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Bill Thayer

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December 18

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 15
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p62  January 2, 1943 . . . .

Monday. Military Calisthenics again today. We played a gay game, involving a soccer ball and whose guiding principle was kill or be killed. Somehow or other when I am led, insufficiently clad, out into sub-zero weather and placed in hip‑deep snow I cannot seem to work up any interest in what becomes of a large ball. I merely stand there, whining. Nor does it help to have a small, ugly, energetic cadet scream at me to "Get in there and fight." We Pepys' are a genial race, very slow to anger, but if I were a member of the Master of the Sword's office I would stay away from uncurtained windows after dark.

Tuesday. Tomorrow Christmas leave begins. And I am going out and eat worms. If I were not such a generous, open-handed, easy mark I would be going. But that is life. One law for the rich and another for the poor.

Wednesday. This has been a tiring day. My other wife who is a little overeager, made four early breaks for freedom, and had to be caught and dragged back, snarling, each time. Also my sane wife began screaming with excitement about nine-thirty and probably would have kept it up indefinitely if I had not told my other wife that he, my sane wife, had ratted to you-know‑who concerning who had swiped a certain wee doggy's bone and therefore, he, my other wife, was going to spend Christmas leave suspended by his thumbs from the Central Area clock. From then until the time for departure I was disturbed only by sickening thuds.

Thursday. This morning I received a long distance phone call from my other wife. He is running a little short of cash and wants me to ship him his rifle so he can raise some more. I told him that Hell hath no fury like a Government whose property has been sold, but it appears that he does not intend to sell it. He was calling from some rather noisy place and once evidently annoyed by the din he left the phone and from what I could gather dropped someone out a window. From the fuss, he, she, or it made while he did this, the window must have been a fairly high one. The conversation came to a close when he suddenly shrieked "Run for your lives, the goblins are coming" and hung up.

Friday. Merry Christmas. And if I may quote "God rest you merry gentlemen," although "rest" is perhaps too weak a word. Today while on guard I learned that although it may be polite, it is very foolish, to address everyone displaying a moustache as "Sir". This morning I did so and only my great agility saved me from being brained by a heavy hand bag and thus becoming the first J. O. G. to die in the line of duty. Even though this moustache was waxed. My other wife now desperate for cash, called again. It seems that he had kidnapped my sane wife and until I ransom him I will receive a finger or an ear each day. Thank the Lord I will now get something besides bills in the mail.

[image ALT: A drawing of a young man, unshaven, and wearing a nervous and somewhat angry expression, leaning forward into the telephone he is talking on. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet receiving a phone call from one of his classmates off base begging for a loan.]

"My other wife, now desperate for cash called again."

Saturday. No Saturday Inspection today. What is the matter? Are they getting soft over there in Cadet Headquarters? A ring finger arrived this noon. From the looks of it, it was bitten off, not cut, so this must be from my other wife.

Sunday. Tomorrow the boys will return. I have a large cow bell that I intend to ring in their ears. This should be great fun while I last.

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Page updated: 16 Aug 12