I am new to my business, but I should never dream of making use of the toads that fell from a man’s mouth, only the pearls; and then I was so interested in the conversation that I clean forgot that I was there with a purpose. One of the things that I had really meant to ask you was your opinion of the International Copyright question—Have you got an opinion, or rather are you willing to make it public? And now I am gathering courage, like Abraham I would ask you another one—do you mind being photographed in your Tuscan surroundings some day when the sun shines, or can you give me one or two snapshots of yourself here? [MTP].
Paola de Plaisant, attorney, wrote to Sam, again about the flap over use of the stables at Villa Quarto. Paolo had visited Smith the day before to hear his interpretation of the lease on the matter. He repeated his understanding born by his previous letter; the stables could be in the basement of the Villa, but that would be unhealthy for Livy; another large stables nearby were suggested. He asked if Sam could write the Countess about the matter [MTP].
December 2 Wednesday
December 3 Thursday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Eleanor V. Hutton (Mrs. Laurence Hutton). “I thank you ever so much for your congratulations, & for sending me that accurate description of me. Been in bed a week, but am getting around again. With love to you both…” [MTP].
Susan Crane wrote to Sam (here used the forwarded copy for Rogers typed by Jean with a few comments added by Sam):
Dear and Holy Samuel. / That picture which I intended to draw for you early in November was delayed for a manifest reason.
Lewis sat in the warm sunshine, on the edge of the porch, waiting for me to walk up from the farm barn. He wished to arrange some of the conditions of the lease of his farm, for we have no written contract. We were so warm that I laid aside my wraps, and he sat in his patched, faded blue overalls, with his white head uncovered.
We talked of the farm, and he told me how near he was to securing the old Bible stolen from the Dunker meeting house after the battle of Antietam, he wishing to restore it to the old church, etc.
We never talk long without Lewis giving me considerable philosophy, and this porch-visit Nov. 3rd was no exception.
As it drew to a close, I brought to Lewis your offering and mine, for the month, and said “I do not know whether the gift will be continued from Mr. Clemens’ friend or not, it is doubtful as he has met with some losses.” He turned on me a look of surprise, disappointment and inquiryand said, “if it’s not asking too much. I have thought that friend might be Mr. Langdon, and he did not wish to have me know of his generosity.”
When I said “no,” Lewis seemed relieved that Mr. Langdon had not met with losses. He thought a few minutes, as if to put down any selfish consideration, then said, “I wish you would ask Mr. Clemens to thank his friend for what he has done for me, and tell him I am very sorry he has lost money, and not just because I shall miss his gift to me.”
[in right margin, in SLC’s hand: Now this ought to touch you, Mr. R!]
Lewis’ look and tone conveyed more than the words can, of sincere sympathy. During the month he has called several times, but he has not mentioned the subject. Yesterday as I was at luncheon, I heard his voice and Molly came to say she wished to see me, but that she would give him a dinner, and I need not hurry to see him.
In due time Lewis appeared, with an old gray overcoat half covering the usual light blue suit. Covering no one knows how many other suits. In his hand an old, much worn ennamel cloth tra veling bag dated 1860. but looking as if it might have come over in the Mayflower. The entire equipment save the illuminated face of the man, was well worn and very old. In the bag was the historic Bible, which he wished me to see, and a forty year old hard tack. Lewis was delighted to have the Bible with the hope of starting it on its return to Antietam today. He drew a long breath as he handed me an envelope, saying, “all the good things come together today.” It was the check from Mr. Rogers for $20.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.