“If you two go on,” laughed Midshipman Farley, one evening after release, “you’ll both end up with hating your old-time chums.”
“Don’t you believe it!” retorted Dave Darrin almost sharply. “This is just a matter between the two service academies. What we want is to show the country that the Navy can put up an eleven that can walk all around the Army on Franklin Field.”
“A lot the country cares about what we do!” laughed Page.
“True,” admitted Dare. “A good many people do seem to forget that there are any such American institutions as the Military and the Naval Academies. Yet there are thousands of Americans who are patriotic enough to be keenly interested in all that we do.”
“This is going to be a bad year for Army friends,” chuckled Farley.
“And for the feelings of Cadets Prescott and Holmes,” added Page with a grimace.
As the practice went on the spirits of the Navy folks went up to fever heat. It was plain that, this year, the Navy eleven was to make history in the world of sports.
“Poor old Dick!” sighed Darrin one day, as the members of the squad were togging to go on to the field.
“Why?” Dan demanded.
“Because, in spite of myself, I find that I am making a personal matter of the whole business. Dan, I’m obliged to be candid with myself. It has come to the point that it is Prescott and Holmes that I want to beat!”
“Same case here,” Dan admitted readily. “They gave us a trouncing last year, and we’re bound to pass it back to ’em.”
“I believe I’d really lose all interest in the game, if Dick and Greg didn’t play on the Army this year.”
“I think I’d feel the same way about it,” agreed Dan. “But never fear—–they will play.”
Two days later Dan finished his bath and dressing, after football practice, to find that Dave had already left ahead of him. Dan followed to their quarters in Bancroft Hall, to find Dave pacing the floor, the picture of despair.
“Dan!” cried Darrin sharply. “This letter is from Dick. He doesn’t play this year!”
“Don’t tell me anything funny, like that, when I’ve got a cracked lip,” remonstrated Midshipman Dalzell.
“Dick doesn’t play, I tell you—–which means that Greg won’t, either. A lot of boobs at the Military Academy have sent Dick to Coventry for something that he didn’t do. Dan, I don’t care a hang about playing this year—–we can’t beat Prescott and Holmes, for they won’t be there!”
DAVE’S WORK GOES STALE
“Aye, you’re not—–not joking?” demanded Dan Dalzell half piteously.
“Do you see any signs of mirth in my face?” demanded Dave Darrin indignantly.
Rap-tap! Right after the summons Midshipman Farley and Page entered the room.
“Say, who’s dead?” blurted out Farley, struck by the looks of consternation on the faces of their hosts.