What had happened?
Steve's best guess was that the string, which was several inches too long, had wrapped itself UNDER the latch. So, every time he pulled the string to lift the latch, he was pulling it down tighter.
He looked around. The walls were all attached, although he supposed he COULD break through one, given time. The windows were jalousie-style, and much too small for him anyway.
He was over 200 feet away from the house. Debbie wouldn't hear him shouting, although the dogs might...
"What's that, Sadie? You say daddy is stuck in the chicken coop? And he's cold?! And his LEG is BROKEN and he needs a shot of INSULIN!?!"
Too much to hope for.
He was planning to put a wireless phone extension in the barn, but that wouldn't help him in the chicken coop. If he had his netbook or his PDA, he could try to email for help--he might be in range of the Wi-Fi, there weren't any OTHER networks around to interfere.
And if he were a hen, he could lay eggs.
He remembered that Debbie hadn't waved as he went out. Had she seen him go? He remembered how tired she looked--what if she went to bed? Worse yet, what if she woke up and couldn't FIND him?
He knew exactly how she would react.
She would quickly become convinced he had suffered a heart attack, and was laying somewhere, dead. Panic would ensue.
He had to get out of this alone, and he had to do it soon.