Historical setting: A Building site in Bordeaux — 564 C.E.
Now on this new morning August’s father and he are seated on the stone, and Shollo and Kairn are looking into the brightly risen sun to see what is on top of the wall. Maybe they pretend they have never seen a winch on a wall before. August nudges his father to take notice and he asks his father to be the one who orders brothers to use the better tools. Maybe the brothers know who put the winches there, but it needs to be the father who issues the order to make use of them.
It is the full light of day and the workers have gathered at their places. I am in the wheel waiting the arrival of the other treadman. The ground crew has the steering ropes in hand; Shollo and Kairn are minding the crank handles guiding the ropes high on the wall stretching from the crane arm through the pullys and onto these newly placed tools. The mortar is spread; the stone is still on the ground but firmly grasped in the claw.
August’s brothers say nothing of these new devices. I’m sure they know who placed them here but since they had no bad words to say of it they said nothing. The gratitude is unspoken but August knows.
Now the other treadman has arrived and we start the trudge in the wheel, ever climbing to the next rung, but never climbing higher, always the same place near the ground, yet the harder we climb, the faster the wheel, and the higher the stone creaking from every taut rope hold. Step-by-step the stone rises on the beam nearly as high as the top pulleys until it is hovering next to the wall for this highest layer, perfectly positioned, guided by the ropes on the winches when the whole arm beam gives way, cracking into two parts one falling quickly toward my team mate who has immediately fled. I have no way to flee. The high end of the beam is now tumbling with the stone in slow time is plunging straight down, onto…
(Continues Tuesday, April 6)