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Bill Thayer

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January 30

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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February 27
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p40  February 13, 1942 . . . . "Femmes' Pointer"

Monday. I do not know what the Mess Hall has to gain by it or why they do it, but I do wish they would stop cutting down on our eating utensils. First it was butter chips, then it was those little glasses we got our citric acid in, next, saucers. My other wife, who only uses a plate as a concession to the more sensitive natures of his tablemates, is very little discommoded by this back-to‑nature policy, but I fear for the results of a continuation. If it goes much further meals at West Point are going to become functions a jackal would not be seen dead at. Even a jackal who gobbled his food. If it were my house I would see that it were run better. We rode today. I do not know what became of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse but I know where their horses are. My wives have been behaving very strangely of late. Sometimes they are so sweetly polite to each other that I am often forced to leave the room and spit, and then one will suddenly hit the other with something heavy with sharp corners. There then ensue a few very active minutes ending in one of them becoming unenthusiastic about it all and lying down. The remaining wife then jumps up and down on the body. I view all this with alarm.

Tuesday. A laboratory period in philosophy today. My other wife succeeded in scalding himself, a thing an ordinary man would have had to exercise much ingenuity to do as there was very little steam mixed up in the experiment. I have found out what is causing my wives' peculiar conduct. It appears that a woman is the cause of it all. Last week‑end they both met, fell in love with, and began fighting over a certain young lady. The Turks, who are a very sensible race, never permit their females to gad about on the loose but confine them in a sort of glorified zoo; and if even in there they are able to cause trouble, they are wrapped as a gift and dropped into the Bosphorus. At times I greatly respect the Turks. And as the tide of battle surges back and forth in this room, I feel that this is one of those times.

Wednesday. Awoke this morning to the sound of piercing screams from the upper bunk where my sane wife lives and upon looking around discovered that cause of it was a figure covered with blue flame dashing erratically about the room. Carried away by the spirit of the occasion I gave a few quiet screams myself. The figure was my other wife who  p41 had attempted to burn my sane wife to the ground by means of a couple of cans of Wilson Cleaner and who had, as usual, bungled the job. All he accomplished was to give himself a tan an inch deep and fill the room with a very nasty smell. A letter arrived today from this femme fatale who is ruining my health and home life in which she said that she would come up this week‑end and allow both of my wives to escort her. Which is very decent of her. Ha. Ha. If I had another muscle I would thrash her within an inch of her life. My wives have now reached an understanding. There is to be no more physical combat between them but from now on it is to be a war of minds. Which is the same thing as if two corpses decided to wrestle.

[image ALT: A drawing of a young boy wearing a jacket with a wide stripe at the cuff and another down the center, very likely seated at a table, with his hands clasped; he wears an expression of utter mindless beatitude, his huge eyes rolled upward and his two upper incisors emerging from a fatuous grin, and radiating from his head, dashed lines terminating in stylized hearts. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet who has received a sort of fan letter from a female, that appears to be suggesting marriage.]

Dear Mr. Yearling Pepys —

After reading your column, I was a bit in doubt as to who this "sane wife" person was. So I turned immediately to Mr. Samuel Pepys for help; but after digging through the whole book, I'm still at a loss! Who is this mongrel who governs your every thought? Why should he pick on you, Mr. P., of all people? Mr. Samuel didn't seem to have had your trouble. What you need is a "sane wife" all right — but a real wife! Could I help?

L. P.

P. S. — Quit kicking; it's fan mail, isn't it?

Thursday. A day uneventful except for one breakdown in the war of minds. My sane wife discovered that someone has turned his second best breast plate inside out with the butt of a rifle. Leaping to an immediate and correct conclusion, he industriously began to skin my other wife with the back edge of a bayonet. Why I stopped him I will never know as I cannot remember when I have enjoyed anything more in years.

Friday. More riding on horses today. I do not and never will like the taste of tan‑bark although I eat quite a bit of it. My wives' young lady arrives tomorrow. She may be one of the future mothers of the nation but I cannot approve of her. In fact, after thinking it over I fear I will not approve of the future children of the nation either.

Saturday. This has been just too awful. I did not see much of my wives and their loved one this afternoon but I did see them a couple of times. Once in the Boodlers where my appetite was quite spoiled by the sight of my sane wife trying to look winsome, and again rolling around in the snow snapping at each other and watched by a large bird resembling a buzzard and by the young lady who was clapping her hands in girlish glee at the sight of blood. In the evening, however, I saw much too much of them. Luckily at the motion pictures, being confused in the darkness, my wives held each other's hands and thus none of the terrible things I had expected happened. But towards the end of the picture my other wife was slapped by one of the hands he thought he had safely held. It took him so long to figure out the truth and decide he was not escorting an octopus that the lights came on before there was any trouble. My wives' behavior at the hop caused quite a furore. It is probably the first time that gouging of the eyes has ever been practiced on a West Point dance floor. It seems that afterwards both of them escorted her back to the hotel where in his eagerness to keep my sane wife from saying good-night to her my other wife was so careless as to tread upon the young lady's gown, thereby doing it considerable damage. Pausing only to purse up her pretty little mouth and spit on her hands she handled my wives very roughly. After which she favored them both with a short terse speech consisting almost entirely of adjectives. Then she kicked them daintily and walked out of their lives. They appear to be very disillusioned and are now in bed crying their eyes out.

Sunday. I am very happy. I have been going about with a care free heart and a song on my lips. Both my wives are hitting the Wilson Cleaner. With luck they will go blind.

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Page updated: 16 Aug 12