Notre Damme's bellringers

After Quasimodo's death, the bishop sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bellringer was needed. The bishop decided to conduct the interviews personally and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process. After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills (or lack thereof), he decided to call it a day when a lone, armless man announced that he was there to apply for the bellringer's job.

The bishop was incredulous. "You have no arms!"

"No matter," said the man, "observe!"

He then began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carillon. The bishop listened in astonishment, then told him he had the job. Dancing with joy, the armless man tripped and plunged from the belfry to his death in the street below. The stunned bishop rushed to his side.

When he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before. As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked, "Bishop, who was this man?"

"I don't know his name," the bishop sadly replied, "but his face sure rings a bell."

The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist, the bishop resumed interviews for post of bellringer of Notre Dame.

The first man to approach him said, "Your excellency, I am the twin brother of the poor, armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. As you can see, I'm more blessed than he in that I have two strong arms, the better to strike the bells. I pray that you honor 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 mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest and died on the spot. Two monks, hearing the bishop's cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side.

"What has happened?", the first breathlessly asked, "Who is this man?"

"I don't know his name," sighed the bishop, "but he's a dead ringer for his brother."
Uploaded 07/10/2009
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