from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Nautical, a rope applied through the heel of anything, particularly that which is rove through a sheave at the heel of the jib-boom or of the bowsprit, for the purpose of hauling it out.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Cause not known -- the heel-rope I thought at first; but on investigation I found the heel-rope had been on the other leg.
'Well said, for there is a bond and a heel-rope [peecharee] between us now that nothing can break.
Never was colt held on a lighter heel-rope than thou. '
In climbing  palm trees to tap them for their juice the worker uses a heel-rope, by which his feet are tied closely together.
Needham hurried aloft, and while the midshipmen hauled on the heel-rope of the topmast -- the shrouds and stays being slacked -- he tugged away at the fid.
So we went out into darkness already jeweled by a hundred lanterns, dodged under the necks of three hungry Bactrian camels (they are irritable when they want their meal), were narrowly missed by a mule's heels because of the deceptive shadows that confused his aim, tripped over a donkey's heel-rope, and found our stairway -- thoroughly well cursed in seven languages, and only just missed by a Georgian gentleman on the balcony, who chose the moment of our passing underneath to empty out hissing liquid from his cooking pot.
Never was colt held on a lighter heel-rope than thou.’