When they took away Peter’s father he was raving. The end of the world was coming, it was coming soon, and we were all going to die. They knew, but they didn’t want the truth to get out. That’s why he was being silenced, and so on. In response to Mrs Hunter’s emergency call the operator had sent two burly paramedics, but they had not been enough and it had taken an additional four policemen to restrain him.
My mother delivered the news erratically, waving one arm as though she too was caught up in apocalyptic fervour. Then, on her way to the couch, she sank down to the hall rug and lay there, her face all concertinaed on one side, as though it had been the weight of Peter’s father’s revelation, and not a quart of vodka, that had been too much for her. June 23rd, she said and passed out.