NAVY FOOTBALL IN THE AIR
Back on the old, familiar Academy grounds!
Both Dave and Dan underwent an unconscious brace as they passed the watchman at the main gate and stepped on, each with a suit case in hand, to the left, with Bancroft Hall in the distance.
Their first move was, as it must be, to report their return to the officer in charge. By that officer the two midshipmen were assigned to the rooms that they were to occupy during the coming academic year.
Once behind their doors, both young men hastened to get out of cit. clothes and back into their beloved uniforms.
“There are worse liveries to wear than Uncle Sam’s,” murmured Dan Dalzell when, having arrayed himself, he glanced down lovingly at the neat, dark blue.
“Much worse,” replied Dave briefly, as, having dressed, he set to work to help make their quarters neat enough to please even the captious eye of the discipline officer. By the time that the two midshipmen finished policing their quarters no housekeeper in the land could have found the least sign of disorder.
Rap-tap! sounded briskly at the door.
“Come in,” called Dave.
The door opened, revealing Midshipman Hepson, of the first class.
“Are you fellows to rights?” he called.
“Come in, Hepson,” urged Dave. “Yes; we’re to rights as far as quarters go.”
Hepson came no more than inside the door before he halted, asking briskly:
“Have you anything on!”
“Nothing but our clothes,” grinned Dan, “and some hair.”
“You’ve no appointments or engagements, then?” persisted Hepson. “My being here won’t interfere with anything that you want to do?”
“Not in the least,” Dave replied.
“Oh, then, I’ll invite myself to a chair,” declared the first classman, suiting the action to the word. “Now, you fellows can guess why I’m here.”
“You’re captain of this year’s football eleven,” Dave replied. “Has that anything to do with your call?”
“Everything,” admitted Hepson briskly. “Have you fellows any notion that we’ve a poor eleven, so far, this year?”
“Why I thought it pretty good, from the practice work that I saw done in August,” Darrin answered slowly.
“A pretty good eleven doesn’t win games, sir,” retorted Hepson. “Man, we’ve got to strengthen the team all along the line, or I’ll go down in Naval Academy history as captain of the worst lot of dubs who ever chased a pigskin around the field!”
“Is it as bad as that?” demanded Dan, opening his eyes.
“Dalzell,” said Hepson, “our eleven is rotten, sir—simply and fiercely useless!”
“If it’s as bad as that,” hinted Dan innocently, “wouldn’t it be a prime good idea to draw our eleven from the field this year?”
“What? Strike the Navy’s colors, and especially to the Army?” glared Mr. Hepson. “What are you talking about?”