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June 6

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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September 26

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p27 Mr. Yearling Pepys

p28 September 12, 1941 . . . .

Monday. The first day of maneuvers is over. The living conditions in Summer Camp were sordid but there was a floor to your tent and the wild life had only four legs instead of six, eight or none. I am tenting with my other wife, a rather unfortunate choice. He is the only person I have ever known who pitches a tent from the inside out. He says if silkworms can do it, so can he. They made him a squad leader, a fact many are going to regret. However, he is quite proud and keeps talking to himself and calling himself sergeant.

Tuesday. Another day in the field. My sane wife the same as ever. A little too much so I fear. His squad is the only one that creeps in step. So far, anyway. My other wife is extremely distressed that the people he shoots at do not die. He has told his squad to rely on cold steel entirely. Today he was caught robbing the simulated dead.


[image ALT: A drawing of a man in jodhpurs and a ranger hat standing by a low stone retaining wall, with his legs somewhat apart, his left arm on his hip, his right raised in a menacing gesture with a fist; he is shouting at three men lined up in front of him, two of whom shoulder rifles with large bayonets, and at least two of them also hold large knives or bayonets in their hands: they look a motley and ragtag crew. It is a cartoon of West Point cadets receiving field instruction at the hands of one of their own.]

"He has told his squad to rely on cold steel entirely. . ."

Wednesday. Today we did fight the big battle. My other wife inflamed by stories of atrocities committed in Washingtonville by the enemy ordered his squad to take no prisoners. Someone has finally convinced my sane wife that "Front rank, kneel; ready, aim, fire" is passé. I am building up quite a grasshopper neurosis. I am tired of quarreling with a pack of insects as to who eats my meals and sleeps in my tent. The flying squad was out tonight.

Thursday. A sharp, short action this morning. In the course of which my other wife managed to acquire a slight case of shell shock. He now talks in bursts of six. People are beginning to avoid him in a marked manner. Tonight we will go out on a night problem. I will give tremendous odds that there will be a few new gold star mothers.

Friday. We have just returned from our oh so jolly night problem. I made the mistake of putting my pack where I could find it so someone else found it. So when we bivouacked I had to curl up on a pair of gloves. I nearly drowned when the dew came down. Found my sane wife holding burning matches to the rust spots on his rifle. He told me he knew that it was not the most efficient way to remove rust but it must cause the rust the most pain. Neither I nor any other man this side of the grave has seen my other wife since he led his squad into the woods.

Saturday. We are home. The flying squad out again last night. The march back was in some respects odd. I can understand taking a circuitous route but taking a spiral one defeats me. To the hop tonight. My other wife would have gone if he could have got up enough courage to take off his boots.

Sunday. Rested busily today. My other wife took off one boot but was so horrified by what he found he will not take off the other. He just sits watching it, with a bayonet in his hand, daring his foot to come out.


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Page updated: 16 Aug 12