not included in their six-volume set. “Poor as half of the books in the Harper set are, that set paid me $16,000 this last year—seems to me I’d like to have another set out foraging, if Bliss wouldn’t object [MTP]. Note: as if things weren’t complicated enough with two publishers, Sam thought adding a third would bring in more cash.
Sam also replied to Frederick A. Duneka’s Apr. 25.
It is very gratifying indeed, to have you say those things, for I like that tale, too; & between you & me I have long ago wondered why no one seemed able to discover a certain detail of my work which I thought was always pretty glaringly in evidence—simplicity. So far as I remember, this is the first time that that feature has been remarked.
I am still in bed. I shall not be out of it for a week or two yet [MTP].
Sam also replied to Hilary Trent (pseud. of R.M. Manley).
“Naturally I have read your book with a strong interest, because I am in sympathy with its sermon; but independently of that I have read it with interest because of the grace & vigor of your style & because of the attractions of the story as a story. I wish to thank you for sending it to me” [MTP]. Note: Trent’s 1903 Mr. Claghorn’s daughter is the book referred to here. Not in Gribben.
William Dean Howells wrote from N.Y.C. to Sam with another example of what the two men called “mental telegraphy.” Howells received a letter, the hand recognized to be Eweretta Lawrence, Canadian girl who put one of his farces on the London stage. Expecting a royalty check, he opened the letter only to discover it was a love letter written to H. Howells, also in N.Y.C. An hour letter another letter from the same female arrived with a check to him. He closed the letter with: “—How are you, any way?—you old—scratch-gravel” [MTHL 2: 768]. Note: Sam answered on Apr. 29.
April 27 Monday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Frederick A. Duneka.
Yes, the collected set is being offered at $36.50, but it is not Bliss that is responsible, it is I. He is to keep within the requirements of the Harper contract, & leave the rest to me. Which is quite proper, as his house is only a subordinate partner in the set’s fortunes, I being the principal, the person mainly & perhaps two-thirdsly concerned. He wanted to try this cheap edition, but needed backing.
It ought to be quite easy for the Harpers & me to arrange a just & fair Harper-Bliss contract in
place of the existing contract. A new contract could be made profitable, both to the Harpers & to me, whereas the existing one is not largely profitable to Harpers, & is probably only profitable to me at the expense of the collected edition.
Can’t you come out, & bring the contract with you, & explain to me such commercial reasons as there may be for not reorganizing it?
And can’t you bring transcripts of the semi-annual statements rendered to me of the ordinary trade-sales of my books, beginning, say, with Jan. 1, 1901? [MTP].
Alfred Farlow wrote to “Mr Clement” [sic]. Upset about the North American Review article, which he felt was “a shameful and discourteous perversion” [MTP].
April 28 Tuesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote a postcard to American Publishing Co. “War suspended. Truce proclaimed. The sheriff will find some other way to amuse himself. / Go ahead. There is nothing in your way now” [MTP]. Note: Sam referred to the conflicts between Harpers and Bliss. Bliss’s 29 Apr refers to a telegram.
Sam also wrote to Frank Bliss.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.