They were very respectful and apologetic, returning my handbag, which they had purloined.

They gave me the impression that Robbie had assured them I would be a willing participant in their plans. I was a virgin, for goodness sake! Methinks Robbie saw a quick escalation to Queen Bee if I disappeared. If events had gone to their logical conclusion it would make more sense for them to kill me than leave me to go to the police and testify in court.

They had in mind making me a kind of mascot, taking me under their collective wing, showing me their Sydney. They dropped me at Maroubra. I got out two doors from where I lived and lurked in the shadows till they had driven off. I had promised I would meet them on the Town Hall steps the following evening at 5 o’clock.

I didn’t go, and would you believe it, I felt guilty.

My mind is a complete blank as to what I talked about. I’m guessing it was literary. I knew several verses of “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” and bits of “The Merchant of Venice”. I was entranced by Don Marquis’ “Archy and Mehitabel” and “Archy’s Life of Mehitabel”, “The Thurber Carnival” and “Me and Other Animals”. I had always loved “Alice in Wonderland”, “Alice Through the Looking Glass” and “The Wind in the Willows” and had just read Homer’s “The Odyssey”. The words I wove must have been plucked from those sources.

I must have had a legitimate entry opportunity to their conversation – you can’t just talk over the top of a bunch of hoods – and then I can only imagine.