I climbed up on the wagon and sat down on the seat. Underneath was a lever. I grabbed it and pretended to shift gears. I guess I thought it was too rotten or rusty to do anything. I was wrong. The lever moved easily in my hand and the wagon started to roll.
“Look out!” I shouted at Aunt Cass, who stepped backward in the nick of time, only to lose her balance and fall to the ground. I looked back to where she lay, too worried about her to think about what was happening to me. Then, as the wagon rolled past the house, I caught a glimpse of Mom at the window. The look on her face scared me. As the wagon lurched down the steep, rutted drive, picking up speed with every passing second, I tried to get up the nerve to jump off, but the sight of the ground rushing by kept my hands riveted to the wagon seat. With rising panic, I fixed my eyes on the pike below and the bone-breaking drop-off I knew was beyond it. In my mind I could see myself flying through the air and hear the splintering of wood. Then, suddenly, just before the wagon hurtled across the road to plunge over the edge, somebody reached out and pulled hard on the lever. The wagon groaned to a stop.
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