“Perhaps,” grinned Dan, “if we two are so important to Navy prestige as you appear to imagine, we shall not be kept long from the gridiron.”
“Dalzell,” retorted Hepson impatiently, “you’re a second classman, and you’ve been here long enough to know that no considerations of discipline will be made to stand aside in order that the Navy may have a better athletic team of any kind. Nothing here is sacrificed to athletics, and you surely must know it.”
“Then I guess we’re dished,” confessed Dalzell mournfully.
“A fine way for you two to go and use the football squad! Great!” insisted Hepson bitterly.
“Had you been with us, Hepson, you’d have done just as we did. I know that,” Dave replied.
“Well, you are calling me a bit,” agreed Hepson. “After all, I don’t know just what it was that got you both into this scrape. Some kind of fight, or row, in town, was all I heard.”
“Then I’ll tell you about it,” Darrin went on quietly.
“Well, I really don’t see how you could have helped it,” agreed Midshipman Hepson after he had listened. “But that doesn’t save us any. We’re out our two best line players and our quarter-back.”
“Oh, we’ll be restored to the squad as soon as the sentence has been pronounced,” predicted Dan Dalzell.
“Even if you’re bounced out of the Naval Academy?” demanded Hepson savagely.
“It—it won’t be as bad as that,” faltered Dan.
“Perhaps not,” agreed Hepson, “though you must understand that the charge of assaulting civilians is not a light matter. You can be dismissed for it, you know.”
“Yes,” nodded Dave Darrin, and then Danny boy went several shades less ruddy.
“Here’s hoping for the best,” grumbled Hepson, holding out his hand to each in turn. “And, for the love of Mike, keep out of all further trouble! Don’t look cross-eyed—once—until after November!”
TWO SIDES OF A STORY
One circumstance puzzled all of the midshipmen who first heard of the affair. The fourth, and unknown, midshipman, who had waited outside of the house and assaulted the first civilian, must have known the latter or it was not likely that he would have committed the assault. That being the case, it was just likely that the civilian knew and had recognized the unknown midshipman who had knocked him down. Such an attack must have followed some prior dispute.
Then, since the civilians had undoubtedly made complaint to the Naval Academy authorities, how had they been able to get out of supplying the name of the midshipman unknown to Dave and his friends?
Right after breakfast the next morning Dave Darrin and his friends of the evening before were summoned before the commandant of midshipmen. By that officer they were questioned very rigidly, but they had nothing to add to their statement of the night before. They were therefore ordered back to their quarters, with permission only to attend chapel that forenoon.