they brought the first news. It is a most remarkable case. The father & son were stag-shooting. At 9 in the morning the father fired at what he took to be a stag in the deep forest & a gillie ran in to get the result. He came flying back very pale & said “Gnadiger Herr, he is dead.” “The stag?—I expected it.” “No, your son.” The Count ran to the place & found the young man (24 years old) sitting motionless with his hand to his face. The father took the hand away & saw—these details. The ball had entered under the jaw, turned upward, destroyed the cheek, carried away the eye & the upper corner of the forehead & a bunch of brain “the size of an apple” was “hanging out.” The young man was not dead, but spoke up & said he was not in great pain!
Gamekeepers were mounted & sent flying across the country for a doctor & for ways to convey the patient to the castle, & to bring his mother. It was a remote place. The mother arrived after 3 or 4 hours; the doctor later. The patient was in the woods & on the way home altogether ten hours; & the real work of patching dressing & bandaging the wound began at 7 in the evening!
These particulars Countess Wydenbruck received by letter from the father two days later. She got another letter yesterday, with this news: the young count is doing very well; talks, & can see by holding the lids of his remaining open with his hand; has not suffered much pain; says he can smoke, now, & has asked for his pipe!
His father had a shotgun emptied into his own side some years ago, at close range, making a wound as big as a saucer. It is a hard family to kill [NB 40 TS 40-1]. Note: Sam did not relate whether this conversation was given over the table or afterward.
September 20-25 Sunday – In Kaltenleutgeben, Austria. Sometime during this period Livy wrote for Sam to Tabitha Greening (“Puss” Quarles) in Palmyra, Mo. Sam was busy, she explained, and they were “very sorry to learn that times go so badly” for her. Livy had often heard Sam talk about her and the Quarles family, and of the “pleasant times that he used to have” at the Quarles farm, so Tabitha’s name seemed very familiar to her. Ten dollars would be sent every month, just as Sam’s mother used to do; Franklin G. Whitmore would be mailing it [MTP].
Also, during this week, Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, directing him to make the above ten-dollar payment to Puss monthly, beginning with Oct. 1 [MTP].
September 21 Wednesday – In Kaltenleutgeben, Austria, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers that he was “finishing an article about the assassination of the Empress” Elisabeth of Austria (see Sept. 17 entry for long excerpt from “The Memorable Assassination.”) If Edward Bok rejected and returned “My Platonic Sweetheart” Sam would like for Katharine I. Harrison to offer Bok the assassination piece, which would be shorter and cheaper. Life was less stressful now in Vienna:
“This promises to be a quiet winter in Vienna, there will be no public balls nor court balls nor any other public carrying-on, but only private things; & even the private things will not begin till the season of full mourning is over. I am sorry for the cause, but this is all an advantage to me” [MTHHR 364].
Mental Telegraphy. Sept 21. Mrs. Clemens was pouring the coffee this morning; I unfolded the Neue Freie Press, began to read a paragraph, & said—
“They’ve found a new way to tell genuine gems from false—[”] “By the Röntgen ray!” she exclaimed.
That is what I was going to say. She had not seen the paper, & there had been no talk about the ray, or gems by herself or by me. It was a plan case of telegraphy [NB 40 TS 42].
September 22 Thursday – Lt. Colonel F.B. Bowyer-Lane of the Nimrod Club wrote to Sam, letter not extant but referred to in Sam’s Sept. 25 notebook entry [NB 40 TS 46].
September 23 Friday
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.