“And he’ll get it, too,” wrathfully promised Midshipman Quimby, who was rated high as a fighter at the Naval Academy.
“Just for exercise”
“Now, then, mister, keep your eyes on my humorous face!”
It was the next evening, over behind the old government hospital.
Midshipman Quimby had just stepped forward, from the hands of his seconds, two men of the third class.
“I can’t keep my eyes away from that face, and my hands are aching to follow the same route, sir,” grimaced Dalzell.
He, too, had just stepped forward from the preliminary care of Dave and of Rollins, for that latter fourth class man was as anxious to see this fight as he had been the other one.
“Stop your talk, mister,” commanded Midshipman Ferris, of the second class, who was present to officiate as referee. “On the field you talk with your hands. Don’t be touge all the time, or you’ll soon have a long fight calendar.”
“Very good, sir,” nodded Dan, his manner suddenly most respectful—as far as appearance went.
Dave Darrin did not by any means approve his chum’s conduct of the night before, but Dave was on hand as second, just the same, and earnestly hoping that Dan might get at least his share of the honors in the event that was now to be “pulled off.”
“Gentlemen,” began Mr. Ferris, in the monotonous way of referees, “this fight is to be to a finish, without gloves. Hand-shaking will be dispensed with. Are you ready?”
“Ready!” assented both.
Both men advanced warily.
Quimby knew well enough that he could whip the plebe, but he didn’t intend to let Dalzell get in any blows that could be guarded against.
Both men danced about until Mr. Ferris broke in, rather impatiently:
“Stop eating chocolates and mix it up!”
“Like this, sir?” questioned Dan. Darting in, on a feint, he followed Quimby’s block with a blow that jolted the youngster’s chin.
Then Dan slipped away again, grinning gleefully, well aware that nothing would anger Quimby more easily than would that same grin. “I’ll wipe that disgrace off your face myself,” growled Quimby, closing in briskly.
“Come over here and get it,” taunted Dan, showing some of his neatest footwork.
Quimby sent in three blows fast; two of them Dalzell blocked, but one hit him on the chest, staggering him slightly. Midshipman Quimby started to follow up his advantage. In another moment, however, he was backing away with a cut lip.
“There’s something to wipe off your own face,” suggested Dan, grinning harder than ever.
Stung, Mr. Quimby made strenuous efforts to pay back with worse coin. He was still trying when the call of time sounded.
“You didn’t half go in after him, Dan,” murmured Dave, as the latter and Rollins quickly toweled their man in the corner.