suppose I was dreaming and mislaid it, if she is right, for I can’t find it. But I wanted to say I don’t go anywhere this winter, partly because I am deep in my work and partly because of Mrs. Clemens illness. I couldn’t join a Club, anyway; I seldom get a chance to go to one. I’ve just been expelled from the Players for non-payment of dues—on a secretary’s evidence, without being afforded a chance to state my side of the case—which was good luck for that secretary. They have never had anybody in that position there who was intellectually above the grade of an idiot.
Dear me, but we have had a winter of it here in this house! Mrs. Clemens has been bed-ridden 6 months; and Jean lingered near to death for a while with double pneumonia, and we had a time of it to keep her mother from finding it out. Things are going better, now, but I suppose it will be months before Mrs. Clemens gets on her feet again.
I suppose you are busy and rushing, as always, but quiet down! quiet down! and come and see me [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.
I am nearly dead with the work of finishing this book, and I have promised to have it ready for the press by the middle of March…It’s revising and verifying I’m doing, and it’s always a back-breaking, heart-breaking, horrible job. There is no surviving it but to do it in bed—so I have not been up before 6 P.M. for 5 days—I get up only in time to dress for dinner [MTP: Anderson Auction Co. catalog, Nov. 21-2, 1923, No. 1774, Item 102; not in MTHHR].
February 22 Sunday
February 23 Monday – Sam’s butler (perhaps Claude) returned from the Oppenheimer Institute. From the UC Berkeley 1973 Christian Science footnotes:
302 footnote) Clemens’ “intellectual method” of curing a vice was to banish the vicious desire (see “Concerning a Reformed Pledge,” Paine 154). The person he offered to cure of alcoholism was one of his servants, perhaps his butler Claude. In February 1903 [16th], apparently as a last resort, Clemens sent him to the Oppenheimer Institute in New York. Shortly after completing the cure the man turned up drunk again, and Clemens, who had paid $150 for his treatment, complained unsuccessfully to the Institute. He added his footnote before the relapse, while he still thought the cure demonstrated the value and power of things difficult to attain . Note: see Nov. 1905 to Oppenheimer Institute
February 24 Tuesday – Fatout lists a speech at the William Dean Howells dinner in Boston for Sam on this day, but gives no particulars and none were found [MT Speaking 672].
Sam’s notebook: “Submerged fame” [NB 46 TS 11].
Rogers dictated a letter to Sam.
I have your letters, and will make the appointment for the review of the article in the “Cosmopolitan.” I note what you say in regard to jury duty, and will endeavor to get you relieved.
I hand you herewith a copy of letter received from Mr. Bliss, which will explain itself. Please read carefully. I think you had better get permission from Harper & Bros. in regard to the publication of the Russian Passport story, and remember about copyrighting hereafter.
Sorry to hear that Mrs. Clemens is not progressing favorably. [MTHHR 519]. Note: For speculation on this reference to the Cosmopolitan, see n1 of source.
February 25 Wednesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Frank Bliss on the bottom left corner of Rogers’ Feb. 24 letter: “I have this moment telephoned Mr. Duneka and asked him to send you an authorization to use the ‘Russian Passport’ in your forthcoming volume, and he said he would attend to it at once. Go ahead and put it in” [MTHHR 519n2]. Note: Bliss questioned whether he would be allowed to include “The Belated Russian Passport” in
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.