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Bill Thayer

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February 13

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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March 13

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p42  February 27, 1942 . . . .

Monday. We are now on the new time.​a My other wife had to be taken aside this morning and soothed when the sun showed no signs of ever rising. He ran aimlessly hither and thither repenting his sins in a loud voice as he had conceived that the world was ending. I am never at my best in the early morning and for awhile I thought he was right and was almost happy. But reason eventually returned to her tottering throne, neglecting to wipe her feet, and I realized that nice things just do not happen here. The Tac reported us all today.

Tuesday. Every now and then it occurs to me that I can say that two years, three days and fourteen hours from now I will be going to a dinner which will consist of lamb, potatoes and spinach.​b Whenever this occurs to me I cry a little and beat my head on the wall until I fall into a deep refreshing sleep. I ran into a new kind of horse at my latest encounter with the sub‑animal kingdom. It was a white repulsive heap of meat just enough alive to keep from decomposing. It was the first time I have ever felt safe during horse riding instruction, but I became very tired as I had to operate it like a scooter. The Tac reported us all today.

Wednesday. It is interesting to note the different section room tactics of my poor dear wives. My sane wife puts his trust in questions and at times has been sent to the board still hysterically babbling, "Sir, what is a dyne!" My other wife has so far been able to learn only enough of any subject to ask but one question. The professors became a little wary of it after a few weeks and gave him a typewritten answer. This has forced him to fall back on subterfuge. For one whose grey matter would not make an hors d'oeuvre for a stunted amoeba he shows surprising ingenuity in evading work although he is apt to lose his sense of proportion. For instance there was the week he avoided reciting in any subject by eating a couple of pieces of chalk during the early part of each class. At the end of the week he not only had developed a conditioned resistance to the effects of chalk but also had acquired a taste for it. As I write this he is sucking a pilfered stick of the Philosophy Department's best blue. The Tac reported us all today.

Thursday. More riding on horses. I am going to start an S. P. C. A. of my own. The Society for the Propagation of Cruelty to Animals. The Tac reported us all today.

Friday. My sane wife is beginning to crack. The Tac reported us all today.

[image ALT: A drawing of three young men in partial uniforms — their trousers each have a wide stripe running down the leg, but their torsos are in various stages of undress — engaged in a vigorous three-way fight: fists, legs, a drawn bayonet. It is a cartoon of West Point cadets in their quarters.]

"The Tac reported us all today. . ."

Saturday. In my time I have been inside many a disaster looking out but I still reel before the blows of Fate. Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharshin. If this were the season for them I would eat a few worms. The Tac reported us all today.

Sunday. The man who said that there was little difference between a rut and a grave was quite right. The Tac reported us all today.

Thayer's Notes:

a Daylight Saving Time was instituted nationwide for the first time, as a wartime efficiency measure, by President Roosevelt on February 9, 1942, taking effect immediately.

[decorative delimiter]

b Life is never predictable. Ducrot, his creator Ronan Grady, and the entire Class of 1944 would graduate early as the Class of June 1943; two years and three days from the date in the diary puts them in March 1944: they would almost certainly not be having lamb for dinner. Lt. Grady at the time was in the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which on March 4, 1944 according to the unit history at "The U. S. Airborne During WW II" arrived in Tennessee as part of its continued training after which it would eventually serve in the Battle of the Bulge.

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Page updated: 16 Aug 12