The house has four chimneys, several with multiple flues; two of these chimneys have ingenious caps that effectively seal the chimney when the fireplaces are not in use.*  A spring loaded cable opens them from the bottom. 

We have had, and will no longer have, the bad habit of leaving the parlor chimney’s cap open.  The glass doors on the fireplace are an effective draught stopper, and the cable on that one is a bit of bore to operate being extremely tight.  So, laziness. This is a bad habit.  I had looked up on my way in last night to notice that the cap wasn’t up, but didn’t think anything of it.  But then, because the doors aren’t That good at draught-stopping, someone went to close the cap…..  No cable….Lots of down-draft….something’s not right.

It Has been windy here.  The cap was found halfway down the roof this morning, the cable forlornly dangling.  Mercifully, the mechanism and cap is undamaged.  It was mortared to the chimney top and over time the wind cracked the mortar.  Oops.

*Of the other two, one has the furnace and one is unusable so we might as well leave it for the birds.  For years it had chimney swifts in it.