It is very good news you give me (along with the £350) about Plasmon. The American Co got my $32,500—the whole of it. Let it go. Davis sails for England a fortnight hence. He will tell you all about the sharp game that was played, & the result of it. The man who ventures to resurrect the American Co will be a good deal of a fool. / With affectionate regards to all of you, … [MTP].
November 10 Thursday – On this day or Nov. 11 at the Grosvenor Hotel in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Frank N. Doubleday.
I did not know you were going to England: I would have freighted you with such messages of homage & affection to Kipling. And I would have pressed his hand, through you, for his sympathy with me in my crushing loss, as expressed by him in his letter to Gilder. You know my feeling for Kipling & that it antedates that expression.
I was glad that the boys came here to invite me to the house-warming & I think they understood why a man in the shadow of a calamity like mine could not go.
It has taken three months to repair & renovate our house—corner of 9th and 5th Avenue, but I shall be in it 10 or 15 days hence. Much of the furniture went into it today (from Hartford). We have not seen it for 13 years. Katy Leary, our old housekeeper, who has been in our service more than 24 years, cried when she told me about it to-day. She said “I had forgotten it was so beautiful, & it brought Mrs. Clemens right back to me—in that old time when she was so young & lovely.”
Jean and my secretary & the servants whom we brought from Italy because Mrs. Clemens liked them so well, are still keeping house in the Berkshire hills—& waiting. Clara (nervously wrecked by her mother’s death) is in the hands of a specialist in 69th st., & I shall not be allowed to have any communication with her—even telephone—for a year. I am in this comfortable little hotel, & still in bed—for I dasn’t budge till I’m safe from my pet devil, bronchitis.
Isn’t it pathetic? One hour & ten minutes before Mrs. Clemens died I was saying to her, “To-day, after five months search, I’ve found the villa that will content you: to-morrow you will examine the plans & give your consent & I will buy it.” Her eyes danced with pleasure, for she longed for a home of her own. And there, on that morrow, she lay white and cold. And unresponsive to my reverent caresses—a new thing to me & a new thing to her; that had not happened before in five & thirty years.
I am coming to see you & Mrs. Doubleday by and bye. She loved and honored Mrs. Doubleday & her work. / Always yours, / Mark [MTP: Paine’s 1917 Mark Twain’s Letters, p.760-1].
Robert Reid, et al for the Players Club signed a plea with a few dozen others asking Sam to come back.
“Dear St. Mark / I could get millons more but kept it to some of the old crowd you use to join and cheer & who will cheer again & again like ‘the young lady from Maine’ if you’ll only come back & join us again. We want you—we want you—we want you Mark Twain!” [MTP].
November 11 Friday – At the Grosvenor Hotel in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Robert Reid and the Players Club.
To Robert Reid & the others— /well-beloved:
Surely those lovely verses went to Prince Charlie’s heart, if he had one, & certainly they have gone to mine. I shall be glad & proud to come back again, after such a moving & beautiful compliment as this from comrades whom I have loved so long. I hope you can poll the necessary vote; I know you will try, at any rate.
It will be many months before I can foregather with you, for this black border is not perfunctory, not a convention; it symbolizes the loss of one whose memory is the only thing I worship.
It is not necessary for me to thank you—& words could not deliver what I feel, anyway. I will put the contents of your envelop in the small casket where I keep things which have become sacred to me [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore. “Thank you ever so much for trying, but never mind—I find we have no use for the mahogany set, after all. / I am still at the hotel Grosvenor, but shall get into the house within the next ten days, I hope. You must look in when you are down” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.