As my mother lay ill in bed, bones aching and eyes tight shut, a shiny silver-buttoned policeman knocked on the door. "I've come about the accident," a young man told my father. "Who is it?" my mother, feebly called. They climbed soft-carpetted stairs to her bedroom, the policeman and the stooped offender; a gilt-framed Sacred Heart watching from the anaglypta wall, a rosary-wrapped St Anthony bearing witness from the dresser, as the policeman cautioned my aged father. "Now I don't want you getting upset but I have to caution you," he told him, this aged threat to the public good. "It's like what happens on TV," he reassured them, getting out his note-book and a black-inked pen. The plaster saints looked away in shame. "You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence ..." the youth chanted on. My mother, crash-bruised and still in shock, began the ages old lament of the criminal's wife. "My husband," she speaks out from the soft pillows, in between her tears, "did nothing wrong. It was an accident."
Later, steel-tempered by her encounter with the law, this fan of TV's Morse and Frost rings. "I told him straight," she says. "Coppers don't frighten me."