Vol 3 Section 0920

858                                                                        1903

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, 1903In 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]

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

Rodman Gilder

per R.G.

[another page:]

[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

[another page:]

[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.

[another page:]

[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.

[another page:]

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

[another page:]

[a drawing labeled:



Clara &

Unknown animal.

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.