It began one night in Paris …

Within twenty minutes of bidding his friends good night and leaving the tavern, Adam Brandon became aware that he was being followed.  This was annoying on several counts. He had no idea who would go to the trouble of setting a tail on him or why they would since, just at the moment, he didn’t imagine he could be of any particular interest to anyone.  Admittedly, that wasn’t always true … but right now it was.  Then there was the possibility that this wasn’t the first time someone had dogged his steps; that it had happened before and he hadn’t noticed.  That pricked his pride.  He’d thought himself better than that.

He continued on his way without altering his pace. He considered luring the tail into a dark alley where he could be grabbed, pinned to a wall and questioned. It wouldn’t be very difficult.  On the other hand, it might be premature. There was a chance, however small, that he was merely being followed by the only footpad in Paris stupid enough to tackle an armed man for the sake of a few coins.  And that being so, the sensible course was to simply stroll onwards, taking a few sudden detours, to see if the fellow stuck with him.

He did … and was still there when Adam reached his lodgings on the Rue des Minimes. With a brief nod for the concierge, he ran swiftly upstairs to the nearest window and was just in time to see his follower raise a hand as if signalling to someone before melting into the shadows on the far side of the street.

Not a footpad, thought Adam with a sort of amused grimness. And not alone.  What, then?  And why?  What possible reason could anyone have for wanting to know my every move?  But whoever it is, they’re making a mistake because now I’ll have to do something about it.  And that’s just tiresome.  

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