What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary
(Richard Harkness, New York Herald Tribune, 15 June 1960)
sunday is not a good day on which to do business. Or to expect others to be at work – or even to be out of bed. But Dr Laura Hobson was out of bed fairly early that morning, and awaiting Morse at the (deserted) William Dunn School of Pathology building at 9.30. a.m.
'You're Inspector Morse?'
'Chief Inspector Morse.'
'And you're Dr Hobson?'
'I am she.'
Morse smiled wanly. 'I applaud your grammar, my dear.'
'I am not your "dear". You must forgive me for being so blunt: but I'm no one's "luv" or "dear" or "darling" or "sweetheart". I've got a name. If I'm at work I prefer to be called Dr Hobson; and if I let my hair down over a drink I have a Christian name: Laura. That's my little speech, Chief Inspector! You're not the only one who's heard it.' She was smiling sufficiently as she spoke though, showing small, very white teeth – a woman in her early thirties, fair-complexioned, with a pair of disproportionately large spectacles on her pretty nose; a smallish woman, about 5 foot 4 inches. But it was her voice which interested Morse: the broad north-country vowels in "luv" and "blunt"; the pleasing nairm she had – and perhaps the not unpleasant prospect of meeting her sometime orver a drink with her hair doon…