She has sat up another 20 minutes to-day, & is thin & has lost color—much more than I thought for—in fact I was astonished, for these things are not so apparent when she is in bed. But all the same she is improving immensely [MTHHR 503-4].
September 4 Thursday – In York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to Eleanor V. Hutton (Mrs. Laurence Hutton).
Didn’t I answer your kind letter? I am afraid not, as I find it mixed-up in the long accumulation. Mails get neglected these days,—since Aug. 11.
Yesterday & to-day, however, I have been hard at it; for Mrs. Clemens has sat up in a chair a moment, both days, & is going to get well [MTP].
Sam’s notebook “About this time we were offered $50,000 in 5% bonds of a far-off RR. Had to decline because Mr. Rogers thought them doubtful” [NB 45 TS 25]. Note: Sidney A. Witherbee had made an offer for the sale of the Clemens’ Hartford house with doubtful securities.
September 5 Friday – Sam’s notebook “Last year, this month, I wrote that short story in 7 consecutive days— 22,000 words, $4,400. My average is only 10,000 words a week” [NB 45 TS 25]. Note: “The Double-Barrelled Detective Story.”
September 6 Saturday – In York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to John Y. MacAlister, thinking Livy would be able to travel within a fortnight.
She is slowly recovering from an alarming illness which struck her Aug. 11., & which continued to be alarming, by fits & starts, until 3 or 4 days ago; then we discharged the night-doctor & retained only the day-one. She sits up ina chair now, 10 minutes at a time, twice a day.
We hope to start about the 20th, & go to Elmira, N.Y., & rest there on the hill-top several weeks; but I shall go down to New York for a couple of days in October, to be elected a Director of the Plasmon Co. It is to be organized, then, & Bergheim is coming over to help choose a Director to represent the London Co.
After a long discussion of his cure for “itching piles” (hemorrhoids) Sam talked of his writing:
As concerns a brief article for Lloyd’s [Weekly]. I’ve only one in stock, (705 words) & shan’t be writing another one this year. This one will go into Harper’s Weekly the week before my 67th birthday, which will turn up—as in previous years—Nov. 30.
The Harper’s pay me the same rate per word (20 cents) whether they’re a hundred words long or a hundred & fifty thousand, & whether the matter be preaching or funning. But outside Harper’s I have only one price for a short article, whether it be 500 words or twice as many: to-wit, $500. I’ve gone outside only once. It was to square-off an old half-promise. Now if I should sell this 705 words to Lloyd’s there would be only one price—100 guineas—they to agree to not print it earlier than Nov.20. But if you will sell it to them for that or for any other sum you please & pay your passage with it in one of those delightful Atlantic Transport ships & run over to America & see me, good. Or you can give it to them if you’ll only come. Come—come—& conspire about that specific. On the other hand, you could sail in a Canadian ship & visit Budda, then railroad it down to New York.
If Jean doesn’t go boating &c to-day I will get her to type-write that little article—then I will mail it with
this [MTP]. Note: “Amended Obituaries” was the article Sam sent both to Lloyd’s Weekly and Harper’s.
Sam also wrote to Howard E. Wright of the Plasmon Co., N.Y.C.
I am glad to say that Mrs. Clemens is getting along steadily now, & is able to sit up 10 minutes at a time twice a day. We hope to be able to start to Elmira, N.Y. about Sept. 20, & possibly one or two days before.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.