"The loss of a leg is not such a great calamity," he said. "Look at me. I dance, I fly, I drive a car, I go everywhere... And another thing: if you get hit on a wooden leg, it doesn't hurt a bit! Try it!"
The patient obligingly raised his walking-stick and brought it down on de Seversky's leg with considerable force. "You see," de Seversky said cheerfully. "If you hit an ordinary man like that, he'd be in bed for five days!"
He then quickly took his leave of the young man and, limping into the corridor, collapsed in excruciating pain. The aviator had struck him on the wrong leg.