When Weezie Putnam returned from Vienna in 1898 de¬termined now to be known as Eleanor, she brought with her from her ordeal three items of inestimable worth: a manuscript, an exquisite piece of jewelry, and a hand¬written journal. Each would change her life, she knew, and each would play a part in determining her destiny.
The manuscript had been written in a cathartic fury at the end of her Vienna time, the completion of the commitment she had made in going there in the first place, to write “something of significance,” as her former headmistress called it, to be delivered as promised to the New York Times immediately upon her return. She brought the manuscript to the Times office in New York City, and the editor Henry Moss, whom she had known from before Vienna, held it in his hand and measured its weightiness with a satisfied smile. “As promised,” he said, “a significant body of work.”
“That is my hope,” Eleanor said. “I am relieved to be done with it.” Then she concluded with, “It is to be called City of Music,” the title that she knew was meant to be.
Mr. Moss also cabled her in the week after her return home to Boston and insisted that she travel back to New York immediately, he and two other editors having just completed reading the manuscript. “We are deeply moved,” he said, “by the vibrancy we have seen in these pages.”
When she arrived in their offices, the other editors smiled at her as Henry Moss offered with enthusiasm, “You have launched yourself as a serious writer, Miss Putnam. Or, I should say, Mr. Jonathan Trumpp has.”
Her response was more sudden than she would have wished, had she not been caught by surprise. “Absolutely not,” was what came out, in a burst. “I shall work with you to edit this project,” she said, “as I wish it to be as thorough and accurate as it can be, but it will remain the sole long work of Jonathan Trumpp, and Mr. Trumpp has written his last.” She said it with such conviction as to leave the Times editors speechless.
“That is not the response we expected,” Mr. Moss said, disappointment obvious on his face.
“It will be a waste not to follow this up,” a second editor said.
“So be it,” she said. “It is what it is. I appreciate all that you have done for me, but there will be no more from Mr. Trumpp.” She expressed her gratitude even further and then left the New York Times office, not seeing fit to mention at that time or later the painful events that had led to the catharsis of writing, nor its fateful inspiration, which could never be rep¬licated.
The second item she brought with her from her Vienna experience was the piece of jewelry, a most extraordinary ring which had belonged to one of the most famous and most tragic figures in recent European history. The ring’s value was, she hoped, easily recognizable, as she knew she was meant to set about selling it immediately. She knew nothing of the fine art of selling extraordinary pieces of jewelry, and she knew that for purely emotional reasons parting with this particular piece would be most dif¬ficult, but it had to be done.
And the third item, by far the most significant, was a remarkably de¬tailed journal, a leather-bound handwritten volume that recorded in ex¬actness all that had happened to and around her in Vienna.
The card security code is an added safeguard for your credit/debit card purchases. Depending on the type of card you use, it is either a three- or four-digit number printed on the back or front of your credit/debit card, separate from your credit/debit card number. To make shopping at Book-of-the-Month Club®
even more secure, we require that you enter this number each time you make a credit/debit card purchase. Please note that your security code will not be stored with us even if you have saved your credit/debit card information.