Sam also wrote to Edward W. Ordway, secretary of the Anti-Imperialist League.
“I am very much obliged for a glance at the letters, and vastly gratified to find that there’s a multitude of sane people in the Republican party yet, & in the rest of the nation. The letters say a lot of good things, & say them well, too” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “L. to Balto” [NB 44 TS 9]. Note: Livy went to Baltimore, returning on May 3, probably to visit friends there. See May 2 to Hutton.
Laurence Hutton sent a telegram to Sam, not extant but referred to in his May 2 reply below.
May 2 Thursday – At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to W.L. Howard, thanking for the invitation but declining as he was no longer in the lecture field. After his signature he added, “If I were not permanently tired of travel, I would make that trip; but I hope I have made my last journey” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton.
This telegram came yesterday evening. Explain it to me; I have not answered it, as I didn’t know how. If it is political, it is inviting Satan to join the Church—for I am a mugwump.
Of course, at bottom, I smell a jest in it. Sad experience has made me chary of mysterious telegrams; telegrams which do not explain themselves; telegrams which are sparing of details. It is a cold week when I do not get one from somewhere or other. I used to answer them.
Tell me about it. I do not want to offend; but I am a burnt child, & I do not take as many chances as I used to did. (Used to done, I mean.)
Madam’s gone to Baltimore on a visit.
The mice are at play [MTP].
Note: this catalogued as “after 16 October 1900,” but Livy was in New York shortly after the family’s return in 1900 and not likely to take such a trip so soon after the voyage; moreover, she stayed at the Earlington Hotel during Sam’s trip to Hartford for the funeral of Charles Dudley Warner shortly after their return in 1900. 1901 however, seems to be a better fit, but there is no record of her making such a trip “after Oct. 16,” in1901 either. See NB entries for May 1 and May 3 , which puts her trip, and thus this letter, dated only “Thursday” to this date, as well as a letter from Livy to Harriet Whitmore, written from Baltimore on May 2. Hutton’s telegram is not extant.
May 3 Friday – Sam’s notebook—an appointment and a story idea?: “L. Returns. Harry Harper—3 p.m. | Death by an explosion foretold. Look sharp on a certain date. If you must go out, go straight ahead—turn to the right if you choose, but never to the left. He is headed off from the right once, by a steam fire engine & is chased down to the left. Believes the boiler will explode. At the right moment, dynamite, intended for another, falls at his feet & kills him” [NB 44 TS 9]. Note: Livy returned from Baltimore.
May 4 Saturday – At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to George B. Harvey. Clemens wanted to include his story “The Death Wafer” to the next volume by Bliss for his collected works. This was “a short story which I think a great deal of, and which I wish to print in the Xmas Harper.” Would it be acceptable for Bliss to print and bind the new volume between now and Christmas, “provided he did not issue a copy before the Xmas Harper was out?” [MTP].
Note: on Dec. 21, 1899 to Harrison, Sam wrote he’d just finished “The Death Disk,” later named “The Death Wafer,” which first ran in the Dec. issue of Harper’s, 1901. In 1883 Sam wrote a reaction in his notebook to Thomas Carlyle’s Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches; on Dec. 20, 1883 he wrote to William Dean Howells about the incident he’d read again in his notebook and a possible closing scene he’d written for it; he encouraged Howells, “let’s do a tragedy, & do it well” [MTNJ 3: 14 & n24]. Wilson writes: “Almost immediately Mark
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.