Poultney Bigelow wrote to Sam. “I biked up yesterday and back from Gramercy park in three hours 45 minutes— and felt bully afterwards.” He also wrote a pseudo-formal statement regarding the “Ends of the Earth” club that Mark Twain would never be annoyed by any request from the “club” [MTP].
William Dean Howells came up to Riverdale to visit Sam [MTHL 2: 772n1]
May 14 Thursday to June 20, 1903 – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote a series of notes with drawings to daughter Clara while she was sick with the measles.
Dear Benny, this is just a love-pat from your mother & me, & wishing you a sound & refreshing sleep with no
bad dreams in it. [a caricature of himself] / Papa.
[a caricature of Rodman Gilder]
which has come to call on you, dear. Hurry down, Ben, & bring the cat—there is room for us all at table, &
plenty to eat,—including cats’-meat.
[in Rodman Gilder’s hand:] Approved
[a drawing of Clara with three sets of arms]
Here you see yourself singing before the public, Benny, dear, & making the several gestures required for the interpretation of the feelings conveyed by the music. / Good-night, dearheart. / Father
[a drawing of Jean with binoculars, observing a large, four-legged bird]
Ben, dear, you will recognize this. It is your sister the naturalist getting ready to examine the new crested robin, which has 4 legs & is exceedingly rare in the northern parts of our country. Gute Nacht, Herzchen— schlaf wohl! /V.
[a drawing of Jean and a cat, captioned:]
Jean & Prosper.
10.35 p.m. Benny dear, I’ve been riding in a racing mobile to-night, 50 miles an hour (don’t you let your mother find it out.) Love to you & the cat. / F.
Benny dear, I reckon that this landscape is not entirely clear—so I will try to explain it. That piano is a bed; the apparition between its legs is the gatto, & is lost; the person on the floor is seeking it, but has not discovered it yet,
is bereft of hope. I do not know who it is, but I think it is Katy. Sleep well, dear heart—& good night. / N.B. Those pebbles are not pebbles, they are tears. They are splashing on the floor.
[the drawing as described]
Dove il gatto?
Benny dear, this is a more different effect than the music had last night—it is because this one is a tune which induces reminiscence & remorse, as you see. Good night, dearheart, & sleep well / Vater
[a drawing labeled:
Good night, dear Ben, from your mother & me—& sleep well!
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.