Tony had abundant reasons for his silence. He had promptly demanded two hundred dollars from Brimmer, and the latter had sent post haste to his father for the money, explaining only that he needed it to “buy his way out of a scrape.”
The money now rested in Tony’s pocket.
Dave, Dan, Farley and Page tried hard, however, in other directions, to secure the need evidence. There was no druggists’ label on the vial, so these four midshipmen visited all the druggists in Annapolis, seeking light on the matter. The druggists, however, denied any knowledge of the vial or of its contents.
Now, the friends appeared to be up against a dead wall of difficulty. They did not cease their efforts, however, and held many conferences behind closed doors.
Brimmer kept track of their activities as best he could. He became moody, and slackened in his studies.
After that the semi-annual examinations came on. Dave passed better than he had hoped, making two-nine as his standing.
Dalzell was forced to be content with two-seven, but as two-five was a high enough mark for passing Dan was delighted. Farley and Page got through safely, and that was all.
Fifty-nine of the men of the fourth class were dropped for failing to keep up to the two-five standard.
And one of these was Midshipman Brimmer. He and the other unlucky ones left for their homes as soon as the results had been announced.
Brimmer would have passed, in all probability, had he not been unstrung by the knowledge that four of his comrades were working to secure the evidence which should warrant his expulsion from the Naval Academy. Oppressed by dread, this young scoundrel was not capable of doing his best work at the semi-annuals.
So Brimmer left as Henkel had done. The only difference was that Brimmer did not have to slink away to the tune of “The Rogue’s March.”
“You’re past the worst of it, now, mister,” murmured Youngster Trotter, in passing Dave. “You’ll win through hereafter.”
But Dave Darrin could hardly help feeling that his greatest thankfulness was over the fact that the poisonous pair, Henkel and Brimmer, were both out of the Navy for good and all.
The Collision on the Chesapeake
The weeks slipped by quickly now.
Athletics cannot occupy as prominent a place at Annapolis as at the universities and colleges, for the midshipmen must, above all, be sure that they stand high enough in their academic work. Dave and Dan were both invited out for baseball try-out, but both asked to be excused.
Dan, by himself, would have gone in for the Navy nine, and doubtless would have made it.
It was Darrin, the cautious, who dissuaded Dalzell.
“Better shy away from athletics, Danny boy, until you’ve made your academic footing secure,” was Dave’s advice.