It is good & relieving news that you send me about Joe. Now, then, let him make a sacrifice for his mother’s sake & call Jean’s hand: * [at bottom margin: * Ecclesiastical poker term] Jean has given up horse-back riding, for my sake. I shall try to make it up to her some way.
No, Clara can’t have letters, or books, or anything interesting. (Damn those Or’s & Nor’s—they never fit.) I go out to Clara’s regularly, but I don’t ask to see her. This morning’s news (by telephone) is good; she slept well & is not dreary but cheerful. (She is approaching the desired stage in the rest-cure business—the stage where all things cease from troubling & the wicked are at rest, & don’t worry about anything, & are lazy & comfortable. And then she has that wonderful cat, you know—the best company I ever saw.)
(I wish to gosh you would page your letters, & not make me waste profanity which I can but ill spare, in helping me hunt my way through. I have reformed Jean & Susy Crane. Whenever a stranger sends me a letter made up of foolish and affected summersaults, I put it in the fire without looking to see what it is about.) Damn a stranger, anyway! Did you ever care for one? Understand:
(I am whetting up for King Leopold of Belgium. By January I shall have all the material (& venom) I want.)
Oh, yes, indeed, Jean is coming as soon as I tip the word that the house is ready. That will end the lonesomeness. Doubtless Nov. 15 or 20. I couldn’t go to Hartford, Joe—not for a long, long time yet, if ever. Oh, never, I am sure!
Wong came to see me, yesterday. Ah in every way he is splendid, just splendid! How squalid the little nasty Roosevelt’s are, beside such a man! I hadn’t seen Wong since he was a boy [MTP].
Note: Joe’s son, Joseph Hooker Twichell, had been hurt in a football game and was briefly hospitalized [Courant, Oct. 20, 1904, p.7]; Sam urged Joe to have his son “make a sacrifice for his Mother’s sake” to give up football, just as Jean had given up riding horses, at least for the time being, since her tangle with the trolley.
In his Nov. 1 Twichell identifies “Wong” as Wong Kai-Kah (1860-1906), one of the first Chinese students to study in the US. The NY Times, in his Feb. 7, 1906 obituary identifies him further as “a student at Yale in his early days, and who served as Deputy Commissioner at the St. Louis Exposition . His wife attracted much attention at St. Louis through the decoration of the Chinese building and the arrangement of its exhibits.”
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore in Hartford.
Dear Brer: / If I remember rightly, the mahogany-room set went for a song. Could it be bought back for the same price or a little more? It was my fault that it was sold, & when I found how grieved Mrs. Clemens was about it I deeply regretted it.
I think our house (21 Fifth ave., cor. 9th) will be finished & ready for us to move into some time in November.
I am living in the Grosvenor hotel, Clara is shut up in a rest-cure in 69th st (I’m not allowed to see her till by & by—in May); Jean & the others are in our summer cottage in the Berkshires [MTP].
William McCutchan Morrison (1867-1918) wrote from Lexington, Va. to Sam. The first two pages of the letter are missing. The last four pages are concerning the situation in the Congo. At the bottom of the last page Morrison wrote:
“P.S. I am sending under another cover a copy of a report written on the spot by Rev. W.H. Shefford, F.R.G.S. Mr. Shefford is a colored Missionary. A member of the Southern Presbyterian Church, and a man of integrity and ability. He is a Fellow of he Royal Geographical Society” [MTP]. Note: Hawkins identifies Morrison as “a Presbyterian missionary from Virginia who returned in 1903 after seven years in the Congo,” and who was instrumental in forming the American Congo Relief Association in the US [153-4; Gribben 488]. Sam wrote on the env. “ ‘Reports’ & banquet speeches are always interred in pamphlets & reach nobody. The magazine is the thing”.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.