Ask him to say what he will give and put it in writing on the spot and irrevocably—option for 30 days.
I will not tell you the other man’s offer until then & then I will tell you my reason.
If New offers to sell, say you have no instructions under that head but you will bring it to me if he will put it in writing and make it binding for 30 days
[MTP; MTHHR 466n4].
Sam also wrote to William James Lampton (d.1917):
Dear Lampton: / Will you allow me to say that I like those poems of yours very much? Especially the one which so vividly pictures the response of our young fellows when they were summoned to strike down an oppressor and set his victim free. Write a companion to it and show us how the young fellows respond when invited by the Government to go out to the Philippines on a land-stealing and liberty-crucifying crusade. I notice that they swarm to the recruiting office at the rate of 300 a month, out of an enthusiastic population of 75,000,000 free men; and that no American-born person can pronounce their names without damage to his jaw, or spell them without a foreign education/ /Sincerely Yours, / Mark Twain [MTP: Army and Navy Journal Mar. 23, 1901; also the NY Times Mar. 24, 1901, p 22]. Note: Lampton was a newspaper man—had been with the Steubenville Herald, Cincinnati Times, Louisville Courier Journal, Detroit Free Press, and others. He often published verses in NY papers.
Sam also wrote to the Ohio Society.
To the Ohio Society, Greeting. / I have at this moment received a very kind invitation (eleven days old) from Mr. Southard, president, and a like one (ten days old) from Mr. Bryant, president of the Press Club. I thank the Society cordially for the compliment of the invitations, although I am booked elsewhere and cannot come. But, oh! I should like to know the name of the lightning express by which they were forwarded, for I owe a friend a dozen chickens. I believe it will be cheaper to send eggs instead, and let them develop on the road. / Sincerely yours, / Mark Twain [MTP: James H. Kennedy (and others) History of the Ohio Society of New York, 1906]. Note: neither invitation is extant; if either surfaces, it would then date this letter to an exact day in March.
Hill offers another account of Livy, this time with Sam, attempting to “contact” their dead daughter Susy:
“…in March 1901, both parents consulted a Mrs. Koller, and the spiritualist’s failure to reach Susy was emblematic of the family’s failure to recover the equilibrium and security of the years she symbolized” .
The Cornhill Booklet a Boston publication by Alfred Bartlett, ran an issue vol. 1, no. 9, containing Mark Twain’s “English as She is Instructed,” with “A Prayer” by Robert Louis Stevenson’. 32 pages [For sale by Waiting for Godot Books, Hadley Mass. as of Sept. 17, 2010]. Note: not in Tenney.
March 1 Friday – Sam’s notebook: “Dinner at Eno’s 8” [NB 44 TS 6].
E. Vauluf of St. Augustine, Fla. wrote to Sam, “all honor to you for standing by them” (the Boers) [MTP].
March 2 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “
Feb. 23. All
right—this is the date. But the hour is 6.30” [NB 44 TS
6]. Fatout lists this dinner speech by Mark Twain at the University City Club, but offers no
text or particulars [MT
The New York Times, p BR 14, ran this squib:
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.