On my morning stroll with Monty I came across one of those troubling inner-city still lives: a bag spilling its guts on the pavement. It was swimming gear – trunks, goggles, a grimy towel, some flip flops, shower gel. And a pair of underpants. There was also a smattering of glass. I guessed what had happened – a quick smash and grab from a car, followed by a furious rummage, and a disconsolate throwing away of the useless hoard. And then, on the other side of the Finchley Road, I saw the car – an old Mercedes, the back window broken. I knew what the right thing to do was, and had no excuses not to do it. I went back and stuffed the gear back in the bag – it was the sort of job that really cried out for rubber gloves, but there were builders putting scaffolding up outside our apartment, and being from Yorkshire I’d rather catch hepatitis than look slightly foolish in front of workmen. I took the bag back to the car and tossed it into the front seat. And of course this set off the car alarm. Suddenly the street was made of eyes, all staring at the dishevelled person leaning through the broken car window. I tried to get across what I was doing by means of gestures – shrugs, vague hand waving, a look of innocence on my face such as is only ever worn by the profoundly guilty. But no one made a citizen’s arrest, so I came home, feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled by my good deed.