Re Verse All; Chapter 120, Beam 102

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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 120:  Beam 102
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Hastings 222

The first thing the white-haired man did was have Bron crawl near the opening and use his heavy blacksmithing hammer to break away the thin edge.  This took a while, as Beam wanted to do the entire width of the road so there would be no danger of someone stepping on a weak spot and falling through.  Once that was done, Beam lowered the ladder and climbed down, taking the heavy hammer with him, then set the ladder to take him up the other side and did the same job there, but standing on the ladder.  The men meanwhile were just standing around, but he let them stand around drinking beer, and thought to himself that three cases actually were not enough but would have to do for the moment.

He then began giving instructions for building the bridge.  The primary support beams had to be two-by-fours standing upright.  They had to be secured by spacers at the bottom, with diagonal bracers midway up, and at the top long beams running across the hole perpendicular to the direction of travel.  These were going to support the planks, which would run across the hole in the direction of travel, and then sheets of plywood would cover these to create an even surface.  Most of this would be secured by nails, but in critical spots screws would be used.

The work progressed slowly.  He and Bron were still teaching them how to use the tools, and there were a few minor injuries (mostly thumbs hit by hammers), but gradually the frame rose from the bottom of the pit to the surface of the road.  Planking was installed on the first part completed, and plywood laid atop it and secured so that everyone could see the intended final product.

They were only about half finished with the framing when they ran out of two-by-fours.  Beam considered using the planking for supports, but estimated that they were going to run short on that as well.  He wasn’t even entirely certain he had enough plywood.

“All right,” he said, “I don’t know what time it is, but I expect your families are wondering when we’re coming back and whether we’re going to have dinner tonight.  You gentlemen have earned it--anyone here not like steak and potatoes?”  Getting no response, he continued “Good, burgers for everyone else, steak and potatoes for us.  Stack the materials on the part of the bridge we finished, and I think take the tools with us, let’s go home.

They were back to the apartments fairly quickly, and as promised Beam ordered fourteen filet mignons and a hundred twenty cheeseburgers deluxe.  He also ordered five cases of beer for the next day, and then decided that wasn’t enough so he ordered two more.

Sophia wanted to hear all about their progress, but Beam wasn’t really in the mood to talk much.  Fortunately Bron picked up the important details, and Beam was able to limit his contribution to saying that the men did well and show promise as a construction crew.

He could not remember the last time he had worked that hard, and his muscles were starting to ache as he hit the mattress.  Hopefully tomorrow they would finish the bridge, and the next day he could lead his mob up another level.

Next chapter:  Chapter 121:  Takano 49
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #397:  Verser Challenges.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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