Answer :
Though there was no
need to take down and measure
the staff,
it is
undoubtedly necessary to find its height before the answer
can be given.
It was well known among the friends and retainers of Sir Hugh de
Fortibus
that he was exactly six feet in height.
It will be seen in the original
picture that Sir Hugh's height is just twice the length of his
shadow.
Therefore we all know that the flagstaff will, at the same place and
time
of day, be also just twice as long as its shadow.
The shadow of the
staff
is the same length as Sir Hugh's height; therefore this shadow is six
feet long, and the flagstaff must be twelve feet high.
Now, the snail,
by
climbing up three feet in the daytime and slipping back two feet by
night, really advances one foot in a day of twentyfour hours.
At the
end
of nine days it is three feet from the top, so that it reaches its
journey's end on the tenth day.
The reader will
doubtless here exclaim, "This is
all very
well; but how
were we to know the height of Sir Hugh? It was never stated how tall he
was!"
No, it was not stated in so many words, but it was none the less
clearly indicated to the reader who is sharp in these matters.
In the
original illustration to the donjon
keep window Sir Hugh is shown
standing against a wall, the window in which is stated to be one foot
square on the inside.
Therefore, as his height :will be found
by
measurement to be just six times the inside height of the window, he
evidently stands just six feet in his boots!
