The Return of the Soldier
Kitty was, I felt, being a little too clever over it.
"How is he wounded?" she asked.
The caller traced a pattern on the carpet with her blunt toe.
"I don't know how to put it; he's not exactly wounded. A shell burst--"
"Concussion?" suggested Kitty.
She answered with an odd glibness and humility, as though tendering us a term she had long brooded over without arriving at comprehension, and hoping that our superior intelligences would make something of it:
"Shell-shock." Our faces did not illumine, so she dragged on lamely, "Anyway, he's not well." Again she played with her purse. Her face was visibly damp.
"Not well? Is he dangerously ill?"
"Oh, no." She was too kind to harrow us. "Not dangerously ill."
Kitty brutally permitted a silence to fall. Our caller could not bear it, and broke it in a voice that nervousness had turned to a funny, diffident croak.
"He's in the Queen Mary Hos