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Gunman aimed to please
  1. M Brimacombe
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M Brimacombe
 10 Broad Elms Lane, Sheffield, S11 9RQ, UK;

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The female voice from the doctors’ co-op was breathless with excitement and a tinge of fear: “Sorry to bother you on your weekend off, but it’s one of your patients. He’s attempting to shoot the duty doctor.”

It was Mother’s Day and, since I was not on call, it had seemed a good idea to go out as a family for a meal. The phone had rung just as we were heading out of the house.

“Patrick Brennan sent for a doctor for his mum, and when our doctor got there he pulled a gun”, the voice continued.

The gunman was someone I knew quite well. He was an eccentric character in his mid-40s, had a mass of auburn hair which surrounded his head like a bushy halo, and was unfailingly cheerful, probably due to his excessive daily consumption of brown ale.

He was intrigued by our suggestion that less drinking and smoking might prolong his life, and unrepentant that he had lost his job as a hospital porter by being drunk and disorderly in charge of a trolley. He lived with his elderly mother who was housebound and confused. She …

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  • Opening the word hoard is edited by Gillie Bolton. Items should be sent to her at the address at the end of her editorial.