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H. Irving Hancock
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 144 pages of information about Dave Darrin's Fourth Year at Annapolis.

Dan Dalzell bounded to his feet.

“What?” he gasped.  “Is the story going the rounds?”

“It can’t be.”

“Then did you hear what we were saying this afternoon in Wiegard’s?”

“No; we were too far away for that.  But I judged that you had succeeded in making Mrs. Henshaw feel very uncomfortable for a few moments.”

“Then you knew she was a married woman, Dave?”

“No; but Belle did.”

“How, I—–­wonder?”

“She saw the wedding ring on Mrs. Henshaw’s left hand.”

Dan Dalzell looked the picture of amazement.  Then he whistled in consternation.

“By the great Dewey!” he groaned hoarsely.  “I never thought of that!”

“No; but you should have done so.”

“Dave, I’m the biggest chump in the world.  Will you do me a supreme favor—–­kick me?”

“That would be too rough, Dan.  But, if you can stand it, Belle offered me some good advice for you in your affairs with women.”

“Thank her for me, when you get a chance, but I don’t need it,” replied Dan bitterly.  “I’m through with trying to find a sweetheart, or any candidate to become Mrs. Dalzell.”

“But you’d better listen to the advice,” Dave insisted, and repeated what Belle had said.

“By Jove, Dave, but you’re lucky to be engaged to a sensible girl like Belle!  I wish there was another like her in the world.”

“Why?”

“If there were another like Belle I’d be sorely tempted to try my \ luck for the fourth time.”

“Dan Dalzell!” cried Dave sternly.  “You’re not safe without a guardian!  You’ll do it again, between now and graduation.”

“You can watch me, if you want, then; but I’ll fool you,” smiled Dan.  “But say, Dave!”

“Well?”

“You don’t suppose Belle will say anything about this back in
Gridley, do you?   By Jove, if she does I’d feel-----

“You’ll feel something else,” warned Dave snappily, “if you don’t at once assure me that you know Belle too well to think that she’d make light of your misfortunes.”

“But sometimes girls tell one another some things-----”

“Belle Meade doesn’t,” interrupted Dave so briskly that Dalzell, after a glance, agreed: 

“You’re right there, David, little giant.  I’ve known Belle ever since we were kids at the Central Grammar School.  If Belle ever got into any trouble through too free use of her tongue, then I never heard anything about it.”

“Dan, do you want a fine suggestion about the employment of the rest of your liberty time while we’re at Annapolis?”

“Yes.”

“You remember Barnes’s General History, that we used to have in Grammar school?”

“Yes.”

“Devote your liberty time to reading the book through again.”

CHAPTER XXI

IN THE THICK OF DISASTER

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