• In the Middle of August---Chapter 1, continued
    We didn't go too far when we were following Math--we just walked about 400 yards upstream to the spinney when he'd stopped. He was a bit of a sissy (though he was still one of the best friends I'd ever had in my life), and he hated passing through this little thicket. If he couldn't see in any area around him without a tree being somewhere up ahead, he wasn't interested.
    Dan, seeing this problem, stepped forward, grabbed Math by the arm, and started dragging him behind in the dirt.
    "To the gate..." Math whimpered softly. Dan's reply was a short "Mm-hm." After a second, the thick pines had pretty much shrouded them entirely. Jinx and I exchanged and glance, not really knowing what to think about Dan. We then began to walk in the way they (or at least Dan) had, with a hurried pace to catch up with them.

    After a while, we got to the rusted old gate. It was put up my Dr. Rothbin, who owned the property, and surrounded the entire area of the woods around the fishing hole. Lucky for us, there was a giant hole somewhere in there that the old bag had failed to notice, and it was big enough for four small, spindly kids and one giant kid to crawl through. Though right now, the 2 smallest and spindliest of those four were shoving their faces up in the gate's iron. They looked like they were trying to eat it.
    Dan was less than amused. "What. Are. You. STARING at?" he demanded. The poor boy had a tiny fuse. Georgie turned around first. His bleach-blond hair was greased up and parted to either side, and his brown eyes were blank. He opened and closed his mouth a time or two, but he said nothing. Archie turned around next, nearly exactly the same as his twin except that his hair was spiked right up. He performed the same Open-Close routine as Georgie had.
    "Well?" Dan asked. After another pause, Archie finally spoke in his most terrified voice ever.
    "Like, ten of them." Georgie threw in. "Oh, man, my bike, man..."
    "What about your bike?" Jinx finally asked. There was yet another pause as the twins bit their lips and tried to give an answer.
    "Aw, there aren't any dogs." Dan declared, but he even sounded uncertain. The boys now bit their lips harder, wondering what to do. But they sighed, in unison, when they finally reached their only conclusion that would work with Dan here--they'd have to show us themselves.