Two loud, rattling bangs. It was about ten o'clock. After dark, anyway. My first thought was someone was breaking in next door. I hurried into the yard and looked over the wall. No-one there. More banging- but at a distance now. I went to our gate, which was hanging open- and could just make out a figure, weaving down the pathway at the back of the houses, booting gates as he went. I stared balefully- and I wasn't the only one because a worried voice, in a broad local accent, said, "Come on, Ashley, there's some woman at a window looking at us."- and the menace drained away.