November 20 Friday – Isabel Lyon and her mother Georgiana Lyon arrived in Florence and were met at the train station by Jean Clemens, “wearing an incongruous lorgnette” (eyeglasses mounted on a handle: an oxymoron!) [Trombley MTOW 29]. Note: Lyon’s trip had been delayed by needed treatments for a bad eye.
Sam’s notebook: “Coat-of-arms: / Pirate. Admiral? Headsman (with great sword—‘knight?’ No. / Makes me blush at every inquiry concerning my coat (was going to place it opp. Würtemburg’s, on our great gate. Lot more criminals & bar sinisters—in his & mine” [NB 46 TS 30]. Note: Sam often left off a closing parenthesis.
Ladies’ Home Journal, p. 1 ran “Mark Twain’s Pictures” with Sam commenting on John T. Lewis and on a porcelain cat [Budd, “Supplement” ALR 16.1 (Spring 1983) 72]. Budd’s no. 191a. Note: pictures by the Boston photographer Thomas E. Marr.
November 21 Saturday – At the Villa di Quarto near Florence, Livy suffered a bad night that led Sam to search for a doctor the next day [Orth 31: Smith to his mother Nov. 22].
Isabel Lyon and her mother Georgiana Lyon had spent the night in a Florence hotel, and arrived this day at the Villa di Quarto. Isabel’s reaction to the place may be found in: [Trombley, MTOW 29-30].
November 22 Sunday – Sam’s notebook: “Interview; 10 to 12 a.m. / Mr. E. Bunbury— / Caulfield (‘Italian Gazette.)” [NB 46 TS 30].
Salvatore Cortesi of the Associated Press in Rome, Italy, wrote to Sam, enclosing a clipping from an unspecified newspaper, “Priest Attacks Mark Twain; Calling Him a Scurrilous Buffoon—Defends Veneration of Relics”. The short article focused on a sermon by Rev. John J. Fullam, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Yonkers, NY. Cortesi sought a comment from Mark Twain on the subject “with the intention of having it published” [MTP].
George Gregory Smith sent Sam copies of his letter to Arthur W. Higgs, real estate agent, Florence about the Villa Quarto, dated Sept. 30, 1903, and two from Higgs, dated Sept. 18 and 29. No letter directly to Sam is in the file [MTP].
George Gregory Smith also wrote to his mother:
We see a good deal of Mark Twain. He has just left this morning. He called to see about a Doctor for Mrs. Clemens. She is a very confirmed invalid with some sort of heart trouble. She had a very bad night & he wanted a Doctor. He finally chose Paggi who perhaps stands quite at the head of Florentine Drs. We are to have them, i.e. the Clemens to dinner Thanksgiving day. Of course Mrs. Clemens cannot come and one of the daughters will have to stay with her, but Mark Twain & one daughter will come [Orth 31]. Note: Later, two of Livy’s doctors were Prof. Pietro Grocco and Dr. Giovanni Nesti [Hill 72].
November 23 Monday – Miss Theodosia Lawson Boone presented Sam the letter of introduction from St. Clair McKelway dated Nov. 18, 1903. Miss Boone added her own note, confessing she did not know McKelway personally, but he was an old friend of her father’s (Dr. William C. Boone) [MTP].
John S. Palmer of the Echo Farm Co., NYC wrote to Sam about his order: “Your request for 50 lbs. our wholesome Brownish Flour and 6 loaves of its bread came in due time. A slight delay has occurred getting all properly ready. Our manager is directed to make shipment now promptly in strict accord with your wish.” The loaves would have to be heated and dried to prevent mould during shipment [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.