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Bill Thayer

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May 29

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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September 25
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p53  Cadet Pepys — Second Class

 p54  September 11, 1942 . . . .

[image ALT: A drawing of a man looking old and exhausted, sitting at a table, hunched over a cup of coffee — plate, spoon, creamer, and sugar bowl on the table; a gigantic daddy-long-legs dwrafs him, four of its legs on the table, the others on him. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet with a hangover acquired while on leave.]

Monday. We have just returned from maneuvers. This winds up the mad, joyous whirl of the fast summer and marks the beginning of a new year. Having a little free time and as I hate myself, I have set me to the task of recalling and recounting the events of the last few months. After an hour or so of sweaty, revolting reminiscence, I am ready to recount said events even though annoyed by alternate fits of nausea and trembling. As I remember it, first there was furlough. Ha! Ha! I enjoyed furlough very much although the latter part of it was slightly marred by my being followed by a large green daddy long legs about two feet tall that someone had hired to spy on me. After furlough there was the return to West Point with the gay crowd assembling at the Weehawken ferry and making the trip back a memorable function with their skylarking and singing. Immediately upon our return we spent four long, lazy days of rest and recovery on the bayonet course, obstacle course, assault course, rifle range, and drill field. During this period my daddy long legs left, a weary and embittered insect. We next went to Pine Camp which was enjoyable. The trip to and from Camp Croft I do believe to be the most interesting that I have ever made. I have often wondered about what ever became of the Black Hole of Calcutta but now I know that they cut it in sections, put the sections on wheels, and sold them to an ingenious group of sadists who, by means of clubfooted oxen and discarded rails, haul these sections from North to South and back again, carrying such luckless wights as are by circumstances forced to go to South Carolina. Upon our return from Camp Croft we went to Beast Barracks and aided in the instruction of the Fourth Class. During these days my other wife returned from Air Corps instruction. It seems that no one could cure him of the belief that an airplane was a kind of horse and giving it sugar would make it a docile servant. He had spent twenty-four days on furlough and was not very healthy. It was two days before he got used to sunlight again and three before he got off his hands and knees and began to walk erect again. He still has eyes like enlarged pores but is otherwise his repellent self. After Beast Barracks the poor dear yearlings returned from Camp Popolopen, leaving bloody tracks in the mud. Then we all went on maneuvers. For the twelve hundred and thirty-fourth time I realized just how underpaid we are. It was interesting to watch the warring of instincts in a certain person who shall be nameless. I mean the instinct of the soldier and the instinct of the cadet killer. When I arose one brisk morning at 0130 to pitch shelter tents to the left I realized which instinct won. Not that I really had any doubt in him. Ever. Now that we are back I shudder at the thought of what the next week holds for us. However, one must expect these horrors of war I suppose. For the rest of this week I write no more as I feel it is not going to be a week that I will care to keep green in my memory.

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Page updated: 23 Jan 15