Of course I lost my temper and blew it off in a way to be heard above the roar of the tossing waters. I lost it because the admiral had taken that arch in deference to my opinion that it was the best one, while his own judgment told him to take the one nearest the other side of the river. I could have poisoned him I was so mad to think I had hired such a turnip. A boatman in command should obey nobody's orders but his own, and yield to nobody's suggestions.
It was very sweet of you to write me, dear, and I thank you ever so much. With greatest love and kisses, PAPA.
To Mrs. Clemens, in Ouchy, Switzerland:
ARLES, Sept. 30, noon. Livy darling, I hain't got no time to write today, because I am sight seeing industriously and imagining my chapter.
Bade good-bye to the river trip and gave away the boat yesterday evening. We had ten great days in her.
We reached here after dark. We were due about 4.30, counting by distance, but we couldn't calculate on such a lifeless current as we found. I love you, sweetheart. SAML.
It had been a long time since Clemens had written to his old friend Twichell, but the Rhone trip must have reminded him of those days thirteen years earlier, when, comparatively young men, he and Twichell were tramping through the Black Forest and scaling Gemmi Pass. He sent Twichell a reminder of that happy time.
To Rev. Joseph H. Twichell, in Hartford, Conn:
NIMES, Oct. 1, '91. DEAR JOE,--I have been ten days floating down the Rhone on a raft, from Lake Bourget, and a most curious and darling kind of a trip it has been. You ought to have been along--I could have made room for you easily--and you would have found that a pedestrian tour in Europe doesn't begin with a raft-voyage for hilarity and mild adventure, and intimate contact with the unvisited native of the back settlements, and extinction from the world and newspapers, and a conscience in a state of coma, and lazy comfort, and solid happiness. In fact there's nothing that's so lovely.
But it's all over. I gave the raft away yesterday at Arles, and am loafing along back by short stages on the rail to Ouchy-Lausanne where the tribe are staying. Love to you all MARK.
The Clemenses settled in Berlin for the winter, at 7 Kornerstrasse, and later at the Hotel Royal. There had been no permanent improvement in Mark Twain's arm and he found writing difficult. Some of the letters promised to Laffan and McClure were still unfinished.
Young Hall, his publishing manager in America, was working hard to keep the business afloat, and being full of the optimism of his years did not fail to make as good a showing as he could. We may believe his letters were very welcome to Clemens and his wife, who found little enough in the general prospect to comfort them.
To Mr. Hall, in New York:
BERLIN, Nov. 27, '91. DEAR MR. HALL,--That kind of a statement is valuable. It came this morning. This is the first time since the business began that I have had a report that furnished the kind of information I wanted, and was really enlightening and satisfactory. Keep it up. Don't let it fall into desuetude.
Everything looks so fine and handsome with the business, now, that I feel a great let-up from depression. The rewards of your long and patient industry are on their way, and their arrival safe in port, presently, seems assured.
By George, I shall be glad when the ship comes in!
My arm is so much better that I was able to make a speech last night to 250 Americans. But when they threw my portrait on the screen it was a sorrowful reminder, for it was from a negative of 15 years ago, and hadn't a gray hair in it.