As if to back up the surgeon, Dave opened his eyes, staring curiously at the faces within his range of vision.
“What’s all this fuss about?” Dave asked quietly.
“There isn’t any fuss, Mr. Darrin,” replied the surgeon. “You were stunned by the force of that scrimmage, and there’s some blood on your face.”
“Let me wipe it off then, please, sir?” Dave begged. “I want to get back in the game.”
“You won’t play again, Mr. Darrin,” replied the surgeon.
“Not play this season?” demanded Dave in anguished amazement. “Please don’t joke with me, sir.”
“Oh, you’ll play, after a few days,” replied the surgeon, wetting a piece of gauze from the contents of a bottle that he had taken from his bag. With the gauze he wiped the blood away from Darrin’s cheek, revealing a surface cut of more width than depth. Then a light bandage was put on over the cut.
“Now, I guess you can rise all right, Mr. Darrin. This hospital man will go over to hospital with you.”
“I’m not ordered to stay there, I hope, sir?” murmured Dave anxiously.
“For two or three days, at any rate—yes,” replied the Naval surgeon. “Not because you’re going to be weak, but because we’ve got to have you under our eyes all the time if your face is to heal without a bad scar.”
Midshipman Darrin brought his hand up in salute to the surgeon, and again to Lieutenant-Commander Havens.
“Darrin laid up for a few days!” growled Captain Hepson, of the Navy team, just after Dave had started. “Now, when every day’s work counts!” Then wheeling suddenly:
“How did Darrin come to get cut in that fashion, anyway! Mr. Jetson, do you know anything about it?”
“What do you mean, sir?” demanded Jetson, bridling. “Do you insinuate that I tried to put a scar on Mr. Darrin’s face?”
“I asked you what you knew about the accident—if it were an accident?” Hepson pursued coldly.
“Your ‘if,’ sir, is insulting!”
Then there came to the spot a presence that could not be treated with anger. Lieutenant-Commander Havens was determined to know the truth.
“Mr. Jetson, had you anything in your possession, or did you wear anything, that could cut Mr. Damn’s face like that?” demanded the head coach.
“Nothing, sir, unless the sole of one of my shoes was responsible,” returned Jetson, barely concealing his anger under a mask of respect to an officer of the Navy.
“Let me see your shoes; sit down on the ground first, Mr. Jetson.”
The midshipman obeyed, though with no very good grace, and held up his right shoe for the inspection of the head coach.
“Now the other shoe, Mr. Jetson. Hm! Yes; along the inner sole of this shoe there are signs of what looks very much like blood. See here, Mr. Hepson.”
“Yes, sir; most certainly this is a streak of blood rubbed into the leather along this rather sharp edge of the sole.”