Corbett's overshoes."

The word flew from mouth to mouth, the Red Sea divided, and Simmons walked comfortably through and back, dry shod. Simmons (this was revealed to me under seal of secrecy by Reid) is the hero of "Gwen," and he and Gwen's author were once engaged to marry. This is "fire-escape" Simmons, the inveterate talker, you know: "Exit--in case of Simmons."

I had an engagement at a beautiful dwelling close to the Players for 10.30; I was there by 10.45. Thirty cultivated and very musical ladies and gentlemen present--all of them acquaintances and many of them personal friends of mine. That wonderful Hungarian Band was there (they charge $500 for an evening.) Conversation and Band until midnight; then a bite of supper; then the company was compactly grouped before me and I told about Dr. B. E. Martin and the etchings, and followed it with the Scotch-Irish Christening. My, but the Martin is a darling story! Next, the head tenor from the Opera sang half a dozen great songs that set the company wild, yes, mad with delight, that nobly handsome young Damrosch accompanying on the piano.

Just a little pause--then the Band burst out into an explosion of weird and tremendous dance music, a Hungarian celebrity and his wife took the floor--I followed; I couldn't help it; the others drifted in, one by one, and it was Onteora over again.

By half past 4 I had danced all those people down--and yet was not tired; merely breathless. I was in bed at 5, and asleep in ten minutes. Up at 9 and presently at work on this letter to you. I think I wrote until 2 or half past. Then I walked leisurely out to Mr. Rogers's (it is called 3 miles but it is short of it) arriving at 3.30, but he was out-- to return at 5.30--(and a person was in, whom I don't particularly like) --so I didn't stay, but dropped over and chatted with the Howellses until 6.

First, Howells and I had a chat together. I asked about Mrs. H. He said she was fine, still steadily improving, and nearly back to her old best health. I asked (as if I didn't know):

"What do you attribute this strange miracle to?"

"Mind-cure--simply mind-cure."

"Lord, what a conversion! You were a scoffer three months ago."

"I? I wasn't."

"You were. You made elaborate fun of me in this very room."

"I did not, Clemens."

"It's a lie, Howells, you did."

I detailed to him the conversation of that time--with the stately argument furnished by Boyesen in the fact that a patient had actually been killed by a mind-curist; and Howells's own smart remark that when the mind-curist is done with you, you have to call in a "regular" at last because the former can't procure you a burial permit.

At last he gave in--he said he remembered that talk, but had now been a mind-curist so long it was difficult for him to realize that he had ever been anything else.

Mrs. H. came skipping in, presently, the very person, to a dot, that she used to be, so many years ago.

Mrs. H. said: "People may call it what they like, but it is just hypnotism, and that's all it is--hypnotism pure and simple. Mind-cure! --the idea! Why, this woman that cured me hasn't got any mind. She's a good creature, but she's dull and dumb and illiterate and--"

"Now Eleanor!"

"I know what I'm talking about!--don't I go there twice a week? And Mr. Clemens, if you could only see her wooden and satisfied face when she snubs me for forgetting myself and showing by a thoughtless remark that to me weather is still weather, instead of being just an abstraction and a superstition--oh, it's the funniest thing you ever saw! A-n-d-when she tilts up her nose-well, it's--it's--Well it's that kind of a nose that--"

"Now Eleanor!--the woman is not responsible for her nose--" and so-on and so-on. It didn't seem to me that I had any right to be having this feast and you not there.

She convinced me before she got through, that she and William James are right--hypnotism and mind-cure are the same thing; no difference between them. Very well; the very source, the very center of hypnotism is Paris. Dr.

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

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