Submitted by scott on

Sam wrote en route from Indianapolis to Springfield, Ill. to Livy: We were up at 7, this morning, with a 9-hour journey before us & no parlor car. But we are getting along all right. The train stops every half a mile. It is now 1 p.m., & this car has been filled & emptied with farmer-people some 300 times. They are a constant interest to me—their clothes, their manners, attitudes, aspect, expression—when they have any. A small country boy, a while ago, discussed a negro woman in her easy hearing-distance, to his 17-year old sister: “Mighty good clothes for a nigger, hain’t they? I never see a nigger dressed so fine before.” She was thoroughly well & tastefully dressed, & had more brains & breeding than 7 generations of that boy’s family will be able to show [MTP].

On the train Sam “spent an hour rewriting a boasting match (probably from Chapter 3 of Life on the Mississippi) so that he and Cable could hurl brags at each other ‘for Pond’s amusement’ at night in their rooms” [Cardwell 36]. At 3 PM Sam added to the letter from Decatur, Ill. They’d got on the wrong train but noticed it at the last moment, “just time enough to snatch on our wraps & overshoes & skip aboard the right train.” Sam added a paragraph accusing James G. Blaine of betraying his wife [MTP].

3. P.M. Decatur, Ill. Here is the bulk of the day gone, & I have not noticed the flight of time— been busy & interested. We have been waiting here 20 or 30 minutes; & then jumped aboard the wrong train & made ourselves comfortable in a drawing room car bound for Niagra Falls, or up there somewhere. Learned our mistake only just time enough to snatch on our wraps & overshoes & jump skip aboard the right train.

"The Twain-Cable combination was greeted last night by the largest "downstairs" audience that has assembled in the Opera House this season, and it is safe to say that few audiences have congregated there composed of more intelligent and cultivated people. The entertainment was all that was promised, and the audience testified their delight by numerous bursts of laughter and applause. "Mark Twain's" first peek-a-boo at R.1.E. was greeted with laughter, and his droll recitations of his own funny stories tickled his hearers prodigiously. Mr. Cable's readings were so unlike Twain's stories that a pleasing contrast was formed. His selections from his own novel, "Dr. Sevier," were given with wondrous grace and effect, captivating the audience and winning genuine applause. His graphic description of "Mary's Night Ride" was realistic in the extreme, while Twain's final effort, a ghost story, was impressive as well as vehemently ludicrous. The combination is a strong one, and with a good management, "there is millions in it" for both the actors and their manager." The (Springfield) Daily Illinois State Journal 1885: January 9, courtesy Touring with Cable and Huck

Railroads:  Lafayette and Indianapolis (1870 line), Indianapolis to Danville (unknown owner), Toledo and Western, Great Western