I have your letter of Dec 31st regarding “The Death Disk”, and I will draw Sir Henry Irving’s attention to it, and in the meanwhile will see Mr. Lancaster, who has applied to you. [She was] very much mystified regarding Mr. Dillingham’s position in the “Tom Sawyer” business. He came to my office and said most distinctly that he was sure there would be no difficulty in my arranging the matter with Mr. Frohman, that most naturally you need a representative in New York, that all it would require was a letter of authority from you, that Mr. Frohman would then pay over the check, etc. etc. [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “Who is my agent? Inquiry & answer. / Jan. 6/02”
January 5 Sunday – Sam’s notebook:
Diving for mussels—found a great pearl in one, got it yet—quarrel. Huck: “they eat ‘em guts & all!” Work it in. & in “50 Years Later.” That cheat of a wood-cutter who cut the cat’s tail off.
Chipping old mortar from bricks at so much a brick [NB 45 TS 2]. Note: story ideas for putting Huck & Tom back in Hannibal 50 years later—a story never finished. Hill claims the MS “is one of the very few that, in his entire life, Mark Twain actually may have destroyed” .
January 6 Monday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Virginia F. Boyle, “Poet Laureate of the Confederacy” that he was unable to thank her in verse but “in the heartiest of prose” did so [MTP]. Note: see Feb. 14, 1901.
Sam also replied to the Jan. 4 of Elisabeth Marbury , confused about a claim by Charles Bancroft Dillingham versus Marbury’s supremacy in a matter of a commission for an unspecified dramatization. He had acknowledged that Dillingham’s claim was sound, then conceded Marbury’s power of attorney superceded Dillingham’s claim, even though Dillingham had collected the money and sent it without any bill for commission.
“Pray examine it [her power of attorney] & tell me. I certainly owe a commission to one of you; & the first thing I know I’ll find I owe it to you both. It can grieve me, but not surprise me, for my business methods are my own invention, & they result like that sometimes” [MTP]. Note: see July 1, 1897 for more on Dillingham.
The Independent Fire Co. & its shiny clothes & engine.
Ed Buchanan plays Roman soldier in tin armour in St. Louis.
The mesmerist—chase nigger with pistol—describe Dr. Grant’s house—[NB 45 TS 2]. Note: story ideas or ideas for his Auto.
January 7 Tuesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Brander Matthews: “There’s not a blamed thing in
the way, except I’m mortgaged for a lunch already, on that day” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Francis H. Skrine in London:
“Although the Sir William biography, through the (possibly criminal) neglect of your publishers continues to not arrive, that doesn’t prevent these Clemenses from shouting Happy New Year in this most cordial voice across the Atlantic to those well-beloved Skrines.”
On the reverse side Sam wrote “Not to be read when Mrs. Skrine is around.” He then wrote of his shock in learning that Rudyard Kipling had called for conscription, and satirized a verse from Kipling’s “Absent-Minded Beggar.” Sam wrote, “Why, why, why! Has Kipling gone to satirizing Kipling?” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.