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VOLUME LXXXIII.-NO. 90.
PROOF OF TREACHERY IS YET ACCUMULATING SHOWN BY THE NAVAL COURT'S INVESTIGATION Conclusive Proof That the Dis aster to the Maine Was Not Accidental. Facts That Point Most Ominously to an Explosive Force Directed Against the Outside to Destroy the Battleship and the Lives of Brave Seamen. On board Here Id- Call dis patch-boat Albert F. Dewey, between Havana and Key West, Feb. 27. — Eager as is the waiting public for a defi nite announcement of the conclusions reached by the Naval Court of Inquiry, it may as well be stated now that the suspense which per vades the entire country and, indeed, the whole civilized world, must be endured prob ably several weeks longer. I have studied the situation carefully. The President and Cabinet may, perhaps, be cog nizant af the court's conclu sions at a somewhat earlier date, but I shall be surprised if its findings are made pub lic before the latter part of March, and the announce ment may be delayed even later. In the meantime the only good advice is that which has already prevailed. Let the American people abide in patience and wait with full confidence that jus tice will be done in the end dispassionately and without prejudice. To-day marks the end of the first week's session of the court Never in the his- Tory of similar proceedings have such precautions been taken to guard the facts from public scrutiny. Never have officers in either arm of the service remained more con sistently reticent under the orders of their chiefs. Nev ertheless I have passed many hours aboard the Mangrove during the week, and am'in a position, if not to publish a report of the evi dence, to give at least an ac curate synopsis of the situa tion as it is to-day. The first and most obvious I .conclusion is that already The San Francisco Call stated, viz.: that the court's report must not be expected soon. The second and most i important conclusion — the |one which even the most i conservative observers must I have reached ere now — is I that at the end of the first j week's work the probability i is more remote than ever that the board can ever attribute the Maine disaster to acci dental and interior causes. | The week's work has hardly been one that tends for peace. Just in proportion as that fact has become plainer in the light of the testimony taken the evident purpose of the court of inquiry to make haste slowly has forced itself upon those who watch its course. Had it been possible early in the investigation with rea sonable certainty that the Maine calamity was a misfor tune only and not a crime the continued suppression of that conclusion would have served the interests neither of the United States nor Spain. On the contrary, had the facts tended to show an accidental origin of the explosion all the peace - loving, sober minded people would have rejoiced to see even partially lifted the dark cloud that now menaces both nations, and the conservative newspaper press of America would have welcomed the opportunity to relax the dangerous tension that now prevails. It was in the hope of some such early assurance that the Herald representative watch ed the first week's proceed ings of the court. That hope has almost vanished. The testimony thus far adduced points overwhelmingly in an SAN FRANCISCO, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1898. I opposite conclusion. That is i why we are moving so de jliberately. The Navy Depart i ment needs time and will make good use of . it. Un doubtedly the most import ant evidence yet taken is that of Ensign Powelson, the grave purport of which was carefully outlined in Friday's Call and Herald. Mr. Powel son is one of the most accom plished of the younger officers of the navy, especially in the arts of naval construction, to which he has given years of faithful study. His views even as a theorist would, have great weight with the naval board, in the personnel of which, curiously enough,there is not a single officer who i s really eminent in that branch of naval work; But in Ensign Powelson's evidence the na val court is confronted by a condition and not a theory, a condition so clearly demon strated by him as to all but carry conviction. His exploit in discovering the green painted plates from the very bottom of the ship at a point in the wreckage which indi cates they were forced up ward from their normal posi tion to a height of some twen ty feet has been the sensa tion of the week. Coupled with the other discovery that in common with most of the other wreckage from the ship's interior these plates were, not only heaved upward by some titanic force excited from some blow, but also .dis tinctly in the direction from the port to starboard side. This fact points most omin ously, it cannot be denied, to an explosive force directed Drimarily, at least, from the THE UNITED STATES ARMORED CRUISER BROOKLYN in the harbor of San Lucia, principal coaling station and stronghold of the British West Indies. outside rather than inside the vessel. The unparalleled up heaval of the ship's decks and superstructure is consistent enough with the theory of the magazine's explosion alone having caused the dis aster, but such explosion, of course, would have tended to force downward plates from the ship's bottom and keels, and could hardly have result ed by any freak of explosive gases in an upward thrust capable of lodging them twenty feet or more above their normal position in the debris. SPAIN GETTING READY FOR WAR. FERROL, Spain, Feb. 27.— Fhe work of naval construc tion and armament is being pushed by the government with the greatest activity at the arsenal and dockyards. So grave an impression was made on the court at this discovery that the board, not content with the immediate personal inspection of the wreckage, which seemed to confirm all Ensign Powelson had said, directed him to pre pare at once- elaborate draw ings illustrating the points made in his evidence. These drawings ■ Mr. Powelson pro duced yesterday when re called for re-examination by the naval court, and they will doubtless be filed with the official report when made to the department at Washing ton. Nor is Ensign Powelson's testimony unsupported by other evidence similar in im port. The further the work of the submarine divers pro gresses the more they bring to light which tends toward the same unwelcome conclu sion. Both the 6 and 10 inch magazines have been suc cessfully entered, and in each some most significant condi tions have been found. The linings of the magazines in places are entirely free from evidences of fire or explo sion. Six-inch shells have been found in the magazines intact and unexploded. Every where is abundant evidence of a terrific concussion, but there are equally plain condi tions which naval officers re gard as inconsistent with the theory of a primary explosion having occurred. In both the 6-inch and io-inch maga zines are found many of the powder cylinders which, though smashed and dented by concussion, have obvi ously riot been exploded, as the large-grained brown hex agonal powder contained in these cylinders is stored in bags which in turn are packed within cylinders themselves, and ordinary excelsior is used in the spaces between. Some of these bags and much of the excelsior have been found unscathed by fire. The pow der for the most part has van ished, 1 am told. This was explained to me by a naval officer as follows; Some of the powder caps were opened by the concussion which smashed them. The subse quent sinking of the ship flooded the broken powder cylinders and the action of the water soon disintegrated the powder, which, of course, ran out of the bags in a thick ink-like solution and soon disappeared, leaving little more than a sediment adher ing to the bags, One of the 6-inch breech- loading rifles from the port battery has been located well over on the starboard side of the wreck. Its breech blocks have been discovered. All ot these discoveries I understand have, been de- tailed at great -length before the court of inquiry. During the examination of Powelson yesterday, and also during the testimony of Diver Andrew Olson and others, Captain Chadwick was particularly active in the cross-examina tion, whether from a simple desire to elicit every available fact or any feeling of skepti cism on his part of course it is impossible to say. It has been persistently rumored, however, that the naval court is not wholly satisfied with the work done or reports made by divers up to the present time. lam inclined to believe some such feeling exists and that it is partly re sponsible for the naval court's contemplated return to Ha vana in time to observe the work of the more efficient wrecking apparatus now en route from New York. In connection with the work of divers it is painful to have to record that one of these men, Martin Riordan, hitherto at tached to the fleet, was yes terday returned to Key West ijn deep disgrace and will probably .te court-martialed. The crime of which he stands accused is no less heinous than that of pilfering from the sea chests of dead sailors and appropriating to himself various things of value which it was his duty to bring to the surface and de liver to the proper authorities. One seaman's chest in the berth deck is said to have contained savings aggregating more than $1000. The diver had been under suspicion. He was watched by other divers while at work and the suspicions verified. Yester day his quarters were search ed and many trinkets and articles of value are said to have been recovered. On his arrival at Key West the rep resentatives of a sensational New York paper promptly made overtures to him to sell what information lie had gathered under water. Some effort has been made and further effort will proba bly be fnade to give undue importance to certain testi many taken by the naval court Friday from a party of Cubans resident in Havana The story of these men was to the effect that on a ferry boat crossing the bay one night some days prior to the Maine disaster, they over heard a suspicious conversa tion between two Spaniards, whose identity they did not then and do not now know. Ac cording to their tale conspirator No. i was heard to remark to PRICE FIVE CENTS. conspirator No. 2 that a little plan was all arranged and that the rot ten Yankee battle-ship would be soon on the bottom of the harbor. The naval board summoned these men and heard their story for what it is worth. I understand, how- ever, that slight importance is at tached to it, especially as the Cu bans unfortunately neglected to learn the names and addresses of the two mysterious. bravos. While the drift of sentiment among Americans of Havana is Un° doubtedly as indicated it is proper to state that loyal Spaniards to a man still refuse to entertain for a moment the suspicion that the Maine was the victim of foul play or any other than accidental causes. Many of them scout as ridiculous the statement that the harbor is filled with submarine mines and point to the freedom with which their own naval and merchant vessels come and go as best evidence of the absurdity of the rumor. Among the Spanish army officers, though they are as courteous personally as ever to American strangers, there is a rapidly growing feeling of unrest. Most of them would now welcome a war with the United States. As a Spanish lieutenant-colonel said to me yesterday: "If we must have Continued on Second Page. • ADVERTISEMENTS. JMRPMCTJ 5-s ' ■ ' When a man is g^^^^jjj^ <. " ruined and there is Hjfig£^Pj3? jr: \no help for it, a I But no man, who '// I \ wi*«iiw 1 " a man >; wants t0 . Blf^s^~¥jro gentle nature »'if- ,'.' fp •- 'Spiers with the hus- ■ "•1;-1 :^fX,' - 1 ; ■. • band she comforts and consoles. . It is a 'humiliation ■to any ; proud woman that the man of her choice should prove at last a failure— broken in purse and in spirit. Back of all business failures lies ill-health. . No man who is suf- fering from brain fag, nervous ', prostration " . and debility, due to impure blood and a dis- ordered "digestion can long succeed in busi- ness. 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