We are coming to think that we have unwelcome visitors not in the front attic, but in the back attic. Something galloped the length of the ceiling overhead as I went up to have my bath. If it is a jackdaw then they are getting in and out freely — avian metabolic rates suggest that nothing of a birdish persuasion which was at large up there three days ago and unable to free itself would still be alive. We are inclined to think the answer may be rats, especially since the rhythm of the rattle of little feet overhead was not suggestive so much of a run as a gallop ‘quadrupedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum’, as you might say — with emphasis on quadrupedante. Perhaps they are opening a four-star restaurant or there again, perhaps they are not. ‘We could borrow a terrier’, said the Professor. To which I can only say, ‘yes, meaning, no.’ Somehow the idea of getting a Jack Russell up a ladder, boosting it through the skylight and awaiting results strikes me as wearing on the nerves. Perhaps I could leave them a copy of Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking and hope they get the idea?