Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/189

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169
Private Omnibuses

of them earned enough to pay expenses. The Associations were quite prepared to lose money, and when the pirates understood this they changed their tactics quickly. Whenever a pirate found it was going to be "nursed," it would turn off the main road and wander about the back streets until its "nurses" had gone on. Then it would make another start in a clear road. To render that proceeding profitless, the Associations told off an omnibus to follow each pirate wherever it went. The result was that two omnibuses, sometimes empty, sometimes carrying mixed loads of amused, frightened, and indignant passengers, were frequently to be seen careering along quiet back streets with scarcely a yard dividing them. This state of things had existed for a few weeks, when a pirate owner heard something which caused him considerable uneasiness, and prompted him to keep a close watch on his men. The following morning he witnessed his omnibus begin its daily struggle, and eventually disappear down a side street closely followed by its "nurse." He then walked to a quiet little inn some three miles away, arriving there in time to discover the rival 'busmen enjoying themselves at a friendly game of