So there was Max, looking for baseball news and assaulted by The New York Times reporting “All the news that’ s fit to print.” The headlines would have been screaming except that the Times does not scream – it reports. And the reports were alarming – a German submarine that days earlier was escorted to the U.S. Naval Station at Newport, Rhode Island, where the charming and articulate (he spoke perfect English) Captain Hans Rose delivered a letter for the German Ambassador in Washington. Two days later the Captain was sinking ships (five on Sunday, none American) in Nantucket Bay, and Max Blue was inventing characters to tell how these outrages were being received by the citizens and the victims. Mary Cady was born, a pretty thing she was, 16 years old at birth.
And here are the facts: Mary was on the British liner Stefano, traveling from England to America as a nanny for her Aunt Winnie’s four-month-old daughter. Nearing America, Mary had been handed a telegram with the news that her parents had died in a Zeppelin attack. Mary barely had time to file this shocking news when she escaped death by only inches as a shard from a German submarine artillery shell shattered her right arm above the elbow.
Ted and Ed, the Frederick twins, also 16-years-old, were employed by the New York Times and when they reported for work on that Sunday evening, they found the Times theatre critic standing on a table yelling for immediate action by President Wilson to save the honor of the country.
Max was making it up as he went along, wondering with the curiosity of a reader what was going to turn up on the next page, just as he is doing now with this post.