Livy is so much better that she bombards me right along with urgent notes about business; Clara is so much better that there is nothing the matter with her, & hasn’t been. For these mercies, &c., &c., &c.
“After the 12th will be all right—better than after the 6th.”
That is from a note just received from Livy’s room, with instructions to me to write you at once & say how glad we all are that you are coming, & with what loving heartiness we shall welcome you.
Sue, by the 12th this place will look like a Paradise—but you remember how it looked that time. We’ll go & contemplate that tree again [MTP].
May 6 Wednesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote a note to Franklin G. Whitmore.
“Mrs. Clemens left the enclosed out, thinking they would not sell for anything, but I think they will help pay the taxes. / Make no report to Reeves. Take the whole commission. If he complains I will settle with him myself” [MTP]. Note: See May 2.
Isabel Lyon also wrote a note to Whitmore enclosing a check for $100 and to advise him to have attorney Lucius Robinson make out the deed. Sam would return Mr. Richard M. Bissell’s letter at a later time as Sam wanted Clara to see it and to give the contents to Livy [MTP].
Lyon also wrote an “extra note” to Whitmore because she knew he was “interested.” She claimed Sam had been having trouble with his teeth and had “suffered much.” Livy was “much better” and had been “carried out onto a balcony,” and that Livy and Sam were “making plans for Europe” [MTP].
May 7 Thursday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote on the top of a May 6 letter regarding a poet-humorist convention, to William Dean Howells.
Set-fire, You! Imagine yourself 22 & in it! New to glories, new to attentions, new to banquets, new to “dress”
tuxedos, new to being gazed at and envied, new to being important, new to reverent salutation by tug-whistles, new to right companionship with God Who sits purring and comfortable all sermon-time, Sundays, while the praises & distinctions come up. [in bottom left corner:]
I’m still confined to my bed—indefinitely [MTHL 2: 770].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, upset that Whitmore had shared Richard M. Bissell’s (the purchaser of his Hartford home) letter (not extant) which evidently expressed disbelief that the Clemenses could not move out shortly. Sam listed all the reasons why they could not, noting there was no one to supervise the removal of their goods except Livy, who was unable to do so.
Godalmighty Bissell were in these circumstances, he would “understand”
that he would need the whole of the suggested interval & several months on
top of it.
I believe it was indiscreet to send us his letter—if he is a gentleman he certainly wrote it in confidence to you. If he supposed you were not going to conceal it from us, he meant to insult us. I think he will be astonished & hurt when he finds you revealed it to us [MTP]. Note: Clara lined out the G word.
May 8 Friday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam added to his Apr. 7 to John Y. MacAlister that he discovered this day he’d forgotten to post.
May 8. Great Scott! I never mailed this letter! I addressed it, stamped it, put “Registered” on it—then left it lying unsealed on the arm of my chair, & rushed up to my bed quaking with a chill. I’ve never been out of the bed since—oh, bronchitis, rheumatism, two sets of teeth aching, land, I’ve had a randy time for 4 weeks. And to-day—great guns, one of the very worst!
A week & a half ago came a letter from my friend Col. Fairchild, in which he said, “if you haven’t received your dividend,” etc—which was odd, since I had acknowledged it (in this present unposted letter)
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.