bossed the 4 doctors just the same, & made them do her way. But not the two new ones—the specialists: they have character, they have reputation, they require obedience, & she has promised it. She is able to recognize merit & masculinity when she sees them, & defer to their authority.
We shall be here weeks yet.
Yes, a considerable factor in this heart-attack & its allies, was worry. But when I found it was about the
Tarrytown house I modified it a good deal, I think. I showed her an offer of $50,000 for it, & told her I had
replied that we preferred to keep the place & were not in the market. Fortunately, she has not worried very much
over the disastrous & unexpected detail that the Hartford house doesn’t sell—no, I do that worrying myself. The
Tarrytown place will hold its value—but the Hartford one doesn’t seem to have any to hold.
I hope I can soon get permission to show Mrs. Clemens your letter—it should be good for heart disease, I think. I will send this to New York & Miss Harrison will know whether to forward it or retain it [MTHHR 508-9].
Notes: n4 of source identifies the new nurse as Miss Gourangé; Clara fired her six days later. The next nurse, Margaret Garrety, was hired Sept. 29 and fired less than a month later.
September 25 Thursday – In York Harbor, Maine: Sam’s notebook: “1.30 Lunch, Mr. Mercer’s, to meet Mrs. Bell & Mrs. Pratt. I could not make the engagement positive. (Later, I went.) / Helmer’s treatment left Livy sore & lame & she slept but little, the night. She is weak & frail—but she has been that for 45 days” [NB 45 TS 28]. Note: Henry Chapman Mercer; see Sept. 14 entry.
September 26 Friday – In York Harbor, Maine: Sam’s notebook: “Miss Gourange (nurse) has full charge. Quiet is maintained—good results. / I sleep at Millard Sewall’s these past two nights. / Clara does not recover from the panic of Tuesday when she believed her mother was near the end & sent me to summon Boston experts” [NB 45 TS 28].
Sam wrote to Elisabeth Brochmann (Brachmann) in Norway. She was a Norwegian translator who had requested permission to translate some of Mark Twain’s stories. She requested if she might send some pictures from the valley where she lived.
I shall be very glad indeed to have the pictures if it will be no trouble to you to send them, but you must not put any burden on yourself. I should have answered you sooner but for sickness in the house. My wife has been in bed 7 weeks (here on the seacoast in Maine) & has been near to death three times; but now she is getting well, we think; & we expect that by the middle of October we can take her home to Riverdale [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Katharine B. Clemens in St. Louis.
Livy was very low on Sunday night & on Monday & Tuesday, & our hope passed away—then we got a great physician from Boston, & he said, “Do you mean to day that this patient has been allowed to lie here 6 weeks in this condition without a trained nurse?”
“But she won’t allow one.”
“I am not asking what she would allow. She has nothing to do with the matter, & nothing to say about it. Go & telephone Miss So-&-so in Boston. I say she must be here by the next train.”
He banished us all—me out of the house entirely.
Since then Livy has lived in the solitude of the nurse’s society & has prospered to a miracle.
We have had 4 doctors, & they have constantly recommended trained-nursing. But at last when we got hold of a man—well, you see the result.
Those 4 physicians ought to be expelled from the business.
Tell Dr. Jim to command. It is his duty. With love to you all [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.