E.S. Roberts wrote from Malden, Mass to Sam, complimenting him on the short story (“Was it Heaven? or Hell?”) in the Dec. Harper’s [MTP].
February 11 Wednesday – Edward Bergiz wrote from Kivik, Sweden to Sam asking for his “monogram” [MTP].
Frederick A. Duneka of Harpers wrote to Sam.
“There should be an interval of six weeks between the receipt of a MS. and the publication of the book. This can be cut down, of course, but not very much. It is wise to issue the Christian Science volume not later than the last of April. Will this impose too great a burden upon you [?]”[MTP].
February 12 Thursday – William Dean Howells wrote a spoof to Sam of a dream he’d had:
I know you are harassed by a great many things, and I hate to add to your worries, but I must really complain to you of the behavior of your man Sam. I called last night at your place with our old friend Stoddard, and found that to reach the house, I had to climb a plowed field, at the top of which Sam was planting potatoes. A number of people were waiting at the bottom of the field, and hesitating whether to go up, but I explained that we were old acquaintances, and we were going to see you at once. We pushed on, and when we came in easy hail of Sam, he called very rudely to us, and asked us what we wanted. I said we wanted to see you, and he said, “Well, you can’t do it,” and no persuasion that I could use had the least effect with him. He said that nobody could see you, and when I gave him my card, and promised him that he would not have a pleasant time with you, when you found out whom he had turned away, he sneered and said he would not give you the card. To avoid mortifying inquiries from the people we had left at the foot of the hill, we came down another way, and though I momently expected a recall from your house, none followed us, and we made our way home the best we could. This happened, as nearly as I can make out, at about three o’clock in the morning. I have only too much reason to believe that Sam really withheld my card, and I wish you would ask him for it, and make him account in some way for our extraordinary treatment. I cannot remember that Stoddard said anything, but I felt he was as much annoyed as myself. Yours ever… [MTHL 2: 763-4]. Note: Sam wrote on the envelope, “Bet Howells is drunk yet.”
time in St. Louis in ’53, aged 17 ½ , that I took the shy pretty girl from up country
to Ben de Bar’s theatre
see Toodles & had on new 6s when my number was 7s, & slipped them off
& couldn’t get them on again, & walked home with them under my
arm—white socks & it was raining / [Double horiz. Line separator] / Time
the old-time matches caught fire in my pocket [NB 46 TS 10; also Gribben 570,
Robert Lutz, Sam’s defacto publisher in Stuttgart, Germany, wrote wanting a document authorizing him to sell “The Californian’s Tale” which was first published by Chatto & Windus in TS,D in 1896, and in March 1902 in Harper’s Magazine [MTP].
February 13 Friday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam responded to William Dean Howells’ dream by playing along and extending the joke.
I am infinitely sorry. I was lying awake at the time, & felt sure I heard voices; so sure, that I put on a dressing-gown & went down to inquire into the matter, but you were already gone. I encountered Sam coming up as I turned the lower corner of the house, & he said it was a stranger, who insisted on seeing me— “a stumpy little gray man with furtive ways & an evil face.”
“What did he say his name was?”
“He didn’t say. He offered his card, but I didn’t take it.”
“That was stupid. Describe him again—& more in detail.”
He did it.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.