The Robe of Peace
"The Robe of Peace" is a fine short story by O.Henry. One of the most popular American short story writers. It deals with how a fashionable gentleman of Newyork becames a monk of one of the strictest monasteries in the Swiss Alps.
Johnny Bellchambers belonged to the high society in Newyork. He was rich and had a taote for fashionable clothes. He had a huge collection of dress and would change clothes every three hours. he was conceded to be the best dressed man in Newyork and therfore in America. All the tailors in the city considered it a great privilege to make Bellchambers clothes as it was a great advertisement for them, if he put on their clothes. In short, he was "the glass of fashion".
Bellchambers disappeared suddenly. His friends were worried. They could not attribute any motive for his disappearance. He had no enemies, no debts, no woman, he was of calm and well-balanced temperament.
During summer, Tom Eyres and Lancelot Gilliam two of Bellchambers old friends, were touring in Italy and Switzerland. They heard of a unique monastry in the Swiss Alps called St.Gondran. It was inaccessible to ordinary tourists as it was situated among cragy mountains. The special attraction of the place was that there was a huge brass bell. They heard that no Englishman had ever visited the place.
Both Eyres and Gilliam reached the monastry with great diificulty, and were hospitality received by the Brothers. In the afternoon, while they were watching the monk, marching towards the driving hall, they were surprised to spot Bellchambers among the monks.
With the permission of the Abbot, they met Brother Ambrose.Bellchambers changed his name to Brother Ambrose. There was an experience of ineffable peace on his face. He was clothed in a single garment of rough brown cloth, falling to the feet. The friends requested Bellchambers to get a release from the monastry and accompany them to Newyork, but Bellchambers said that he was entirely happy there. He decided to spend the rest of his life there. The great brass bell rang, summoning to immediate devotion. Without any another word, Bellchambers left them with a wave of hand.
"The Robe of Peace" makes wonder about the transformation young American Dandy into a monk, who has achieved peace.
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