There was a murmur that ran around the room as Jetson rose to his feet, claiming the chair’s recognition.
“Mr. President and gentlemen,” began Jetson, his face pale and his words coming with effort, “I am not going to discuss the question of whether the class will or will not be justified in sending me to Coventry. I have a duty to perform to-night, and I assure you that it comes hard, for my temper and pride have been beyond my control for a long time. I wish to make a most earnest apology for remarks of mine that were construed as being insulting to the members of the brigade. I further desire to make any statement, or any admission that will most quickly banish any sense of wrong coming from me. In doing so, I am moved to this proper course by my friend, Mr. Darrin!”
THE BIRTH OF A GENTLEMAN
It wasn’t a real bombshell that hit the class, of course, but the effect was almost as startling. First, there were murmurs, then a hubbub of voices, last of all a rousing cheer.
In the midst of the excitement Midshipman Farley leaped to his feet.
“Mr. President!” he bellowed.
But his voice did not carry ten feet from where he stood.
“Mr. President!” he yelled, louder than ever before.
Still the hubbub continued. Farley leaped to the seat of his chair, turning and waving both arms frantically. Any midshipman who had glanced toward the chair would have discovered that the occupant of the class chair was rapping hard with his gavel, though no sound of it was heard above the tumult.
Presently, however, Farley’s antics produced their effect. The noise gradually lessened.
“Mr. President!” essayed Farley once more.
“Mr. Farley has the floor!” shouted the class president hoarsely.
“Mr. President,” went on Farley, at the top of his voice, “class honor and that of the brigade have been satisfied by the direct, manly statement of Mr. Jetson. I move you, sir, that the motion now before this body be tabled, all further action dropped and the class meeting adjourned subject to call.”
“Second the motion!” yelled Page.
“The motion to adjourn must follow the disposal of the first part of the motion,” ruled the chair.
“I accept the amendment,” called Farley.
“I, also,” assented Page.
“Before putting the motion,” continued the chair, “I desire to ask Mr. Jetson if he has fully considered his statement and the revised position that he has taken? Since the matter affects the entire brigade, and not this single class, I feel that there should be no doubt, or any question to be raised later.”
“Mr. President,” announced Jetson, when he had secured recognition, “I have retracted any offensive words that I may have uttered. I have attempted no justification of any of my words, but have made flat apology.”