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Bill Thayer

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May 7

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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May 28
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p75 May 21, 1943

Monday. We have finally convinced my other wife that Graduation is drawing near. I am beginning to think, however, that we should have left well enough alone because as he has no real conception of the passage of time or of dates every reveille after we have returned to our room and he has woken up he asks, "is it today, huh?" and every reveille when we say no not yet he lies down on the floor and screams. This would be an unbearable state of affairs were it not for the fact that I find stamping upon his howling face does much to chase away those early morning blues and induce in me a sunny frame of mind. Comparatively sunny that is. Drill and parade today. It occurs to me that "The Man with the Hoe" and "The Man with the Rifle" have much in common. By no means the least of which is a dull, smouldering hatred.

Tuesday. Today we of the Infantry, which is also known as the "Queen of Battles" incidentally, went on Branch Instruction and threw real grenades. My other wife who for three years has been tossing dummy grenades to the tune of that quaint, old‑world, chant, "Pull pin, prepare to throw, Throw," and then immediately doubletiming forward to "Recover grenades" proved that there is such a thing as being too well-trained. It is really too bad as he was unsightly enough when he had a lower jaw.


[image ALT: A drawing of a young man wearing a helmet and running, looking rather like a football player; what he has just thrown with his left hand, however, is a grenade, and he has done it underhand and with melodramatic abandon. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet in Infantry training.]

Wednesday. We are now through with Economics, a science I have found exasperating in the extreme. It is bad enough to be forced to fill my throbbing little head with many complicated facts, but when these facts also all tend to prove that money is an outmoded convention, and when I think that three years of effort have brought me nothing except an acute deficiency of this outmoded convention, my gorge rises way up to here.

Thursday. The man who said "It is better to give than to receive" must have had the Regimental Board in mind.

Friday. Today we were scheduled to have Drill and Parade, but it rained. The authorities, however, demonstrating their customary resourcefulness when it comes to inventing new and nastier ways of stabbing the class of June 1943, formed the First Class into small, growling company sections, marched them down to the Riding Hall and there practiced them in "Officers, Front and Center" until three men had to be led away laughing and crying. I can remember when, if it rained, when there was supposed to be Drill and Parade, everyone just shrugged their shoulders, said "It is the will of Allah," and went gratefully to bed. That, however, was in the dear, dead days that are lost beyond recall, before a certain person who shall be nameless came to West Point and the B‑no left, accompanied by Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Saturday. This has been quite a day. One long scream from reveille on.

Sunday. I tried a smile today. It hurt so I stopped.


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Page updated: 16 Aug 12