These are only emblematic of his character, and that is all. I say, without exception, hair and all, he is the whitest man I have ever known.
This had been early in April. Something more than a month later Clemens was making a business trip to New York to see Mr. Rogers. I was telephoned early to go up and look over some matters with him before he started. I do not remember why I was not to go along that day, for I usually made such trips with him. I think it was planned that Miss Clemens, who was in the city, was to meet him at the Grand Central Station. At all events, she did meet him there, with the news that during the night Mr. Rogers had suddenly died. This was May 20, 1909. The news had already come to the house, and I had lost no time in preparations to follow by the next train. I joined him at the Grosvenor Hotel, on Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street. He was upset and deeply troubled by the loss of his stanch adviser and friend. He had a helpless look, and he said his friends were dying away from him and leaving him adrift.
"And how I hate to do anything," he added, "that requires the least modicum of intelligence!"
We remained at the Grosvenor for Mr. Rogers's funeral. Clemens served as one of the pall-bearers, but he did not feel equal to the trip to Fairhaven. He wanted to be very quiet, he said. He could not undertake to travel that distance among those whom he knew so well, and with whom he must of necessity join in conversation; so we remained in the hotel apartment, reading and saying very little until bedtime. Once he asked me to write a letter to Jean: "Say, 'Your father says every little while, "How glad I am that Jean is at home again!"' for that is true and I think of it all the time."
But by and by, after a long period of silence, he said:
"Mr. Rogers is under the ground now."
And so passed out of earthly affairs the man who had contributed so largely to the comfort of Mark Twain's old age. He was a man of fine sensibilities and generous impulses; withal a keen sense of humor.
One Christmas, when he presented Mark Twain with a watch and a match- case, he wrote:
MY DEAR CLEMENS,--For many years your friends have been complaining of your use of tobacco, both as to quantity and quality. Complaints are now coming in of your use of time. Most of your friends think that you are using your supply somewhat lavishly, but the chief complaint is in regard to the quality.
I have been appealed to in the mean time, and have concluded that it is impossible to get the right kind of time from a blacking-box.
Therefore, I take the liberty of sending you herewith a machine that will furnish only the best. Please use it with the kind wishes of Yours truly, H. H. ROGERS.
P. S.--Complaint has also been made in regard to the furrows you make in your trousers in scratching matches. You will find a furrow on the bottom of the article inclosed. Please use it. Compliments of the season to the family.
He was a man too busy to write many letters, but when he did write (to Clemens at least) they were always playful and unhurried. One reading them would not find it easy to believe that the writer was a man on whose shoulders lay the burdens of stupendous finance-burdens so heavy that at last he was crushed beneath their weight.
AN EXTENSION OF COPYRIGHT
One of the pleasant things that came to Mark Twain that year was the passage of a copyright bill, which added to the royalty period an extension of fourteen years. Champ Clark had been largely instrumental in the success of this measure, and had been fighting for it steadily since Mark Twain's visit to Washington in 1906. Following that visit, Clark wrote:
. . . It [the original bill] would never pass because the bill had literature and music all mixed together. Being a Missourian of course it would give me great pleasure to be of service to you. What I want to say is this: you have prepared a simple bill relating only to the copyright of books; send it to me and I will try to have it passed.