and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process.
After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills over a long period, he decided to call it a day and to continue the interviewing process the following day.
Just then, an armless Frenchman approached him and announced that he
was there to apply for the bell ringer’s job. The Bishop was incredulous.
But, you have no arms, Monsieur !’
‘No matter,’ said the man. ‘Observe me, Excellency !’
And, pushing his way past the Bishop, he began striking the bells
with his ugly face, producing a most beautiful melody on the carillon.
The Bishop listened in astonishment convinced he had found a
sensational replacement for Quasimodo.
But, suddenly, as he rushed forward to strike the bells again in
encore, the armless Frenchman tripped over a mallet and plunged
headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street far below.
The stunned Bishop rushed down two hundred and ninety five church steps to reach the street.
‘Bishop sir, who was this man ?’
‘I don’t know his name,’ the Bishop sadly replied……..
……………… BUT HIS FACE RINGS A BELL !’
WAIT ! WAIT ! There’s more….
The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his
heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist, the
Bishop continued his interviews for the bell ringer of Notre Dame.
The first man to approach him said, ‘Your Excellency, I am the
brother of the poor armless wretch who fell to his death from this
very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honour his life by allowing me
to replace him in this duty.’
The Bishop agreed to give the man an audition, but, as the armless
man’s brother stooped to pick up a heavy mallet to strike the first
bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest, twirled around, and died of
heart failure on the spot.
Two monks, hearing the Bishop’s cries of anguish at this second
shocking tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side.
‘What has happened ? Who is this man?’ the first monk asked, breathlessly.
‘I don’t know his name,’ sighed the now distraught Bishop, ‘but…’
‘HE’S A DEAD RINGER FOR HIS BROTHER.”