Constable is a good man. He brings sense of responsibility to his work, very sincerely wishing to help people. We are to him, surely, a remote and tedious outpost. As Foundry Manager, it was my responsibility to meet him when tragedy brought him here officially one afternoon.
“Constable Beechard, we have experienced a most unfortunate happening.”
“So I have been told, Mr. Bansu. What exactly happened?”
“Jameel, operating the large crane, was about the third trip of the day into the big furnace. As his eyes watching clearances, Kamil was distracted, bumped the chainfall and fell from the catwalk into the pit and his death.”
“He fell into the furnace?”
“No. The fall is twenty feet and many obstructions like spears are between the catwalk and the pit floor.”
“I need to see.”
“I will take you. Work has stopped.”
“So, Jameel, you were moving the crane toward the furnace?”
“That is my responsibility, Constable. Back and forth.”
“What did Kamil do?”
“His responsibility was to assure the crane hit nothing.”
“He was on the catwalk?”
“Yes. Kamil did not warn the crane was too close. I saw. I yelled, ‘Watch out!’ It was too late.”
“The crane continued?”
“The crane responds slowly. I could not stop it in time. Kamil walked into the chainfall.”
“And fell to his death?”
“Sadly, sir, yes.”
Jameel dealt with himself. Constable made a thorough inspection. Descending into the pit was itself dangerous. I explained to Constable that suddenly stopping the large crane is not possible. Momentum, inertia, leaves the chainfall and load to sway uncontrollably. I demonstrated for our Constable. He understood perfectly.
One does not answer Constable’s unasked questions. Does Constable understand the lifelong responsibility Jameel now feels to Kamil’s family? Especially to his children? The same responsibility I feel?
© SP Wilcenski 2021