After Quasimodo's death, the Bishop of Notre Dame sent
word through the streets of Paris that a new Bell Ringer was needed.
The Bishop decided he would personally conduct the interviews and went up
into the belfry to begin the screening process. After observing several
applicants demonstrate their skills, he had decided to call it a day, when an
armless man approached him and
announced that he was there to apply for the Ringer's job. The bishop was
incredulous. "You have no arms!"
"No matter," said the man, "Observe!" He spun around and began striking
the bells -- with his face! As horrible as it looked, he made a beautiful
melody! The Bishop
listened in astonishment, convinced that he had found a suitable replacement
Suddenly, as he rushed forward to strike a bell, the armless man tripped and
plunged out the belfry window 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 parted to let the Bishop through, one of them asked, "Bishop, who
was this man?"
"I don't know his name," the Bishop replied, "but his face
rings a bell."
The following day, despite the sadness of the unfortunate death of the
armless campanologist weighing heavily on his heart, 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
armless, wretch. The one who fell to his death, from this very belfry,
yesterday. I pray, honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this
duty." The Bishop agreed to give the man an audition.
As the armless man's brother picked-up a mallet to strike the first bell, he
groaned, clutched at his chest, and died.
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 asked. "Who is
"I don't know his name," sighed the distraught cleric, "but he's a dead
ringer for his brother."