“It’s off,” responded Dave, tossing the garment aside. “Now, look to yourself, sir!”
The two second classmen closed in furiously. It was give and take, for a few moments. In the clinches, however, Jetson succeeded in tearing Darrin’s dress coat, and also in starting the blood again so that the crimson dripped down on Dave’s white shirt front.
At the end of a full minute, however, Darrin had sent his enemy to the ground, stopped in a knock-out. Both of Jetson’s eyes were also closed and badly swollen.
“Joyce,” asked Hepson, “will you kindly remain with Jetson and see that he is assisted to the hospital, if he needs it? It won’t do for too many of us, especially Darry, to be found here by any officer who may be passing.”
“I’ll attend to it,” nodded Midshipman Joyce, “though I’d rather perform the service for any other fellow in the brigade.”
Now that the affair was over, and Dave, after inspecting the damage to his dress coat, was pulling on his overcoat, he was suddenly recalled to other responsibilities.
“Danny boy,” he said ruefully, as Hepson walked away with them, “I can’t very well get back to the hop soon—perhaps not at all tonight. I can’t go back in this torn coat, and I may not be able to borrow another that will fit me well. Will you be good enough to hurry back and explain to Belle why I am delayed—perhaps prevented from seeing her again tonight?”
“Certainly,” nodded Dalzell, turning and hastening back.
“Now, what was it all about, Darry?” asked Hepson, as he walked along with Dave.
Midshipman Darrin explained the trouble as well as he could.
“So the idiot accused you of keeping him off the football eleven!” demanded Hepson in astonishment.
“Yes; and I offered to prove, by you, that I had nothing to do with his exclusion from the team.”
“Why the sole and whole reason why Jetson wasn’t called to the Navy team,” declared Hepson, “was because he was believed to be too awkward and too dangerous to other players. Whew, but I’m certainly sorry this thing has happened!”
“So am I,” Dave confessed candidly.
“And Jet made the further fool mistake of declaring that he wouldn’t accept the word of any midshipman in the brigade.”
“Something of the sort.”
“Why, that’s a wholesale, blanket insult to the whole brigade. Darry, your class will have to take action over such a remark as that.”
“Oh, Jetson uttered the remark in the heat of an exceptional temper.”
“That won’t save him,” predicted Hepson sagely. “The insult is there and it will stick. Your class, Darry, would lose caste with the fellows here if it allowed such an insult to go.”
“Well, if it gets around, I suppose some sort of action will have to be taken.”
“The second class, under the circumstances, can’t do much less than send Jetson to Coventry.”