He had then made what he (was slowly coming) to believe

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redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Continental's schedule had offered three possibilities, but Norman thought the third — a bus which had departed on the southern route at 1:45p.m. — was unlikely. She wouldn't have wanted to hang around that long. .......

He had then made what he was slowly coming to believe had been a mistake, one which had cost him at least two weeks; he had assumed that she wouldn't want to go too far from home, from the area where she'd grown up — not a scared little mouse like her.

Source: Rose madder, Stephen King

Hello, I want to understand the tenses in the highlighted sentence. The action of "was coming to believe" refers to the current story time, right? Is it wrong to use "had been coming" because the action is prior to the mistake he had made, which isn't logical? Thanks~
 
  • redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Eltheza ,Thanks for your answer~~
    So, we can't change it to "had been coming" here, right?
     

    Eltheza

    Senior Member
    English - England (Midlands)
    Hi!

    No, because that would mean he made a mistake and at the same time, realised it was wrong, which doesn't really make sense, does it?
     
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