“Ring out, wild bells”

Quasimodo has died and the bishop of the Cathedral of Notre Dame has sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bell ringer is needed. The bishop decides he’ll conduct the interviews personally and goes up to the belfry to watch applicants demonstrate their skills.

By the end of the day no one has proved suitable, but just then, an armless man approaches the bishop and announces that he wants the bell ringer’s job. The bishop is incredulous.

‘You have no arms !’
‘No matter,’ says the man. ‘Observe!’

And he begins striking the bells with his face. The bishop listens in astonishment, convinced he has found a replacement for Quasimodo. But suddenly, as the armless man rushes forward to strike the carillon, he trips and plunges out of the belfry window to his death in the street below.

The stunned bishop rushes down 295 steps and, by the time he reaches the street, a crowd of people has gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before. As they silently part to let the bishop through, one of them asks, ‘Bishop, who was this man?’.
‘I don’t know his name,’ the bishop sadly replies, ‘But his face rings a bell!’

(Wait! Wait! There’s more…)

The following day, despite the sadness that weighs heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist, the bishop continues his interviews for a new bell ringer. The very first man to approach him says, ‘Your Excellency, I am the brother of the poor armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I beg you to honour his life by allowing me to replace him.’

The bishop agrees to give the man an audition, but, as the armless man’s brother stoops to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groans, clutches his chest, spins around, and dies on the spot. Two monks, hearing the bishop’s cries of grief at this second tragedy, rush up the stairs to his side.
‘What has happened? Who is this man?’ the first monk asks breathlessly.
‘I don’t know his name,’ sighs the distraught bishop, ‘but…’

(Wait for it…)

(It’s worth it…)



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