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Bill Thayer

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November 6

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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December 4
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p59  November 20, 1942 . . . .

Monday. Winter is drawing nigh. I can always tell when this is true because along with the last leaves of Autumn my toe and finger nails wither, turn brown, and fall off. And as this year my toes and fingers seem to be going with them I fear me that next year the Spring thaws will affect me only if my coffin is not water tight.

Tuesday. We have done with Mechanics and are now taking a course entitled "Strength of Materials", which oddly enough concerns itself with the strength of various materials. This is the first time the Philosophy department has come anywhere near clean with us. Due to what appears to be a chronic inability to tell the truth they are usually teaching us something like Centrifugal Calculus and calling it Gardening. Anyway I am interested to learn that white pine is so much stronger than I am that I would do well never to get within reaching distance of a tree. Interested, but not overwhelmed, that is. White pine may be stronger but I feel almost positive that I am quicker.

Wednesday. My other wife whose heart still wears a pair of silver wings no matter what is now wing commander of the largest fleet of paper airplanes ever assembled. Tonight he re‑enacted the bombing of Hamburg. After an hour or so of listening to the whine and crash of two thousand pound bombs and after an unfortunate accident that occurred while I was lighting a cigarette and in which a squadron of Spitfires and my eyebrows perished, my sane wife and I fell into the spirit of the game to the extent of playing the role of brutal German officers who shot down and captured one of their attackers and then decided to torture him to death. We were very realistic.

[image ALT: A drawing of a boy standing on a chair, his arms flailing to either side, his cheeks puffed out, a spray of spit from his mouth, and paper airplanes whizzing all around him. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet reënacting the aerial bombing of Hamburg.]

"Tonight he reenacted the bombing of Hamburg. . ."

Thursday. Today the Practical Military Engineers threw rocks at us with the aid of large amounts of very noisy explosives. They also showed us some of their best toys. I was especially fascinated by the flame thrower. The beautiful possibilities of such an instrument have given me some marvelous day dreams. In the best one I go down to Cadet Headquarters and do a little marshmallow toasting on a grand scale. On certain marshmallows who shall be nameless I do a really artistic job, and I take quite some time at it too. Tonight the Chemistry department reared its ugly head again. We attended a lecture, the reason for which is still vague in my mind, but it was unmistakably the Chemistry Department. We learned all about where little electrons come from. My other wife was amazed to hear that they are not found under cabbage leaves. It was an interesting lecture and I enjoyed every hour of it.

Friday. Tomorrow we sail on the turn of the tide for New York, the Notre Dame game, and the Lord only knows what high adventure. Let us trust that only the Lord knows anyway. And let us also hope that He will not squeal.

Saturday. Yo‑ho‑ho and a . . . . What am I saying?

Sunday. Where am I?

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Page updated: 16 Aug 12