Dave was shown into the parlor at the Meade home. Soon after Belle came swiftly in, her face beaming with delight.
“Oh, but you’re not in uniform!” was her first disappointed comment.
“No,” smiled Dave. “I’m allowed every possible chance, for one month, to forget every detail of the big grind which for a short time I’ve left behind.”
“But you’re the same old Dave,” cried Belle, “only bigger and manlier. And that magnificent work you and Dan did in jumping over-bo——”
“Stop!” begged Dave. “You’re a friend of mine, aren’t you! Then don’t add to the pain that has been already inflicted on me. If I had had the newspapers in mind I wouldn’t have the nerve to——But please let’s not talk about it anymore.”
Then the two young people seated themselves and spent a delightful hour in talking over all that had befallen them both since they had last met.
Belle, too, through Laura Bentley, had some much later news of the old chums, Dick and Greg, now cadets at West Point.
This news, however, will be found in full in “Dick PRESCOTT’S second year at West point.”
“What are your plans for this afternoon?” Belle asked at last.
“That’s what I want your help in making,” Dave answered.
“Can you get hold of Dan?”
“No trouble about that. But keeping hold of him may be more difficult,” laughed Dave.
“I was going to propose that you get Dan, call here and then we’ll all go over to Laura Bentley’s. I know she’ll be anxious to see us.”
“Nothing could be better in the way of a plan,” assented Dave. “I’ll pin Danny boy down to that. It would really seem like a slight on good old Dick if we didn’t make Laura an early call.”
“I’ll go to the telephone, now, and tell her that we’re coming,” cried Belle, rising quickly.
“Laura is delighted,” she reported, on her return to the room. “But Dave, didn’t you at least bring along a uniform, so that we could see what it looks like?”
“I didn’t,” replied Dave, soberly, then added, quizzically:
“You’ve seen the district messenger boys on the street, haven’t you?”
“Yes, of course; but what—”
“Our uniforms look very much like theirs,” declared Dave.
“I’m afraid I can’t undertake to believe you,” Belle pouted.
“Well, anyway, you girls will soon have a chance to see our uniforms. Just as soon as our hops start, this fall, you and Laura will come down and gladden our hearts by letting us drag you, won’t you!”
“Drag us?” repeated Belle, much mystified.
“Oh, that’s middies’ slang for escorting a pretty girl to a midshipman hop.”
“You have a lot of slang, then, I suppose.”
“Considerable,” admitted Dave readily.
“What, then, is your slang for a pretty girl?”
“Oh, we call her a queen.”