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The streets were wet and the air was damp and everything was grey or shades of brown and tan. I rode an early twentieth-century scooter down some familiar streets (and up some unfamiliar ones) to a store where I bought nothing but trouble and a sidelong scowl. The party was nothing to look forward to, and I had known that from the beginning. When the police came, they came in through the front and we tried to get out the back, but I saw (somewhere beyond my natural line of sight) an officer emerging from a hedgerow, ready to intercept anyone who came his way. There was questioning. The rector was interrogated through a window at his parsonage by a hulking man with a great unfortunate arching brow. The figure outside the window grew imperceptibly until his face filled the space there, and the poor clergyman could have been bitten in two by this creature's fearsome maw. We were led into the holding area, en masse, some with children but most alone, cordoned off so that we might stay in line to be stamped or ticketed or branded.

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