Vol 3 Section 1071

1904                                                                           1007

Georgie Fyfe wrote from Castello, Mexico a letter of condolence to Sam. “Your two daughters must be a great comfort to you, but I hardly met them when in Vienna, and I can only remember you two, & how very kind she was to me” [MTP].

June 27 MondayThe Clemens party left for Naples, where they would sail the next day for America. The voyage would take fourteen days [June 26 to Langdon]. The NB entry shows the party stayed at the Hotel du Vesuvie.

Sam’s notebook: “Came down to Naples. Hotel du Vesuvie. Good. / [Horiz. Line separator] / The green tin box (1870?) Then the two black tin boxes (1896). All 3 now succeeded by the plain tin box (June 1904) After a little, who will care for these so hallowed treasures? /How all values have shrunken!” [NB 47 TS 14]. Note: the three years being the wedding year, Susy’s death, and last Livy’s death. Each tin box likely held Livy’s keepsakes.

June 28 TuesdaySam later wrote of the mix-up of this morning:

In Naples at 10 a.m. sailing-day I sent my courier to the local agent to inquire if all was right. He was told the casket was on board. The ship was to sail at 4. I arrived on board about 3, & was astounded to learn there were no certificates [for the casket], & that if I could not produce them the casket must be put ashore, because without them it would not be allowed to land in America.

The President & Government of the United States, in Cabinet assembled, had already given orders which would have protected me from this shame & from all difficulties & obstructions, but I did not know this, & there seemed to be no help for me. …But the captain was touched by my humiliating situation, & he ventured a large & grave risk in my behalf. He accepted a written declaration from me in place of the certificates. Then our Vice Consul was summoned & also took a risk for me. I furnished him a sworn statement, & he allowed the casket to remain [July 23 to Mason, 1st not sent].

In Naples, Italy Sam signed a sworn statement about Livy’s death to Homer M. Byington, US vice-consul, Naples. The body was “in a leaden case hermetically sealed—also in an oaken coffin” [MTP].

At 10 p.m. the Clemens party sailed from Naples for New York in the Prince Oscar ( Prinz Oskar) [NB 47 TS 14]. The ship would arrive in New York on July 12, a fourteen-day voyage. The New York Times reported on June 29, p.2, “Mark Twain Sails for New York,” that Sam left Naples with the casket on June 28.

Sam’s notebook: “No doctor’s certificate. / No consul’s [certificate] / These absolutely essential documents lacking, & no time to get them from Florence. / But I made a personal declaration & swore to it before the Vice Consul & satisfied the captain. / If I had been an unknown person, we should have been in awful circumstances” [NB 47 TS 14].

Sebastiano V. Cecchi wrote to Sam. “I have received your favor of yesterday [must have been a cable, not extant].” Sam wrote on the env. “Kirch won’t fight”; along side of the left margin he also wrote details of the doctor’s charges [MTP].

June 29 WednesdayThe Clemens party was en route in the Prince Oscar from Naples to New York.

Sam’s notebook: “Sailed last night at 10. The bugle-call to breakfast. I recognized the notes & was distressed. When I heard them last, Livy heard them with me; now they fall upon her ears unheeded. / This ship is the ‘Prince Oscar,’ Hamburg-American” [NB 47 TS 14].

Sam asked the ship’s surgeon for a tonic for Clara [NB 47 TS 15]. Note: Sam complained in his July 5 entry that the doctor then called daily to check on her.

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.