|Silhouetted in the doorway was the dark shape of a woman with her head on fire!|
“How many men are down there?” demanded the priest of each new man and finally an old, grizzled veteran answered him. “Ten men were shoring up t’foundations while Tarrant and t’Saxon were placing t’cross-brace. Looks like all of t’boys placing t’new logs are here. Pray for t’others Father Drew, they mon be dead.”
Father Drew set the men up in a chain gang and led them in removing the logs, one by one. Periodically he shouted down into the pile, calling for any survivors. Bleddyn stood frozen, still holding his puzzles and scarcely breathing. His father was huge and the strongest man he had ever seen but these logs were enormous. How could he have survived? He took heart in the memory of his father telling him, long ago, “Never count me out son, I’m a survivor.”
During one of the breaks a thin cry emerged from the pile. “Help us!” This re-invigorated the men and even the wounded men rushed to help remove the logs. Finally, the entire log pile raised by a foot and the head and shoulders of a man squeezed his way through a small opening and out came the man who had been arguing with Gwilym. After him followed one, then another, then more and more men until ten men had emerged. The last one asked for a brace. “Fred is helping the Saxon hold up the last log. If he lets it go, the whole thing will collapse!”
On his way back down with a couple of iron bars, he was stopped by another man who squeezed out and declared, “He can’t hold it any longer, he said run for it!” Both men leaped up for the waiting arms of their comrades who pulled them to safety just as the logs groaned once more and settled down even lower.
Sobered by this second collapse, the men removed the logs from the pit. Word passed from man to man how Gwilym had jumped down off the diagonal beam during the first collapse and had used his own huge body as a brace to provide a space for the ten men below to survive. They spoke in awed terms of the man’s muscles, his giant’s strength,