Vol 3 Section 0110

66                                                                           1897

“Villagers” and “Conspiracy” were first published in 1969 as part of the MTP’s Hannibal, Huck and Tom, edited by Walter Blair. The latter tale was also in Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Among the Indians (1989) edited by Blair and Armon.

July 20 Tuesday – In Weggis, Switzerland Sam wrote to John Y. MacAlister, apologizing for not hearing the doorbell on the night of July 7. Evidently MacAlister was going to urge Sam to take Pond’s lecture offer:

…& although I was up & laboring until midnight I wasn’t expecting any rings at the doorbell & so I didn’t hear yours. Was I in good luck or in bad luck? We can’t ever know for sure, but I took it for ill luck; for you would have talked Mrs. Clemens over & she would have allowed me to go over & capture that £10,000 on the lecture platform—she was rather expecting that the talk would result in that, and confessed it; but by next day she had swung back to her old position, & the lecture-project was definitely shelved. However, I am not going to feel sorry. Maybe it is good luck in disguise.

He also mentioned he had read “In Memoriam” again and claimed it “a noble poem.” He sent Livy’s thanks for the poem “for the healing it brings her” [MTP].

Sam also sent a telegram (not extant; mentioned in his July 30 to Chatto) to James B. Pond, in Liverpool, that he would not lecture this year. Then he wrote Pond a letter of explanation, relating “much trouble to persuade Mrs. Clemens to let me lecture & Clara play for me.”

“The thing is best as it is, anyway; it would not be right for me to lecture at this time; I owe Susy’s memory that grace” [MTP].

Note: one idea for the proposed US lecture tour was for Mark Twain to lecture and Clara Clemens to offer piano numbers. That the telegram and the letter would have been sent on the same  or next day was Sam’s usual method—it is assumed here.

July 21 WednesdaySam’s notebook:

Took a room at the Villa Tannen as a writing-room. Price 20 francs a month.

Paid the first month in advance, & shall move in tomorrow.


Our landlady offered me a room in the next house below ours at 60 fr a month.


The boats are pretty & comfortable & swift. They carry 300 passengers & a

couple of lifeboats the size of a split watermelon. One’s solicitude is not with the  people, but with the poor little lifeboat. I was in the only great accident that has ever happened on the lake & I forgot all about my family & turned all my attention to saving the lifeboat [NB 42 TS 16].

The house stands 100 [feet] above the surface of the lake. Has a glass coop enclosed by sashes which open like doors—when its entrance door is shut it is secluded from the house & is a room by itself. It is small; has merely room for a writing table, 2 chairs & a soft—size of a bathroom; a cozy little den, & just the place to lie & read & smoke on a stormy day & look out on the lake & the mountains & see the lightning split the sky & hear the thunder book & the rain lash the window-panes [NB 42 TS 14-15].

Dolmetsch places the Villa Tannen room Sam engaged for his studio, “about a quarter mile farther along the lake from Bühlegg” [22]. Insert: Villa Tannen

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