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THE PURSUIT
I (walk) along Piccadilly when I (realize) that a man with a black beard, whom I (see) three times already that afternoon, (follow) me. To make quite sure, I (walk) on quickly, (turn) right, then left and (stop) suddenly at a shop window. In a few minutes, the man with the beard (appear) and (stop) at another shop window. I (go) on. Whenever I (stop) he (stop), and whenever I (look) round he (be) still there. He (look) a very respectable type and (wear) good clothes and I (wonder) if he was a policeman or a private detective.
I (decide) to try and (shake) him off. A 74 bus (stand) at the bus stop just beside me. Then the conductor (ring) the bell. Just as the bus (move) off, I (jump) on it. The man with the beard (miss) the bus but (get) into another 74, which (follow) the first. Every time the buses (pull) up at a stop, the man (look) out to see if I (get) off. Finally, at some traffic lights, he (change) buses and (get) into mine. On the next stop I (leave) the bus, (go) to the underground station and (buy) a ticket at a ticket machine.
As I (stand) on the platform waiting for a train, my follower (come) down the stairs. He (carry) a newspaper and when we (get) into the same carriage, he (sit) in one corner reading it. He (look) over the top of the newspaper at every station to see if I (get) out.
I (become) rather tired of being followed like this, so finally I (go) and (sit) beside the man and (ask) him why he (follow). At first he (say) he (not follow) me at all but when I (promise) to throw him out of the train, he (admit) that he (be). Then he (tell) me he (be) a writer of detective stories and (try) to see if it (be) difficult to follow someone unseen. I (tell) him he (not be) unseen because I (notice) him in Piccadilly and (advise) him to shave off his beard if he (not want) his victim to know he was followed.