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The 200-year-old church was being readied for an anniversary celebration when calamity struck: the bell ringer was called out of town. The sexton immediately advertised for another.

When the replacement arrived, the sexton took him to the steps leading to the bell tower, some 150 feet above them. Round and round they went, huffing and puffing all the way. Just as they reached the landing, the bell ringer tripped and fell face-first into the biggest bell of all. Bo-o-o-o-ong!

Dazed by the blow, the bell ringer stumbled backward onto the landing. The railing broke loose and he fell to the ground. Miraculously, he was unhurt—only stunned—but the sexton...

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