Definitely an early Christie. The generational conflict is still portrayed with a lot of sympathy and empathy to both parties:
The Vicar sighed.
‘Oh, my dear Bobby,’ he said. ‘Will nothing shake your deplorable callousness? It grieves me more than I can say. Here you have been brought face to face with death – with sudden death. And you can joke about it! It leaves you unmoved. Everything – everything, however solemn, however sacred, is merely a joke to your generation.’
Bobby shuffled his feet.
If his father couldn’t see that, of course, you joked about a thing because you had felt badly about it – well, he couldn’t see it! It wasn’t the sort of thing you could explain. With death and tragedy about you had to keep a stiff upper lip.
But what could you expect? Nobody over fifty understood anything at all. They had the most extraordinary ideas.
‘I expect it was the War,’ thought Bobby loyally. ‘It upset them and they never got straight again.’
He felt ashamed of his father and sorry for him.
‘Sorry, Dad,’ he said with a clear-eyed realization that explanation was impossible.
The Vicar felt sorry for his son – he looked abashed – but he also felt ashamed of him. The boy had no conception of the seriousness of life. Even his apology was cheery and impenitent.
They moved towards the Vicarage, each making enormous efforts to find excuses for the other.
The Vicar thought: ‘I wonder when Bobby will find something to do … ?’
Bobby thought: ‘Wonder how much longer I can stick it down here … ?’
Yet they were both extremely fond of each other.