of “Huckleberry Finn,” the recorder of the experiences and emotions of a cub pilot on the Mississippi, lacks nothing of his large due of appreciation here or abroad.
Mr. Clemens sails to-day for Italy, with his wife, who has long been an invalid. It is hoped that a long stay in that climate may restore her to health. One the eve of his departure Mr. Clemens signed a contract with a publishing house of Harper & Brothers which, according to Mr. George Harvey, the President of that corporation, assures to Mr. Clemens and his children a competence for all their lives. Mr. Clemens assumes that this is the fulfillment of a prophecy uttered by Chiro [Cheiro], the palmist, in 1895, that the humorist would come into a fortune in his sixty-eighth year, which will be completed next month.
These important and cheering facts were made known to a few of Mr. Clemens’s many friends at a dinner party given in honor of the great humorist by Mr. Harvey at the Metropolitan Club in this city last Thursday evening. In the company were Messrs. J. Pierpont Morgan, W. D. Howells, H. H. Rogers, H. M. Alden, J. Henry Harper, W. M. Laffan, Melville E. Stone, Edward Lauterbach, John Kendrick Bangs, Hamlin Garland, Will N. Harben, Frederick A. Duneka, James H. Hyde, George G. Ward, James McArthur, F. T. Leigh, John I. Waterbury, St. Clair McKelway, T. J. Coolidge, Jr., and A. D. Chandler. Words of good cheer were spoken to Mr. Clemens at this feast, and he, who always has known how to bear his burdens lightly, was as buoyant and companionable as ever. But all felt that it was saying “good-bye” to a man of advanced years, just starting on a long voyage to be gone indefinitely.
Sam’s notebook reflects some of the men present at the above gathering: “Rogers, Lauterbach? / Melville Stone? / Twichell, Parker / Pierpont Morgan. / Col. Harvey / Dinner / Metropolitan Club 60th & 5th 8 p.m.
[Horiz. Line separator] / To-day the Harper contract was signed. (See Apl. 17/02)” [NB 46 TS 27]. Note: Melville E. Stone, President of Associated Press.
Edwin Markham wrote from Staten Island, NY to Sam. “You would like to know Miss Vivian, the artist who will hand you this note aboard ship. She is a stateswoman of yours and has other qualities that set her in a company apart” [MTP].
An unidentified person at the Plaza Hotel, NYC sent Sam five large printed sheets with the lyrics of hymns [MTP].
October 23 Friday – In N.Y.C. Sam and Livy signed the new contracts making Harper & Brothers his exclusive publisher in exchange for a guaranteed $25,000 per year. He then wrote to the American Publishing Co.
“Until further notice in writing from us please send all notices of default, if any there be, under the contract between yourselves, Harpers & Brothers and ourselves executed this day to us, in care of H. H. Rogers, Esq.” [MTP].
Sam and Livy also wrote a letter to Harper & Brothers authorizing them to pay to the Estate of Charles Dudley Warner half the forthcoming royalties for GA and charge those amounts to their account [MTP].
Sam also wrote his autograph to an unidentified person [MTP].
Sam also inscribed a copy of HF to Blanche Bates: “None genuine without this label on the bottle: Mark Twain, Oct. 23/03” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: In 1895 Cheiro the palmist examined my hand and said that in my 68th year (1903) I would become suddenly rich. I was a bankrupt and $94,000 in debt at the time, through the failure of Chas. L. Webster & Co. Two years later—in London—Cheiro repeated this long-distance prediction, and added that the riches would come from a quite unexpected source.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.