Car 4

137
Mr Xavier Ducro

Outward appearance

Determined young black man. Blue suit, burnished black shoes, beige overcoat. Shaved, short hair with a fashionable Tin Tin flip in front. Stares, his face slack, at a personal organiser.

Inside information

His father was a builder who decided that Chartered Surveying was the profession for his son. His son agreed: it was an attractive mix of professional standing with outdoor, masculine work. Has met at his church the woman he wants to marry, Charlotte. He is courting Charlotte in the classic manner of dates and visits with her parents. Works in an architects office near the Elephant, serving his apprenticeship to become a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS).

What he is doing or thinking

He is turning the station names on the Bakerloo line into anagrams.

Bakerloo line anagrams have become an obsession. It started when, through a train window, the words "Oxford Circus" miraculously rearranged themselves into "X. Ducro, FRICS". He took this as a symptom of overwork.

The next day, however, the letters of the word "Waterloo" swam like fish until they read "a Wet Rolo", which he is what he was eating at the time. It seemed the anagrams only formed when they told the truth. After arranging a loan, "Embankment" became "Met bank men".

Just now in his notebook, "Charing Cross" has morphed from "Char Crossing" to "Scorch in rags" to "Crash so ring C".

If that's true too? What if Charlotte's in trouble? He gets off early at Waterloo to ring.

The signs in the station now read "Woo later".

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