I am dreadfully afraid the “private hand” has gone & lost that invaluable little book.
The Madame is doing nicely, & we all send love [MTP].
October 2 Friday – At Quarry Farm in Elmira, N.Y. Sam began a letter to James Barnes that he added a PS of good news to on Oct. 5.
Your letter has arrived but I am dreadfully afraid I shall never see the book. I have written the Hartford postmaster & asked him to keep a sharp lookout for it. There is just a chance that the “private hands” whereby you sent it may inquire for my address & mail it to me here. I will hope so. In that case it will not miscarry. If this copy gets lost I hope you will seize another one, & mail it to
S.L. Clemens (Mark Twain)
C/o Gregory Smith Esq
Villa Bel Riposo
—where I shall arrive with my family November 7 to remain a year.
But in any & all cases I wish to thank you cordiall for your good intentions [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton, now in Switzerland.
Yours from Thusis has just arrived. Ah but you dear pair have been having a hard time—may it mend quickly! That is a lovely Sloane—I’ve not known a lovelier in this world. Alas & alas, we shall be gone when you arrive.
Mrs. Clemens makes a wee little bit of progress every month or two, we think. She can walk half-way across the room now. However, she could do that three months ago. Still, she thinks she can make the voyage to Italy, & we are going to try. It is close upon 14 months, now, since she was stricken helpless [MTP].
Sam also wrote to William Wallace Denslow in N.Y.C.: “I wish I had a copy, but I have never seen it in print” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to A.K. Gibson in Grand Rapids, Mich.: “None but the publisher has authority to grant it” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Why it is called ‘horse chestnut. At every bud, this hoof with nails in it” [NB 46 TS 25].
Note: Sam sketched a picture of a chestnut bud.
Joseph T. Goodman wrote from Alameda, Calif. to Sam, but only the envelope survives [MTP]. Note: however, Sam wrote on the env. “Little Ward is dead. / Autobio,” which likely denotes Goodman’s news; see Sam’s Oct. 9 reply.
October 3 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “Monday we leave for New York. Oct. 24 we sail for Italy. To-day I
placed flowers on Susy’s grave—for the last time probably—& read words / ‘Good-night, dear heart / good-night’”
[NB 46 TS 25; MTB 1206]. Note: entry boxed.
October 4 Sunday – At Quarry Farm in Elmira, N.Y. Sam wrote to Henry W. Lucy.
My dear Lucy—Your letter went to Hartford and thereby lost a couple of days, arriving in this remote corner only to-day. Still, I may possibly be able to catch you with a word of welcome before you sail. But I can hardly hope for the good luck of seeing you, for we go on board our ship (bound for Italy) the evening of October 23rd, and your ship will come in next day, after we shall have sailed.
I am sending to Hartford for that Punch, and will forward it to Helen Keller, whom you and Mrs. Lucy must see and know. She is well worth a journey. I shall speak to her publisher in New York, F. N. Doubleday,
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.