“Humph! I should say so!” uttered Penwick, with emphasis.
“Mr. Clairy was not at our mess at supper,” resumed Dave Darrin, “for the very simple reason that he had been taken to hospital. There he was examined by three surgeons, assisted by an outside specialist. Mr. President and classmates, I know you will all feel heartily sorry for Clairy when I inform you that he has been pronounced insane.”
Dave ceased speaking, and an awed silence prevailed. It was the chair who first recovered his poise.
“Clairy insane!” cried the class president. “Gentlemen, now we comprehend what, before, it was impossible to understand.”
In the face of this sudden blow to a classmate all the midshipmen sat for a few minutes more as if stunned. Then they began to glance about at each other.
“I think this event must convince us, sir,” Darrin’s voice broke in, “that we young men don’t know everything, and that we should learn to wait for facts before we judge swiftly.”
It was Gosman, on his feet. In a husky voice that midshipman begged the consent of his seconders for his withdrawing the motion he had offered sending Midshipman Clairy to Coventry. In a twinkling that motion had been withdrawn.
“Will Mr. Darrin, state, if able, how serious Clairy’s insanity is believed to be?” inquired the chair.
“It is serious enough to ruin all his chances in the Navy,” Dave answered, “though the surgeons believe that, after Clairy has been taken by his friends to some asylum, his cure can eventually be brought about.”
The feeling in the room was too heavy for more discussion. A motion to adjourn was offered and carried, after which the first classmen hurried from the room.
Of course no demerits were imposed as a result of the crazy reports ordered by Midshipman Clairy on that memorable night. Three days later the unfortunate young man’s father arrived and had his son conveyed from Annapolis. It may interest the reader to know that, two years later, the ex-midshipman fully recovered his reason, and is now successfully engaged in business.
Spring now rapidly turned into early summer. The baseball squad had been at work for some time. Both Darrin and Dalzell had been urged to join.
“Let’s go into the nine, if we can make it—–and we ought to,” urged Dan.
“You go ahead, Danny boy, if you’re so inclined,” replied Dave.
“Aren’t you going in?”
“I have decided not to.”
“You’re a great patriot for the Naval Academy, Davy.”
“I’m looking out for myself, I’ll admit. I want to graduate as high in my class as I can, Danny. Yet I’d sacrifice my own desires if the Naval Academy needed me on the nine. However, I’m not needed. There are several men on the nine who play ball better than I but don’t let me keep you off the nine, Dan.”