MIDSHIPMAN JETSON HAS THE FLOOR
It was Friday afternoon, and the last sections had been dismissed in front of Bancroft Hall. The balance of the afternoon belonged to the midshipmen, though most of them found it necessary to give the time to study.
Jetson was not one of the latter. Always well up in his studies, he had no occasion to worry about daily markings or semi-annual examinations.
He had not grown less sulky, but he found himself a victim of unusual restlessness. So he decided upon remaining out in the open air for the present.
Though actuated by a very different class of feelings, Darrin, also, felt disinclined for books. He tried to study, for a few minutes, but gave it up and caught up his cap. The winter day being mild, he did not trouble himself to don his uniform overcoat.
“Going to slip your cable?” inquired Dan, who was moored fast to a text-book.
“Yes; I feel the need of fresh air.”
“Shove off, then!”
Dave went out quietly, Dan gazing curiously after his friend until the door had closed behind him.
“Poor chap,” muttered Dan. “I reckon he has need enough of something to stop that restless feeling. The class meets to-night!”
Jetson, after some fifteen minutes of aimless wandering, felt himself attracted to the gymnasium. Going inside, he went to his locker, where, with feverish energy, he changed to gym costume.
For a few minutes the sulky one performed on the flying rings. He was an adept at this work, and something in the rapid motion soothed his troubled mind.
Tiring of the rings at last, Jetson stood with folded arms, looking about him, until his eyes lighted with interest on the trapezes. One was up higher than the rest. Drawn toward this one, Jetson took hold of the climbing rope and drew himself up, hand over hand. Seating himself on the bar, he sat looking about at the few other midshipmen who were exercising at that hour.
“There comes that Darrin fellow,” thought Jetson, with a sudden burst of rage. “Wonder if he’s going to work this afternoon? If he does, I’ll put it all over him, even if I break my neck in the trying.”
Back and forth swung Jetson, getting up speed on the trapeze. Then, suddenly, he threw his head downward, hanging on by his knees. An intentional slip, and he hung fully downward his ankles holding at the ends of the crossbar.
Folding his arms, Jetson again began to swing as he hung head downward. Among the midshipmen there were not so very many who were skillful at this form of exercise. Jetson was, and he was secretly proud of it.
“This will put the fellow Darrin to the bad if he came in with any notion of showing off,” thought the sulky one exultantly.
Now the other midshipmen turned to leave the gym. In a moment more the only two left were Darrin and the man on the trapeze. In addition to the midshipmen there were two gym. attendants at some little distance.