What we in the news business call a "follow" -- a description of an event following a prior published report -- happened unexpectedly Monday as a French-American bicycle-touring group was holding a ceremony in Lafayette Park, opposite the White House.

The words, from here onward, are those of Randolph A. Swart of Arlington:

"As the ceremony began, an accident occurred on Pennsylvania Avenue during which a car struck a pedestrian. As commuters remained in their cars, firmly bound for work, the French group leapt to the aid of the young woman who lay bleeding in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

"The group's leader, French cardiologist Andre Mas, was the first to her side, quickly assessing her injuries, reassuring her and kneeling in the street with her until the D.C. emergency crew arrived.

"Other members of the group, highly visible in their bright orange cycling jerseys, formed a cordon around the two to provide protection until D.C. police and later an ambulance crew arrived to take over . . . all . . . without signal . . . . "

Dr. Mas' group is riding through East Coast locations related to the Marquis de Lafayette, the French hero of the American Revolution. The journey promotes a fund to restore the Lafayette statue in the group's home city, Metz, which was destroyed after the Nazi invasion in 1940 -- to which Metro Scene will make a modest donation, recalling the friendly but anonymous Frenchmen in Metz who refused to let me buy my own beer as I returned from the German-Czech front line at war's end in 1945.

The address is: Project Lafayette, c/o Robert Dollar, 2904 Summerfield Rd., Falls Church, Va. 22042. The checks will be sent to Metz for deposit and collection.

Rabies Shots Due

Montgomery County pet owners should note that it's almost time to get your dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies.

Licensed veterinarians will inject dogs free at 15 clinics at various locations around the county during May. Those with still-effective three-year vaccinations need not have the procedure done this year, but all dogs must be licensed by the county or localities. The owner of an unvaccinated dog can be fined $250.

Similar, generally free clinics for cats will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Sundays, April 6, 13 and 27 and June 1, 8 and 22, at the Werner Council Building garage, Fleet Street and Monroe Avenue, Rockville. Cat licenses are required for the county and Gaithersburg, but not Rockville; however, Rockville residents will be charged a $3 vaccination fee. Cats need not be revaccinated if they have valid three-year immunization.

For information, call 279-1823.

Metro Rider Blues

Numerous Metro subway riders were startled about 5:30 p.m. Monday as a Blue Line train left Metro Center for National Airport. Apart from the big blue dot in the front window, it bore one -- only one -- destination sign on any of its cars: a Yellow Line destination, Gallery Place, probably jammed, on its front roller sign. All the signs on the train's side were blank.

To his credit, the train operator made emphatically clear: "This is a Blue Line train, a Blue Line train . . . . "