“It seems to me,” remarked Dan, glancing across at his chum, “that you and I, David, little giant, have been here at Annapolis almost ever since we first donned trousers to please the family.”
“It is a long time back to Gridley days,” assented Darrin.
Then Dan went on reading.
“Of course you and Dan are bound that the Navy shall win this year,” Dick had written. “As for Greg and me, we are equally determined that the Army shall win. As if the resolutions on either side had much of anything to do with it! It will seem strange for us four, divided between the two sides, to be fighting frantically for the victory. However, if Greg and I go up against you two on the gridiron we won’t show you any mercy, and we know that we shall receive none from you. Each man must do all that’s possibly in him for the glory of his own side of the United Service! Here’s to the better eleven—Army or Navy!”
“I’ll bet Dick and Greg will give us all the tussle they know how, if they get near us in the fight,” nodded Dan, passing the letter back.
“Well, they’re bound to, aren’t they?” demanded Darrin. “And now, Danny boy, we simply must stow all gab and get busy with our lessons. We’ve a recitation between now and the afternoon practice.”
“And the game, to-morrow!” breathed Midshipman Dalzell fervently.
The morrow’s game was to be against the University of Pennsylvania eleven. The opposition team being an unusually good one that year, the Navy’s gridiron pets were preparing to strain every nerve in the hope of victory.
In that afternoon’s practice Dave and Dan showed up better than ever. Farley and Page, too, were coming along splendidly, while Midshipman Joyce was proving himself all but a joy to exacting Hepson.
But when the morrow came U.P. carried away the game to the tune of five to nothing, and the Navy goat wept. Dave and Dan made several brilliant plays, but the Navy average both of size and skill was somewhat below that of the older, bigger college men.
Other games followed fast now, and the Navy eleven and its subs. had plenty of work cut out for them. Up to the time of the Army-Navy game, the middies had a bright slate of eighty per cent. of victories. Dave and Dan had the pleasure of reading, in the “Army and Navy Journal,” that they were considered the strongest men on the left flank that the Navy had been, able to show in ten years.
“When we go up against the Army,” Hepson informed Dave and Dan, “I don’t know whether you’ll play at left or right. It will all depend on where the Army puts Prescott and Holmes. Friends of ours who have watched the play at West Point tell me that Prescott and Holmes are armored terrors on the gridiron.”
“They are, if they’ve gone forward in the game, instead of backward,” Darrin replied honestly.
“But you and Dalzell can hold ’em, can’t you?” demanded Hepson anxiously.