They are back. Thank god. And small print on contracts. It turns out, despite the fact that the contract doesn't spell out specifically that the contractor should build the chimney as it was, we were explained by an attorney that there is no reason for us to expect anything else. And, apparently, the court would be on our side. So, they are back. And demolishing the chimney they built last week. Sigh.
In my conversations with the mason, the guy who was actually doing the work, he apologized profusely. Said that nobody told him he should rebuild it as it was. They just told him to get it done. This almost made my blood boil. But, then, he said something interesting: building the chimney as it originally was, requires double the materials, and double the time, as it can't be built fast. Basically, because of the shape of the original chimney, he can only build a couple of rows, wait for them to cure overnight, and repeat the slow process every day until it is done.