The town mourned the loss of Amos and the beautiful music from that old violin, but they agreed that where ever Amos went, he was surely in a better place.
Six months later, another custodian appeared and the haunting music was heard once again in the small town of Melody. A virtual recluse named Rufus wandered into town. He hobbled to the corner of Fifth and Main, picked up that old violin and began to play.
Rufus lived in a little shack on top of the hill. Like the legend of that old violin, he had been around for as long as anyone could remember. He kept to himself mostly, only occasionally making the trip into town to buy a jar of moonshine from the local sheriff, who made it in his own basement.
Rufus had a bad limp that made walking difficult. At a tender age, he broke his leg and it hadn’t healed right. After being embarrassed as a boy and then as a young man, he retreated to his little shack, living a life of anonymity and loneliness.
Unlike Amos, Rufus had large, calloused hands that made you believe he could snap your wrist if you had weak bones. His clothes were tattered and disheveled, as if they had been slept in and had that familiar musty smell of old people and old things. His hat was pulled tightly below his brow and what may once have been a full beard was now scruffy, silvery stubble.
He had heavy, sunken eyes that showed more than just a hint of sadness, and like Amos, never spoke. The most anyone could expect, or would get from Rufus was a nod of recognition that they were actually there as he passed by.
Just as Amos had before him, every day at noon Rufus brought the town to a stop as they listened to the ethereal tunes from that old violin. The music teacher at the local high school declared, “In my thirty-eight years of teaching, I have never heard anything so beautiful,” and then began to cry.
Some wondered how Rufus was able to entice the same soul-stirring music with only three strings, but the town honored what they believed was a gift from an angel and never questioned anything about that old violin, or the custodian who played that hauntingly beautiful music.
Day after day, Rufus played the seductive, almost paralyzing music on that old violin, and day after day his gait improved until he walked with the vigor of a youthful man in his prime.
Some believed that the angel actually lived inside that old violin, and as a way of doing penance, used the hands of the custodian to elicit the music they had chosen over a place beside God. In return, the custodian’s brokenness was healed.
After a year, just like Amos, Rufus disappeared and that old violin was found on the corner of Fifth and Main, with two strings hanging loose and two feathers resting beside it.
To be continued__________________________