Frank, you know I can’t keep reports out of the newspapers—no man can. I am always writing books (portions of books); but I am not “making the effort of my life,” & I am not finishing any book. And I am not expecting to, very soon.
By & by there will be matter enough for a volume of Sketches—say by next summer—if it goes to Harper, tell me how soon thereafter you would want it for the Uniform, so I can take care of that feature.
You couldn’t run a volume of Sketches by subscription, could you? [MTP].
Harper & Brothers cabled Sam (cable not extant) offering $2500 for “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” and his account of the “Wreck of the Hornet.” It was $500 less altogether than Sam wanted, and he would telegram that on Dec. 12 [Dec. 11 to Rogers].
National Transit, N.Y. wrote to Sam; only the envelope survives, upon which Sam wrote several calculations of figures [MTP].
December 11 Sunday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam added to his Dec. 8 to H.H.
I worked yesterday & day before, & am in trim this morning to continue.
I have had two letters [not extant] from Bliss since you signed the contract [Nov. 11], but they contain not a whimper of dissatisfaction with the bargain—seems only to be delighted to be footloose & free to get to work on the Uniform. I couldn’t give the books to him 3 years ago, now he is glad to get them on my hard terms. It’s the same old human nature; Adam was the original Bliss; if God had told him to help himself, the crop would have rotted on the trees; but as soon as He loaded the apples up with extra-territorial royalties & other wanton exactions & obstructions, Adam was bound to sample the orchard if it cost him his shirt-tail. Bliss is happy, now, & I am too.
He isn’t so well satisfied with that $1000 McClure-article matter, but I have written him the kind of soft letter which turns away sorrow & leaves a check the same size it was before. …
There is a letter this moment [not extant] from Miss Harrison in which she says Cheiro is coming to New York by & by. I wish you would see him personally when he comes, & get him to reduce the time-limit on that fortune of mine. If he can pull it down to next year I am willing to take 15 per cent & leave the rest to you & him [MTHHR 380]. Note: see note Dec. 10 to Rogers for Cheiro reference.
December 12 Monday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam added to his Dec. 8 and 11 to
Rogers. Sam made only a date entry for this day in the letter, as if interrupted [MTHHR 380].
Sam also cabled Harper & Brothers: “LACKS 500” [MTP]. Note: See Dec. 10 entry.
December 13 Tuesday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam finished his Dec. 8 and 11 letter to H.H. Rogers.
Mrs. Clemens wouldn’t let me charge the Harpers a fair price, so I cabled them that ther offer “lacks $500.” I would have made it double that. And she says the cablegram was from you, not the Harpers. Women are full of superstitions, & don’t know anything.
Did the Harpers pay you the $500 they “allowed” me for the Jew article? They didn’t send it here.
I think—but am not quite sure—that Dr. [the rest of the letter is missing] [MTHHR 380].
Sam also began a letter to Richard Watson Gilder, which he PS’d on Dec. 15:
I have given Prince Lubormirsky my card with your name on it (‘introducing, etc.) I do not know him well (merely daily for a week) but he is brought to me by his friend (& mine) Count Coudenhove, & that to me is quite ample endorsement. ….
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.