In The Spire, Pangall and his wife Goody live within the walls of the Cathedral in a cottage – Pangall’s Kingdom – which is being rapidly encroached upon by the builders and their supplies. He is mercilessly teased by the builders for his disability and impotence. Pangall implores Dean Jocelin to send them away because he believes they will kill him.

Pangall’s prediction comes true in a devastating chase witnessed by Jocelin. The brilliance of the novel’s stream-of-consciousness narrative technique, recounted from Jocelin’s point of view, means that the reader is not entirely sure what has happened.  Jocelin ‘could not see, but only heard how Pangall broke –’. In the following chapter, Father Adam tells him that Pangall has run away, but Jocelin is troubled by flashes of memory about Pangall’s fate.