Vol 3 Section 0479

1900                                                                          427

with the German language. The remark, which was the sort of thing Mark Twain called a “text” gave him an opportunity for rebuttal. Sam’s speech may be found in Fatout, MT Speaking p.358-9.

Note: Mentioned are Prof. Caleb Thomas Winchester (1847 -1920) Rhetoric and English Literature at Wesleyan University; William Peterfield Trent (1862-1939), founder of Sewanee Review, prof. English Literature Columbia University (1900-29); Charles William Eliot (1834-1926) Harvard President (1869-1909).

After the dinner Katy Leary took a cab home. A fare dispute ensued leading to this article in the New York Times, Nov. 22, 1900, p1.


The Writer Makes Complaint at City Hall Against Cab Driver.

Mark Twain went to the City Hall yesterday [Nov. 21] and told a story similar to some tales in his “Innocents Abroad.” Mr. Clemens could see no joke in a New York cab driver overcharging a passenger and then becoming insolent.

“I am a patient and long-suffering citizen,” said the humorist.

Secretary Downes was at first tempted to regard the matter as a Twain joke. Mr. Clemens told in all seriousness how he took a cab after a dinner [sic; Katy was the aggrieved; see Nov. 23] at the Nineteenth Century Club to drive to his home in West Tenth Street. When the cab stopped, Mr. Clemens claimed that the cabman wanted an exorbitant fee. Payment was made under protest after Mr. Clemens demanded the number of the cab. As the nighthawk rounded into Fifth Avenue, Mr. Clemens claimed the man hurled abuse at him from his high perch. It was also found that the cabman had given the wrong number of his license. His right number, it appears, was 191. Mr. Clemens did not see Mayor Van Wyck. He stated his complaint to Mayor’s Marshall David Roche. An officer was sent out to find the offending nighthawk and a hearing will be held on the matter this morning.

A TIMES reporter called at Mr. Clemens’s residence, 14 West Tenth Street, and was informed that Mr.

Clemens would see no newspaper men and would make no statement about the incident.

Mr. Clemens’s stories of his adventures with hackmen abroad occupy many pages of his works.

[Note: Sam’s notebook: “Cab 191 (told me it was 395)—claimed $1.50 to bring maid from Gd Central to 14 W. 10. His real fare was probably 75c” [NB 43 TS 32].

November 21 WednesdayAt 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to Laurence Hutton in a playful style that bespoke of his mood.

Dear Laurence dam this paper I never saw such dam paper I had a delightful time at your house as you know & am thankful to you both for it & came home with a delightful companion Mr Palmer & found all happy & peaceful how good God is to us anyway though we do not think of this as much as we ought & I left my razor strop hanging in your bathroom & am skinning myself these days & having a most profane time & yelps & other noises & breaking of furniture send it along do & remember me warmly to Mr & Mrs Cleveland & Mrs Clemens to Mrs Cleveland & all Clemenses respects to you & love to Mrs Hutton which I shall see her Thursday at the Conspiracy amen


This letter to be mailed surreptitious. Too much editing don’t do no letter no good [MTP].

Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.

I find a lunch & a tea on my invoice for Sunday afternoon, but as you said I could come that night & billiardise with you & Rice, I’ll do it unless I hear from you more differently. If Saturday night “goes,” you don’t need to answer this [MTHHR 456]. Note: the source records Rogers’ “scrawled “All right” across the top of the letter” [n1].

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.