of enthusiasm concerning it, and Clemens, in his mind, had decided on the purchase. In the corridor Clara said:
“She is better to-day than she has been for three months.”
Then quickly, under her breath, “Unberufen,” which the others, too, added hastily—superstitiously. Mrs. Clemens was, in fact, bright and cheerful, and anxious to hear all about the new property which
was to become their home. She urged him to sit by her during the dinner-hour and tell her the details; but once, when the sense of her frailties came upon her, she said they must not mind if she could not go very soon, but be content where they were. He remained from half past seven until eight—a forbidden privilege, but permitted because she was so animated, feeling so well. Their talk was as it had been in the old days, and once during it he reproached himself, as he had so often done, and asked forgiveness for the tears he had brought into her life. When he was summoned to go at last he chided himself for remaining so long; but she said there was no harm, and kissed him, saying: “You will come back,” and he answered, “Yes, to say good night,” meaning at half past nine, as was the permitted custom. He stood a moment at the door throwing kisses to her, and she returning them, her face bright with smiles.
He was so hopeful and happy that it amounted to exaltation. He went to his room at first, then he was moved to do a thing which he had seldom done since Susy died. He went to the piano up-stairs and sang the old jubilee songs that Susy had liked to hear him sing. Jean came in presently, listening. She had not done this before, that he could remember. He sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and “My Lord He Calls Me.” He noticed Jean then and stopped, but she asked him to go on.
Mrs. Clemens, in her room, heard the distant music, and said to her attendant:
“He is singing a good-night carol to me.”
The music ceased presently, and then a moment later she asked to be lifted up. Almost in that instant life slipped away without a sound.
Clemens, coming to say good night, saw a little group about her bed, Clara and Jean standing as if dazed. He went and bent over and looked into her face, surprised that she did not greet him. He did not suspect what had happened until he heard one of the daughters ask:
“Katie, is it true? Oh, Katie, is it true?”
He realized then that she was gone.
Sam’s notebook: At a quarter past 9 this evening she that was the life of my life passed to the relief & the peace of death, after 22 months of unjust & unearned suffering. I first saw her near 37 years ago, & now I have looked upon her face for the last time. Oh, so unexpected [MTB 1216-18; NB 47 TS 11].
Clara Clemens recalled the death of her mother:
This was on a warm day, the fifth of June, when the very flowers seemed filled with the exaltation of life that early sumemer invokes! Mother appeared better than she had been for months and was eager to hear every detail concerning the home Father had now fully determined to acquire. We gathered around her bed, allowing the new topic of interest to fill out thoughts. Then Jean and I left Father and Mother alone. It was now early in the evening, and as we looked down on the lights of Florence twinkling peacefully under the starry sky we felt deep joy arise in our hearts. Joy because Mother was better and we were going to have a home of our own once more. Later we heard Father in the next room singing “Go Chain the Lion Down.” He too was happy. Suddenly the agitated voice of Katie rose above all other sounds: “Miss Clara! Miss Clara!” I ran, but reached Mother’s room too late. It was impossible to rivive her strength after this terrible heart-attack. The Bestower of Peace entered and set my precious Mother free. Her wish to die before her husband had been granted and she passed unconsciously from the earthly to the unknown state. Father stood helpless as a little child while the beloved soul glided away. He softly stroked an unresponding hand and called her name. No answer but the silence of the dead [MFMT 252-3].
Katy Leary remembered:
The night she died, there was some great doings going on at the church and I went out to them. It’s what they call the Fourty Hours’ Adoration. A grand procession with boys carrying lighted candles and the priests
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.