All six of the midshipmen had to tell the story of their submarine experience until all of them fairly hated to talk about the matter. Seaman Morton was never heard from again, and so did not come in for his share of the excitement. However, it was not destined to last long, for the football season was at its height and every blue-clad middy thought, talked and dreamed about the Navy team.
A good team it was, too, and a good year for the Navy. The young men of the Naval Academy played one of their most brilliant seasons of football.
Dave, by a bigger effort than any one understood, forced back his interest in the gridiron until he played a brilliant game.
The Navy won more victories than it had done before in any one of fifteen seasons of football.
Yet report said that the Army, too, was playing a superb game, considering that it had been deprived of its two best players, Prescott and Holmes.
Up to the last Dave continued to hope that Cadet Dick Prescott might be restored to the Army eleven. Dick’s letters from West Point, however, appeared to indicate clearly that he was not to play. Therefore Greg Holmes wouldn’t play.
At last came the fateful day, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Early the Brigade of Midshipmen was marched over to the trolley line, where a long string of cars waited to receive them.
“We want an extra car to-night,” one first classman called jovially to the car inspector who was in charge of the transportation. “We want that extra car to bring back the Army scalp in.”
All the way to Baltimore and thence to Philadelphia, Dave Darrin was unusually quiet. Dalzell, on the other hand, made noise enough for both of them.
“Darry hasn’t the sulks over anything, has be?” Wolgast anxiously asked Dalzell.
“Don’t you believe it,” Dan retorted.
“But he’s so abominably quiet.”
“Saving all his breath to use on the field.”
“Are you sure Darry is in form?” persisted Wolgast.
“Yes. Wait and see.”
“I’ll have to,” sighed Wolgast, with another sidelong glance at Darrin’s emotionless face.
The Navy team and subs. arrived at dressing quarters nearly an hour before it would be necessary to tog.
As the West Point men were on hand, also, Dave stepped outside. Almost the first man he met was a tall, slim, soldierly looking fellow in the cadet gray.
“Aren’t you Fields?” asked Dave, holding out his hand.
“Yes,” replied the cadet, giving his own hand.
“And you’re Darrin—–one of the few men we’re afraid of.”
“Does Prescott play to-day?” Dave asked eagerly.
The West Pointer’s brow clouded.
“No,” he replied. “Mr. Prescott isn’t a subject for conversation at the Military Academy. Mr. Prescott is in Coventry.”
“Sad mistake,” muttered Darrin.