“What?” gasped Midshipman Pennington in intense astonishment. “What are you talking about?”
“You’ll be wise to turn in a report, on what happened,” pursued Dave, “for it’s likely to reach official ears, anyway, and you’ll be better off if you make the first report on the subject.”
“Why is it likely to reach official ears, if you fellows keep your mouths shut?”
“You see,” Darrin went on very quietly, “I reported the joint at the police station, and Chow Hop threatened that, if I did, he’d tell all he knew about everybody. So you’d better be first——”
“You broke the game out to the police!” gasped Pennington, staring dumfoundedly at his comrade. “What on earth——”
“I did it because I had more than one satisfactory reason for considering it my duty,” interposed Dave, speaking quietly though firmly.
“You—you—bag of wind!” exploded Midshipman Pennington.
“I’ll accept your apology when you’ve had time to think it all over,” replied Dave, with a smile, though there was a brief flash in his eyes.
“I’ll make no apology to you—at any time, you—you—greaser!”
Marks for efficiency or good conduct, which increase a midshipman’s standing, are called “grease-marks” or “grease” in midshipman slang. Hence a midshipman who is accused of currying favor with his officers in order to win “grease” is contemptuously termed a “greaser.”
“I don’t want to talk with you any more, Mr. Darrin,” Pennington went on bitterly, “or walk with you, either. When I get over this toothache I’ll call you out—you greaser!”
Burning with indignation, Midshipman Pennington fell back to walk with Hallam.
DAVE’S PAP-SHEET ADVICE
When our party reached the landing a lively scene lay before them.
Fully a hundred midshipmen, belonging to the first, second and third classes, were waiting to be transported out to one or another of the great, gray battleships.
Several launches were darting back and forth over the water. The baggage of the midshipmen had already been taken aboard the battleships. Only the young men themselves were now awaited.
Near-by stood a lieutenant of the Navy, who was directing the embarkation of the midshipmen of the different classes.
Five minutes after our party arrived a launch from the “Massachusetts” lay in alongside the landing.
“Third classmen, this way!” shouted the lieutenant. “How many of you?”
Turning his eyes over the squad that had moved forward, the officer continued:
“Twenty-two. You can all crowd into this launch. Move quickly, young gentlemen!”
In another couple of minutes the puffing launch was steaming away to the massive battleship that lay out in the stream.
Dave stood well up in the bow. Once he barely overheard Pennington mutter to a comrade: