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At the end of Chapter 27, Lee gives the reader an indication that something significant is about to happen. The chapter ends with Jem agreeing to take Scout to the pageant. Scout narrates, "Thus began our longest journey together."
In Chapter 28, as they make their way to the pageant, Jem teases Scout about "haints" (ghosts) as they walk past the Radley house. Jem is teasing because they are on their way to a Halloween pageant, but this adds to the suspense. Scout trips on a root so they are looking at the ground as they go. Looking at the ground and feeling their way through the dark, they are completely surprised by Cecil Jacobs when he jumps out to scare them. This is what foreshadows the moment when Bob Ewell attacks them on the way home from the pageant.
As they make their way home, Jem and Scout hear suspicious noises and they suppose that it is Cecil. When Cecil fails to jump out, they begin to think it is not him following them. Jem asks Scout to take off her costume so they can pick up the pace. She can't do so in the dark and she notices that Jem is starting to worry:
Jem was talking in an unhurried, flat toneless voice. I wondered how long he would try to keep the Cecil myth going.
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