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Bill Thayer

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January 29

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Collected Works
of Ducrot Pepys

by
Ronan C. Grady

Newburgh, N. Y., 1943

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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February 26

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p67 February 12, 1943

Monday. My other wife is having some difficulty understanding the more occult principles of interior ballistics as taught by the Ordnance Department. This is not strange and the Ordnance Department should not get so huffy about it. A man who has to have an arrow painted on his rifle to remind him which way to pull the trigger, is more to be pitied than censored, for believing that the bullet comes tearing out of the gun because the noise scares it.


[image ALT: A drawing of a spartan room: we see in the background a bathrobe hanging on a hanger or a wall hook; on the floor an abandoned pushbroom and an open book, face down, its cover titled 'ORDNANCE'; but the main item is a plain metal bed (underneath it three pairs of shoes very neatly lined up) with a large lump under a blanket. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet driven to sleep by the principles of ballistics in a course given by the Ordnance Department.]

". . . some difficulty understanding the more occult principles of interior ballistics."

Tuesday. This afternoon I go on duty as Intermediate-Officer‑of-the‑Guard. As such I will carry a large, black gat and also will be exposed to strong temptation. It is just possible that there will be a few half-masted flags around her tomorrow, and a big, broad smile will be on every face. Come right out here where I can see thee, Satan, and start talking.

Wednesday. Well, no flags at half-mast. This is mainly due to the fact that we Pepys are thorough sportsmen and frown upon shooting a sitting bird, even a sitting vulture. Sometimes I fear that my many praiseworthy, though quixotic traits of character, will prove my undoing. I passed a fatiguing night as Commander‑of the‑Night-Area-Guard. Our fourth classmen are possessed of a large amount of zeal. They patrolled their areas with such vigor that for one to inspect them one had first to catch them. I spent a good hour endeavoring to inspect one young blade who was making a patrol around the exterior of the barracks of his Area. He was evidently blessed with iron legs, inexhaustible wind, and an uncanny ability to make his reversals of direction coincide with mine. After thirty laps or so I gave up the struggle and rigged a trip wire. I bagged two Mess Hall waiters before I got my man, but they came in handy as bait, and I was eventually successful. It is difficult but not impossible to determine that an unconscious man does not know his orders. When I was not inspecting I sat in the Guard room thinking about my wasted life. Around four o'clock I had decided that shooting was too good for me and was searching for some glass to eat when things began to peer in the window at me. Making sure that none of them got in kept me busy until reveille. All in all, a very fatiguing night, indeed.

Thursday. I certainly wish that I had found that glass in time.

Friday. Tomorrow my wives and I are going to take week‑end. My wives are preparing, each in his own peculiar way. My sane wife is shining the chevrons on his Full-Dress coat, and my other wife is practicing leers in front of the mirror.

Saturday. Away we go singing our hunting song.

Sunday. We have returned. Or so they tell me.


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Page updated: 16 Aug 12