They represent geological periods. Mine is the oldest. It is formed in strata of Old Red Sandstone, volcanic tufa, ignis fatuus, and bicarbonate of hornblende, superimposed upon argillaceous shale, and contains the prints of prehistoric man. It is in No. 149. Thousands of scientists come to see it. They consider it holy. They want to blast out the prints but cannot. Dynamite rebounds from it.

Finished studies and sail Saturday in Minnehaha. Yours ever affectionately, MARK TWAIN.

They sailed for New York October 6th, and something more than a week later America gave them a royal welcome. The press, far and wide, sounded Mark Twain's praises once more; dinners and receptions were offered on every hand; editors and lecture agents clamored for him.

The family settled in the Earlington Hotel during a period of house- hunting. They hoped eventually to return to Hartford, but after a brief visit paid by Clemens alone to the old place he wrote:

To Sylvester Baxter, in Boston:

NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 1900. DEAR MR. BAXTER,--It was a great pleasure to me to renew the other days with you, and there was a pathetic pleasure in seeing Hartford and the house again; but I realize that if we ever enter the house again to live, our hearts will break. I am not sure that we shall ever be strong enough to endure that strain. Sincerely yours, S. L. CLEMENS.

Mr. and Mrs. Rogers wished to have them in their neighborhood, but the houses there were not suitable, or were too expensive. Through Mr. Frank Doubleday they eventually found, at 14 West Tenth Street, a large residence handsomely furnished, and this they engaged for the winter. "We were lucky to get this big house furnished," he wrote MacAlister in London. "There was not another one in town procurable that would answer us, but this one is all right--space enough in it for several families, the rooms all old-fashioned, great size."

The little note that follows shows that Mark Twain had not entirely forgotten the days of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

To a Neighbor on West Tenth Street, New York:

Nov. 30. DEAR MADAM,--I know I ought to respect my duty and perform it, but I am weak and faithless where boys are concerned, and I can't help secretly approving pretty bad and noisy ones, though I do object to the kind that ring door-bells. My family try to get me to stop the boys from holding conventions on the front steps, but I basely shirk out of it, because I think the boys enjoy it.

My wife has been complaining to me this evening about the boys on the front steps and under compulsion I have made some promises. But I am very forgetful, now that I am old, and my sense of duty is getting spongy. Very truly yours, S. L. CLEMENS.

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book