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Letter from Vienna

Our Correspondent writes from Austria:

"Mr. R of Provio, Utah, one time bishop of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) revealed the death of his daughter at home after a several month illness. As you may recall from reports last year, Miss R was an accomplished young pianist who performed worldwide. She and members of a Utah youth orchestra were in Vienna for a series of concerts. Prior to a concert to be performed celebrating the opening of the new Kristallschloss performing arts center, she encountered this correspondent in the elevator from the mezzanine to the 40th floor restaurant. Her companion was a Mr. N, introduced as the ninth oboe of the orchestra and a young man she had met, and apparently fell in love with, during their prior year as missionaries in Belgium.

Shortly afterward, your correspondent saw a figure fall past the window of his 38th floor conference room and was alerted to screams from the balcony above. From the balcony, the still figure of Mr. R could be seen sprawled on the roof of the performance hall. On the balcony above, Miss R lay, unconscious with a broken leg and her right hand severely injured. It was later suggested by the police that Miss R and Mr. N had jumped together from the 40th floor but, perhaps in a moment of hesitation or panic, she had reached back and grabbed an amplifier mounted on the parapet to broadcast the performances into the square below. Her hand apparently snagged on the chassis, causing a deep laceration and swinging her into the building, where she landed on the balcony below, striking her head and breaking her leg. In her hand, she still gripped the shattered glass of a 12AY7 vacuum tube. Other reports from family spokesmen suggested that she may have tried to prevent Mr. R from jumping, reportedly after being informed that her family was categorically opposed to their friendship and possible marriage, and was pulled off the parapet as she grabbed for him.

In any case, we shall never know. She was taken to hospital and then back to Utah. She apparently recovered consciousness sometime later but never spoke again and refused all food and medications. She spent the last several months at home, mute and immobile until her death last week."


- J

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