Captain Moonlight

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The Independent Online
I WAS much taken by the story of Lord Justice Hoffmann giving pounds 20 to a woman who knocked at his door and asked him for some money because her purse had been stolen and she needed to get her daughter to ballet school. She promised to return the money, but didn't. Other victims include Lord Browne-Wilkinson, the law lord, and Dr Jonathan Miller, the renaissance person. Sir Leonard's kindliness impressed me most, since, in his days as an Oxford don, he gave me some of the most gruelling moments of my life. I still, in my dreams, find myself in a sticky tutorial, being led inexorably on to fumbling heresies in promissory estoppel by an increasingly disdainful Hoffmann, tortoiseshell spectacles glinting, South African drawl ever more languid. You will recall Bunter's encounters with Quelch. To think I could have touched him for 20 smackeroonies. Has it ever occurred to you that life is just a series of missed opportunities?

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