When I had taken my picture of the Bell-tower, to the accompaniment of more failed wishes, I walked over to the church and went inside. The Hungarians were pulling on the rope together. They tried twice and managed to make the bell toll twice, but then decided they had had enough. My travelling companion then grabbed a hold of the rope and pulled it vigorously, but to no effect.
Putting her bag down, she pulled with even greater force and the bell reluctantly rang once. There was no one else in the church now, so when she had finished, I thought it would be safe for me to have a go, though I hadn’t thought of a wish. I pulled hard on the rope and expected the bell to ring but nothing happened, so I pulled harder, but again nothing.
“This is silly” I thought, so I jumped up onto the rope and pulled down with all my strength but still no sound. I then hung onto the rope and began to swing around the nave of the church like a very bad amateur Tarzan, trying to make the bell ring just once, – that was my wish, make the bell sound just once – but of course it didn’t. “Perhaps they have switched off the tape recorder” said my companion “or trussed the bell because they thought there were no more visitors”.
I had to agree with her, ringing a bell couldn’t be that difficult, could it. I was just pleased that no one saw me swinging around the nave. Feeling slightly crestfallen, we went back to the boat, where our fellow tourists were sharing stories about what they had wished for. We paid the ferryman, stepped aboard the gondola, and admired the beautiful scenery in the fading light of day as we were rowed back to the shore.