It occurred in the beautiful Bay of Smyrna, on the fifth or sixth of September, while the vessel lay there for the Ephesus trip.
Reference has been made to young Charles Langdon, of Elmira (the "Charley" once mentioned in the Innocents), as an admirer of Mark Twain. There was a good deal of difference in their ages, and they were seldom of the same party; but sometimes the boy invited the journalist to his cabin and, boy-like, exhibited his treasures. He had two sisters at home; and of Olivia, the youngest, he had brought a dainty miniature done on ivory in delicate tints--a sweet-pictured countenance, fine and spiritual. On that fateful day in the day of Smyrna, Samuel Clemens, visiting in young Langdon's cabin, was shown this portrait. He looked at it with long admiration, and spoke of it reverently, for the delicate face seemed to him to be something more than a mere human likeness. Each time he came, after that, he asked to see the picture, and once even begged to be allowed to take it away with him. The boy would not agree to this, and the elder man looked long and steadily at the miniature, resolving in his mind that some day he would meet the owner of that lovely face--a purpose for once in accord with that which the fates had arranged for him, in the day when all things were arranged, the day of the first beginning.
THE RETURN OF THE PILGRIMS
The last note-book entry bears date of October 11th:
At sea, somewhere in the neighborhood of Malta. Very stormy.
Terrible death to be talked to death. The storm has blown two small land birds and a hawk to sea and they came on board. Sea full of flying-fish.
That is all. There is no record of the week's travel in Spain, which a little group of four made under the picturesque Gibraltar guide, Benunes, still living and quite as picturesque at last accounts. This side-trip is covered in a single brief paragraph in the Innocents, and the only account we have of it is in a home letter, from Cadiz, of October 24th:
We left Gibraltar at noon and rode to Algeciras (4 hours), thus dodging the quarantine--took dinner, and then rode horseback all night in a swinging trot, and at daylight took a caleche (a-wheeled vehicle), and rode 5 hours--then took cars and traveled till twelve at night. That landed us at Seville, and we were over the hard part of our trip and somewhat tired. Since then we have taken things comparatively easy, drifting around from one town to another and attracting a good deal of attention--for I guess strangers do not wander through Andalusia and the other southern provinces of Spain often. The country is precisely what it was when Don Quixote and Sancho Panza were possible characters.
But I see now what the glory of Spain must have been when it was under Moorish domination. No, I will not say that--but then when one is carried away, infatuated, entranced, with the wonders of the Alhambra and the supernatural beauty of the Alcazar, he is apt to overflow with admiration for the splendid intellects that created them.
We may wish that he had left us a chapter of that idyllic journey, but it will never be written now. A night or two before the vessel reached New York there was the usual good-by assembly, and for this occasion, at Mrs. Severance's request, Mark Twain wrote some verses. They were not especially notable, for meter and rhyme did not come easy to him, but one prophetic stanza is worth remembering. In the opening lines the passengers are referred to as a fleet of vessels, then follows:
Lo! other ships of that parted fleet Shall suffer this fate or that: One shall be wrecked, another shall sink, Or ground on treacherous flat. Some shall be famed in many lands As good ships, fast and fair, And some shall strangely disappear, Men know not when or where.
The Quaker City returned to America on November 19, 1867, and Mark Twain found himself, if not famous, at least in very wide repute.