Sanna, Rosendale, Sweden, July 18, ’98 . Jean has taken a week of Kellgren’s Movement Cure & the improvement is so astonishing that we hardly venture to talk together about it lest it presently turn out to be only a transient flurry with nothing substantial about it. For two years, now, she has been obliged to take from one to three doses of bromide daily to conquer the daily absent-mindedness. With her first treatment here she left off the bromide, & meantime has been absent-minded only twice, instead of 15 or 20 times, as formerly. Kellgren says bad attacks are in store, but that she must weather them without resorting to drugs [NB 40 TS 57-8].
July 19 Wednesday – Joe Twichell wrote to Livy, this day or the next, July 20 [MTP].
July 20 Thursday – Sam’s notebook:
5 p.m. 20th. Jean fell in a spasm striking her head on the slop jar. A bad convulsion; she lay as if dead—face purple & no light in the eyes. I ran & brought Harry; his father soon followed. They are working at her now. She is better [NB 40 TS 58].
Percy Spalding wrote to Sam, advising the rooms viewed by Livy at the Queen Anne Mansions had been taken, and enclosing a note from the manager there. He began with two books he was sending: “In reply to your letter I am sending you two of Clark Russell’s sea stories, ‘Wide Wide Sea’ & ‘Convict Ship,’ both of which I think you will like” [MTP; Gribben 596]. Note: William Clark Russell (1844-1911). Alone on a Wide Wide Sea: A Novel. 3 vols. (1892); The Convict Ship 3 vols. (1895); both by Chatto & Windus.
Dr. Henry Walker wrote from Oklahoma City replying to Sam’s thanks of June 24.
Dear Friend—Surely the word is not now far fetched—I have your letter and adjectives do not come up to the occasion. I did not bid for it, hardly expected it, yet, to be honest, hoped for it, after the truth concerning Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling was sent to you out of Oklahoma. My children and their children will read it after the things which I prophesied shall come to pass… [MTP]. Note: Walker had argued that Mark Twain was the greatest writer of the day; see the June 24 letter in a NY Times article of Sept. 9.
The Buffalo Express ran an interview of Mark Twain by Curtis Brown, titled “Mark Twain Talks,” p.1.
It would be reprinted in the Elmira Gazette and Free Press on Aug. 2 [MTCI 340-45].
July 21 Friday – Robert G. Ingersoll died in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. of congestive heart failure, age 65. Sam admired Ingersoll, called the “Great Agnostic” for views Sam couldn’t publicly take himself. Audio recordings Ingersoll made at Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory survive and are accessible online. See Sam’s letter of Nov. 12 to Eva L. Farrell, Ingersoll’s niece. Also, Schwartz’s May 1976 article, “Mark Twain and Robert Ingersoll: The Freethought Connection” in American Literature Vol. 48, No. 2, p. 183-93
July 22 Saturday
July 23 Sunday – In Sanna, Sweden Sam replied to Richard Watson Gilder (incoming not extant). Sam praised the cure they’d been taking—“it takes all the old age out of you & sends you for the feeling like a bottle of champagne that’s just been uncorked” [MTP].
Livy replied to Percy Spalding’s July 20 letter, thanking him for all that he did for them. She wrote three paragraphs—the first about storage fees for their baggage, the second her feeling the Queen Anne Mansions people had not treated them “quite fairly” by not reserving the suite she wanted, and the third
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.