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Bill Thayer

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September 11

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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October 9
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p55  September 25, 1942 . . . .

Monday. This is the last day of Labor Day weekend. By an odd coincidence, the explanation of which is beyond the scope of this text, it is also Labor Day. My wives and I are all in New York and it is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Or my sight has taken a sudden turn for the worse. Incidentally, my name is John L. Sullivan and I can lick any man, woman, or dwarf in the house. If it is late in the afternoon I shall be late in returning to West Point which will be very unfortunate as this will cause the blood to go rushing to the head of a certain person and he will do something stinking to me.

Tuesday. It was early in the morning and I was not late. I must send my fairy god mother a testimonial some time. Academics are the usual vile things. The Mechanics or Physics or Philosophy Department or whatever it calls itself now is carrying on in the grand old tradition we first experienced last year. Our professor always comes in wiping the traces of his morning tot of blood from his snarling lips, greets us impolitely, puts down our daily grades, and then gives us a short drill period in "Take boards and "abandon boards". Sometimes he varies this by omitting the greeting. I believe that he would do best to bring a young succulent child, tastefully garnished with a few sprigs of parsley.

Wednesday. I am universally known as a long suffering man, patient to the point of suspended animation but at present my sluggish blood is boiling. This is not only uncomfortable but my corpuscles are getting seasick. It is all the direct fault of those merry madcaps who take our clothes on the patiently flimsy pretext that they are going to wash them. This time these uncharming little rascals have gone too far. Before they used to at least return the few pitiful rags that they could not trade for liquor and cocaine but now they do not even do that. My sane wife has admitted defeat and has set up a small hand loom in his alcove upon which he intends to weave cuffs, collars, and unmentionables. My other wife and I have not given in however, but are forming an under­ground to combat these fiends. Watch out, you Cadet Laundry you, the red dawn cometh.

Thursday. Thirty‑man tables may suit the Mess Hall's purpose but they do not make for peace, comfort, or adequate feeding. Especially as my other wife is apt to climb up on the table and race the length of it in pursuit of an errant meat dish. I expect that soon we will just march in, form by class, and scramble for joints of meat which will be tossed to us from the poop deck. Or a certain person who shall be nameless will have his way and we will give up eating as it is merely a timewasting pleasure that is softening cadets as did their other few pleasures that he did away with.

[image ALT: A drawing of a man standing on the rail of a stone balcony decorated with coats of arms, with two helmeted soldiers standing guard on the balcony as well, to our left. The man has a bucket in his left hand, and with his right has Judaea thrown a leg of lamb of something similar over the balcony, below which a crowd of men have their hands raised as if to catch it. It is a cartoon of West Point cadets being fed in the Mess Hall.]

Friday. It would seem that Early Graduation is an established fact. It is about time. At every other institution one is allowed time for good behaviour. I wager there is at least one broken heart in the Chemistry Department, however.

Saturday. Some day I am going to out with my bayonet and give an imitation of Jack the Ripper, with gestures.

Sunday. This is an excellent day for turning one's face to the wall and dying quietly. If I was not afraid to turn my back on my wives I would do so.

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Page updated: 16 Aug 12