Archive for December, 2017

The Cannonball Pyramids

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

“Where are the cannonballs I was promised by the ordnance department?” barked Commandante Colonel Francisco Bustamante, fixing Sergeant Garcia with a penetrating gaze.

“You will be happy to hear, my Commandante, that they just arrived by donkey cart and were piled at the entrance to the fort,” replied Sergeant Garcia nervously fiddling with his belt.

“Well, get them distributed to the seven cannons facing the harbor so they will be ready to welcome the pirate Morgan when, according to our spies, he arrives this week,” commanded Colonel Francisco Bustamante.

“As you command, Colonel,” stammered Sergeant Garcia, starting to rush out of Colonel Bustamante’s office.

“Wait, sergeant Garcia, this time I don’t want to see the cannonballs lying about in disorderly heaps. I want them stacked neatly in seven pyramids with a triangular base, as that is the most beautiful pyramid since it is on my family shield,” said the Colonel sternly.

“But, my Commandante, the cannonball delivery from ordnance was stacked in one single square-based pyramid, which is very high.”

“Surely the work of that idiot Corporal Sanchez at ordnance. Did you count how many cannonballs are on one side?” asked Colonel Francisco Bustamante.

“Yes, my colonel, I did,” said a relieved sergeant Garcia, remembering with shivers the last time he spent time in the stockade, and informed the Colonel exactly how many cannonballs there were on a side of the cannonball pyramid delivered by Corporal Sanchez.

“Excellent, sergeant Garcia. That will be just enough to make seven triangle-base pyramids full of cannonballs so we can blast the pirate Morgan out of the sea when he arrives,” said Colonel Francisco Bustamante – whose hobby was mathematics.

“Very well, my Commandante. I am off to carry out your order.” Sergeant Garcia saluted and rushed out of the Commandante’s office.

As Colonel Francisco Bustamante had said, there were just enough cannonballs to make the seven triangle-base pyramids at the battlements of the fort.

How many cannonballs would you say were delivered by Corporal Sanchez at ordnance?