Joe Twichell wrote to Sam from Hewitt Lake, Minerva, N.Y. In part:
Here I am at Dean Sage’s. Dean Sage’s lodge, about twenty five miles south by east of you, and if the aerial motor were out of embryo and full-born as I have no doubt it will be in the event, I would rail over and spend the forenoon with you instead of writing.
Harmony, who reached home a week ago—I left her en route at Albany to come up here—has sent me your last note [Aug. 28] about Phillips Brooks &c. I think what sours your milk on that memoir is the preposterous and irritating physique of the second volume. I confess it nearly took a like effect on me; but P.B. had long been one of my heroes and I stood the strain.
But the rest of your milk is also pretty sour it seems to me, old fellow. Really you are getting quite orthodox—on the doctrine of Total Human Depravity anyway. And as a Protestant (in the original, literal sense) you surely hold the belt. But I didn’t set out to dose you with flatteries. I only want to say again that I appreciate painfully how unlucky beyond measure I was that I couldn’t join you on that yachting trip.
Joe bemoaned that the Clemenses might not return to Hartford for two more years. He extolled the virtues of Dean’s place and the solitude it offered. He described his daughter (also named Harmony) and her nursing career. He closed with this:
I found here when I came two sons of Mr. Pres. Roosevelt; Theodore, Junior, 13 years old and Kermit 11 years old, nice well-mannered lads both. The V.P. himself and his wife are expected next Sunday. But I’m not going to stay to see them, though I would like to. I leave Saturday, stay with Will Sage at Albany over Sunday and hasten on to Hartford Monday. Dave is home and I’d rather see him than your admired McKinley even. From what Dean says I think that Wendell Garrison of “the Nation” is a man you would enjoy meeting. Your view of the American and English nations is roseate and optimistic compared with his, by Dean’s account. Spain alone has any worth or virtues in his eyes.
But good-bye for now, you blessed old misanthrope. I persist in loving you and shall to the end of the chapter, I guess. With kisses to Livy and the girls… [MTP].
September 6 Friday – In Saranac Lake, N.Y. Sam wrote, forwarding Joe Twichell’s Sept. 5 to H.H.
Rogers: “From Twichell. Needn’t return it, Mr. Rogers; —don’t need it. Waste-basket it” [MTP; not in MTHHR].
Sam also finished his Aug. 29 to Rogers, having been sidetracked by the writing of “The Double-Barrelled Detective Story,” which would run in Jan.-Feb. 1902 Harper’s Monthly.
Sept. 6. I broke off, there, Aug. 29, because I happened upon a text for a story. Up to yesterday evening I had written 104 pages like this upon it; an average of 18 pages a day—20,000 words altogether—magazinable at 20 cents a word. Am getting wealthy. I have been revising & correcting all day, & shall add a final chapter to-morrow, then take a rest.
Sam also suggested a parody of Samuel Woodworth’s (1785-1842) old poem, which would begin, “The old broken Mugwump, / The iron-bound Mugwump,” and asked Rogers, “Do you remember the words of the
Old Oaken Bucket?” [MTP].
President William McKinley was shot; he
would he would die Sept. 14, 1901
September 7 Saturday – In Saranac Lake, N.Y. while Sam worked to finish “The Double-Barrelled Detective Story,” the rest of the Clemens family was “away all day, on an engagement ten or fifteen miles from here” (unspecified) [Sept. 8 to Pond].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.