Dr. Kirch is a mere robber, & I told him so, & invited him to sue for his lacking 2200 francs. It is not likely that he will expose his case in a court, but I will find a way to make him unhappy. He charged me two prices & a half. I stood three months of it—under protest—because a change of physicians would disturb Mrs. Clemens; but I refused to pay his last 28 days’ bill. He knew I could not venture a change of doctors, since every change had been a new damage to the patient, therefore he took advantage of my helplessness to rob me.
Clara does not rally from the awful shock of her mother’s death, & I am miserably uneasy about her. Jean is faring better, but not much. We are without interest in life, now. We have lost that which excused the insult of life & modified the curse of it—indeed made life not only endurable, but dear & beautiful to us.
We remember you all with love … [MTP].
Lena Bogardus Lardner (1834-1918), wrote to Sam from Niles, Mich., that she would send her 1903 book of prose and verse, This Spray of Western Pine (“a dainty book of dainty verse, dantily produced. Illustrated prettily”) which she felt might be of some comfort to him [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “Wait for this book.” See Gribben p.397.
July 24 Sunday – Tyringham, Mass.: Sam’s notebook: “Rain—rain—rain. / [Horiz. Line separator] / Cold. We built a fire in my room. Then clawed the logs out & threw water, remembering there’s a brood of swallows in the chimney. The tragedy was averted” [MTB 1224; NB 47 TS 16 -17]. Note: Paine added the printed notebook dates, which were not part of Sam’s entries; he also made other small changes.
July 25 Monday – In Tyringham, Mass. Sam wrote to Susan Crane.
Dear Susy— / Yes, she did love me; & nothing that I did, no hurt that I inflicted upon her, no tears that I caused those dear eyes to shed, could break it down, or even chill it. It always rose again, it always burned again, as warm & bright as ever. Nothing could wreck it, nothing could extinguish it. Never a day passed that she did not say, with emphasis & enthusiasm, “I love you so. I just worship you.” They were always undeserved, they were always a rebuke, but she stopped my mouth whenever I said it, though she knew I said it honestly.
I know one thing, & I get some poor small comfort out of it: that what little good was in me I gave to her to the utmost—full measure, the last grain & the last ounce—& poor as it was, it was my very best, & far beyond anything I could have given to any other person that ever lived. It was poverty, but it was all I had; & so it stood for wealth, & she so accounted it.
I try not to think of the hurts I gave her, but oh, there are so many, so many!
I love you, dear Sue [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Charles J. Langdon in Elmira.
As to that soft & weak & characterless shaving-brush: I have been trying for 3 years to extinguish it, obliterate it, abolish it, annihilate it, discard it, disown it, exile it, ostracise it, excommunicate it—but somebody always returns it. This time it must not return. I have reached the exploding-point now, & my safety-valve is out of repair. Ida’s “Colonial Children” are perfectly safe: I only brought it away to hold as security against the return of the brush. Dr. Rice has returned that brush once, it has been returned from the yacht once, it has been returned from Fairhaven twice; & I can tell you that this conduct is becoming dangerous.
Charley, I did not know you had another picture of Livy.
Jervis is about due to be back from his canoing-trip. We have signed the papers & they have gone to him.
I am keeping his letter & Halsey Sayles’s for my guidance.
It is dreamy & reposeful here, but it does not heal the heartbreak [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Anne W. Low and Seth Low (Mayor of N.Y.C.): “We are hurt past healing, but there is power in the friendly word of sympathy to soften the ache at our hearts, & I & my children thank you deeply” [MTP].
Joe Twichell wrote from Castine, Maine to Sam.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.