That will (presently) be the address, for 3 years, but we are homeless as yet. It is an old-time house & was badly out of repair. I took it August 17, & the repairers went to work. They are still at work, but the owner feels sure they will finish by mid-November. That will answer quite well, for we are under no pressure of hurry. Jean, with the servants, is in the country home in the Berkshire hills, well content with the dream-haze of the Indian summer & the painted foliage, & has no longings for the city; I am in a comfortable little hotel close to No. 21 & am obliged to stay in town for many business reasons; Clara has finished such superintending as she could do at No. 21, & to-day she goes into stringent rest-cure conditions in a private hospital in 64th street—in bed—with no company but a cat & a trained nurse, & no visitor but the specialist‘. This must continue until May. The shock of her mother’s death was crushing. She began rest-curing as soon as we arrived from Italy in July, but was allowed 3 weeks’ respite October first, to let her do some planning around about the house, but now she goes into strict captivity. Surely we shall be in the hired home before you & your mother arrive, & there you must let us see you at lunch or dinner or something, for our seclusion will be against strangers & acquaintances only, not against near friends. Therefore when you arrive you must telephone me—no, send me a note—my name will not be in the telephone directory. Then I will arrange. I shall be most cordially glad to see you & your mother under our roof. That you are coming is such good news; & I was only hoping it, never expecting it.
Sam then wrote several pages of remembrances of Livy and Susy, followed by:
Jean & I will be housekeeping by the time you & your mother arrive; so be sure & let me know promptly.
Sincerely, with affectionate regard … [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Joe Twichell.
After I got your telegram, dear Joe, I came upon Mrs. Boyce, & she read me a paragraph from Sue’s letter. But it was too new to furnish any real particulars, it only re-stated the telegram, substantially. I hope the boy is getting along well, & that the conceded seriousness has passed. I will talk no sadness—it is enough to have had it for hourly mind-company so many age-long months. I could not talk it to you & Harmony, anyway, to whom (blessedly) its deepest reaches are an unknown tongue as yet. . . . I will believe everything is going well with the boy.
To-day Clara goes into strict seclusion (a month ahead of the time set) to remain in bed & see no one for half a year. Jean is in the Berkshire hills. I am by myself. I find myself poor company. To-morrow, a year ago, we took Livy on board the ship; & how bright she was, & beautiful!
I send my best love to you all [MTP].
Ella J. Corey wrote from Elmira to Sam.
Here on the hill at Quarry Farm, I realize keenly, as I see & understand Susie Crane’s grief that Livy has gone from our light. I knew her first in the summer of 1858 & along the years she grew more & more into my heart. Her life broadened & I saw her seldom but the love did not change. One of my treasures is a little book of Burus’ Songs she brought me from Scotland…I saw her last at Riverdale, where her gracious presence made even the gray spring day bright [MTP]. Note: Ella was a lifelong friend of Livy’s. See listings and photograph of Ella in MTL 3.
Sarah A. Sage in Albany, NY wrote a short note of condolence delayed to Sam [MTP].
October 24 Monday – In N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Ralph W. Ashcroft c/o The Koy-lo Co., 11 Broadway, N.Y.C. “These are the original telegrams. / S.L. Clemens” [MTP]. Note: possibly telegrams to and from John Hays Hammond (Sept. 15 and others) regarding dissension over seating Plasmon Co. new board of directors.
Sam’s notebook: “All royalties & nobilities are conscious fictions & artificialities. They privately laugh at themselves; knowing that, alive they are no better than their valets; & that, dead, their meat is inferior to pork” [NB 47 TS 17].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.