We expect to attempt the flight next Wednesday, 15th, leaving here at 8.45 a.m., & reaching Riverdale 9 hours later—about 6. p.m. The physicians agree that Mrs. Clemens can venture it.
We have cut the trip down 2 hours at each end by hiring special locomotives. We’ve got an invalid car, & it goes through without breaking bulk—whole expense, $340. Cheaper to go by yacht. I mean for us, not for you.
It is a long time since I have seen the patient, but the reports are pretty fair. But she is no stronger than she was when I saw her.
Jean’s case is miraculous—no attack in upwards of 10 weeks [MTHHR 511].
Sam also wrote to Miss Whiting. “Indeed I should have answered the boys & thanked them, but I did not get the
letter” [MTP: Swann Galleries catalog, Apr.3, 2003, Item 197]. Note: may have been daughter of Charles B. Whiting, President of Orient Ins. Co., Hartford.
Sam’s notebook: “No, read something. It is 76th st & East River (where I read ‘Two Little Tales’ [)] ” [NB
45 TS 30]. Note: Sam then entered the Boston excursion with Howells, placed in Oct. 10 entry.
William E. Dodge wrote from Riverdale, NY to Sam, “startled and pained” by “your daughter’s letter that Mrs. Clemens was still ill and weak.” He offered his carriage for their homecoming [MTP].
October 12 Sunday
October 13 Monday – In York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to Muriel M. Pears, his “Member for Scotland” in the Juggernaut Club. Had he sent her the Constitution and Laws for the Club? He wasn’t sure he had. Sam related the “disastrous two months & freighted with fears & anxieties” about Livy; he related plans to move her to Riverdale on an invalid car in two days; and noted he had leased the Riverdale house for another year. He was sorry he didn’t have more cheerful things to say [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Hélène Elisabeth Picard, also confiding the “sorrow & trouble” about Livy and their travel plans in two days. It would be a nine-hour journey; he was ready to postpone if she worsened.
I shall see President Roosevelt ten days hence at a Princeton University function, & if I can get a private word with him—which is doubtful, for it will be a large gathering—I will ask him to write his name for you, if nothing more.
Of course Mrs. Clemens may not be well enough for me to go, but I hope she will, for it will be an occasion of historic importance & very interesting.
“Jean” is the feminine form of “John”—just as “Jeanne” is the French form of “John,” nicht wahr? I think she’s pretty [MTP].
October 14 Tuesday – In York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to Bliss Perry (1860-1954), editor of Atlantic
Monthly (1899-1909). “It is quite true & not yet two days old. If it is worth hiding away in the curtained Contributors’ Club, do it. I can’t sign it, as I am a Harper exclusive” [MTP]. Note: Atlantic Monthly had a “Contributors’ Club” section where pieces were published anonymously. The feature was fun for contributors and readers alike, who would guess at who wrote the articles. William Dean Howells had installed this feature in the 1870s. This cataloged as from Riverdale, but the Clemens family did not leave Maine until Oct. 15.
I once saved him—Dr. Patton—from breaking the Sabbath—by breaking it myself—at his request.
I do nothing underhanded. I am here laying for a D.D.
A place for ever associated with those holy names Jonath Edwards & Aaron Burr.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.