For two hours the three middies roamed through the streets, often meeting fellow classmen. Wherever the young midshipmen went many of the English workmen and shopkeepers raised their hats in friendly salute of the American uniform.
“We don’t seem to run across Pen’s gang anywhere,” remarked Farley at last.
“Oh, no,” smiled Dave. “That’s a capitalistic crowd. They’ll hit only the high spots.”
Nevertheless, these three poor-in-purse midshipmen enjoyed themselves hugely in seeing the quaint old town. At noon they found a real old English chop house, where they enjoyed a famous meal.
“I wish we could slip some of these little mutton pies back with us!” sighed Dan wistfully.
In the afternoon the three chums saw the newer market place, where all three bought small souvenirs for their mothers at home. Darrin also secured a little remembrance present for his sweetheart, Belle Meade.
The guild hall and some of the other famous buildings were visited.
Later in the afternoon Dave began to inspect his watch every two or three minutes.
“No need for us to worry, with Dave’s eye glued to his watch,” laughed Dan.
“Come on, fellows,” summoned Darrin finally. “We haven’t more than time now to make the dock and get back to supper formation.”
“Take a cab?” asked Farley. “You know, we’ve found that they’re vastly cheaper than American cabs.”
“No-o-o, not for me,” decided Dave. “We’ll need the rest of our shore money to-morrow, and our legs are good and sturdy.”
Yet even careful Dave, as it turned out, had allowed no more than time. The chums reached the dock in time to see the launches half way between the fleet and shore. Some forty other midshipmen stood waiting on the dock.
Among these were Pennington and his party, all looking highly satisfied with their day’s sport, as indeed they were.
Pennington’s eyes gleamed when he caught sight of Darrin, Dalzell and Farley—for Pen had a scheme of his own in mind.
Not far from Pennington stood a little Englishman with keen eyes and a jovial face. Pen stepped over to him.
“There are the three midshipmen I was telling you about,” whispered Pennington, slipping a half sovereign into the Englishman’s hand. “You thoroughly understand your part in the joke, don’t you?”
“Don’t h’I, though—just, sir!” laughed the undersized Englishman, and strolled away.
Darrin and his friends were soon informed by classmates that the launches now making shore-ward were coming in on their last trip for midshipmen.
“Well, we’re here in plenty of time,” sighed Dave contentedly.
“Oh, I knew we’d be, with you holding the watch,” laughed Dan in his satisfied way.
As the three stood apart they were joined by the undersized Englishman, who touched his hat to them with a show of great respect.