Frank Bliss wrote to Sam about “Harper obstructions” with possible royalties after “reprinting of the ‘Library of Humor’” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “Oct. 18/02. I suggested that he make the man put a price on the book, & then name a royalty.” Bliss did not date his scrawled, nearly illegible letter (unlike him), possibly written in a hurry. Entanglement of the contracts made conflict between the two firms inevitable.
H.D. Thompson for the Princeton Inauguration Committee wrote to Sam with directions for being “in
the Reading Room of Murray Hall, in full academic costume, not later than twenty minutes past ten” on Oct. 25 [MTP].
October 19 Sunday – On this day (or the same date in 1901; see entry) Sam wrote a letter to an unidentified publisher: “…your printers need watching; they take some very large liberties with my spelling and punctuation,” etc. [MTP: Anderson Auction Co. catalogs Feb. 5, Item 90].
Sam also wrote to Susan Crane who had traveled with the family when Livy was returned to Riverdale on Oct. 15.
I was immensely ashamed! Discussing coal-strikes & such things with Mr. Dodge, it didn’t take me long to lose track of the fact that you were going to get off at Kingsbridge—it was just shameful. After a while I went back to rejoin you, & of course you were gone, & I felt like a colossal ass—oh, such a much! Don’t forgive—I won’t have it. By George, & you had been so dear & good, & had stood by Livy so generously through all that long & heavy time, & I was so grateful to you, & then manifested it by being such a much. No, I won’t be forgiven, I don’t deserve it.
For two days, now, Livy has been issuing orders through Clara just as if she were well & in full command, & we just can’t have it! Dr. Moffat says she must stop it, or she will bring upon herself another trained nurse & lose Clara’s society. She inquired how the financial outlook was, & when she
found it was good & satisfactory she went straight to house-building, & knocked my project of selling Tarrytown cold in a minute.
General Clara is showing admirable competency, & everything goes smoothly along in a business-like way.
Jean is in her 12th week all right—no attack [MTP]. Note: Dr. Henry Moffat (1855-1926), the family’s physician from Yonkers. Moffat was a noted football athlete while at Princeton. At the time of his death he was considered the Dean of his profession, instrumental in buiding a city tuberculosis hospital.
October 20 Monday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam sent a telegram to Richard H. Jesse, President of the University of Mo. “I go to Princeton if you have any message authorize me & I will deliver it. S.L. Clemens” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore. “You may sell that Jewell Pin Co. stock. It is in the Safety Deposit, I suppose. It isn’t here. Mrs. Clemens is getting along about as usual. It will be a long siege, the doctor says” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Plasmon Co. 110-22 Broad. American proprietors meeting Room 70-116, at 11 a.m. Cable Ad.[dress] PLASMONIA / Miss Garrety arrived in the evening, Sept. 28, & took charge of the patient next morning, 29th” [NB 45 TS 31].
In Kittery Point, Maine William Dean Howells wrote.
Tell me how Mrs. Clemens is, and how she bore the journey. I hope all has gone well with you.
I have got Huck Finn [“Tom Sawyer’s Conspiracy”] safe, and will keep it till I come down, or will send it by express, as you say. It is a great layout; what I shall enjoy most will be the return of the old fellows to the scene, and their tall lying. There is a matchless chance there. I suppose you will put plenty of pegs in, in this prefatory part [MTHL 2: 747-8]. Note: Sam began this story in 1897 and abandoned it suddenly, though it was nearly finished. It was first published in Hannibal, Huck & Tom (1969) by the MTP, Walter Blair, editor.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.