177
176
Everything was going
well and John started to relax a little as the end was now in sight.
This was short lived as a call from the middle of the cable came. James was shouting
that they were stuck and all the pulling from the others was not working, something was
wrong with the clip and he couldn't see what was going on. John could hear Michelle
starting to cry and James voice was becoming shrill. John shouted back for them not to
panic, he was coming out to see what the problem was. Michelle shouted back for him
to hurry. There was also some commotion on the other side but John couldn't make out
what it was. He immediately pulled out the flash light and put it in his mouth and then
fashioned a harness out of the two belts that they had left behind on his side just in case
something went wrong.
Something went wrong. John felt the cable tension loosen more and more as he inched
his way out to the middle to see what the problem was. He stopped and shone the light
on the cable and followed it into the base of the rock face which it was fastened to. The
mechanism was straining and the solid metal structure was starting to pull out of the
rock face. He knew he had no time, he focused his attention on the cable and hastily
made his way to the stuck kids. The cable was sagging at a rapid rate. There was a
sudden jerk and the cable went loose and then stopped, it left them bobbing up and
down and it gave Michelle and James such a fright they thought it was all over. They
were both crying and panicking. John shouted orders for them to calm down, they were
making it worse. They eventually stopped so that he could see what was holding the
harness back. The rope from his side had become horribly entangled in the loop of the
ring.
He had to cut the rope away from both ends and tie the one from the other side again
back onto the harness. The older kids on the other side were shouting that the cable
was starting to pull out for the rock it was fastened to, they had to hurry. John shouted
at them to pull, but it was too heavy. John let go of the harness and it seemed to help.
Michelle and James were pulled to safety just in the nick of time. The cable on the far
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