There remained only on the barrack-square the blood of man calling from the ground. The hot sun had dried it to a dusky goldbeater-skin film, cracked lozenge-wise by the heat; and as the wind rose, each lozenge, rising a little, curled up at the edge as if it were a dumb tongue. Then a heavier gust blew all away down wind in grains of dark coloured dust.
This is from “Love-o’-Women” in Many Inventions.
Sergeant Raines has shot Corporal Mackie on the barrack-square for making love to his wife. Raines is tried and gets off with a light sentence.
Mulvaney reflects that despite his death, Mackie, a handsome womaniser, had got off lightly. He recalls a similar old comrade who had never been able to resist an attractive woman, and came to a tragic and protracted end.