Having made this preliminary statement, the officer in charge now came down to the doings of the present day.
Midshipman Henkel kept his gaze fixed on Lieutenant Nettleson’s face. Henkel’s bearing was almost arrogant. He had fully decided upon his course of lying himself out of his serious scrape.
Air “The rogue’s march”
“It is already, sir,” spoke Lieutenant Nettleson, “a matter of knowledge with you that Mr. Darrin denied his responsibility in each case of disorder among his personal belongings. It is also a matter within your knowledge, sir, that Mr. Darrin, finally, in his desperation, informed you that he believed that some enemy in the brigade of midshipmen was responsible for all the bad appearances against him.
“The reply of this department, sir, to Mr. Darrin, was to the effect that, while there was a possibility of his claim being correct, yet it was nearly inconceivable. Mr. Darrin was given permission to bring forward any evidence he could secure in support of his view. As time passed, and he confessed himself unable to secure any such evidence, one set of demerits after another accumulated against Mr. Darrin.
“Yesterday, sir, so I am informed, Mr. Farley and Mr. Page approached you, stating that they believed they had good reason for suspecting a member of the brigade of seeking to injure Mr. Darrin. Midshipmen Farley and Page also stated to you that they believed the offender to be a member of the half of the fourth class which does not recite in mathematics the same time as does the half of the class to which Mr. Darrin and his roommate belong.
“As Midshipmen Farley and Page belong to the half of the class that recites during the same periods as do Mr. Darrin and Dalzell, Midshipmen Farley and Page requested permission to remain in their room during the time when they would otherwise be reciting in mathematics. They were thus to remain for two mornings, and other members of the fourth class were then willing to stay on watch for two mornings more, and so on, until the offender against Mr. Darrin, if there was one, could be caught in the act.”
What a baleful glare Midshipman Henkel shot at Farley and Page! Then Henkel saw the eye of the commandant of midshipmen fixed curiously on him, and glanced down at the floor.
“This very unusual permission, sir, you finally agreed to seek from the head of the Department of Mathematics. So, this morning, Mr. Farley and Mr. Page did not march off to recitation in mathematics, but remained in their room. Presently Mr. Page reported to me, in great haste, that a midshipman other than Mr. Darrin, or Mr. Dalzell had just entered their room. I thereupon went down to that room, knocked, waited a moment, and then entered, accompanied by the cadet officer of the day. The condition of things that I found in the room you already, sir,