Joseph C. Bridges of York Harbor Maine wrote to Sam: “I am very glad to confirm my telegram to you that it is all right about the cottage in the Pines. I talked with Mr. Blake [Boston atty.] this morning and he is today sending the leases to Mr. Bispham the executor, for signature…We are all much pleased and very glad to count you among the summer colony. Mrs. Knight Cheney was delighted to hear that you were thinking of York also Mrs. Barney who was here last week” [MTP].
Mary Geary for Elisabeth Marbury wrote from N.Y.C. to Sam, reporting that Miss Blanche E. Weekes had sent a MS for a P&P play and they were reading it. Also, “a Mr. Ford of the Children’s Theatre here has been making a dramatization of” TS. He was told to first submit a MS. “He says he has written to you” [MTP]. Note: A.H. Ford had previously sent Sam tickets for performances.
George W. Reeves for Hoyt & Co. wrote to Sam of progress on the marketing of the Hartford home. Whitmore had seen state senator Henry Roberts who offered $35,000 but Whitmore thought he could get $40,000. Reeves enclosed the receipted bill to Livy from the Guaranty Trust Company, marked paid on May 13, for $289.50 [MTP]. Note: Henry Roberts (1853-1929), of Hartford, in 1901 President pro tem., of the Conn. state senate.
Percy L. Parker of the Daily Mail, London wrote to Sam. “You were kind enough a little while ago to revise for the ‘Daily Mail Year Book’ a little biographical paragraph and I was very glad to make the amendments you suggested with regard to the missionary controversy.” Parker then asked for three short articles for the paper, each about 1,200 words, and offered fifteen guineas each [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “15 guineas for 3,600 words. My land, but this is riches! / 15 guineas for 300 guineas’ worth of work.”
May 15 Thursday – Sam’s notebook entry lists ideas for the “50 years after” tale, never finished [NB 45 TS 13].
Hill claims the MS “is one of the very few that, in his entire life, Mark Twain actually may have destroyed” .
Livy’s diary: “Mark McGinnis & Mr Borce, took tea with us” [MTP: DV161].
May 16 Friday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam replied to his old Nevada friend, William R. Gillis, whose incoming letter is not extant:
Dear old Unreconstructible!
It isn’t your ghost, but yourself, in the flesh—I recognize the signs. Didn’t I say true? “So far as I knew,” those three were the only intimates of mine left alive out there. How should I imagine that you & Jim & Steve could still be above ground when I haven’t had a line from any of you for ages? You are all old, & ought to be mouldy, too—why are you lingering? what is your pretext? My own time will shortly expire, by the statute of limitations; yet I was a mere lad when I superintended—nightly—the full-grown disturbances invented by you three for the discomfort of the police. Jim Gillis is all of 95, & you & Steve are not much behind him. Retire, retire! leave the obituaries to me. You know I will not put in them anything you would wish unsaid.
Meanwhile, meet me half way. Come east as far as Columbia, Missouri, you three, & strike hands with me there the 4th of June; otherwise we shall not meet again on this side of the grave—& certainly not on the other side: I know it by the spirit of unreform detectible in your letter.
With my love & blessing. … [MTP].
Sam also replied to Joe Goodman, whose incoming letter is not extant. Sam wrote of seeing John Mackay several times since the “old days,” and being invited to Mackay’s home twice within the last year, the last time (see May 21, 1901 NB entry) Mackay claimed he had Sam’s note for $5,000 (relating to the Paige typesetter investments). Sam was “astonished” but asked for a copy of the note, which never came. “I believe his memory had played him a trick, & that he really thought I owed him the money, & that he had once had such a note & had mislaid it.” He retold the scheme of Senator John P. Jones, and of his repaying the debts:
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.