mushy apple pie—hot. She was eating one herself, with a tin teaspoon. She made a disgusting proposition to me. Although it was disgusting it did not surprise me—for I was young (I was never old in a dream yet) & it seemed quite natural that it should come from her. It was disgusting, but I did not say so; I merely made a chaffy remark brushing aside the matter—a little jeeringly—& this embarrassed her & she made an awkward pretence that I had misunderstood her. I made a sarcastic remark about this pretence, & asked for a spoon to eat my pie with. She had but the one, & she took it out of her mouth in a quite matter-of-course way & offered it to me. My stomach rose, and—there everything vanished.
It was not a dream—it all happened. I was actually there in person—in my spiritualized condition. My, how vivid it all was!—even to the texture of her shirt, its dull white color, & the pale brown tint of a stain on the shoulder of it. I had never seen that girl before; I was not acquainted with her—but dead or alive she is a reality; she exists, & she was there. Her pie was a spiritualized pie, no doubt, & also her shirt & the bench & the shed—but their actualities were at that moment in existence somewhere in the world.
The time that my dream-self first appeared to me & explained itself, (apparently I was for the moment dreaming) it was as insubstantial as a dim blue smoke, & I saw the furniture through it, but it was dressed in my customary clothes [NB 40 TS 1-7]. Note: see J. Kaplan p. 341-3 for a discussion of this passage and of various influences on Twain.
January 4 Monday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London Sam cabled to H.H. Rogers: “CONTRACTS SIGNED.” Not extant but quoted in his letter this day to Rogers.
Sam then wrote to H.H. Rogers, having rec’d his of Dec. 24, 1896 and Frank Bliss’ Dec. 15 enclosed, this latter to become an addenda of the Dec. 31 contracts. Rogers had exerted his best efforts to bring about the agreement. The contracts may be found in MTHHR p. 678 & 682: Appendix B & C. Of necessity there were two contracts, the first begin between Samuel and Olivia Clemens, Charles Dudley Warner (for his interest in GA) and American Publishing Co .; and the second between Harper & Brothers, the American Publishing Co. and Olivia Clemens. Sam was relieved the agreement had finally come:
We have signed the contracts, I using visible American ink and Mrs. Clemens using partly visible English ink. In one case her result was so doubtful that I thought it best to witness her signature, just to show that there was a signature….
I have started the package of contracts to you, not by mail, but by an Express-Co. Their New York office is close to you—J.W. Hampton & Co 41 Broadway. If they do not arrive promptly, please ask Miss Harrison to step over there with her tomahawk.
Well, I am mighty glad that that business is finished up at last, and so tight and shipshape. Accept my deep gratitude. But for you I never should have arrived anywhere in it.
Sam also agreed that a coincidence involving the support of Helen Keller was another example of “mental telegraphy” (see MTHHR. 257). He confessed that Christmas “was a desolate time…the day came and
went without mention. No presents were exchanged, and we studiously pretended to be unaware of the day.”
Sam’s literary juices were flowing—he was working seven days a week and even planned on getting 31 days into February on FE. He had three or four new books in his head—“I shall write All of them—a whole dam library” [MTHHR 258-60]. Note: Harper & Brothers did not sign their contract until Feb. 26; Bliss until Mar. 4 [262n1].
January 5 Tuesday – Colonel Andrew S. Burt wrote to Sam (four half pages, typed) from Ft. Missoula, Mont., having rec’d his two-page letter and inscribed copy of LM . Burt sent family sentiments, told of opening the wrapped book at Christmas and asked when Sam might return to Ft. Missoula.
What are you “hard at work” at now? What a steam engine you are! Mrs. Clements [sic], don’t you let a day go by but that you make him walk out in the open air. If you have to drag him from his desk, you on one side and Clara on the other. Oh yes, Mark, I’m a martyr to the blamed Drs. Telling me I must exercise, mustn’t
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.