After the trial,
Sammy Draper was transferred; he finished his tour of duty at another
station and left the Navy for good. The next year our ship was at
anchor in San Diego and by some great quirk of fate, Paymaster Day,
Lt. McDonald and I decided to go to Tijuana, Mexico, just across the
border. This was most unusual because I hardly ever went ashore together
with Day, and none of us had ever been to Tijuana before. Always before,
when we were in port, McDonald and I would go play golf and Day would
go see his fiancée. They had been engaged for almost two years
but they had never slept together. During this voyage at sea he had
gotten a C.I.S. letter from her. This is a well-known type of letter
in the Navy. At Annapolis we would get C.I.S. letters the night before
a hop saying Christ Im Sorry I have a sick roommate and
cant come. It seems that Days fiancée during
his time at sea had been obsessed, thinking only of his stuttering
and decided to call it quits. The previous evening Day had gone over
to see her, got his ring back, and then raped her. The other officers
thought he had acquitted himself properly and nothing came of the
incident. So Day was now free to join Lt. McDonald and me on our first
trip to Tijuana the following night.
This evening in Tijuana in the foyer of a crowded night club while
Day and I were waiting for Lt. McDonald to come back from the restroom,
suddenly we were greeted by a smiling, urbane Sammy Draper. It was
quite a shock to see him emerge from the crowd. He was elegantly dressed
with coat and tie and shiny black shoes. Sammy extended his arm and
I thought he was going to shake hands. Then, he said, Here,
take this, punks and he let a $100 bill flutter to the floor.
Being practical-minded, Paymaster dove for it; by the time he had
retrieved it, Sammy Draper had disappeared back into the crowd.
When Paymaster changed the bill into five $20 bills I remarked to
him, Sammy said punks, not punk, so we should split it.
Day said it was obviously intended for him, but he gave me two 20s
which I accepted. When Lt. McDonald rejoined us he said that it had
probably been intended for him too since he had been a member of the
Court Martial; but he was too late, the money had already been divided
At any rate, no matter how we split the $100, Sammy Draper had gotten
in the last word.