D.B. Robbins, manager of the Fredonia Harware Co. wrote from Fredonia, NY. “I was reading in Jan. Success an article ‘Mark Twain’s Advice to General Grant.[’] Your great kindness to our dear dead President brought tears to my eyes—God bless you for such a kind heart” [MTP].
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam. “Oh for mercy’s sake, send us—or let somebody—a word telling us how things are with you at your house now. It must be that Jean is way out of the woods, but we want to hear it. Take a second or two of your next three minute call on Livy to give her the love of us all” [MTP]. Sam wrote on the env. “answered.”
January 27 Tuesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam responded to Harper & Brothers’ Jan. 26 inquiry:
I can’t tell very much about the Christian Science volume yet. Because of my interest in it, and of the richness and prodigality of the materials it keeps growing on my hands, and as I like the job I do not try to discourage it.
P.S. I have several applications for this book, one with a guaranteed sale of so many copies. I like that idea, and I wish you would do some ciphering on it yourselves [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Franklin Chamberlain [sic Chamberlin], cheat / E. Bliss, jr, ditto / Paige, – – [ditto] / Henry A. Butters, ditto/ Irish lad that borrowed 50 cents of me on Hudson River boat & vanished” [NB 46 TS 9]. Note: Chamberlin, Sam’s Nook Farm neighbor, did not enjoy friendly relations with him; the source of the friction may have had to do with the strip of land Sam purchased from him. Twain never forgot someone who he felt shortchanged him.
Mois Gerson Jr. (Joseph “Faraway” Moses), son of the famed “Faraway Moses,” Mois Gerson, Sr., wrote from Montreal, a short note in French to Sam, mentioning Isaac Laudman. This is undoubtedly the letter enclosed in Laudman’s Jan. 28. Sam immortalized Gerson’s father, “Faraway Moses,” in IA chapter
35 [MTP]. Note: Likely Sam and his compatriots on the Quaker City excursion felt “Moses” was a better name than “Mois.” This letter identifies the son of “Faraway” and thereby the father. See also Jan. 28 from Laudman.
An unidentified person wrote from Riverdale, NY to Sam, relating how Plasmon had cured his/her dyspepsia. The letter is not signed [MTP].
January 28 Wednesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Joe Twichell.
P.S. Livy had a slight backset yesterday, so the doctor has just told me he is going to shut off my daily visit for a few days & then reduce it to 8 or 10 minutes a day. It will distress her, & may have an ill effect at first, but later results will show the wisdom of it no doubt.
Katy’s absence with Jean makes a new difficulty: Livy charges Clara with orders for Katy every day. For months Katy has prepared special dishes for Livy, & now Livy wants her stirred up—she is growing careless in her cooking the past few days & isn’t up to standard! By gracious we can’t counterfeit Katy’s cookery! [across left side of page]
Jean is enjoying herself very well at Old Point Comfort. [recovering from pneumonia] [across right side of page]
Clara has asked Judy to come up & we are hoping she will say yes [MTP].
Sam’s notebook listed the following people (down the page, no commas): “B.P. Shillaber, Bessie Stone & friend, Lord Wolseley (‘Luck’), Twichell’s brother-in-law & Mr. Dawson (England), Fitzhugh Ludlow— Bierstad married his widow” [NB 46 TS 9].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.