“Isn’t that about all you want to say?” demanded Dave, looking up with a frown.
“No; it’s not half what I have to say,” cried Farley hotly. “Darrin, your kind of fellow is a disgrace to the Naval service! You’re a sneak—that’s what—”
“You may stop, right there!” frowned Darrin, rising from his chair.
“I’ll stop when I’m proper ready!” retorted Farley hotly.
“If you don’t stop right now, you’ll finish while engaged in landing on your ear in the hall outside!” warned Dave, stepping forward.
There was a new look in Darrin’s usually patient eyes. It was a look Farley hadn’t seen there before, and it warned the hot-headed midshipman that he was in danger of going too far.
“Oh, fudge on you, Darrin!” jeered Farley, turning on his heel. “Going to be with us, Dalzell?
“No,” replied Dan promptly. “I never travel with the enemies of my friends.”
“Greasers, both of you!” flung back the caller, and left them.
“If that fellow had talked an hour longer I believe I might have lost my patience,” smiled Darrin, as he turned back to his desk. “But I’m glad you’re not with that outfit tonight Danny boy. It may turn out a big scrape.”
“Why should it turn out a big scrape.” demanded Dan.
“Oh, you never can tell,” replied Darrin, as he picked up his book.
Farley did not succeed in getting two more midshipmen to join in the Frenching. Twenty minutes after taps, however, the original six of the fourth class slipped out of Bancroft Hall.
Slyly they made their way to where they had a board hidden near the wall of the Academy grounds.
One at a time, and swiftly, they went up this board, and over the wall.
At Purdy’s they found a meal to tempt the most whimsical appetite. The meal over they spent much time in singing and story-telling.
It was nearly two in the morning when Farley and his fellow feasters tried to get back into the grounds, over the wall.
They got over the wall, all right, but only to fall into the hands of one of the watchmen, who seemed to have known exactly where to expect their return.
All six were reported to the officer in charge. At breakfast formation Midshipmen Farley, Oates, Scully, Brimmer, Henkel and Page were assigned fifty demerits each for unauthorized absence during the night.
Farley and his friends were furious. More, they were talkative.
Had Dave Darrin been less occupied that day he would have noted that many of his classmates avoided him.
Dan did notice, and wondered, without speaking of the matter.
That day all the upper class men returned, and Bancroft Hall hummed for a while with the bustle of the returning hundreds.
Just before the dinner formation Youngster Trotter encountered Dave in the corridor.
“Hullo, mister!” was Trotter’s greeting, and the youngster actually held out his hand.