It was not until Dave signaled quietly that Dalzell came over to take Belle’s proffered hand and chat for a moment.
The talk was all too short for all concerned. A call of the bugle signaled the midshipmen to leave friends and hasten back for assembly.
It was not until the train had started away from Philadelphia that Dave and Dan were all but mobbed by way of congratulation. Wolgast, Jetson, Farley, Page and others also came in for their share of good words.
“And to think, Darry, that you can never play on the Navy eleven again!” groaned a second classman.
“You’ll have some one else in my place,” laughed Dave.
“The Navy never before had a football player like you, and we’ll never have one again,” insisted the same man. “Dalzell’s kind come once in about every five years, but your kind, Darry, never come back—–in the Navy!”
DAN FEELS AS “SOLD” AS HE LOOKS
It was the first hop after the New Year.
“Tell me one thing Dave,” begged Belle Meade, who, with Laura Bentley, and accompanied by Mrs. Meade, had come down to Annapolis for this dance.
“I’ll tell you two things, if I know how,” Darrin responded promptly.
“Dan has danced a little with Laura, to be sure, but he introduced Mr. Farley to her, and has written down Farley’s name for a lot of dances on Laura’s card.”
“Farley is a nice fellow,” Dave replied. “But why didn’t Dan want more of the dances with Laura, instead of turning them over to Mr. Farley?” followed up Belle. “And—–there he goes now.”
“No, stupid! Dan.”
“Well, why shouldn’t he move about?” Midshipman Darrin inquired.
“But with—–By the way, who is that girl, anyway?”
The girl was tall, rather stately and of a pronounced blonde type. She was a girl who would have been called more than merely pretty by any one who had seen her going by on Midshipman Dalzell’s arm.
“I don’t really know who she is,” Dave admitted.
“Have you seen her here before?”
“Yes; I think I have seen the young lady half a dozen times before to-night.”
“Then it’s odd that you don’t know who she is,” pursued Miss Meade.
“I’ve never been introduced to her, you see.”
“Oh! I imagined that you midshipmen were always being presented to girls.”
“That’s a fairy tale,” said Dave promptly. “The average midshipman has about all he can do to hold his place here, without losing any time in running around making the acquaintances of young women who probably don’t care at all about knowing him.”
“What I’m wondering about,” Belle went on, “is whether the young woman we have been discussing is any one in whom Dan Dalzell is seriously interested.”
“I’ll ask Dan.”
“Oh! And I suppose you’ll tell him that it’s I who really want to know.”