"A boy was leaving the shop as my taxi drew up in Parton Street, a short, square, dirty figure with a square white face and sweaty hair. ‘I’m looking for Esmond Romilly,’ I said.
He was instantly, dramatically, on his guard, conspiratorial, prepared for violent aggression or ingenious deceit. I thrilled and trembled more hysterically than ever.
‘I’m Toynbee,’ I said, ‘Toynbee of Rugby.’
Esmond looked sharply up and down the short street, then opened the shop door and pushed me through it."
Philip Toynbee, Friends Apart