Thomas Fitch’s article, “Some Old Friends,” the third of Fitch’s articles about the men who made the West, ran in the San Francisco Call, p. 14. Tenney: “Recalls a week’s visit (in 1862 or 1863?) by MT, who insisted on sleeping with ‘a Maltese cat, “Jim,” for a bed fellow’; criticism of MT’s lecturing; and an attempt, with MT, Mrs. Fitch, and Rollin M. Daggett, at writing a continuing story for the Weekly Occidental. Also describes a practical joke played on MT by Daggett ‘One Christmas Eve’ (1862 or 1893?): a lady friend sent MT a knitted scarf and Daggett added a note: ‘a knowledge of your late conduct having come to the ears of the writer, your conscience will tell you that this must close all communication between us….Your former friend, ETTA.’ Fitch quotes a letter in which MT’s mother asks plaintively, ‘Samuel, why do you
always begin your letters to me by asking conundrums? I am an old woman, and have no taste for them.’ He says MT told him his patent scrapbook was his most profitable book, but Fitch argues that MT could have been as successful if he had turned to serious rather than humorous books: ‘His book, “The Prince and the Pauper,” is as accurate and as interesting an historical novel as any written by Sir Walter Scott’” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Fifth Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1981 p. 164].
October 5 Monday – At Quarry Farm in Elmira, N.Y. Sam added a P.S. to his Oct. 2 to James Barnes.
“P.S. Oct. 5. It is all right! The book has this moment arrived, & I thank you again” [MTP]. Note: Gribben gives (1866-1936) for Barnes and lists four books, but only one prior to 1905, The Son of Light Horse Harry (1904) Harpers; this may be an early release of the book, but why it would have to be sent from Brazil is not clear .
An unidentified person who signed “The Boss”, wrote from Allegheny, Penn. to Sam, admiring him for
HF, CY and “all your other works,” adding “Hoping that you may often yet use your pen against Catholicism, and wishing you a long life” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the back: “Compliment without charges / Keep it.”
Paine gives this as the date the Clemens family left Elmira for New York, taking rooms at the Grosvenor Hotel [MTB 1206]. Hill confirms: “On October 5, after a final visit to Susy’s grave, the Clemens family moved from Elmira to New York City, where it spent the last weeks before departing at the Grosvenor Hotel” .
October 6 Tuesday – The Clemens family was resting at the Grosvenor Hotel, N.Y.C.
Sam’s notebook: “Tell Ingersoll’s story of the Calvinist who took a holiday trip to hell. Long story. Abrupt end, without a point. Then ‘But is that the end?’ ‘Yes.—No, I forgot—he couldn’t sell his return ticket’” [NB 46 TS 25].
October 7 Wednesday – George Gregory Smith sent a telegram and wrote a letter to Sam, confirming
the lease agreement for the Villa in Florence. [MTP; Oct. 9 to Goodman]. Hill gives the rental price at 10,000 Lire, which was “half the original lease price” . Note: in his Oct. 11 to his mother, Smith noted Sam “cabled his satisfaction”; cable not extant [Orth 30].
Sam wrote a note to himself: “I have a lease on this villa until November 1, 1904, at 834 lire per month. It is furnished, & has fifty or sixty rooms. I desire to sub-let it, at half the price I am paying. Possession given at any time after the first of February. Apply to Mr. Higgs, real estate agent, 8 via / Mark Twain” [MTP: DV245 file]. Note: Arthur W. Higgs.
October 8 Thursday – Sam’s notebook:
I to write exclusively for him; (magazine stuff).
At 30 cents a word;
And get $10,000 a year;
Even if I write nothing.
If I write more than $10,000 worth, the surplus to be paid at 30 c per word. [NB 46 TS 25]. Note: Sam was mulling over Robert J. Collier’s offer.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.