1) How would you explain this sentence?
“Those men fought in France, with mustard gas and everything?”
“We studied the Argonne. In Military Strategy. It was very bad.”
“So, can’t they get their money now, if they fought in the war?”
“I’d have been there too, in the Argonne,” he said, suddenly turning pinkish, “if I could have been. Did your mother tell you I wouldn’t fight in the war?”
A subject to steer around. “What’s the soldier’s bonus supposed to be?”
Surprisingly, Father knew the answer: $500 a man. He is a bean counter for the government. Five hundred bucks for risking a life in the war, so they could begin a new one here. Congress turned them down, decided to pay out the bonus later when these men are old. So they’ve come here from everywhere, wishing to take the matter up with the president.
How would you explain this sentence: A subject to steer around?
Does it mean the father wanted to change subject but the son tried to steer around?