Chapter 6: THIEF!
Melnor left the meeting-house thinking about something that he had seen earlier. The wall at the back of his tower wasn’t only poorly made, but it also looked different from the rest of the wall. So far, the building had not fallen down, but it certainly did not look safe.
His evening walk brought him to the back side of the tower. The men were done with their day’s work although it didn’t seem like they had accomplished much. As he was walking through, he looked at the back of the stones with a different viewpoint. The story made him look at the stone with a viewpoint of permanence. The back of the wall did not look solid. Quickly, he reached out and started pulling stones from the wall. In only a few minutes, he had a doorway cleared out. The stones had not been mortared into place. He had a thief working for him.
Melnor stewed in his anger all night and early in the morning, he met the first stoneworker as he came up the hill. “Come here! I want to show you something.”
The young assistant came to him and greeted him as the honored employer that he was. “Good morning sir. Have you a new job for us today?”
“No. I want you to look at the back of this wall. What do you see?”
The young man came early every morning and seemed dedicated to his job. He knew that his ability was superior to his supervisor, but he was not in charge. He said so. “I see a wall without mortar but that is what we were told it was supposed to be. It is poorly made, if it is a door. We have not yet been told the purpose of this weak wall.”
Melnor thanked him. “I want you to go to Blackie, the blacksmith and bring him here. The young man nodded and made his way off just as the other assistant came walking up. Melnor asked him the same questions and sent him to bring back Cappy. By mid-morning, the head stone worker showed up, late as usual. Stepping around from the back, he called to him. “Come back here.” Farnak walked around and looked at him. It appeared that he was avoiding looking at the wall.
“Look at this wall.” Melnor pointed at the back of the building. “Why is the stone not mortared into place with mud or something like the rest of it?”
Farnak shied away from him and went inside. Once inside, he climbed up the scaffolding in preparation for work along the top. He kept silent the whole time.
“I asked you, what is the matter with the wall?”
“Nothing!” Snapped Farnak. He continued to ignore the problem.
Melnor began stripping the stones out of the wall. “What have you built here, a secret back door?”
The man looked at him in challenge. “If I did, what do you plan to do about it? There are no other skilled stone workers here to replace me.”
The fury built in Melnor like a summer storm. Farnak was of no help as he began to hammer on the top row of stones.
“Stop that!” Farnak just gave him an insolent look and began to hammer on the next row down.
Melnor stood still. Thunder in the distance rolled and with the suddenness of a surprise attack, lightning struck the structure that Farnak was standing on. The force of the lightning caused him to pitch forward over the wall. Just as he began the fall to injury, he disappeared!