ocean-going liners, all loaded down with people. Dozens of them went outside with the fleet and rolled and tossed about while their occupants waved and shouted good-bys. Some of the little craft ran close to the ships in the hope of saying a frantic last good-by to the American friends they had made at private dinner parties and receptions. A mist soon settled upon the water and finally blotted the harbor entrance from view. The Brazilian ships following were made out from time to time. The good-by was over and every one was glad.

It was entirely different from the Hampton Roads departure. There was a President present at each place, but there were twice as many ships roaring out salutes at Rio. There were twenty times as many people on shore. Nature smiled at Hampton Roads; nature not only sulked but made a pitiable exhibition of her uncontrolled anger and grief at Rio. The fresh breezes crinkled out the flags and made them beautiful at Hampton Roads; the driving gusts tore ensigns to ribbons at Rio and made a prolonged job of mending bunting on all the ships.

When darkness was beginning to fall and speed cones[131] had been lowered and masthead and other lights had been turned on a steamship was noticed coming out of the mist behind the fleet. She was alive with bunting and ran straight toward the middle of the fleet. Close at hand she began a great tooting of the whistle. She was one of the ocean-going vessels that had been chartered for the good-by, and she had run nearly twenty-five miles in the thick weather for a final glimpse and farewell shriek. Rio certainly hated to let the fleet go. Hospitality such as the Brazilians showed was never experienced by an American fleet, or probably any other nation's, before. It is likely to pass down as one of the brightest spots in our naval annals.

The farewell had a double side. The emotions of the Americans were divided for the reason that the mail had just arrived that morning—the first mail from home in six weeks. Letters from loved ones took the thoughts away from Rio for an hour or two, and then came the parting with the memory of those back in the States freshened by the missives that had come—well, naval officers don't show it when they are blue, but that night you couldn't find three men in the Louisiana's wardroom—the same was probably true of the other ships—and if you made a trip around the ship, far out in some sheltered place where the rain gusts did not fall and the wind did not blow, you would find some fellow sitting looking blankly out in the darkness. When you gave him a greeting you got a low growl for an answer and you passed on.

The ordinary civilian can scarcely appreciate what it means to a warship to get mail. Officers and men talk[132] about it for days. The departure of the fleet from Rio was set for December 21, but it was seen that it meant that the mail from New York would probably be missed by one day. The fleet was all agog as to whether Admiral Evans would remain over one day or would leave a collier to bring the mail on. When it was learned that the official receptions and good-bys would require another day in port there was rejoicing.

"We'll get the mail!" was on every one's lips.

Soon word was passed that the steamship Byron, bringing it, had reached Bahia. Then came the announcement that she would reach Rio between 4 and 6 P. M. on January 21. The time came and no mail ship. Then came 8, 9 and 10 o'clock, and no steamship had been reported passing in. Long faces were everywhere. Just before 6 o'clock the next morning the lookout reported the Byron passing in. Word was passed around and many an officer tumbled out of his bunk to catch a sight of the vessel that had letters from home on her. The bluejackets were already at work, but they stopped long enough with the others to give greeting to the ship.

"The mail has come! The mail has come! The mail has come!"

You heard it everywhere. Even the bugles seemed to sound it out. Good cheer was on all sides. Soon it was learned that the ship had been passed by the quarantine officer. Then came a race for her with launches. More than twenty of these boats, counting those from auxiliaries as well as battleships, began a race to reach her. The engineers hit 'er up and the coxswains steered as straight as they could. Over the rollicking waves the little craft[133] plunged and rolled and every snort they gave seemed to say:

"The mail has come. We're after it. We'll soon be back. The mail has come!"

The launches clustered about the ship like an eager crowd of boys scrambling for pennies. They had to be straightened out. The bags had been arranged on deck and then there came a stream of men passing them down. There was an average of twenty bags to each ship. As fast as each launch got its load it dashed back at full speed to its ship. The bags were hurried up the sides and fairly ripped open. Half a dozen men were set at sorting out the letters and papers. In less than two hours after the Byron had anchored hundreds of men were going about with a contented but far away look upon their faces.

"Oh, yes, thank you," was a general remark. "They're all well and they had a pleasant Christmas. Your people all right, too? That's good. 'Twas nice to hear from home, wasn't it? Wonder when we'll get the next one?"

There are many stock questions asked on board of a man-o'-war. In time of conflict the chief one is:

"Wonder where we'll catch the enemy?"

In time of peace the chief one seems to be:

"Wonder where we'll get the mail?"

To a passenger on one of these ships that seems to be the most important question to be asked and answered. Speculation as to the time of reaching port, of remaining in port, of departing, of the length of the cruise, as to the routine or even unusual work to be accomplished—all these seem to be of minor importance to the question as to when the mail will come. The American man-o'-warsman[134] surely does love his home and people. "God's country and God's people!" is the way he puts it. Apparently what he cares for most in all the world is mail from God's country and God's people.

But there will be no mail for the ships here at Punta. There used to be a hidden post office in the straits for sailormen. It was where the Indians could not find it. Letters and papers were left there to be mailed and reading matter was dropped behind for another vessel to pick up. It is said that never was that strange mail box trifled with and never robbed. But all that was years ago.

Now there is a modern city of something like 12,000 people here, with a Chilean post office to see that things are managed properly; but the mails are irregular, for they still depend for their despatch more or less on the irregular calls of steamers. Of course there are certain vessels which make regular trips, but these are few and far between, and you never know when you mail a letter here how long it will be before it reaches its destination.

If you don't find the old sea post office here there is one thing you do find, and it exists nowhere else in the world.

Did you ever hear about the willywaws? No? Well, you see 'em here when the season's right.

Did you ever see a hobgoblin? No? Well, a willywaw isn't a hobgoblin. Neither is it anything like a willy-boy. Any one who knows what willywaws are knows they are a thousand times worse.

Well, what is a willywaw? We'll save that for another article. You see there might not be much else to write about.



Pleasant and Busy Life in City of Perpetual Winter—Wealthy and Well Ruled—Millions Made in Wool, Mutton and Furs—One Splendid Mansion Amid Many Corrugated Iron Buildings—Famine in Postal Cards—Jack on Horseback—Officers Found More Fun in Social Gatherings Than Out in the Wilds—Surreptitious Traffic of a Free Port.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Punta Arenas, Feb. 7.

PUNTA Arenas is known commonly as the jumping-off place of the earth. The generally accepted meaning of that characterization is that it is not only the southernmost settlement of any size of civilized people in the world, but that it is the most forlorn, dreary, desolate place that any one could find in which to live.

Indeed, before this fleet arrived here it is probable that not one person in a hundred in the United States knew where Punta Arenas was, and those who had some vague idea about it had an impression that it is one of those reformed penal colonies where the driftwood of humanity huddle together, tolerate one another because they are birds of a feather and eke out a miserable existence in trafficking with Indians, herding sheep, looting wrecks and spending their spare time in low ceilinged saloons gulping down liquor that would put knockout drops to shame.

[136] Well, it simply isn't true! Punta Arenas is a lively city of 12,000 residents, one of the best governed in the world, with all modern improvements except trolley cars, half a dozen millionaires and scores of men worth $500,000 or more, with one residence at least that would hold its own more than favorably with the residences on Madison Avenue in the Murray Hill part of New York, with excellent schools, with a "society" that knows as well as any on earth how to wear Paris gowns and to give entertainments as finished in all the delicate niceties as could be found in any capital.

Punta Arenas isn't pretty in any sense and even the well-to-do are content to live in one-story houses with corrugated iron roofs, but it is a hustling, busy place where every comfort and luxury can be secured, and it has a pronounced twentieth century air about it. It resembles strongly a western Kansas or Nebraska town. Its climate is always cool but never seriously cold. The lowest recorded temperature in this place, which corresponds in latitude to Labrador in the Northern Hemisphere, is 20 degrees Fahrenheit above zero. The highest is 77. Why, there are two four-in-hands and one French automobile, this in a town, mind you, where there are no roads out in the country and no place except the town streets in which to drive! Any one who has seen these smart turnouts is justified in dropping into slang far enough to say that is going some!

There was good reason for a preconceived unfavorable opinion of Punta Arenas. Recently there have been several flattering accounts published of the town and its life, but they have not received a wide circulation. Such ac[137]counts as were in the books of travel, with probably one exception, were repellant. Here is what William E. Curtis said in 1888, in his book entitled "The Capitals of South America," and dedicated to Chester Alan Arthur:

"It [Punta Arenas] belongs to Chile and was formerly a penal colony; but one look at it is enough to convince the most incredulous that whoever located it did not intend the convict's life to be a happy one. It lies on a long spit that stretches out into the strait, and the English call it Sandy Point, but a better name would be Cape Desolation. Convicts are sent there no longer, but some of those who were sent thither when Chile kept the seeds and harvests of her revolutions, still remain there. There used to be a military guard there but that was withdrawn during the war with Peru and all the prisoners who would consent to enter the army got a ticket of leave. The Governor resides in what was once the barracks and horses are kept in a stockade. Hunger, decay and dreariness are inscribed upon everything—on the faces of the men as well as on the houses they live in—and the people look as discouraging as the mud.

"They say it rains in Punta Arenas every day. That is a mistake—sometimes it snows. Another misrepresentation is the published announcement that ships passing the strait always touch there. Doubtless they desire to, and it is one of the delusions of the owners that they do; but as the wind never ceases except for a few hours at a time, and the bay on which the place is located is shallow, it is only about once a week or so that a boat can land, because of the violent surf.

"The town is interesting because it is the only settle[138]ment in Patagonia and of course the only one in the strait. It is about 4,000 miles from the southernmost town on the west coast of South America to the first port on the eastern coast—a voyage which ordinarily requires fifteen days; and as Punta Arenas is about the middle of the way it possesses some attractions. Spread out in the mud are 250 houses, more or less, which shelter from the ceaseless storms a community of 800 or 1,000 people, representing all sorts and conditions of men from the primeval type to the pure Caucasian—convicts, traders, fugitives, wrecked seamen, deserters from all the navies in the world, Chinamen, negroes, Poles, Italians, Sandwich Islanders, wandering Jews and human driftwood of every tongue and clime cast up by the sea and absorbed in a community scarcely one of which would be willing to tell why he came there or would stay if he could get away. It is said that in Punta Arenas an interpreter for every language known to the modern world can be found, but although the place belongs to Chile, English is most generally spoken."

All that may have been true in those days, except about the rain, the wind, the shallow harbor and the impossibility of landing in a boat more than once a week and several other items.

Here is what Frank G. Carpenter said in 1900 in his book on South America, and it is the most favorable of any of the books dealing with Punta Arenas:

"The city has been cut out of the woods, and as we enter it we are reminded of the frontier settlements of our wooded Northwest. Its houses are scattered along wide streets with many recurring gaps and here and there a stray stump. The streets are a mass of black mud through[139] which huge oxen drag heavy carts by yokes fastened to their horns. At one place the sidewalk is of concrete, at another it is of wood, and a little further on it is of mud. Many of the houses are built of sheets of corrugated iron, their walls wrinkled up like a washboard, and all have roofs of this material. A few are painted, but nearly all are of the galvanized, slaty color of the metal as it comes from the factory.

"There is plenty of building space, but when you ask the price of vacant lots you find that property is high. What in the United States would be a $50 shanty is here worth $500, and a good business corner will sell for several thousands of dollars.

"Punta Arenas has one residence which would be considered a mansion in Washington city. This house, however, is the only one of its kind in Punta Arenas. Most of the dwellings are one-story structures which in the United States could be built for from $500 to $2,000. Many of the poorer houses are occupied by rich men; indeed, Punta Arenas has as many rich men as any frontier town of its size. It has thirty-three men each of whom owns or controls from 25,000 to 2,500,000 acres of land. Each has tens of thousands of sheep, and the wool clip of some of these sheep farmers is worth more than the annual salary of the President of the United States.

"The citizens of Punta Arenas come from all parts of the world. Some of the richest people are Russians; others are Scotchmen who have come from the Falkland Islands to engage in sheep farming; among them also are treacherous Spaniards, smooth-tongued Argentines and hard-looking brigands from Chile. The lower classes are[140] chiefly shepherds and seamen, and among them are as many rough characters as are to be found in our mining camps of the West."

That extract caused you to be more interested in the place, but still the reference to rough characters made you feel that if you were going ashore it would be better to leave your money on the ship and not go alone. When the fleet came in sight of the town all the glasses in each ship that could be spared were in constant use. You saw a gathering of dwellings, almost entirely one-story structures and all of a slate color. There was one tower in the centre of the place. The town stretched for nearly a mile and a half along a sloping hill, nearly flat in the foreground, and it extended back in a straggling way for about three-quarters of a mile. Back of the town on rising ground was a belt of burned timber, bleak and forbidding, and then came the sharp rise of the ground into a low range of mountains, eight or ten miles away and about 1,500 or 1,800 feet high, with patches of snow here and there in sheltered nooks.

"Quite a town, that!" was the general comment. The harbor contained a dozen or fifteen steamships, coasters and tugs and was alive with Chilean flags. Fully one-half of the buildings, many of them mere shacks, had the Chilean flag above them. The red, white and blue color gave bright relief to the sombre appearance of the town. That display of bunting warmed up the Americans some. Anchor was cast soon after noon and by 3 o'clock the first men were ashore. The glad hand was stretched out to them.

The visitors were surprised at the place. They found[141] shops where everything that one could wish was to be purchased. If you wanted your fountain pen fixed all the parts necessary were to be obtained. If you wanted kodak supplies there they were. If you desired paint, brass tubes, fine olives, dog biscuit, rare wines, high grade cigars, a theatrical performance, a suit of clothes made to order, fresh meat or fish, fresh milk, diamonds, hunting supplies, books, hardware—well, everything that a reasonable person could wish was to be had at moderate prices, except furs. The furs were there by the bale, and they too were cheap when you considered the prices you would have to pay for the same product in the United States, but they were not cheap for Punta Arenas. Prices were advanced 50 per cent. on furs as soon as the first man from the fleet got ashore.

The first thing that struck the eye as the launches swung into the long landing pier was an enormous sign painted on the sea-wall saying:


It was the strict truth, especially as to furs. Fox skin rugs that had been selling for $25 went to $40. Guanaco skins that had been $10 went up to $15. Seal skins that were $50 went to $75. The only way to get the lower prices was to get some resident of the town to purchase for you on the pretext that he wanted to make a gift of the furs. Then you paid him and you got furs nearer their real Punta Arenas value.

The visitors found the city laid out in squares with the[142] wide streets in the central part of the town paved with rubble. The curbs are marked with heavy wooden timbers and most of the walks are narrow and covered with gravel. Probably one-third of the buildings in the central part of town have concrete sidewalks in front of them. The visitors also found the place well policed with men in long cloaks and swords, bad looking men to go up against, but men who soon had orders, apparently, to go into the back streets and disappear. At any rate they were seldom seen in the heart of the city after Jack got ashore, and it was whispered openly that the authorities had told them to "go into the bosky" and let the Americans do their own policing. This was done and the best of order prevailed during the fleet's stay.

The visitors also found a fine water supply brought from far back in the mountains, an excellent fire department and the streets sewered and clean. Electric lighting was the common mode of illumination in the shops and scores of dwellings. Most surprising among the little things to be observed was that practically every dwelling had an electric bell at the front door. Galvanized iron was the predominant material for dwellings and some stores. The reason was soon apparent. The fire regulations do not permit the erection of wooden buildings in the city—up to date, you see—and stone and good bricks have to be brought in. Rough bricks are made here, but those of a better quality have to be imported. They will be made here in time doubtless, but the town has been too busy making money in wool, exporting mutton and selling furs to start up manufactories for building material for home consumption strictly. Corrugated iron is the easiest and[143] cheapest to get and the fashion of having a residence of that material has been so well established that even a rich man takes it as a matter of course that he must live in one.

As one wandered further into the town he found a central plaza with a band stand in it, the western frontage occupied with the Governor's residence and the Catholic church; the northern side the site of a residence that made the visitor gape with astonishment to find so really handsome a building in such a place, the office and general wholesale store of Moritz Braun, the American Consular Agent here, and the shop of José Menendez of Buenos Ayres and Punta Arenas, the richest man in all this region. On the eastern side of the plaza were two banks, shops, clubs and a dwelling or two. The southern side bordered on a vacant square sold recently for $150,000.

The plaza was quite impressive in its pretensions. As one wandered further he observed that the city was treeless, that there was a little railroad on one of the wide streets to the north which leads to the coal mine in the hills about seven miles from town, that there were few gardens and flowers. Occasionally one could see a patch of radishes or potatoes or lettuce growing in a yard, but most of the yards were bare, with a wood pile—wood is cheap here—as its chief ornament. A small white pink was about the only flower that was grown freely out of doors. In hundreds of windows, however, there were house plants, largely geraniums, in bloom.

Street scenes occupied one's attention immediately. The most common would be drays pulled by fine oxen with the yokes about their horns. Better looking animals are not to be found anywhere in the United States. All the dray[144] work is done by these carts. There are hundreds of them in town. The next thing to catch the eye was the fine horses. A gaucho clad in gay colors would ride through the streets occasionally with the easy swing of one of our cowboys and he had a picturesque getup that would fit a circus parade at home. You noted that when they tied horses they simply hobbled their forefeet.

Few women were to be observed on the streets. Many of them wore black mantillas for headdress. Now and then a smart carriage with a coachman in livery would go dashing by. Again one would see a pony cart with children under a nurse's care in it. Then one's eyes would open as he saw a fine coach drawn by four horses swing along. It made the visitor smile a little to see a big bag of potatoes tied up behind the coach, like a trunk in the racks of stages in some of our Western towns, but you must expect crudities of some kind in the jumping-off place. Then would come the Governor's carriage, correct as to livery and all the other appointments befitting his station.

The signs were all in Spanish, of course. Saloons were found all over. The entire aspect of things, however, was one of our Far Western towns that had struck it rich and was in that stage where the wealthy men are still residents of the place, actually proud to acknowledge that they have come up from humble beginnings, content to live where they have made their money and in humble dwellings, and are not yet ready to advance upon New York and build palaces that blare out to the world that they are among the newly rich and want all mankind to know it.

After you had wandered about a bit you came back into[145] the plaza for a look at the one fine residence of the city. It belongs to Mrs. Sara Braun Valenzuela, wife of Vice-Admiral de Valenzuela of the Chilean navy. She is one of several children of the Braun family of which Moritz Braun is now the head. The family's life has been spent here, for their parents came here as immigrants from Russia more than thirty-five years ago. The daughter Sara married a man named Nogueira, who, with the rest of the Braun family, prospered and grew rich in herding sheep and keeping store. As they prospered they improved themselves mentally and acquired finish in social matters. To the credit of the family it must be said that each of its members speaks freely of his or her rise in the world, and you must smile a little at the twinkle in their eyes as these accomplished linguists, well-equipped business people, familiar with finance, stock speculation, trading, correct social usages, say:

"You know our people came here as immigrants, very poor, and had to make their way in the world, just as many of the ancestors of the rich in your own country did. By the way, I believe that the founder of the Astor family started out in life peddling furs and then selling them in a store. Of course, one has to start in life as best he can. We sold furs, of course, but the sheep and wool industry gave us our opportunity. However, one should be modest about his belongings. This is our home and here we shall probably stay. We are of the town and have no aspirations except to do our share in advancing the place and to be good citizens."

Several years ago Señor Nogueira died, leaving his wife a millionaire. She decided to have more of the physical[146] comforts and she built the fine house in which she dwells. Building materials and workmen were brought from Buenos Ayres, and the result was a house that would do credit to any city in the world. Its glass covered porch and its conservatory give it the appearance of the home of one who not only appreciates luxury but has a love of flowers and good taste in furnishings. Four years ago Mrs. Nogueira, still a young woman comparatively, married Admiral de Valenzuela. The Admiral's duties keep him away for the most part, but his wife remains, content to dwell where the rest of her family reside and where she can look after her immense business interests. She owns a good part of the town and has an enormous income for a woman in South America. Her house cost about $150,000 to build. The furnishings cost well into the tens of thousands and the combined result is to make it one of the most comfortable, luxurious and complete dwelling places to be found anywhere. One sight of it was sufficient to make the observer stop short and admire. It was so unexpected, you see, after you had been wandering about in a city of corrugated iron dwellings.

There are half a dozen other rather pretentious places in the town. Mr. Braun's house and lot cost him about $150,000, and there are two or three places that would be worth probably from $10,000 to $20,000 in the States. Otherwise the rich are content to dwell as if they were in moderate circumstances.

You wandered about the plaza some more and soon found yourself in the rooms of the Magellanos, or the English club, well fitted up establishments, with smoking rooms, reading rooms, reception rooms and billiard rooms. These[147] clubs are small compared with those in New York, but they are complete as far as they go and are really pleasant loafing places. Then perhaps you went across the plaza to look at the mission Catholic church. As you went down the side street you noticed an entrance to what seemed to be the parish house and a school. Some one told you that in there was a museum of natural history that was really unusual. In you went, and you met Father Marabini, urbane, gentle, cordial and a scholar, a lover of nature, under whose supervision a small but most valuable collection of birds, fishes, reptiles, animals and geological specimens has been gathered together. When many of the animals found in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego have been destroyed and wiped out under the pressure of civilization, like our buffaloes and the seals, all this country and the lovers of natural history everywhere, to say nothing of the devotees of science, will be grateful to this humble Dominican monk for his labor and patience of years.

In addition to natural history Father Marabini has gone into anthropology to some extent. His collection along that line has yet to be enlarged, but you find weapons, hunting and fishing implements, canoes, specimens of clothing of Indians, photographs of the aborigines, now fast disappearing. Chief Mulato, the last of the high grade Patagonian Indians, died only recently of smallpox. The Fuegan Indians, described as the canoe Indians and the lowest form of humanity on earth, are also going. Speed will have to be made to get a complete anthropological collection of these people.

In the natural history collection you see specimens of the albatross, the largest bird that flies; the condor, all the[148] fowl of the region, the deer, guanacoes, otter, seals and other fur bearing animals; you also see geological specimens bearing on the mineral wealth of the country and also specimens devoted to pure geology. You see the pottery and the metal working of the natives. You can spend hours there with Father Marabini and you leave him with regret and respect. His museum is one that would make a most creditable showing in New York's Museum of Natural History.

You wander out to the north and you soon find a large building surrounded by a high fence. You learn it is the Charity Hospital, with accommodations for thirty-five patients, a boon to this far off land. The late Dr. Nicholas Senn made a visit to this hospital late last summer and commended it highly. He prided himself on having visited the most northern hospital in the world at Hammerfest, Norway, in 1890, and the most southern last year. He declared this one to be "a credit to the young city and a refuge for the homeless sick and injured in this hospitable and remote part of the world."

So the visitor found this a well equipped, modern city with the residents rosy in their cheeks, cheerful and contented with their lot in life. They said that sometimes it grew a little monotonous, but never dreary. Most of the year they have theatricals, and just now they have a more or less permanent company. A good many of those on the fleet went to the vaudeville show and said they found it very good indeed.

It was not until Mr. Braun, our Consular Agent, gave a reception to the fleet that the full power of Punta Arenas to do the handsome and correct thing was revealed. The[149] guests entered a home modern in every respect. They found a great hall whose floor was covered with rugs, a large room behind that as big as a private saloon in Paris, a magnificent dining room with panelled ceiling, a superbly furnished drawing room and side rooms used for smoking or retiring rooms. There did not seem to be a door on all the first floor. It is a house of large floor dimensions rather than of elevation, and the first floor was like a palace rather than a mere dwelling.

The appointments—table furnishings, beautiful candelabra, glassware, punch bowls (there were half a dozen of them), dainty little tables spread with confections and the main dining room table elaborately set and decked out—were such as only great wealth could provide.

And the company! Of course the naval officers were in full dress with all their gilt fixings and white gloves, but every other man there, and there were dozens, was as correctly garbed in evening dress as at any Fifth avenue reception. The number of handsomely gowned women was a surprise. There were probably fifty in costumes that were distinctly Parisian. The one comment was:

"Where did they get these fine looking women?"

You didn't see them on the streets and you were astonished that there was so much society in the place. You heard all languages spoken and you might imagine you were in Paris. When the band struck up it was with a quadrille. You were pleased perhaps to see the old dances—quadrilles, lanciers, schottisches, the old waltzes—danced. You see, the new kind of glides, two steps, walk arounds, fancy steps they call dancing nowadays—and perhaps it is dancing—hasn't struck Punta Arenas[150] yet. Surely in that respect the town was behind the times. It couldn't do the hippety-hoppety steps and the slides and glides. Poor old fashioned Punta Arenas!

The brilliant scenes at Mr. Braun's home were duplicated two nights later at the Governor's ball. This reception was a display in keeping with the wealth of the place. There was no vulgarity, no crudeness, no little amusing sidelights that showed that the town had just arrived in a social way. It was plain that Punta Arenas knew how to entertain. Scores of naval officers said that they never saw entertainments in Washington in better taste.

After all this you began to investigate what it meant. There was one answer to the question—wool and sheep. When you hunted for statistics you got them from an official whose business it is to collect them. You found that last November the population of the place was 11,800 and of the territory 17,000. In 1889 the population of the territory was 2,500 and the town only 1,100. It was a pretty raw town then. You found that in 1906 the number of sheep in the Magellan territory was 1,873,700 and that thirty years ago it was less than 2,000. You learned that the industry was started through the Falkland Islanders, 200 miles to the eastward, where the Scotch missionaries got rich quick and were not averse to worshipping mammon to some extent. You learned that the number of tons of wool exported last year was 7,174, that the number of refrigerated sheep exported last year was 104,427 and that this year it would probably be 130,000.

You learned that the imports of the town were nearly $3,000,000 a year and the exports nearly $5,000,000.[151] You found that there was a coal mine in operation close by, producing about 12,000 tons a year, chiefly for local use. The coal is of the lignite variety and disintegrates rapidly. It is improving as the shaft sinks deeper, and the owners hope soon to have coal that they can sell to steamships. That will help Punta Arenas a good deal.

You learned that there are three daily newspapers here, each giving cable news. Indeed, we heard of the assassination of King Carlos here as quickly as the rest of the civilized world. You were even surprised to find that there is one tri-weekly newspaper in English and you get a copy and read the list of guests at Mr. Braun's reception, quite up to date with the society news. You learned that Punta Arenas had been connected with the rest of the world since December, 1902, when the overland telegraph was put through to Buenos Ayres. You learned that there was gold in all the hills near by; that four dredges were engaged in mining over in Fireland, as they call Tierra del Fuego here, and one in a gulch just back of the town. Some progress has been made with this mining and there are Americans and men from the Transvaal engaged in the industry. A lot of money has been put into it, but the expense of getting the gold is still too high to make the proposition attractive to the general public and so one need not look for a gold rush here for some time. You learned that there was copper mining in many places, but that the difficulty in getting transportation by water from the remote places high up the mountains where such mines are is such as to eat up most of the profits. You learned that about 60 per cent. of the population is foreign, ranking as follows as to numbers: Aus[152]trian, German, French, English, Spanish, Scandinavian and American.

The prosperity of the town you then realized depended upon sheep and furs, chiefly sheep. You found four immense ranching companies doing business here and you got the annual report of the largest one, the Exploration Society of Tierra del Fuego. It has 1,200,000 shares, owned mostly by Valparaiso and Santiago people, but Punta Arenas has 140,000 shares, of which Mr. Braun owns 62,000. This company owns 1,200,000 acres of land and its wool clip is nearly 6,000,000 pounds. Last year it had 900,000 sheep, 14,000 cattle and 8,000 horses on its property. Its capital is $6,000,000 and last year it paid nearly 15 per cent. in dividends. It has its property divided into five big ranches. Altogether its real estate holdings are as big as the State of Delaware and nearly one-half as large as the State of Connecticut. That isn't very large compared with the entire territory of Tierra del Fuego, because that land is as big as the State of New York, but it is pretty big doings as sheep ranches go. Australia and Argentina can make a slightly better showing in the production of wool, but, as the Punta Arenas people say, this country is still young in the business.

You began to wonder how the sheep could thrive in this terribly cold and barren region and you were surprised to be told that really it wasn't very cold here. You hunted that matter up for yourself and you found that Father Marabini had been keeping a well equipped meteorological establishment for fifteen years and you got the printed records. You found that the average temperature for February, the warmest month in the year, was 52.5 Fah[153]renheit, 11.6 centigrade; that the highest temperature for fifteen years was 77 degrees (20.59 centigrade), and that the lowest recorded in summer in all that time was 33.8 (1.31 centigrade). That made you shiver some. Then you looked for the lowest winter records. You found them in July. The lowest recorded temperature for that month is 20 degrees above zero (-6.70 centigrade), and the highest 44 degrees (7.91 centigrade). You found that the average temperature for the three summer months in fifteen years was 52.5 (11.396 centigrade), and the average for the winter months was 36 (2.225 centigrade). Few places in the temperate zone can show a variation of temperature of only sixteen degrees between winter and summer.

The temperature record and the rich grasses on the plains told the story of sheep farming here. There isn't much snow. Now and then there is a fall of from two to three feet, but for the most part the snowfalls are only a few inches in depth. The greatest climatic drawback is the searching winds. These winds blow hardest in summer and give a decided chill to the air. The fleet was here in the best season of the year. On two days out of the six it was comfortable to wear light overcoats. The temperature was something like our April weather. Occasionally it rained for a few minutes, but four of the days were absolutely clear. We came in when there was a high wind and a drop in the temperature and we feared that the stay would be most uncomfortable. It was anything but that from a climatic standpoint.

So goes the statement quoted early in this article, that it doesn't rain every day in the year in Punta Arenas be[154]cause some days it snows. The value of the other statement that the bay is shallow is shown by the fact that if the port hadn't been crowded the fleet would have anchored within half a mile of the city. As it was, it anchored about a mile out and the water was so deep that three of the battleships had to move in a quarter of a mile because there is a limit to the length of anchor chains. As to the impossibility of landing more than once a week, it may be said that there never was an hour when the launches could not land. Once or twice the wind came up and the little craft tossed about a bit, but that happens in any port. So goes another of the many informing things that have been said incorrectly about this much abused and misunderstood place.

After learning something about the business of the place the inquirer naturally turned to the form of government. He learned that it was a place without politics because it has no suffrage. The Governor and three alcaldes, with a consulting board of paid city officials, run things. The alcaldes are representative men. One represents the foreign interests especially. They pass rules and ordinances which are approved or disapproved by what would be called in Santiago the Colonial Office. These laws are rarely disapproved. The alcaldes are wise in their generation. They do not adopt unpopular measures. Public opinion is so strong that any alcalde who got to cutting up and attempting boss rule would find himself so cut off from the rest of the people with whom he must live and do business that he would feel as if he had been banished. There is a movement to make the territory a province[155] with political powers of its own, but it is being fought vigorously.

"We are so well governed," said a resident of ten years to the Sun man, "that we do not need a change. We can put the responsibility right on the one man in our present situation. Nothing goes wrong and our taxes amount to about $3 on $1,000 in a year. Real estate and live stock are about the only things taxed."

Well governed as Punta Arenas is it is curious to note how certain customs in municipal government exist the world over. Did you notice that police official who just went by? Well, he keeps his carriage and private coachman and his people dress well, and his home is above the average in its pretensions. His salary? Oh, about $1,500 a year. You see they can't pay high police salaries in a town of 12,000 and only about fifty policemen. But there are certain resorts which sailormen and others support in all remote places of any size, and the authorities somehow seem not to observe them too closely—well, there's no need to go into the matter further.

Some things, however, are a little different in Punta Arenas from other places, because it is one of the few large free ports in the world. You can import anything duty free. Chile had to adopt this plan to build the place up. Even ocean freight is high to this far off place. Argentina had to make several of its neighboring ports free in consequence of the advantages of Punta Arenas, and so you have about five free ports down in this neck of the woods.

Some curious effects have followed, the most interesting[156] of which is that Punta Arenas is one of the greatest centres of smuggling in the world. You will not get any of its merchants to admit it openly. For instance, it is said that there are more Havana cigars imported into Punta Arenas than into all the rest of Chile put together. They are not consumed here. They go somewhere. Punta Arenas does not begin to use all the millions of goods imported. A little figuring would show that. The outside population in the territory, amounting to about 5,000, could not take care of the rest after the wants of Punta Arenas are satisfied. Why, there are no less than twenty-two coasting steamers engaged in trade from here, to say nothing about scores of sloops and schooners darting in and out among the islands and channels that run far up the Pacific coast. One of the merchants gave an instance of the smuggling. He said:

"Not long ago I had several hundred articles of limited sale consigned to me by mistake. I couldn't sell them here and didn't want to send them back. I sent some somewhere else. They sold like hot cakes. You see the price was so much lower than you could buy them before in that same city where they were sent. It is true that there is a great deal of quiet wealth here, but really you mustn't ask too many questions."

An interesting sidelight was thrown on this subject when this same man was talking about the illumination of the city by the American fleet's searchlights on the night before the fleet sailed. Fully seventy-five beams were thrown from the ships. They swept the town fore and aft. Some of the ships concentrated their lights in one spot. Five beams from our ship were centered upon the[157] church steeple in the plaza. It made the place so light that you could read a newspaper anywhere. The entire town was in a light almost like that of midday.

"I wonder that it didn't make some of our people run into holes to hide," said a citizen who knew things when he was speaking of the brilliant illumination.

As is well known, Punta Arenas started out in life as a penal colony. It will surprise most of those who know the place and probably some of the residents themselves that it is still a penal colony legally, because the penal laws were never repealed. Indeed, it is even now a place of exile. Every few months some man arrives from the upper part of Chile who has been banished to the place. Once here he is welcome to stay or go as he pleases. These men are usually embezzlers or undesirable citizens from some other cause in small places where the machinery of justice is inadequate to fit the crime. The culprit is ordered to Punta Arenas.

It was in 1843 that Chile took possession of all this territory, wresting it from Spain. She established a penal colony at once in Port Famine, a few miles from here. In 1849 she removed the colony to Punta Arenas. Two years later there was mutiny of the guards, led by Lieut. Cambiaso. There was a good deal of slaughtering before it was quelled. In 1877 there was another similar mutiny, and then Chile withdrew the guards and let Punta Arenas get along as a commercial place.

The free port regulations followed, merchants came dropping in, fur trading became profitable and then came the sheep industry and Punta Arenas graduated into the really modern city it is. Where it is possible to make[158] money there you will find people these days, for the rovers of the earth are just as active as ever and neither cold nor heat, sickness nor desolation will stop the march of commerce.

There are still many citizens of Punta Arenas who came here in the days of the penal colony. Many of them were political prisoners. Many were mere youths who had gone wrong. Scores of them have remained and have grown up to be good citizens and solid business men, a credit to any community. Still the memory of the past remains with some, as was shown when the Sun man was walking along the street with a merchant and stopped to look at a finely dressed party of men and women going down to the pier to go off to the Connecticut on the day of the elaborate reception on board. The men were in frock coats and tall hats and the women in beautifully fitting afternoon gowns.

"That's as fine a looking group of men and women as you would see in any of our ports," said the Sun man.

"Perhaps so," said his companion, "but one has to smile a little when one thinks of some things."

"A past?" inquired the Sun man.

"Oh, yes," was the answer, "but one shouldn't refer to that. Only it does make me smile."

This man hadn't received an invitation to the reception. He had a past that would bear the closest scrutiny. His point of view was responsible for the tone of his remarks. Nevertheless, how many of our own frontier towns could stand inspection when it comes to investigating the careers of some of their solid citizens?

Here is a town which has fine free schools, where the[159] Methodist mission conducted by the Rev. J. L. Lewis not only has a congregation of 300 but an English school of forty pupils; where the Episcopal mission has a congregation of 400 and a mixed school of 100 children; a town where there is very little crime, and what there is is chiefly disorderly conduct; a place where everybody is prosperous, apparently; where life is sometimes dull, but always comfortable, with good government, and where a man can stand on his own merits as he is and not as he has been.

The bluejackets enjoyed their stay here thoroughly. Only the special first class men were allowed on shore; to have turned all the men of the fleet loose would have swamped the town, for there were more persons in the fleet than in the city. The men who did get shore leave made for post card shops first. In a day nearly all the best cards were gone. The supply lasted throughout the stay, but now and then you would meet a party of bluejackets hunting the town over for better specimens. So serious was this drain upon the town that the supply of postage stamps ran out on several days. It was necessary to go to the treasury vaults here to replenish the post office.

The bluejackets then swamped the fur stores. Many really fine specimens of furs can be secured here and at moderate prices compared to those in the United States. The bluejackets spent thousands upon thousands of dollars, and so did the officers. Fox, guanaco, seal, otter, alpaca, vicuña, puma—any kind of fur that seems to be in the market, except tiger's skins, was to be found. Then the plumage of birds, ostriches, swans, gulls and so on was sought out eagerly. Some of the skins were fully dressed and some not, but the commonest sight in Punta Arenas[160] for the six days the fleet was here was hundreds of sailors making for steam launches with great bundles of furs under their arms. Many a woman in the States will have the opportunity of explaining to inquiring friends that Tom or Dick or Bill got that fur for her right across from Tierra del Fuego, and many an officer will show a floor covering with something of the same satisfaction.

Having purchased his furs and postal cards and having taken samples of the various brands of libation, as sailor men usually do in foreign and home ports—it must be said in truth there was almost no excessive drinking because only special first class men were ashore—Jack turned his attention to other things. He soon found that there were dozens of very good saddle horses in town and he promptly went horseback riding. Scores of sailors could be seen galloping about the streets. Amusing? Yes, in a way, but not because they could not ride. Many of them rode like cowboys. You see a large part of the young blood of this fleet, indeed most of it, comes right off the farms, Western farms, too, and those boys know how to ride and handle horses. The people gaped at them and then took it as a matter of course that an American Jack tar could do almost anything.

The officers, too, had their fun ashore. In two hours after the fleet was anchored many of those off duty were seen in riding costume cantering about the streets on fine horses that the chief of police put at their disposal. An hour or two later the launches began to land roughly dressed men with rifles and bags. They were hunting parties, going right out to get foxes and pumas and all sorts of wild things in the suburbs. Finally a mysterious[161] group landed from the Vermont. They had ponchos and picks and shovels and guns.

"Where you going?" was the inquiry on all sides.

"Ask Connolly," was the answer.

Now, Connolly is the famous writer of sea fiction, particularly Gloucester fishing stories, the warm personal friend of the President, and he once served in the navy two months as yeoman, at Mr. Roosevelt's suggestion, so as to pick up local color.

"Going out to camp on the hills and discover gold!" was all you could get out of Connolly. Late the next afternoon the bedraggled party swung into town again. Connolly's hand was tied up. A more trampy looking outfit never struck a town.

"What's the matter?" asked the crowd surging about Connolly on the pier.

"Oh, nothing at all," he said, and then he looked faint and sighed. Then began a quest for information as to whether they found gold or shot anything, and how was Connolly hurt. Finally it was whispered that a Tierra del Fuego Indian who had stealthily crossed to the mainland had shot at the party and the Mauser bullet, Mauser, mind you, had nipped Connolly and had caused a bad flesh wound. Then it was a puma that had leaped upon him and he had strangled it to death. Then the story went that he had been shot accidentally by one of the party. Then he had broken his fist in a fierce personal encounter with savages. All through this period of rumors and yarns all Connolly could do was to nod and make a show of great nerve in not noticing the terrible pain under which he was suffering.

[162] Well, there had to be an end of it, and it came out that Connolly had slipped in wading a stream and in trying to keep himself from falling had put a finger out of joint. He grinned over the joke and when he was asked for details of the shooting he said:

"Honestly, we did see some puma tracks!"

That, so far as results were concerned, was the experience of all the hunting parties. The Yankton took some of the officers across to Fireland, about twenty miles, one day. They got some fine birds and a fox or two and had really good sport. Punta Arenas not providing any hunting, the officers took to receptions for the rest of the stay.

One thing that keeps impressing itself upon the patriotic observer as this fleet goes from port to port should be mentioned. It is the painful lack of the American flag on shipping. The English and German flags are seen everywhere. All over this South American country you also hear one lament from merchants. It is that there is no American line of steamships trading directly all along the coast. Everywhere they tell you of the great opportunities for American goods down here.

"If you Americans would only find out what we want and then learn how to pack the goods and then would establish steamship lines there is immense wealth to be had in our trade. Give us American steamship lines," is the burden of general comment.

This is not the place for a discussion of the revival of the American merchant marine or the best methods to attain that end. The writer of this has no desire to go beyond the province of his assignment, which is to chronicle the doings of the fleet, but surely one may mention with[163] propriety the one remark in every port that the presence of the fleet has brought forth.

Punta Arenas was like the rest in its craving for American trade. It may be the jumping off place of the earth, but if you did have to jump off a ship and should land here you might be in far worse places, and if you had to jump off from here the fact would still remain that you might jump from more undesirable places. The American sailor men were practically unanimous in voting Punta Arenas all right and a tremendous surprise.



Fog, Shoal, Wind and Tide—Most Awesome Scenery in the World, but Not a Place to Anchor—Start at the Witching Hour of 11 p.m. on Friday Brought Only Good Luck to the Long Line of U. S. Leviathans, Flanked by Its Torpedo Flotilla—Vessels Wabble Where the Tides Meet, but Steady Hands Curb Them Back to the Course—The Willywaw—Island Post Office and Cape Pilar, Where No Ship-wrecked Seaman Ever Escaped.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
At Sea, Feb. 15.

WHEN word was cabled from Chile just before Admiral Evans's fleet swept in and out of Valparaiso harbor on February 14 that the fleet had passed through the Strait of Magellan safely, there was probably a feeling of relief in Washington. Admiration for the successful performance of a great feat of seamanship was probably expressed generally throughout the world. The passage accomplished, it was easy to say that all along every one who had any sense knew that it would come out all right and not for one moment had there been any real cause for anxiety. Of course, of course!

Nevertheless all the world knows there was great anxiety and even dread lest something serious might happen in navigating this most treacherous and dangerous passage[165] in the world. Even the foreign press said that it would be a supreme test of American seamanship to take a fleet of sixteen battleships, to say nothing of the auxiliaries, through those waters.

It is comparatively easy to take one or two ships through the straits. Two or three hundred skippers perform that task with success every year. Time and again have our warships, singly and in groups of two or three, gone through with ease. But here were sixteen monster ships that had to go through in single file and within about 400 yards of one another, with no place to anchor and without the possibility of stopping, buffeted by swift tides and currents, in danger of running into the sheer cliffs of mountains or of striking hidden rocks in fog or possibly snow. If any serious mishap had occurred there was nothing to do but go right on. You couldn't lay to in these waters. If fog hid the way you must keep on and trust to picking up headlands here and there, and you must maintain your sustained speed of ten knots, because each vessel would then know where its immediate predecessor or follower ought to be.

Certainly it was a difficult performance, one fraught with great danger and grave responsibility. The chief point is, however, that the fleet got through without the slightest mishap. It was done as easily as entering the harbor of New York. There was not the slightest manifestation of undue concern by any of the officers of the fleet, but it cannot be denied that every one was keyed up to his best and all were glad when the roll of the Pacific was felt. When it was over all hands looked at one another and said, in the French expression, "It is to laugh."

[166] But you want to know all about it? Is there an impatient call for details of this much-heralded trip of dread, a breathless demand to know how many close calls and narrow escapes there were from hitting sunken rocks, gliding against precipices, scraping the paint from the ships' sides, dodging willywaws? You want to learn how many men were nearly swept from the decks by overhanging cliffs and limbs of trees, how often icebergs choked the narrow places, how many times the treacherous Fuegan Indians, "the lowest form of humanity on earth," lit their fires as signals that there would be fine plunder and good eating of humans when one or more of these ships went on the rocks; whether it was true that the officers and crews went without sleep or food until all dangers were passed?

Well, if you guessed any or all those things you must guess again. None of 'em happened. Of course the winds blew fiercely at times, but they do that every day in the year in the Magellans. Of course the tide rips caught the ships at certain critical places and twisted and turned them somewhat. Of course the rain fell occasionally and now and then shut out from view a most beautiful glacier or snow field just when you wanted to see it most. Of course the clouds obscured the mountain tops from time to time. Of course the currents and tides swept through the various reaches like mill races. Of course a willywaw or two came out and smote us, and of course there was fog.

But if you want to know how easily the passage was made let it be said the last thirty miles of it was in a mist that thickened into a dense fog, obscuring the land[167] on both sides completely for hours and only now and then lifting for a moment's revelation of some rock or headland. Yes, the American fleet not only went through the dangerous passage, but it actually sailed through miles and miles of fog in doing so, and it was done in as smart a fashion as if the ships were on the high seas and not in the most fearsome strait in the world, intervals and speed being kept perfectly. After all, even if the men on the fleet pretended to make light of it, the performance was a fine piece of navigation. Admiral Evans has just reason to be proud of it and so have the American people. It couldn't have been done better.

There was reason for dread. Hadn't all the timid folk spoken of the terrible risks to be run? Hadn't the superstitious lifted up their voices and pointed out that in the fifty-two wrecks that had occurred in the strait in, say, the last twenty years, exactly twenty-six had been of vessels beginning with the letter C? Didn't we have the Connecticut to lead us? And worse than that, wasn't it the Chilean cruiser Chacabuco which had been sent to Punta Arenas as a national compliment and to act as escort about half a mile in front of the Connecticut? One ship beginning with C was enough, but here were two. That surely was wilful defiance of all the high signs and deep portents. And, then, didn't we start out from Punta Arenas on Friday night at the eleventh hour? Hadn't the moon just gone down, and who knows but that a darky had failed to catch a rabbit over in the graveyard on the beach yonder and so had missed having his left hind leg in his pocket (or whatever the details of that superstition are)? And so there was no adequate guarantee from escaping death[168] and destruction. Certainly it was ticklish business, a task for the ignorant or the foolhardy.

But, speaking seriously, what the maritime world thinks of this region is revealed best probably by the nomenclature of the various headlands, islands, bays and capes. A study of the charts presents such names as these: Desolation Island, Point Famine, Famine Reach, Point Mercy, Delusion Bay, Dislocation Harbor, Useless Bay, Disappointment Bay, Spider Island, Corkscrew Bay and Cormorant Island, to say nothing of Snow Sound and Snowy Inlet. Why, the very contemplation of the chart was sufficient to give a landsman the shiverees!

The Strait of Magellan is 360 miles long and the width varies from about a mile and a half in the narrowest part to twenty-five miles. The strait is in the form of a letter V with the right part curved down a little at the top and the left part extended above what would be the correct proportion of a well-shaped letter. The short end reaches out into the Atlantic and the long end into the Pacific. The short right end is barren of fine scenery, the grandeur of the hills being reserved for the long or western end. Down at the point of the latter is Cape Froward. Coming from the eastern end there is about fifteen miles of rugged scenery before you make the turn to the northwest. Punta Arenas, or Sandy Point, as the English call this hustling, modern city, is about two-thirds down the eastern side on a broad stretch of water known as Broad Reach. Opposite is Useless Bay, probably so called because it is useless to go over there to find an exit from the strait.

It is desirable, almost necessary in fact, to make the run through the strait in daylight. To do this you enter,[169] say, from the east as early in the morning as possible so as to make Punta Arenas by night. Leaving that port you start at night, about midnight. You have about forty-five miles of broad deep water with no difficulties in navigation to Cape Froward, which you reach by daybreak. After that you can go through the western end of the strait by daylight and reach the Pacific about nightfall.

The strait has half a dozen lights in it, but in time of fog or fierce snowsqualls these are of little value unless by accident you happen to pick them up. Again the tide races through the strait at the rate of never less than three miles an hour and in some of the narrow places it has a speed of from five to six miles. Where the tides of the Atlantic and Pacific meet there are cross currents and disturbances that catch even the most high-powered ship and swing it here and there, despite careful work of the helmsman.

Still hundreds of steamships go through safely every year and a close study of the chart revealed only three places which occasioned anxiety to the fleet officers.

One of these places is Sarmiento Shoal that juts out into the Atlantic for miles from Cape Virgins, the Argentine headland, 135 feet high, that marks the beginning of the eastern end. It really is no more dangerous to cross, for example, than the shoals of Nantucket. The fleet came down to the shoal about noon. There is one place where there are nine fathoms of water and it has a width of only four or five miles. The task is to fix the place of crossing from bearings and then to cross it. When the exact spot was reached a fierce black cloud came up and obscured[170] things. With it came a strong southwest wind that made things choppy. Over the narrow part of the shoal the ships headed. Once or twice, perhaps because the looks of the water or the lead may have given warning, the flagship made short turns. But in half an hour it was over and the fleet turned to the northwest, past Dungeness light, five miles below Cape Virgins, and marking the real entrance to the strait, which is now under the entire jurisdiction of Chile. From the mast of the Chilean signal station there fluttered flags which said, in the language of the international code:

"Enter Chilean waters; welcome distinguished American seamen; pleasant voyage."

The fleet voted the sentiment all right, even if the verbiage was somewhat unusual. There was a quick run up into the broad waters of Possession Bay, close to the entrance of the First Narrows. There are two narrows on the run to Punta Arenas and here is where the tide runs strongest in the strait. If the tide is against you it is better to anchor and wait for the turn. There is a good anchorage in the bay and about 4 o'clock of the afternoon of January 31 the mudhooks were dropped in a boiling sheet of water that in its actions resembled the lower part of Chesapeake Bay in a storm.

At daylight the next morning the fleet was under way again with a favorable tide. The First Narrows are ten miles long, two wide and have water forty fathoms deep. There was no trouble in just skimming right along. Then the ships entered another big bay, Philip Bay, and after about twenty-five miles of deep water came to the Second Narrows, twelve miles long. This passage also has a swift[171] tide, but the waterway is about three miles wide and very deep, and no one had any concern about getting through. It was as easy as rolling down hill.

Then came the waters of Broad Reach, the wide sheet of water that stretches clear down to Punta Arenas. At the very beginning there is one of the two really difficult places in the strait to navigate. The reach has extensive shoals. Santa Magdalena Island, with a lighthouse on it, faces an oncoming ship and there are two channels, one to the north and the other to the south. Small vessels usually take the north passage, called Queen's Channel, but larger ones take the other, known as New Channel. There are two buoys which indicate dangerous places from tide rips and shoals.

Well, the fleet officers were a little nervous as they saw those tide rips. Soon it became evident that the current was dangerous. It was difficult to keep exactly on the course. Twice the Connecticut made turns to overcome the sweeping effect of the tide and keep well clear of shoals. The long line of ships kept zigzagging here and there, but in less than half an hour all the dangers of the first leg of the strait had been passed. There was nothing but fine deep water all the way to Punta Arenas, where we dropped anchor about noon.

All the experts of the fleet, the men who had been through not once but several times before were unanimous in declaring that the worst was over with the passage of New Channel and it made every one feel good. If that was all there was to going through Magellan, why on earth had there been such a big scare about it all? It didn't compare with navigating the Chesapeake in a fog[172] or a storm and it seemed farcical to make so much fuss about it.

The fleet lay at Punta Arenas for six days, taking on coal, giving liberty and the officers going through a round of official receptions and other courtesies that made the stay one day longer than was expected because of the unusual courtesy on the part of Chile in sending a cruiser down to Punta Arenas to greet the fleet bearing a Rear Admiral, our Minister to Chile, Mr. Hicks, and our Consul at Valparaiso.

The departure of the fleet at night was set for 11 o'clock. Before that time slow-moving lights in the harbor showed that the Chacabuco had changed her station to be near the head of the procession when the start was made. Other lights had revealed that the six torpedo boats of our flotilla had been taking up cruising positions on the right and left flanks of the line that was to be formed. Just before 11 o'clock the signal had been made from the flagship to prepare to get under way. The ships had hove short. At the stroke of 11 the red and white lights flashed from the flagship and they were answered from all the ships. At once anchor engines began tugging at the chains, and soon on every ship the officer in charge of the fo'c'stle sang out:

"Up and down, sir!"

That meant that the anchor was directly under the bow of the ship and was leaving the mud, the chain being straight up and down. In a moment or two the call was:

"Anchor's aweigh, sir!"

That meant that the ship was now swinging with the tide and bells were jangled in all the engine rooms to go ahead slowly. It was all still, only a few lights on each ship were[173] showing and soon the harbor presented the appearance of twenty-five or more craft slowly moving in one direction as if stealing away down the broad Famine Reach softly so as not to disturb the slumbers of the town. But the town wasn't asleep. Half the population was out to witness the departure. The thousands of electric lights showed that. As you drew away from the place it looked as if you were leaving the north shore of Staten Island and going up New York Bay, so thick were the lights on the land.

The Connecticut was quite close in shore and headed toward it. She made a sharp turn, and the Kansas, Vermont and Louisiana and the others fell in quickly. There were gaps in the line for the ships that had sought better anchorages, and these were filled in when the proper time came. Gradually the line became compact and within fifteen minutes one long column of American warships was gliding southward at a speed of ten knots, the Chilean flagship off the starboard bow of our flagship, all silently stealing away in the beautiful starlight night from hospitable and attractive Punta Arenas. The start was made as smoothly and easily as in broad daylight. There was no fuss about it. The fleet had gone about its business in a businesslike way. That business was to get through the rest of the strait in the easiest and safest manner.

You went to bed at midnight leaving orders to be called at 4 A. M. so as to come on deck and see the flagship turned toward home at Cape Froward, the lowest continental point of land in the world. You got out just abeam of Cape San Isidro, with its flashing white light, and you found yourself in the midst of rugged scenery. The sky was overcast and a strong wind, like that which churned Possession Bay when[174] the fleet entered the eastern end, was blowing. Bare mountains and rocks stood out in the gloom. Soon the shadows began to purple the hillsides and rocks; there was visible a strip of green which you made out to be trees reaching half way up the black mountain sides. Then the clouds lightened; everything stood out clearly in a gray light and you knew it was time for sunrise.

The clouds broke to the east and suddenly there shot through them six great shafts of crimson light as if they were the rays of an enormous searchlight in the east, rays colored by passing through bright red glass. You stood on the bridge fascinated and almost enthralled. Then you saw the edge of the snowfield of Mount Sarmiento far to the south. The clouds hid its brow but as they broke occasionally you could catch a glimpse now and then of a glacier gripping the mountain sides with the strength and permanence of the ages and you knew that truly you were looking at God's country, not the country of home, as most folks the world over call God's country, but one that revealed the majesty of creation.

So on and on you went in the narrow channels bordered by rock-faced hills and mountains, green from the water half way up their sides. Some of the mountains were entirely of stone with abrupt sheers like the sides of the precipices in the Yosemite. Waterfalls leaped from cliffs here and there and now and then one could see a stream rushing down the hillside, foaming and roaring, its waters madly dashing to complete obliteration in the swirling sea where the immutable laws of gravity sent them. It seemed a pity that a thing so white and pure should find an ignoble end, but the power of the sun's rays had set the forces of per[175]petual motion in those leaps and bounds and the same streams will dash down to the sea doubtless as long as the sun's power lasts to heat the edges of the glaciers and try to rob them of their strength. You saw great peaks and short ranges. Every one had a different light upon it; every one differed from another in formation.

But this is an account of navigation rather than a description of scenery. The ships went along in the slack water easily and smoothly and again you wondered at the stories of the difficulty of steaming through this wide deep strait. You passed through Froward Reach into English Reach, and miles away, straight ahead, you saw the Thornton Peaks, where Jerome Channel cleaves a way into the large mysterious and only half explored Otway Waters, a body of water like one of the Great Lakes at home. You saw no channel ahead.

As you approached these mountains it was like the turn in the Hudson up in the Highlands, where you seem to be headed for the rocks with no way of escape except by turning back. You knew from the chart that you were then approaching Crooked Reach, that runs beside the island called Carlos III. Soon you saw a bend toward the left and then you stiffened yourself a little, for you knew that in less than half an hour you would be in the one dangerous place of navigation in the western half of the strait. It is necessary to make an S curve in Crooked Reach, something like the one in the Subway at Fourteenth street, only it is one six or eight miles long and not of a few hundred feet.

Just before you reached the line running from Jerome Point to the upper end of the island of Carlos III. you saw black lines in the water running from shore to shore, now[176] only a little more than a mile apart. These lines were foam-crested and they marked the meeting place of the tides of the Atlantic and the Pacific. The officers had no time now to look at scenery. Here was serious work. The Connecticut crossed the first one and so intent were you in watching preparations to cross on your own ship that you scarcely noticed her movements. But what was the matter with the Kansas, directly astern? She was swaying off to starboard violently. Then she made a swoop to port. Queer kind of steering it seemed! Perhaps it was the Connecticut that had swayed this way and that. Wait a moment.

Soon the Kansas got fairly straight with the Connecticut and then the Vermont took to dancing sidesteps this way and that. The helm was being shifted constantly in the endeavor to keep in the middle of the road. It was the Louisiana's turn next. Standing on the bridge you scarcely noticed any deviation, but when you looked at the line of ships behind you knew that the Louisiana was having its troubles keeping straight and when you saw the quartermaster twisting the wheel about, now this way and now that, you knew that this ship had been doing fancy stunts far from home.

Then you looked at those behind. On they came, and that straight line, the pride of any one who has seen it from day to day, went zigzagging, twisting and turning, thrust here and there until it resembled the twists of a snake crawling along the ground rather than a fleet of majestic ships sailing in a straight line. Once again a similar performance of the fleet occurred and you began to realize what the dangers of navigating Magellan meant. You realized that[177] with high-powered vessels such as these ships it was easy to correct the swaying of the tides and currents, but you understood what smaller ships had to contend with.

We were going through at the most favorable season of the year, but you shuddered to think what it must be to be caught here in the winter, perhaps with darkness coming on, no place to anchor and a blinding snowstorm or a fog hiding the way and your steamer having hard work even to hold its own against the terrific current that might be running against you. Oh, yes, then you knew what a task, a dangerous task it was to brave the perils of Crooked Reach and you were glad you were on a warship with strength enough to scorn nature's effort to hurl it against the rocks.

You passed dangerous Anson Rock and you soon glided out into Long Reach, an arm of the strait that runs for fifty or sixty miles to the northwest almost as straight as a taut rope, and you then took up your glasses to look around. You saw the little island just off Borja Bay, where the famous post office of the strait was situated, a place where sailors rowed ashore to leave their letters to be mailed and their newspapers months old to be read by those who followed them. You could see the signs nailed to the trees giving the names of ships that had called, the dates and the ports to which they were bound. All that is done away with now that Punta Arenas looks after the mails and gives hospitable welcome to sailormen, but those signs, some of them a half century old, told tales of hardship, of shipwreck, of misery to many a man who could read what they really meant.

Then you began again to watch the mountains. Far down Snowy Inlet you saw the sloping sides of Mount Wharton[178] and a magnificent blue glacier sloping down its broad reaches. It had teeth all over the lower part where it had cracked under the sun's rays, but back for miles and miles, as far as the eye could reach, the blue ice extended until it hid itself in the vast snowfields of the mountain's top. You were glad that the sun's rays came out from time to time to show you a patch of the top of the mountain, for then you understood what Darwin meant when he compared some of the glaciers in the strait to "a hundred frozen Niagaras." You knew that you were looking at one of the greatest accessible ice patches in the world outside of the ice cap of Greenland.

The wind began to strengthen and black outbursts of it were seen coming toward you from time to time. Then at last you began to realize what a willywaw is. It is a fierce blast that comes down from these mountains with well defined limits like the ray of a searchlight in the night. One moment you do not feel it and then you shoot into it and it tosses you about, churns up the waters, roars and barks at you and you feel that a demon from the hills is trying to tear you to pieces. Half a dozen times one of these willywaws got started for the fleet and then the sun came out, the clouds broke up and the blast was dissipated. You could see it all with your eyes, you didn't have to imagine it. It was as if some big policemen had scattered a crowd that had begun to torment a procession and had said "G'wan!" It g'wanned all right. Finally a big one gathered force that laughed at the policeman, and it fell upon us. With it came mist and dashes of rain. It spat in our faces. It wrapped our coats about our legs in[179] knots. It shrieked and howled at us, and when we staggered through it it laughed at us, as if to say:

"You may be a great fleet of warships, but I'm not afraid to tackle you, just like any other ship or set of ships. I have fun with every ship that goes through here, and if I don't one of my rough brothers does the business. No one who goes through here can escape a willywaw. How do you like being tousled up? Ha! Ha!"

All that the writer of this cares to say is that willywaws are rude things, the rudest kind of things he has ever met, and he's glad that you can find them nowhere else in the world than in Magellan Strait. Like the man who made a mistake in matrimony, he is willing to sing hereafter the old song:

"Once was enough for him!"

When you got past that willywaw you began perhaps to speculate on the height of the mountains and you were surprised to learn that they are not high, as snow-capped mountains go; that they varied in height from 3,000 to 4,500 feet with occasionally a monster in the distance from 5,000 to 7,500 feet tall. They looked like the Alps or the Canadian Rockies. You soon realized that it was because they rose directly from the water and there was no slope to them before they began to shoot upward, as is the case in the great mountain ranges of the earth. The fact that they were snowclad, like all the other great mountains, also made you feel as if they were as high as such elevations.

As hour after hour passed you saw why it was that one writer had said that if you had taken the Himalayas, the Andes, the Alps, and had moved them all here and had sub[180]merged them up to their necks you would get scenery like that which the strait presents. As you looked at the mountains and saw the bays here and there you began also to realize what another writer meant when he said that a hundred Lake Comos, Lucernes and Genevas could not present the lordly beauty of some of these bays and inlets. Perhaps you compared the trip with that of the Inland Sea of Japan. If you did you could only say:

"This is grand; the Inland Sea is beautiful."

And when we began to reach the end of Long Reach and to get into the wide open waters of Sea Reach and the fog shut us in completely many a person then was not altogether sorry, for he had been surfeited with it all. We went down to dinner just as the ships began to feel the Pacific's swells. The wind from the northwest began to blow violently and soon after 8 o'clock word was passed that we had passed Cape Pilar, where no shipwrecked mariner ever escapes, and that the fog had lifted and those on the bridge had caught a glimpse of it. There had been thirty miles of fog navigation in the strait itself. Two hours later as the ship was plunging and careening in the gale—they always have a gale or extremely heavy swells at the Pacific entrance to Magellan—we heard that the Evangelistas Islands, four rugged rocks with a light on one, had been seen, and then we turned in, knowing that in an hour or so the fleet would be headed due north, every turn of the screws bringing us nearer home. On the whole, every one was glad that if the fog was to be it had shut off the view of the mountains and glaciers and bays just after it had been finest. We had seen the strait at its best and there was not a man who did not feel something of awe[181] over it, believing as he did that he had been in sight of the grandest handiwork of the Creator that the earth presents.

"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters and let it divide the waters from the waters.

"And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament, and it was so."

Any one who has sailed through the Strait of Magellan can easily believe it was there that God began to divide the waters from the waters. Any one also who has sailed through the strait into the heaving, tossing Pacific, wrongly named for that part of the world, could realize the full significance of what was in the heart of a sailor of the midwatch who sang softly to himself as you passed him:

"Rocked in the cradle of the deep!"



Courtesy That Means Cordial Relations for Many Years—Eight Hundred Guns Proclaim Peace—President Montt Reviews Ships and Congratulates by Wireless—Wonderful Sailing of the Battleships Amid Thick Fog on the Rolling Pacific—Formation Preserved in the Dark—Great Scene in the Sunlight as the Armada Swept In Near the Shore and Thundered Salutations to Vast Throng of Chileans—The Animated "Welcome" Sign—Meeting With the Chicago.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
At Sea, Feb. 15.

AN act of international courtesy, unprecedented in American naval annals at least, and probably unprecedented in the world's history, occurred yesterday in the harbor of Valparaiso, Chile, when Admiral Evans sailed in and out of the harbor, saluting the port and then the President of Chile in person. It was a demonstration which in not only its immediate but its far-reaching effects was worth probably more than a quarter of a century's exchange of diplomatic notes and expressions.

Moreover, for sundry reasons which the intelligent observer of more or less recent events can appreciate, there was no better place on the South American continent for such a remarkable performance. Especially gratifying to Admiral Evans were the cordial messages of thanks and es[183]teem he received by wireless. The last time he sailed away from Valparaiso kind words did not follow him. Thus does time and a marked advance in naval power work wonders in international affairs.

The greatest honors that the fleet of any nation could pay to the head of another nation were paid to President Montt. They were precisely such as the fleet paid to President Roosevelt on the departure from Hampton Roads. They differed only in their setting. The flag of another republic was at the main. Three times as many people witnessed the spectacle in Valparaiso as observed it in Hampton Roads. The saluting was in a foreign port, girt about with lofty hills instead of the low lying and far distant shores of Chesapeake Bay. Elaborately dressed shipping, flying the flags of half a dozen nations, added color to the scheme.

A great city terraced up the mountain sides made a holiday to gaze, first in silence and then with cheers, at an armada which meant not conquest but a visible message of safety from conquest by European Powers, and an assurance that not only Chile but every other Power in South or Central America could pursue the path of commercial and intellectual development secure from the envy and avarice of other parts of the world. Exhibiting that fleet to Chile was like showing her a paid-up, interminable insurance policy of peace, made out in the name of all American peoples. Judging from the responses it elicited Chile liked the way the policy read.

Few harbors in the world are better adapted for such a scene. There is no deep bay, no narrow channel to choke the entrance. The harbor is simply an open roadstead of[184] the Pacific. All that Admiral Evans had to do was to turn to one side, sweep along the city front just outside the line of moored shipping and pass on. He was on the broad swells of the Pacific again within an hour from the time he had turned in shore. It was an hour of education for Chile, with a lesson in it that otherwise she could not learn in years, and at its conclusion there was such a genuine note of appreciation in the exchange of farewells that any student of the forces that work for good or evil in international affairs must have been glad that the courtesy call was made.

One also could understand somewhat the feelings of Admiral Evans, who, after it was all over, sent this characteristic Evans message to the fleet in words that every man on every ship understood thoroughly:

"The Commander-in-Chief thanks the officers and men of the fleet for the handsome way they did the trick to-day."

It was handsome and it was stirring. Of course the word trick was used by the Admiral only in a colloquial sense; there was no trick about it, for it was simply going a little out of the way to be nice and decent to a people who for many years had mistrusted us and had said things too. But what is the use of being a big nation if you can't be big hearted with it and show that you don't hold resentments? A thousand to one that Chile's sincere friendship will be ours for many, many years to come.

Unusual as this cruise is, it is the unusual and unexpected that have come out from it as its salient features. The profound indifference of the people of Trinidad to the fleet was unusual and something of a bump. The exuberant welcome and unrestrained hospitality of Brazil was[185] unusual. The salutes to the flags exchanged between the fleets of Argentina and the United States on the high seas were unusual. The despatch of a cruiser on the part of Chile to its most remote port and carrying our Minister was unusual. The Vice-Admiral salutes given all along the line to Admiral Evans, whether by accident or design, were unusual. Having a warship escort the fleet through almost the entire length of its coast line, as Chile did, was unusual. Lastly the departure from an established programme to run into the greatest harbor of another nation to fire salutes to its flag and President was unusual.

From the moment that the fleet headed out into the Pacific from the Strait of Magellan, in company with the flagship Chacabuco carrying the flag of Admiral Simpson of the Chilean navy, there was much speculation as to the kind of reception it would receive in Valparaiso. The great cordiality shown by Admiral Simpson and the Chilean authorities in Punta Arenas bespoke the warmest kind of a welcome. But speculation still continued, and indeed there was little else to do, for a fog settled upon the waters, which, added to the turbulent condition of the Pacific, made the trip for several days one of comparative gloom. Occasionally the fog would lift and you could catch a glimpse of some of the other divisions of the fleet. Once after nearly twenty-four hours it vanished completely and there was a genuine ring of satisfaction over the sight it must have presented to the Chacabuco far off to the westward, for there was the entire American fleet exactly in position, sailing precisely as if there had been no fog to hide the ships from one another. But everybody knew that it would be so.

[186] "That's going some; wonder what the Chilean Admiral thinks of that?" was heard on all sides.

Then the fog shut in again and for two days more the fleet ploughed on. It was in a column of divisions formation, that is, the four ships of the first division were abreast of one another and 400 yards apart. Twelve hundred yards astern the ships of the second division were in a similar formation. The third and fourth followed in the same way. Sometimes the fog was so thick that on the Louisiana, which was on the left flank of the first line, we couldn't see our nearest neighbor, the Vermont. The Connecticut, off to the right, would toot her letter on the whistle, the Kansas would toot hers at once and then the Vermont would sound hers, followed by the Louisiana. The steering was done by compass almost entirely. Occasionally we would find the Vermont inching over to us and she would loom up out of the fog quite near, but her whistle would say:

"Give me a little more room, please; the Kansas is crowding me over. When she goes back toward the flagship, or the flagship eases off a bit, I'll go back. Just a little room, please!"

Then the Louisiana would swing off and a fog bank would cut off sight of each other. Then there would be another lift and it would be found that one ship was a hundred yards or so ahead of the others, or perhaps that they were exactly in line. The searchlights on the ships were thrown abeam so that for most of the time it was comparatively easy to tell where your immediate neighbor was. Sometimes we could hear the ships of the other divisions whistling faintly and we wondered whether the fleet formation had been broken seriously by currents or faulty[187] steering, but every time the fog lightened there the ships were, shifted now and then a little, but in the main exactly where they should be.

Then the Chacabuco signalled that she intended to run into Talcahuano, the Chilean naval port, and would send messages of our safe passage through Magellan and also notify the Chilean authorities of the hour of our arrival in Valparaiso. The two Admirals had agreed upon 2 o'clock on the afternoon of Friday, February 14. The day after the Chacabuco left, the air cleared. She agreed to meet us again at noon on February 13 at a certain latitude and longitude and sure enough shortly after 8 o'clock on the 13th, her smoke and that of three torpedo boats accompanying her was made out. On they came and they were abeam at exactly noon. Behind them was a large passenger steamer, loaded down with folks from Concepcion, Chile. That ship ran close to the fleet and gave its passengers a fine view. Then those in the fleet knew that Chile took intense interest in the passage.

It was necessary to slow to nine, then to eight and then to seven knots so as not to reach Valparaiso ahead of time. The sea calmed, the sun came out and a more perfect afternoon was never witnessed on the ocean.

Daybreak on the morning of the 14th showed a lowering sky. Just before 9 o'clock the Chilean coast could be made out and then the fleet made one or two turns and twists, apparently to kill a little time. Admiral Simpson took his place at the head of the column which had been formed and his three torpedo boats took up positions on our right flank, the side nearest to the city in the harbor, so as to protect the line from any intrusion. Just before 1[188] o'clock we could make out the people on the high hills south of Angeles Point, fittingly named for a great cemetery sloped up the hillside. The place was black with spectators. Around the point we could see the puffs of a salute, given probably by one of the forts or ships to note the arrival of President Montt. Then we came close to Angeles Point. The beach was thronged. There were tents where jimcracks were being sold and double decker tram cars were loaded to the limit. It seemed as if all Valparaiso had come out to that place. The glasses were turned upon Fort Valdivia, just beyond Point Angeles. It is a naval station.

Suddenly a midshipman discovered that there was a sign in English on one of its terraces. It said:


"That's mighty nice to whitewash a lot of stones in that way, isn't it?" said an officer on the bridge.

Three minutes later the navigator sang out:

"Captain, that sign isn't made of stones. It's made of men!"

A dozen glasses were focussed upon the sign at once. Sure enough, stretched upon the terrace there lay a human sign, made up of sailors or naval cadets in white. It took three mens' length to make the height of a single letter. Two men were required for the top and the bottom of the letter O. These men must not have been entirely comfortable for they lay there fully an hour, but the sign was as immobile as if it were made of stone. That compliment touched the kindly feeling of every one on the ships. It made a sensation. No one had ever seen anything like that. There was no way of answering it in kind, as you can in[189] saluting; you could only look at it in dumb amazement and feel grateful.

You were glad then that the compliment had been paid to Admiral Simpson of allowing him to lead the fleet in with his little cruiser—no Chilean naval officer ever had such a post of honor—and all the ships took keen notice of the signal from the flagship to fire a simultaneous salute of twenty-one guns when notice should be given. As the fleet turned in the glasses revealed a large collection of ships, some of them old whalers, lying in the harbor. Grand stands had been built on various eminences for the people and hundreds of white parasols showed that the fair sex was alive to the great sea-show.

Half an hour before the fleet approached the harbor it was noticed that a great canopy of blue sky rested over it. Out where the fleet was it was still lowering. Abreast of Fort Valdivia the fleet emerged into the sunshine and stood clearly revealed. Every ship had a bright new American ensign at its gaff and foretruck. At every main there was a Chilean ensign. A fresh breeze started up and blew the ensigns out proudly. Nature helped dress the ships in their best.

Around Point Angeles the Connecticut swept slowly and majestically. She got well inside the harbor and was almost abeam of Duprat Point when a set of flags fluttered to the signal yards. They said:

"Prepare to salute!"

The flags hung there until all the answering pennants were shown and then they wavered an instant as they began to fall, and at once the sixteen battleships roared out a salvo such as no one in Chile had ever heard before. The[190] effect of the thunder was electric. The wind fortunately blew the smoke away from the ships. People on the shore were seen to jump and run. All along the shore line below Fort Valdivia they began to race back toward the city and harbor by the thousands. It was literally a stampede. Great clouds of dust engulfed them and partly hid them from view. It made those on the ships laugh.

"The town has gone out too far and now has to run back," they said.

Not so; a glimpse along the waterfront showed that what Lieut. Gherardi, commanding the little Yankton, which had arrived the day before and was anchored in the harbor, all beautifully dressed, had sent by wireless early in the morning was true. Gherardi said there was intense interest in the fleet and all the stores and banks had closed for the day. A clear space in front of the shipping was preserved. Hundreds of launches, sailboats and rowboats were out on the water. The hills were black. The highways running down to the waterfront were filled. Flags were everywhere. All Valparaiso was out to see the great parade, and for a time it seemed that she was looking on in awe. Then there came sounds of cheering from shore and occasionally the sound of "The Star Spangled Banner" was heard as some band played it.

In less than two minutes after the fleet had fired its salute Fort Valdivia responded with twenty-one guns. Then three or four miles across the harbor at the other entrance puffs of smoke could be seen, showing that an army fort was giving its greeting and saying:

"Glad to see you!"

Admiral Simpson sent a message to Admiral Evans that[191] President Montt was on the training ship Gen. Baquedano, clear across the harbor, near Fort Callao, which had fired the army salute. The fleet went into the harbor, made a slight turn and then sailed for about half a mile in a straight line close to the shipping and about a mile from shore. Then it curved away again toward the harbor entrance, following the lead of the Chacabuco. It now closed the entire harbor. Silently it approached an anchored training ship, whose yards were manned. The ship was crowded with high governmental functionaries and their families and friends. In one corner of the bridge the President could be made out with glasses. The Chilean ensign with a coat of arms on it, the President's standard, was at the main. When within 100 yards of the Baquedano the Chacabuco began its salute of twenty-one guns to the flag of its President. A slight interval of silence followed and then the Connecticut roared out its personal greeting to the head of another nation. As each American ship approached it fired twenty-one guns. The air was filled with smoke, but the strong breeze blew it away and set the sixteen ensigns of Chile and the thirty-two of the United States all vibrating and snapping out almost as plainly as if you could hear it:


In solemn state the ships passed the uncovered President. He received then and there such a tribute of honor as no other President of Chile ever received. He saw a collection of warships such as no other South American President, with the exception of President Penna of Brazil, ever saw. He had the satisfaction of witnessing a friendly tribute such as no other nation ever received from the United[192] States. Whatever was the effect upon the President and the people of Chile, it thrilled those on the American warships.

For a mile or two beyond the Chacabuco led the fleet and then it turned and fired a salute to the American flag as it headed back to Valparaiso. The Connecticut answered with twenty-one guns for the Chilean flag, signalled to resume the cruising speed of ten knots—and the spectacular call on the President of Chile and the people of its chief seaport was over. Altogether nearly 800 guns were fired in the saluting. It was like the roar of a battle.

In ten minutes after the Connecticut had fired its salute to the President and before some of the American ships had begun theirs Admiral Evans sent this message to Admiral Simpson on the Chacabuco:

To Admiral Simpson:

The Commander-in-Chief of the United States Atlantic fleet begs that you will convey to the President of the republic in the name of himself, officers and men, their appreciation of the honor he has done them in reviewing the fleet. Please add to this my personal expression of highest regard. In saying good-by to you, Admiral Simpson, may I express the hope that we may meet again in the future, and let me convey herein to you the sincere thanks of myself, officers and men of the Atlantic fleet for the many acts of courtesy you have extended to us. We wish you good health and all success.


Then Admiral Evans sent this to our Minister, Mr. Hicks, on the Chacabuco:

To Minister Hicks:

I beg that you will express to the President of the republic the thanks of the officers and men of the Atlantic fleet for the many gracious acts of courtesy we have received from the representatives of [193]the Chilean Government since reaching their coast. I am sure that the people of the United States will fully appreciate the courtesies and that they will go far toward cementing the friendship between the two nations. With expressions of highest consideration for you personally, I remain, yours sincerely,


In five minutes the replies were being heard in every wireless room of the American ships. This is what Admiral Simpson said:

To Connecticut:

Many thanks for your very kind message which I will convey with the greatest of pleasure to the President, and my personal thanks for your good wishes in regard to myself and officers. They join in their good wishes for Admiral Evans and send a hearty farewell greeting to the Admiral and his officers and men and wish them all a most successful and prosperous voyage.


Mr. Hicks said:

To Admiral Evans:

Your message just received. I will deliver it to President Montt immediately. Kindest regards to you and your officers. The whole review was all that any one should ask for and I am proud of the fleet. Good-by and good luck to you.


Then Admiral Simpson sent this greeting from President Montt to Admiral Evans:

To Connecticut:

The President instructs me to thank Admiral Evans for his very kind message and for having brought the American fleet to Valparaiso and to express to him his admiration of its splendid appearance. He further requests me to express to Admiral Evans his sincere hopes that his health will continue to improve and his personal desire that he may arrive at his destination in perfect health.


[194] This was followed by this message from Minister Prato of the Army and Navy of Chile and it pleased Admiral Evans immensely:

To Admiral Evans:

The Minister of War and the Navy, in the name of the republic of Chile, thanks profoundly Admiral Evans for the delicate courtesy of his salute in Valparaiso and congratulates him, the Admirals, Captains, officers and crews under him, for the splendid demonstration given us to-day of seeing the power and discipline of the fleet under your command. With many cordial wishes for a pleasant voyage and also for the recovery of your health at an early date,

Belisario Prato,
Minister of War and the Navy.

To this greeting Admiral Evans sent the final message of the day through the Yankton:

To Yankton:

Transmit this to the Minister of War and the Navy Prato. The cordial welcome extended by the officials and citizens of the Republic of Chile has met with our deep appreciation, and I am sure that it will be a source of great gratification to the people of the United States when they learn how you have greeted us. It was a great pleasure to be reviewed by your distinguished President, and it gave me the greatest satisfaction to extend to him the same honors that were extended to the President of the United States on leaving Hampton Roads. Hoping that my action of to-day may in some small way draw closer the bonds of friendship which unite the two great republics and thanking you most gratefully for your personal expressions,

Yours most sincerely,

It was a good day's work, and even if it did cause the fleet to lose a day in the run to Callao in addition to the one lost in Punta Arenas in answering the courtesies of the Chileans, no one begrudged the delay.

The appearance of the city of Valparaiso was a distinct[195] disappointment to those on the fleet who had not seen it before. Its name means a Vale of Paradise. Was it intended as mockery? One travel writer has said that nature never meant that a city should be planted there. The hills come down so near to the water that there is room for only four or five streets parallel with it. The city is strung along the harbor for more than two miles. To find other room for itself it has to climb steep hills and build homes on terraces. The streams have made great gullies, or barrancas, in their courses to the sea, and these gulches give a disjointed appearance to the place. There seems to be no continuity about it. It is irregular, tilted here and there and most of the hills have to be overcome with steep railroads, like those which climb the hills of Pittsburg or Cincinnati. A line of railroad with English carriages runs along the waterfront. The railroad finds an opening, not visible from the harbor, where it may escape the girdle of the hills. There seem to be few houses around the waterfront.

There was little or no color in the buildings. All seemed to be made of grayish mud. There was no visible verdure in the town. The hills were brown, as if blighted by a great drought. All was bleak and bare and dusty. The place looked barren and almost cheerless. A greater contrast to hill and mountain adorned Rio de Janeiro, the last large city we saw, heavy with its mantle of green, could not be imagined than this sun-baked, brown collection of dull-colored buildings constituting a great seaport. The effects of the earthquake of last year could be seen here and there with a glass. Walls were broken and buildings toppled over. This added all the more to the forlorn appearance[196] of the place, but it gave point to the exuberant welcome which its people gave to the fleet.

The day before the fleet sailed into Valparaiso harbor it had a little celebration, somewhat unusual on the high seas, that was strictly American. The cruiser Chicago, bound for the Atlantic from San Francisco, met us. Wireless signals had been exchanged and about 3 o'clock in the afternoon the smoke of the Chicago could be made out on the horizon. An hour later she was approaching the flagship. Then she saluted the Admiral's flag. Every ship had been told to show passing honors. The guard was paraded, the rails manned and the band was on the quarterdeck. The fleet and the Chicago almost drifted by one another. As the Chicago passed down the line the band on every battleship played "The Star Spangled Banner." When the bars were finished on the Louisiana the band struck up "Home, Sweet Home." The long homeward bound pennant of the Chicago seemed to have an extra flutter in it as the notes sounded over the smooth sea. In many a man's throat there was a gulp. After the fleet had passed the Chicago hove to and lay for a quarter of an hour, all its men gazing as a fond relative after another for which fate had decreed a long separation.

It was a pretty ceremony, and it furnished food for naval thought. There was the first steel ship of the United States navy, the flagship of the White Squadron of more than twenty years ago of which Americans were so proud. She seemed a puny thing beside any one of this fleet. The earliest and the latest in modern American warship building were presented to the eye. And what an advance! Still the Chicago presented a smart appearance and her[197] 8-inch guns, with which she holds the navy record, told that she was still useful and she could hold up her head proudly. Every one was glad she was still in existence. Right then and there many a young American naval officer got a better idea of the growth and strength of the navy than most of his books and his study could reveal to him.

Whatever may have been the motive that impelled President Roosevelt to send this fleet on its long journey to the Pacific—whether it was to dare Japan to resent it or to serve notice on that nation to be good; whether it was for political effect on the Pacific Coast in the hope of rounding up delegates for some one candidate for President or electing some man United States Senator; whether it was in accord with some suggestion perhaps that Secretary Root made in his trip to South America; whether it was simply a desire to be spectacular; whether it was a sincere belief that the navy needed just such a cruise to fit it for its best work and the Pacific was as much entitled to see how it could be protected as the Atlantic; whether it was for any or all of these, and all have been suggested in print—whatever it was, let this be said as to the unexpected and to some extent unforeseen advantages that have resulted:

The Monroe Doctrine is to-day more of a living, vital thing with the nations of South America because of the cruise of this fleet than it has ever been since President Monroe penned its words.



Gracious and Artistic and Inspired by Cordial Friendship—Sailors in the Bullring—Work of the Matadors Considered From a Nautical Point of View—Interchange of Good Wishes by Admiral Thomas and President Pardo—Charms of a City That Survives From the Middle Ages—Trip 15,000 Feet Up the Andes—Remains of Pizarro—Journalistic Compliments and Official Entertainments.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Off Callao Harbor, Feb. 29.

PERU remembered!

Almost as trite as the saying that corporations have no souls, or that politics makes strange bed fellows, is another that in international affairs the friends of yesterday may be the foes of to-day, and that nations, as nations, have no memories. If it is true, Peru is the rule proving exception. Her gracious welcome to the American fleet, from the first acclaim of greeting to the last farewell, was marked by a sincerity that was peculiar in the exchange of international courtesies.

There was reason for this. Of all South American countries none is more devotedly the friend of the United States than Peru. In the time of Peru's direct distress, when the hell horrors of war left her plundered, sacked, pillaged,[199] as no nation in modern times has been despoiled; when she was bereft of nearly her entire population of early manhood; when dynamite and the torch were employed in a heartless exhibition of brutality to mark as permanently as possible the pathway of a mocking conquerer; when the vandalism of victory even destroyed the trees of botanical gardens, robbed altars of decorations, cut paintings from frames to make bonfires, pillaged the savings of children, destroyed civic utilities for the sake of wanton destruction; when the conqueror struck the most terrible blow that a conqueror can strike, the violation of the sanctity of homes—and be it remembered that the women of Peru are declared by all authority to be the most beautiful, proud and high spirited in the world—when all this was done, the first nation to comfort, to advise, to shield was the United States.

True, once or twice the United States seemed to falter and Peru almost cried out with bitterness because of it, but there was another handclasp with sincere words of real friendship back of it and Peru emerged from her trial grateful and steadfast. That was a quarter of a century ago and Peru said she would remember. Her hospitality to the great American fleet proved that she did. She is no longer poverty stricken. She is fairly well-to-do and things are looking better all the time. She lives in comfort. She even wears colors occasionally. She has young men again and their energy is making for prosperity and advancement all around. To the American fleet Peru said as plainly as could be:

"I am truly glad to see you. We can't do as much for you in the way of entertainment as our hearts could wish.[200] We can't lavish wealth upon you, but such as we have is yours, all yours. We have remembered."

And so it was that Peru's entertainment of the fleet was not extravagant or burdensome. It was delicate rather than effusive. It was the welcome and hospitality of high breeding. From the first gun of the cruiser Bolognesi, sent 250 miles out to sea to escort the fleet in to Callao, to the last "Eep! Eep! Eep! Oorah!" on the tug that followed us furthest to sea as we left this morning every act of hospitality was in perfect taste and in a spirit utterly foreign to vulgar display.

Yes, Peru remembered, and its effect upon the American visitors was well expressed officially by Rear Admiral Thomas on board the Connecticut on February 27 at a dinner given in honor of President Pardo when he said:

"Nothing has been left undone that would add to our convenience, comfort or happiness, and, permit me to say, as military men, with the instinct of organization, we have been impressed with the perfection of every detail and the artistic taste displayed at every entertainment from the time the fleet dropped anchor in Callao Bay to the occasion of the brilliant garden party at the exposition grounds. But most important of all, and that which has touched our hearts deeply, is the warmth and sincerity of the welcome that has been accorded to us, so patent to all.

"In our fleet there are nearly six hundred officers and fourteen thousand men, and when we reach home waters and in the course of time these officers and men are dispersed throughout the forty-five States of the Union, visiting their respective homes, each and every one of them will be a missionary to carry a message throughout our broad[201] land from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, telling of this welcome, the result of which must of necessity tend to the drawing closer and closer the ties of union between the two republics. It will be a tradition to be handed down not only to our children, but to our children's children."

The Admiral's speech was the fleet's answer to the formal welcome of President Pardo at a dinner the republic gave to the Americans on the night of Washington's Birthday. This translation of the President's words was placed in front of each of the guests the instant President Pardo finished.

Admiral: The arrival at our shores of American warships has always been looked forward to with the greatest pleasure by the Government of Peru and her citizens, as it gives us an opportunity for showing the true friendship which exists between this country and the United States and for my countrymen to extend a cordial welcome to the American Navy.

Were it possible our welcome would be augmented by the glorious spectacle which you present us in Callao of the starry banner waving from the masts of the most powerful fleet that has ever navigated the Pacific Ocean, as well as by your most successful accomplishment of this difficult voyage, which demonstrates the power and discipline of the American Navy, to-day universally acknowledged by the entire world.

With the sincere welcome of the Government and the people of Peru we wish to express our admiration of the justice which has inspired President Roosevelt's policy in the relations of the United States with the Latin-American countries and their relations between themselves, a policy which has met with the utmost success in the recent conference at Washington and assures a permanent peace in Central America.

A welcome to you, Admirals and officers of the American fleet. Peru receives you with hearty friendship and reminds you that you are on friendly strands.

On this day, when your country honors the memory of George [202]Washington, the founder of its glorious independence and of its admirable form of government, I ask you to join me in the toast I propose.

The prosperity of the United States, the health of its eminent President, Mr. Roosevelt, and that good luck may always accompany the fleet under your command.

So much for the official welcome. The unofficial welcome was everywhere. It began as soon as the ships entered Callao Bay. There are no headlands or hills surrounding the harbor, which is practically an open roadstead. The fleet had to anchor two miles out. The harbor was crowded with all sorts of little craft laden to the danger point. Every tug, every launch, all the sailboats that could be found, rowing barges, dories, two large ocean-going steamers, came out to say howdy and bearing cheering people by the thousand. Some of the little craft fired national salutes with toy cannon. Those that had whistles tied down the cords. One tug was crowded with young men who insisted on giving the Cornell yell every time a ship passed by.

As soon as anchors were cast a look shoreward revealed that tens of thousands had come to the waterfront. Later when one went ashore he learned that the Government had declared a holiday in honor of the arrival of the fleet and that all of Callao and Lima, seven miles distant, had come down to see the ships. The stores and shops were closed as if it were Sunday. Business was at a standstill. Official visits were begun at once, but those who could get away made haste to go to Lima on the modern trolley system which in addition to two railroads accommodates the traffic between the two cities.

The visitor noted that Callao was an ill smelling place of[203] garish colored houses and narrow streets—a mere port of 40,000 inhabitants—and that it had many of the characteristics of some of the cities on the southern shore of the Mediterranean. Once out in the flat country, the visitor was reminded somewhat of the country between Brooklyn and Coney Island. Truck farms were frequent. What looked to be American corn was growing profusely side by side with banana trees and sugarcane fields. Patches of good old fashioned vegetables—onions, cabbages, radishes, lettuce—were also under cultivation. Large herds of fine cattle grazed on some of the fields, and in others were herded splendid flocks of sheep. It looked almost like home. The fences alone were strange. They were made of thick blocks of dried mud. The entire cultivation was dependent upon irrigation from the Rimac River, the splendid mountain stream that dashes down from the Andes in a torrent clear to the sea.

Then one came to Lima itself, situated on a plain girdled by the foothills of the Andes, with its low lying houses, all made of mud plastered upon bamboo reeds, with not a roof in the city that would shed water, for in Lima it never rains; to Lima, the one city in the Western Hemisphere which has preserved a large amount of the architecture of the Middle Ages and is rich in traditions of the past. There in this city of 150,000 people with its well paved streets, its bustling activities, its fine climate (the temperature never goes above 80 degrees, although the city is only 12 degrees from the equator) and attractive people the Americans found plastered on every building in town a paper reproduction of the American flag with the words printed on it:

[204] "Welcome to the American fleet!"

Peru's flag was posted by its side frequently. The Government had done it. You see every person in town couldn't come up to you and tell you that he or she was glad to see you. He or she was; but it had to be told in some other way, and so these placards voiced the feeling of the people. If anything else were needed to complete the greeting it was supplied when the Diario, the leading newspaper of Lima, came out with halftone reproductions of ships, officers and the Annapolis Academy, a page of news in English from the United States and a formal welcome to the fleet. This welcome was unique. It is worth reproducing at length. This is what it said:

Every social class in our country, all the elements which make up the life of Peru, have attended with sincere exhilaration to contemplate the gallant representatives of the power and greatness of the United States.

These ships come after a trial of resistance which has proved the discipline, the self-denial, the moral energy, the patriotic pride of race, all those eminent faculties which beautify the spirit and elevate the personality of the great republic of the north.

Peru has the glory and good fortune among the nations of America to offer its hospitable strand to serve as a shelter during the short stay which their itinerary imposes on our guests.

Peru receives them with the affection of brothers, with the traditional and courteous nobleness of our race, with the sympathetic and respectful admiration which the example of the great and lofty North American virtues awaken in our mind.

A people which has itself worked up in its own laboratory such a colossal fermentation of greatness, a people which owes everything to the efforts, to the activity, to the work, to the initiative of its men, a people which has not forsworn the splendid incentives of its ideals, and which carries within itself as a secret impulse to irradiate its spirit beyond its natural boundaries, is a people which raises in all others the warm and ample admiration which the Americans have experienced in the entire course of their voyage.


The powerful fleet which to-day reaches our shores, the most formidable and splendid which has stemmed the waters of this continent, does not come on a war footing or as a menace. A high sense of political prevision, the most eminent virtue of a statesman, induced President Roosevelt to order the movement of the Atlantic fleet to the Pacific coast. The illustrious governor who carries on his shoulders the enormous responsibility of directing this great people has proved himself worthy of his post, contemplating with serenity and firmness all future eventualities, and consistent with his pacific intentions, which do not exclude designs of warlike prudence, has prepared himself by this spirited parade of force to prevent a war.

No technical authority, either military or diplomatic, believes in the probability or imminence of a great war. The United States have many efficacious resources for dissolving or removing indefinitely the threatening and apocalyptic spectre of a universal conflagration such as would take place in the world, given the present aggrupations of factors.

Their economic strength, their marvellous industrial richness, their bullion reserves, their growing population, their formidable means of attack and defence which we contemplate to-day, all these are so many conservative encouragements which will help to check audacity and outside ambition.

This welcome is presented to show how Lima and the editors of the Diario really tried to make the Americans feel at ease. Of course the printed English translation failed to do full credit to the excellent Castilian of the original, but there could be no mistaking the genuineness of the welcome.

It was sincere all right, and no doubt there was a proud man in Lima as he contemplated the mass of fine words he had piled up. As soon as the paper came out and the Americans had passed the word along that it was great there was a rush to get it. The visitors stopped one another on the street corners to read it aloud and the general comment was:

[206] "Fine! It makes us feel as if we were right back in Brooklyn. No such language as that can be read in a newspaper in any other place in the world except Brooklyn. Of course we are used to such expressions as 'colossal fermentation of greatness,' 'threatening and apocalyptic spectre,' 'aggrupations of factors' and the like of that in Brooklyn, but who would have imagined that we'd meet 'em so far from home?"

And as if that wasn't enough to make it plain to the Americans that the freedom of the place was theirs they were met at the terminal of the trolley line from Callao with men who distributed a pamphlet of information got out by a firm with American names, makers and purveyors of a popular libation. The title page bore this inscription:

"Here's happy days to the men of the American squadron!"

The inside of the pamphlet told salient facts and gave statistics about Callao and Lima, informed you how to get about, where to go and what to see among the "points of interest." The way it put the matter was this: "Over and above a hearty welcome, here's what's worth while." It advised the visitors to give the sexton of the Cathedral a tip for showing them Pizarro's bones, but said:

"Don't tip him too much or you'll spoil the market, 'cause this isn't New York."

Then the pamphlet said, sundry items of advertising being eliminated:

SPECIAL NOTES.—Drinks and their Prices.—"Swear Words" and How to say them in spanish, etc.

Cocktail 25 to 30 cts. peruvian equal to 15 cts. American. Whiskey, [207]Gin, Sherry ("hair ace") Port (Oporto) etc. all cost the same. The Cocktails known here are, American, Martini, Whiskey, and Fresas (strawberry).

No! is No! just as we say it, and the harder you pronounce it the better it is understood.
Yes! si, pronounced "see."
Vaya go on, pronounced as spelt (Roseveltian, excuse this).
Sigue no mas! (seegay no mas) Drive on!
Corida de Toros Bull-Fight
Plaza de Toros Bull Ring
Toro Bull
Torero Bull Fighter
Matador The Killer, this is the man who finally does the trick.
Fuera Toro!!! pronounced fuera toro, "put the Bull out. he's no good! Give us a Bull that Fights:"


(Blank spaces for american expressions if your spanish runs short or thick.)

While it isn't as fast as Coney Island, Luna Park, Steeplechase, nor the Hippodrome, you'll move quite as "fast" if you get down into the Ring.

Wishing you each and all a most pleasant sojourn in this "City of the Kings" and a bon voyage on your journey Northward.

Then began the exploration of Lima. Standing on one side of the beautiful Plaza de Armas is the great Cathedral, which was started in 1540 and which cost $9,000,000, despite the fact that its walls are of mud and, as one writer has said, could be run through with a fence rail in almost any place. It was the inside decoration that cost so much, for it has rare wood carvings, and once was fairly plastered with gold and silver stolen by Pizarro, "the pious old cutthroat," from the Incas. You see, Pizarro founded Lima in 1535, and although he was known as the "Indian butcher," he began right by establishing a Cathedral, and there his bones in a mummified condition rest. They are[208] kept in a glass case and are in a crypt. An attendant takes you to the coffin, lights a candle for you to read the inscription on the case and to peer in and you get a first rate look at a mummy.

Pizarro undoubtedly knew his business well. He gathered in the millions upon millions that the Incas had saved up for a rainy day. It was explained that Pizarro had found out that it never rained where he intended to set up in Lima and therefore he told the Incas they really had no use for all that gold and he would take it, establish a city and give them real religion and be a missionary and all that for them.

"All of which," as a bluejacket who had been reading up the history of the place said, "he done good and proper."

Pizarro attracted the attention of thousands of the visitors. Not all were irreverent or flippant. Many of them paused a long time before the mortal remains of one the greatest men in history. You felt as if you were really at a shrine.

Then the explorers visited other churches which took one back to the Middle Ages. There was the Franciscan convent and church. There was the church where the remains of Santa Rosa, the only American woman saint, rest. Then there were numerous other edifices with old doors and heavy bolts and locks, and inside some of them were decorated with what seemed to be solid sheets of gold about their pillars; churches where there were beautiful old paintings of religious subjects, churches where the tiling was brought from Europe and is now almost priceless in value, churches where there were historic parchments.

[209] The visitors then went to see the Senate Chamber, with its carved ceiling, one of the wonders of the world in that line; brought from Europe and paid for with Inca treasure in 1560. That room was used in the days of the Inquisition, which lasted longer in Peru than in Spain and was almost as terrible. In fact in this viceregal city, the second founded in the Americas by the Spanish, one could see religious emblems at every turn. Just outside the city on a hill overlooking the bullring is an enormous cross, probably fifty feet high. Every year the society that had it erected makes a pilgrimage up that hill after a parade in the city and holds services, wherein vows to uphold the faith and lead lives of purity and honor are retaken. On a dozen other hills crosses and shrines may be seen.

It is evident that Peru as a nation is still devout, but if one could have seen the crowd at the San Pedro Church on Sunday morning when the doors were opened and the beauty and high blood of Lima came out from their devotions he would have been convinced that Peru is really no exception to other Latin American countries, and indeed most other countries, in that the women are the mainstay of the church. That beauty parade is one of the sights of Lima, and the Americans, officers and men, were there, side by side with the men of the city to see the show.

As the visitors went about, one change, national in character, impressed itself upon them immediately. Every writer on Peru has commented on the fact that the headdress of the women, worn universally, is the black manta. It is said that it is a relic that has come down from the Incas when they put on mourning for their great chief Atahualpa. Rich and poor have worn that headdress on[210] the street for centuries. It was an established institution.

Well, it is going. About one-half of the women, some of them in good circumstances evidently, wore mantas on the streets, but as for the rest—well, a man has no business to write about women's hats. All that this man can say is that he never saw more dazzling specimens of flower gardens than those bobbing around over the graceful drapery with which the Peruvian women adorn themselves.

Thus does fashion war successfully upon established custom. The Peruvian woman loves a beautiful hat just as much as any other woman on earth. Moreover, what is said about her surpassing beauty is true. Given great beauty and the love of a hat on the part of a woman—what chance has a black manta got? The manta has got to go and is going. Truly this is a world of change and there are those who will say it is one of decay, but let no one breathe that in a fashionable millinery shop in Lima.

Then came more sightseeing. All the clubs of the city were thrown open. All the postal card shops had extra supplies.

"English Spoken Here" was posted on the windows and doors of scores of shops. One sign that was amusing to the Americans read:

American Spoken Here.
Buy a Sewing Machine.

The first formal entertainment came on the night of Washington's Birthday, when the officers of the fleet were the guests of the republic and the President at dinner. The banquet was given at the exposition grounds, a park[211] where sundry exhibits of great worth from the standpoint of history, natural history, commerce, education and the like, are preserved. The dinner was in the grand hall of the main building. The decorations were almost exclusively of the colors of Peru, red and white. On the stage an immense orchestra was massed and the American colors were used there for decorations. That band played as only a trained South American band can play.

It was the opinion of naval officers who have dined the world over, with kings and emperors, with great welcoming committees and the like, with Government guests of our own in Washington and New York, that they had never attended a better managed affair than that dinner in Lima. Not only was the dinner perfect from an epicurean standpoint but the service matched it. Every appointment was in the best taste. Not the slightest detail was lacking. The American officers grew enthusiastic and when President Pardo finished his address of welcome there was tremendous enthusiasm. The President, after Admiral Thomas had made his reply, arose and walked into a beautiful illuminated garden and there the diners met him socially and found this young man, who represents what Peru has needed most for years, a commercial and not a military government, delightful and unassuming, with a grasp upon matters of statesmanship which showed that not only was he practical in his management of the country but a good deal of a scholar. Pardo believes in education rather than the sword, in the development of commerce rather than in personal aggrandizement and the display of military force.

Then there was a garden party at Minister Coomb's home, a beautiful place; the garden party of the munici[212]pality at the exposition grounds, pronounced by all the naval officers as the finest thing of the kind they ever attended; the delightful ball at the National Club and the excursion to the famous Inca ruins of Pachacamac. The officers had the eminent archæologist, Dr. Unhe, to explain the wonders of the Temple of the Sun, the other buildings and the hundreds of specimens of pottery, metal and other things recovered from the ruins at Pachacamac.

But with all these functions there were two others offered by the Government as the chief things in the way of entertainment, a bull fight and a trip up the wonderful Oroya railroad to the top of the Andes Mountains, the highest place in the world reached by a railroad.

Now, as to that bull fight. Let it be said at once that in the main it was like all other bull fights, described thousands upon thousands of times. All the trappings and fittings were there. Of course, the bulls had no show. They had to die, six of them. It was just as brutal as Americans are wont to call such exhibitions, with the exception that no horses were allowed to be disembowelled and killed. Peru up to two years ago had always fought bulls with the horse killing feature eliminated. For that reason many persons regarded her bull fighting as the best in the world. Two years ago the people demanded a change and horses were gored in the style of Spain's best brutality. Out of respect for the Americans, and by order of the President, the horse-goring feature was omitted this time.

There was plenty of excitement. All three of the matadors were injured. One was tossed by the first bull three minutes after the animal had entered the ring. That settled the famous Bonarillo. He went out of business.[213] Another matador, Padilla, was gored in the throat by the fifth bull and for a time it was thought that he was injured mortally. The third matador was scraped up the side by the last bull as the death thrust was delivered, and Largartijillo chico, the young Largartijillo, just as we say Young Corbett, came near going to dwell with his fathers eternally.

Oh, yes, there was lots of excitement and agility and skill and all that, but why describe a bullfight as a bullfight? No story is older. What was peculiar about this fight was the presence of 3,000 American sailors. That's a different story. You want to know how Jack saw it and what he said and thought and did. You can see bullfights any time you want to pay for them; you can't see American bluejackets at such a spectacle as the chief guests of a Government, and that's what made this fight tremendously interesting.

Well, this one was held in the famous ring almost as old as Lima. Six bulls from the famous stock of Rinconada de Mala, the property of Dr. Don Jesus de Asin, had been provided. They were the fightiest bulls in all Peru; and to make sure that they would do their best they had been teased privately beforehand. The fight, as the handbills announced, was a "grand gala," one given "in honor of the North American squadron to celebrate its happy arrival at the port of Callao."

Well, the hospitality of the Government went further, for it named the bulls in honor of the fleet. The first bull was "the gallant Alfred, in honor of Admiral Evans"; the second, "the heroic Ranger, in honor of Admiral Thomas"; the third, "the Brave Teddy, in honor of Ad[214]miral Emory"; the fourth, "the Shufly, in honor of Admiral Sperry"; the fifth, "Banjo, in honor of the officers of the navy"; the sixth, "Yankee Doodle, in honor of the sailors." Could hospitality go further than that?

About 175 men from each ship and all the officers of the fleet were invited. The sailors filled two-thirds of the arena and the officers and the high society of Lima filled the boxes. All had assembled on time, and then came the President to sit in the box directly opposite that of the officers of the municipality, with chairs of red plush for the box and a dais for the President, who was in evening dress. The American Admirals and Captains were in that grand box. The Peruvian band played "The Star Spangled Banner" and the bluejackets stood at attention and then all hands cheered. When the President came and the Peruvian national hymn was played, the bluejackets gave three rousing cheers for Pardo and Peru. Then all was ready for business. The key was tossed into the ring for the parade of the fighters, capeadores, banderilleros, matadors, the rig to pull the dead bulls out, and all that.

The Americans were all intense. The fighters took their stations, the Mayor gave the word, a bugle blew, a door was opened and a great brown and black bull with horns, as one of the local newspapers described them, "like the spires of a steeple," bounded into the ring, took one look around and dashed madly after an aged horseman riding a beautiful iron gray pony and flaunting a red cape over his mount's flanks. There were two of these horsemen and the exhibition they gave of fine riding would have put the best cowboy or rough rider to shame. The man the bull put after was more than eighty years old and the way he[215] twisted his pony here and there and just escaped the lunges of that bull, turning sharp angles, pulling up short, making his horse fairly leap out of the way, dodging this way and that until the bull was astonished elicited roars of applause from the bluejackets. They liked that part. Then a younger man took up the same work. He was even more skilful. Bullfighting was fine so far.

But let Bill Watkins, bos'n's mate, be heard from. Bill, you see, had been to these things before in his gyrations round the world, now having five stripes on his sleeve. Bill gathered a group of youngsters about him and invited the Sun man to come along to have a bullfight "explained proper."

"You see," said Bill, "these Spiggoties (a sailor term applied to Latin Americans because they say 'Me no spiggoty English') think they know all about bullfights. They doesn't, to use good grammar. You want to look at 'em from the standp'int o' seamanship an' gunn'ry. There's where you get the real benefit. Why, many a middy c'n learn more 'bout seamanship an' gunn'ry here than he kin from two years on a bridge. I tell ye these bullfights oughter be in the kricklum, or whatever they call it, at Annapolis."

Just then a bugle blew telling the mounted cape men to give way to those on foot. Bonarillo, the matador, advanced with a purple lined cape "to feel the bull out." He waved the garment gracefully from side to side. The bull dashed at him. Bonarillo's foot caught in the corner of the cape, the bull gathered him on his horns and agilely tossed him over one shoulder and then dashed away after another capeador. Bonarillo tried to get up, but couldn't.[216] Soon he was carried out of the ring. Glory was not to be his that day. Bill took it all in and explained:

"There ye go! Ye see, that matador ought ter remembered that he was in shoal water. He thought he c'd navigate 'thout takin' soundin's or gettin' bearin's. That bull had his range all right, but his deflection was poor. When the bull got 'im under the leg with his horn that shot sure counted. The bull hoisted 'im all right, but the man who was tendin' the fall let 'im go by the run when it came to lowerin' away. There, the wreckin' tugs have got 'im! Now they're carryin' 'm 'behind the breakwater. It's the drydock for cocky Bonarillo, all right. Mighty poor seamanship and just ordinary gunn'ry fer the bull! You see, 'twas only a pot shot."

Then the cape men began to wave their emblems at the bull. Now and then the bull would catch one of the capes in his horns and toss it to the ground and trample on it. The men had to run for the shelters often. The bull was fresh. Bill explained:

"Ye mustn't take too many chances in a fresh breeze. There, ye see, that fellow's let his lower stu'nsail get carried away. He didn't shorten sail soon enough. The man at the wheel let 'er luff too soon, and come to against the helm. Don't never belay no sheet!"

Then came the signal for the banderilleros to sink their darts in the shoulders of the bull. One of them would catch the bull's attention and they would rush toward each other. The banderillero would change his course after the bull got under way and by just grazing his horns would plant the darts in his shoulders. The first man got rousing cheers. From his darts two flags unfurled. One[217] was that of Peru and the other that of the United States. It was supposed to be a pretty compliment to the Americans. Bill explained how the banderillero did it:

"Say, did y' see that feller? He stands close hauled right up to the weather mark, then he bears up and passes to leeward, with his lee rail awash. He's been whaling all right—we was eighteen months in the Mozambique once, when I was whaling out of New Bedford, and our iron man always took his fish like him. Ye see, ye stands yer course right up to the animal, then give a rank sheer, heave, and let him go by!"

The bull was now very tired. Padillo, the second matador, came out, bowed to the authorities and asked the President's permission to kill the bull. He got it and it was up to him to do it. He waved his bright red cape, sheltering his sword, repeatedly in front of the bull, stepping aside just in time to escape the horns. The bull was dazed. Then Padillo stood about ten feet away, poised his sword to take aim and rushed on the bull. The sword did not hit the fatal spot. The thrust was a failure. Bill said:

"Ah—he's a bum pointer! A guy what's been in training as long as he has and ain't got no better sense than to fire before he's steady on don't deserve to hold the rate. Mighty poor gunn'ry that!"

Again the matador failed. The sword went in deep. Muscular contraction, which had forced the first sword out, failed to move this one and a capeador threw his cloak over the weapon deftly and drew it out. Again there was a failure to kill, but the bull was almost exhausted. He sank to his knees, got up and made one more lunge at[218] Padillo, who then sank the sword to the hilt in the proper place and all was over. There were cheers, but Padillo hadn't done well. Bill said:

"Say's he's a bum reefer and a yardarm furler. I'll bet that guy's a trimmer. Ye can tell by the cut of his jib that he's in everybody's mess and nobody's watch. He's jack outside the lift when the liberty party's called away, but sick bay for him when the coal comes alongside."

The second bull, Ranger, gave the horsemen plenty to do. He soon had the aged horseman in difficulty. Time and again the horseman, looking over his shoulder, flaunted his cape this way and that; but it was evident that the bull could not be escaped easily. All the fighters became nervous. At last the bull made a thrust that caught the beautiful iron gray pony in the flank with a deep wound. The cape men interfered at once and the horseman rode away to safety. Bill had this to say:

"There, that rider went wrong! The bull was after him under full sail and was yawin' 'round three or four p'ints each side o' the course and rollin' and pitchin' somethin' awful. That man on the horse, the picalilly, or whatever ye call 'im, tried to give the bull the right o' way, although, bein' close hauled, he should a-held his weather helm on 'im. However, not obeyin' the rules o' the road, he starts to give way, but at the critical moment the bull makes a yaw to port, rams the horse in the starboard quarter. The picalilly man tops his boom, stands to the eastward and tries to put his collision mat over. He should a-put his helm over the other way. Poor work, poor work!"

[219] So the fight went on. Padillo killed another bull, but he had three failures at thrusts before the beast sank down and died. There were hisses for him, and some of the bluejackets shouted:

"Take him out and put him in a minor league!"

Lagartijillo chico killed the third bull and did no better work. There was a diversion in this fight. A banderillero sat on a chair and made the bull charge at him. The banderillero rose just as the bull reached him, planted his darts in the animal's shoulders and leaped to one side. It was a beautiful piece of work, and the bluejackets roared their applause. Bill approved the seamanship and said:

"That man on the chair apparently didn't have no more chance than an ice skatin' rink in Zanzibar, not to mention a hotter place, usin' a shorter and uglier word. He shifted his moorin's jest in time. It was too late to repel boarders, but he got away. Fine seamanship for the man! Poor work by the bull! He ran down the moorin' buoy, that was all, and splintered it all t'ell and gone. Ye see the man got the right to choose position and fire at will. That's a great thing. Jest remember that lesson."

In the same fight one of the men took a long pole, ran straight at the bull, planted the pole directly in front of the animal and vaulted clear over him, coming down just as the bull hit the pole. In his descent the man seized the bull's tail and gave it a twist. Bill was delighted.

"Lay aft to the braces! Weather main and lee crojic braces! Hard down there! Lay yer maintops'l to the mast. No! by—! Hard down! He's going to wear sharp 'round and bring up to windward of him! Say, that[220] feller's a sailor all right—every hair a rope yarn, every finger a fishhook and every drop of blood a drop of tar."

Padillo killed the fourth bull and made his usual number of failures. The fifth bull, Banjo, aroused the sympathy of the crowd. He fought magnificently. He would not be tired out. It came time to kill him. Padillo went after him with his cape and the bull deftly caught him, lifted him in the air, and he fell beside Banjo and rolled under the animal. Down went the horns to gore him. The cape men fluttered all around. Padillo curled himself up in a ball. The bull stepped this way and that and then charged off after a cape man, leaving Padillo unharmed but his nerve gone. He went after the bull again. He was deathly pale about the mouth. One of his legs trembled violently. Deathlike stillness was over the ring.

Soon the bull began to tear his cape from his hands, a disgrace. Once, twice, three times the bull did this. The Peruvians were enraged. They cried "Shame!" Padillo's father, who was in the ring, tried to explain that it was a bad bull and invited the critics to come and try it themselves. Almost beside himself, Padillo made three rushes at the bull without taking proper aim, in the hope of catching the animal unawares and giving him a death thrust. The fourth time he gave the thrust.

The bull saw him coming, did not lower his head, and just as Padillo placed his sword in the neck the bull raised his head, caught Padillo on his horns, one of them penetrating under the chin and entering the mouth cavity. A cry of horror went up. Padillo fell but got up quickly, and with a look of mighty disgust saw the bull reel away.[221] Then, catching himself by the throat and staggering forward Padillo ran to the enclosure from which the bull had entered, a distance of about twenty feet, the blood streaming from his wound. He dropped just inside the enclosure and word was passed around that bull and man had each given the other the death thrust. Tragedy could not have been more complete had it been true, but Padillo went to a hospital and didn't die. There were thousands of Americans who said they really did feel a little sorry for the bull. Bill Watkins explained the poor gunn'ry of Padillo.

"Up in the air! Up in the air! Come down out of the balloon! Say, he's like a landsman at a 13-inch gun with a misfire—don't know what to do with it himself and can't give it away. Take him out of the hood! Give him an air gun! Let him blow soap bubbles! Don't fire until the gun's loaded, sonny! There, the operating lever caught him in the mush! Yer better keep out of the line of fire next time!"

The last bull was killed by Lagartijillo. It was the same story, except that just as the matador gave the deathblow the bull hooked him along his right side and tore his clothes. He had a narrow escape. His wounds were only bruises. As the bull sank down dying fully 200 bluejackets jumped into the ring to follow the example of two who earlier in the fight had leaped in and secured the darts in an animal's neck for momentoes. They swarmed at Yankee Doodle. He saw them coming and as they seized the darts rose to his feet and tried to lunge at some of them. It was too much and he fell as the men began to scatter and died at once. Bill said:

[222] "Fine work! He tried to repel boarders, and he done it, too! If yer ship's sinkin' and it's yer last gasp don't never fergit to repel boarders. Ye kin go to glory satisfied then. They ought ter named that bull Cumberland."

Bill explained the day's events:

"Ye see, the bull ain't got no chance after his ammunition is gone. He was firin' his last 3-inch guns when he got that Padillo feller. It's a case o' destroyers and gunboats fightin' an unarmored cruiser with a short supply o' ammunition. When that gives out the cruiser is bound to go. Some o' the destroyers gets put out, as Bonarillo and Padillo did, but there's no use in goin' t' sea unless ye got full magazines and ain't cut off from your supplies. Oh, yes, there's lots o' things to learn from these bullfights!"

Then Bill shifted his quid and joined the crowd going out. The bluejackets didn't care much for the sport. Some of them left after the third fight and there was a steady stream from the ring afterward. Those who remained had this one comment:

"One feller got it in the neck—got the hook, all right!"

The writer holds no brief for the defence of bull fighting, but he wishes to say that the exhibition, with the goring of horses left out, was no more disgusting than a prize fight between two bruisers. Any contest that has the letting of blood as its chief feature may be called sport if its devotees so choose. This fight was no more brutal than shooting at bears from a safe distance and was not half so cruel as wounding a deer and allowing it to drag itself away and die in suffering. The bulls were[223] in pain from the darts and showed it from time to time, but in their rage forgot the pain after an instant or two. Giving them a thrust in the heart was no more cruel in the way of killing than it is to hang up a turkey or a chicken, cut its throat and let it bleed to death.

Death came almost in an instant to the bulls. The fighters risked their lives dozens of times. The bull had a fair show at them. Their quick movements, hairbreadth escapes, showed that nerve and rare skill were required. Compared with prize fighting where two sluggers cover themselves with blood, and when one is staggering about from exhaustion the other gives him a blow that makes him unconscious—well, the writer says unhesitatingly that he prefers the Peruvian bull fight. It all depends, you see, upon the point of view.

Only a limited party could be the guests of the Government on the Oroya Railroad trip. It was known as the official party. An unofficial party with an engine and a passenger car followed. This Oroya Railroad was started by Henry Meiggs, the defaulting partner of Ralston in California who fled to Chile, got rich and paid up his debts. In 1869 he went to Peru and started this railroad.

Peru had money to spend then. Meiggs finished the road up the mountains as far as Chicla in 1876, and then the money gave out. More than $26,000,000 had been spent going eighty-eight miles. Later the Peruvian Corporation finished the road to Oroya, on the other side of the Andes, and connections have been made with the road to the famous Cerro de Pasco mines, owned by Mr. Haggin and other American millionaires. Two other branches have been built and ultimately it is planned to[224] extend the road to the headwaters of the Amazon in Peru, so as to give the country on the east of the Andes an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean for its products.

The highest place on the line is Galera tunnel, under Mount Meiggs. It is 15,665 feet high. The distance is 106 miles from Callao. There is not an inch of down grade in the climb. There are no less than fifty-seven tunnels. Bridges over chasms and foaming cascades and the River Rimac, whose course the road follows, are numbered by the score. For forty-seven miles it is a steady climb beside the Rimac torrent in a desolate country, with the mountains red and bare. There is no rainfall in that district.

Then you come to where the river is hemmed in by mountain gorges, and you have to climb by means of switchbacks. Up you go, tilting this way and that, beyond two layers of clouds. The sides of the mountains become green. You are now in the land of the ancient Incas. Abandoned terraces that lose themselves in the clouds flank scores of mountain sides. The Incas raised their products there by some system of irrigation.

Fine specimens of trees appear, fruit orchards with chirimoyas, palta, nispero and pacay, and willow and pepper trees in abundance. The flowers begin to greet you, the heliotrope, solanaceas, spurge and cacti all around. Back and forth you seesaw with massive, towering mountains above you and several lines of tracks far below you. Now and then you come upon a little town thousands of feet in the air.

Then you reach a place where a smelter sends its blasts up in the skies, and you begin to see what supports this[225] road. A footpath or trail climbs the ravines, and you see scores of llamas bearing their burdens and driven by the native Indians. A hundred cascades, some of them with the beauty of Yosemite's Bridal Veil leap with their spray down the sheer cliffs. The lights and shadows paint the bare rocks delicate hues, such as you cannot see even in a sunset glow.

You come to the famous Verrugas bridge, 575 feet long and 225 feet high, in its day the greatest feat of railroad engineering ever known. You are now in a belt twelve miles long where no tourist can live, for there the Verrugas fever rages. It is one of those strange local diseases found occasionally in the world peculiar to a small zone and baffling to medical science.

You see crucifixes all along the route. Still you climb and climb and you see ragged edges of mountains above you which you know you will surmount. You come to a dead stop against the face of a mountain thousands of feet high. You back away up its side, and little by little, twisting and turning you lift yourself above another cloud layer.

The air gets cold, a dash of rain comes as you pass through the clouds. At 10,000 feet high a sharp pain runs through your ears. You take several long gasps of breath and it passes away. A slight headache comes at 12,000 feet. It passes away and finally you reach the tunnel and emerge on the other side of the Andes with the snow all about you and you throw a few snowballs and start back. Your head begins to feel strange. At 13,000 feet it aches violently. The ache is as near like the morning-after headache as can be. In the official party not[226] one person escaped it. Half a dozen strong men became sick at the stomach and had violent attacks of vomiting. The mountain sickness was on. Other men were laid out in the cars prostrate.

At this stage came a complication. Heavy rains had been falling below and word was telegraphed that there were four washouts and the party would have to stay in the mountains all night. The faces of the railroad officials became grave. To keep that party at the height of 13,000 feet all night might prove almost fatal to some. It was this trip which brought on the illness that ultimately killed the late Dr. Nicholas Senn.

Word was sent that by care the train might descend as far as 10,000 feet. A handcar was sent on as a pilot and in the darkness and snow that train was piloted down those mountain declivities, where the least slip of the earth would have sent it hurtling down cliffs thousands of feet. The pace was only five miles an hour.

The sickness did not diminish until at 11 o'clock at night Tamboraque was reached, where the unofficial party of officers which had not gone up the full height was stalled. There was one inn with four beds and ninety men to occupy them. The unofficial party was in full possession. They had organized the Society of the Llama, Landslide Chapter. They had a merry night. The official party, sick, worn out, turned in to sleep in car seats. The next morning by walking around landslides and meeting trains in the gaps the party was got down to Callao. Several did not get over the mountain illness for three days. It was a magnificent trip in the grandest scenery[227] in the world, but mountain sickness, all concurred, was worse than seasickness.

By way of return entertainment by the fleet a dinner was given to President Pardo on the Connecticut, and then a fleet reception was held on the same ship the day before sailing. This morning President Pardo boarded the Peruvian cruiser Almirante Grau and the fleet thundered out twenty-one guns on each ship in unison. The Grau passed out to sea and orders were signalled from the flagship to get under way. Then the fleet passed by President Pardo in the best of style, each ship firing a salute as it went by. It made a fine spectacle. The honors were the same as paid to President Roosevelt in Hampton Roads, President Penna at Rio and President Montt at Valparaiso.

President Pardo sent his thanks by wireless and got a fine reply of appreciation from Admiral Evans, and it was good-by to Peru, with the sounds of cheers coming over the water and the sight of fluttering handkerchiefs from thousands; the last salute.

True it was Peru had remembered, and those who had called on Dr. Polo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, began to realize the significance of the fact that in his office there hangs just one picture. It is the portrait of an American statesman—James G. Blaine.



High Tension on the Fleet—Effect of Target Shooting on Man-o'-War Crews—Splendid Advantages of Magdalena Bay—Making the Targets and Clearing for Action—Why They Are All Nervous.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Magdalena Bay, March 22.

WHEN Admiral Evans's fleet arrived in Magdalena two days ahead of schedule time there was undoubtedly a sense of relief in official circles in Washington over what was practically the termination of the long cruise to the Pacific, and also one of gratification because the ships, as Admiral Evans notified the Navy Department, were in better condition than when they left Hampton Roads and ready for any duty within an hour's notice.

On the fleet there was no sense of relief over the safe and prompt arrival. That was taken as a mere matter of course. It is true every one was a little proud over the performance of the fleet and glad that it had shaken itself into a homogeneous unit and was in first class fighting condition, not as separate battleships but as a fleet. In the matter of cruising the fleet at last was as one ship and lots of useful things had been learned.

Copyright by A. Dupont
Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans

On the ships the arrival was marked by just the oppo[229]site feeling from relief and gratification. The officers and men frankly were not in a placid state of mind. All were under an intense tension. They were what might be called wrought up. What, you say, American men-o'-wars men in a nervous condition—one that actually showed itself in their work and their play? No, not in their play, for there wasn't any. Well, but sea fighters nervous? Not a mother's son of them would admit such a thing. Preposterous! Men with nerves on warships? Well, perhaps not nerves as the ordinary person speaks of these anatomical cutups, but certainly something was the matter with all hands. Evidences of what the cub reporter would call suppressed excitement were plenty everywhere on every ship.

What was it all about? What was the matter? The answer is very simple and short:

The time to begin shooting had come—that was all.

But why get worked up over that, you ask? Shooting is what a navy is for. Of course; and in the old days real shooting was done only in time of war. The navy no longer waits for war to learn how to shoot. Twice a year it has exhaustive target practice—once for what is called record and once for battle practice.

Record practice is at a target at exactly a known distance. Every gun on every ship is fired individually at that target. Battle practice is at a target that simulates in size and distance the ship of an enemy. All the guns of the ship that reach that range are fired apparently helter-skelter for a given number of minutes. The range in that case has to be found out.

Record practice is held to qualify gun pointers, or, as the English call it, gun layers. Its purpose is to find out[230] the best shooters in the ship and to give them practice. Battle practice is to give these gun pointers an opportunity of displaying their skill in what would seem to be slam-bang work, but what is really the result of months, and even years, of scientific training of the eye and hand and of the mind in knowing just when to pull a trigger or snap a lanyard at exactly the right fraction of a second.

You see, the secret of success in fighting on the sea, as it is practically in every kind of fighting, lies after all in what the Western man calls "getting the drop on the other fellow." The way to get that drop on warships is to find out the men who can shoot straightest and fastest and can keep their nerve, and then be prepared to turn 'em loose when war comes. The target practice here has been of that kind, to pick out and train gun pointers. It was record practice exclusively.

So far as this fleet is concerned this cruise was chiefly for this purpose. Aside from mere cruising and getting shaken down the officers and men had their minds and their energies centred on shooting guns. No matter what was the reason why the fleet was sent to the Pacific, the officers and men passed it by as something that concerned them only incidentally. They take their orders to go here or there with simply passing interest. They obey. Their one idea, their chief work, mentally and physically, during the entire cruise has been to prepare for this target shooting. To them it was the business end of the cruise.

Some people think that the purpose of the cruise was to go calling internationally, to say "How d'y do?" and fire salutes, the officers to be entertained with receptions and dances and dinner speeches and the men to have lib[231]erty on shore, with a chance to get a drink of real red "likker"; some might say that the purpose was to get data as to the cruising ability of the fleet; some might say it was to get the men used to what might be called the navy habit; some might say it was to gain experience in meeting problems of warship navigation; some might say it was for other than strictly naval reasons, to make a show of strength or to satisfy a public clamor or advance a political plan.

Whatever ideas others may have had about the cruise, the officers and men have had only one, as a matter of business and daily toil, and that was that the cruise would have its real naval culmination in target shooting in Magdalena Bay. That was what it was for to the men on these ships, and from the very hour the ships said good-by at Hampton Roads every effort was made to get them in fighting condition as a fleet entity. The target practice was to reveal whether they had done good work in strictly naval business. To the fleet the cruise was no spectacular parade around a continent; it was to prepare to shoot in the finest naval shooting place in the world, Magdalena Bay.

Every one was glad to see Magdalena Bay because of this tension. It is a splendid sheet of water, in a general way about fifteen miles long and ten wide, with a narrow entrance and water just deep enough for safe manœuvring and good anchorages everywhere. A line of sharp crested hills shuts it in from sight of the Pacific. There is only one village on it, consisting of about twenty dwellings, and no commerce in its waters. The shores on the inside are flat and there is a good horizon. The warships of the[232] world might find an anchorage here without crowding one another. It is cut off from the rest of the world, in a desolate, barren region, and was designed apparently by nature for the very purpose of modern target shooting.

It seems a pity that American statesmanship years and years ago could not have had the foresight to secure it, when such a course would have been easy, for use of the navy, when a great naval station could have been built up and proper use of the place for strategical purposes could have been made certain. With a naval station on Puget Sound, one in San Francisco and this one on Magdalena Bay, the entire Pacific Coast within our immediate sphere of action would have been within our grasp. Oh, yes; it's a pity—too bad—that we do not own Magdalena Bay. Perhaps an effort to secure it would still be a most desirable field for the exercise of statesmanship. One feels like suggesting to Washington to get busy and keep busy.

As soon as the fleet came to anchor there were things doing. On every ship what is known as bore sighting had to be done. That means that a telescope sight had to be inserted in the exact axis of the bore of the gun and the sighting telescopes had to be so adjusted that they were exactly in line with the centre of the gun. It had to be proved scientifically that when the sights of the gun were exactly on a bullseye with their cross wires the centre of the gun was also exactly on the same spot. Every sight on every gun had to be tested and checked up, and it was tedious work. But you couldn't shoot straight without it, and it took hours and hours of most careful adjustment to make sure that all was in perfect condition.

[233] Then came the laying out of the ranges. This required careful surveying. An equilateral triangle had to be laid out for each range. Along one side, the base, spar buoys with flags on them had to be fixed, and buoys fixed further along at each end, so as to give a ship an opportunity of getting on the exact range in its turnings. At the apex of each triangle a great raft of thick timbers and poles on it for the targets had to be put in position. All this took time, but it was surprising how quickly the work was done.

And then the targets had to be brought out. Now the ship's crew had been working on those targets in spare moments for several weeks. Each ship had less than fifty and more than twenty-five of them to make. The biggest targets are for the smaller guns and the smallest ones for the larger guns. The size is proportional, as the experts put it, to "the angle of fall," and the size also represents, they tell you, "the mean error of fire" of a gun. Well, the angle of fall and mean error of fire may not convey a satisfactory idea to you, but you must remember that the shot of a little gun goes to its target in a high curve, while the shot of a big one goes almost horizontally. So you can see why a little gun ought to have the bigger target. It curves more, has a greater angle of fall, than a big gun has. And the mean error of fire has to do with what experience has shown that guns perfectly pointed and fired ought to do. They vary a little in their performances and the target is just large enough for every shot to hit it, if everything works absolutely perfectly.

The making of the targets is a long job. Great rolls of canvas were broken out of storerooms and cut into a certain number of strips of a certain length. These strips[234] had to be sewed together, and at times certain compartments resembled the inside of a tailor shop with sewing machines buzzing and trimming and cutting going on. Then the rough target had to be spread out and the edges cut off until there was just margin enough to sew it all around to a rope about an inch thick. It required hard work with stout needles and thick leather palms to put the ropes on all four sides.

Then came careful measurements for the black lines about two inches wide that marked the targets into squares and a great square in the centre for the bullseye. Out came the paint pots. Some of the targets were made black with white lines and white centres and others were left white with black lines and centres. Then came the battens to which the targets were nailed so as to be stretched on the poles of the raft. Ropes had to be attached in certain places for fastening the target in the exact place and at the exact height. All this work had to be exact, for the umpires measured every target to see that no ship got the slightest advantage.

The targets being prepared, the next thing done on every ship was to clear for action. All stanchions, boats, ridge ropes, chests, gangways, everything movable, were taken down and the decks stripped. Hatches were closed and the ship was stripped for fighting. Theoretically everything wooden and not absolutely necessary to the fighting of the ship was thrown overboard. Pictures were removed from bulkheads and crockery packed away so as to save breakage. So carefully was all this packing done on the Louisiana that all the breakage that occurred when the big guns were fired was one water pitcher in a[235] stateroom under the forward bridge and one pane of glass in the bridge storm shield.

The articles that were removed were not really thrown overboard, but were moved to out of the way places and marked with a tag which read:


These tags furnished about the only element of fun in the entire practice. A mischievous boy, who may have been too familiar with the ship's Angora goat—you know goats have a way of doing things to persons when the persons are leaning over sometimes, and do not expect anything unusual to happen—or who didn't like the way the goat refused to eat tin cans occasionally and also spurned a pot of nice fresh paint, tied one of the labels to Billy's horns. Billy thought it was a decoration and if he had been a jackass instead of a goat would have heehawed with the rest of the crowd.

Then there was a little rascal of a youngster who is always getting into trouble because of his pranks and all too often has to be summoned to the mast for his offences, where he gets regularly penalties of from five to ten hours extra duty and grins as soon as the Captain's back is turned. Something had to be done about him. A shipmate stole up behind him and fixed an overboard tag on his back. For hours he carried it about and was surprised to see that suddenly he had become popular, while the rest of the crew grinned and laughed and slapped their sides just as ordinary folks do on April fool day when a sedate man goes down the street with a rag pinned to his coat tail.

But why should they be nervous about the shooting?

Well, if for three months you had been working almost[236] day and night in the practice of loading and firing guns, had been lifting, pushing, pulling things about to represent great and small projectiles and bags of powder, and if you had been drilling so as not to make a false step or move and had been getting up team work so as to do your work in the shortest possible time, where fractions of seconds count; if you had a gun crew or were a member of one where probably one-half of the men had never heard a big gun go off before and there was danger that you would go gun shy; if for weeks and weeks you had been told to do exactly this and that and never to do that and this, and a lot of other tremendously important things had been dinned into your ears, especially matters relating to safety, and you realized that some blunder of yours might endanger not only yourself and your mates, but the ship itself; if you recalled that the navy gives a prize to the best crew on the fleet for each kind of gun fired and there is also a ship's prize for the best work of these guns, and that if you did your work well and won out there would be from $20 to $60, or possibly more, for yourself and each of your mates; if you knew how one gun's crew bets it will beat its rival; if you knew how every man on every ship is intensely eager to get the naval trophy in shooting for his own ship, so that all hands can put on proper airs and say in a deprecating way: "Of course we were glad to get the trophy, but it was nothing, mere nothing; why, we could beat it all to pieces in a fight, but of course we don't want to brag;" if you could see these men working overtime of their own volition in the Morris tube training, the miniature target shooting that is practised daily on the[237] ships—you'd begin to realize how a ship gets all wrought up over this target practice.

The Captain naturally wants his ship to come out first when you get down to the real business of a warship; the division officers want the ship to win and their own division to be first; the gun crews, with money at stake for them and with the great pride that Uncle Sam's sailormen have, down to the last man, to excel in any contest, are more eager, if that were possible, than the officers to get the shooting record. The result is that when the great day approaches every one is as much under a severe strain as a trained university football team approaching the great game of the season. Team work has been the aim of the drills. To pretend to be cool and utterly unconcerned is the little game of byplay that is going on.

As the day comes on you don't hear much levity about the ship. The time of the grouch is at hand. Why, even the officers can hardly be civil to one another, and as for the men they get saying things to one another in their disputes and heat and anxiety that would make a stranger think they were dangerously near an uprising. The ordnance officer loses all his friends and the division officers glare at him and one another as if each felt sorry that the earth in general and the ship in particular was encumbered with such pitiful specimens of humanity.

Now and then they get to telling one another what they think of things, not meaning a word of it, and sometimes a dispute goes clear up to the Captain for him to decide. He does decide it gravely, and perhaps when the disputants leave he turns away and smiles as he recalls that men are[238] but children of larger growth, and after all he's glad to see these things come up because it shows how hard and earnestly every one is working and bending all his energies to be first. Be first! Be first! That's the thought of every one, and all these bickerings, sharp-tongued retorts, objections, suggestions, sullen looks—yes, even drawn faces—mean that every ounce of energy, of intensity that the men on the ship have is being expended in the task at hand.

When you see all this you can understand why the men of a 7-inch gun's crew, for example, who think they have what they call a look-in for the navy prize elect to sleep beside their pet gun all night, just as a stable boy sleeps in the stall of his great racer who is to be out the next day for the supreme contest of the year; you can understand why some of the officers refuse to shave themselves until target practice is all over and they begin to look as if they were training to be pirates, bad and bold; every naval hoodoo is avoided; you can see why the men go over every part of the mechanism of the guns oiling, rubbing, shining, testing parts until you wonder whether the gun itself is not in a state of agitation and the molecules, which the experts gravely assert are always in a state of motion, are not racing back and forth and saying contemptuous things to one another.

Why some of these men never allow themselves out of sight of their gun lest something may happen to it. They pat the guns with their hands and whisper pet names to them, and tell them to do their best, and if they win why they'll put ribbons on them and point them out to every one. And, indeed, more than one gun—it would be tell[239]ing to say which ones—did wear ribbon decorations and did receive embraces from a victorious crew after the shooting was over.

Just before the shooting begins a calm, a stillness, comes over the ship. Men steady themselves with a supreme effort to keep cool, and the spirit of do or die takes possession of the ship, and as the guns go bang, bang and boom, boom you'd think these officers and men had done nothing else all their lives but shoot off projectiles and it was as much a matter of course with them as getting their breakfasts. All hands are now smiling and good cheer pervades every compartment, and it's "That's fine, Bill!" "Hit 'em again!" "Sock it to 'em!" "Soak 'er!" "You're doin' great!" "Never mind, that's only one miss!" "Bully boy!"

And when the target is brought on board between the runs to be repaired for use again you can understand why the men crowd around it while the umpires examine the rents to see if they made any mistake in their decisions and you can also enter into the feelings of some young fellow who has done the shooting at it and has to repair it, as he looks at it and sees only three hits, for example, out of five shots, while he fairly moans: "I'll never get over this as long as I live. I thought I was on the target and don't see how I missed it." And you can also enter into the feelings of pride and exultation of another youngster as he mends his target with every shot a hit and done in the fastest time ever known, while his mates slap him on the back and say: "Great work, Bob! Great work!" And when he finishes his mending and[240] catches the eye of the newspaper correspondent on board you know how he feels when he comes up and touches his hat and says:

"You know my home, sir, is in a little town in the centre of Ohio. I don't suppose our country papers print your articles, but I know my people and friends, and I guess all the town, would be glad to know how well I did and would like to see my picture in the paper, sir." Well, you feel sorry that you have to tell him that you are not allowed to give results of the target shooting or to mention names or to say whether any ship or any gun did well or badly. But when you tell him that in good time all his people and friends and neighbors are sure to find out about it he smiles with great pride and says:

"Thank you, sir. I guess we've got 'em all skinned good and proper."

But how is it all done? Why don't you give details? perhaps you, gentle reader, as the old-time books used to say, are asking. Well, this article if it interests you at all will interest you because of what it will not say rather than because of what it will say. Listen to the pledge, which every correspondent bound himself to keep when he came on this cruise:

"To refrain from giving out for publication, either while with the fleet or later, any military information that might be of value to a possible enemy, such as detailed descriptions of mechanism or of methods of drills, of handling fire control (that means the way of controlling the fire of the guns), tactical manœuvres, scores at target practice, etc."

And this pledge was supplemented on arrival in Mag[241]dalena Bay by further instructions from the Commander-in-Chief, which said:

"No statement of scores shall be forwarded or whether ships do well or badly.

"No comments on the workings of the battery or its appurtenances, including the fire control, shall be forwarded."

Now, what can a conscientious correspondent do when, for the good of the service and the welfare of the country, he's all tied up like that? Well, there are lots of things that can be told about target shooting, things that every naval man knows about and are no secret and that the ordinary person doesn't know about. There's no inhibition on writing about noise, and the flare of guns and the puffs of smoke, and the geysers that shoot up out of the water as the shots ricochet far out to the horizon. Oh, yes, the old adage is still true that there are a good many ways to skin a cat.

As has been said, the preparations for this target practice began as soon as the fleet was out of Hampton Roads. There was the daily drill of hours and hours at Morris tube practice, where the men shoot at little targets from little rifles attached to the big guns. The targets are kept in motion and every man has to shoot his string of so many shots. The division officer soon comes to know which men have the sharpest eye, the steadiest hand, the coolest temperament, and in time the pointers and trainers are selected and each man has his post assigned to him. And when the miniature target shooting is over for the day there is the team work drill with dummy projectiles and powder bags and day by day the men become expert in[242] making this exact step and avoiding that false move, and show increasing deftness and zeal. They get to dreaming of what they will do. They learn just how far to lean back and move their heads when the gun darts past their faces in its lightning recoil, and those who have never heard a big gun go off try to imagine what the roar will be like and to nerve themselves not to mind it any more than a firecracker's report. Then as the final test comes and they hear the officers scold or praise them they get into the state of anxiety described in the first part of this article.

But it is time to shoot. Every one now is calm and eager to begin. The bos'n and three launches and two boats' crews go out and put up the first targets. The ship gets under way and steams about slowly until she gets the proper headway of a predetermined speed. The men at the targets set them up and steam away to a buoy a quarter of a mile from the target. Slowly the ship swings out and comes on the range, just grazing the buoys that mark the path. The men are at the guns. The outward buoy is passed and then the ship approaches the first buoy, where the firing is to begin. The exact range of that point is known. The elevation of the gun is known, as is also the deflection. You know the sights have to be right on the target, but the gun itself has to be aimed a little to one side, so as to account for the side movement of the projectile, due to the ship's motion, as it flies through the air. What is called fire control determines just how much the gun must be elevated and how much it must be deflected at a certain instant. There is a man at the gun who turns little wheels and adjusts gauges, and he gets word from some one[243] else just what to do and when to do it. Never mind how this is communicated to him.

Meantime one man has been training the gun sideways and another has been raising or lowering it, independently of the man who has been setting the deflection and fixing the range. When the cross-wires in the gun pointer's telescope are right on the bullseye and it is time to fire he pulls a trigger and the electrical apparatus sends a lightning impulse into the powder, there is a roar, a thin cloud of smoke from the primer, a flash and you look for the splash to see if it is a hit.

As the ship proceeds along the base of the triangle the deflection and range have to be changed constantly. The change is greatest at the ends of the run. Along about the centre, when you are just opposite the target, the changes are slight, but it is just as hard to hit the target. All these changes are matters of fractions of seconds. It is not deliberate work, but it is done carefully, and there is where the element of training comes in.

The first roar of a gun sends a thrill through the ship. The man who has fired it is nervous. If it's a miss, he steadies himself at once. Rare is it that the second shot is a miss. The gun-shy part of that man's career is over. He is now as cool as if he were whistling Yankee Doodle. Bang and crack go his shots. Perhaps the gases obscure his vision to some extent. He waits an instant from time to time before he fires. Pump, pump, goes the trigger. He's got the range, he's got his nerve, he knows when he hits and when he misses. It's a big contest, and his tools of trade are the confined elements of destruction with the accumulated scientific skill of decades behind him, and the[244] result depends upon his clear vision and steady hand. The task inspires him, his face is drawn tense, he forgets everything else. He becomes part of that machine of destruction, an automaton.

The most spectacular part of the shooting is with the smallest and biggest guns. The small guns are shot at night. Great black targets with white centres are put up, and then your own ship, or possibly another anchored near, illuminates the targets with four or five great searchlights. The guns boom, and soon a little curlicue of light is seen curving through the air. It is what is called a tracer, a chemical set on fire by the redhot projectile as it flies. You see it hit the target, and then under the lights you see a splash.

Then the light goes curving up into the air and you know the projectile is ricocheting. Down it comes. There is another leap and flight and then another and another, and far off, two or three miles away, it disappears. The projectile has made its last jump. So fast are the small guns fired that frequently from five to ten of these rockets are leaping and jumping toward the sky and curving back into the black water. It is beautiful fireworks.

Although the small guns are fired at night, some of them are fired in the daytime. The string of these guns is run off first. No noise of a gun is quite so disturbing as that of the 3-inch weapons. You may stuff your ears full of cotton—and nearly every one on ship does that—but the terrible crack smites through it and gives you a jolt. The deck feels an earthquake tremor, and you are glad when the ship goes off the range. But this is getting ahead of the story. Suppose the ship has just passed the outer buoy.[245] Steadily she approaches the first firing mark. Soon word is passed:

"Buoy on the bow!"

The umpires have their watches in hand, the crew prepares to load. Now the buoy is abeam. A red flag goes up to the forward yardarm, the whistle blows and then the command is heard:

"Commence firing!"

That is all the command that is given. For the small guns a given number of shots must be fired as quickly as possible. For the big guns as many shots may be fired as possible within a certain number of minutes. The shots are counted carefully for the small guns, and when the given quota is fired the order is given:

"Cease firing!"

When the time limit has expired for the big guns a whistle is blown by the umpire who has the watch and the same command is given, but the crew has the right to fire one more shot within a given number of seconds so as to discharge any projectile that may have been in the gun when the cease firing command was given.

As soon as the command to fire is given intense activity starts. Crack goes the 3-pounder or 3-inch. Then comes the splash. A geyser jumps up out of the bay, then another and another, as the projectile hits the water. These geysers look as if Old Faithful of the Yellowstone had been brought down to give a special performance. The spurts are not in a straight line, for the curvature of a small wave deflects the course of the projectile and sends it careening this way or that. You can tell from the position of the spurt whether it was hit or not and you count the hits and[246] misses carefully. You forget the ear-smiting cracks of the guns and the jolt of the decks. Did he make a hit? is what you want to know. And is the pointer doing his work well? Cheers come from various parts of the ship as hit after hit is made, and if it's a clean string there is general jubilation.

But the ship is moving steadily along the course. There is always a slight gap in the shooting when the pointers change positions and telescopes, but bang, bang, crack, crack, come the reports, and before you know it the whistle blows and the red flag is lowered and that string is over. Then the ship slowly circles around to the targets, and the repairing crew in the small boats dash over to mark the hits of the small guns with red paint and to make repairs, change targets and fix things up generally. Then comes another start for the range, and so hour after hour the ship goes back and forth until every small gun has had its say and every pointer has had his few minutes.

When the time comes for the target practice of the great guns no red paint is needed to mark the hits. You can see the projectiles as they near the target, needlelike things that seem to flee with the speed of light. You can see the holes they make if you take a glass. Their roar is dull and the shake of the ship is a powerful tremor. Your ears are not smitten, as with the smaller guns, but the shock is tremendous. You are close to the manifestation of a terrific force. But if you wish to see the best part of the work you must go into the casemate, where the firing is done. Ah, there's where team work is going on!

Take a 7-inch gun. The word to commence firing is passed. Powder and projectiles are all ready. The gun[247] captain throws open the breech block. The men lift the projectile and place it in the breech. Scarcely have they removed their tray before a long wooden rammer is thrust in and the projectile, which has been carefully smoothed off and oiled, is run home and seated. Get out of the way quick, rammer, for the powder bags are being thrust in! Don't make a false step, for you may hinder some one who has just one thing to do in the shortest possible time!

The charge is now home, the gun captain whisks the breech block into place, the primer is attached and then the captain slaps the pointer on the back or cries ready. All this time the gun is being trained, the range and deflection have been changed, and instantly there is a roar, a blinding flash. The members of the crew close to the gun move just far enough back to escape the recoil, like a prizefighter when he throws his head back and escapes a blow by the fraction of an inch.

Open comes the breech in a flash, then another charge on it by the various men, another slap on the back, another roar and it's a hit or a miss. Then a third charge, and another and another. The men sweat and breathe hard, their faces become strained and some of them white. The fight is on, and the work, second by second, every one of them as valuable as hours would be ordinarily, saps the strength and energy of the men in their supreme effort.

"Every shot a hit!" cries one of the crew exultingly.

"What was the time?" asks another.

"So many seconds," says the umpire.

"That beats all records!" shouts another, and then there are cheers and great rejoicing. After the first fire scarcely a man hears the noise of the gun. It is a mere[248] pop to them. Sometimes they overreach themselves in the desire to be quick and they make a miss. They don't hear the last of that for some time, but it's all in the work and part of the general eagerness to do well.

Then come the 8-inch guns. The rumble and roar is only a little worse than the 7-inch guns. The geysers shoot a little higher and the echoes from the report come back to the ship like so many sharp thunderclaps, where the lightning is close. Indeed, if you want to have a better reproduction of thunder than any theatre can produce just manage to be on a battleship while it fires off its 8-inch guns in rapid succession. It's the kind of thunder that comes when lightning hits and you look out to see if the tree in your front yard has been split. Crash after crash comes back to make you duck and dodge until the projectile has finished its thunderbolt career and darts into the water with perhaps the ignominious mission of killing a fish instead of shattering a battleship.

But the 12-inch guns! Pack the cotton well into your ears! Keep your mouth open! Stand as far away from the muzzle as you can on the ship! Secure all the things in your stateroom, for if you don't you may find your shaving mug on the floor and your hairbrush mixed up with the fragments of your soap dish! Close your port or else your trinkets may be whisked into a heap and some of them broken into pieces! The whistle has blown. The seconds go by, oh how slowly! Will they never get that gun loaded? Then comes a blast. The white flame seems brighter than sunlight, the roar runs through you like an electric shock, the decks seem to sink and you wonder if the eruption of Mont Pelée had more force than that. You[249] look toward the target. There goes the projectile, straight through the bullseye. Then an enormous geyser leaps into the air more than a hundred feet high. Surely that is Old Faithful! Then comes another half a mile away. Then another and another and you wonder if the projectile is going clear over to Europe.

And with this comes that peculiar roar that no other agent of power produces. It is more like the rush of a limited express into and out of the mouth of a tunnel. You can hear the chug, chug of the locomotive. You hear the rumble of a fast train on a still night through a valley. You can almost see the hills and the little river as the train dashes over bridges and noisy trestles. There it goes into the tunnel again, and before you can speak of it out it comes with another roar! More bridges and trestles, more tunnels, more chugs, and then there comes a steady roar. The train is going over the hill and out of the last tunnel, and you take a long breath. Before you expel it from your lungs there is another smiting flash and you are dancing on your toes again. The ship seems to settle and you get the geysers, the roar of the fastest train that ever ran. And so it goes until the whistle blows and you swing around to look at the target and then repeat the performance. You now begin to realize what a battleship means, and you are speculating about it when an officer comes around and says:

"Pretty fine, eh? Well, that's nothing to battle practice! when for a certain number of minutes we let all the guns go together. That's real noise! This is just pop-gun work."

Well, if it is not noise you begin to think that if there is[250] ever another war you know one place where you don't want to be, and that is on a battleship. Every one of the ships had to go through this work, and when it was all over then it was that the men on these ships felt the sense of relief that none of them experienced over their safe arrival and the performance of the fleet on the way to this bay. They were ready to drop in their tracks. They were worn out, as the expression goes.

There is one moment of great suspense at every gun in such practice as this. It is when some adjustment has gone wrong, when some accident has occurred, and when there is real danger. Then the officer in charge cries sharply:


That means that no more shots must be fired from that gun on that run. With it goes a penalty that works against the ship's record. More than once such command has been heard on these ships, but it is wise, for all too sad have been the records of accidents at target practice not only in our own ships but in those of every other navy. It would have pleased any one to observe all the precautions that were taken this time. The navy has learned some lessons. Safer and safer the turrets are becoming all the time. And this element of speed which enters into all contests with the firing of guns conduces to that end. You see, it is not only the hits that count but the time in which they are made.

But why this haste, you ask. Well, it trains the men to get the drop on the enemy and also, and perhaps of just as much importance, it reveals the defects in the system. In other words, it tends more to make turrets and ordnance[251] what the experts call "foolproof." It may be said that nearly all of our ordnance on these ships has reached that stage, the stage where some man by some unforeseen fool action, one that no one could guess would happen, endangers and probably costs the lives of himself and several others. Every breakdown of a gun on this practice has had its value and it all goes toward speeding the day when these faults will be corrected and a ship may go into action with a reasonable assurance that all its mechanism will do the work it was intended to do. Yes, speed has its advantages, very great advantages.

What a change in twenty years! There are men on this ship who used to take part in the old practice on such ships as the Saratoga or the Quinnebaugh, the one that was on the European station so long that some one in the Navy Department forgot for a year or two to put it in the Naval Register. The Saratoga had one 8-inch muzzle loading rifle that had formerly been a smooth bore 11-inch Dahlgren gun, the kind of gun that resembled a soda water bottle and was called such. It was mounted amidships between the fireroom hatch and the break of the to'gallant fo'c's'le. The bulwarks at that place were pierced by pivot gun ports that could be secured as part of the bulwarks when the gun was not in action.

The gun swung on circles and pivot bolts by using hauling and training tackles, and could be used on either broadside and about ten points forward and abaft the beam. The ship had also four 9-inch smoothbore Dahlgrens to complete its main battery. It required about twenty-two men to handle such a gun. The charges of powder were in canvas bags and rammed home. The guns could be[252] sighted up to 2,000 yards. The recoil was taken up by a heavy hempen hawser fastened to the bulwarks and passed through the cascabel of the gun. The range for target practice was 1,000 yards, and lucky was the gunner if he made 30 per cent. of hits.

In those days the men at the guns were not half stripped, as they are now. One-half of them were armed with cutlass and pistol and the other half with magazine rifles and bayonets. This was to repel boarders. That's all gone. No battleship ever expects to repel boarders in these days. Protection for the gunners was made by piling up hammocks and bags—about the last thing that would be thought of, with its danger from fire, in these days, even if all else failed. Nowadays the recoil is taken up hydraulically, and the gun is shot back into place with springs. Even fewer men are required to handle an 8-inch gun than twenty years ago. One of these guns will shoot five times further and do ten times—yes, one might say almost a hundredfold—more damage than the old ones. And there are eight of these on a ship like the Louisiana, to say nothing of twelve 7-inch guns, four 12-inch, twenty 3-inch and twelve 3-pounders.

In target practice on one of these ships ten shots are fired from each 7-inch gun, twenty from each 3-inch gun, twenty from each 3-pounder and as many from each 8-inch and 12-inch as can be got off in a given time. It may be stretching the proprieties to tell even that much, and to get back to generalities it may be said that about twenty-five tons of metal were fired from all the guns. The cost? Well, put it for convenience sake at $300,000 for the fleet. Expensive?[253] Not a bit of it! That expenditure is the best money spent by the United States Navy. It is the premium of insurance paid annually for efficiency, and it will prove its value if these ships ever get into war. There'll be no hit or miss or reckless helter-skelter shooting then. To make the practice record here each ship has to steam about 100 miles in going over the course and in a general way it may be said that each ship made from thirty-five to forty runs on the range. There, that's about all to be said in print or elsewhere about target practice by this fleet.

Well now honest, you say, didn't the ships do well, pretty well, just a little better than ever before, perhaps a great deal better? Just that much is what you want to know? Well, you'll have to ask the Navy Department about that. In its own good time and in its own way it may decide to give out such information and it may not. You'll never get an answer from the Sun's correspondent on this trip.



Life and Work on U. S. Battleship—Every Day Crowded With Duties and Drills for All on Board—The Overworked Executive—Responsibility for Everything Finally Culminates With the Captain—All Effort Has in View the Efficiency of the Ship as a Fighting Machine—Minute Care in Seemingly Minor Details Makes for Perfection in Case of Crisis—Standing Watch and General Quarters—Catering and Hygiene—Smart Signal Work—Launch Etiquette—Reverence for Quarter Deck and National Anthem.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
Punta Arenas, Chile, Jan. 31.

UNUSUAL and attractive as an extended cruise on a warship from the Atlantic to the Pacific is to a civilian, and however it may cause him to be envied by his acquaintances, it must also be set down, if one would chronicle the truth and nothing else, that it has its drawbacks. Probably the first that the supernumerary cargo discovers is that there is practically no place on the decks where he may sit down. He soon realizes that a warship is not a passenger steamship, with steamer chairs, smoking rooms, deck stewards and all the other appurtenances that go to advance the traveller's comfort.

The next drawback that forces itself upon one's attention, after the novelty of looking around wears off to some extent, is that the warship passenger is a mighty lonely[255] person, and, unless he can amuse himself or is naturally one of the reserved kind and lives in his own shell he'll find time hanging heavy on his hands.

You see you can't go up to an officer and gossip when he's drilling a crew in loading shells in a gun. You can't pounce upon the Captain whenever you see him on the deck and make him chat to you. You can't exercise conversational powers when general quarters or fire drill is on. You don't feel like asking for what is called a gabfest when the other fellow is figuring out problems in navigation. It is not the time to be chummy when every man on the bridge is watching signals from a flagship and hurrying things so as not to be the last to send up the proper pennant or to haul it down. When the red and white lights of the ardois signal system are flashing at night or the stiff arms of the semaphores are throwing themselves about in a helter-skelter fashion day or night it is not wise to ask what they are saying.

There is so much going on entirely foreign to the average man that he feels as if he were in a new world with busy people all about him speaking a strange language and doing strange things and he's literally alone. Gradually it is borne in on him that he's a cat in a strange garret. There's plenty of civility all around, but for hours and hours a day there is no companionship; no one with whom he can form a pool on the day's run, or sit down with a steward at his elbow to play a friendly game, or one for blood; no yarn spinners handy when you want 'em; no luxuries in travelling.

Of course one may find easy chairs in the wardroom with plenty of reading matter, and you have a chair and a[256] desk, in addition to your bunk, in your room, but no one can stay below at sea unless the weather is foul, and even then he chafes at it. No matter how fine your house is at home you take more comfort in seasonable weather in sitting on your porch than in your library, and the same holds true at sea on a warship when it comes to sitting in an easy chair in the wardroom or in your own room.

There are excellent reasons for these two drawbacks, the lack of creature comforts, luxuries, if you please, and of genial companionship at any hour, in going to sea as a civilian on a warship. Only one need be mentioned. That is that a warship is a tremendously busy workshop where the boss, his assistants and the workmen have a peculiar kind of work on hand, such as exists nowhere else in the world, and there is no time in which to pander to the whims and desires of an outsider sent on board by the order of executive authorities higher up.

The work on hand is to move a floating fort of steel swiftly through the water in complete synchronism with a lot of other floating forts and then to prepare those who are engaged in work in this fort for just one thing, to destroy and kill. Everything is subservient to one idea—to be ready to fight at the swiftest pace for just about one hour; for be it known that if one of the warships in this great battle fleet were fought at its swiftest and fullest capacity it would be all over, one way or the other, in an hour or less. You see fighting a warship is not a long distance race; it's a hundred yard dash, to change the figure. Getting ready for that dash, that supreme effort at the fastest speed, calls for all the concentration and[257] hard, unremitting toil that years of education in a complex specialty and years of experience can employ.

When this work is going on those engaged in it want outsiders out of the way, and if you're a wise outsider you want to get out of the way. Hence at such times it is likely that you'll get pretty tired standing around on your feet, with no place to rest your weary bones and no companion with whom you can even be bromidic. Yes, it's fine and great to cruise 14,000 miles on a splendid warship, but truly it has some drawbacks.

It must not be inferred from this that one lacks for comfort, complete comfort, or for genial companionship on a battleship. Far from it. The ship abounds in reading matter. There are easy chairs in plenty in the wardroom. And as for companionship, a more genial set of good fellows never existed in any profession than these same busy naval officers, from the Captains down. There are many diversions. You can watch the drills, the signalling; you can have a game of cribbage or whist in the evening; you have a fine band to play for you at dinner and on deck in the warm evenings; you can make friends with the pets on board, tease the dog, play with the cats, watch the monkeys, talk with the poll parrots and stroke the goat's head, all the time watching lest he tries to butt you, you can figure out the course, estimate latitude and longitude; you can talk with the men when the smoking lamp is lighted, although you must never be chummy, but sometimes you can get an old quartermaster who has been all over the world and draw him off into a secluded place and let him spin his yarns to you, and also let him growl[258] out his growls and try to convince you that everything in this world, especially in the navy, is rotten, after which he feels better and you have had a pleasant hour of amusement, knowing full well that when he gets to port and meets another quartermaster of another navy he'll be blowing himself hoarse in his contention that our navy is the best in the world and that there's no calling equal to that of a real sailorman, and he's ready to fight to prove it.

So it isn't all work and no play on a warship, but it comes mighty near to it for days and days, for, like a woman's work the work is never done. You'd realize it if some night after a hard day's work is over you heard the bells and bugles crying out for general quarters for you to tumble out of your hammock or bunk when you had earned a good night's rest. You'd realize it if you had been straining your eyes for hours in the daylight at target practice and then had to go at it again at night. You know you may have to fight at night and you've got to be ready for it. There's no other way to prepare for it than by work at night.

It's all a matter of course, part of the day's work, with these sea dogs and gun fighters. And when you suggest that you are thinking of writing a piece for the paper telling about the routine on a warship they are surprised that any such topic could be interesting and tell you that it's nothing new and is going on all the time just as it has been going on for decades and centuries. Then they'll admit perhaps that the general public doesn't realize the amount of work that is done on a warship and they'll produce this schedule of hours and tasks that sums it up:



3:00 A.M.—Call ship's cook.

3:45—Call the section of the watch, relieve wheel and lookout.

4:00—Relieve the watch on deck.

4:30—Turn to, out smoking lamp, pipe sweepers, clear up deck.

4:50—Call music, masters-at-arms and boatswain's mates.

5:00—Reveillé, bugles and drum; call all sections except midwatch sections.

5:15—Execute morning orders.

5:30—Trice up clothes lines.

At sunrise station masthead lookouts, take in deck lookouts and put out running lights.

6:30—Break up and send below to be burned all boxes and articles that will float.

6:40—Trice up six bell hammock cloths.

6:50—Up all hammocks, serve out water, hoist ashes.

7:00—Time and uniform signal; mess gear for sections below.

7:15—Breakfast for sections below, light smoking lamp; ditty boxes allowed.

7:30—Mess gear for watch on deck.

7:40—Relieve wheel and lookouts.

7:45—On deck duty sections. Section on deck to breakfast.

8:15—Turn to, clean gun and deck bright work.

8:25—Sick call.

8:45—Report at mast.

8:50—Clear up decks; down towel lines and ditty boxes; sweepers.

8:55—Officers' call.

9:00—Quarters for muster and inspection; setting up drill.

9:30—Drill call.

10:00—Relieve the wheel and lookouts.

Signal (1) absentees, (2) number of sick.

11:00—Hoist ashes.

11:30—Retreat from drill. Pipe down clothes, if dry; sweepers.

11:45—Mess gear for sections below.

Noon—Dinner; duty section remain on deck. Signal (1) coal on hand, (2) coal expended, (3) latitude, (4) longitude.

P.M.—Mess gear for duty section.

Dinner duty section.

1:00—Turn to; out smoking lamp; down ditty boxes; sweepers; pipe down clothes if dry, then aired bedding, if up; start work about decks.


1:30—Serve out provisions.

2:00—Relieve wheel and lookouts.

3:00—Hoist ashes.

4:00—Relieve the watch.

4:30—Knock off all work. Clear up decks; sweepers; pipe down clothes.

5:15—Mess gear for sections going on watch.

5:30—Supper for sections going on watch.

5:45—Mess gear for other sections.

5:55—Relieve wheel and lookouts.

6:00—Relieve section on duty. Other sections to supper.

At sunset—Set running lights; lay down masthead lookouts; station deck lookouts; couple fire hose; muster life boats' crews; coxswain report when crews are present and lifeboats ready for lowering. Test night signal apparatus.

6:30—Turn to; sweepers; scrub clothes on forecastle (except Sunday).

7:00—Hoist ashes. Clear deck for hammocks.


8:00—Relieve watch, wheel and lookouts. Signal and searchlight drill as ordered. Signal (1) latitude; (2) longitude.

At sea when meals are piped the duty section will remain on deck until relieved by the next section for duty. When, however, the ship is cruising singly at sea and there is no immediate necessity for the services of the section on deck, or when cruising at sea in company and it is apparent that the services of men on deck, other than those actually on watch at stations, is unnecessary, then mess gear will be spread for all sections at the same time, and all sections will go to meals at the same time, except those men actually on duty, but reliefs must get their meals and relieve their stations promptly. In any case the duty section must stand by to answer an emergency call. In bad weather, or when engaged in manœuvres, or when in the immediate vicinity of land, the duty section shall remain on deck until relieved by the next section.

There is a daily port routine, similar in general outline to the one for cruising. It calls for the ceremony of colors, hoisting or lowering the flag, boat duty and other things which can come only when a ship is in port. But these two schedules only hint at the full story.

[261] Probably the first impression that a stranger to all this ship routine gets is that a warship is one of the most discordant places in the world. They are everlastingly blowing bugles, each bugle out of key with all the others. One bugler will sound a lot of hippety-hoppity notes and then another will take up the same refrain with a blare and a mean half note or quarter note variation and then two or three others will join in, on decks, below decks, and the jangling jumble rolls in on your ear drums in such a discord that you feel as if you'd like to punch the man who told 'em to do it. At the same time you see men, hundreds of whom must have no ear for note discrimination, jump to the tasks to which they are summoned and you wonder how they know what the bugles are telling them.

There are ninety-eight of these bugle calls on a man-o'-war and how the men differentiate them passes your understanding. It aggravates you that you can't make them out yourself. You begin to study them and you do get so that you are able to recognize two or three, and then you get lost and you begin to have an admiration for the men who have mastered them all, just as you admire an ironworker who can walk a beam 400 feet in the air. He can do something that you can't do and you respect him for it.

Still you keep trying to master those calls. Finally you learn the trick partly. You associate certain words with certain jingles—perhaps it would be better to say certain jangles—and then you pat yourself on the back and feel that you are pretty nearly half as good as a sailorman in Uncle Sam's navy. The trick is the same as with the army calls and many of the jingles are the same. For example, you soon learn reveillé, for the refrain,


We can't get 'em up; we can't get 'em up;
We can't get 'em up in the morning.

fits the call so completely that one who has once learned it can never forget what it means.

Again when the bugles sound the sick bay call you find yourself unconsciously saying to yourself:

Come and get your quinine, quinine.

When the officers' call for quarters is sounded you feel like saying to the one nearest you:

Get your sword on; get your sword on.

When the mess call is blown you know that the bluejackets are saying to themselves as the notes blare out:

Soupy, soupy, soup, without a single bean;
Porky porky, pork, without a streak of lean.

When assembly sounds you join with the rest in the warning:

You'd better be here at the next roll call.

When the swimming call comes you say to yourself:

Bought a chicken for fifty cents;
The son of a gun jumped over the fence!

When the call for pay day is made you know how the men feel as they say:

Pay day; pay day; come and get your pay.

And when tattoo is over and then comes taps you feel drowsy as the sweet notes, one of the very few in army or navy calls that are sweet, sing to you:

Go to sleep; go to sleep; go to sleep.

[263] Oh, yes, you finally get to know many of these calls and then somehow the discord seems to leave them, and, like the ship that found herself, you begin to find yourself on shipboard and you feel that you are getting on. That bugling ceases to trouble you further.

The pipes of the bos'n also pierce your ears. Always shrill, they all seem to end in a piercing shriek. At first they make you grate your teeth. You feel as if you would prefer that some one would cuss you out, as the naval expression is, rather than give you orders in that mean way. And when you hear these same mates, one of whom is stationed at every place of importance where the men live and sleep, roar out something that seems to be a mixture of the blast of a cyclone, the trumpeting of an elephant and the bray of another animal you think that if you were the sailorman addressed you'd feel like saying to that mate you'd be damned if you'd do it, whatever it was he was ordering you to do. Why, such language as the bos'ns' pipes employ is more calculated to inspire profanity than was the term applied by Daniel O'Connell to the fishwoman when he called her out of her name by saying she was a hypothenuse. But gradually you learn some of these calls too—there are no rhymes or jingles for them—and that worry blows over.

The work on the bridge also soon excites your admiration. When you are in squadron or fleet formation it's a different game from when you are alone. Then all you have to do is to keep your course and go sailing along at the speed set for you, keep your eye on things, receive reports, give this and that order, when you are through set down a record of what has happened in the deck logbook. All that's simple[264] and easy compared with cruising in a fleet. With a fleet you are not on the bridge five minutes before you are aware that a peculiar kind of game is being played. It is "Watch the Flagship." The watch officer, the signal officer, the quartermasters, the signal boys, are all engaged in the work. Let a signal go up from the flagship. There is a hasty peep through glasses and then a hoarse cry for certain flags, a rush for the bunting, a quick bending of it on the halyards and then a mad rush by half a dozen lads across the bridge as the signals are hoisted. Hurry; be the first to answer, is the sentiment inspiring all. After the signal is hoisted you take a hasty look around, and you grin as this or that ship hasn't got hers up yet, and you say to yourself that it was pretty smart work. When the first sign of a flutter comes from the flagship that the pennants are coming down the hoarse yell of "Haul down!" comes like a thunderclap; and woe betide the clumsy signal boy who gets the halyards foul and doesn't have the signals out of sight before the flagship has hers hidden.

Or perhaps it is approaching sunset and the time comes to lower the speed cones for the night and start the masthead and truck lights to glimmering. Intently all hands watch the flagship and at the first tremor of the cone the boy begins to haul down. In a jiffy not a cone is to be seen at the yards on the entire fleet.

Then there is the night signalling with the ardois red and white lights. There flashes from the flagship a row of vertical red lights, four of them. "Cornet!" is the cry. It means that each ship must turn on the same signal as an answer to attention call. Then the flagship talks, with this[265] and that combination of red and white lights, all flashed so fast that before the impression of one combination fades from the eye two or three others have followed and you wonder how on earth any one can make them out. But as each one is flashed a boy calls out the letter and another writes it down the cubbyhole where the navigator's chart is sheltered, and you find that these messages are recorded as fast as a telegrapher could write out his clicks.

Then the semaphore is lighted up and the arms of lights go jiggering this way and that way, just as the gaunt black and white automata do in the daytime, and you find the boys reading off the message as easily as a grown person can spell cat when the letters are big and the print is plain. You sometimes wake up in the night when you are at anchor and look out of your port. Rare is it that you do not see a semaphore or an ardois combination flashing. When you ask about it in the morning the officers will tell you that it probably was the signal boys talking with one another and that it is allowed because it is good practice to let them gossip when there is nothing else going on and the night watches are long and tedious. Invariably one boy will make the signal letter of another ship where he suspects a friend is on duty at the signals and this is what he says:

"How is it for a game of flat?" meaning an unofficial talk.

"All right," comes the answer: "go ahead."

Then those two boys chat over all sorts of things, chaff each other, make appointments for the first liberty, talk of the latest ship gossip, and all that, but there's one feature about it that's peculiar. The messages are always in[266] polite form. It's always, "Will you kindly?" or "Please be good enough," or something in that fashion. No signal boy ever forgets himself or the dignity of his place in a game of talk. Besides, there might be officers observing things and it is never nice to have your name put on the report. You are brought up at the mast and you might get five days in the brig on bread and water or something like that if you exchanged language that was not seemly for use on a warship's signals.

And then in bridge work in cruising there is that difficult job of keeping distances. The favorite cruising formation in this fleet is at 400 yards distance from the preceding ship. The Louisiana was fourth in whatever line was formed. That meant 1,200 yards from the flagship. Now the engines of no two ships move the 16,000 tons of those ships at exactly the same speed through the water. You may know theoretically how many revolutions of the propellers are needed to go at the rate of ten, eleven, twelve or even more knots an hour, but even then one ship will inch up, so to speak, foot up might express it better, and you have got to correct this all the time or you will be crawling up on the quarter deck of the ship in front of you, or lagging so behind that the ship after you will be in danger of crawling up on your own deck.

You have a midshipman using the stadimeter all the time, every fifteen or twenty seconds or so, and then you are kept signalling to the engine room to make one or two or three revolutions faster or slower, until you get your right place and you don't have to fly your position pennant, confessing to the flagship that you are making a bad job of your work and have got more than forty yards[267] out of your position. You see, coal varies in its steaming qualities from time to time, and sometimes the engine room force gets a little slack or orders get mixed and it is one perpetual struggle to keep exactly where you ought to be.

Then you have to sail on the course announced, and the helmsman and quartermaster have to be continually moving the rudder back and forth to correct the yaws from the seas and other influences that throw you off that exact line.

Then there is the routine bridge work, giving orders, receiving reports, making decisions, tasting the food of the crew that is brought always to the officer on watch, sighting ships and other things and always notifying the Captain day or night of all important things going on. Oh, yes, there is plenty to do on a bridge in a fleet, and you watch its progress with fascination for hours until you suddenly begin to realize the presence of that drawback mentioned first in this article, that there is no seating place up there, and you go below to read or get some rest sitting down.

As one becomes accustomed to the naval routine there are some ceremonies that he skips as a matter of course and some that he does not. One of the latter is the general muster of the officers and crew on a Sunday morning once a month. Quarters are sounded as usual and then comes the inspection of the ship and the men in their stations, while the band is playing lively airs. When this is over the entire ship's company not engaged in actual duty in running the ship is summoned aft. The officers and their divisions come to the quarter deck, and each officer reports his division "up and aft" to the executive officer, who in turn reports that fact to the Captain. The latter[268] then orders the ship's roll to be called. The paymaster steps out from the group of officers with the roll. On the Louisiana he calls:

"Richard Wainwright!"

Capt. Wainwright responds:

"Captain, United States Navy."

"E. W. Eberle!"

"Lieutenant-Commander, United States Navy," the executive officer responds.

"C. T. Jewell!"

"Lieutenant-Commander, United States Navy," says the navigator, and so on down the roll of officers the Paymaster proceeds, each man saluting as he answers to his name. Then the Paymaster retires and the pay clerk steps up and takes up the call. He reads the names of the members of the crew. As each man hears his name called he answers with his designation on the roll, John Jones will answer "Coal passer, United States Navy," and William Smith will declare that he is an ordinary seaman, and so on. As each man answers to his name he drops out of the ranks, proceeds aft and walks by the Captain, hat in hand. When the name of a man on duty somewhere in this ship, in the engine rooms or the bridge or elsewhere, is called, the ship's writer, who stands beside the executive officer, says.

"On duty, sir."

The absentee is marked "accounted for." Men in the sick bay are accounted for in the same way. It requires almost an hour to go through the nearly 1,000 names, and when it is all over the Paymaster reports to the executive officer that all are present or accounted for and that fact is duly communicated to the Captain. By that time the[269] deck is clear of the men and only the officers remain, and these are dismissed.

It's a fine thing to see a fine crew individually and size up each man. When the President was on the Louisiana it is said that he took the keenest interest in this personal appearance of every man on the quarter deck in answer to the call of his name and showed his satisfaction over the appearance of the men as he stood beside the Captain and watched each one of the husky lads pass by.

Once a month on a Sunday morning the crew is also summoned aft to have the Articles of War read. The executive officer does the reading. Here is propounded the law and the gospel of a man-o'-war's duties and responsibilities. The men are told what they must do and what they must not do. The punishments inflicted for certain offences are read out, offences in time of peace and similar offences in time of war. More than once are heard the words "shall suffer death." All through the idea pervades that there must be instant and complete obedience of orders. Reading the Articles of War constitutes a solemn occasion and when it is finished one realizes as never before what a serious thing it is to swear allegiance to Uncle Sam as part of his naval force.

The organization of the ship's force soon becomes well fixed in the mind. There is one head to it all, the Captain, on whom falls final responsibility for everything, discipline, safety of ship and men, work of every kind. He is assisted by about twenty-five commissioned subordinate officers and midshipmen and nearly a dozen warrant officers, besides numerous petty officers and their mates. The ship has several large departments just as a big store in the city.[270] The executive officer is the right hand man, the general manager, if you please, of the ship, and he sees that the Captain's orders are carried out and he also keeps the vessel shipshape.

One of the departments is that of the navigator. Another is the department of ordnance. A third is that of the engineer, a fourth that of the medical officer, a fifth that of the Paymaster and a sixth has to do with the Marine Corps.

The executive officer not only runs almost everything on the ship but is in charge of all equipment and stores. He is the man who can do most to make a ship happy or hellish. He looks after the daily routine, drills, repairs, cleaning up, issuing of stores, and the like. He is the man to whom all other officers, big and little, report. He is busy from early morning until late at night. When he isn't keeping things in order he is writing reports. He almost never has time to sit down at ease except at the head of the wardroom table at meal time, where he is a sort of social arbiter, as well as general manager.

The executive officer is also the housekeeper of the vessel. At one time he is in consultation with the bandmaster over a music programme and then he is consulting with a plumber about a drain. He runs the clothing establishment and varies that work with looking after the hoisting of ashes or the arranging of liberty parties. His work has no beginning and no end and a faithful and hard working man seldom has time to write to his family, to say nothing of reading a book occasionally or stealing away to his room for a quiet smoke or a siesta.

The navigator does the navigating, as might be ex[271]pected. He relieves the officer on watch on the bridge when quarters are sounded. He has charge of all the electrical apparatus, and he is also instructor in navigation to the young midshipmen, who have to keep up their study and work along that line.

The ordnance officer has charge of the guns, ammunition, the work of target practice, the making of targets and everything that pertains to shooting. The Paymaster has charge of all money matters, payment of wages, the purchase of supplies, providing clothing and meals for the crew. He is the purser of the ship. The medical officer besides caring for the sick is responsible for sanitary conditions.

In addition to these commissioned officers there are Lieutenants and Ensigns who are watch officers; that is, they stand the watch of four hours on the bridge at sea, representing the Captain in seeing that the ship goes all right, and four hours on the after deck in port, where they direct and have charge of all that is going on.

There is besides the engineering division, which is a sort of world all to itself.

Then there are the warrant officers, the boatswain, gunner, electrical gunner, carpenter and machinists. They are what might be called the general foremen or superintendents. They are assisted by the petty officers, of whom there are three grades, and mates of various kinds, who are the foremen of the individual gangs of men in their work about ship. Pretty soon one begins to learn the signs and marks upon sleeves and other devices that tell the grade of this man and that. He also learns about seamen, ordinary seamen, yeomen (the clerks of each depart[272]ment), coxswains, jacks-o-the-dust, lamplighters, gun pointers, hospital attendants, shipwrights, the printer and the numerous other classifications into which the crew is divided.

He learns that the crew is split up into various divisions and each division into various sections. The officers are called division officers when the responsibility for handling the men by divisions comes up. Then the passenger also learns how the entire crew is split up into watches so that some of the men are on deck and other duty at every hour of the day and night. He soon learns all about the hammock netting, where the hammocks of the men are stowed, and he can even find the places where the ditty boxes of the men are kept when not in use. He knows what things are in those little square ditty boxes, writing paper, photographs of those at home, mending material, brushes, blacking, possessions of every kind, all subject to inspection by the officers.

Having mastered something of the personnel of the ship it is surprising how soon one falls into the drill routine. This is a more or less delicate subject about which to write, for the reason that tactical matters and certain drills the details of which are kept secret are not proper subjects for publication, and all correspondents with the fleet have bound themselves by written pledge never to reveal what they may learn about them. There are certain drills, however, which are common to all navies and a matter of ordinary routine, in reference to which there is no inhibition, inasmuch as the Navy Department has even authorized and approved publication of these details. You will find[273] them all written out in the book "The American Battleship in Commission," written by an enlisted man.

On certain mornings of the week certain drills are always gone through with. You know when it is ordinary quarters, when fire, collision and abandon ship practice is to be gone through with, when certain kinds of gun practice are tried out. You know just how often this and that division goes through with "pingpong" shooting, the work with what are known as Morris tubes, the kind of shooting that has superseded to a large extent the former sub-calibre practice on shipboard.

You then learn all about hammock and bag inspection days, you even get to know when the flagship will probably order hammocks or bags scrubbed and you get to know just about how often the clotheslines will be strung up over the fo'c'stle and just how often bedding will be hung on the rails for airing and when it will be taken in and all that. You get used to seeing the lanterns put in the lifeboats at night for emergency use. You know that every half hour when the ship's bell is struck the sentry on the quarter deck will turn toward the after bridge and will sing out:

"Life buoys, aft; all's well!"

You know that up on the forward bridge with every "bell" the port and starboard side lights will be reported burning in the same manner. You know how often the marine guard is changed and what the stations are. You know that on Saturday morning there will be no quarters and that all hands will be set to cleaning the decks with sand and holystones and that the mud, if a combination[274] of sand and water can be called mud, will be so thick that for nearly all the morning you will have to wear rubbers if you want to get about in comfort. You know when bright work will be cleaned and you know when the smoking lamp will be lighted, which means at just what hours smoking will be permitted, for there is no real lamp in these days when nearly everything on a warship is run by electricity.

You get to know just when the awkward squad of marines will be drilled and you know when the patent log, which is watched most carefully and which nearly everybody scoffs at because one never can depend much upon it, will be read. You know soon from the color of the water when you are on soundings, and you gather about the little contrivance far back on the quarter deck which unreels the wire for the lead that goes swishing hundreds of fathoms into the sea and finally brings up on the bottom and then records the depth. You gather about the chief quartermaster as he has the line pulled in and you look with him at the thermometerlike arrangement which by discoloration shows the depth of the water. You know just how often the temperature of the sea will be taken and how often the temperature of the air will be recorded in the log and the height of the barometer set down.

And then perhaps your mind turns again to the housekeeping of this home of 1,000 men. You visit the cook's galley, where the head cook and several assistants are busy night and day preparing the meals for the men with redhot stoves and great caldrons. You see the copper coffee and tea tanks, the soup tanks, the bean tanks and the rest. You see the electrically operated potato paring machine,[275] just like the one used in the model kitchen of the world at West Point. You visit the butcher's shop, where about 2,000 pounds of meat is served out and cut up each day.

Then you go to the scullery and see the dishwashing machines, also copied from those in use at West Point and all large hotels. You visit the bake shop with its intense heat and the bake rooms store shop where the loaves of bread are piled up like so many cords of wood. You go to the sick bay and see a hospital in operation comparable favorably in every way with the best appointed hospital on land. You visit the operating room with its fullest set of surgical appliances. You even go to the brig and you see where men can be confined in cells or left out in the open so that they may have company and simply be restrained, the latter being the prevalent form for light punishments. You may attend the "mast," where the Captain every day holds his police court for light offences, and you may read in the log what has been done in each case. You may attend the summary courts-martial, where more or less serious cases are tried by a board of officers, but you must leave the room when the board goes into executive session to form its judgment on the case and fix the penalty if the accused is found guilty.

You may see the tests of powder and guncotton at regular intervals, and if you wish to go around at night with the carpenter's force you may see them making soundings of the hold every hour. You may see the tests of electrical machinery and you may watch the operation of closing all watertight doors every evening at 5 o'clock, and always in going in or out of port or in time of fog. You can even solve that mystery to every civilian as to why there is a[276] sailmaker, with assistants, on a craft that carries no sail. When you find men working over canvas targets for days and days, making awnings and windsails, working at hammocks and the like, and when you realize that the ship carries more cordage than the old Constitution, you understand it all. The work of the sailmaker is no cinch. You can see the men once a month paid off in long lines, each man's signature attested by the division officer.

So you wander about hither and thither without any well developed plan and run across this and that form of employment and hard daily toil and you wonder how it can be, with so much to do and so little time in which to do it, that proficiency in any one line of work can be secured. Familiarity with it, however, shows that such a condition is approximated, and you begin to feel absolutely confident that if the ship ever did get into a scrap all this work and drill would show its effects at once in a way that would make you proud of the men and the ships of the navy. A sense of confident security comes over you and you soon have the feeling that nobody in the world can beat the Yankee sailor man for man in fighting and no ship of equal capacity in the world can beat the one on which you are sailing in a fight. You may be overconfident, but it's a comfortable kind of feeling to have.

You watch the rivalry among the various ships of the fleet in such matters as they can show rivalry in during a cruise as you begin to have confidence in the one on which you are a passenger. When target shooting comes this rivalry will take an impressive form. At present the rivalry consists largely in keeping distances, in making turns accurately, in making and responding to signals. Every[277] morning you watch the flags go up at 10 o'clock, when the signals are hoisted on the second recording the number of sick and absentees on each ship. The officers and men read these flags off quick as a flash and you speculate about the condition of things on this and that vessel.

At 11:20 in the morning you watch the flags go up to catch the change of time for all clocks. At noon every one is keen to see the flags sent up telling how much coal has been used and how much each ship has on hand. Then come the flags which give the reckoning of the navigator on each ship as to latitude and longitude, either by observation or dead reckoning, and you comment upon the variations in the reports.

So the routine goes on and you get used to it and in some respects become part of it. You even fall into a certain station at certain times. The Sun man, for example, has one place where he is expected to report when the call is made. No other duties are assigned to him as a passenger. He has a certain station when the abandon ship drill takes place. He goes to his station, reports and then is excused. Otherwise he is free to do pretty much as he pleases, always observing as well as he can the little proprieties on shipboard, which are simply those governing the ordinary actions of gentlemen.

Every man on a warship has his little or big place that is his own and you must not cross its confines without permission. For instance, the starboard side of the quarter deck is the Captain's. You don't walk there unless he indicates that he would like to have you join him. The port side of the deck belongs to the other officers. The Captain almost never goes there, although, being the Cap[278]tain, he can go where he pleases. Each officer's room is sacred when the curtain is drawn. And so on through the ship there is a little piece of territory sacred to each man or set of men. The fo'c'stle deck is the men's.

Launch etiquette, however, is peculiar. One of the first things to learn about travelling in a naval launch is that it is a little ship of itself. You salute its deck, so to speak, when you enter it if you observe the niceties. The highest ranking officer sits in the stern and goes into the boat last. All the others stand until he seats himself. He is the first to leave and the others go in the order of their rank. You mustn't smoke in a launch in the daytime, and if you do so on the sly you must be sure not to show your cigar in passing the flagship, for the quartermaster on watch on the after bridge will report you and there'll be trouble. You mustn't smoke at night except by permission of the ranking officer on board. If you see him light a cigar or cigarette all the rest of you may do so. Otherwise you will please throw away your cigar or cigarette when you enter the boat.

As you go out to your ship at night you hear the quartermaster on some other ship call out, "Boat ahoy!" and the coxswain of your boat answers with a yell, "Passing!" When you approach your ship or another to make a stop the coxswain must be particular about his answers to the boat ahoy call. If he has the President of the United States aboard, as coxswains on the Louisiana have had repeatedly, he calls out:

"United States!"

If an Admiral is on board the answer to the hail is:


[279] If a Captain is on board the answer is the name of his ship.

If other commissioned officers above the grade of midshipmen are on board the answer is "Aye! aye!" and if the launch contains only midshipmen or other officers of lower grade the answer is, "No! No!" as if to say you needn't bother about this bunch. If it has only enlisted men on board the call is "Hello!" By these answers the officer of the deck is informed as to who is approaching. Of course they are used only in the night, for in the day time observation will reveal the situation.

The longer one remains on a warship, either as a member of the crew or as a guest, two things become more and more impressive. One is the reverence for the quarter deck and the other is the patriotic regard for the national hymn, "The Star Spangled Banner." The quarter deck seems to be almost a holy place. The officers salute it as they step upon it. No stain is allowed to remain upon it. If a man for instance were found spitting upon it—well, hamstringing would be the fitting penalty, if the feelings of those outraged by the performance were consulted. This regard for the deck has come down from the earliest naval traditions. The soil of the country is represented there. The flag waves above it. Sovereignty finds expression there. It is the place of all ceremonies, the one place sacred to all that is best in tradition, rules of conduct, liberty, national achievements on the sea, national hopes and aspirations. It must never be profaned.

The sound of the first bar of the national hymn brings every naval man who hears it to attention. The mental attitude is one of intense respect as well. That anthem[280] never becomes a bore to the officers and men. Its notes are a call to duty and the salute, when it is ended, is a public pledge of fealty to the flag. No music is played on ship more carefully and with more earnest effort to get every shade of feeling out of the notes. Reverence for the tune is a living thing, and after one has been on shipboard for a week he begins to feel ashamed of the public indifference to the tune ashore.

Let one incident reveal the regard for the hymn on shipboard. We were steaming just below the equator on the way to Rio Janeiro one evening, when showers made it impossible for the band to play on deck. The concert was held in a casemate and the humidity added great discomfort to the intense heat. The members of the crew off duty had stripped to their undershirts and trousers. The musicians had also thrown off their coats. Their faces ran with sweat as they played.

Every concert ends with "The Star Spangled Banner." It was time to play it. All the musicians stood up and the men who had crowded in to hear the music came to attention, but not one move toward lifting his baton would the bandmaster make until every one of his men had put on his coat and hat. They might play Strauss waltzes and even Wagnerian selections in their undershirts, but no note of the national hymn could be played until every man was in dress befitting the occasion. All this is nothing unusual, but it is impressive to the man who sees it for the first time.

So although there is no place for comfortable loafing and sometimes it is lonely a civilian passenger on one of these ships after all can find entertainment and other things[281] to interest him. Day by day he feels his patriotic impulses quickened. Day by day he is more and more glad that he is an American citizen. And when taps is sounded and he knows that the men not on duty are swinging quietly in their hammocks, tired out from their work, he can understand and appreciate the full significance and beauty of the refrain which soothes one and all with its soft good-night:

"Go to sleep! Go to sleep! G-o t-o s-l-e-e-p!"



Manly, Free Entertaining and Ever Fruitful of Self-Control—Organization of the Ship's Company Into Messes—Chaff Keeps the Wardroom Merry, but Never Passes the Bounds of Good Nature—Something Better Than Romance in the Ships of To-Day—Man-o'-War Bill of Fare No Longer Includes Lobscouse or Bargoo—Fine Libraries for All Hands—The Canteen.
On Board U.S.S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet,
At Sea, Off Panama, March 6.

SOCIALLY the modern man-o'-war houses a series of clubs, one large and several small ones. They are called messes. The large club's membership, the general mess, consists of the entire crew, with the exception of the officers. Uncle Sam, through accredited agents on board, runs that club. The small clubs' membership consists entirely of officers, and these clubs are managed by the membership.

The officers' clubs are graded according to rank. On a flagship the Admiral may form a club all by himself, or he may enlarge the membership, as Admiral Evans does, by having his staff officers join his mess. The Captain is also a club of one member. The commissioned officers make up the wardroom mess. The midshipmen, junior paymaster, junior officers of the marines and the pay clerk form the steerage mess. The warrant officers—bos'n,[283] carpenter, machinists, gunners and the like—have another mess, and the largest of the small clubs is that of the chief petty officers.

With the exception of the general mess all these clubs provide their own supplies of food and drink. The Government used to allow every man on a ship, no matter what his rank, the sum of 30 cents a day for rations. The members of the crew in the old days formed various messes of from twenty to forty members. Some of these messes drew provisions from the ship's stores amounting to the value of 30 cents a day for each man. Others drew only three-quarters of the ration and commuted the rest of the 30 cents, to which they added more or less money of their own, and purchased food luxuries from time to time. The allowance of 30 cents a day to all hands was made just after the civil war, and Jack celebrated the event by a song which closed:

They gave us thirty cents a day
And stopped our grog forever.

Jack's grog did stop, although other navies still serve out liquor regularly to their sailors, but he got pretty good rations. There were times, however, when he did not fare well. Sometimes the mess treasurer would go ashore with the mess treasury and would fall into the hands of the Philistines and the mess would have to go hungry or borrow from the kindly disposed members of other messes.

Nearly ten years ago Congress cut off the 30 cents a day allowance for the officers above the rank of midshipmen. The consequence is that every commissioned officer on an American warship has to purchase his own food and other household necessities. That act of Congress cost[284] each officer about $110 a year, a matter of at least three months board.

Naval officers must live well and must entertain when in various ports, at home and abroad, and, being persons of extremely moderate salaries and generally with families to support, they must exercise economy to make both ends meet. It is no easy task, and the communal plan of paying for food and the individual plan of paying for drinks is the best solution of the problem. The navy regulations provide for the formation of messes, tell how they shall be managed, and declare that they must show clean financial sheets to the Captain at every quarter. They must not contract debts which they cannot pay.

Suppose a new ship is going into commission. About fifteen officers below the Captain must mess together. The Government provides certain necessities, such as tables and chairs, and an allowance of crockery and linen, but the officers must assemble their own food and wine supplies for a cruise of say three years. It requires capital. Few officers are so forehanded that they have sufficient money to lay in supplies then for several months. They are not allowed to run in debt for them. They must eat and drink, and what do they do? They take advantage of a clause in the regulations, which shows that there are many ways to kill a cat, especially if the cat is running-into-debt, and which says:

"When a vessel is in a United States port and preparing to proceed on a cruise the commanding officer may sanction supplies for officers' messes being received on board, at the risk of dealers, to be paid for as consumed, in not less[285] than quarterly instalments, provided the dealer shall agree thereto in writing."

This means that as soon as an officers' mess is organized its treasurer goes to certain dealers and contracts for a large quantity of food supplies on condition that payments shall be made at certain intervals. There are many large wholesale houses that are glad to get that kind of trade because they know that ultimately they will receive every cent due them. The members of the mess are assessed so much a month, according to experience in such matters, and the result is that the food of a naval officer costs him in the prepared state about $1 a day. A treasurer is elected once every month. He must serve, and he sits at the foot of the table, while in the wardroom mess the executive officer sits at the head. The treasurer may be elected to serve a second month, but he cannot be made to serve more than two months consecutively.

The organization of the other messes is similar to that of the wardroom mess. The wine mess is composed of such officers as wish to join it. They get their supplies from a dealer who backs them, and to make up for breakage and loss they charge 10 per cent. more than the cost prices of the wines, beers, waters and cigars consumed. The officers are not allowed to have distilled spirits in the wine mess.

When you have a dozen or more men eating together three times a day and for weeks confined to their clubrooms the social life of the company is likely to be beset with pitfalls and shoals. You can imagine how it would be on land, especially if military rule prevailed in a club and every member was compelled to spend all his time in it[286] and was superior or inferior in rank to every other man. This matter of rank has to be taken into consideration. The members of the mess are seated according to rank. Still they are equal in the matter of membership of the mess, and between this matter of rank and social equality some delicate situations arise. The man who may cause you to be disciplined sits close to you in the bonds of supposed good fellowship, and to preserve the club feature of the mess calls for a display of restraint that develops character.

It is a primary rule of the military service of the country that an officer must be a gentleman. That means that good breeding, consideration for the feelings of others, kindness, tact and all the other well known qualifications used in defining the word gentleman must govern the conduct of an officer. Good form also requires that there must be no discussion of subjects in the mess that would lead to discord, such as religion or politics. The result is that to the person not familiar with the traditions an officers' mess on board a warship seems to be a place for small talk or else for shop talk. Really there are few places in the world where the word gentleman has a better exemplification. The officers adapt themselves to the situation of enforced close intimacy of months and months in a way that excites admiration. You see, you've got to live with a person to find him out. When you touch elbows with him all the time all his little peculiarities stand out and all his annoyances of manner become conspicuous. The one social task on a ship is to ignore all these things and try to have a companionship as genial as if one's good points alone were on view for a day or two.

[287] Keeping in good humor is the trick. One way in which this is done on ship is by a light chaffing that runs through the intercourse of the members of the mess. Probably no more skilful skating on thin ice takes place around any board than in the wardroom of a warship. Good natured thrusts and parries are going on all the time, and just as the danger point of going too far in personal matters is reached the talk is shifted in some mysterious way, and a new tack is taken.

A favorite means of fun is to tackle the mess caterer, as the treasurer is called, and tell him what poor food he is serving. Now, every man knows he is trying to make the mess money go as far as possible, and also to provide good food. He has a thankless job and the members of the mess like to run him, as the expression goes. Suppose he serves up that delightful concoction of domestic economy, meat balls. The running fire of comment on such fare would make any ordinary man's hair gray in a month. The members of the mess even go so far as to tell him that when he dies his monument should be topped with a marble representation of a dish of meat balls.

Let some man appear in evening dress after word has been passed that for once such a costume may be omitted at dinner. The luckless one is howled out of the wardroom and invited to set 'em up when he comes back. Let a man make some wild or foolish statement or boast; he never hears the last of it. Perhaps the chief engineer may get permission not to wear evening dress for an evening or two while he is fixing up some dirty work in the engine room. Some one will sing out:

"Captain, I work so hard; please excuse me from dress[288]ing for dinner." Forthwith the Fourth Ward, as the lower end of the table is called, gets up a yell and at a signal this is heard:

Bill Johnson! Bill Johnson! Bill Johnson!
Johnson, Johnson, Johnson!
Bill says it is on him and what'll ye have?

Let some one declare that he is on the water wagon and decline to join in a friendly glass. Forthwith over his place at the table will appear the H. T. T. banner, which, being interpreted, means Holier Than Thou, and the man says he'll stay on the wagon if you don't object, but will the others please order what they'd like at his expense.

Lovesick members of the mess get it unmercifully, but when the glasses come on the table at dinner some evening and the lovelorn man smiles and announces his marriage engagement, hearty, indeed, are the congratulations and the girl's health is drunk with gusto. Let some member have a birthday. Again good wishes predominate. All hands make speeches. Poems are presented. Hits and grinds are got off. It all goes to make the men of the mess forget that they are made of human clay, the kind that grows brittle and crumbles upon close contact.

Various expedients for making social life delightful are tried. Take the Kansas, for instance. Go over to dinner there some night and you will find the usual good natured raillery going on all the time, but at the end of nearly every course some one will get up and go to the piano and sing a song, a good one, too. They have half a dozen singers on that ship, and you can scarcely spend a more delightful evening anywhere. Perhaps they have invited[289] Father Gleeson of the Connecticut over, and after suitable urging this accomplished chaplain priest will tell some Irish stories or will sing "The Wearin' o' the Green" for you. And then the ordnance officer will probably step up and sing some rare English ballads, and you make him sing half a dozen times that old gypsy song "Dip Your Fingers in the Stew."

Perhaps you go to the Minnesota. That ship has the prize runners. They do josh a man for certain. There's Henry Ball, for instance, only that isn't his name. Down at one corner some man will cry out:

"Who killed Cock Robin?"

At the far end another will respond:

"'I,' said the sparrow."

In the middle will come a voice:

"'With my bow and arrow.'"

And down and around will go the details of the dreadful tragedy of the death of Cock Robin. It's a mournful tale, but as the details are set forth loudly there comes a twinkle in the eyes of certain men, and then after Cock Robin is buried decently a shout will come:

"Who knows it all?"

Another shout will answer:

"Henry Ball, Henry Ball!"

Another voice:

"He knows it all!"

Still another voice:

"With his brass and gall!"

Mr. Ball has been guilty of the assumption of too much knowledge and he must take his medicine and grin.

The luckless newspaper man who is a passenger on a[290] warship does not escape. He's meat for these flesh eaters. The Sun man mentioned one day that he was sorry he had missed a certain piece of news because it was something that would interest everybody, millions of people, in fact.

"How many millions of people, for example?" asked an innocent voice.

"Well, there are more than three millions of people in New York city alone," was the reply. It was a mistake. Scarcely a day has passed on the cruise when some one at the wardroom table does not say in the proper tone of voice and just at the psychological moment:

"Three millions of people made happy!"

That moment comes often in port after some one has asked the correspondent if he has cabled such and such a piece of news. He usually says he has.

Up rises the table and a 12-inch roar shakes things.

"Three millions of people made happy!"

A mess attendant drops a dish and the accident starts a discussion as to the large amount of breakage of crockery. One member who has been afflicting the mess with the recital of numerous details of his household affairs, having been married only a year and a half, protests against the carelessness of mess attendants. He says it is an outrage the way the mess crockery is broken. There is no excuse for it. Downright carelessness it is, and something ought to be done about it right away.

"Why," he says, "do you know that in our married life we have had just one servant and I give you my word, she has not broken one single piece of crockery. That's a fact."

[291] "What do you use in your home, Jackson—agate ware?" asks a rogue across the way, and for the rest of the meal the mess is relieved from any more details of Jackson's domestic affairs.

Just on the edge of the Fourth Ward is a Lieutenant who has a wonderful baby. The mess hears all about that kid whenever a fresh mail arrives. The child must be pretty fine and the mess puts up with the narration of his superior points and cunning ways with a kindly indulgence and restraint. The conversation drifts one evening to the case of a seaman who was sick all night and unable to sleep and the big doctor, as the ranking surgeon is called, is telling about the way the man must have suffered before he complained. The father of the baby takes the matter up at once and says:

"Doctor, Mrs. Williams writes me that the other night the baby cried all night long. Neither she nor the baby got a wink of sleep. What do you do for a baby who cries all night without stopping?"

"Take it out the next morning and choke it to death," growls the doctor.

Williams is puzzled at the shout that goes up and while he is trying to fathom its meaning the mess rises up and, pointing its collective finger at the big doctor, hurls this shout at him:

"Cruel man! Cruel man! Cruel man!"

Williams's baby never cries all night again for that mess.

Chaffing like this is going on in all the ships constantly. At every opportunity the fun takes a wider scope. For example, on St. Valentine's day every one on the Louisiana[292] got a wireless message transmitted from home in some mysterious way through the flagship; at least that is what the messages said. The messages contained roasts that set the wardroom in an uproar. The Sun man was notified by his managing editor that "Three millions of people were made happy" by what he had written. Peculiar messages signed Sweetheart and other endearing terms reached some of the younger members. The proud father of a new baby got word of the usual cutting of the first tooth. The man who was living on a "dead horse" received word that the increased pay bill might fail.

Taken all in all, this chaffing is similar to a Clover Club, a Gridiron Club, or an Amen Corner lambasting. It is given and taken in good part. Years of skill have taught the naval officer how far to go and when to stop to avoid pitfalls. The man who shows anger or resentment gets it all the more. There is a delicacy of adjustment in it all that commands admiration.

Occasionally there will be something formal in the roasting process. For instance on the Vermont they have what they call Campfire No. 6 of the Spanish War Veterans. Its members consist of a correspondent and officers who served in the Spanish war. They meet at stated intervals. They hold long sessions. These are supposed to consist of recitals of heroism, hairbreadth escapes, devotion to duty and the like. They had one of their meetings on December 31 last. The members of the campfire were surprised to find a printed programme of the evening's entertainment. The correspondent member is J. B. Connolly, the sea story writer and the President's friend. This was the programme:


1. The old favorite
familiarly known to theatregoers as the
Mr. Tardy has consented to recite the touching poem "My Bullies Shan't Play Ball To-day."

The peerless, precocious sharpshooter. The feature of this act will be the shooting of a clay pigeon before it leaves the trap.

3. That wonderful Oriental Magician
In plain view of the audience, he will grow a horse chestnut into a bull weighing 1,728 pounds.
N. B. First time on any stage.

4. The blacksmiths of Journalism
This act is really great, consisting of Novel writings and rhetorical spasms.
P. S. Audience requested not to go to sleep.

The clever character sketch comedian.
Will faithfully portray, noted English characters, viz.:
Beau Brummel
Lord Chumley
Lawrance D'Orsay, &c.

6. Those smooth canteen idols
In a screaming farce entitled

7. The Alexander Salvini of polite vaudeville
The great emotional tragedian in the
Positively pathetic, piercing and painful.


The names of these officers of the campfire were printed on the back:

"Roast Master," C. P. Snyder; "Libation Master," L. M. Overstreet; "Keeper of the Logs," F. M. Furlong; "Keeper of the Alarm Clock," A. B. Drum; "Bouncer," B. L. Canaga.

If there is any man who can write verse or jingles he has to exercise his muse when any gala day comes. Here is what Mr. Connolly produced when the Vermont crossed the line:

Vale of Seaweed, Hall of Atlantus.


In this my sacred realm, where lively dolphins leap
And beauteous mermaids round and round me sweep,
In this fair sea where warm south trades
Do toss the gentle ocean 'bove the whirling blades,
Has come, I learn, a battleship first rate,
And at her peak the flag of nation great great—
Her name Vermont, with many turret guns,
Of twenty thousand horse-power and sixteen thousand tons.
And learning this, I Neptunus, and of Ocean King,
Do don my trident and my signet ring
To mark which of her white clothed numerous crew
Are known to me, which to my realm are new.
Your name, strange sir, I find not on my roster—
A most disgraceful thing, and branding you imposter;
Appear you, then, that this foul blackest stain
By baptism be cleansed in our domain.
All ye firemen, water tenders and greasy oilers,
All ye mess lads, commissaries and chicken broilers,
All ye boat destroyers and gun busters,
All ye marines, signal boys and; jack-o'-dusters,
All ye topsiders, warrants and enlisted men,
No matter where ye shipped or when,
All ye who are not of the slush anointed
Appear, I say, before the Court appointed.
Fail to appear and ever rue the day
My kingly law you dared to disobey.
Attest:   Octopus, Executus Officerius.
January 4, 1908.

There is always a good deal of serious conversation, especially as to naval matters. There was the everlasting discussion of the pay bill and its chances before Congress. Always there was talk of naval history, incidents of old cruises. Naval Academy reminiscences, and not a day passed without earnest shop talk, how to improve this or that thing, how to add to the fighting efficiency of the ship. All this talk is from a lofty and patriotic standpoint and the one thing that impresses the outsider is the intense loyalty to the flag.

By way of other diversion there is always harmless card playing of one kind or another after dinner and the day's work is over. Chess and checkers are played also. It is a mistake to think that there is gambling on warships as a rule. Bridge has its devotees. Many people believe that naval officers are inveterate poker players. They may have been in the past, but if the cruise of the Louisiana is a criterion it has disappeared. The Sun correspondent has been in a position to know the facts and he asserts with the utmost positiveness that there has not been a single game of poker played by the officers of this ship on the present cruise. Heaven knows naval officers, just like other folks, have enough of human frailties to answer for, but they rise superior to many folks in that they have not[296] the sin of poker playing to explain away, at least not in the modern conditions of naval life at sea. This form of gambling may exist on some ships but if what the officers of the Louisiana say is true it is rarely nowadays that it is practised in the navy.

Social amenities are observed most carefully by these men. Every mess has its social secretary, who looks after social correspondence. The mess has its social card. When a ship reaches port where there are other ships of the navy or where there are foreign warships the niceties of calling and entertaining etiquette are observed. A naval officer would no more neglect observing all social proprieties than he would appear without his proper uniform on the quarter deck.

Many officers spend a large part of their time in reading. They are an unusually well-informed set of men. Their wide travel conduces to this. Some of them are musically inclined and many an evening is spent in the steerage where there is a piano. It takes only a few minutes to get up an improvised orchestra of a couple of violins, a guitar, a mandolin and a horn or two. Songs soon begin to be heard and the music fest often develops into a story telling contest and all hands turn in late after a jovial meeting.

Officers' club life on warships is run on good, wholesome lines. It is manly, free, entertaining, fruitful of self-control and always in keeping with the responsible station of men who have sworn to defend with their lives the honor and integrity of their country.

There are those who lament that in these days of steel ships and electrical appliances all the picturesque side of a[297] sailorman's life on a warship has disappeared. They talk of the old days of romance and poetry and sentiment aboard ship. Well, things have changed for the sailorman, but those who know how much his creature comforts have been improved, how his health is safeguarded, how his mental necessities are looked after, are glad with him that there has been a change. A warship is not intended to be a poetry factory. It's a fighting machine and with the best guns that you can get you need the best men available to shoot them.

No longer is the navy the last refuge of the scum of town and country, the receptacle of jailbirds temporarily at large, the resort of men not fit for any decent toil on land. The navy needs men of intelligence and good character, the bright boys from the farm; young lads from the city, who otherwise would have to spend their lives in factories. The navy needs these men, and it is getting them all the time. Why? Because largely there have been many changes from the old methods, because no workingmen in the world have better food, more comfortable clothes, more sanitary housing, more opportunities for mental improvement, more wholesome recreations.

It is true that Jack no longer has to do duty as a captain of a top, no more does he receive orders to cockbill spars, square yards, man the main clew garnets and buntlines, as in the old days. The old horse block, as the platform where the officer of the deck formerly stood to give his orders at sea was called, can be found no more on warships. The old sports of head bumping, hammer and anvil and sparring, old style, have gone. Here is what sparring used to be:

[298] "Sparring consists of playing single stick with bone poles instead of wooden ones. Two men stand apart and pummel each other with their fists (a hard bunch of knuckles permanently attached to the arms and made globular or extended into a palm at the pleasure of the proprietor) till one of them, finding himself sufficiently thrashed, cries enough."

Pretty good swatting, that.

No more are Wednesdays and Saturdays the regular shaving days with every man restricted to two shaves a week. No more are the sick bays the most cramped and worst ventilated places in the ship. A lot of these things have disappeared, just as flogging has disappeared, and if the romance of the sea has gone with the passing of sailing ships and the development of steel ships into great factories and arsenals the general condition of Jack has improved in inverse proportion and the country can say good-by to the old ways with no regrets.

When the general mess of the crew was formed in recent years there were those who said it would never do. Croakers and obstructors of new things abound in all walks of life and at all times. The result has been that one wonders how a warship ever managed to get along without the mess. One man now has charge of the feeding of all the men. There are no longer thirty or forty messes with varying grades of food. The navy regulations declare that so much material shall be fed to the crew for each man. He gets that allowance, and it is as wholesome food as any person can eat.

The Sun correspondent knows, for he has eaten with[299] these men. Many a time has he seen members of the wardroom mess send out for some of the food the sailormen were eating at that moment, the officers preferring it to the food of their own mess. Every man on a warship has his pound and three-quarters of meat a day. He must be provided with it, the regulations, say, no matter what the cost. He must have a certain allowance of this and that, and a general steward sees that it is made up into attractive dishes.

The sailorman no longer eats his meals sitting on a deck with the food spread out before him on a piece of canvas. He has tables and benches and plated knives and forks. His dishes are washed by machinery, his tables scrubbed until they are as clean as any housewife could make them. And when he is through his meal all are triced up out of the way, in what a landsman would call the rafters, practically out of sight.

Gone are the days of scouse, lob scouse, skillagalee, burgoo, lob dominion. Gone are the days when the men divided themselves up into societies for the destruction of salt beef and pork. Slush, as the duff made from large quantities of beef fat was called, is one of the absent morsels of food. You don't hear anything more of dunderfunk. What was dunderfunk? Well, it has been defined by sea sharks in this way: "As cruel nice a dish as man ever put into him." It was made of hardtack hashed and pounded, mixed with beef fat, molasses and water, and it was baked in a pan. No, the men nowadays have cottage pudding, tapioca pudding, ice cream, if you please. Their meats are of the finest. Every article of food is the best[300] that can be bought. It's plain food, true, but no food was ever better than the best of plain food. Here is a menu of one week picked at random from the collection:



Baked Pork and Beans.
Tomato Catsup.
Bread and Butter.


Roast Pork.
Apple Sauce.
Brown Gravy.
String Beans.
Bread and Butter.


Cold Corned Beef.
Tinned Fruit.
Bread and Butter.



Corn Meal Mush.
Fried Pork Sausage.
Bread and Butter.


Vegetable Soup.
Roast Beef.
Gravy and Potatoes.
Bread and Butter.


Beef Pot Pie.
Bread and Butter.



Ham Hash.
Tomato Catsup.
Bread and Butter.


Fricassee of Veal.
Green Peas.
Bread and Butter.


Hot Slaw.
Bread and Butter.



Baked Pork and Beans.
Tomato Catsup.
Bread and Butter.


Tomato Soup.
Boiled Ham.
Bread and Butter.

Hamburg Steak.
Onion Gravy.
Bread and Butter.



Fried Pork Chops.
Onion Gravy.
Bread and Butter.


Roast Beef.
Brown Gravy.
Bread and Butter.


Cold Corned Beef.
Fried Potatoes.
Bread and Butter.



Oatmeal and Milk.
Fried Bacon.
Bread and Butter.


Pot Roast Beef.
Brown Gravy.
Macaroni and Tomatoes.
Bread and Butter.


Tinned Salmon.
Potato Salad.
Bread and Butter.



Beef Stew.
Bread and Butter.


Bean Soup.
Boiled Pork.
Bread and Butter.


Bologna Sausage.
Rice Pudding.
Bread and Butter.

The menus of every ship have to be forwarded to the flagship every week so that the Admiral may observe whether the men have had the proper kind of food. No, Jack no longer kicks seriously about his food on a warship. No workingman in the world gets better.

Take the libraries nowadays. There are two of them[302] on every ship, the ship's library and the crew's library. The officers use the ship's library. It is scattered about the officers' quarters in various cases, some in the wardroom, some in the Captain's or Admiral's quarters, some in the steerage. There are about thirty classifications, dealing with technical subjects, with history, travel, adventure, poetry, a limited amount of fiction and so on. The crew's library is three times larger. There is a great deal of history and travel and adventure and some science in it, but the larger part is made up of as good fiction as the English language provides. The classic authors are represented, but a large amount of the newer fiction is also represented. You find Kipling, Anthony Hope, E. W. Hornung, W. W. Jacobs, Jack London, Weir Mitchell, Booth Tarkington, S. J. Weyman, along with Bret Harte, Mark Twain, R. L. Stevenson, Scott, Thackeray, Charles Reade, Washington Irving, Bulwer-Lytton and so on.

And the men read these books! Far into the night you will come across some youngsters whose hammock is near a light and who cannot sleep straining his eyes in reading some book. At any time when the smoking lamp is lit and the men have knocked off work if you walk through the ship you will probably find 150 men reading books. Their association with the best fiction and best history is constant. They discuss these books and they get a fund of information that no other grade of men in a factory receive.

And how was it in the old days? Melville tells about it in his "White Jacket," the book that relates to the old frigate United States in 1843. He says:

[303] "There was a public library on board paid for by Government and entrusted to the custody of one of the marine corporals, a little, dried up man of a somewhat literary turn. He had once been a clerk in a post office ashore, and having been long accustomed to hand over letters when called for he was now just the man to hand over books. He kept them in a large cask on the berth deck, and when seeking a particular volume had to capsize it like a barrel of potatoes. This made him very cross and irritable, as most all librarians are. Who had the selection of these books I do not know, but some of them must have been selected by our chaplain, who so pranced on Coleridge's 'High German Horse.'"

"Mason Good's 'Book of Nature,' a very good book, to be sure, but not precisely adapted to literary tastes, was one of these volumes; and Macchiavelli's 'Art of War,' which was very dry fighting; and a folio of Tillotson's sermons, the best of reading for divines indeed, but with little relish for a main top man; and Locke's Essays, incomparable essays, everybody knows, but miserable reading at sea; and Plutarch's Lives—superexcellent biographies, which pit Greek against Roman in beautiful style, but then, in a sailor's estimation, not to be mentioned with the lives of the Admirals; and Blair's Lectures, University Edition, a fine treatise on rhetoric, but having nothing to say about nautical phrases, such as 'splicing the main brace,' 'passing a gammoning,' 'puddin'ing the dolphin,' and 'making a carrick-bend,' besides numerous invaluable but unreadable tomes that might have been purchased cheap at the auction of some college professor's library."

The sailorman has lots of recreation nowadays. Three[304] times a week, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the band plays for him on the fo'c's'le deck. He seizes his mate and he dances wildly, madly or slowly and gracefully, as he pleases. You see as fine dancing there as you can see in a fashionable ballroom in any capital of the world. He has his cards, his pets—dogs, cats, birds—and he foregathers from time to time to sing. He likes to box and play baseball and to row, and the Government provides for suitable athletic equipment for his sports. He loves a boxing contest on the quarter deck with all the officers looking on and the rules of the ring enforced rigidly. It gladdens his heart to applaud and to hear others applaud, and he was much rejoiced in Callao when several Peruvians who were the guests of the New Jersey's wardroom at a boxing contest, sang out in their delight:

"Viva la box fight!"

Jack laughed at that long and hearty. He loves rowing contests and he and his mates on a single ship frequently wager as much as $10,000 on their own crew. Jack goes broke for months sometimes on these races. Sometimes a man will bet from $500 to $1,000 or $1,200 on his crew and he'll be all in for months afterward, but he likes a run for his money. When he wins all hands know it at the next liberty and Jack and his friends have trouble in toeing a scam, but Lord! what a good time they've had!

Then there is the ship's canteen that ministers to Jack's comfort. The canteen is not like what an army canteen used to be, a place where drinks were served, but it's a country store. In it Jack can buy tobacco, stationery, soap, little articles of clothing, thread and needles, knickknacks—and above all things else, candy. You see, Jack gets[305] nothing to drink but water in various forms on ship and he runs to sweets. Many a ship carries away with her on a cruise two or three tons of candy in starting out. In less than six weeks the Louisiana's canteen had sold more than $2,000 worth of candy to the crew.

The canteen makes a small profit so as to overcome losses by the deterioration of goods, but all its wares are sold practically to Jack at cost price. It is for his benefit exclusively that he gets the best quality of goods at the lowest prices. It is under charge of the ship's paymaster and it is financed much as the ship's messes are. What profits there are go to swelling the athletic fund or perhaps to provide for a minstrel show; anyhow, it all goes toward making Jack's life on ship as comfortable as possible.

So Jack eats well and sleeps well and he works and plays with zest. He sings and dances and perhaps he gets more fun out of a minstrel show on board than any other thing. In Callao harbor the Louisiana had its minstrel show. On the after part of the quarter deck was a stage about twenty by twenty-five feet. It had flies and wings and all the upper and lower entrances. It had three drop curtains, one of them with "Asbestos" painted on it. It had footlights and spotlights. It had red lights with "Exit" and "Fire Escape" lettered on them. Every bit of the stage scenery was painted by expert men on the ship. Every bit of electric lighting was done by the ship's crew. It was as creditable as most of the scenic and stage work in a large theatre. The quarter deck was all shut in and canopied and you could scarcely realize that you were not in a modern theatre.

All the crew attended the show. Delegations of twenty-[306]five men from each of the battleships in the fleet came. They were met at the port gangway by ushers who had reserved seats for them. Programmes, the woodcuts for which were made on board—and the entire printing was done there as well—were handed out to each person as he took his place. The officers were given programmes at the starboard gangway by pages in bolero and plush breeches and silk stockings. An old naval custom was revived by having side boys with lanterns.

It was the old fashioned minstrel show, with end men and jokes and songs for the first part and stunts and sketches for the second. More than 1,600 men looked on. Imagine 1,600 men seated in comfort on a quarter deck! My, how the ships of the navy have grown! The 12-inch guns were tilted down and seats covered with flags built on them. The turret was utilized for a gallery. The after-bridge took the place of nigger heaven. There was no sign of a warship about, all the implements of trade being hidden. Only the uniforms of the men suggested the thought of a navy; those and the grinds on the officers and ships.

The singing was quite as good as that of any travelling minstrel show. The company had a manager, secretary, treasurer, pianist, electrician, stage manager, master of properties, costumer, carpenter and all the rest of a regular theatrical outfit, and all hands voted it as good as anything you could see in that line on any stage.

And when it was all over, flags were dropped, ropes loosened and the trappings came down in a jiffy, just as a circus packs up its effects. The visitors were marched to certain gangways. They went down as their boats, which were lying alongside, were called, and in thirty minutes all[307] the guests were gone, all the trappings put away and the routine of ship life was in progress as if there never had been the slightest interruption. But Jack had had a night of nights.

It is by making Jack happy and comfortable, giving him wholesome pleasure as well as wholesome food, that the best fighting results are obtained. There is no better sailor afloat, mentally or morally. He is intelligent, willing and he loves his flag. Of course, he's human. He will streak for a saloon when he gets liberty. He spends his money on shore foolishly. He's a child in many respects, for Uncle Sam looks after him on shipboard paternally, tells him what to wear and when, gives him his food in scientific measure, looks after his health, provides amusement and mental diversion for him. He gets in the brig occasionally and he's mighty sorry for it. He gets scolded now and then, but he tries to do his duty. Watch his enthusiasm when target practice approaches and see him sneak out before breakfast and do extra work just for the love of it and you'll appreciate what it means.

Growl? Lord bless your soul! he wouldn't be happy and the ship wouldn't be happy and the officers would be alarmed if he didn't growl. But sulk! Not on your life! He wants his ship to get the record in shooting, rowing, boxing, economic consumption of coal, signal work, speed and every other contest that enters into fleet life. He'll back his money on his own ship and when he fights he's willing to go down fighting with her if that's to be his fate.

Dibdin's ballads of the true English sailor are as true to-day as when they were written, a century ago. And they[308] are as true of the American sailor as of the English. Here is one that sums up Jack's seagoing life:

Jack dances and sings and is always content;
In his vows to his lass he'll ne'er fail her.
His anchor's a-trip when his money's all spent;
And this is the life of a sailor.

And so you see that a warship may have guns and magazines and ponderous engines and coal bunkers and deep recesses in her hold, and her purpose may be to destroy and kill, but with it all there's good fellowship abounding in her gradation of compartments, and perhaps on reading this you get some indication of what was meant in the beginning of this article by the statement that socially a warship houses a series of clubs. Good clubs they are, too!

Courtesy of Collier's Weekly
Entering the Golden Gate



WITH the arrival of the battleship fleet at San Francisco on May 6, 1908, the longest cruise ever made by a fleet of battleships of any navy came to an end. About one month was consumed by brief stays in various California anchorages on the way from Magdalena Bay to San Francisco. On the long cruise the fleet was reviewed by the Presidents of four republics—President Roosevelt, at Hampton Roads; President Penna, at Rio Janeiro; President Montt, at Valparaiso, and President Pardo, at Callao. According to the log of the Louisiana, on which the Sun's correspondent sailed, the fleet cruised 13,738.7 knots, or in round numbers 13,750 sea miles. Estimates of the exact distance vary on the sixteen battleships, according to the calculation of individual navigators. Some days' runs were estimated by dead reckoning, and there was no way of determining to a knot the distance that the ships travelled.

The elapsed time from leaving Hampton Roads on December 16 to dropping anchors in San Francisco harbor on May 6, was 141 days 7 hours. The actual time of cruising for the 13,750 knots voyage was 61 days 19 hours. Practically 80 days (79 days 12 hours, to be exact) were consumed in various ports. Of this time a period of 30 days was occupied largely in practice at Magdalena Bay.[310] In Trinidad there was a stay of 6 days; in Rio, 10; Punta Arenas, 7; Callao, 9; or sixty-two days in round numbers. The rate of steaming was practically 10 knots. Occasionally 11 and even 12 knots was tried; several times speed was reduced to 8 knots and once or twice to 6 for experimental purposes or because of some mishap to a ship. Such accidents were few and at most only delayed the fleet an hour or two.

Allowing reasonable time to coal in foreign ports and eliminating the time for target practice at Magdalena Bay and the various stops along the California coast, the trip could have been made easily at 10 knots steaming in less than eighty days. One day could have been saved at Trinidad, 5 at Rio, 2 at Punta Arenas and 4 at Callao. These with 30 days at Magdalena Bay and 21 spent in California stopping places make 63 days which could have been cut off the elapsed time if the movement had been purely military.

These data are valuable as showing what an American battleship fleet can do if called upon in the way of steaming long distances. All the strictly unnecessary time spent in foreign and home ports, with the exception of Magdalena Bay, was occupied with social duties and pleasures. The Government now knows it would take seventy-eight days without undue speeding to send a fleet of battleships from Hampton Roads to San Francisco, providing all coaling arrangements are made in advance.

The longest run of the cruise was from Trinidad to Rio, a distance of 3,225 miles as the fleet sailed it, occupying thirteen days twenty hours. There was a strong head wind, a southeast trade wind. This and the persistent[311] Amazon current caused the fleet to sail far out to the eastward along the northern coast of South America. The next longest run was from Callao to Magdalena Bay, 3,025 miles, occupying twelve days twenty-two hours. The trip from Punta Arenas to Callao, although only 2,693 miles long, occupied twelve days ten hours, largely because the fleet was slowed down on the way for nearly forty-eight hours to obtain data as to slow cruising, and also because of a fog. Slow speed was maintained for some time, in order not to enter Valparaiso harbor in advance of schedule time.

This trip from Atlantic to Pacific was supposed by people generally to be one of hazard and great daring. From the cruising standpoint it was almost a picnic. There was no bad weather to speak of. Off the River Plata there was half a storm one morning and the ships were shaken up a little as they emerged into the Pacific from the Magellan Strait, always a bad place. Not once, however, were table racks used on the ships and the heaviest roll the Louisiana experienced was less than twelve degrees. Other ships would probably tell a similar story.

There may have been some element of danger in passing through the Magellan Strait, but otherwise the cruise was a summer jaunt over smooth seas and for the greater part of the time under blue skies. There were four days of intermittent fog after entering the Pacific and there were one morning and two hours one afternoon of fog on the Atlantic a day or two before the Strait of Magellan was reached. The passage through the strait, the last thirty miles of which was sailed through quite a thick fog, was accomplished, according to commanding officers generally,[312] with greater ease and less real danger than entering New York harbor and sailing up the Hudson River to the usual anchorage there.

The trip was one of surprises. The coolness of the people of Trinidad was as great a surprise as was the exuberant welcome of Brazil and other foreign countries. Rio's welcome was the most demonstrative, Callao's probably the most heartfelt, that of Punta Arenas the most unexpected. There were two highly spectacular events on the cruise—the welcome at sea on the morning of January 29 by a squadron of the Argentine navy off the mouth of the River Plate and the entrance to and exit from Valparaiso harbor on the afternoon of February 14. The American and Argentine fleets exchanged national salutes on the high seas. Many naval officers believe this was the first time such an act of courtesy ever took place.

No naval officer ever remembered such a ceremonious call as was made at Valparaiso. With the Chilean ensign at the fore the ships made a great curve in the shape of a crescent in the harbor. On entering the port the ships fired a national salute of twenty-one guns in unison. On leaving the harbor each ship fired twenty-one guns as a personal salute to Chile's President, who had come out to review the parade. The day was glorious, the hills were crowded with people, the shipping in the harbor was all dressed. Every naval officer agreed that it was the most spectacular naval parade he ever saw. All were glad that this happened in a port of Chile, a country which not long ago was not over-friendly to us. The messages exchanged between Admiral Evans and the President and other officials of Chile were extremely cordial, and there can be no doubt that the visit[313] to Valparaiso was highly beneficial in fully restoring good feeling between the countries.

All naval officers are of opinion that professionally the cruise was of great benefit both to the men and the ships. It was absolutely true, as Admiral Evans telegraphed the Navy Department from Magdalena Bay, that the vessels were in better condition when they arrived there than when they left Hampton Roads. They had been shaken down, as the expression goes. They had become a coherent force. A large quantity of work had been done on each of them such as is usually done in navy yards. The longer the cruise continued the more the truth of the naval saying that "the place for ships to be is at sea, not in navy yards" seemed confirmed.

A large part of the routine work on the ships was taken up with drills preliminary to target practice. The purpose of a warship is to shoot; it is a truism to say it. Hence the large amount of time given to learning how to shoot accurately and quickly was precisely what was needed on the fleet. The value of all this work will become known when the Navy Department decides to make public such of the records as may be deemed desirable regarding the work at Magdalena Bay. One may not speak freely of that work, but it is not beyond the limits of propriety to say that the American people will not be ashamed of the men behind the guns when even partial results are made known.

The voyage revealed the cruising qualities of the ships and many lessons were learned from incidental mishaps—as many lessons were learned at Magdalena Bay from similar causes as to the way to improve target shooting.

On the Atlantic coast there were frequent minor break[314]downs, boilers, condensers, steering engines and the like needing repairs. All these incidents showed not only how and where mishaps were likely to occur, but showed that it was possible to make repairs in such cases at sea. Although several ships dropped out of the column at various times only once was the fleet slowed down, and then only for a few hours while repairs were going on. The ships might fly "breakdown" pennants but they kept up right along. On the Pacific coast there were very few mishaps, and these chiefly relating to steering gear. One of the ships had a cylinder accident coming up to Santa Barbara roadstead, but the ship kept right along in the column.

There is little doubt that if pleasure stops had not been made it would have been comparatively easy to take the fleet right on around the world without docking or sending them to a navy yard for repairs. Many officers in the fleet regret that such a course was not adopted, once it was decided to have the fleet encircle the globe, so as to make a record such as the naval world has scarcely dreamed of.

The trip has also been valuable in determining not only the cruising capability of the ships but also the best cruising speed. Although it was proved that the ships could go faster than ten knots it was found that from ten to eleven knots was the most trustworthy speed to be maintained. You could depend upon ships at that speed. Valuable data as to coal consumption and wear and tear on machinery have also been secured. From the engineering standpoint Uncle Sam has learned now exactly what his ships can do in sustained steaming under favorable conditions of weather.

By way of contrast between the fine cruising record of[315] the battleship fleet and that of the Russian fleet on its way to Japan, one should read the diary of one of the Russian naval officers who sailed under Rojestvensky, which was published about a year ago. It had this to say about the Russian ships:

"There are continual mishaps to the various ships. One gets sand in her valves. Although six miles off shore, she must have scraped a shoal. Another gets hot bearings and the whole fleet is stopped. Another breaks her condensers, another smashes her propeller blade, another breaks her piston rod. With most of them the steering gear is continually getting out of order. Naval constructors are in demand night and day."

Nothing of that kind happened with the American ships. They were sent out to cruise and they did cruise, accidents in no way interfering with their steady progress.

The effect on the men was most beneficial. They got the sea habit, so to speak. They were in splendid health. You could almost see youngsters growing robust from day to day. Discipline improved all the time. The men, like the ships, were shaken down into a cohesive force, with wholesome, fresh, American youngsters, hundreds of them right off the farm, as the bone and sinew of the fighting force. They are a fine set of men, and no fighting force in the world can compare with them in what is called morale. In every port their conduct elicited enthusiastic commendation from the authorities high and low. They honored their uniform. Contrast this also with the conduct of the Russian crews, as the Russian naval officer already quoted records in his diary:

"A transport, the Malay, is largely loaded with luna[316]tics. She is about to return to Russia with lunatics, drunkards, invalids and men deported for crimes. The crews are all hard cases, beachcombers and the like, picked up in the Madagascar ports. All the officers carry loaded revolvers; mutiny breaks out among the lunatics and other prisoners; the officers suppress it with slaughter."

It's many a year since an American naval officer carried a loaded revolver because of fear of his men. The scum of the country is not found in the American navy these days. No brighter, more hard working, loyal men in the world are to be found than those behind the guns on the Atlantic fleet, and when the ships left Magdalena Bay no crews on any warships in the world were in more efficient fighting shape.

Although much has been said about the need of a hospital ship to accompany the fleet, and the Relief did join the ships at Magdalena Bay, the truth of the matter is that each of the ships cared for its sick adequately on the way around. Surgeon-General Rixey lamented publicly that when the fleet left Hampton Roads it had no hospital ship with it. While there can be no doubt that some cases could receive better attention on a hospital ship than on a battleship, especially in the way of better quarters and possibly better diet, it is also true that none of the sick on the fleet suffered seriously from the lack of a hospital ship, unless it was in tubercular cases. Such could have been put on shore for better air and sustained treatment in various places had it been necessary. The sick on each ship were not more than from twenty to twenty-five cases on an average and a large part of these were trivial, slight accidents of colds and the like.

[317] There were the usual number of deaths. No one can say that any of these lives would have been spared had there been a hospital ship with the fleet. Some of these cases developed on a single run, when it would have been impossible to transfer them to the hospital ship. This comment is not meant in any way as taking sides in the hospital ship controversy. It is meant to declare that it is quite feasible for a great fleet while cruising to take care of its sick successively, even if no hospital ship be at hand.

One great drawback to the full enjoyment and probably to the full development of the benefits of the cruise was the condition of Admiral Evans' health. Soon after leaving Trinidad, his old enemy, rheumatism, took hold of him and laid him low for the rest of the voyage. Complications in the nature of stomach troubles followed. The Admiral suffered intensely from pain. At times he was in a most serious condition, as the country now knows. The correspondents with the fleet did not feel it necessary to reveal the grave condition of the Admiral's health, largely because of the misunderstandings that might arise, to say nothing of possible complications. For the most part they kept silent, recording, however, at every opportunity any favorable change in his condition.

Nevertheless, although Admiral Evans was a gravely sick man, the truth is that he was always in command of his fleet up to the time when he left it at Magdalena Bay. He might have done more work with it in the way of manœuvring had he been well. His work may have been negative rather than positive, but he was in command all the time. He directed all important movements. He was informed of every situation. He gave every important[318] order himself. He also kept up with the routine and many painful hours did he spend signing documents and going over routine work.

The details of an Admiral's task are burdensome even to a well man. Yet Admiral Evans insisted on keeping up with most of the work even when every stroke of the pen caused him severe pain. Never did he have more loyal subordinates.

Particularly was this true of Rear Admiral C. M. Thomas. Had the latter made unfavorable representations to the Navy Department of the condition of Admiral Evans he possibly might have secured the command of the fleet for himself. Not for one moment would he have listened to such a suggestion, and no one dared to make it to him. Robley D. Evans never had more loyal friend or more faithful subordinate officer than Charles M. Thomas. He deserves lasting honor from the country for his record on this cruise, to say nothing of the enviable record throughout his long service to his flag.

California's welcome to the fleet was characteristic of the ardent temperament of that commonwealth. It received the men and the ships with an acclaim such as might have been bestowed justly had they returned to an American port victorious on the high seas over an enemy. The people seemed to go mad in their enthusiasm. The demonstrations began when Admiral Evans left Magdalena Bay in the latter part of March by the advice of his physicians, to go to Paso Robles, Cal., for a stay on land. His flagship took him to San Diego and his presence in California seemed to stimulate the people into a sort of frenzied patriotism.

[319] The fleet stopped at five California anchorages on the way from Magdalena to San Francisco, the real terminus of the cruise as ordered originally by President Roosevelt. There was a stay of four days at San Diego, of seven days in the four anchorages adjacent to Los Angeles, the fleet being split up into four divisions; of five days in Santa Barbara and of four days in Monterey and Santa Cruz. At each port the welcome was overwhelming. Streets and buildings were decorated, flowers were scattered on the streets before the marching sailors and thrown in profusion into vehicles in which the officers rode. Los Angeles particularly devoted its attention to entertaining the bluejackets. Santa Barbara gave one of its wonderful flower shows. It was the most novel and beautiful entertainment of the cruise. The other cities entertained with dinners, balls and receptions. The keynote of the functions was one of great rejoicing on the part of California, not only because the United States had a great fleet of battleships, but because California was enabled to see them all at one time.

The arrival of the fleet at San Francisco on May 6 was characterized by such a demonstration of enthusiasm and an outpouring of the people as the country never saw before. Tens of thousands came hundreds of miles to see the entrance through the Golden Gate. Admiral Evans, who had returned to the command of his flagship the day before at Monterey, led the fleet into the harbor. The hills were black with spectators. The harbor was crowded with beautifully decorated shipping carrying thousands on the water to see the show. The Pacific fleet of eight armored cruisers and auxiliaries lay inside the bay. With[320] the Battle Fleet was the torpedo flotilla that made the trip around South America at the same time that the Battle Fleet went around.

The Atlantic and Pacific fleets joined in one and then Admiral Evans made a circle, nearly two miles in diameter, leading no less than forty-two men of war of the United States, the largest number of American warships ever assembled together since the civil war, and the most powerful fleet ever seen in the Western hemisphere, a fleet greater in size and power than any nation had ever gathered together before with the exception of Great Britain.

Following the arrival of the fleet there was a great land parade in San Francisco, the next day, in which 6,000 bluejackets joined with the regular army troops and state national guard and other organizations. It was the largest parade of the kind since the great Dewey parade in New York ten years before. Admiral Evans rode in the line. It was his last public appearance as a Commander-in-Chief. The people cheered the bluejackets wildly, but they went mad over Admiral Evans. They made a hero out of him because of his persistent and plucky struggle with pain and disease. Although thousands of men marched in the parade there really was only one man in it—Fighting Bob Evans. All the others were a mere escort. His naval sun went down that day in a veritable blaze of glory.

The next day Secretary Metcalf of the Navy Department reviewed the combined fleets, passing through the lines on the gunboat Yorktown and receiving a salute of seventeen guns from each ship as "the personal representative of the President." The next day Admiral Evans gave up command formally to Admiral Thomas at a hotel, where[321] that evening Admiral Evans was taken in a wheeled chair to the dining room where a banquet in honor of Secretary Metcalf and the officers of the fleet was being held and where Admiral Evans, wan and feeble and scarcely able to stand, electrified his audience by declaring impassionedly that what this country needs "is more battleships and fewer statesmen." On the day following Rear Admiral Thomas hoisted his flag as Commander-in-Chief, to be relieved five days later by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry.

Under the latter's command the fleet went to Puget Sound to give the people of that region an opportunity to see the ships, such as had been given along the California coast. There were the usual rounds of entertainment and then the fleet scattered to various places to make repairs and to prepare to resume the voyage around the world by way of Australia, the Orient and the Mediterranean.

The arrival of the fleet at San Francisco marked the real end of the cruise. With that there was accomplished the specific purpose for which it was ordered to the Pacific. What that purpose was may never be revealed. All the naval officers concerned felt that the rest of the trip to the home stations of the ships would be largely a pleasure jaunt. All agreed that with the arrival at San Francisco the record of a momentous cruise by a momentous fleet had been made up.

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Transcriber's Notes

Hyphenation, punctuation, and spelling standardized when a predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise unchanged. Simple typographical errors remedied; most retained.

Some illustrations have been moved from their original positions.

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