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From the midst of the chaos comes the shriek of a man calling on his Maker, and piteous groanings.Soon the dull red of fire blushes through the smoke, and a rush of bluejackets and marines with fire-hoses spouting white streams of water engages this dread enemy and succeeds in subduing it.

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Some are writing letters to chums, to sweethearts, and to wives.

Others are killing time with the light literature that has been sent to the ship in bundles by the many friends of the fleet on shore.

Who would imagine that there are seven or eight hundred souls on board, seamen, marines, stokers, and many other ratings of whose existence and duties the "man in the street" is profoundly ignorant?

But look inside this massive gun-hood, from which protrude forty feet of two sleek grey monster cannon, each of which is capable of hurling 850 pounds of steel and high explosive a distance of a dozen miles.

In the casemates housing the smaller guns in the superstructures and on the deck below are similar though smaller groups. Men must eat and accounts must be kept though the ship should be blown out of existence in the next ten minutes. Presently, however, a growing darkness along the north-eastern horizon becomes recognizable as smoke—the smoke of many furnaces.

Last modified 02-Oct-2020 16:30