When Alleycat fell ill he showed us what a hero he is. Only a cat with hidden reserves of magic could have fought back from a poisoning and maintained his grip on his territory all at the same time. Things looked worse than ever when Bamber broke his toe and the cutthroat cats from Fanning Road and Upper Bugle Street began to take liberties; they swaggered into Alleycat’s garden in full daylight and sat under the swing and made Pink talk to them, and one or two hurled insults Alleycat’s way. What was Alleycat to do? What could he do? After all, he was sick. In his weakened state he staggered out to face them, crawled out you might say, and waited for them under the fence and tried to do battle. A big yobbish cat called One–eyed Jack jumped the gate and fell on him, so Alleycat ran for it, and yelled in a voice we hadn’t heard him use before. That was part of his plan. Bernie the Cocker Spaniel was lying in wait around the corner of the house, and she answered Alleycat’s summons and stormed into view and chased Jack up into the umbrella tree, where she sat in the roots and yapped and yipped at him. Just. Like. That. The Man with Windows for Eyes came out and called Bernie off and Jack had to run for it, crestfallen and humiliated, and ever since then the cutthroat cats have kept their distance and Pink’s been safe from their attentions, thank goodness.