The farmyard was deserted. Dieter had gone down the lane with Rupert and Nialla to the river, and by now they had probably already made camp. If I was lucky, I might be just in time for a cup of tea. I felt as if I’d been up all night.
What was the time, anyway?
God blind me with a fish fork! Aunt Felicity’s train was due to arrive at five past ten and I’d completely forgotten about her! Father would have my guts for garters.
Out of the village I went like the wind, southwestwards towards Buckshaw, until I came at last to the Mulford Gates, where Clarence Mundy sat waiting, perched on one of the wings of his taxicab, dragging thirstily at a cigarette. By the snowfall of butts on the road, I could tell that it was not his first.
“Hullo, Clarence,” I said. “How’s the time?”
“Ten hundred hours,” he said, glancing at this elaborate military wristwatch. “Better climb aboard.”
(from ‘The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag’)
Judging from the words, Ten hundred hours, I can guess ‘How’s the time’ may have the same meaning as ‘What is the time.’ Do the two sentences really have the same meaning?