“Oh, my, what a laugh Davy will have over me, when he hears!” was Dan’s next bitter thought, as he strode along.
Having just wronged all girls in his own estimation of them, Dan was now proceeding to do his own closest chum an injustice. For Dave Darrin was too thorough a gentleman to laugh over any unfortunate’s discomfiture.
“What a lucky escape I had from getting better acquainted with that girl!” was Dalzell’s next thought. “Why, with one as wholly deceitful as she is there can be no telling where it would all have ended. She might have drawn me into troubles that would have resulted in my having to leave the service!”
Dan had not the least desire to do any one an injustice, but just now he was so astounded and indignant that his mind worked violently rather than keenly.
“Serves me right!” sputtered Dalzell, at last. “A man in the Navy has no business to think about the other sex. He should give his whole time and thought to his profession and his country. That’s what I’ll surely do after this.”
Having reached this conclusion, the midshipman should have been more at peace with himself, but he wasn’t. He had been sorely, even if foolishly wounded in his own self esteem, and it was bound to hurt until the sensation wore off.
“You’ll know more, one of these days, Danny boy,” was his next conclusion. “And what you know will do you a lot more good, too, if it doesn’t include any knowledge whatever of girls—–except the disposition and the ability to keep away from ’em! I suppose there are a few who wouldn’t fool a fellow in this shameless way but it will be a heap safer not to try to find any of the few!”
Dan’s head was still down, and he was walking as blindly as ever, when he turned a corner and ran squarely into some one.
“Why don’t you look out where you’re going?” demanded that some one.
“Why don’t you look out yourself?” snapped Midshipman Dalzell, and the next instant a heavy hand was laid upon him.
THE “FORGOT” PATH TO TROUBLE
“Here, confound you! I’ll teach you to-----”
“Teach me how to walk the way you were going when I stopped you?” demanded the same voice, and a harder grip was taken on Dalzell’s shoulder.
In his misery Dan was not at all averse to fighting, if a good excuse were offered. So his first move was not to look up, but to wrest him self out of that grip, haul away and put up his guard.
“Dave Darrin!” gasped Midshipman Dan, using his eyes at last.
Dave was laughing quietly.
“Danny boy, you shouldn’t cruise without lights and a bow watch!” admonished Dave. “What sent your wits wool gathering? You look terribly upset over something.”
“Do I?” asked Dan, looking guilty.
“You certainly do. And see here, is this the way to the Preston house?”