“No! But one of us will have to do some hitting soon,” burst hotly from Dalzell.
“It’ll be my hit, then, I guess,” smiled Dave wearily. “Have you found out—”
“Dave it’s the most absurd sort of lie! You know that Farley and his little crowd got caught last night, when they returned from their Frenching party over the wall?”
“Frenching” is taking unauthorized leave from the academic limits by going over the wall, instead of through the gate.
“Yes; I know Farley and his friends got caught,” rejoined Darrin. “But what has that to do with me?
“Farley and his friends are sore—”
“They ought not to be,” said Darrin quietly. “They took the chance, and now they ought to be ready to pay up like good sportsmen.”
“Dave, they say you informed on them, and got them caught!”
“What?” shouted Darrin, leaping to his feet. His face was deathly white and the corners of his mouth twitched.
He took two bounding steps toward the door, but Dalzell threw himself in his chum’s way.
“Not just this minute, Dave!” ordered Dan firmly. “We don’t want any manslaughter here—not even of the ‘justifiable’ kind! Sit and wait until you’ve cooled off—some. When you go out I’m going with you—whether it’s out into the corridor, or out of the Naval Academy for good. Sit down, now! Try to talk it over coolly, and get yourself into a frame of mind where you can talk with others without prejudicing your case.”
“My case?” repeated Dave bitterly, as he allowed Dan to force him back into his chair. “I haven’t any case. I haven’t done anything.”
“I know that, but you’ve got to get cool, and stay so, if you want to make sure that others have a chance to know it,” warned Dan.
“Does Farley say that I sneaked in information against him?”
“Farley and the others are so sore over their demerits that they believe almost anything, now, and they say almost anything. Of course, Farley remembers the row he had with you last night. In a fool way he puts two and two together, an decides that you helped set the trap for them.”
“If I had done a dirty thing like that, then I’d deserve to be cut by the whole brigade,” retorted Dave, his face flushing.
“But I want to tell you, right now, Dave, that some of the fellows of our class know you too well to believe any such thing against you.”
“I’m properly grateful to the few, then,” retorted Darrin, his eyes softening a trifle. “But come along, Dan, if you will. I mean to start in at once to sift this thing down.”
“Let me look at you,” ordered Dalzell, grappling with his chum, and looking him over.
Then, a moment later, Dan added:
“Yes; you’re cool enough, I think. I’ll go with you. But remember that the easiest way to destroy yourself is to let your temper get on top. If anybody is to get mad before the crowd, let me do it. Then you can restrain me if I get too violent.”