He stopped astride of the fence in doubt. Then he came over and across the lawn to the corner of the house. He bent down and stepped softly.. „Who’s there?“ he said, also whispering, standing under the window and peering up.. „Where are you going?“ I asked.
„God knows.“. „Are you trying to hide?“
„That’s it.“. „Come into the house,“ I said.
I went down, unfastened the door, and let him in, and locked the door again. I could not see his face. He was hatless, and his coat was unbuttoned.. „My God!“ he said, as I drew him in.. „What has happened?“ I asked.
„What hasn’t?“ In the obscurity I could see he made a gesture of despair. „They wiped us out–simply wiped us out,“ he repeated again and again.. He followed me, almost mechanically, into the dining room.. „Take some whiskey,“ I said, pouring out a stiff dose.
He drank it. Then abruptly he sat down before the table, put his head on his arms, and began to sob and weep like a little boy, in a perfect passion of emotion, while I, with a curious forgetfulness of my own recent despair, stood beside him, wondering.
It was a long time before he could steady his nerves to answer my questions, and then he answered perplexingly and brokenly. He was a driver in the artillery, and had only come into action about seven. At that time firing was going on across the common, and it was said the first party of Martians were crawling slowly towards their second cylinder under cover of a metal shield.