Valentine Democrat. (Valentine, Neb.) 1900-1930, April 25, 1912, Image 3
1 u Graphic Description Given By a Reporter. 1,726 Lives Lost in This Most Appalling of All Sea Tragedies Boat Strikes Berg and Then Boilers Explode Brave Men and Women Meet Death With Undaunted Courage. BY CARTER P. HURD. Staff Ileporter , W. Y. World , vrlio ar rived on the Carpritlila. ( Copyright , 1912 , by Pulitzer l'ubllsl - IHK Company ; nil rljsIitH reserved. Any -violation of this copyright will lie vIsoroiiHly pronecuted by the N. Y. World. New York , April 19. Seventeen hundred lives the figures will hardly vary In either direction by more than a few dozen were lost in the sinking of the Titanic which struck an ice berg at 11:45 p. m. Sunday and was at the ocean's bottom 2 hours and 35 minutes after. The printed rolls of first and second end cabins , compared with the list of the survivors on the Carpathia , show that of 341' first-cabin passengers , 212 were saved. 154 of them women and children ; and that of 262 second- cabin passengers , 115 were saved , 102 of them women and children , of the third-class passengers , SOO in num ber , 13G survive , of whom 83 are women and children. Of 9S5 officers and crew , 199 , In cluding 22 women , reached the Car- pnthia. A few in each class doubtless escaped enumeration on the Carpa thia. 1,688 Are Unaccounted For. . Accepting the estimate of the Car- pathia's officers that 700 survivors reached the ship , comparison with the " total , 2.3SS , shows that 1.GS8 are un accounted for. There is but the faintest hope that any of these reached any other ship. Reports that the California , a cattle ship , maj' have rescued a few persons , have given merciful respite from ut ter despair to some of the women. Cause , responsibility and similar questions regarding the stupendous disaster will be taken up in time by the British marine authorities. No disposition has been shown by any survivor to question the courage of the crew , hundreds of whom saved others and gave their own lives with a heroism which equaled , but could not exceed that of John Jacob Astor , . Henry B. Harris. Jacques Futrelle and others in the long list of the first cabin missing. Officers Knew Icebergs Were Near. Facts which I have established by Inquiries on the Carpathia , as posi tively as they could be established In view of the silence of the few surviv ing officers , are : That the Titanlc's officers knew , several hours before the crash , of the possible nearness of Icebergs. That the Titanic's speed , nearly 23 knots an hour , was not slackened. That the number of lifeboats on the Titanic was Insufficient to accommo date much more than one-third of the passengers , to say nothing of the crew. Most members of the crew Bay there were 16 lifeboats and two collapsibles ; none say there were more than 20 boats In all. The 700 who escaped filled most of the 16 life boats and the one collapsible which got away to the limit of their capac ity. "Women First" Rule Enforced. That the "women first" rule , in feome cases , was applied to the extent of turning back men who were with their families , even though not enough 'women to fill the boats were at hand on that particular part of the deck. Borne few boats were thus lowered without being completely filled , but most of these were soon filled with sailors and stewards , picked up out of the water , who helped man them. That the bulkhead system , though probably working in the manner In tended , availed only to delay the ship's sinking , the position and length of the ship's wound ( on the starboard quarter ) admitted Icy water which caused the boilers to explode , and these explosions practically broke the ship in two. Bulkheads Rendered Ineffective. Had the ship struck the iceberg head-on , at whatever speed , and with whatever resultant shock , the bulk head system of water-tight compart ments would probably have saved the vessel. As one man expressed It , It was the "impossible" that happened when , with a shock unbelievably mild , the ship's side was torn for a length , which made the bulkhead system In effective. The Titanic was 1,799 miles from Queenstown and1.191 miles from New York , speeding for a maiden voy age record. The night was starlight , the sea glassy. Lights were out in most of the staterooms , and only two or three congenial groups remained in the public rooms. In the crow's nest , or lookout , and on the bridge , officers and members of the crew were at their places , awaiting relief at midnight from their two hours' watch. Dar.oer Warning Sounded. At 3i-i ; " > came the sudden sound of two gongs , a warning of Immediate danger. The crash against the Iceberg which had been sighted at only a quarter of a mile , came almost simultaneously with the click of the levers operated by those on the bridge , which stopped the engines and closed the water tight doors. Captain. Smith was on the bridge a moment later giving orders for the summoning of all on board , and for the putting on of life-preservers and the lowering of lifeboats. Many Men In First Boats. The first boats lowered contained more men than the latter ones , as the men were on deck first and not enough women to fill them. When , a moment later , the rush of frightened women and crying chil dren to the deck began , enforcement of the "women first" rule became rigid. Officers loading some of the boats drew revolvers , but in most cases the men , both passengers and crew , be haved in a way that called for no such restraint. Report Captain Shot Self. Revolver shots , heard by many persons shortly before the' end of the Titanic , caused many rumors. One was that Captain Smith shot himself , another was that First Officer Mur- dock ended his life. Smith , Murdock and Sixth Officer Moody are known to have been lost. The surviving of ficers , Lightoller , Pitman , Bothall and Lowe have made no statement. Members of the crew discredit all reports of suicide , and say Captain Smith remained on the bridge until just before the ship sank , leaping only after those on the decks had been washed away. It is also related that , when a cook later sought to pull him aboard a lifeboat he exclaimed : "Let me go ! " and , jerking away , went down. Life-Preservers Effective. What became of the men with life- preservers is a question asked since the disaster by many persons. The ss = = sssKa 7 Jti * ZL If f ftl A. A.ri > * rW f - - J W k. * f > - preservers did their work of support ing their wearers in the water until the ship went down. Many of those drawn into the vortex , despite the preservers , did not come up again. Dead bodies floated on the surface as the last boats moved away. Band Plays as Ship Sinks. To relate that the ship's string band gathered in the saloon , near the end , and played "Nearer , My Gcd , to Thee , " sounds like an attempt to give an added solemn color to a scene which was in itself the climax of sol emnity. But various passengers and survivors of the crew agree In the declaration that they heard the music. To some of the aearers , with hus bands among the dying men in the water and at the ship's rail , the strain brought in thought the words : "So , by my woes I'll be Nearer , my God , to thee , Nearer to thee. " "Women and children first , " was the order in the filling of the Titanlc's lifeboats. How well that order was fulfilled the list of missing first and second cabin passengers bears elo quent witness. "Mr. " Is before almost every name. Chose Death Y/ith Husbands. Mrs. Isidor Straus , who chose deatn rather than to leave her husband's side ; Mrs. Allison , who remained be low with her husband and daughter , and others who , in various ways v/ere kept from entering the line of those to be saved , are striking examples of those who faced the disaster calmly. To most of the passengers the mlci- night crash did not seem of terrific force. Bridge players In the smoking room kept on with tneir game. Once on deck , many hesitated to enter the twinging lifeboats. The glassy sea , the starlit sky , the ab sence , in the first few minutes , of in tense excitement , gave them the feel ing that there was only some slight mishap that those wbo got into tne Remarkable Heroism Dis played by All. Enforcement of the Rule "Women First" Sunders Family Ties Forever Famous Americans Show Elements of Strong Man hood Passengers in Lifeboats Watch Great Steamer Sink. boats would have a chilly half hour below , and might later be laughed at. It was such a feeling as this , from all accounts , which caused John Ja cob Astor and his wiie to refuse the places offered them in the first boat and to retire to the gymnasium. In the same way H. J. Allison , Montreal banker , laughed at the warning , and his wife , reassured by him , took her time about dressing. They and their daughter did not reach the Carpathia. Their son , less than two years old , was carried into a lifeboat by his nurse and was taken In charge by Maj. Arthur Petichen. The admiration felt by passengers and crew for the matchlessly appoint ed vessel was translated , in those first few moments , into a confidence which , for some , proved deadly. Lifeboats Are Lacking. In the loading of the first boat , re strictions of sex were not made , and It seemed to the men who. piled in be side the women that there would be boats enough for all. But the ship's officers knew better than this , and as the spreading fear caused an earnest advance toward the suspended craft the order , "Women first ! " was heard , and the men were pushed aside. To the scenes of the next two hours MOST DREADED PART OF ATLANTIC OCEAN. on those decks and In the waters be low , such adjectives as "dramatic" and "tragic" do but poor justice. With the knowledge of deadly peril gaining greater power each moment over those men and women , the nobility of the greater part , both among cabin passengers , officers , crew and steer age , asserted itself. Straus Held Back by Guard. Isidor Straus , supporting his wife on her way to a lifeboat , was held back by an inexorable guard. Another officer strove to help her to a seat of safety , but she brushed away his arm and clung to her husband , crying , " 1 will not go without you. " Another woman took her place , and her form , clinging to her husband's , became part of a picture now drawn Indelibly In many minds. Neither wife nor husband , so far as anyone knows , reached a place of safety. Astor and Wife Part. Colonel Astor , holding his wife's arm , stood decorously aside as the officers spoke to him , and Mrs. Astor and her maid were ushered to seats. Mrs. Henry B. Harris parted in like manner from her husband , saw him last at the rail , beside Colonel Astor. Walter M. Clark of Los Angeles , nephew of the Montana senator , joined the line of men as his young wife , sobbing , was placed in one of the craft. "Let him come ! There Is room ! " cried Mrs. Emil Taussig as the men Qi the White Star line motioned to her husband to leave her. It was with difficulty that he released her hold to permit her to be led to her place. George D. Widener , who had been In Captain Smith's company a lew moments after the crash , was an other whose wife was parted from Him and lowered , a moment later , to the surface of the calm sea. Butt , Hays and Stead Lost. Of-Major Archie Butt , a favorite with hts fellow tourists ; of Charles . Hays , president ot the Grand Trunk ; of Benjamin Guggenheim , and of Wil liam T. Stead , no one seems to know whether they tarried too long in their staterooms or whether they forebore tc approach the fast filling boats None of them was In the throng which , weary hours afterward , reached the Carpathia. Pistols Check Steerage Men. Simultaneously on the upper decks of the ship the ropes creaked with the lowering of boats , and as they reached the water those in the boats saw what those on the decks could not see that the Titanic was listing rap idly to starboard , and that her stern was rising at a portentlous angle. A rush of steerage men toward the boats was checked by officers with revolvers in hand. Some of the boats , crowded too full to give rowers a chance , drifted for a time. None had provisions or water , there was a lack of covering from tne icy air , and the only lights were the still undimmed arcs and incandescents of the settling ship , save for one of the first boats. There a steward , who explained to the passengers that he bad been shipwrecked twice before , appeared carrying three oranges and a green light. Green Lantern as Savior. That green light , many of the sur vivors say , was to the shipwrecked hundreds as the pillar of fire by night. Long after the ship had disappeared , and while confusing false lights danced about the boats , the green lan tern kept them together on the course which led them to the Carpathia. As the end of the Titanic became manifestly but a matter of moments , the oarsmen pulled their boats away , and the chilling waters began to echo splash after splash as passengers and sailors in life preservers leaped over and started swimming away to es cape the expected suction. Icy Water Brings Death. Only the hardiest of constitutions could endure for more than a few mo ments such a numbing bath. The first vigorous strokes gave way to heartbreaking cries of "Help ! Help ! " and stiffened forms were seen , the faces related in death. Revolver shots were heard In the ship's last moments. The first report spread among the boats was that Cap tain Smith had ended his life with a bullet. Then it was said that a mate had shot a steward who tried to push his way upon a boat against orders. None of these tales have been veri fied , and many of the crew say the captain , without a preserver , leaped in at the last and went down , refusing a cook's offered aid. Last Lifeboat Is Capsized. The last of the boats , a collapsible , was launched too late to get away , and was overturned by the ship's sinking. Some of those in it all , say some witnesses found safety on a raft , or were picked up by lifeboats. In the Marconi tower , almost to the last , the loud click of the sending in strument was heard over the waters. Who was receiving the message , those in the boats did not know , and they would least of all have supposed that a Mediterranean ship in the distant South Atlantic track would be their rescuer. Music Was a Sacrament. As the screams In the water multi plied another sound was heard , strong at first , then fainter in the distance. It was the melody of the hymn , "Nearer , My God , to Thee , " played by the string orchestra In the dining saloon. Some of those on the water started to sing the words , but grew silent as they realized that for the men who played , the music was a sac rament soon to be consummated by death. The serene strains of the hymn and the frantic cries of the dy ing blended in a symphony of sorrow. Titanic Goes to Bottom. Led by the green light , under the light of the stars , tjie boats drew away , and the bow , then the quarter , then the stacks , and at last the stern of the marvel-ship of a few days be fore passed beneath the waters. The great force of the ship's sinking was unaided by any violence of the ele ments , and tbe suction , not so great as had been feared , rocked but mildly the group of boats now a quarter of a mile distant from it. Sixteen boats were in the forlorn procession which entered on the terri ble hours of rowing , drifting' and sus pense. Women wept for lost hus bands and sons. Sailors sobbed for the ship which had been their pride. Men choked back tears and sought to comfort tbe widowed. Perhaps , they said , other boats might have put off In another direction toward tbe last. They strove , though none too sure themselves , to convince the women of the certainty that a rescue ship would appear. Carpathia Brings Joy. Early dawn brought no ship , but not long after 5 a. m. the Carpathia , far out of her path and making 18 knots an hour Instead of her wonted 15 , showed her single red and black smokestack upon the horizon. In the joy of that moment , the heaviest griefs were forgotten. Soon afterward , Captain Rostron and Chief Steward Hughes were wel coming the chilled and bedraggled arrivals over the Carpathia's side. The list of survivors given out after the Carpatbia reached port did not contain the name of Arthur Ryerson , formerly of Chicago , although the other members of his family were saved. Miss Elizabeth Isham of Chicago cage Is not in the list of rescued. E. G. Lewy , Chicago jeweler , was not on the Carpathia. A survivor says tbe crew acted with great courage but not with more heroism than was shown by John Ja cob Astor , Jacques Futrelle and others of the noted passengers who per- Isned. Story of a Bible. A case that had to do with the theft of a Bible was before tbe grand jury some time ago and after it had been disposed of , George W. Seibert. fore man of the jury , related a story in which a Bible figured prominently. Mr. Seibert said that his mother had giv en him an old-fashioned family Bible when he married. About two years after his marriage Mr. Seibert needed money , he said , and had almost de cided to dispose of the Bible. When such thoughts were occupying his mind , Mr. Seibert picked up the Bible one day and began turning over the leaves of the book. He had passed over several pages when his eyes fell on two $50 bills. His mother had placed them in the Bible when she had presented the book to him. Mr. Seibert still has the Bible. Indian apolis News. Logical Millinery. "People say there is no reason , no logic , in Easter millinery. What a falsehood. " The speaker was George Ade. He continued ( the occasion was an after- theater supper in Chicago ) : "Hats , whether Easter or otherwise , are full of logic , full of reason. A little boy said to his father one day : " 'What's a wide-awake hat , pa ? ' "That father logically and reason ably replied : " 'A wide-awake hat , my son , is , of course , one without a nap. ' " Found Imitation Difficult. Bert , a freshman , closed a letter to his cousin Joe , five years old , by say ing : "Now , I must quit and write five pages on Esther. " The next day his father found Jce armed with tablet and pencil , trying to hold down his young brother Rob ert , and said to him : "Joe , what are you doing ? " "I'm trying to write five pages on Bob , but he won't be still , " replied the little fellow. 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