Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/365

This page needs to be proofread.

Popular Science Monthly


��A Cargo of Dried Codfish Sank a Schooner

CODFISH Sank Big Schooner" was the title of a news item of recent date, which besides being most un- usual, seems to open up a new method of sinking woode ships of the nations at war at a trifling cost com- pared with the present $5,000 to $10,000 torpedoes used by submarines and destroy- ers. Accord- ing to the survivors of the vessel, codfish ac- tually sank her, although it took more than one to do it and it was several days before the vessel had to be abandoned. New Eng- land's sacred

���Discovering the Spy's Secrets by Means of a Lemonade Bath

TRAVELERS through Germany are likely to regard with resentment the many precautions which are taken against spies during the war times. This is only natu- ^^-^ ral among the freedom-loving Ameri- cans. They find the necessity for the various passports which are de- manded of them at every new step of their journey a veritable nuisance. Each traveler needs a certificate of good conduct; one showing that he has no debts; one from the secret service showing that he is not sus- pected ; a similar one from the mili- tary authori- t i es ; one showing that he has no

��During a heavy sea the codfish became watersoaked and swelled so much that the seams in the planking of that part of the vessel where the fish was stored were forced apart and the crew was compelled to abandon the ship

cod has been famed


many things, but this seems to be its most notable achievement.

Of course the cod did not torpedo or ram the vessel because she belonged to any particular enemy. They sank her simply because they were inside the ship and be- cause they had too much water. The strange incident happened in this way.

The schooner Ponhook. under a captain and crew of seven men, left St. John, N. B., for the Azores, with a cargo of dried cod- fish. Soon afterward she ran into a heavy sea and shipped considerable water. The dry codfish absorbed this like a sponge, and it was but a couple of days before the expansive pres- sure of the swelled codfish had forced open the seams of the vessel's planking so that the water began to seep in, little by little, as shown in the accompany- ing sketch, until the ship was beyond saving and had to be abandoned.


  • ^ C0DF15H




��PLAuKiN Showing how the pressure exerted by the swelling cod- fish forced the packing out of the planking, causing leaks

��vermin ; one signed by the consular officers; a permit to travel, and a permit from the station master to use the train. But the entire collection of passports will not exempt him from being subjected to the lemonade bath, which is the last cr\' in the methods employed for discovering spies. The necessity for the lemonade bath arose when it was found that information and maps were being carried over the border tattooed on the skin of the informants. The skin-writing is done with a chemical which when dry is invisible, but is brought out by another chemical when the spy reaches his headquarters. The citric acid of the lemon juice serves to bring out these written characters also, or to destroy them. As there is no way of telling whether or not a traveler is a walk- ing manuscript, written all over or in spots, the entire body is given a vigorous rub with the lemonade. The only way for man, woman or child to avoid it is to re- frain from attempting to cross the German border.

�� �