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IN THE ENGINE ROOM.

THE MAN BENEATH THE DECKS When thinking of storm and wreck, hurricane and collision, the ■“ landlubber” is at once assailed with tho vision of a battered ship struggling upon the foaming seas ; fighting against the angry elements with the aid of an experienced captain and a staunch and valient crew of sailors. What of the man beneath the 'decks ? None know bettor than ho the nature of the storm prevailing. The repeated action of the "governor” that little machine that prevents the engine “racing” when the propeller is out of water—tell's him as plainly as does the look-out's eyesight, of the violence of the tempest* and the

frantic dipping of the vessel. Deep down in the body of the ship, these very prosaic looking men know every phase of the danger being fought just as accurately as the sailors striving upon the 'decks. Yet, when the peril withstands all fighting, and must be fled from the greasy men below the decks have far less chance than the toilers above of escaping. Water in the boiler means an explosion of such terrific force that all are doomed. Yet these men must wait quietly to obey the message pointed to by the indicator on the dial. No matter how much His Highness of the Oil-can dreads the calamity his trained eye sees coming nearer every minute, he wails until His Majesty ■of the Brigade sees it, and, meantime the slightest trace of fear might result in panic, so it is ; '“Mr Macgregor : a little oil in the further lubricator, please.” (All engineers are always “Mr" to each other, and always polite). And the answer is ; “She is oildod now, Mr Macdonald” —(Chinese names are rarely found in an engine-room)—anything else, sir?” The work is done, and done well ; for out of sight of the ordinary man, and most often, quite out of his thoughts, but should the traveller sometimes pause to reflect upon the question of who is worthy of his thanks for his safety, he might (if he only kfiew of his work) give a word or two to the Man beneath the Decks.—Selected.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/SOCR19071102.2.13.3

Bibliographic details

IN THE ENGINE ROOM., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 28, 2 November 1907

Word Count
357

IN THE ENGINE ROOM. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 28, 2 November 1907

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