As Darrin left his division officer’s quarters Cantor turned to wipe his stinging cheek, which he next examined closely in a glass. Then he turned back to his desk, smiling darkly.
Rapidly he wrote his comment on Darrin’s report, signed his own report, and then leaned back, thinking hard.
“I’ll do it!” he muttered, the sinister smile appearing again.
Picking up his pen, He began to write a separate report, charging Ensign David Darrin with viciously knocking him down while on duty.
This report Cantor folded carefully, tucking it away in an inner pocket of his undress blouse. Then, gathering up the other reports in one hand, he pushed aside the curtain and stepped outside.
“Hullo, Trent,” he offered, in greeting, as that officer suddenly appeared.
“Cantor, I want to talk with you for a moment,” urged Lieutenant Trent.
“Just now, I am on my way to the commanding officer with official reports,” Cantor objected.
“But what I have to say is urgent,” Trent insisted. “Can’t you spare me just a moment?”
“If you’ll be extremely brief,” Cantor agreed, reluctantly.
“You may think I am interfering,” Trent went on, “but I wish to say that I heard that fracas in your quarters, between yourself and Darrin. I happened to be passing at the moment.”
Cantor gave an uneasy start. He felt a moment’s fright, but hastily recovered, for he was a quick thinker.
“It was outrageous, wasn’t it, Trent?” he demanded.
“I should say that it was,” replied his brother officer, though he spoke mildly.
“I don’t know what to make of young Darrin,” Cantor continued. “First he insulted me, and then struck me.”
“Knocked you down, didn’t he?” asked Trent.
“Yes,” nodded Cantor.
“What are you trying to do to that youngster?” asked Trent, coolly.
“What am I trying to do to him?” Cantor repeated, in seeming astonishment. “Nothing, of course, unless I’m driven to it. But Darrin insulted me, and then followed it up with a blow.”
Trent fixed his brother officer with a rather contemptuous glance as he answered, stiffly.
“Cantor, there are two marines aft. Go and tell your version to the marines.”
“Are you going to call me a liar, too?” demanded Cantor, his eyes blazing, as he turned a threatening face to Trent.
“Keep cool,” urged Lieutenant Trent, “and you’ll get out of this affair more easily than you would otherwise.”
“But you spoke,” argued Cantor, “as though you doubted my word. If you were outside my door at the time, then you know that I asked Darrin, ‘Am I a liar?’ Then he struck me at once.”
“Are you going to prefer charges against Darrin for knocking you down?” demanded Lieutenant Treat.
“I am most certainly,” nodded Cantor, taping his breast pocket wherein hay the report.