is a case of thinking you’ve wound your watch, because you intended to. Toward the end of the book I elected to use another thing whereby Tom should be able to identify that fellow—& then I forgot to knock out the mole…
Sam related meeting a gentleman on a train trip from Montreal, putting it at fifteen years before (which might have been either Dec. 1881 or May 1883). The man remarked he was an intimate friend of Payn’s and so they talked about him, since Sam had never met anyone who knew of Payn from personal experience. In that three or four hour train trip, in the smoker car, it became clear there was another man who was also an intimate of Payne. He felt that both of them being there wasn’t a “coincidence” [MTP]. Note: Sam spelled “Payne” for “Payn.” See MTNJ 3: 17n30; also Gribben 536.
November 16 Tuesday
November 17 Wednesday – At the Metropole Hotel, Vienna, Austria, Sam and Livy wrote to H.H. Rogers, including a paragraph from Livy with formal request of the three $10,000 payments to be made to the Webster creditors as outlined in Sam’s Nov. 11.
If the paying of this money at this time is going to be a fatal mistake, of course we must abide by your judgment and not do it. But I hope you will not regard it so. If I can heave the main debt off my shoulders I shall feel free again, and shall not mind the Bank-debt.
I am beginning a new book this morning. (Of all the work which I have begun since last August I have finished not one single thing.) Shall I throw this aside next week? [MTHHR 304-5]. Note: the source fails to identify the “new book.”
Clara Clemens wrote a letter in German to Eduard Pötzl.
Dear Sir, / Were you serious when you said you would help me get tickets which are hard to come by? Would you be so kind to inform me if you find out ahead of time that there will be tickets available (one
or two) for a Sunday philharmonic concert so that I could come and get them immediately?
I would be extremely grateful for your kindness and trouble.
My mother said she hopes you will come back soon and then we all must go to the museum and spend a few hours (or half an hour?) there.
Hoping that I have not asked too great a favor of you … [MTP]. Note: thanks to Holger Kersten for translating this letter.
November 18 Thursday – Sam attended a world premiere of the operetta Blumen Mary (Mary’s Flower Shop) at the Theater an der Wien. He was spotted by a Neue Freie Presse reviewer and his presence was reported the next day on p.6. The operetta was set in New York, with music by Charles Weinberger and book and lyrics by Leo Stein and Alexander Landesburg. Dolmetsch writes:
In the Hofloge (court box) next to Twain’s sat the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg throne whose assassination at Sarajevo plunged the world into war, and Archduke Otto, whose son, Karl, became the last Austrian emperor. The performance was a great success with both the critics and the public, but Mark Twain, asked for a comment on the operetta’s depiction of American life, smiled and diplomatically said nothing .
November 19 Friday – At the Metropole Hotel, Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus. He had long been interested in the case of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French officer sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island in French Guiana for passing military secrets to the Germans. In 1896 evidence surfaced that a French Army major named Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy was the real traitor. At this time Esterhazy was about to be tried. Thus, Sam suggested a book idea to his English publisher:
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.