“It’s mere child’s play,” said May, “and as easy as touching the keys of a great organ.”
Mr. Siemen now conducted his friends into the engine-room. “It is not easy to imagine the tremendous force of the two swiftly turning screws or propellers exerted against the surging waters of the Atlantic,” he said. “Our 30,000 horse power engines, a horse power is equal to six men, equal 180,000 strong men pulling at the oars, or twice the number of men that fought at Gettysburg to perpetuate the American Union.”
“Wonderful!” said Colonel Harris.
“Steam guided by command of the officer on the bridge, with slightest effort, also steers our immense steamer.”
“Mr. Siemen, tell us please how the steamer is lighted?” said George.
“We have fifty miles of insulated wire in the “Campania” for the electric current generated by our two dynamos, which give us 1350 sixteen-candle power lights, equal to a total of 22,000 candle power, absorbing 135 horse-power. We also use large electric reflectors and search lights to pick up buoys on a dark night. All our machinery is in duplicate.
“At night when the broad clean decks of hardwood are illuminated with electric lights and filled with gay promenaders, you easily imagine that you are strolling along Broadway.”
The accommodations and appointments of staterooms, of all the large public rooms, and especially the dining-room, are perfect. A week on the Atlantic, with the joyous bracing sea-air of the summer months, and surrounded as you are by a cosmopolitan group of people, passes as delightfully as a brief stay at the ocean side.
The passage of the “Campania” from Sandy Hook Light to Queenstown was made in less than five and one-half days, 5 days, 10 hours, and 47 minutes, or at an average speed of 21.82 knots per hour, the highest day’s run being 548 knots. At Queenstown Colonel Harris received telegrams and letters from his family saying that they would meet him at Leamington, and that Alfonso would meet his father at Liverpool.
Reuben Harris wired his wife when his party expected to arrive. It was ten o’clock in the morning when the S.S. “Campania” arrived in the Mersey off Alexandra dock, and the company’s tender promptly delivered the passengers on the Liverpool Landing Stage.
Gertrude was first to single out Alfonso, whose handkerchief waved a brother’s welcome to the old world. Alfonso was the first to cross the gangway to the tender, and rushed to his friends. The greeting was mutually cordial. The father embraced his boy, for he loved him much and still cherished a secret hope that his only son might yet turn his mind to business. Alfonso seemed specially pleased that George and his sister May had come, for he had frequently met May Ingram and her singing had often charmed him.