Vol 3 Section 0118

74                                                                           1897

The rest of the letter involves details for several creditor claims, with Sam still maintaining that (now $9,000) was not owed to Mt. Morris Bank. He asked, was his total indebtedness less than $40,000? He shared plans for the future:

“Meantime, I will write a book—maybe a couple, & a year from now I will prepare from the platform—a farewell shout—& then retire on what’s left, & stop worrying. I have stopped now, for a spell.”

Apparently the bank was in financial difficulty as well, for he added:

It will be a pity if the Mount Morris has to go into the hands of a receiver. I will try to cry. Can’t you get Colby appointed? Because I want a long cry.

Sam closed with some concern for Mrs. Rogers’ health and hoped his letter would not arrive at a bad time

Note: the source illuminates this passage—the parenthetical refers to the crossed out, with the twelve words immediately following the lined section were inserted above the canceled section. Written on the side margin of page 7 of this letter: “P.S. Alas! Mrs. C’s addition was defective—the accumulation is $39,000 not $49,000 [MTHHR 295-9].

Mollie Clemens wrote from Keokuk, Iowa to Sam and the family. A St. Louis paper had announced that Clara Clemens “expected to enter the concert field this winter in Austria.” Mollie thought it “glorious”. Orion had eleven lower teeth removed the day before, and could only have buttermilk for supper. Mollie hoped Livy was being comforted, and mentioned that Jean’s birthday and Orion’s were “nearly the same,” though he “was 72 but didn’t look it.” She told Sam that “there is no waning of your star” [MTP]. Note: Orion’s birthday was July 17; Jean’s July 26.

August 7 Saturday – In Lucerne, Switzerland Sam replied to Samuel S. McClure’s July 28 (not extant). Evidently McClure had sought an interview or contribution from Mark Twain, but Sam replied there were “business reasons why it will be best for Barr to do the thing without corresponding with me.” After his signature, he added:

“Upon rereading your letter of 28th I am troubled. Because it must not be an interview—I was forgetting that my hands are tied, in this matter. It can be what you have called an ‘article,’ if you like…” [MTP]. Note: Robert Barr wrote an article for the Jan. 1898 McClure’s, “Samuel L. Clemens, ‘Mark Twain’ – A Character Sketch,” p. 246-51.

August 8 Sunday

August 9 Monday – In Weggis, Switzerland Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto: “These latter batches of sheets are divine—it is no vexation to read them.” He added that he forgot what his PS was, and asked for a “cheap ‘P’dn. Wilson. Unbound; just the sheets” [MTP].

August 10 Tuesday

August 11 Wednesday

August 12 ThursdayThe Fisk Jubilee Singers were on a European tour, with stops at Basel, Bern, and Zurich. On July 1 they sang in Lucerne in the great hall of the Union Hotel; this was before the Clemenses arrival on July 14. After disappointing audiences at the July 1 and 3 performances, a second concert at the Hotel was planned for Aug. 8, which was “a great success,” with 200 in the audience. The singers then came to Weggis [Locher 18].

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