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Your eyes try to pierce the inky blackness for an occasional THE FLEET AT SEA 23 glimpse of the tiny shaded light at her stern and the swirl made by her screws or the straight tracery of her skeleton masts as they cross the Astern, only a couple of cable-lengths off, another ship forcing her hnge mass after you, her ram cleaving its way through the water stars. is unrelentingly. Yet so perfect has the training been, so well drilled is the fleet, that the interval between the ships never varies, and on they speed, as if tied together.
For theirs is the task of keeping the peace In Asiatic waters, our gunboats and locally. 1 See Appendix IL OUR MANY-SIDED NAVY 14 cruisers are distributed in Chinese and Philip- pine ports, from the Yangtse Eiver to Olongapo, ready at a moment's notice to help put down the foreign settlements, afford refuge to our citizens, or chase some pirate craft; while on our Atlantic and Pacific coasts riots, protect the smaller vessels are constantly called upon for service in Central American waters and in the West Indies to suppress revolutions, keep the peace, and enforce the rights of the American Theirs settlers.
Active discipline, The law work of a All attempts to find for it a sphere of operations elsewhere defy and history has taught us time and again what tragedies have resulted from indifference to this law, THE FLEET AT SEA 11 the system that produced the great seamen of the past. One may read and study about handling ships, and this is no doubt a good thing to do; but the way—the real way— ^is actually to handle the ships under steam at sea. Imagine one's feelings as one sees the evolutions a squadron or from displacing performed by of mighty battleships, each sixteen to twenty thousand fleet tons; and manoeuvring, too, in a tumbling sea.