I can’t. If I were a well man I could explain, with this pencil, but in the cir——ces I will leave it to your imagination.
Was it Goody who killed himself trying to do all the dining & speeching?
No, old man, no-no! [MTP].
Note: though Twain headed this “Wednesday” it has been catalogued by the MTP as ca. Dec. 11 (Tuesday.) It seems to fit with Sam’s other note to Stedman written on Dec. 12, so it is hereby placed.
December 13 Thursday – At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote one line on a postcard to Augustus T. Gurlitz, a N.Y. attorney he considered hiring: “What would it cost?—definitely” [MTP]. Note: Sam wanted to bring suit against Chicago publisher Butler Brothers for issuing an unauthorized edition of the “Library of Wit and Humor by Mark Twain.”
Sam’s notebook: “Aldrich, Boston?” [NB 43 TS 31].
December 14 Friday – At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to Irving Bacheller.
The book has this moment arrived—just as I have finished my day’s mail & profanity. I have written 38 letters to-day (as usual, when it isn’t 48)–without help—& this one’s the very first that I find pleasure in writing [and the only one extant]. A thousand thanks: I have longed for the book, my odious labors are done, I will curse out the remnant of blasphemy left in stock, & then stretch out, with pipe, & have a good time! [MTP]. Note: See Dec. 5 for Bacheller’s inscription and the book Eben Holden; A Tale of the North Country; see Vol. II for entries on Bacheller.
William Dean Howells wrote to Sam: “Yes, I will go with you Sunday afternoon. Drop in here, and I will be
ready” [MTHL 2: 725]. Note: the source puts the purpose and place of the proposed excursion as unknown.
Sam’s notebook: “Gilder’s—evening” [NB 43 TS 31].
Chatto & Windus’ Jan. 1, 1904 statement to Clemens shows 1,000 2s.0d. copies of LM were printed, for a total printed to date of 20,000 [1904 Financials file MTP].
December 15 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “N.E. Dinner?” [NB 43 TS 31].
Harper’s Weekly featured a cover portrait of Mark Twain by the renowned English artist William Nicholson. No text was given. See insert.
This issue also contained an article written by William Dean Howells:” The Surprise Party to Mark Twain.” This was a double-page picture where the characters from Twain’s books talked back to him and to Howells, with Twain making a running commentary. Howell’s joke was that he wrote the entire piece, including the parts ascribed to Twain [MTHL 2: 726; Tenney 33]. A short editorial praised Twain “for his humor, for his integrity, for the glorious example he has
set, for his philosophy, his kindness of heart, and his gentleness of manners, but, above all…the incarnation of all the virtues of civic life” [Tenney 31].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.