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Bill Thayer

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100th Nite

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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April 10
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p45  March 27, 1942 . . . .

Monday. Today the Tactical Officer, with simple dignity, reported my other wife for "Face" and as He is tightening up on discipline He had the poor goof triced up to the alcove rail and given forty lashes. Next time it happens He is going to have salt rubbed on after. In English we are preparing to write our research papers. I am going to take "Unsolved Murders, and How to Commit Them" as my subject. My sane wife is going to take "How Did the Borgias Do It?" as his, and my other wife, who can be as simply dignified as the next man is going to research "Assassination". More power to us.

Tuesday. The Philosophy Department evidently feeling the influence of an early spring has given us some intriguing and dangerous toys to play with. These toys concern electricity exclusively and cost more money than there is in the world. What practical knowledge we are supposed to derive from them I do not know. So far all I have learned is that nobody knows anything about electricity or else the Philosophy instructors are party to a plot to fry '44. I am inclined toward the latter belief. Today 220 volts crawled out of a wire, said "Pepys, my boy, that is the wrong connection," bit me, and then crawled back picking up its amperes. My other wife investigating the cause of an ammeter's annihilation was tied in a knot resembling a running bowline and thrown through a window. Now he glows with a soft orange light. At night one can read by him.

[image ALT: A drawing of a young man standing bolt upright at a table or counter on which a variety of electrical apparatus is spread in disarray; lightning bolts issue from his ears, his entire body glows brightly, and one of the electrical boxes is smoking. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet taking an electrical engineering class.]

". . . the Philosophy instructors are party to a plot to fry '44."

Wednesday. Today was extremely disheartening. Calculus now involves five dimensions. Not a one of which I have ever seen before. Today I sprained a wrist attempting to draw one of the figures. This afternoon the Air Corps examined me and rejected me laughing hysterically. The Drawing department has done its vile work well. I was ushered into a darkened room where I immediately created a bad impression by trying to hang my cap upon the examining officer. I surprised all present by my ability to tell which wall the chart was on. A prize was then offered to the doctor who could find my pulse. As the contest was run on the honor system no one won. From this examination I went to the hospital to have my blood typed. It was quite a harrowing experiment. And I do mean experiment. There was a bit of blind stabbing done before they succeeded in harpooning one of my four remaining corpuscles. It was  p46 then carried off biting and scratching to be typed. However, true to the old Pepys' tradition it refused to talk so I am as yet unclassified. The hospital behaved very scurvily throughout the whole affair even failing to return the valiant little fellow to me. One doctor rather gratuitously advised me to train a pack of leeches and learn how to milk them.

Thursday. More fun and dirty games with the Philosophy department today. I have come to believe that electricity is run by the brownies, that capricious little race that one day will work busily around the house doing a multitude of tasks, and the next, thrown into a huff because they did not receive a large enough vote of thanks, give the baby nitric acid to drink. Our Tactical Officer is the man Omar had in mind when he wrote the verse:

"The moving finger writes and having writ

Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line

Nor all your tears wash out a word of it."

Today He reported several men for "Name beginning with H", just to keep them respectful of higher authority.

Friday. My other wife was told to stop chewing his z's in Spanish today or they would wash his mouth out with soap. Of late I have received many reports for sleeping in class, especially in English. It is really unfair. Due to the Drawing department and the pressure of modern life at West Point and one thing and another my eyes not only do not see things that they should see but at times even see things they should not see. If I am wrong in this hypothesis then the section rooms in the West Academic Building are infested by hundreds of small winged octopi​a colored a livid lavender. Anyway, at times, in order to shut out the peculiar and horrid sights I see I close my eyes. Then due to a regrettable lack of understanding between myself and, let us say, the English department, I am reported for sleeping in class. I call this regrettable because I am never bored by my classes, especially my English classes, as I hold the view that all cadets hold, namely; that English is enthralling, completely enthralling. One might as well expect a Pole to be bored by the Gestapo as to expect a cadet to be bored by the English department, especially the English department. We were issued name tags today. A thing that has relieved my mind greatly as I had heard a strong rumor that we were going to be branded with an X bar X and our ears clipped.

Saturday. Our Tactical officer has given the phrase "Total War" new significance to me. Today at inspection He demonstrated His talents in this respect, also his ability to reason to a logical conclusion. Everyone was reported for "Dust inside bayonet scabbard." I would say "Give me Liberty or give me Death" if I did not know that in order to get one I would have to take both.

Sunday. Spent the day at West Point.

Thayer's Note:

a I'm pretty sure the writer knew better. If on the other hand you think that's the proper plural, help is just a click away.

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Page updated: 6 Mar 18