C.S. Lewis’ stepson, Douglas Gresham, recounts a story of how his mother and stepfather (Gresham refers to Lewis as “Jack”) confronted a trespasser on their property during a walk. I had to laugh out loud for the initial politeness followed by nerves of steel.
We were walking up the hill into the woods, my mother carrying her little “garden gun”, which she used to scare pigeons off our vegetables and trespassers out of our woods, when the two of them, some distance ahead of me, were accosted by a young man with a bow and a quiver of arrows. “Excuse me,” said Jack politely, “this is private land and you really shouldn’t be here. Would you please leave?” The young man’s response was to nock an arrow to the string and draw the bow, pointing it at them. Jack stepped in front of my mother to shield her, and stood there for a few seconds until he heard her say, in tones of chilled steel: “God damn it, Jack, get out of my line of fire!” Whereupon Jack stepped swiftly sideways, leaving the young man staring down the barrel of a gun. He took off rapidly.
Moral of the story: If you ignore polite requests to cease doing something illegal, all bets are off as to how polite the next request will be.