“And to think,” almost moaned Dan Dalzell, “that you’re to be in a scrap, David, little giant, and I’m not to be there to see!”
“There’ll be other fights, I’m afraid,” sighed Darry. “I seem destined to displease quite a few of the fellows here at Annapolis.”
Dan tried to study, that night, after Darrin had left the room in the company of his seconds. Certainly Dan, in the light of his promise made to the Board that morning, had need to study. Yet he found it woefully hard to settle his mind on mathematics while Dave was fighting the fight of his Naval Academy career.
“Oh, well,” muttered Dan, picking up a pencil for the third time, “Dave and I each have our own styles of fights, just now. Here goes for a knockout blow at math!”
LOSING THE TIME-KEEPER’S COUNT
Conners and Brayton were Treadwell’s seconds.
Since it is not considered fair to have the referee or time-keeper from either class represented in a fight, Edgerton and Wheeler, of the second class, were referee and time-keeper respectively.
All of the young men were early at the usual fighting ground. The fall air was cool and crisp, but it was not yet considered cold enough to justify the extra risk of holding a fight in-doors.
Dave was quickly stripped and made ready by his seconds. His well-developed chest bespoke fine powers in the way of “wind” and endurance. His smooth, hard, trim muscles stood out distinctly.
Treadwell took more time in getting himself ready for the ring. When at last, however, the first classman stood bared to the waist, he looked like a giant beside Dave Darrin.
“It looks like a shame to take the money, Tread,” murmured referee Edgerton.
“I don’t want to pound the youngster hard,” explained Midshipman Treadwell, in an undertone. “Yet I’ve got to teach him both to respect my class and myself.”
On this point, as an official of the fight, Referee Edgerton did not feel called upon to express an opinion.
Farley, at his first glimpse of the waiting first classman, felt a chill of coming disaster.
“Page,” he growled, “that huge top-classman makes our Darry look like a creeping infant.”
“Darry will take care of himself,” retorted Midshipman Page in an undertone.
“Do you believe it?”
“I surely do.”
“But Treadwell looks a whole lot more vast now that he’s stripped.”
“Darry is much smaller, I know; But Darrin is one of those rare fellows who don’t know what it means to be whipped. He can’t be put out of business by anything smaller than a twelve-inch gun!”
“I hope you’re right,” sighed Farley.
Dave, in the meantime, to keep himself from being chilled by the frosty air, was running lightly about, swinging his arms.
“Are you both ready, gentlemen?” inquired Midshipman Edgerton, while Time-keeper Wheeler drew out his stop watch.