days I lay like one in a dream, but soon I pulled myself together enough to go unsatisfactorily about my work .
Note: Trombley gives a somewhat fuller quotation from Isabel’s diary, noting the event “abruptly ended” Sam’s autobiographical dictation sessions recently initiated [MTOW 34]. On Feb. 8 Sam would write Duneka that the donkey attack brought his magazine work “to a sudden standstill.”
Sam’s notebook: “Wedding anniversary 1870 – 1904. 34 years / Miss Lyon frightened by the crazy donkey this morning” [NB 47 TS 5].
Sam met Mrs. Laing Gordon at the Villa Bel Riposo [Feb. 3 from Dr. Laing Gordon].
February 2, after – Clara Clemens wrote a sort note to her father: “Father dear don’t say anything to Mother about this till I see how she feels Katie [says] she is very miserable.” Sam wrote on the note, “As to whether I am to advise Miss Lyon to bring suit against the countess. Miss Lyon’s scare” [MTP: DV 245]. Note: stemming from the donkey-scare incident on Feb. 2.
February 3 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Marchesa Alli Macarani / Lung’ Arno del Dempio, 2 / 1 st & 3d Wednesdays” [NB 47 TS 5].
Dr. Laing Gordon wrote two letters to Sam.
“I learn from Mrs. Laing Gordon, who had the pleasure of meeting you at Villa Bel Riposo yesterday, that you have been unable to obtain tickets for our performance of Cousin Kate. / I have four stalls at (10 francs) left over…It would be a great pleasure to have you wisth us…for the evening performance on Friday Feb. 12th” He asked if Sam could write a prologue for the amateur performance. In his second note he corrected the first, saying he had only three “stalls” for the play [MTP]. Sam wrote on the bottom of the second note: “Do you & Clara, or either of you wish to go—so I can send cheque by bearer. /SLC / We’ll take two seats.”
Sometime after Feb. 3, Laing wrote again: “It is with great pleasure I have heard from Mr. Gregory Smith of your kind promise to read to us at our performances of Cousin Kate.” He put Sam first on the program, a few minutes after 8:30 p.m. on Friday and a few minutes afer 3:30 p.m on Saturday. The top of the note is missing.
February 4 Thursday – Clara Clemens wrote to her friend Dorothea Gilder (daughter of Richard Watson Gilder), about a screaming confrontation with her father (the letter was postmarked Feb. 5 and refers to the episode as “yesterday.”
I have reached the very lowest stage a human being can drop. I have had an attack of what everyone in the house calls hysteria the one thing of all others I have always despised most.
I should not believe it had happened if I were not so lame & sore all over, today and seem curiously weak.
For Heaven’s sake I hope you never will be seized as I was yesterday for the shame on me today is indescribable, when one of the servants came in to my room this A.M. & said that all the servants wished to express their sympathy I felt as if I should never stop flushing.
I don’t know why I was so suddenly seized, but at any rate I was seized by something & began to scream
curse & knocked down the furniture Etc. Etc. ‘till everyone of course came running & in my father’s presence I said I hated him hated my mother hoped they would all die & if they didn’t succeed soon I would kill them, well on & on for more than an hour, I don’t know all I said but mother hearing the noise & being told that I was overwrought got a heart attack and as you can imagine today I can hardly meet anyone’s eyes. Of course I am as hoarse as a crow & am terribly bruised from knocking myself against things. Doesn’t it sound like the commonest vulgarest actress? It all comes of controlling controlling controlling one’s self ‘till
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.