1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 13

1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 13

Fleischer’s Steak House, Magdeburg

“Well, Sarah, you have a prince on your string for sure,” Heidi Partow told Sarah a few days later. “He’s actually in a hurry to come back to smoky, dirty, Magdeburg just to see you.”

“I don’t know, Heidi.” Sarah jabbed a cherry tomato from her salad. She had been surprised when the Partow’s older sister had arranged to have lunch with her. Now the reason was coming clear. “I think he may be trying to get a connection into the Grantville power structure.”

“Naw. If that were it, he’d be going after one of the Catholic girls in town. Well, maybe a little bit. Your dad’s pretty high in the Stearns administration. So, I guess rank could trump religion, but he was blushing enough when I teased him about it. I figure that means that it’s mostly you, not your position.” Heidi blinked. “Hey, that might make you the top of the list. We have girls marrying grafs and dukes and stuff. But you might just be first to have an actual prince on your string.”

“Brandy Bates is engaged to Prince Vladimir of Russia,” Sarah said. “And I don’t have Karl on my string. We’ve had a couple of dates, that’s all.”

Heidi sniffed. “Is Vladimir a Prince, or just a grand duke? Besides he’s from Russia.” Heidi sliced off a bit of chicken as though it was all of eastern Europe in one tiny bite. She popped it into her mouth, chewed a couple of times, and it was gone, and all the Russian princes in the world gone with it. “And don’t kid yourself, Sarah. You have him hooked and you can reel him in . . . if you don’t blow it.”

“Can we talk about something else? Anything else?”

“Okay . . . we’ll talk about my love life. Which is abysmal. . . . At least you dumped David. Stay away from the dedicated ones. You can never get their noses out of the machines long enough to notice you.”

Over the next hour, Sarah learned that Karl Schmidt was a jerk, but Heidi was determined to catch him anyway. Also about the social relations of the upper middle class to lower upper class of Magdeburg which concentrated on the up-timer connected. And, surprisingly, she had a fairly good time.

By the next week, everyone in Magdeburg knew that Sarah Wendell and Prince Eusebius Karl von Liechtenstein were “an item.”

New Jewish Quarter, outside Vienna

“What is a Sarah Wendell?” Gundaker von Liechtenstein asked.

Moses ignored the phrasing and thought for a moment. They were in the Abrabanel offices outside of Vienna proper. They were here rather than at the palace because Moses was under a political cloud. He had gone to Grantville in late 1631 and had failed to be nearly as adamantly opposed to the up-timers as he should have after they had upset the political and military apple carts of the Holy Roman Empire. Besides, he was Jewish and Ferdinand II might find Jews useful and even necessary, but he didn’t like them. “You know, I think I met her. She is the eldest daughter of Fletcher and Judy Wendell.”

Moses got up and went to a file cabinet. He had seen several in Grantville, and had some made as soon as he got back to Vienna. One whole file cabinet was dedicated to all things Grantville. He selected the third drawer from the left, which included up-timers with last names from U-Z He opened it and found the Wendell’s. “Yes, here she is. Sarah Wendell . . . Oh yes. The sewing machines. She was one of the children with the sewing machine factory.”

Moses returned to his desk, examining the file. “Are you interested in sewing machines?” He flipped over a page “Oh. Someone should have pointed this out to me.” He looked up from the file. “I’m sorry, Prince von Liechtenstein. Someone sent a note about what is going on and it got put in the files, but not brought to my attention.”

Moses looked around the offices trying to find a polite way of phrasing information in the file. “I assume that your interest is due to the fact that Prince Karl and Sarah Wendell are seeing each other socially?”

“You have confirmation of the rumors then?” Gundaker asked. “Is Sarah Wendell anyone important? It wouldn’t be too bad if he had a fling with an unimportant up-timer, though it still shows a disappointing lack of self control.”

Moses looked around the office again. It was no more help than it had been before. “I don’t think that’s the case here. Her father was on the finance subcommittee of the Emergency Committee, the people who wrote the New US Constitution. Just a moment.” Moses went back to his desk and got another file. “Yes, I thought so. Fletcher Wendell, Sarah’s father, is the Secretary of the Treasury for the USE. Essentially the same post that you hold in the Empire.”

“I thought that was someone called Coleman Walker?”

“No, he is the head of their Federal Reserve Bank.” Moses shrugged. “There is no good analogy to the Federal Reserve Bank in the Empire.” It wasn’t the partly government, partly private nature of the Fed that would be hard to explain to Gundaker von Liechtenstein. It was things like the limits on the infinite checkbook. Those things were hard enough for Moses to follow and he had been to Grantville and met the people. Anyway, that was all beside the point so far as Gundaker von Liechtenstein was concerned. “You know that they do not draw the lines of nobility the same way we do. This is not as concrete as I would prefer, but I would have to place the whole family in the upper echelons of the up-timers. In the same category as Mike Stearns, Ed Piazza or Julie Sims.”

“Well, Karl can’t be thinking about marrying the girl. Is she one of those up-timer pseudo-Catholics like that Father Mazzare?”


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11 Responses to 1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 13

  1. daveo says:

    So far, these snippets lead me to suppose that the whole book will be about Sarah and Liechtenstein. And not about Noelle and Janos. If this is the case, the title of the book is deliberately misleading.

    • Vernon Nemitz says:

      This snippet comes from chapter 5, out of 38 in the book. Also, the sequence began in 1634, and according to the Baen Books description/web-page about the novel, more members of the Barbie Consortium are going to be involved in Vienna than just Sarah. So the background for that needs to be developed, while the background for Noelle and Janos already reaches March of 1636, when the Ottomans are apparently preparing to invade the Holy Roman Empire (Chapter 54 of “The Saxon Uprising”). It is ridiculous to think that this story will stretch through much of 1636 and Vienna without more of that –and Janos and Noelle– being presented.

  2. Tweeky says:

    “Well, Karl can’t be thinking about marrying the girl. Is she one of those up-timer pseudo-Catholics like that Father Mazzare?”

    I sniggered when he referred to Father Mazzare as a “Pseudo Catholic” never the fact he called him “Father” and not “Cardinal”.

    • Randomiser says:

      Yes, he’s the official catholic bigot of the family according to the last snippet. However this chapter started in late July 1634 so we can only be at mid august at latest. Mazzare was only made a cardinal in July, in Rome. Maybe no-one he trusts has told Gundaker the news yet.

  3. Lyttenstadt says:

    Whao, here!

    “Sarah jabbed a cherry tomato from her salad”

    Like these

    I understand that authors want to make “easier” and more “contemporarily” feeling the everyday life of uptimers, but this is just rediculous. Just how did they managed to grow cherry tomatos in large enough quantites for them to be routinely added in salads in Magdeburgh by 1634?

    But this is Huff and Goodlet book, and they always handwave this kind of stuff in the name of… erm, more economics related boring stuff.

    • Blackmoore says:

      It’s the way Huff and Goodlet let you in on how the little things are changing. You can’t just drop a scene to show that they now have tomatoes; you are actually seeing that they now have production of; and perhaps even hothouses growing said food.

      • Lyttenstadt says:

        But this kind of out-of-nowhere stuff that “just here” is so unrealistic. Grantville Gazettes have article and stories on such stuff – like some “modern” things are recreated in 1630, step-by-step with nuts and bolts descroption AND some interesting plot twists and historically accurate drame. Like, well, that story about “re-creation” of, erm, VCs.

        And this is why 1630s series are so fun to read – you have historical fiction and time period’s interesting facts, you have characters and you have “Robinsonade”-like process of making stuff.

        But here – it’s just handwaved.

    • Positroll says:

      1. Check the current Gazette, tile “Occupied Saxony”.

      April, 1633 – Kleinjena, Saxony
      … She sniffed. “The Olbrichts should have fled to Leipzig with us instead of running all the way to Grantville. Then you could have come back last year. Some people did not return until after planting, so the crops were barely half what they should have been. The same will happen this year, too, because after the rent and the tithes and eating enough to stay alive through the winter, we do not have enough seed to plant every field.”
      Heinz shrugged off the homemade backpack he was wearing. “That is okay. I have brought seed.” “You have!” “But not grain—vegetables.”

      … I learned a job in Grantville that I could bring back.” “What’s that?” “They call it master gardener.” Peter closed his eyes and shook his head. “They have a guild for farmers?” “No. Meister does not mean the same thing to them. They taught me how to grow vegetables from when they came from. There is not enough room in the Grantville area, so they are sending their seeds across the Germanies with people who know how to grow them. We have some.”

      2. The Barbies are RICH …

  4. Bruce says:

    I think this is one of the first references I’ve seen to Brandy Bates and Prince Ivan in one of the mainstream books. Wonder if they’ll begin working in some Kremlin Games impacts into the main storyline.

    • Lyttenstadt says:


      Goodlet&Huff wrote both “Butterflies in Kremlin” and “Kremlin Games”, so yeah, it was expected…

    • Bruce: How is 36VW any more “mainstream” than 36KG? 36VW seems to be Side Sequence/Bohemian Sequence, while 36KG is Russian Sequence; neither is part of the Main Sequence, which so far consists of 32, 33, 34BW, 35EF, and 36SU.

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