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times as often, will, for the time being at least, be sixteen chusetts, on August 15, 1911, in the presence of times as effective.
the whole Atlantic fleet, to be held by her for the I have also watched diminutive and juvenile Igorrote savages shoot dimes from a forked stick at sixty feet with year ending June 30, 1912. The pennant, red in bow and arrow. The Igorrotes show us the beginning of color, with a black ball in the center, was hoisted offensive skill; modern American battle-ship target- to the foretop on that date. It had been made by practice shows us the highest speed, accuracy, and dis
the U. S. S. Maryland of the Pacific fleet, which tance yet attained, and we may not doubt that our present recognized the marked efficiency of her successachievement is but a step in man's ultimate achievement.
ful competitor, and at her own expense sent an A requirement which will be far-reaching in its enlisted man across the continent to deliver this importance in advancing the Navy even beyond silk battle efficiency pennant to the Michigan. the state referred to by Mr. Emerson, was added The magnificent performance of the Michigan was winter before last by the Secretary of the Navy graciously recognized by President Taft in the for succeeding battle practices. Thereafter the following letter to her captain, now a rear-admiral:
From photograph by Herbert.
The White House, final battle efficiency was to mean both gunnery
Washington, D. C., August 9, 1911. and engineering efficiency, and the ability of the
My Dear Captain : As the U. S. S. Michigan under your
command, in competition with all the other battle-ships of vessel's crew to keep up their own repairs. Thus
the Navy, has obtained the highest combined final merit the efficiency of the ship in its entirety becomes in gunnery and engineering for the year ending June 30, of first importance to every member of its com
1911, and has been awarded the battle efficiency pennant, pany, from the captain down to the coal-passer Navy, in announcing this award to you; and I wish to
I take great pleasure, as the commander-in-chief of the and the mess-boy handling ammunition in the
commend you and the officers and men of the U. S. S. magazine; and even greater results may be looked Michigan for the zealous and efficient handling of all the for than those already accomplished. The pen- elements, the proper coördination of which has made the nant which was then offered to the most efficient Michigan, with the material placed at her disposal, the
most efficient battle-ship of the Navy in guarding the vessel, in addition to the trophy which goes to the
country's interests. individual, was for the first time won by the Mich- I have directed my naval aide, Lieutenant-Commander igan, a splendid ship and our first dreadnought. Palmer, director of target-practice and engineering compe. This highest honor in the Navy that can be won
titions, to deliver this letter to you in person.
Sincerely yours, by a ship, the battle efficiency pennant, which now
(Signed) WM. H. TAFT. Alies from the Michigan's foretop, was, for her
Captain N. R. Usher, U. S. N., commanding V. S. S success, awarded to her at Provincetown, Massa- Michigan, Provincetown, Mass.
when he saw me. “She just sings at every explosion. She does n't seem afraid at all."
As Jack spoke, he touched off a big cracker, running a safe distance from it as it exploded. The song-sparrow perched on a rock only a short distance away. When the deafening explosion
came, she simply flew to another rock, then burst With a wonderful burst of golden song, she wel- into volumes of wonderful song. comed me from the top of the summer-house, "She does that every time, Mother," Jack inthat first morning at Sachem; and all through my formed me. "Look now, when we fire the gun busy day of making the house homey before the at the target." boys arrived, I was conscious of that glorious I looked, filled with deep concern, as the sharp accompaniment.
cracks of the cartridges cut the air all about her ; Often I stopped to listen, that I might not lose but not once did she show actual fear. Only, after a note of the music she gave to me so generously. every explosion, she sang her splendid song. Sometimes she would sing from the veranda rail, All the morning the firing went on, until the sending her trills in through the open window like rocks looked as if a battle had been fought upon the delicate notes of some rare instrument; some- them. Still never once did the little brown bird times she preferred a top branch of the scrub cease to sing, neither did she leave the rocks, as cedar, pouring out her song in bursts of clearest far as I could see, to seek the least refreshment. melody that seemed to cease only when it reached After lunch the boys went over to the clubthe vast blue dome above; and when at sunset house, and the place was quiet again. I came out onto the rocks to rest, she perched Curious to learn, if possible, what had held the sociably near and sang to me her bird-song of the bird so persistently to those rocks, I began searchsea. The next day was Fourth of July.
ing cracks and crevices. For a while I found
nothing, and the song-sparrow herself, flying The boys came bringing fireworks and full of from rock to rock, only misled me. But finally excited plans for celebrating the wonderful day. a bunch of chicory, growing on a ledge of earth
The song-sparrow hopped curiously about as that formed a bit of bank beneath it, attracted my targets were fastened in between the rocks and attention. And there, in a tiny nest, fastened seholders for the huge crackers were set up. The curely to the clay, I discovered five gray babies. cottage itself was built upon the rocks, that ex- My eyes suddenly grew dim as I realized that tended some distance out into the water on three they had been there all during the terrific firing sides. The other side was green lawn to the above them, comforted only by the burst of mowhite, sandy road. Chicory, wild rose, and bay ther song, the bravest song that ever left a bird's bush grew wherever there was a bit of sod on throat. Dozens of times she had risked her little which to root.
life, and had borne the fright of the noise, that Fourth of July morning broke perfectly. A she might be near to tell her babies not to be soft south wind came in on the new tide from afraid. For as long as the mother bird sang her Long Island shore. The boys were up and sa- brave, beautiful song, they knew all was well. luted the sun as he peeped up over the rim of the With swelling heart I looked out over the Sachem sea behind Falkner's. Then pandemonium reigned. Sea. Surely no soldier on the Gettysburg field So great was the noise and confusion the big stood more bravely for cannon crackers made, they seemed to fairly his country, nor did shake the rocks. Suddenly I was conscious, Joan of Arc ride more above it all, of the pure, sweet notes of the song- fearlessly before the sparrow. She must have been singing for some armies of the French, time before I noticed her. Stepping out onto the than did the song-sparveranda, there she was, not safely perched on the row of Sachem sing to summer-house, but right in the midst of the noise. her little family that "Mother, watch this little bird,” Jack called Fourth of July day.