“Did Jetson do it?”
No sooner had release from studies sounded through big and handsome Bancroft Hall, than there came a tap at Dave Darrin’s door.
“Come in,” called Dave.
Hepson came in first, followed by a score of other midshipmen.
“Say, I didn’t hear assembly blow lately,” remarked Dan Dalzell, closing a new text-book and looking up with a smile of welcome.
“Are we intruding—so many of us,” inquired Hepson, halting.
“Not on me, anyway,” answered Dave pleasantly. “As for Danny boy, don’t mind the little chap. He really believes that study release sounds before supper-call. Come right in, all of you fellows. Dan barks, but won’t bite.”
“And take seats, all of you, do,” urged Dan, with unnecessary hospitality. “After the table and the chairs are used up, we’ll provide tacks for the rest.”
“Does this little boy ever have a serious streak?” asked one of the callers, regarding Dan with feigned interest.
“Yes; whenever he finds himself marked down to 2.1 in more than three studies,” laughed Dave.
“Oh, that’s no laughing matter,” grimaced another of the visiting midshipmen.
“I don’t suppose you can guess what we came to talk about?” went on Midshipman Hepson.
“At a wild guess it might be football,” hazarded Darrin.
“Wonderful! Marvelous!” gasped another visitor.
“Darry, we’ve come in to tell you that we believe that you and your erratic roommate are going to save a desperate situation for us,” resumed the captain of the Navy team. “Not that we were destitute of good players before. But we lacked enough of different kinds to make a strong, all-around eleven. Now we’ve a team that we’re not afraid, after more work, to put up against anything that the Army can show us.”
“Now, I wouldn’t be too sure,” urged Dave. “Confidence is all right, but don’t let it rob us of a jot of practice and work.”
“Are you afraid of the Army, Darry?” demanded Hepson.
“I’m not going to be too cock-sure, if the story is true that Prescott and Holmes are out with the Army team this year.”
“Are they such great players!” demanded Hepson.
“They are,” Dave responded solemnly, “or were. I know something about that pair, since I’ve played on the same eleven with Prescott and Holmes.”
“Are they better than you two, Darry?” Hepson demanded.
“Yes,” answered Dave unhesitatingly.
“Is that honesty or extreme modesty?”
“Extreme mod—” broke in Dan Dalzell, but he closed his mouth with a snap and ducked as he saw three of the visitors making for him.
“It’s hard to believe,” muttered Hepson, though he spoke uneasily. “Why do you rank Prescott and Holmes so high, Darry?”
“Well, for one reason, Dick Prescott taught Dalzell and myself the game. Anything that we know about the game we learned in the team that Prescott captained.”