“How can a midshipman and gentleman act in that way?”
The voice of Midshipman David Darrin, United States Navy, vibrated uneasily as he turned to his comrades.
“It’s a shame—that’s what it is,” quivered Mr. Farley, also of the third class at the United States Naval Academy.
“But the question is,” propounded Midshipman Dan Dalzell, “what are we going to do about it?”
“Is it any part of our business to bother with the fellow?” demanded Farley half savagely.
Now Farley was rather hot-tempered, though he was “all there” in points that involved the honor of the brigade of midshipmen.
Five midshipmen stood in the squalid, ill-odored back room of a Chinese laundry in the town of Annapolis.
There was a sixth midshipman present in the handsome blue uniform of the brigade; and it was upon this sixth one that the anger and disgust of the other five had centered.
He lay in a sleep too deep for stirring. On the still, foul air floated fumes that were new to those of his comrades who now gazed down on him.
“To think that one of our class could make such a beast of himself!” sighed Dave Darrin.
“And on the morning of the very day we’re to ship for the summer cruise,” uttered Farley angrily.
“Oh, well” growled Hallam, “why not let this animal of lower grade sleep just where he is? Let him take what he has fairly brought upon himself!”
“That’s the very question that is agitating me,” declared Dave Darrin, to whom these other members of the third class looked as a leader when there was a point involving class honor.
Dave had became a leader through suffering.
Readers of the preceding volume in this series, “Dave Darrin’s first year at Annapolis,” will need no introduction to this fine specimen of spirited and honorable young American.
Readers of that preceding volume will recall how Dave Darrin and Dan Dalzell entered the United States Naval Academy, one appointed by a Congressman and the other by a United States Senator. Such readers will remember the difficult time that Dave and Dan had in getting through the work of the first hard, grinding year. They will also recall how Dave Darrin, when accused of treachery to his classmates, patiently bided his time until he, with the aid of some close friends, was able to demonstrate his innocence. Our readers will also remember how two evil-minded members of the then fourth class plotted to increase Damn’s disgrace and to drive him out of the brigade; also how these two plotters, Midshipmen Henkel and Brimmer, were caught in their plotting and were themselves forced out of the brigade. Our readers know that before the end of the first year at the Naval Academy, Dave had fully reinstated himself in the esteem of his manly classmates, and how he quickly became the most popular and respected member of his class.