[MTHHR 497-8]. Note: Hill identifies these doctors as Drs. Allen and Putnam, who, “arrived, ministered, and departed. Dr. Hawkes’s name was recorded …” .
The telegraph from a Denver Post reporter (see in Aug. 13) reached Sam in the afternoon [Aug. 14 to Post].
August 14 Thursday – In York Harbor, Maine Sam replied to the Denver Post’s Aug. 12 telegraph.
Your telegram reached me (per post) from “York Village” (which is a short brickbat throw from my house) yesterday afternoon when it was 30 hours old. And yet, in my experience, that was not only abnormally quick work for telegraph company to do, but abnormally intelligent work for that kind of mummy to be whirling off out of its alleged mind.
Twenty-four hours earlier the Country club had notified me that a stranger in Portsmouth (a half hour from here) wished me to come to the club at 7.30 p. m., and call him up and talk upon a matter of business. I said: “Let him take the trolley and come over, if his business is worth the time and fare to him.” It was doubtless yourself—and not in Portsmouth, but in Denver. I was not thinking much about business at the time, for the reason at that a consultation of physicians was appointed for that hour (7.30) at my house to consider if it might be devised to save my wife’s life. At the present writing—Thursday afternoon—it is believe that she will recover.
When the watch was relived an hour ago and I left the sick chamber to take by respite I began to frame answers to your dispatch, but it was only to entertain myself, for I am aware that I am not privileged to speak freely in this matter, funny as the occasion is and dearly as I should like to laugh at it; and when I can’t speak freely, I don’t speak at all.
You see, there are two or three pointers:
First—Huck Finn was turned out of a New England library 17 years ago—ostensibly on account of its morals; really to curry favor with a parsonage. There has been no other instance until now.
Second—A few months ago I published an article which threw mud at that pinch-beck hero, Funston, and his extraordinary morals.
Third—Huck’s morals have stood the strain in Denver and in every English, German and French speaking community in the world—save one—for seventeen years until now.
Fourth—The strain breaks the connection now.
Fifth—In Denver alone.
Sixth—Funston commands there.
Seventh—and he has dependants and influence.
When one puts these things together the cat that is in the meal is disclosed—and quite unmistakably. Said cat consists of a few persons who wish to curry favor with Funston, and whom God has not dealt
kindly with in the matter of wisdom.
Everybody in Denver knows this, even the dead people in the cemeteries. It may be that Funston has withal enough to know that these good idiots are adding another howling absurdity to his funny history; it may be that God has charitably spared him that degree of penetration, slight as it is; in any case he is—as usual—a proper object of compassion, and the bowels of my sympathy are moved toward him.
There’s nobody for me to attack in this matter even with soft and gentle ridicule—and I shouldn’t ever think of using a grown-up weapon in this kind of a nursery. Above all, I couldn’t venture to attack the clergymen whom you mention for I have their habits and live in the same glass house which they are occupying. I am always reading immoral books on the sly and then selfishly to prevent other people from having the same wicked good time.
No, if Satan’s morals and Funston’s are preferable to Huck’s, let Huck’s take a back seat; they can stand any ordinary competition, but not a combination like that. And I’m going to defend them anyway [MTP]. Note: General Frederick Funston had been instrumental in removing HF from the Denver Public Library after Twain’s “The Defense of General Funston” ran in the N.A.R. for May.
Rogers sent a telegram to Sam:
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.