“Thank you.” Dave drew out stationery, picked up a pen and began to write. Dalzell returned to his text-book. When Dave had written the letter, he read to Dan the portion that related to a description of the Jetson matter before the class.
“I think it’s all right to send that much of a statement,” nodded Dan.
“Then I’m going to mail the letter at once, and it will go out to-night. Belle tells me that she is extremely anxious to know the outcome of the matter. Poor girl, I’m afraid my letter may be even worse than no news.”
“Belle didn’t betroth herself to the uniform or the Navy, if I know her,” returned Dan quietly.
Dave went out and mailed the letter. It would not reach Belle until Monday morning. Wednesday afternoon, on returning from the last recitation, Dave found her answer on his study table.
“Want to hear a part of it, Dan?” questioned Midshipman Darrin.
“Of course I do,” admitted that young man.
“Listen, then,” and Dave read from Belle’s letter as follows:
“’I won’t attempt to say that I am not in the least worried or bothered over the turn the Jetson matter has taken,’” ran Belle’s letter. “’I can’t help feeling vitally interested in anything that concerns you. But you tell me that you have followed your own sense of honor and your own conscience in the matter. The best man that ever lived couldn’t do better than that. I hope—oh, I do hope—that the whole affair will turn out in some way that will not be disagreeable to you. But remember, Dave, that the lightheaded little High School girl who plighted her faith to you is interested in you—not particularly in a future Naval officer, necessarily. If the affair should go to the worst ending, and you find it advisable to resign from the Naval Academy on account of any class feeling, there are plenty of bright prospects in life for an honorable and capable man. Don’t ever imagine that I shall be disappointed over anything that you do, as long as you remain true to yourself and your manhood. And I will add, if you care to know it, that I approve of what you have done and am proud of you for your grit to do the right thing,’”
“A great girl!” cried Dan admiringly. “Just the kind of girl, too, that I was sure she is.”
“Just the same,” commented Dave musingly, “I know quite well that Belle has set her heart on seeing me serve in the Navy with credit.”
“She wanted that because she knew you wanted it,” Dan assured him.
Darrin was in the middle of his week’s studies, where every minute’s work counted, but he took the time to write an intense, if short, answer to Belle’s letter. That finished, and dropped in the mail-box, he went back to his room and began to study.
Rap-tap! Farley slipped into the room.
“Thought I’d better come right away, Darry,” explained the caller. “The news won’t keep. A class meeting is called for Friday night right after supper. You know what that means, don’t you?”