Can anybody tell me what is the meaning of the bold text?

"Again came his howl. I listened, frozen. Then I exclaimed aloud at myself, I cursed myself for a fanciful idiot, and I made a fine gesture of indifference swinging my heels valiantly as I went along the balcony."

(Did the character try to talk himself into an illusion he was not afraid (though he positively was) by walking carelessly, as if nothing strange was happening?)

Leonard Cline, Dark Chamber, 1927

Thank you