Once again, the town of Melody mourned the loss of another custodian and the beautiful music elicited from that old violin.
It was doubtful they thought, that another guardian could beguile any music from that old violin, given that only two strings remained. But hope, being the last emotion to die, was alive and well in the town of Melody and their faith in miracles was unshakable.
They anxiously awaited the next custodian and prayed for the return of the captivating, transcendent sounds from that old violin.
One year later, their prayers were answered in the form of yet another forgotten soul, known only as Old Sooty Sam. He had been a chimney sweep in his earlier days and was always covered in a fine layer of soot, from his worn and wrinkled face, to his baggy trousers held up by a rope, to his blackened boots that left tell-tale footprints everywhere he went.
Old wood-burning fireplaces had given way to more modern gas logs, and his services finally dwindled to all but unnecessary. He had been cast aside and stood frozen in time, abandoned by trend-setting inventions.
After years of breathing the soot and dust from those old chimneys, Old Sooty Sam developed lung disease. He could barely walk three feet without having to stop and catch his breath. That may have been the reason, like Amos and Rufus, that Old Sooty Sam was a man of few, if any, words.
He spent his days wandering around town looking at chimneys, as if tying to will them to once again, spew forth clouds of smoke that would leave their fuliginous residue behind.
One day, at noon, he wandered over to the corner of Fifth and Main, picked up that old violin and began to play.
With only two strings, Old Sooty Sam charmed irresistible, seductive music from that old violin. Once again, the town of Melody was mesmerized and brought to a halt. The enduring question was “how,” but was never asked aloud, for fear of breaking the magical spell of that old violin.
The more Old Sooty Sam played, the clearer his lungs became and the easier it was for him to breathe. Day after day, the town listened to the breathtakingly intoxicating sounds that he was, in an unworldly way, able to lure from the remaining strings of that old violin.
Old Sooty Sam disappeared one day and that old violin was found on the corner of Fifth and Main, with three strings hanging loose and three feathers resting beside it.
To be continued______________________