The Man of Science is a 1892 short story by English author and playwrite, Jerome K Jerome. The tale begins with this paragraph:
I met a man in the Strand one day that I knew very well, as I thought, though I had not seen him for years. We walked together to Charing Cross, and there we shook hands and parted. Next morning, I spoke of this meeting to a mutual friend, and then I learnt, for the first time, that the man had died six months before.
It is very similar to Graham Greenes's first idea for what would become The Third Man:
I had paid my last farewell to Harry a week ago, when his coffin was lowered into the frozen February ground, so that it was with incredulity that I saw him pass by, without a sign of recognition, among the host of strangers in the Strand.