Your last letters have been interesting “to a degree” (what an odd and absurd expression that is for a superlative, and yet I see writers of fame using it) but the feature of solar radiance in them is the news that you are coming home.
Joe revealed that Ward Cheney died in the Philippines on Jan. 7 as a result of wounds received in action; He would preside at his funeral the “latter part of the week.” He advised he was sending a medical journal of “disagreeable interest” on osteopathy. He was also sending Livy some photos of young Harmony, his daughter the nurse, and one of himself. He pasted two clippings from the Hartford Times on Henry C. Robinson’s mortal illness. Others had passed or were dying:
Your old neighbor Charles Smith was buried last Thursday; and your neighbor Fellows—a gentleman whom I greatly esteem, as I did Mr. Smith—is apparently soon to follow. So the world melts away around us.
By the way Milly Cheney Learned…gave me in South Manchester the other day an account of her little visit with you, which had evidently been a great pleasure to her and her husband. [MTP]. Note: no record of Milly’s visit with Sam was found, but Livy wrote to her on Feb. 25.
February 13 Tuesday – Sir Gilbert Parker (1862 -1932) wrote from London to Sam. “We have been so sorry to miss you this afternoon, a regret that owing to our electric bells having gone wrong your ring was evidently not heard.” Parker found Sam’s card after he’d left [MTP].
February 14 Wednesday – Henry C. Robinson, longtime friend of the Clemenses, and ex-mayor of Hartford, died at his home at 6 a.m. [Hartford Courant “Death of Mr. Robinson” Feb. 15, 1900 p.9]. Note: See Feb. 16 to Lucius Robinson; Mar. 30 to Whitmore.
Lucius Robinson cabled news of his father’s death. Cable not extant; referred to in Sam’s Feb. 16 reply.
John M. Hay wrote on State Department note paper to Sam.
There have been some newspaper paragraphs indicating that I “resented” your allusion to me in that most delightful article of yours in McClure “Our Boyhood Dreams.” As these idiotic paragraphs may have reached even you and as the inherent improbability of a lie is not always sufficient to take the poison from it, I write now to tell you I was moved and delighted…not only for its exquisite skill and delicacy of touch…but for its proof of your inveterate goodness and friendship towards me, which I assure you I hold as a most precious possession [MTP]. Note: “My Boyhood Dreams” was the title.
February 15 Thursday – Sam’s notebook: “In my father’s house are many flats” [NB 43 TS 5].
Jonas Henrick Kellgren Osteopath, billed £21.0.0 for the last half of February, Feb. 15, 1900 included, for Jean’s treatments [1900 Financial file MTP].
Patrascan wrote a long fan letter (in French) from Bacau, Romania to Sam [MTP].
Dorothy T. Stanley (Mrs. Henry M. Stanley) wrote from Whitehall SW London to Sam, after a crisis of gastric distress with her husband, and allowing Dr. Henrick Kellgren to treat him.
My dear Mr. Clemens—I think and Stanley thinks we have been Divinely guided…My Stanley had been oh so very ill! for a long drawn month. Two years ago he had this Gastralgia of the stomach and only just didn’t die— last year he was 4 months in bed—and I saw seven leading doctors. They none of them did any good—but somehow we battled through. This time I said—and Stanley said—“What will doctors do!—they are powerless to stop these fearful spasms”—so we did nothing. When the pain passed bearing, I injected hypodermically ½ a grain of Morphia—it only allayed the pain for a time, and invariably brought a distressing
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.