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The Battleship Boys' First Step Upward or, Winning Their Grades as Petty Officers   By: (1861-1925)

The Battleship Boys' First Step Upward or, Winning Their Grades as Petty Officers by Frank Gee Patchin

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover art]

[Frontispiece: Dan Headed the "Oriole" for the Harbor.]

The Battleship Boys'

First Step Upward


Winning Their Grades as

Petty Officers





Akron, Ohio New York

Made in U. S. A.

Copyright MCMXI





I. Sighting the Shooting Star II. Whaleboats to the Rescue III. Bombarded by Big Guns IV. Looking Death in the Face V. The Loss of the Tompion VI. The Red, White and Blue VII. Putting the Enemy Out VIII. Sam Gets a Pig's Foot IX. Lowering the Flag X. His Narrow Escape XI. On the Anchor Watch XII. Obeying His Orders XIII. The Battle of the Dinghies XIV. Ordered to the Sick Bay XV. Before the Summary Court XVI. A Surprise, Indeed XVII. At Torpedo Target Practice XVIII. Hard and Fast Aground XIX. A Trying Moment XX. Dan Before the Board XXI. In the Racing Gig XXII. An Exciting Moment XXIII. The Act of a Hero XXIV. Conclusion


Dan Headed the "Oriole" for the Harbor . . . . . . Frontispiece

The Battleship Boys Swung Into the Chorus.

Dan Parried the Blow With the Captured Boat Hook.

The Battleship Boys' First Step Upward



"Green light off the starboard bow, sir."

The voice came from the black void far above the navigating bridge of the battleship "Long Island."

"Where away?" demanded the watch officer on the bridge.

"Two points off starboard bow, sir."

"What do you make her out?"

"Don't make her out, sir," answered the red haired Sam Hickey, who was doing lookout duty on the platform beside the number one searchlight.

"Do you still see her!"

"No, sir."

The watch officer gazed through his night glass in the direction indicated, but was unable to pick up a light of any sort. The "Long Island" was plunging through a great gale, which she was taking head on. White tipped seas, backed by solid walls of water were sweeping the bridge more than forty feet above the level of the sea. Even the red haired boy clinging to the rail far above the bridge was now and again nearly swept from his feet by the rush of water that enveloped him.

A sixty mile gale was sweeping the Atlantic seaboard, with the wind shrieking weirdly through the huge cage masts, whose tops were lost in the darkness above the ship itself. Every man on deck was clinging to stanchion and rail in momentary danger of being swept overboard.

"You must have been mistaken," shouted the watch officer.

"No, sir. It was a light all right, sir," shouted Sam Hickey in a confident tone.

"What did it look like?"

"It looked like a shooting star, sir."

"What was it?"

"It was a shooting star, sir."

A half articulated exclamation of disgust from the officer on the bridge reached the ears of the lookout.

"It shot right up from the sea, sir."

"What's that?"

The question was hurled up at Sam with almost explosive force.

"The star shot right up from the sea, sir."

Now, the watch officer on the bridge of the battleship knew full well that shooting stars shoot downward, not upward. He knew also that with a sky overcast as was this one, with the clouds hanging low, no shooting star could be made out, even granting that one had fallen.

"Boatswain's mate!" roared the officer.

"Aye, aye, sir," answered a hoarse voice somewhere from the depths below.

"Turn out the top watches. Man the tops on the jump!"

"Aye, aye, sir."

Loud words of command floated up from below and a moment later a group of sailors dashed up to the bridge, rubbing their eyes sleepily. Without awaiting a word of instruction, they began running up the iron ladders of the cage masts and were quickly lost to view... Continue reading book >>

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