‘Is that all?’

From W. Pett Ridge’s novel, The Amazing Years (1917):

“Where were you wounded?” was the usual inquiry, and the soldier could never tell whether the questioner wanted geographical or bodily information. “l’m sure you must be dreadfully keen on getting back to the fighting line,” was a remark that did not always gain an enthusiastic and affirmative answer. “How we envy you in being able to take a part in the struggle!” sometimes received a non-committal jerk of the head ; the Sister and the nurses listened later to the comments on this aspiration. The sentence that remained long in the memory of the ward was one made by a wealthy woman from Blackheath. She arrived, with the obvious determination to say the correct, the tactful, the exactly appropriate word.

“And what injuries have you sustained, my man?”

“Well, lady, as you see, I’ve lost my left arm, and I’ve got rather an extensive collection of shrapnel in my right leg.”

“Oh,” she remarked, casually, “is that all!”
And passed on to the next bed. The Sister declared that imitations of this visitor were popular for weeks.

One Comment

  1. Jane Evans
    Posted March 5, 2015 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s online at:

    https://archive.org/stream/amazingyears00ridgiala#page/n5/mode/2up


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