I am used to disappointment and setback, even when they come out of the blue, but I was not ready for this one. For many years I have worked with Lang Publishing, a German international company with many offices in Major cities. A couple of years ago I called their New York office to speak with their acquisition editor about my work on the Roman Republic. The acquisition editor turned out to be their executive editor. She seemed mildly interested in my new project. Two or more years went by with no contact as I was still doing research. Finally I began set my Table of Contents at twenty- eight chapters, along with a somewhat unusual structure for the book. Once again I recontacted with Lang and found, somewhat to my surprise, that the editor was still the same person. She asked for my fore matter and I sent it along with a draft of my first chapter. I did not receive much of a response other than the chapter has arrived electronically. One chapter followed another and I could feel a change taking place in her attitude. At one point I asked if she was still interested in this project and received a definate -- yes! More chapters followed and more excitement and I could sense that she was now anticipating the arrival of each chapter. This change in attitude was very motivating for me so I became more and more dedicated to the work so that the chapters would be even more refined, if not eloquent. Then a couple of weeks ago I sent in Chapter Nine, but there was no response, Finally, I sent an inquiring note and was thunderstruck to have it answered by her husband. He asked about my relationship with the editor, by this time--my editor. I was asked: "Was she editing for me?" I said no that she was simply receiving my work as it was completed in draft form and that Barbara my wife was helping me edit. He then said, due to serious circumstances that she would no longer be able to function in this capacity and that a new person would be taking over. I know that some great tragedy had struck and that there was nothing to be done. For a writer this is devastating, at lest for me it was. I was knocked flat and I had lost heart. I do not know whether or not this project can ever be quite the same. Chapter ten, the next mountain to climb, is daunting because for centuries Italian scholarship has been so divided on the role and the influence that the Greeks have played in the development of Italisn civilization. Much has been written, but it is all very conflicting. Please stay tuned and keep me in your thoughts and prayers.