Our vicar is always raising money for one
cause or another, but he has never
managed to get enough money to have
the church clock repaired. The big clock
which used to strike the hours day and
night was damaged during the war and
has been silent ever since.
' One night, however, our vicar woke up
with a start: the clock was striking the
hours! Looking at his watch, he saw that
it was one o'clock, but the bell struck
thirteen times before it stopped. Armed
with a torch, the vicar went up into the
clock tower to see what was going on. In
the torchlight, he caught sight of a figure
whom he immediately recognized as Bill Wilkins, our local grocer.
'Whatever are you doing up here Bill ?' asked the vicar in surprise.
' I'm trying to repair the bell,' answered Bill.' I've been coming up here night
after night for weeks now. You see, I was hoping to give you a surprise.'
'You certainly did give me a surprise!'said the vicar. 'You've probably
woken up everyone in the village as well. Still, I'm glad the bell is working
'That's the trouble, vicar,' answered Bill. 'It's working all right, but I'm
afraid that at one o'clock it will strike thirteen times and there's nothing 1 can
do about it.'
'we'll get used to that Bill,' said the vicar. 'Thirteen is not as good as one
but it's better than nothing. Now let's go downstairs and have a cup of tea.'