“Yes; but I happen to know that he was badly upset,” returned Joyce. “Twice he sent me the wrong signal about the numbers to call, and he admitted it afterward. He was afraid, before the game was twenty minutes’ old, that we were up against a big walloping.”
“Oh, well,” Darrin replied, with a shrug of his shoulders, “the Navy is just as used as the Army is to being walloped in athletics. The trouble with the Army and Navy teams, in athletics, is that we’re always pitted against college men who are bigger and older than we are. It’s just about as unfair to us, as it would be unfair to High School teams if we played against High Schools instead of colleges. We could wallop High School outfits at either baseball or football, and the only wonder is that the Army and Navy win as many games as they do against the colleges. College teams have more time for training than the Army or Navy teams do.”
“What are you going to do to-night, Darry?” Joyce asked presently. “The hop?”
“No,” Dave answered almost shortly. The truth was that he was no “hop-fiend” or “fusser.” Except when Belle Meade was at Annapolis to go to a hop with him, Darrin had little liking for the ball.
“I don’t intend to hop either,” Joyce continued. “Now, are you well enough up in grease to get town leave for the evening?”
“Grease” means good standing on the conduct report.
“Yes,” nodded Dave. “Danny and I could easily get town leave, if we had a good excuse. But, of course, it’s out of the question to get leave merely to roam the streets. We’d have to explain where we were going, and then go there.”
“There’s a show on at the theatre,” broke in Dalzell.
“Yes,” nodded Dave. “But do you know what kind of show it is?”
“It’s a burlesque show, brought here to win away the half dollars of the sailors on the ships here. We’d stand very little chance of getting leave to go to that kind of show.”
“But I want to go somewhere, away from the Academy grounds, just for a couple of hours,” sighed Joyce.
“I’d like to go also,” agreed Dave. “But where could we go? That is, to what place or for what purpose could we go that would be approved by the O.C.?”
This proved to be a poser indeed.
“Fact is,” Joyce went on, “I’m so desperate for a little change that I don’t believe I’d funk at taking French over the Academy wall. What do you two say?”
“That dog won’t bark,” Dave retorted.
“Oh, you greaser!” Joyce shied at him.
“Well, I am greasing to the extent that I won’t imperil my chances of keeping in the service by taking any French leave,” Darrin replied steadily. “So, Joyce, I’m afraid a trip to town to-night is out of the question, unless you can think up some plan to get by the O.C.”
“How are you on Frenching the wall, Danny boy?” queried Joyce.
“Just about as big a muff as Darry,” Dan returned dryly.