Vol 3 Section 0790

732                                                                        1902

Return it to me, & if I can’t weed enough of the sermon out at one quick sitting to properly & artistically subordinate it, I will at once mail you a brisk yarn to take its place: “The Belated Russian Passport.” It is short—about 7 pages of the Monthly I think. I wrote it yesterday & day before, because I couldn’t get rid of my doubts about that Hell or Heaven.

I am handicapped in another way: my youngest daughter is my type-writer, & she isn’t strong & sometimes can’t stay at the machine more than an hour a day, & some days we don’t allow her to work at all. I would send the “Passport” if it were ready, & you could take your choice; but she has only just begun on it. She thinks she can finish it to-morrow. If she does, I will mail it to-morrow night. There’s nothing the matter with it, by God [MTP]. Note: “The Belated Russian Passport” ran in Harper’s Weekly Dec. 6, 1902.

Sam’s notebook “In response to urgent telegram from Duneka [not extant], sent him Heaven or Hell & telegraphed him so [not extant]. Said I would send ‘Russian Passport’ tomorrow / [Line separator] / Dinner, 7.30 at Nelson Page’s, to meet Charles Scribner [NB 45 TS 27]. Note: Thomas Nelson Page (1853-1922), lawyer, writer, and later ambassador to Italy under President Wilson. Page’s writings were idealized versions of plantation life before the Civil War. His 1903 Pastime Stories would be published by the other gentleman Sam was to meet at this dinner, Scribner. In 1905 Sam would nominate Page for membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

September 16 TuesdayIn York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to an unidentified man, saying that while he had no photographs of himself at hand, he sent two of their temporary house in Riverdale [MTP].

Sam’s notebook “Corrected original MS of Heaven & Hell & mailed it. Jean is typing ‘The Belated Russian Passport’” [NB 45 TS 27].

September 17 Wednesday

September 18 ThursdayIn York Harbor, Maine Sam began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he added a PS to on Sept. 19. The doctors had vetoed a sea voyage to Riverdale for Livy, so the use of the Kanawha for such a trip was out. Sam thought it was a mistake but he wrote he “mustn’t venture the responsibility” of saying so. He wished that Jonas Henrik Kellgren could have been there when Livy was stricken on Aug. 12: “He would have had the madam on her feet & as sound as a nut in three days. Mostly, he didn’t like the way that doctors guessed at the proper medicines:

       I wonder she is alive at all. It has been one continual guess, guess, guess, change, change, change, from one incompetent drug to another, & from one indigestible food to another. It seems a stupid idea to keep a student 4 years in a medical college to merely learn how to guess—& guess wrong. If ever I am deadly ill I hope you will stand by me & bar out the doctors & let me die a natural death.

They had used three doctors (two from Boston) and Sam had “implored” them to give Livy only plasmon for three days, but they would only do so part of one day, “then they got scared & went to guessing again & raised some more hell” [MTHHR 489-90].

Sam’s notebook “Telegram from Duneka: ‘Thank you very much for Heaven or Hell. It is great. Have you sent Russian Passport yet? If not, won’t you, please?’ (Am mailing it to him now—8 p.m.) / About 6,500 words after I reduced it for publication—say $1,300. (Heaven or Hell)” [NB 45 TS 27]. Note: Duneka’s telegram not extant.

Albracca Stables in York Harbor wrote to Sam. Only the envelope survives; Sam had likely inquired about keeping horses during their summer stay [MTP].

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