Vol 3 Section 0613

1901                                                                            557

Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers that he had finished “The Double-Barrelled Detective Story” somewhere between 22 and 25,000 words. He planned to take Sunday off.

“There was a report last night that the President has been shot. But there are no newspapers, and no one knows whether it is true or not. It may be only talk; I will hope so” [MTHHR 470].

Edwin Wildman inscribed a copy of his book Aguinaldo: A Narrative of Filipino Ambitions (1901):

“Compliments of / Edwin Wildman / Spt 7 1901 / To / Samuel L. Clemens Esq” [Gribben 770].

Harper’s Weekly, ran Francis E. Leupp’s article “Mark Twain as Inventory,” p. 903. Tenney: “Describes

patents assigned to MT for a buckle strap, self-pasting scrap-book, and history game” [35].

September 8 SundayIn Saranac Lake, N.Y. Sam wrote a short note to Frank Bliss, still haunted by the possibilities of a book on Lynching in the U.S. “After October 20 (we shall be settled at housekeeping by that time…) I want to talk with you about it.” On the lower left corner of the letter he added: “I wonder if George Kennan wouldn’t collaborate with me?” [MTP]. Note: editorial emphasis.

Sam also wrote to Miss Effie McCoy in Elsinore, Calif.: “Private. / Satan. / Very truly yours/ M.T.” [MTP].

Sam also replied to Joe Twichell’s Sept. 5 letter:

“Ah me, I reckon we’ve got to stick to New York until Jean’s doctors give us leave to quit. The Hartford house, with repairs, taxes, &c., has cost us $16,000 in the past ten years—a burden which we’ve got to gon on carrying yet a while; how long, we can’t guess.”

News of the shooting of McKinley had arrived, but Sam doubted it was serious. He thought Joe might be surprised with his prompt reply—it was because he was taking a day off and had just “ended a 6-day tour de fource,” which he thought was “upwards of two weeks’ work in one.” At 25,000 words the story would pay a third of one year’s expenses, “including those tiresome Hartford costs.” Sam confessed “The Double-Barrelled Detective Story” began as a seed “many years ago, when you sent me to bed with the book of a new author, not heard of by me until then—Sherlock Holmes” (Arthur Conan Doyle 1859-1930; see Gribben 201-2). Their plans were to leave Saranac Lake for Elmira on Sept. 19 and stay until Sept. 26 then leave for N.Y.C., then move to their new place at Riverdale on the Hudson on Oct. 1 [MTP]. Note: Baetzhold argues that the “seed story” Sam read at Twichell’s was Doyle’s, A Study in Scarlet 1887 [Gribben 201].

Sam also wrote to an unidentified man: “I wish the report were correct, but it isn’t. I have been near Lexington,

but was never in it” [MTP: James Lowe Autographs catalogs, No. 32, Item 26].

Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore relating their immediate travel plans. He prefaced those with:

“Pay no further attention to Miss Nickerson; I won’t read her MS., nor answer her letters. / I’m shipping you autographs” [MTP]. Note: this is the first mention that the family planned to stay at the Grosvenor Hotel, N.Y.C. for a few days upon return from Elmira.

Sam also wrote to James B. Pond.

You “may” be at Lake Placid yesterday & to-day. Probably wasn’t. We are sorry you didn’t come here— particularly to-day, when we are all at home. Yesterday the tribe were all away all day, on an engagement ten or fifteen miles from here. But I was at home rushing a mag. article to a finish. I hid—& worked. There were many calls, but I didn’t answer the knocks. I judged that if you came you would shout, & I would recognize your trumpet.

I finished my work at 5, & was ready for callers then, but they didn’t come.

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