January 1 Friday – Sam read about a Chicago fire disaster in the NY Evening Post [Gribben 503; fragment
New Year News
that 564 lost their lives & 577 were hurt in a theatre-fire in Chicago day before yesterday
/ [Horiz. Line separator] / Lay abed nearly all day, but wrote 3,000 words,
earning nine hundred dollars. / [Horiz. Line separator] / Countess Montjoie? /
Lunch, 1.30 / [Horiz. Line separator] / Professor Grocco & his subordinate,
Dr. Nesti, came & changed Livy’s regime” [NB 47 TS 2].
Note: Dr. Pietro Grocco; Dr. Giovanni Nesti. Sam also referred to the fire at Chicago’s supposedly fireproof Iroquois Theatre on Dec. 30, 1903, during a performance of the hit comedy Mr. Bluebeard starring a young Eddie Foy. The blaze eventually killed 602 including 212 children, most of whom were either overcome by smoke or were trampled in the panic. A full account may be seen on the website: http://www.weirdchicago.com/iroquois.html
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam, enclosing a financial statement, and a cheque for £176.4.9 to Mrs.
Clemens, plus a cheque for £21.0.9 for two sales of the deluxe edition [MTP].
January 2 Saturday – Sam’s article, “Italian Without a Master” ran in Harper’s Weekly for Jan. 2, 1904.
It was included in The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories (1906) [Budd, Collected 2: 1009].
Sam’s notebook: “Count di Calfe (?) No—tomorrow, I think / [Horiz. Line separator] / As concerneth length of line & multiplicity of ancestors—in that property I am as poor as Jesus: No grandfather / [Horiz. Line separator] / Eligibility to membership in several of the lofty Orders requires 3 or 4 generations of noble descent. Jesus not eligible; an application from him could not be considered” [NB 47 TS 2].
Louise W. Carnegie (Mrs. Andrew Carnegie) mailed her card to Sam and Livy [MTP]. Note: it was sent to Riverdale, forwarded to Elmira. If a note accompanied the card, it is not extant.
Doubleday, Page & Co. wrote to Sam, sending him a set of Little Masterpieces of American Wit and Humor. He should not be obligated to express an opinion [MTP].
January 3 Sunday – Sam’s notebook: “Villa Guicciardina / a Montughi” [NB 47 TS 2]. Note: Sam was already looking about Florence for a more suitable villa and this was likely one consideration. Following these two lines of entry was a list of items about the Villa that go down the page. Here they are listed, separated by commas to save space: “View, Bedrooms, Baths, W.C.’s, Sun-exposures, Exits, Water, Flowers, Stoves, Fireplaces, Dogs, Other noises, Stabling, Pigs rams chickens, Cows—milk” [TS 2-3]. The list continued down the page into the Jan. 4 printed heading.
William Archer wrote from Rome, Italy, where he was vacationing a few days with his son. They were thinking of stopping in Florence on their travels, about the twelfth of the month and would like to call
January, on or before Jan 4. – Edward B. Caulfield of the Italian Gazette and Florence Gazette wrote to Sam.
I believed you at once the other day, but I had not all my wits about me as I was thinking what a nasty bit I had just escaped.
I wanted to turn the tables thoroughly on the man who tried to do me that evil turn and so it was that I selfishly asked you to help me to that end: you were quite right to refuse.
As it happens I have done a little Sherlock Holmes business on my own account and traced the mistaken practical joker and yesterday evening I managed to screw a written apology out of him which I am publishing in my next issue.
You will be sorry to hear that the idiot is a young American—his sense of humour was again at fault when he asked me if I would fight a duel instead of insisting on a public apology! [MTP]. Caulfield said the
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.