The New York Times, p. BR 13, “The King of Liars,” quoted from a series of interviews made by John Kendrick Bangs, “purported to be received over the telephone from Baron Munchausen,” and which included this dittie by Mark Twain:
“Let sleeping dogs lie, but if you want it well done it’s better to get a newspaper to do it.”
January 26 Sunday
January 27 Monday – The Clemenses had planned to return to Riverdale by this day, and in his Jan. 29 to Wood, Sam wrote he “just returned.” Given his evening talk in N.Y.C. on Jan. 28, it’s not likely he spoke on a travel day, so this is the likeliest day for their return.
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote for Sam to Mrs. A.W. Smith of Middletown, Conn. Only the envelope survives [MTP].
Frank Fuller wrote a long letter to Sam extolling the virtues of Gluten Soap, and asking for a testimonial on it [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “Declined, by telegram, Jan. 29/02.”
January 28 Tuesday – In the evening in N.Y.C. Sam spoke to John D. Rockefeller’s young men’s Bible class. He’d been invited on Dec. 10, 1901. The New York Times, p. 9 reported on the event.
MR. ROCKEFELLER’S CLASS.
Bible Students Addressed by Mark
Twain and Robert C. Ogden.
The young men’s Bible class of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, of which John D. Rockefeller, Jr., is the leader, listened to a speech by Robert C. Ogden, and another by Mark Twain at the regular monthly meeting of the class last evening.
Mark Twain attempted to teach the class how to reach a person of great eminence, an Emperor, for instance. At 9:20 he stopped short and informed the young men that he would have to go.
“I’m a farmer now,” he said. “Not a very good farmer yet, but a farmer just the same. So I’ll have to go now to be up early in the morning to take care of my crop. I don’t know yet what the crop will be, but I think from present indications it will be icicles.”
The Rev. Dr. Rufus P. Johnston, pastor of the church, also spoke. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was present, but took no part in the exercises.
Sam’s notebook cites a reception after the class: “Leave 7.27; arrive 7.55. Mr. Rockefeller will meet me. Read. (2 stories.) Afterward, to Abbey reception. Louis Tiffany’s, 27 East 72d St.” [NB 45 TS 3]. Note: Edwin Austin Abbey, artist and master illustrator.
January 29 Wednesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam replied to the Jan. 19 of Alletta F. Dean: “Don’t you give away that oesophagus away again, or I’ll never trust you with another privacy!” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to attorney Augustus T. Gurlitz, about the trial against Butler Brothers. “…don’t put the matter before me till a day before the trial—I should forget every detail, otherwise” [MTP: Sotheby’s catalogs, Dec. 11, 1990, Item 384].
Sam also wrote a “private” note to Franklin G. Whitmore about coming to Hartford.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.