Families of some of the Americans being held by the Iraqi government got telephone calls from their loved ones over the weekend, and a few of the hostages were evasive on some subjects.

Ann Hoffman of Columbus, Ga., said her son Miles called home about noon Saturday. He was a financial analyst and investor for the Kuwaiti government before the Iraqi invasion."He said they were lined up at the telephone. A whole lot of them," she said.

Ann Hoffman, who has been concerned about her son's health since he was shot in the arm by an Iraqi soldier during an escape attempt Sept. 5, said her son's call was disconnected when she asked about his wound.

"I asked how his arm was. I told them the (recently released) French hostages told us he was not allowed to exercise - or couldn't exercise because it hurt," she said. "He said something about `they must have seen my X-rays,' then we were cut off.

Charles Keegan, 56, was allowed to call his daughters, Cathi Van Baale and Peg Keegan, in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday.

"He was really evasive," Van Baale said, adding that she thought the call was monitored. "My sister asked him if he was being treated OK and he just changed subjects.

"He sounded kind of disgusted, like `Let's get this over with.' "

Jim Brown said his twin brother Cecil was allowed to make a brief phone call Sunday to his wife and sons in Atlanta.

Monday is the brothers' birthday and Jim Brown, also of Atlanta, said the call was "a gift in itself." But he said it would be "a very empty day."

Others plan more direct contact. Mary Trundy, 44, of Brockton, Mass., says she'll spend Christmas in Baghdad with her twin brother, John Stevenson.

"If this helps John's morale, so be it," she said.