January 25 Monday – A London Daily News employee in Vienna wrote to Sam, thanking him for his
“answer which I should consider perfectly justified if I thought you were going to lecture on improvisation.” He
mentioned story titles that Sam was going to read (that page lost). He also answered a concern of Sam’s: “Alas there is nobody in all Vienna who can take an English lecture down in shorthand” [MTP]. Note: Sam may have had concerns, as he used to have on the lecture circuit, about having his talk reprinted verbatim in the press.
John D. Champlin, Rossiter Johnson, and George Cary Eggleston, Committee of the Authors Club, signed a letter to Sam, which stated that his “somewhat facetious deduction from a false promise” did not sway them; they would not allow Sam’s article to be reprinted by Harpers [MTP]. Note: the Club was playing hardball about owning Sam’s piece “The Californian’s Tale,” which the Club included in The First Book of the Authors Club; Liber Scriptorum (1893). See next entry and also June 1891.
The Authors Club also wrote to Harper & Brothers that they’d rec’d their letter of Jan. 15 with two Twain letters enclosed. The Liber Scriptorum Committee failed to see Sam’s point—“The Committee has never conceded the right of any contributor to reprint his contribution,” and Sam’s assertion was “wholly gratutitous” [MTP].
The ledger books of Chatto & Windus show that between Jan. 25, 1897 and Dec. 14, 1905, four printings totalling 7,000 additional copies of Roughing It, were printed , totaling 9,000 [Welland 236].
January 26 Tuesday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London Sam wrote to Patrick A. Collins, Consul General, also in London: “If there is a U.S. Consul at Venice, it will be a favor to me if you will kindly have his name & address put upon the enclosed card & posted” [MTP].
January 27 Wednesday
January 28 Thursday
January 29 Friday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London Sam wrote to Patrick A. Collins, “ever so much obliged” for Collin’s evident supplying of a US Consul’s name in Venice. Sam explained the reason he had not called on Collins was that in their bereavement they had hidden away “until such time as we may be enabled to confront life again & resume relations with our species” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Florence Hayward, who evidently had written (not extant) asking for an interview.
I am still a recluse & see none of my species—a condition of things which must continue many months yet. If I would allow myself to be interviewed at all, I would say to you Come! But I am not going to be interviewed so long as I am in retirement in England. In some countries I might find it difficult to escape, but one is safe here [MTP]. Note: Hayward asked again and Sam, though too busy to name a day or time beyond “noon”, relented on July 3. See entry.
Friday, Jan. 29. Since bad luck struck is it is risky for people to have anything to do with us. Our third cook’s sweetheart was healthy—he is rushing for the grave, now. Emily, one of the maids, has lost the sight of one eye, & the other is in danger. Wallace carried up coal & blacked the boots 2 months—has suddenly gone to the hospital—pleurisy & a bad case. We began to allow ourselves to see a good deal of our friends the Bigelows—straightway their baby sickened & died. Next, Wilson got his skull fractured. Visited him today, at the hospital. Returning my cab ran over a little boy. Apparently the child lay on the ground with the suddenly-arrested horse dancing & prancing all over him with all his feet—but the child escaped without a scratch.
London—the City of a Hundred Villages.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.