Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22385 – 836:
Here’s the haps:
Art Vegan enjoyed working as a private investigator, even though there were occasional cases that he couldn’t solve, he did very well for himself. He only took the ones that intrigued him so he seldom became bored. He was looking over the notes from such a case right now. The dead campanologists was an interesting case. A campanologist is, simply put, a person who studies bells and the various mechanisms that operate them. Or it could just be the operator himself, a bell ringer. Sometime in the fifth century in a town in Italy called Campania a man named Paulinius of Nola installed a bell in a church tower which is why we have the word. By 980 AD it was common for churches to have bells.
After reading the rather strange letter from the church he decided to study up on the whole thing. He quickly learned that there was a lot more to it than just yanking on a rope. There were campanological societies and accreditation programs if you wanted to become a trainer of other bell ringers. Some of them considered themselves musicians playing a thousand-pound instrument. Art finally felt he had enough information to speak intelligently with the church official who had summoned him. He traveled to the small, out-of-the-way village and got the story.
“It is so strange, Mister Vegan,” The man said, “We had a very unusual situation on our hands. The bell-rope had broken and the pulley had stuck and the repair person would not be out for several days. In six hundred and forty-two years we have never gone without the bell ringing throughout the village. We thought it was such a blessing when this tall, odd-looking man walked up and offered to be our bell ringer. He seemed familiar but I couldn’t place how I knew him. We told him about the unfortunate circumstance with the rope and the stuck pulley.”
“‘I can help you,’ he said, ‘Take me up to the tower.’ So we did. ‘I will ring the bell like this!’ And he ran headlong into the bell at full speed, face first. It made a satisfying ‘bong’ sound and he seemed none the worse for wear. We worried about noon and midnight but he seemed to be impervious to pain and did quite a good job, actually. That is until he lost stride over a loose board and fell to his death.
“When the coroner came I realized I hadn’t gotten any information on him, so I just said, ‘I don’t know his name but his face sure rings a bell.'”