another officer to be accounted for, but him he could not

source:rnatime:2023-12-06 09:20:14

The most ludicrous case of hazing I know of is, I think, the following:

another officer to be accounted for, but him he could not

For an unusual display of grossness a number of plebes were ordered by the cadet lieutenant on duty over them to report at his "house" at a specified hour. They duly reported their presence, and were directed to assume the position of the soldier, facing the wall until released. After silently watching them for a considerable time, the lieutenant, who had a remarkable penchant for joking, called two of them into the middle of the room. He caused them to stand dos à dos, at a distance of about one foot from each other, and then bursting into a laugh, which he vainly endeavored to suppress, he commanded, "Second, exercise!"

another officer to be accounted for, but him he could not

Now to execute this movement the hands are extended vertically over the head and the hands joined. At the command "Two!" given when this is done, the arms are brought briskly forward and downward until the hands touch if possible the ground or floor. The plebes having gone through the first motion, the lieutenant thus cautioned them:

another officer to be accounted for, but him he could not

"When I say 'Two!' I want to see you men come down with life, and touch the floor. Two!"

At the command they both quickly, and "with life" brought their bodies forward and their arms downward; nay, they but attempted, for scarcely had they left the vertical ere their bodies collided, and they were each hurled impetuously, by the inevitable reaction in opposite directions, over a distance of several feet.

Their bodies being in an inclined position when struck, and the blow being of great force, they were necessarily forced still further from the erect attitude, and were with much difficulty able to keep themselves from falling outright on the floor. Of course all present, save those concerned, enjoyed it immensely. Indeed it was enjoyable. Even the plebes themselves had a hearty laugh over it when they were dismissed.

Again a cadet lieutenant, who was on duty at the time over the "Seps," ordered a number of them to report at his "house" at a given hour. They had been unusually gross, and he intended to punish them by keeping them standing in his quarters. They reported, and were put in position to serve their punishment. For some reason the lieutenant left the room, when one of the "Seps" faced to the others and thus spoke to them:

"Say, boys, let's kick up the devil. P--has gone out."