at the shore. She ducked, hiding in the reeds. Summer was
always the best time for spying expeditions. The grass was
high, it was never cold, and you didn’t have to stay awake
through school the next day.
Of course, Peris could sleep as late as he wanted now.
Just one of the advantages of being pretty.
The old bridge stretched massively across the water, its
huge iron frame as black as the sky. It had been built so
long ago that it held up its own weight, without any sup-
port from hoverstruts. A million years from now, when the
rest of the city had crumbled, the bridge would probably
remain like a fossilized bone.
Unlike the other bridges into New Pretty Town, the old
bridge couldn’t talk—or report trespassers, more impor-
tantly. But even silent, the bridge had always seemed very
wise to Tally, as quietly knowing as some ancient tree.
Her eyes were fully adjusted to the darkness now, and
it took only seconds to find the fishing line tied to its usual
rock. She yanked it, and heard the splash of the rope tum-
bling from where it had been hidden among the bridge sup-
ports. She kept pulling until the invisible fishing line
turned into wet, knotted cord. The other end was still tied
to the iron framework of the bridge. Tally pulled the rope
taut and lashed it to the usual tree.
She had to duck into the grass once more as another
river skimmer passed. The people dancing on its deck didn’t
spot the rope stretched from bridge to shore. They never did.