Vol 3 Section 0418
In reply to Howard Taylor’s request, wrote him he could let the Yankee be played once or twice for the Technological Institute for 40 per cent of the gross [NB 43 TS 12]. Note: Taylor not further identified.
In London, England Sam wrote to thank James MacArthur and to suggest two days he had
free, either Monday May 28 or Friday June 1 [MTP]. Note: MacArthur, editor, critic, and playwright, was born in Scotland, but lived most of his life in America. At this time he had just ended joint-editorship of The Bookman with Prof. Harry Thurston Peck of Columbia Univ. and was the foreign representative in London for Doubleday, Page & Co. He returned to the U.S. in 1901 where he was connected with Harper’s until his death. He was a member of Players’ Club and was at Sam’s 70th birthday dinner at Delmonico’s. See obit, N.Y. Times Feb. 12, 1909 p.13.
Sam also wrote to Howard Taylor, letter not extant but referred to in the NB entry for this date.
Sunday – Sam’s notebook: “
up the Thames? MS
of ‘The Death-Wafer[’] to Mr. Denny, (W.H.) Laira, Sheen Park, Richmond, Surrey. Telephone 2927 Gerrard. To be returned to me after
next Friday” [NB 43 TS 12].
In London, England Sam replied to William Dean Howells, whose incoming letter is lost. Howells was involved in a scheme to invite several authors to collaborate on a short novel for serial publication in American and English newspapers, and had evidently invited Sam to contribute.
I can’t venture to say yes, because the story is not written, & I dasn’t make promises, lest they fail to materialize. I began a story in Sweden last summer which I may possibly finish there this summer, but that won’t do to bank on—I am too uncertain a bird. I like the scheme—I like most new schemes—but I must wait & see how my literary cat jumps. I am under an agreement which would bar me, possibly, until I elect to dissolve it—which I can do when I please.
Mrs. Clemens is strongly inclined to put in a good deal of time gadding around over Sweden & Norway; if this happens—& I fully expect it—I shan’t spill much ink this summer.
We expect to sail for home about the 6th of October. Then we can talk [MTHL 2: 717]. Note: See source
n.1 for the full story on the collaboration scheme, which came to naught. Sam referred to his agreement with Harpers to publish all his future books. Sam’s notebook: “Wrote Howells I couldn’t promise a story for the new 25c book scheme. (MS must be furnished Jan. 1)” [NB 43 TS 13].
Sam also wrote to William A. Wilcot, clarifying a previous decline to speak. “Twichell will be able to talk for both of us, & he is young & doesn’t mind traveling” [MTP: Herman Darvick catalog, No. 39, Item 148]. Note: Wilcot not further identified.
May 28 Monday – In London, England Sam wrote to three- year-old Miss Margaret Carnegie (1897-1990), daughter of Andrew Carnegie, in a unique approach to get her father to buy stock in the Plasmon Syndicate of London, of which Sam was a director.
You are so little that you probably can’t remember so large a bulk as I am, but that is no matter, I remember you very well, & this is only a business letter, anyway.
My scheme is this—a kind of conspiracy, you to be head conspirator, partly on account of your inexperience, & partly on account of your influence with your father, which I judge is considerable.
Very well. When your mother is not around, give him five or six fingers of Scotch, & then talk. This will
mellow him up & enlarge his views, & before he solidifies again you will have him. That is to say, you will have
his cheque for £500, drawn to order of “Plasmon Syndicate, Ltd,” which you will send to me, & you & I will
be personally responsible that the money is back in his hands in 6 months, & along with it 500 shares in the
Plasmon Company, all paid up.
P.S. Don’t let your papa get hold of this—he’ll sell it for ten dollars [MTP]. Note: Margaret Carnegie Miller was the only child to Andrew and his second wife, Louise Whitfield Carnegie (1857-1946).
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.