Vol 3 Section 0801

1902                                                                            741

October 6 MondayIn York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to Frederick A. Duneka.

“Oh, come, now, it is irreligious, the way you accept articles & postpone the payment. When you come to keep four doctors & two trained nurses all summer, with a war-price specialist from Boston now & then as an additional strain on your bank balance you will reform & follow custom” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore.

If you could get Mr. Roberts to pay what the land cost ($32,000) I should be quite willing to let him have the house, stable & green house for nothing, & I believe Mrs. Clemens would, too. I am almost sure of it. I should not be able to ask her just now, as I never see her & do not sleep in the house, & no matter of an interesting sort is ever uttered to her, but we believe that a fortnight from now we can talk business to her.

When we sell, it will be to Mr. Roberts, sure, & at his own price. I wish that Western man had given us time to let a broker examine into his bonds see what security was back of them [MTP]. Note: Sam had been staying at the neighbor Sewall’s. The “Western man” was Sidney A. Witherbee of Chicago. On May 19 Sam wrote Whitmore about Conn. State Senator Henry Roberts’ mother possibly buying the house.

Sam’s notebook: “Again banished from the house night before last. By the new nurse, Margaret Garrety. She allows no one in the sick-room, Day & night, but herself. If we had had her in the beginning Livy would be well now. I began plasmoning day before yesterday—only breakfast & plasmon daily. Good results at once” [NB 45 TS 29-30]. Note: see Sam’s additional remarks on Garrety inserted here and dated Oct. 31.

Henry Wise, Superintendent of Bacnotan Public Schools, the Philippines, wrote again to Sam, asking pardon about his first letter, which he felt must have been a “stunner,” and the second “an insult added to injury,” and asked again for a copy of RI [MTP]. Note: Wise was the recipient of the crossed letter. Wise initially wrote Sam on June 21, but received Sam’s reply—a note about the Hannibal cave, instead.

October 7 TuesdayIn York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to Jennie Starkey that it was Bill Nye who said it, though she had “his idea but not his phrasing” [MTP: Seven Gables Bookshop, Item 69]. Note: the famous line attributed most often to Mark Twain but which he laid at Nye’s feet was: “Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” See MTA 1: 338.

Gertrude Swain wrote from Greeley, Neb. to Sam:

Dear Mr. Twain:

I’ve been going to write you for a long time, ever since I saw that piece in the paper about Huck Finn being a bad book.

I am a little girl twelve years old. I have read Huck Finn about fifty times. Papa calls it my Bible, I think it is the best book ever written, and I don’t think it would hurt any little boy or girl to read it. I think it would do lots of them a lot of good. I don’t think that preacher knew what he was talking about. …

I think Huck is just fine and I wish there was more like it [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “Write this child a note, & add her letter to the introduction of the new Huck.”

October 8 WednesdayIn York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to Frank Bliss.

If there is no Harper obstruction, or other thing in the way, I am willing that you shall newly issue the “Library of Humor” and pay me 4% as proposed Provided, that you will not object to my issuing a low-priced book when I want to. I have two books half finished, which I may wish to publish at a dollar each—I have had that thought in my head [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, listing the additions which had been made to the Farmington Ave. property since he’d purchased, with the corresponding costs. He proposed a sign at the gate of the

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