We have a small house on the hillside all to ourselves, & our meals are served in it from the inn below the lake shore. Six francs a day per head, house & food included. The scenery is beyond comparison beautiful. We have a rowboat & some bicycles, & good roads, & no visitors. Nobody knows we are here. And Sunday in heaven is noisy compared to this quietness [MTHHR 299]. Note: Source, note 1: Sam began Hellfire Hotchkiss on Aug. 4. See entry.
August 14 Saturday – The Illustrated American ran “Dear Old Mark Twain” with several photos and an in-depth report with “Stories of Mark Twain’s Boyhood” [eBay items 350243764833 Aug. 31, 2009; and 120453602604, Aug. 3, 2009]. Thanks to JoDee Benussi.
August 15 Sunday – The Lucerne newspaper Vaterland reported his presence in the country but did not give away the village of Weggis:
The well-known American author Mark Twain lives presently in Switzerland finishing a new book which will be titled, “The Surviving Innocents” for American readers and “More Tramps Abroad,” for the English [Locher 16].
August 16 Monday – In Weggis, Sam recorded a local tragedy in his notebook:
Monday, Aug. 16. Last night there was a Fest, & a torchlight procession of wheelmen from here (Weggis) to Viznau [Vitznau] & back. After midnight 4 villagers out in a boat—they had been drinking too much—got upset & 3 were drowned: a cook [August Theodor Eugen Burtschi], a confectioner [Philipp Wilhelm Wäspi] , & a locksmith [Alois Sutter]—all young men of the village. It has made a deep sensation. Today the people stand about in groups talking low & looking sad. There is but one topic. Even our family finds itself personally affected by the tragedy; for we find that our fruit-shop woman lost her son by it—a young fellow of 27. She & her daughter go on with their work to-day as usual—(the poor have no emancipation from work) but they are very sad [Locher 19; NB 42 TS 25].
August 17 Tuesday – Sam passed Katharine I. Harrison’s letter of July 30 (which had arrived on Aug. 13; see to Rogers that date) informing him of Bliss’ payment of the $10,000 for FE on to Chatto & Windus. Sam wrote Chatto that they could “send perfected revises to Bliss, now, to the end of the book.” He added he wouldn’t need his MS returned if the printers would “exactly follow it.” He crossed out a request for Chatto to “get a line in the papers to say I am not going to lecture this year in either England or America” [MTHHR 295n1]. Note: this letter catalogued only as “August”; Sam headed it “Tuesday”; Sam’s Aug 13 to H.H. Rogers notes that Harrison’s July 30 had arrived, so this is the first Tuesday after Aug. 13.
August 18 Wednesday – The anniversary of Susy Clemens’ death. From Sam’s Aug. 22 letter to Wayne MacVeagh:
Four days ago [Aug. 18] the anniversary of our unspeakable disaster came, & trailed its black shadow over us,
we went apart, each to himself, & sat in the gloom of that eclipse until the first natural light came & the first stage of our changed pilgrimage was behind us. I suppose it is still with you as with us—the calamity not a reality, but a dream, which will pass,—must pass.
As the first anniversary of Susy’s death drew near the tension became very great. A gloom settled on the household, a shadow of restraint. On the morning of the 18th Clemens went early to his study. Somewhat later Mrs. Clemens put on her hat and wrap, and taking a small bag left the house. The others saw her go toward the steamer-landing, but made no inquiries as to her destination. They guessed that she would take the little boat that touched at various points along the lake shore. This she did, in fact, with no particular
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.