“Didn’t you notice the welt on Mr. Cantor’s cheek?” Dave asked, dryly.
Danny Grin nodded, then fell silent over his plate.
After the meal Lieutenant Trent saw to it that both the new ensigns were introduced to such officers as they had not met already.
“We can’t possibly remember all their names—–scores of ’em!” gasped Dan, as the two young officers stood outside the mess.
“We’ll learn every name and face before very long,” Darrin answered. “But I mustn’t stand talking,” Dave went on, as he again hung his sword at his side. “I’m on duty, and can’t stand another call-down.”
“Are you going to tell what Cantor did last night?” Dan queried.
“No; and don’t you tell, either!”
“Small fear of my babbling your business, David, little Giant!” assured Dalzell. “You are strong enough to go in and slay your own Goliath.”
Drawing on his white gloves, Dave Darrin stepped alertly to the quarter deck, to find himself facing the frown of Lieutenant Cantor.
THE JUNIOR WORM TURNS
“Wonder what my man has in store for me?” flashed through Dave’s mind, as he saluted his division commander.
But Cantor, after returning the salute, merely turned away to pace the deck.
Presently, however, the lieutenant stepped over to Darrin, when the pair had the quarterdeck to themselves.
“Are you going to tell me?” murmured the lieutenant, his burning gaze on the frank young face before him.
“Tell you what, sir?” Dave asked.
“That taxicab number?”
“When I have decided that a given course of conduct is the only course possible to a gentleman,” Ensign Darrin replied, “I have no further occasion to give thought to that subject.”
“Darrin, you might make me your friend!” urged his superior officer.
“That would be delightful, sir.”
“Darrin, don’t try to be ironical with me!”
Dave remained silent.
“If you don’t care for me for your friend, Darrin,” Cantor warned him, “it is possible, on the other hand, to make an enemy of me. As an enemy you would not find me wanting either in resource or opportunity.”
“Have you any orders for me, sir?” asked Darrin, coolly. That was as near as he could come, courteously, to informing Cantor that he wished from him none but official communications.
“Pardon me, sir,” said Cantor, and stepped away to salute Commander Bainbridge, who had just appeared on the quarter-deck. There was a low-toned conversation between the two officers. Then, as the pair exchanged salutes, and Bainbridge went on to the captain’s quarters, Lieutenant Cantor came back to his selected victim.
“Darrin, you will go below and finish the watch, loading stores in the number four hold. I will pass the word for the petty officer who will have charge under you, and he will show you to the hold. If you wish you may put on dungarees, for it is rough work down there.”