“You might suggest that little point to the commandant of midshipmen,” grinned Dan.
“And get jolly well trounced for our impudence,” grimaced Midshipman Hepson. “No, thank you; though you criminals have our utmost sympathy, we will let matters rest where they are at present. Only a fool tries to change well enough into worse.”
THE NAVY GOAT WEEPS
“Did you hear that Ella had a bad tumble down three stories?” asked Midshipman Dan.
“Ella who?” questioned Dave, looking up.
“Elevator!” grinned Dalzell.
“Ugh!” grunted Dave disgustedly. “Say, do you know how that would strike the com.?”
“No,” replied Dan innocently, looking away. “How would it strike him?”
“Hard!” Dave responded. Slam! The somewhat heavy book that Darrin, aimed went straight to the mark, landing against Dan’s nearer ear with all the force of a sound boxing.
“I see you appreciate a good joke,” muttered Dalzell grimly.
“Yes,” Dave admitted. “Do you?”
“When I tell you another,” growled Dan, “I’ll be holding an axe hidden behind my back.”
“Say, did I show you that letter of Dick’s?” Dave asked, looking up presently.
“Appendix?” inquired Dan suspiciously.
“Oh, stow all that, little boy!” retorted Dave. “No; did I tell you that I had a letter from Dick Prescott?”
“I think you mentioned something of the sort, last winter,” Dalzell admitted still suspicious.
“No; I got one this morning from good old Dick,” Darrin went on.
“All right,” Dan agreed. “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t had time to read it yet,” Darrin responded. “But here’s the letter. Maybe you’d like to look it over.”
Across the study table Dan Dalzell received the envelope and its enclosure rather gingerly. Dan didn’t like to be caught “biting” at a “sell,” and he still expected some trick from his roommate.
It was, however, a letter written in Dick Prescott’s well-remembered handwriting.
“I understand that you are both on the Navy team, and that you made good in the first game,” wrote the West Point cadet. “I hope you’ll both stay in to the finish, and improve with every game. Greg and I are plugging hard at the game in the little time that the West Point routine allows us for practice. From what I have heard of your game, I think it likely that you and good, but impish old Dan, are playing against the very position that Greg and I hope to hold in the annual Army-Navy game. Won’t it be great?”
“Yes, it will be great, all right, if the Navy contrives to win,” Dan muttered, looking up at his chum.
“Either the Army or Navy must lose,” replied Dave quietly.
“And just think!” Cadet Dick Prescott’s letter ran on. “When we meet, lined up for battle on Franklin Field, Philadelphia, it will be the first time we four have met since we wound up the good old High School days at Gridley. It seems an age to Greg and me. I wonder if the time seems as long to you two?”