Sitting in his office beside the bell tower of the chapel one evening, Professor Hodges was making the finishing touches to his latest book on campanology when he heard one of the bells clang loudly, from the ground floor.
Startled by the noise he pushed himself up gingerly from his chair, bones creaking with the wood, made his way out of the room and down the spiral staircase as quickly as he could manage, his ample frame making him waddle somewhat. What could have happened, he wondered; the bell ropes were not rotting or frayed, so how did that bell fall?
Upon reaching the ground floor he turned on the light, immediately espying the fallen bell, a large crack splitting the instrument from lip to waist. Blinking in the bright light, he glanced around and saw somebody else in the shadows, dressed completely in black.
“Ah, hello Professor; so nice to see you again. As you can see, I have cut down one of your bells; the one in which I think you placed the microfilm, in the clapper to be precise” said the figure in a mellifluous voice, stepping into the light to reveal…
“Wyndham! Is that you? After all these years? What on earth are you doing? Why would you want the microfilm now after all this time?” sputtered Hodges, taking a step back as his eyes widened.
“I can assure you that my purpose is quite rational. You are aware of the formula printed on that microfilm, and how much it could be worth to certain arms dealers” replied Wyndham, his eyes narrowing as a smile formed on his lips.
“I should have known! Far be it for you to be morigerous or let morality vex you in the face of profit” replied Hodges, hand shaking as he reached for the door-frame behind him.
“Enough of your turgid nonsense” said Wyndham as he pulled a revolver from his jacket pocket and took aim.