Other midshipmen present spoke in the same vein. Farley, who wanted to be popular at all times, presently allowed himself to be advised.
Of course the news of the meeting, and of the more emphatic one to come spread fast through Bancroft Hall. There is an unknown wireless that carries all such news on wings through the brigade of midshipmen.
Within half an hour Henkel and Page brought the challenge to Dave Darrin. Dan, in the meantime, had been busy, and had induced Midshipman Rollins, of the fourth class, to act with him as second. Rollins, indeed, needed little urging. He was eager to see the fight.
Tyson, of the second class, was secured as referee, while Trotter, of the third class, gladly agreed to act as time-keeper.
The time was set for an hour before taps, as, on this evening, it would be easy for all the young men involved to slip away and be back in time for taps.
“I won’t let the thing run over two rounds,” promised Farley, who had an excellent idea of himself as a fighter.
That afternoon Dave and Farley were obliged to pass each other. Dave did not even seem to know that his enemy was around. Farley, on the other hand, glared ferociously at Darrin as he passed.
Midshipman Trotter certainly would have come around to offer Dave friendly counsel, had not his position as one of the officials of the fight restrained him.
Dave, by his prompt action, had veered many of his classmates around to his side. The bulk of opinion in the class, however, was that Farley would make good in his boasts of victory. He was a heavily-built yet very active young man, who had shown great promise in boxing bouts in the gymnasium.
At half-past eight that evening, while scores of cadets strolled through the grounds, thinking of the academic term to begin on the morrow, some little groups made their way more directly across the grounds. Many interested glances followed them.
Over in the direction of the Old Government Hospital stepped Dave, accompanied by Dan and Rollins.
They were the first to arrive, though a few minutes later Midshipmen Tyson and Trotter appeared.
“Farley doesn’t seem in as a big hurry as he was,” remarked Dan Dalzell laughingly.
It was not, in fact, until close to the time that Farley, Henkel and Page came on the scene.
“We want to put this mill through briskly, gentlemen,” announced Midshipman Tyson, in a low tone. “Both principals will be good enough to get ready as rapidly as possible.”
Dave Darrin had been only awaiting the order. Now he took off his cap and uniform blouse, handing them to Dan, who folded the coat and laid it on the ground, placing the cap on top of it.
By this time Darrin had pulled his shirt over his head. Dan took that also, while Rollins produced a belt which Dave strapped about his waist with care.