American Book of Golden Deeds - James Baldwin

A Schoolgirl's Heroism

On a summer day, in 1904, Miss Maude Titus, a pupil in the Newark (N.J.) high school, was taking a sail with some friends in Casco Bay. The boat was going very swiftly, and in the sudden lurch caused by changing its course, the captain and his daughter, Miss Titus, and another young girl, fell overboard.

A life buoy was thrown out, and by clinging to this the captain and his daughter were rescued; but Miss Titus and her friend, whose name was Miss Reifsnyder, were left to struggle in the water alone. Both could swim a little, under favorable circumstances, but in her great and sudden fright, Miss Reifsnyder was helpless.

Miss Titus might have saved herself by striking out for the boat, but she would not leave her friend. With the utmost coolness and self-possession she kept herself afloat, and at the same time held Miss Reifsnyder's head above the water, until the boat had been safely brought around and both were rescued.

Miss Titus's act of heroism has not often been equaled by a schoolgirl, and the commissioners of the Hero Fund rewarded her quite liberally. They gave her a silver medal, and set aside one thousand dollars to aid her in completing her education.