“Perhaps the strict discipline irked you, too,” Miss Meade hinted.
“The strict discipline will be part of the whole professional life ahead of me,” Darrin responded. “As to discipline, it’s even harder on some ships, where the old man is a stickler for having things done just so.”
“The old man?” questioned Belle.
“The ‘old man’ is the captain of a warship.”
“It doesn’t sound respectful.”
“Yet it has always been the name given to the ship’s captain, and I don’t suppose it will be changed in another hundred years. How does it feel, Danny boy, going away for good?”
“Am I really going away for good?” grinned Dalzell. “I thought it was only a dream.”
“Well, here’s Odenton. You’ll be in Baltimore after another little while, and then it will all seem more real.”
“Nothing but Gridley will look real to me on this trip,” muttered Dan. “Really, I’m growing sick for a good look at the old home town.”
“I wish you could put in the whole summer at home, Dan,” sighed his mother. “But, of course, I know that you can’t.”
“No, mother; I’ll have time to walk up and down the home streets two or three times, and then orders will come from the Navy Department to report aboard the ship to which I’m to be assigned. Mother, if you want to keep a boy at home you shouldn’t allow him to go to a place where he’s taught that nothing on earth matters but the Navy!”
Later in the afternoon the train pulled in at Baltimore. It was nearing dusk when the train pulled out of Philadelphia on its way further north.
Yet the passage of time and the speeding of country past the ear windows was barely noticed by the Gridley delegation. There was too much to talk about—–too many plans to form for the next two or three weeks of blissful leave before duty must commence again.
Here we will take leave of our young midshipmen for the present, though we shall encounter them again as they toil on upward through their careers.
We have watched Dave and Dan from their early teens. We met them first in the pages of the "Grammar School Boys’ Series." We know what we know of them back in the days when they attended the Central Grammar School and studied under that veteran of teachers, “Old Dut,” as he was affectionately known.
We saw them with the same chums, of Dick & Co., when that famous sextette of schoolboys entered High School. We are wholly familiar with their spirited course in the High School. We know how all six of the youngsters of Dick & Co. made the name of Gridley famous for clean and manly sports in general.
Our readers will yet hear from Dave and Dan occasionally. They appear in the pages of the "Young Engineers’ Series," and also in the volumes of the "Boys of the Army Series."
In this latter series our young friends will learn just how the romance of Dave Darrin and Belle Meade developed; and they will also come across the similar affair of Dick Prescott and Laura Bentley.