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In loving memory of Scriptorius
from my Madazine Pending File

A man noticed that a woman appeared to have been following him for over half an hour. Curious to confirm his suspicion, he turned a corner, came to a standstill and accosted her when she reached the spot. The conversation went as follows:

Man: Excuse me for stopping you, but I believe you have been trailing me for some time. Is that by chance or intention?

Woman: Oh dear, is it so obvious?

Man: It is. I walked along Manor Street, turned into Albert Road and entered this shopping precinct, where I took a right turn, then two left ones. I’ve covered a mile and a half and you have been within a whisker of thirty yards behind me the whole way. Whenever I paused, you did the same. Would you care to comment on that?

Woman: Yes. I must confess I have been following you. I’m sorry if that has upset you, but it’s part of my field experience.

Man: In what area?

Woman: I lost my job recently and I’ve spent two hundred pounds on a correspondence course designed to teach me how to be a private detective. This is my first outing covered by lesson two which is Unobtrusive Tracking.

Man: Well, I regret to disappoint you Miss, Mrs or Ms – tick where appropriate – but you are about as unobtrusive as the proverbial elephant in a living room.

Woman: How do you think I went wrong?

Man: Where do I start? First, if you want to be inconspicuous, you need to keep your distance. A hundred yards would be about right. Second, there’s the small matter of what you’re wearing.

Woman: I see. Is it the coat?

Man: Well, if I may paraphrase Raymond Chandler, the coat helps but you don’t really need it, though I have to say that your choice of bright red does tend to attract attention. You might also consider changing your headscarf from that striking shade of yellow to something darker. Then there are your black fishnet stockings. Lastly, I strongly recommend to get rid of your three-inch heels. They’re not the ideal footwear for a private eye. If you persist with them you’ll always have trouble following your quarry for any length of time. Frankly, your outfit could lead a man to think of you as being in a quite different occupation.

Woman: This is very depressing. I’ve been in financial difficulties for a while, especially since paying for this tuition. I can’t afford any more clothes at present and I have eight more lessons to learn if I’m to finish my training and try to make use of it for earning a living.

Man: I see. Look, take this twenty-pound note and go round the charity shops. You should be able to get some decent stuff with this. And make it sober, maybe grey or black. Do it today. And here’s my card. Call at my office about nine tomorrow morning. Perhaps I can be of some assistance to you.

Woman: This is really nice of you, but how do you think you might help me?

Man: No problem there. I’m a private investigator.

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Presented with love by the partnership of
Scriptorius and Aquarius

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19 Apr, 2020
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