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The Fateful Bell


A lowly artisan falls in love with the daughter of the emperor while casting a gigantic bell made of precious metal in this tragic romance set in ancient China.



Air Dates

  • First Run - April 2, 1980
  • Repeat - July 17, 1980





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7 Responses to Episode 1073

I remember this episode and also the repeat in 1980 and am exited I can listen to many of these great episodes that I listened to as a kid.


The question remains...what came of the shoe???


One correction- the inspiration for this story is Lafcadio Hearn.

Dale Haskell

Agreed Dale, specifically from the story "THE SOUL OF THE GREAT BELL" out of the book "SOME CHINESE GHOSTS" BY LAFCADIO HEARN, Copyright, 1887, by ROBERTS BROTHERS

Michael Cowden

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. In Lafcadio Hearn's original story, THE SOUL OF THE GREAT BELL, it involved the father and the daughter, plus a female servant. In this version written by Ian Martin, not only he added romance into this mystery tale, but also added a bell smith, a minister, an enchantress/witch, and a male servant. The time periods are the same and the plot points are the same, but the character developments are different. I highly suggest that all CBSRMT fans should read Lafcadio Hearn's story and then listen to this episode and decide which version is better. In E.G. Marshall's Prologue, he informs us that this story takes place in the 15th Century of China during the Ming Dynasty. In ACT-1, it begins in the year 1406. In ACT-2, our main character encounters our main villain, then later struggles with love and time. In ACT-3, everyone is on borrowed time. I liked E.G. Marshall's quote in this part of his narration: "Ultimate power not only corrupts, it establishes a short fuse on patience." In the end, he narrates exactly what happened to the girl and why the bell makes the after voice sound of a woman crying. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall points out that there's a Footnote: the voice in the bell cries for more than lost love, but a lost shoe, but he sees this as a great story of love unfulfilled. Informative and compelling our Host was. The sound effects of tea pouring into cups, birds chirping, bubbling melting pot, bell smiths murmuring, sound of the gongs, shovel dinging on the bell, fusing the metals, and the water fountain were splendid. Perfectly fitting for this tale. The music was purely captivating, celestial music in every Act. My favorite tune was at the 20:02 mark where they played this beautiful melody that heightened the romance (to that, I say "Bravo"). And finally, our cast: Kristoffer Tabori (as Ming-Yee: the bell smith and Minister Chung), Evie Juster (as Ko-Ngai and Mara: the enchantress/witch), and Ian Martin (as Kouan-Yu and Pil-Lo: Mara's man servant). Ian Martin played his parts splendidly. Evie Juster did an awesome job, especially playing her parts back and forth in the 3rd Act. Kristoffer Tabori was good as the leading man, but his accent for playing the minister, was awful! It was cheesy and stereotypical! CBSRMT should've hired Norman Rose, or Russell Horton, or John Lithgow, or Fred Gwynne to play that part. Other than that, it was a decent mystery story and worth listening to. Plus, it has a commercial for Super Savor and CBS Radio News on President Jimmy Carter. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


Another correction. The lowly artisan falls in love with the mandarin's daughter, not the emperor's daughter. The mandarin was commissioned to craft the bell, and he offered up his daughter in marriage to pay for the bell. [Now I am not sure what a mandarin is, but I take it through the dialog in the play that they referred to the emperor as somebody who is not the mandarin.]


Being a sucker for romance, I loved this one!


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