“Talk this instant, or to the police station you go!” warned Dave. “Then it will be years before you are a free man again.”
“Mercy, Captain!” howled the frightened Greek.
“Then out with the whole truth like lightning!” ordered Dave Darrin.
He accompanied his order with a shaking that made the Greek’s teeth rattle.
“Stop, sare, stop! I tell you!” whined Tony.
“Go ahead, then, you brute.”
“You know Midsheepman Brimmer?”
“I know him,” repeated Dave.
“He tell me, sare, about one joke. He geev me bottle of stuff, and he tell me when this midsheepman, or his friend, come in my place I am to put half of stuff in the bottle in one glass of what the midsheepman order. Then I am to follow the midsheepman out, and watch him until he fall. I am also to have bottle of alcohol with me and sprinkle some on the midsheepman when he fall and lie still. Then I am to go away and let the midsheepman be found. It is to be one grand joke on the midsheepman.”
“Give me what is left of the bottle of stuff that Midshipman Brimmer gave you to put in the drink,” commanded Dave sternly.
Tony’s first impulse was to deny that he had the vial with him. But Darrin’s grip on the fellow’s arm tightened so alarmingly that the Greek thrust his left hand down into a trousers pocket, then produced the vial, which Darrin pocketed.
“So this is Brimmer’s work—and Brimmer was at one time Henkel’s roommate and crony!” flashed swiftly through Darrin’s mind. “Oh, the scoundrel!”
“Some one ees coming, sare,” warned Tony. “Let me go, sare.”
“Stay where you are, and don’t dare make a move to get away,” warned Darrin. “It would do you no good, anyway. I know where to find you.”
Then Darrin peeped cautiously out at the head of the alley. Some one was coming, and that some one wore the Naval uniform. Dave’s heart began to beat faster. Then the wearer the uniform passed the light from a store window, and his face was briefly revealed. Darrin’s heart, for a few seconds, seemed almost to stop beating. For it was Brimmer himself!
Further up in the town that midshipman had heard a fleeting word, uttered by some one, about a staggering midshipman having been seen going down Main Street.
“A dollar to a doughnut it’s Darrin himself! flashed exultantly through Brimmer’s mind. He hurried on, though careful to avoid the appearance of haste.
“I wish Henkel were here at this moment!” thought Brimmer. “Oh, it will be great to see that sneak, Darrin—”
Just at that moment Brimmer stopped short, with something like a gasp.
For he did see Darrin, standing before him, towering in his wrath.
In the days of “Old two-five”