told her the same doctors that send her can send you, & I will attend to it. Clara is writing to a friend in Florence to find a villa for us 3 miles outside the city, & I will tell her to get two—one for you. A whole restful winter there will set you up & restore your youth; & we can dine together back & forth, lumber around & lampoon the Old Masters & have a time. I’ll have it all arranged pretty soon.
I have been attending one of the exhibitions of Hutchison’s electrical invention for making the deaf hear,
I wished I could pull up Mary Stover out of my long-vanished boyhood & have her tested. She had the reputation among us schoolmates of being very “deef”—as we called it. But John Buckner, who was well enough, may be, in the commonplaces of fact, but didn’t know any more about auricular science than God knows about astronomy, came to me excited over a wonderful discovery, one day, & said Mary Stover could hear as well as anybody. I dissembled my astonishment & said it was a lie—(This to encourage him to explain)—& he said:
“I was standing by the window with her at recess, & a bee stung me & slipped a little small fart—the weeniest teeniest little small fart, only just a kind of a chirp, you know—& said to myself ‘I’m thankful to God she’s deaf,’ but felt pretty sick & uncertain, just the same, & held my breath & watched her. She stood solid as much as a minute, then she sort of gasped, & turned her head away & said to herself very soft like a whisper, ‘Phe-e-w’—so then I knew she’d heard it. She ain’t any deafer’n you are.”
Oh, give my love to the boys & have a good time! I wish I was there, buried under apple dumplings & nobody to help dig me out [MTHHR 521-3]. Note: Miller Reese Hutchinson (1876-1944), American inventor. He was later involved with Thomas A. Edison and is considered the father of the hearing aid, the “Acousticon” which he developed in 1902.
Sam’s notebook : “Sent MacAlister an order for ‘half of my Founders shares’ the order to be returned to me when I send him the certificates—which I can do with Mr. R. [Rogers] returns. Mailed it May 9” [NB 46 TS 14]. Note: See July 1 NB about Founders shares.
W. Haldane wrote from Detroit Michigan to Sam. “Similarity of sentiment re Eddyism makes me bold, tho’ doubtful whether that gives me any right to approach you. I have been studying the ‘bowells of hell’ for two years.” Haldane wanted Sam to give “the enemy another black orb!” [MTP].
Frederick W. Peabody wrote from Boston to Sam, thanking him for putting him on the waiting list for a Christian Science book when it came out (which would not be until 1907). He enclosed a note from Henry Lincoln Case, NYC, commenting favorably on Sam’s North American Review article and observing: “‘Mother’ seems to be in a box.” Case had been a member of the Christian Science church in Boston [MTP].
April 8 Wednesday
April 9 Thursday – Sam’s notebook : “Gave Francis Perry Elliott my Postal-Check scheme for examination, he to return the MS in a fortnight” [NB 46 TS 14]. Note: Sam later penciled in, “Returned,” Francis P. Elliott (1861-1924), author, editor, with Harper & Bros. (1898-1900), at this time managing ed. of Home Magazine.
April 10 Friday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to John White Alexander, illustrator.
I have an engagement & must lose the pleasure of being there, but I thank you heartily for remembering me & offering me a chance to share in the good times you are going to have. We shall never have a more capable or a kinder Secretary than Mr. Gage was. When I was in Europe two years ago I asked him to pass two tons of baggage for me duty free, & I offered to divide. Not many would have done that [MTP].
Sam also inscribed his photograph to Maxim A. Moshin: “Maxim Alexey Mochin / With kindest greetings
from / Very truly yours / Mark Twain / April 10/03” [MTP]. Mochin/Moshin: Not further identified.
April 11 Saturday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.