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Bill Thayer

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September 27

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

 p9  October 11, 1940 . . . .

Monday. Fear this gymnasium will drive me to an early and undeserved grave. Today got caught in the stall bars and hung there for twenty minutes. Now my right arm bends backwards just as well as it does forwards. Attended Intramural this afternoon. From this date I promise to say my prayers every night and lead a better, cleaner life. Returned home to find my sane wife industriously preparing for Saturday inspection. And so to supper, study, and bed.

[image ALT: A drawing of a young man standing rigidly at attention. He wears a uniform made distinctive by wide stripes on the cuffs of his jacket and down his trouser leg. He shoulders a rifle in a precise military fashion except that his elbow is bent backward and therefore the muzzle points forward. His left arm, along his side, also bends slightly backward at the elbow. Behind him, to our right, a man in a similar uniform has a hand on his hip and scratches his head with the other; in the background two more similarly uniformed men, one of whom whispers into the other's ear. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet performing rifle drill after gymnastics class.]

"Now my arm bends backwards just as well as forwards."

Tuesday. Up betimes as usual. If there is any truth in this "Early to bed early to rise" saying, I should be a combination of the Super‑man and John D. Rockefeller. Gym again. Almost late to dinner. Came into ranks at such a speed every plebe in my platoon lost his cap. Parade went well today. Fastened my hat on with adhesive tape so I should not knock it off. Unfortunately, I was forced to shave most of my head before I could remove it. From now on I take my chances. My other wife more bothersome than usual tonight. He's singing most dolefully,​a beating time with his bayonet until we gave him my pocket knife to play with. He was quiet thereafter, but bled all over the shoebox which he ungraciously refused to clean. So to bed.

Wednesday. Not a good day. As I exhausted my supply of cigarettes and boodle checks ten days ago I am now reduced to smoking my whisk broom chopped up and rolled in bits of newspapers. A thing both I and my wives find unpleasant. re­quisitioned a scooter today but it was refused. My other wife being a bit confused came out to supper formation wearing cross belts and carrying his rifle.

Thursday. My first Solid writ today. I had been told I got three tenths for drawing the figure and so drew ten figures. I should have known this was not the case. My professor told me that the way things now are I owe the Academic department seven tenths. My sane wife has been studying late in the sinks and now has bags under his eyes that interfere with his eating. He has almost completed his preparation for S. I. The other has made no move in that direction. I opened the bolt of his rifle the other day and a caterpillar crawled out.

Friday. Today a dismal day. Another Solid writ and the stall bars again. I can now bend my right arm sideways also. The sun shone brightly for parade and my other wife who has been praying to the Great Spirit for rain has switched to Buddha.

Saturday. Today worse than yesterday. Another writ and Saturday inspection. My sane wife in transports of joy that he received but two demerits. My other wife returned weeping noisily and has since refused to say anything at all about it. I was awarded my usual seven.

Sunday. A marvelous day. Attended an excellent stage show at which Miss Carol Bruce sang. Also as I was water corporal was able to drink the extra milk undetected. And so to bed disturbed only by a slight bickering between my wives as to whose turn it was to have Ann Sheridan's picture under his pillow.

Thayer's Note:

a Singing is a great tradition at the Academy, accompanying all Cadet activities: see for example AOG Reunion, LXV.81.

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Page updated: 10 Dec 14