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Bill Thayer

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December 19

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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January 16
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p36  January 2, 1942 . . . .

Monday. I am on leave and I have until Wednesday before I must return. What a mad merry time this is. There are two shadows upon my happiness however. My other wife is also free and the thought of that disaster roaming about amongst people who do not know how to guard against him makes me shudder. Also I am concerned about my sane wife. I fear he must have fallen into bad company. He left with a few of the other boys on the 21st. On the 22nd we received a telegram from Albuquerque asking for ten dollars and a box of band-aids. The morning of the 23rd brought another telegram from a place rather improbably named Hetrfkjn and consisting mainly of Western Union substitutes for nasty words and requesting $73.18 and the address of a blood-donor type B. As the telegraph people laughed like anything when we attempted to send $.18 to Hetrfkjn we could not comply with his demands. Then upon the 24th we received an air mail package evidently sent from Albuquerque on the 22nd containing four tarantulas and a horned toad. One of the tarantulas bit my other wife and was carried away writhing in pain by the remaining tarantulas and the horned toad to the shoe box where they stayed until the 26th when they discovered and drank the jet‑oil and then left roaring hoarsely in search for more jet‑oil. On the same day a fourth telegram arrived from my sane wife saying that he had just seen Murder, Inc. and that we had best watch out. As it was sent from New York and I was leaving on the next day, I decided to search him out and convince him to let by‑gones be bygones or, if necessary shoot him, but I have been unable to find him. However this city I am in may not be New York. It is getting dark so I must now get up, get out, and meet life half way.

[image ALT: A drawing of a man in a striped bathrobe opening his door to a uniformed bellhop. On the doorknob a sign reads 'PLEASE don't Disturb'. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet on leave receiving a telegram from a classmate in trouble.]

"On the same day a fourth telegram arrived. . ."

Tuesday. This is New York or at least that is what I am told it is. I saw my other wife last night. From his appearance one would think he is not getting the good night's sleep no growing boy can get along without because he seems to have stopped growing and to have begun to shrink. Although a better word might be "to wither." I had no opportunity to chat with  p37 him and find out if he was enjoying his leave as several large men were pursuing him; however, he seems to be living to the hilt. So far I have not seen my sane wife but I have heard reports about him which indicate that he is burning the candle at both ends and holding matches to the middle. I must return to West Point tomorrow as I cunningly left a day early thus squeezing an extra six and one‑half hours out of the system.

[image ALT: A drawing of a tall handsome man with on his right arm a very pretty young woman; they both look with curiosity at a man in a tuxedo with a carnation in his lapel, a strange haircut that has left a small mop of hair on the top of his head while a wide patch over his ear is shaven clean. A cartoon bubble rises from the tall man: in it a kneeling man has his head on a chopping-block and a medieval axe is being wielded over it. In the background of the scene, a small chandelier and beneath it, quickly sketched in, a couple dancing. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet on leave.]

"He seems to be living to the hilt."

Wednesday. I am back. It is probably just as well as I was becoming a little tired and last I noticed my corpuscles leaving me like rats leaving a sinking ship. I also stopped breathing for a period of two hours. A circumstance which gave me pause to think. The plebes at this moment must be giving a long Corps for the New Year. If I could be sure that I would not disintegrate I would laugh a harsh barking laugh.

Thursday. I went to reveille this morning, the whole shouting, jostling crowd of me. Afterwards I came home and some of me died and the rest of me organized into a large oval bunch which went to breakfast. I have now returned and am in a fit of deep black depression with spots to match. However, I will be able to watch the others return which is a macabre comfort.

Later: There is a messy heap of rubbish in our room which claims to be my other wife. As it is only four feet high and its only similarity to a human being lies in the fact that the top end talks I doubt its story. My sane wife has just now entered. He looks like something that has been necking with a vampire.

Friday. Reveille this morning was one of the most gruesome little ceremonies I have ever attended. If any mortician had been present he would have started quoting wholesale prices. Nevertheless, my other wife looks a little better. His bones are not showing any more. Classes were such fun. It was interesting to watch my classmates fight off waves of rigor mortis. Luckily I have such a low vitality that whenever I sit in one place too long it takes an ice pick to loosen my joints so I am used to that trouble. My sane wife had better recover soon for I am sick and tired of picking him up.

Saturday. This place has the atmosphere of an open grave.

Sunday. This place has the atmosphere of a filled grave.

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Page updated: 16 Aug 12