Vol 3 Section 0063

1897                                                                              23

March 26 Friday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam made a dental appointment. He noted in his Mar. 25 to James R. Clemens that it was his only appointment since he’d seen him (probably on Mar. 8).

Sam also wrote a status report on his book to Frank E. Bliss. He hadn’t yet settled on a title, suggesting Imitating the Equator or Another Innocent Abroad. He felt the first best, and speculated that people would ask what it meant but that “by & by somebody would guess it—‘the equator goes around the world.’” He also wanted to end the book with India, and perhaps make another book later with S. Africa [MTP]. Note: Sam would decide on Following the Equator in July.

Sam also wrote a short letter to Frank Fuller with the status of his “rattling good book” (FE) and advising that his friend Robert Chapin, who was US Consul at Johannesburg during Sam’s lecture stop there, might “look in” on Fuller. “He is a sterling man, but powerful quiet” [MTP].

Sam also replied to H.H. Rogers, who had sent another letter (not extant). Sam swore about sending Rogers the wrong cable address for Chatto. He was glad that Bainbridge Colby “has pulled through at last.” He wrote of his letter to Henry J. Harper the day before (not extant; Mar. 25) but had forgotten to ask for a statement. He also disclosed he’d sent the copyright renewal to Bliss “about a week ago.” He added,

Give my love to the electric spark [H.H. Rogers, Jr.. “Harry”] and tell him to be a credit to us.

It is a long time since I have added a chapter to my book, but Mrs. Clemens and I have done a world of revising and editing. The book improves every day. And I don’t mind saying, now, that I am getting to be most offensively proud of it and satisfied with it

Sam offered the same two possible names for the new book as he’d sent to Bliss this day, then mentioned he’d asked Robert Chapin to “step in and tell you I am well. He is a very nice man indeed, but desperately quiet” [MTHHR 268-9].

Paine includes a revealing and humorous exchange between Sam and Livy from revision notes:

In one of her comments Mrs. Clemens wrote:

Page 597. I hate to say it, but it seems to me that you go too minutely into particulars in describing the feats of the aboriginals. I felt it in the boomerang-throwing.

And Clemens just below has written:

Boomerang has been furnished with a special train—that is, I’ve turned it into “Appendix.” Will that answer?

[Livy:] Page 1002. I don’t like the “shady-principled cat that has a family in every port.” [Sam:] Then I’ll modify him just a little.

[Livy:] Page 1020. 9th line from the top. I think some other word would be better than “stench.” You have used that pretty often.

[Sam:] But can’t I get it in anywhere? You’ve knocked it out every time. Out it goes again. And yet “stench” is a noble, good world.

[Livy:] Page 1038. I hate to have your father pictured as lashing a slave boy.

[Sam:] It’s out, and my father is whitewashed.

[Livy:] Page 1050. 2d line from the bottom. Change breech-clout. It’s a word that you love and I abominate. I would take that and “offal” out of the language.

[Sam:] You are steadily weakening the English tongue, Livy.

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.