Mr. Weston, a strange wine merchant who visits the village of Folly Down at seven o’clock on the evening of November 20, 1923. The clocks in the village stop when he arrives. He helps many people, among them the melancholy Mr. Grobe, the lonely Tamar, Jenny Bunce, and the virtuous Mr. Bird, to whom he reads from his own book, the Bible. He also makes Mr. Bird’s well run with wine. When he leaves Folly Down, the clocks start again and the villagers are surprised to see that it is only ten o’clock.
Michael, Mr. Weston’s assistant, who carries a large book with the names of all the inhabitants of the town inscribed. He is married to Tamar Grobe by Mr. Weston and gives her happiness under the village trysting tree.
Mr. Grunter, the sexton, allegedly quite a seducer. He thinks Mr. Weston is the Devil but finds that he is not. Grunter helps Mr. Weston in his affairs in the village and sees the souls of Tamar and another girl carried to Heaven.
Mr. Bunce, the innkeeper, who blames God for all the pregnancies among the girls of Folly Down. He scornfully says that his daughter may not marry simple-hearted Mr. Bird until the man’s well runs with wine.
Mr. Grobe, the rector at Folly Down. He no longer believes in God because he has lost his wife. He tries to find escape and...
(The entire section is 485 words.)