"Known at the U. S. Military Academy as the 'Spanish Inquisition.'"
A number of cadets accosted a plebe, who had just reported in May, 1874, and the following conversation ensued:
"Well, mister, what's your name?"
"Sir!" yelled rather than spoken.
"Well, sir, I want to see you put a 'sir' on it," with another yell.
"Sir John Walden," was the unconcerned rejoinder.
Now it was not expected that the "sir" would be put before the name after the manner of a title, but this impenetrable plebe put it there, and in so solemn and "don't-care" a manner that the cadets turned away in a roar of laughter.
Ever afterward he was known in the corps as "Sir John."