Having delivered this harangue with an air of patient justice, Henkel seated himself with one leg thrown over the edge of the study table, waiting to hear what Farley could say in reply. “Well, what do you plan to do further in the matter?” insisted Midshipman Farley.
“To get square with Darrin!”
“Well, now see here, Farley, and you, too, Page, what has happened? At first we had the class pretty sore against Darrin for getting our crowd ragged. Since the fight, however, in which you were pummeled like—”
“Never mind my fate in the fight,” interposed Farley. “It was a fair fight.”
“Well, ever since the fight,” resumed Henkel, “Darrin has been climbing up again in class favor. Most of the boobies in the fourth class seem to feel that, just because Darrin hammered you so, the beating you received proves Darrin’s innocence of a mean act.”
“I can’t help what the class concludes,” retorted Farley stiffly.
“Page, you have more spirit than that, haven’t you?” demanded Henkel, wheeling upon Midshipman Farley’s roommate.
“I hope I have spirit enough,” replied Page, bridling slightly, “but I am aware of one big lack.”
“What is that?”
“I seem to lack the keen intelligence needed to understand what you are driving at, Henkel.”
“That’s the point, Henkel,” broke in Midshipman Farley, walking the floor in short turns. “Just what are you driving at? Why are you trying to make me mad by such frequent references to the fact that Darrin won his fight with me?”
“I’m sounding you fellows,” admitted Henkel.
“That’s just what it rings like,” affirmed Midshipman Page, nodding his head. “Well, out with it! What’s your real proposition?”
“Are you with me?” asked Midshipman Henkel warily.
“How can we tell,” demanded Farley impatiently, “until you come down out of the thunder clouds, and tell us just what you mean?”
“Pshaw, fellows,” remarked Mr. Henkel, in exasperation, “I hate to think it, but I am beginning to wonder if you two have the amount of spirit with which I had always credited you.”
“Cut out the part about the doubts,” urged Farley, “and tell us, in plain English, just what you are driving at.”
“Fellows, I believe, then,” explained Midshipman Henkel, “that we owe it to ourselves, to the Naval Academy and to the Navy, to work Dave Darrin out of here as soon as we can.”
“How?” challenged Farley flatly.
“Why, can’t we put up some scheme that will pile up the ‘dems.’ against that industrious greaser? Can’t we spring a game that will wipe all his grease-marks off the efficiency slate?” asked Midshipman Henkel mysteriously.
“Do you mean by putting up a job on Darrin?” inquired Page.
“That’s just it!” nodded Henkel, with emphasis.
“Putting up a job on a man usually calls for trickery, doesn’t it?” questioned Farley.