I dashed back up the stairs, found a blanket and gave it to Phil Latham. He carefully wrapped it around Phineas.
I would have liked very much to have done that myself; it would have meant a lot to me. But Phineas might begin to curse me with every word he knew, he might begin to lose his head completely, he would certainly be worse off for it. So I kept out of the way.
[E]verything at Devon, the playing fields, the gym, the water hole, and all the other buildings and all the people there were intensely real, wildly alive and totally meaningful, and I alone was a dream, a figment which had never really touched anything. I felt that I was not, never had been and never would be a living art of this overpoweringly solid and deeply meaningful world around me.
I reached the Infirmary with Finny’s suitcase and went inside. The air was laden with hospital smells, not unlike those of the gym except that the Infirmary lacked that sense of spent human vitality. This was becoming the new background of Finny’s life, this purely medical element from which bodily health was absent.
“Phineas, you wouldn’t be any good in the war, even if nothing had happened to your leg…. They’d get you someplace at the front and there’d be a lull in the fighting, and the next thing anyone knew you’d be over with the Germans or the Japs, asking if they’d like to field a baseball team against our side…. You’d get things so scrambled up nobody would know who to fight any more. You’d make a mess, a terrible mess, Finny, out of the war.”
“In the middle of it his heart simply stopped, without warning. I can’t explain it. Yes, I can. There is only one explanation. As I was moving the bone some of the marrow must have escaped into his blood stream and gone directly to his heart and stopped it. That’s the only possible explanation.”