Harper’s Weekly, p.2022, ran “Mark Twain on Christian Science.” Tenney: “An editorial on MT’s article in the December North American Review; chiefly descriptive, but suggests that MT exaggerates the likelihood of Christian Science becoming a new religion: it is merely another sect” .
December 28 Sunday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam finished his Dec. 27 letter to William Dean Howells.
In bed, 8 a.m., Sunday. Katy has just been in to say Jean’s temperature is down to 102.
10 a.m. It is now down to 101 by Clara’s report.
Noon. I am up & dressed, & have been aloft, but Jean could not be disturbed—she was inclined to sleep. I had a glimpse of her. She looks like a survivor of a forest-fire.
Halb-eins. Han Jowells [John Howells] is here. I do considerably incline to shoving the next move onto Stoddard himself, as per this present letter (you to frame his letter for him, so’st we don’t advise him to nail the man’s ears to the door-post, yet put him guiselessly up to it.)
Consider, & see what you think of it. (It has one weak place to me: we started in to beat this thief, & it’s against nature to
Say—how will this do? Send to Harriott a copy of your present letter; wait till we get an unsatisfactory reply; then, perhaps, write Burton, according to your suggestion; then write Harriott as per your suggestion; get another unsatisfactory reply, then write him this:
“We think Mr. Stoddard’s claim is worth $135, & we have paid him that price for it. We offer it to you for the same money, & shall hold the offer open ten days.”
After the ten days we can advertise & sell the claim at auction—or adapt such other course as we may agree upon as being wise & fair.
What do you say? I’ll wait till I hear [MTP].
It was pneumonia. For 5 days Jean’s temperature ranged between 103 ½ and 104 2/5. Till this morning, when it got down to 101.
She looks like an escaped survivor of a forest-fire.
Sunday Evening. For 6 days, now, my story in the Xmas Harper (“Was it Heaven? Or Hell?” [)] has been enacted in this house: every day Clara & the nurses have lied about Jean to her mother—describing the fine time she is having out of doors in winter sports! [MTHHR 513n1; NB 45 TS 35].
William Dean Howells wrote to Sam from NYC; only the envelope survives, but Sam wrote a note on it about Mary Baker Eddy: “Worships herself & likes to be worshipped, & sits content & comfortable under it; but I do not know that she has asked for it. Bound vol. p. 3” [MTP; not in MTHL].
Carl Thalbitzer wrote from Copenhagen, Denmark to ask permission to use Clemens’ last letter in an article on Mark Twain [MTP].
December 29 Monday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote a long letter to Susan Crane that he added a short pararaph to on Dec. 30.
Susy dear, two hours ago, Clara was recounting her day to me. Of course I can’t get any of it right, there’s so much detail; but with your York Harbor experience of the hardships attendant upon sick-room lying, you will get an idea, at any rate of what a time that poor child has every day, picking her way through traps & pitfalls, & just barely escaping destruction two or three times in every hour.
(To-day. Jean’s other lung attacked; a crisis expected to-night—Dr. Janeway to be summoned in the morning. Our doctor is to stay all night.)
Of course Clara does not go to her Monday lesson in New York to-day, on Jean’s account—but FORGETS that fact, & enters her mother’s room (where she has no business to be,) toward train-time, dressed in a wrapper.
Livy. Why Clara, aren’t you going to your lesson?
Clara, (almost caught). Yes.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.