Vol 3 Section 0809
October 21 Tuesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote a postcard to Franklin G. Whitmore, who had replied the Capt. Stormfield MS was not in the safe:
If it is gone from the safe, where can it be? In the drawers under the pigeon-holes in the billiard-room? I read it aloud in the billiard room to two friends in 1891 a few days before we sailed. I have not had it in my hands since.
However, it must be in the safe if still in existence. That is where I kept it so many years [MTP].
Sam also replied on a postcard to William Dean Howells’ Oct. 20.
“Yes, keep the MS till you come.
“We are settled & have resumed life. The patient is just the same; it is like watching a thermometer when the weather is not stationary: a degree up, a degree down—repeat indefinitely” [MTP].
Note: the MS referred to was “Tom Sawyer’s Conspiracy”; it has not survived as a discrete work but may have been incorporated eventually into a version of The Mysterious Stranger [MTHL 2 : 748n1]. Also written was an abortive “Fifty Years Later,” which had Tom & Huck returning to Hannibal at age 60. Hill claims the MS “is one of the very few that, in his entire life, Mark Twain actually may have destroyed” .
Chatto & Windus’ Jan. 1, 1904 statement to Clemens shows 2,000 3s.6d. copies of HF were printed, for a total printed to date of 8,500 [1904 Financials file MTP].
Charles Bancroft Dillingham wrote from NY to Sam.
I was so glad to hear from you and to learn that Mrs. Clemens was able to take the homeward journey. We were beginning to get rather worried, and I was talking to Gillette last Saturday, and I will be glad now to let him know the news.
I hope you will be able to go to some of the rehearsals of Huckleberry Finn about Nov. 1st….[MTP].
William C. Van Benthuysen of the NY World wrote Sam a short note: “The Business office withdraws the word ‘now’ to which you object, and I again send you the check, which I hope you will feel that you can accept” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “The World withdraws the obnoxious ‘now’ –I accept the check, & we stand square.”
October 22 Wednesday – Michael P. O’Kelley replied from NY to Sam’s “joke letter” which asked for old bonds and bills from the US Treasury for fuel:
Secretary Shaw who has been so kind to the poor men of Wall Street I hope will comply with your request and fill your order, when you receive your Fuel from Washington, kindly consider me an applicant to sift the ashes and pick the cinders, there are no pickings in the Police Department at present. In case you don’t hear from Secretary Shaw I understand Mayor Low has a few gold bricks he has not given out… [MTP].
October 23 Thursday – At 10 a.m. in Riverdale, N.Y. Sam fired the second nurse, Margaret Garrety, and installed a new nurse at 11 a.m. [NB 45 TS 32]. Note: See NB entry Oct. 31 about Garrety.
Sam wrote of the nurses and Livy’s condition to James R. Clemens in St. Louis.
Damn those creatures, they don’t seem to have any sense. No. 2 objected to receiving the doctor’s orders at second hand from Clara, & when I said she must, she went to the doctor & asked him to annul my requirement. It did not seem to occur to her that after she should get supreme authority safely lodged in the doctor there would still be a weak spot, because I could discharge the doctor.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.