I have got a excerpt from a story, 'Standing at the opposite end of the bridge was a giant of a man. He had started to cross at the sametime as the outlaw'.
If he was at the opposite end of the bridge, then he had not started to cross. Only the past simple is correct. The crossing started after the standing
If had left the far end of the bridge on his way towards the middle, only the past perfect is appropriate, as in:
Standing some way across the bridge was a giant of a man. He had started to cross at the same time as the outlaw.
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