arising from grief, he thinks, has probably given rise to the stories sent out about his personal and financial condition.
[Note: if Orion rec’d the letter referred to in this article on Tues. Feb. 2, then Sam would have written it ca. Jan. 20. ]
February 6 Saturday
February 7 Sunday
February 8 Monday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Well, I’ve had my feathers cut. I was feeling too cocky. The minute I concluded to go on & make a 2 volume of this book [FE] I broke down. I haven’t touched a pen since. I am all right again, & shall go to work again to-morrow—but not to make 2 volumes. No, I’ve dropped that idea. I mean to write a third more matter for the one volume than necessary, then weed out & leave one compact & satisfactory volume.
Sam also referred to a letter (not extant) from Mrs. Rogers (Emilie R. Rogers) which included good news about Helen Keller’s progress. Sam joked, “If she doesn’t go into the publishing business she’ll be all right,
I am going to write with all my might at this book, & follow it up with others as fast as I can, in the hope that within three years I can clear out the stuff that is in me waiting to be written, & that I shall die in the promptest kind of way & no fooling around. But I want the rest of you to live as long as you would like to, & enjoy it all the same. / With love to you all.
Sam added after his signature, “Curse that Colby, why does he fool along so!” [MTHHR 264-5]. Note: this last refers to attorney Bainbridge Colby’s incomplete handing of Webster & Co.’s creditors. See Feb. 26 to Rogers.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, asking who James Robinson Smith was (of 15 Charter Oak Place in Hartford). Evidently Sam had heard from the man and wanted to find out who he was before he wrote—who was Smith’s father? Did Sam know him? Sam also advised Whitmore not to rent the Farmington Ave. house again “for the present,” but to allow John and Ellen O’Neil (their gardener and wife) to “go back into it” [MTP].
February 9 Tuesday – Joe Twichell wrote to Sam.
Your letter received a few days ago did me a lot of good. I am glad that you love me, —or you must old fellow, to the end of the chapter. Thank you for telling me about your work. I perceive by your way of telling it, and the gait of your pen altogether, that your literary power is all with you still,—or I am certain the book, and the books, will prove. I only wish that there some things that Livy could do to give her respite also. If she were here I would take her, with her consent, to a mother heart worse broken than hers is—with nothing left,—to balm with her tears and tender sympathy. That would be medicine to her pain, and it is the divinest way of comfort [MTP].
Joe then discussed and enclosed correspondence between himself, a young woman who had been “betrayed” by a “reptile” of a young man with another woman, a man whose parents were his parishioners. He wondered what Sam thought [MTP].
February 10 Wednesday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to Robert Barr (1850-1912), who had sought a meeting with Sam for a piece about Mark Twain he would publish in the Century (Jan.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.