Dave Darrin was promptly recognized as being “almost sea-going.” He would need but little running.
Dan Dalzell, on the other hand, was soon listed as being “touge,” though not “ratey.”
Invited to join the “Frenchers”
Within the nest few days several things happened that were of importance to the new fourth class men.
Other candidates arrived, passed the surgeons, and were sworn into Naval service.
Many of the young men who had passed the surgeons, and who had gone through the dreary, searching ordeals over in grim old Academic Hall, had now become members of the new fourth class.
As organized, the new fourth class started off with two hundred and twenty-four members—numerically a very respectable battalion.
At the outset, while supplied only with midshipmen’s caps, and while awaiting the “building” of their uniforms, these new midshipmen were drilled by some of the members of the upper classes.
This state of affairs, however, lasted but very briefly. Graduation being past, the members of the three upper classes were rather promptly embarked on three of the most modern battleships of the Navy and sent to sea for the summer practice cruise.
The night before embarkation Midshipman Trotter looked in briefly upon Dave Darrin and his roommate.
“Well, mister,” announced the youngster, with a paternal smile, “somehow you’ll have to get on through the rest of the summer without us.”
“It will be a time of slow learning for us, sir,” responded Darrin, rising.
“Your summer will henceforth be restful, if not exactly instructive,” smiled Trotter. “In the absence of personal guidance, mister, strive as far as you can to reach the goal of being sea going.”
“I’ll try, sir.”
“You won’t have such hard work as your roommate,” went on Trotter, favoring Dalzell with a sidelong look. “And, now, one parting bit of advice, mister. Keep it at all times in mind that you must keep away from demoralizing association with the forty per cent.”
Statistics show that about forty per cent of the men who enter the U.S. Naval Academy fail to get through, and are sent back into civil life. Hence the joy of keeping with the winning “sixty.”
The next morning the members of the three upper classes had embarked aboard the three big battleships that lay at anchor in the Severn. It was not until two days afterwards that the battleships sailed, but the upper class men did not come ashore in the interval.
Soon after the delivery of uniforms to the new fourth class men began and continued rapidly.
Dave and Dan, having been among the first to have their measure taken, were among the earliest to receive their new Naval clothing.
A tremendously proud day it was for each new midshipman when he first surveyed himself, in uniform, in the mirror!