Henry Bergh usually returns home around six P.M. Tonight he arrives home before five P.M. to clean up the bloody mess that he is wearing from today’s adventure on the West Side, as he’s in no condition to conduct Society business looking like this. He tries to enter the house quietly and slip up to his bath unnoticed. As he reaches the top of the stairs, Matilda is there and scans his appearance with wide eyes. A small trickle of dried blood runs down one cheek, his hair is disheveled, one hand is wrapped with a handkerchief to cover an abrasion when he fell.
“Oh my God, Henry, what happened to you?”
“It’s nothing, dear, just a minor scuffle at the stockyards.”
As he walks to the bedroom, she follows him. “Minor scuffle? Look at you. Like a common ruffian with blood and soiled clothes. And your hand?”
“Just a scrape. Nothing serious,” trying to minimize her alarm. He removes his soiled, blood-stained overcoat revealing a blood-stained shirt collar and heads for the bath.