Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Chapter 2d – Unseasonable Wet

Chapter 2d – Unseasonable Wet

Everybody clear what they're up to?” said Jade
I'm dropping down” she said.
you two are on my line” she nodded to Thrilly and Sir Baltimore
you're on Guard Duty”. She pointed to Goldylox.
...and you're on my safety line” she nodded to Dexter, the priest and Norm the spellcaster.
I'm supporting” said Leggyass, the other spellcaster.
What can go wrong?” she laughed, checking the knots in the ropes one more time.

They lowered Jade down through the well-hole and she half-abseiled, half-clambered downwards calling out distances as she went.

To start with, her support team struggled with the lowering job. Luckily, Jade was nimble enough to support some of her weight herself and the support crew and lifeline kicked in too. However, this shuffling around was enough to prove that the old rope remaining at the well when they arrived was useless.

A lantern had been lowered some way down on another rope, probably just short of 50 foot down.

Jade called up what was happening:

the well chimney drops down about 50 feet, then it enters a chamber ..... there's a stream underneath .....running north to south, I think”
Ok Pull me up for a bit”

This wasn't part of the plan but they did so anyway.

At the top, they had a little huddle and discussed what they'd do next.

Jade was going to dive into the water, still on the rope.

The river's in spring spate” she said “deeper than it could have been”

The rope-haulers would feel a series of changes of strains. The team at the top couldn't see what was going on down the well chimney, so they were relying on Jade calling up to them.

Dexter was reassuring “We've got the hang of this”

Goldylox was staying cool on Guard Duty, but Jade was at pains to point out that, should anything happen, they get her up as quick as possible.

And off she went again.

There was a few tugs and strains on the rope as she flapped about a bit, re-arranging herself as the well chimney changed into the river chamber. A big splash, as a brick fell into the river.

I'm all right” she said “just clearing the way”
She appeared to be fumbling around for a while, clinging to the wall. But a confident shout told a diffeent story.
Right, going in”

The rope tensed and untensed as she splooshed into the water, the current picking up the slack for a while.

After a disconcerting pause, that seemed lijke an age to the rope-haulers, Jade resurfaced and pulled herself up the rope a little.

I can feel something in the water. But it's going to be tricky. I'm going in again”
Sure thing” shouted down Norm “Take care”

Once more she splashed into the current. It was freezing. The rope slackened and unslackened and pulled and heaved. With the weight of someone on the end versus the current and the friction on the chimney walls, the rope-haulers had to be on their toes.

Then a call from the bottom “Woo Hoo! Pull me up”

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