I gave a tentative kick to a good-size stone on the shoulder of the road. It skittered nicely across the blacktop, so I kicked it down the narrow, winding road. I was so intent on what I was doing that I didn’t pay attention to anything else. I suppose that’s why, when I came to the old covered bridge, I didn’t notice anybody standing inside, until my rock disappeared under the roof of the bridge, and I looked up. Someone about my age or a little older stood facing the other direction. Even in the shadows, I could tell it was a girl—the ponytail and puffy sleeves made that obvious.
She turned around. There was nothing female about the face that grinned at me, or the gruff voice. “Nay, you missed me by a furlong.”
I was astonished. This was a boy all right, but he was wearing the weirdest clothes I’d ever seen. Besides the white shirt with billowy sleeves, he had on pants that ended at his knees, long white socks, and black shoes with big buckles. In his hand was a hat—a three-cornered hat.
Boy, Pennsylvania kids really go all out for Halloween, I thought. And do they talk funny. “Furlong?” I echoed, wondering if it meant far or long or whatever.
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