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Bill Thayer

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December 4

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

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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January 2
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p61  December 18, 1942 . . . .

Monday. I am not one to complain as I know what happens to people who complain but don't you think the Department of the Sword is going just the weest little bit too far? I refer to Military Calisthenics. Time was when Military Calisthenics was merely a rather fatiguing formation. Now it is a man killer akin to play time at Dachau. From what I can gather this new course of Military Calisthenics is intended to harden us. I must admit that they are going about it in the right way. Rigor mortis is the quickest, most efficient body hardener known. I would like to point out that the weather is cold and statistics show that pneumonia induced by frantic exercise in frigid weather is a cause of thousands of deaths every year. Although knowing the Department of the Sword as well as I do, they probably know all about this. Anyway, if I am going to be a Jr. Commando I want an arm band and an Orphan Annie code book.

Tuesday. When I come to think of it I can see that I am really a very lucky boy. Or at least I do not have leprosy. Yet.

Wednesday. I notice that the guns of Trophy Point are being carried off, several at a time. For awhile I thought that the G. A. P. was being allowed the run of the place again and were indulging in a grand orgy of souvenir collecting. Then I thought that those fat, furry, little fiends, the squirrels, were arming. After two and a half years of being bullied and sneered at by an abundance of things that act far too large for their home-grown britches, seeing they are really only rodents that can climb trees, I am ready to suspect squirrels of anything. But I have learned that the cannon are just going back to work again. This must be the fifth war for some of them.

Thursday. I am only now beginning to recover from the horrible nervous shock I received at the Navy game rally in the Mess Hall. One may liken my experience to that of a man who is suddenly accosted by a crocodile and given a bunch of forget‑me‑nots and a big kiss. Such a man would be all in a dither. Since then, however, it has occurred to me that such a man would be lulled into a false sense of security and sooner or later would get a little flip with this certain crocodile and suddenly find himself entering body and soul into a digestive process. Get it?

Friday. Christmas is coming. Hurry. Hurray. West Point will be inhabited only by the usual complement of wardens, a thousand‑odd laughing fourth classmen, a thousand‑odd drags (some very odd, indeed), and snarling old Pauper Pepys. What with one thing and another i.e., the high price of broccoli, the high price of pearl inlaid thirty‑man tables, the high price of the hydrofluoric rinse so popular at the Laundry, the high price one who is an inveterate sign‑up list signer pays, and the constant peculation, fraud, and high crimes committed in the name of administration of cadets' pay, I owe more money than there is in the world. Therefore, as a reward for being number one on the Cadet Store's sucker list I am going to be entertained at my own immense expense at West Point this Christmas. About next June I shall probably find that I also had the honor of having the class of '45 as my personal guests during this period. Bah. Humbug.

[image ALT: A drawing of a young man standing and dramatically holding his head — raised to Heaven — in his left hand, with papers (some of which are marked 'BILL') swirling about him and dropping to the floor, and above his head, a bubble with a false beard, a cup, a pair of dark glasses, and a sign reading 'ALMS'. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet who has spent too much at the Cadet Store.]

Saturday. Too sad.

Sunday. Even sadder.

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Page updated: 16 Aug 12