Carstairs found himself in a precarious situation. He now had a clearer understanding as to why the Elixir of Life was so elusive.
Though he did think himself halfway there. He’d found the root of the Goodtogo Tree, and that was half the battle.
The next task was to cut the tip of the root off without falling into the pitiless bottom below him.
His companion in this endeavour was the less than intelligent Carstruck. They had become friends through the most extraordinary circumstances, which won’t be revealed at this time. And yes the coincidence of their names being similar is remarkable in itself.
Why both men wanted the Elixir of Life was a mystery when both struggled with the day to day as it was.
So as Carstairs hung by one arm confident the root would sustain his weight he reached up and took the saw offered to him by Carstruck.
The trick was to cut the tip from the root as within the tip lay the secret ingredient. It sounded easy but remembering Carstairs had only one arm to do both cutting and catching, so it was going to require some remarkable dexterity.
It was important for the root tip to be sawn not broken off. Breaking it off would bruise the chemicals and ruin his chances of producing the elixir.
Carstairs was preparing to drop the saw at the appropriate time and was at that very moment a picture of concentration.
All was going well until Carstruck made the unfortunate mistake of asking Carstairs the time.
Without thinking, Carstairs looked at his watch and announced it was 10.23.
Carstruck called, “What did you say?”
Carstair looked at the saw in his other hand and thought, it is a long way down.