My friend Linda from Texas has been visiting. She’s staying on Vashon Island and took the ferry to Fauntleroy, the bus downtown and the 71 Bus to Sunset Hill to visit me. I arranged to pick her up at the stop at NW 65th St. and 32nd Ave. NW.

I was sitting in my car and saw the bus go by me. She obviously missed that stop and got off at the next one a block north. After getting out, carrying a bag and jacket, she seemed to panic and ran back towards the bus, but it was too late. It had already left. Then she started running towards me. This was weird behavior to say the least. She didn’t usually run at all, and had actually asked me to pick her up in my car to avoid walking 4 or 5 blocks.

I picked her up and she said she had left her purse on the bus. The bus was already out of sight, but I knew the route so we took off after it. A car between us was running interference and didn’t turn off until 80th, and the bus was pulling away again at 83rd St. after disgorging a few passengers.

I was taking off after the bus again, when she screamed that a young man getting off had her purse. She jumped out to run after him. He had already turned the corner, so I lost sight of both of them and the bus, too. I couldn’t very well back-up on 32nd, so finally I made a u-turn, just in time to see her coming back to me with a big smile.

She had been yelling at the young man, an Asian man with large headphones on his head, so he couldn’t hear anything. As she caught up with him, she heard her cellphone ringing in his backpack. She immediately grabbed the backpack, reached in and retrieved her purse. The cellphone ringing had tipped her off where her purse was and given her the courage to grab it.

The guy never even had time to respond or protest or anything, as she ran back to me with her purse safely in her hands. He must have been quite bewildered.

I was surprised actually that this young man had stolen the purse. I had just figured it would be turned into Metro’s lost and found, which would have been a pain for Linda, but at least she would have the purse back. I must be really naive when it comes to Seattle, because I am so used to thinking that we are all honest here.

All-in-all a happy ending, because the purse contained her passport, drivers license, credit cards and some money. That would have definitely cramped her style if we hadn’t found it.