Vol 3 Section 0787

1902                                                                            729

There were days & days when she had to keep up her strength wholly on plasmon-&-water & plasmon-&-milk, but they produced belchings of gas constantly, an hour & more on a stretch. But there was no other food that she could digest at all, so she had to stick to the plasmon anyhow—& has done it straight through.

I thank you ever so much for your kind offer to come; but I couldn’t allow you for there was nothing that could be done [MTP].

Harper’s Weekly for Sept. 6 ran an anonymous article, “Huck Finn Tabooed by Denver Library,” p.1253. Tenney: “A brief note, concluding: ‘It sounds like a practical joke on the Denver library; but it is an offense against our national common-sense which ought to be quickly removed.” The same issue also contained an article by Roderic C. Penfield, “Mark Twain in His Country Home,” p. 1221, which included two photos at York Harbor, Maine and three of his surroundings there [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Third Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1979 p. 187].

September 7 SundaySam replied to Joe Twichell’s Sept. 2.

I don’t remember which book that convict’s letter is in. I think maybe it is in the back part of the Tramp Abroad; or might it be in Old Times on the Mississippi?

Bang away about me as freely as you please. When you include things from my letters it will be safest to select the extracts first & submit them to Livy—it will save wasting comment on passages which might perish under her blue pencil.

Sam hadn’t been writing anything lately, the last piece was “A Defence of General Funston,” which would run in the May 1902 issue of North American Review.

I was blackguarding that military louse. I hope to do it some more before I die. McKinley, Jay Gould, Funston—; isn’t that a precious gang? The Holy Trinity of America worship, begetters of present American political, commercial & military morals. There’s one good thing: we’ve struck bottom, & can’t sink any lower


The New York World Magazine, p.3, ran “My First Vacation and My Last,” about Sam taking a vacation at York Harbor, Maine [MTCI 469-74].

September 8 Monday – In York Harbor, Maine: Sam’s notebook: “This election day at the town hall, Twombley [sic Twombly] sat by the deputy sheriff & saw him buy votes at $2 each & enter the names in note-book. Said he had laid out $116 in this way—later (5 p.m.) T. saw the list of names of the bought-&-paid for—80!” [NB 45 TS 26]. Note: E.D. Twombly, editor of the short-lived (1899-1901) Old York Transcript.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote from Ponkapog, Mass. to Sam. Aldrich had read a letter of Sam’s in the newspaper about “the exclusion of ‘Huckleberry Finn,’” which also mentioned Livy’s illness. He wrote,

“She is one of the half dozen women in this world who have it in their power to grieve me.” He thought Sam’s letter was “delightful….you are always having a scrap with some idiot or other. I love you from the battles you have fought!” [MTP].

September 9 TuesdayIn York Harbor, Maine, William Dean Howells, on his way to a reception, stopped by to visit Sam during a rainstorm [Sept. 11 to Aldrich].

Sam’s notebook “It took 3: one bought [,] one saw the swine mark his ticket & enter the booth, & no. 3 received him at the end of the hall & paid him. / Republic of America. / Patriots. Funston / [Line separator]

     Livy getting along pretty well, though it is a case of up & down & down-&-up No certainty about it” [NB 45 TS 26].

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.