Rogers had sent a subscription to the N.Y. Sun for Sam. The first copy arrived this day at the Villa. Sam was down with a case of gout, from which he recovered the next day [Nov. 28 to Rogers].
Hélène Elisabeth Picard wrote to Sam, thanking him for the “very handsome photograph” rec’d some weeks before, a picture which occupied a place of honor in their dining room. She mentioned John T. Lewis in the photograph as not being as dark as some of the peasants there. She wrote of meeting Max O’Rell and not knowing who he was, being introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Blouet. “I was told he had been married already, but was divorced and married a second time. It is only after his death that my American friends in Paris heard the truth, and they were very sorry to have invited them and been at their house themselves” [MTP]. Note: evidently Max was living in sin with a woman and presenting her as the Mrs.
Florence attorney Paola de Plaisant replied to Sam’s inquiries of Nov. 26 (not extant) to clarify details and issues of the lease on the Villa Quarto; de Plaisant related difficulties with the Countess when he visited the Villa with Smith on Oct. 6, over issues about use of the stables, and her quarters [MTP]. Sam wrote on the evn. “Clearly explains the lease” See Hill p. 72.
November 28 Saturday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, responding to a letter, date unknown, which is not extant.
Yes, I am very glad Mr. Benjamin is looking into that matter. Whitmore, speaking as a professional real-estate agent, said it was a proper procedure for Reeves to sell to Gardiner a year’s extension of his option for a thousand dollars & charge commission for it at once, but not gobble half of it at the present time on the plea that he was going to let it be part of the commission on the sale of the house, since the house isn’t sold yet. This letter was Reeve’s latest explanation. Reeves was worried, & said he wanted to do “everything in the world that would satisfy” me. Very well, then, return the $500 and wait till you have earned it.
I reckon the stocks must be nearly ready to hit bottom by this time, so I sent the cable thinking about might find it wise to put $10,000 on the cards for me. Thank you very much for the Sun. The first copy arrived yesterday & came in very handy, for I was knocked down with gout & needed mental reinforcement. I am over the attack, now, & shall get up before night.
Harper is advertising 6 vols of my “funniest books” in McClure’s mag. All right, but I thought the contract did not allow “incomplete sets” to be sold. I’m not objecting, but I doubt the wisdom of issuing selected volumes & suggesting to the public that the others are inferior. But I would surely have to object if they advertised to sell a broken set by subscription—which they don’t.
No, I had not heard of the Benuck-Cup June race. The deep-sea course will give the victory to Harry & the Kanawha, I guess. I feel certain of it; still, if I can be there to superintend Harry it will be all the certainer, I reckon.
We are getting along pretty smoothly, now, & Mrs. Clemens feels sure a trained nurse is no longer necessary, & is sending her back to America next week. I wish I could feel as sure about it myself.
With our warmest regards to all of the household, yours ever [MTHHR 542-3]. Note: Margaret Sherry was the nurse referred to. Harry Rogers was engaged in yacht racing in the Kanawha. Note: Charles A. Gardiner had leased the Tarrytown house and would purchase it.
November 29 Sunday – Sam’s notebook: “Mr. Caulfield, inter. 10 am” [NB 46 TS 30]. Note: Edward B.
Caulfield of The Italian Gazette. Interview not in Scharnhorst. See Caulfield’s followup, Dec. 1.
George Gregory Smith wrote to Sam, enclosing copies of Paola de Plaisant’s letter and his reply.
I cannot tell you how exceedingly annoyed I am at the way in which you are being treated. During the whole of the negotiations for Quarto the Countesses one aim seemed to be to make you and your family comfortable, and to show you how well an American landlady would treat a fellow American citizen especially after the matter of Papiniano. I aint never going to believe nobody no more for nothing. Not never [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.