“You two young midshipmen will have to come inside and get some of our attention,” called Dr. Bentley in an authoritative voice.
“I think not, thank you, doctor,” replied Dave Darrin. “The most that we want is some place where we can strip and rub down, while waiting for dry clothing.”
“I know just the room, and I’ll take you there,” urged Len Spencer, reporter for the “Morning Blade.” Len was an old friend of Dick Prescott, who, in his High School days before going to West Point, had worked as an amateur space reporter for the “Blade.”
Len led the way gladly. While Dan and Dave stripped and rubbed down, Len got out of them the whole account of what they had been through. Reporter Spencer had already talked with Belle and Laura. A man in an auto had already started for the homes of the two midshipmen, to obtain changes of clothing for them.
“Now, Len,” begged Dave, “don’t spread on a lot of taffy. Don’t smother us under the hero racket.”
“But it was an heroic thing,” Len argued. “And, besides, it was done with great skill, of the kind that you’ve gained at the Naval Academy. It makes a corking, elegant story about two of our brightest Gridley lads.”
“But, Len, do you realize that the fellows at the Naval Academy will make us read aloud to them this yarn you’re proposing to write about us—that is, if they happen to hear about it?”
“And then, after we’ve read the yarn straight, they’ll make us sing it all to some blamed old tune or another,” groaned Dalzell.
“Well, I can’t help it,” sighed good-natured Len. “It’s a story we’ve got to have to-morrow morning. I’d lose my position if I didn’t write a good story about this afternoon’s work. And, now that I’ve got a wife and baby to feed, I can’t afford to waste any good time in job-hunting.”
“Then I hope none of the other fellows at the Naval Academy hear about the ‘Blade’s’ story,” gulped Dan, as he wrapped himself in a blanket while waiting for his dry clothes.
“Hear about it?” retorted Len. “They’ll hear about it, all right. The Associated Press man at Gridley will be sure to send something about it to the papers all over the country.”
“I guess we’ve got to take our medicine, Danny,” hinted Midshipman Dave Darrin.
In the meantime Tom Foss was soon comfortable, wrapped up in blankets and with plenty of coffee inside him. Nor did it take long to bring Ab Canty around. In three quarters of an hour Susie Danes opened her eyes.
As for Ella Wright, the physicians and nurses worked over her long and earnestly, and were on the point of giving her up when at last a flutter of her eyelids was seen.
By night time all of the young people were quite out of danger, but the parents of the Wright and Danes families were highly indignant over the recklessness of Tom Foss in taking the girls out on the river in such a heavy wind.