You seem to think it odd that you don’t hear from me except through the newspapers. But I judge you know whose fault that is. Nobody keeps up a jug-handle correspondence.
We are perfectly comfortable, now. Not 20 people know we are in England, they keep it quiet. We are laying for a secluded good time, & shall succeed. I work 7 days in the week [MTP]. Note: This latter paragraph would confirm Sam did not attend the banquet for Benjamin Harrison on the previous evening, though invited. See Oct. 21.
Sometime before Oct. 27 when Pamela Moffett wrote to her son Samuel E. Moffett, Sam wrote to Mollie Clemens that they’d arrived safely in England but could not return to the U.S. until Jean was cured [MTP; referred to in Pamela’s letter].
October 27 Friday – Samuel S. McClure wrote from N.Y. to Sam that he’d cabled his brother in London to see if they couldn’t get some articles and stories from Mark Twain for their magazine—“That seems to be the only important magazine that does not get struck by your lightning; you are in Harper’s and the Century, and even in the Cosmopolitan, but you are not with us” [MTP]. Note: every significant editor seemed to notice the unauthorized piece that Bliss had given Cosmopolitan.
October 28 Saturday – Sam drafted “My First Lie and How I Got Out of It,” which would run in the Sunday supplement of the N.Y. World of Dec. 10, 1899 [Oct. 30 to Alden; Budd, Collected 2: 1005]. Note: On Dec. 20, 1901 Frederick A. Duneka of the World wrote to Sam and mentioned that the subject for this “First Lie” piece “having been suggested by myself through Mr Tuohy in London in ’99.”
October 29 Sunday
October 30 Monday – In London, England, Sam replied to Henry M. Alden, whose incoming letter is possibly that of Oct. 12. Alden had enclosed letters showing good relations between Harpers and Frank Bliss, which gratified Sam. Alden evidently asked for any unpublished work Sam still had; Sam replied that only two short unpublished pieces remained—“Great Republic’s Peanut Stand,” which Alden already had, and two short chapters in Sam’s planned book on Christian Science. Also,
The N.Y. World asked for a sketch of 2,000 words on Lying, for $500, and I wrote it the day before yesterday, and if I still like it after examining it in type-copy tomorrow, I will let them have it. I think it will be 3,000 words before I get done fussing at it and injecting nonsense. Maybe the World may object to letting it go in the book; I don’t know; I have never written anything for the World before, except a cablegram [MTP].
Note: Sam wrote the piece on Queen Victoria’s Jubilee for the NY World. Harpers was trying to fill out another volume for the Uniform Edition. Sam included a list of his writings and a PS after his signature; he asked that “advance sheets of the proposed volume of Sketches” be sent to Samuel McClure “so that he can hand them to Chatto in time for simultaning.”
Sam also wrote to Douglas B. Sladen declining an invitation: “I am leading a hermit life, & working like a pile-driver. I go nowhere except to places where I shan’t meet people. It’s the only way to keep one’s interest from flying the track on a long steady literary pull” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to James M. Tuohy of the New York World about his article “My First Lie and How I Got Out of It.”
It is finished, & tomorrow I will read it over & see if I want to make any alterations.
It makes 3,200 words & upwards.
But now that I come to read your letter in an unhasty way (I was in my shirt before & your messenger was waiting,) I find that the offer is £100. But my basis was $500. I don’t mind a mistake of 5 or 6 percent,
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.