Just how often discipline officers were accustomed to look in through the night, Dave Darrin did not know from his own knowledge. Usually, at the times of such extra visits, Darrin was too blissfully asleep.
Tonight, however, despite the darkness of the room at present, Dave lay wide awake. No sleep for him before daylight—–perhaps not then—–unless Dan turned up in the meantime.
After an interval that seemed several nights long, the dull old bell of the clock over on academic Hall began tolling. Dave listened and counted. He gave an almost incredulous snort when the total stopped at eleven.
Then another long period of waiting. Darrin did not grow drowsy. On the contrary, he became more wide awake. In fact, he began to imagine that he was becoming possessed of the vision of the cat. Dark as it was in the room, Dave began to feel certain that he could distinguish plainly the ghostly figure of the saving doughface in the alcove opposite.
Twelve o’clock struck. Then more waiting. It was not so very long, this time, however, before there came a faint tapping at the window.
Dave Darrin was out of bed as though he had been shot out. Like a flash he was at the window, peering out. Where, after all, was the cat’s vision of which he had thought himself possessed? Some one was outside the window. Dave thought he recognized the Naval uniform, but he could not see a line of the face.
Tap-tap-tap! sounded softly. Dave threw the window up stealthily.
“You, Dan?” he whispered.
“Of course,” came the soft answer. “Stand aside. Let me in—–on the double-quick!”
Dave pushed the window up the balance of the way, then stepped aside. Dan Dalzell landed on his feet in the room, cat-like, from the terrace without. Then Dave, without loss of an instant, closed the window and wheeled about in the darkness.
“Hustle!” commanded Dave.
“Get off your uniform! Get into pajamas. Then I’ll-----”
Dave’s jaws snapped together resolutely. He did not finish, just then, for he knew that Midshipman Dalzell could be very stubborn at times.
“I’ll have a light in a jiffy,” whispered Dan “I brought back a candle with me.”
“You won’t use it—–not in here,” retorted Dave. “The dark is light enough for you. Hustle into your pajamas.”
Perhaps Midshipman Dalzell did not make all the speed that his roommate desired, but at last Dan was safely rid of his uniform, underclothing and shoes, and stood arrayed in pajamas.
“Now, I’ll hide this doughface over night,” whispered Darrin, going toward Dalzell’s bed. “At the same time you get the articles of your equipment out from under your bed clothes and hang them up where they belong.”
“I’ll have to light the candle for that,” muttered Dan.
“If you do, I’ll blow it out. There’s a regulation against running lights in the rooms after taps.”