“Now, then, Danny boy, we-----”
First Classman Dave Darrin, midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, did not finish what he was about to say.
While speaking he had closed the door behind him and had stepped into the quarters occupied jointly by himself and by Midshipman Daniel Dalzell, also of the first or upper class.
“Danny boy isn’t here. Visiting, probably,” mused Dave Darrin, after having glanced into the alcove bedroom at his right hand.
It was a Saturday night, early in October. The new academic year at the Naval Academy was but a week old. There being no “hop” that night the members of the brigade had their time to spend as they pleased. Some of the young men would need the time sadly to put in at their new studies. Dave, fortunately, did not feel under any necessity to spend his leisure in grinding over text-books.
Dave glanced at his study desk, though he barely saw the pile of text-books neatly piled up there.
“No letters to write tonight,” he thought “I was going to loan Danny boy one of my two new novels. No matter; if he’d rather visit let him do so.”
In the short interval of recreation that had followed the evening meal Dave had missed his home chum and roommate, but had thought nothing of it. Nor was Dave now really disappointed over the present prospect of having an hour or two by himself. He went to a one-shelf book rack high overhead and pulled down one of his two recent novels.
“If I want Danny boy at any time I fancy I have only to step as far as Page’s room,” mused Dave, as he seated himself by his desk.
An hour slipped by without interruption. An occasional burst of laughter floated down the corridor. At some distance away, on the same deck of barracks in Bancroft Hall, a midshipman was industriously twanging away on a banjo. Darrin, however, absorbed in his novel, paid no heed to any of the signs of Saturday-night jollity. He was a third of the way through an exciting tale when there came a knock on the door—–a moment later a head was thrust in.
Midshipman Farley’s head was thrust inside.
“All alone, Darry?” called Mr. Farley.
“Yes,” Dave answered, laying his novel aside after having thrust an envelope between pages to hold the place. “Come in, Farl.”
“Where’s Dalzell?” inquired Farley, after having closed the door behind him.
“Until this moment I thought that he was in your room.”
“I haven’t seen him all evening,” Farley responded. “Page and I have been yawning ourselves to death.”
“Danny boy is visiting some other crowd, then,” guessed Darrin. “He will probably be along soon. Did you want to see him about anything in particular?”
“Oh, no. I came here to escape being bored to death by Page, and poor old Pagey has just fled to Wilson’s room to escape being bored by me. What are these Saturday evenings for, anyway, when there’s no way of spending them agreeably?”