Of how William Thomas Stead, the great world-journalist and the greatest man on the Titanic, met his death there is no certain account.
Mr. A. H. Barkworth, of Tranby House, East Yorkshire, who met him just after the collision occurred, said the venerable journalist described to him what he had seen. He had seen the forecastle of the vessel full of powdered ice scraped off the berg.
That was a characteristic impression made upon the man with the seeing eye, one of those touches which vivified everything he wrote.
Of what happened afterwards to Mr. Stead there is no authentic account.
Some of the survivors, say the New York papers, think they saw him on a raft with Colonel Astor after the Titanic had sunk.
Other witnesses say they saw Colonel Astor with Major Butt, President Taft's Aide-de-Camp, on the bridge as the ship took her final plunge.
If this is correct, says Reuter, it is probable that both Mr, Stead and Colonel Astor, when they found themselves in the sea, swam to an overturned raft in a final effort to escape.
At any rate, the two men who were taken to be Mr. Stead and Colonel Astor finally succumbed to cold and exposure, released their hold on the raft, and disappeared into the sea.