William Lyon Phelps, Yale College:
HAMILTON, March 12. DEAR PROFESSOR PHELPS,--I thank you ever so much for the book--[Professor Phelps's Essays on Modern Novelists.]--which I find charming--so charming indeed, that I read it through in a single night, and did not regret the lost night's sleep. I am glad if I deserve what you have said about me: and even if I don't I am proud and well contented, since you think I deserve it.
Yes, I saw Prof. Lounsbury, and had a most pleasant time with him. He ought to have staid longer in this little paradise--partly for his own sake, but mainly for mine.
I knew my poor Jean had written you. I shall not have so dear and sweet a secretary again.
Good health to you, and all good fortune attend you. Sincerely yours, S. L. CLEMENS.
He would appear to have written not many letters besides those to Mrs. Gabrilowitsch and to Stormfield, but when a little girl sent him a report of a dream, inspired by reading The Prince and the Pauper, he took the time and trouble to acknowledge it, realizing, no doubt, that a line from him would give the child happiness.
To Miss Sulamith, in New York:
"BAY HOUSE," BERMUDA, March 21, 1910. DEAR MISS SULAMITH,--I think it is a remarkable dream for a girl of 13 to have dreamed, in fact for a person of any age to have dreamed, because it moves by regular grade and sequence from the beginning to the end, which is not the habit of dreams. I think your report of it is a good piece of work, a clear and effective statement of the vision.
I am glad to know you like the "Prince and the Pauper" so well and I believe with you that the dream is good evidence of that liking. I think I may say, with your sister that I like myself best when I am serious. Sincerely yours, S. L. CLEMENS.
Through February, and most of March, letters and reports from him were about the same. He had begun to plan for his return, and concerning amusements at Stormfield for the entertainment of the neighbors, and for the benefit of the library which he had founded soon after his arrival in Redding. In these letters he seldom mentioned the angina pains that had tortured him earlier. But once, when he sent a small photograph of himself, it seemed to us that his face had become thin and that he had suffered. Certainly his next letter was not reassuring.
To A. B. Paine, in Redding:
DEAR PAINE,--We must look into the magic-lantern business. Maybe the modern lantern is too elaborate and troublesome for back-settlement use, but we can inquire. We must have some kind of a show at "Stormfield" to entertain the countryside with.
We are booked to sail in the "Bermudian" April 23rd, but don't tell anybody, I don't want it known. I may have to go sooner if the pain in my breast doesn't mend its ways pretty considerably. I don't want to die here for this is an unkind place for a person in that condition. I should have to lie in the undertaker's cellar until the ship would remove me and it is dark down there and unpleasant.
The Colliers will meet me on the pier and I may stay with them a week or two before going home. It all depends on the breast pain--I don't want to die there. I am growing more and more particular about the place. With love, S. L. C.
This letter had been written by the hand of his "secretary," Helen Allen: writing had become an effort to him. Yet we did not suspect how rapidly the end was approaching and only grew vaguely alarmed. A week later, however, it became evident that his condition was critical.
DEAR PAINE,--. . . . I have been having a most uncomfortable time for the past 4 days with that breast-pain, which turns out to be an affection of the heart, just as I originally suspected.