Causing a passing car to screech to a halt, I see a young man running towards me, hotly pursued by another young man who is holding a weapon - a bat or club of some description. The aggressor is shouting that he is going to kill his prey - "You're f---ing dead mate!" As the young man gets closer to me he yells -"Help me! Help me!" I sense the panic in his voice.
I have never seen the young man before and I have never seen the hunter. I don't know what it is all about. The hunter gives up his chase and I turn to the quarry, shouting "It's all right! You've got away. Just keep running!" The young man turns the corner but he's slowing down - he thinks he's got away.
Club-man retreats to a parked car - a battered old green vehicle with an ancient "B" registration plate. He jumps in. There's someone in the passenger seat. Putting his foot down, the ancient wreck of a car screeches upto the corner. Momentarily, I picture the victim, sauntering along feeling a huge sense of relief that he has escaped the nutcase with the club. Then the green car brakes to a halt and the nasty bloke jumps out with his bat.
I replay the words"Help me!" again and again. What could I have done? What should I have done? The parable of The Good Samaritan is a story that contains a moral message which I have always identified with. And yet there I was being asked for help by a young man with fear in his eyes and really I did nothing. Lord knows what happened round that corner.