We broke up housekeeping yesterday, & we leave tomorrow morning early for Lucerne. Yesterday [July 10] Clara was flung out of a hansom, & struck the dashboard & carried it with her—the horse has suddenly slipped & fallen—she disappeared from her mother’s view. …Neither she nor her mother was much hurt, only rudely shaken up. It was a very narrow escape.
Pond has been offering me $50,000 & expenses to come over in October & lecture 125 nights; but he is so unbusiness-like that I was afraid to consent—& Mrs. Clemens was dead opposed to having him for agent. …
During the fall & winter I mean to prepare a lecture or two; then if I can arrange satisfactory terms with Hathaway or some other sane person I will make a final & farewell lecture-campaign in the fall & winter of ’98-99 [MTHHR 291].
Note: The editor believes Sam misdated this letter (shown by the MTP as July 12.) Sam’s NB gives July 10 as the date of the hansom accident, which fits this letter being July 11. Also, Sam’s July 20 to MacAlister includes a telling line about an event of July 16: “But as I understand it, its date was on the 16th, whereas we left four days before that.” (Editorial emphasis). Also, a Monday departure was more likely for such a trip. A search of the London Times found no mention of the hansom accident or the Clemens family’s departure.
George Henry Hathaway (1843-1931), was now owner of the Redpath Lyceum Bureau [n2].
July 12 Monday – At 8 a.m. the Clemens family left London, bound for the Continent. Rodney points out they would be in “exile” for three more years .