From Day by Day:
March 26 Thursday – At 7 a.m. the Clemens party sailed from Calcutta on the S.S. Wardha bound for
Ceylon. Before reaching the sea, however, they had to negotiate the Hooghly River. Sam’s notebook:
March 26. At anchor at Garden Reach all night. When wind blew in, icy cold; the moment it stopped,
blistering hot & mosquitoes. We all went up & slept on deck...
This morning the Hoogly is 1 to 1 1⁄2 mile wide, with low banks, wooded, & very muddy water. Bends,
points, bars. When you are far enough away so that you cannot distinguish the cocoa tress & mud villages,
you can’t tell it from the Lower Miss.
A fatal notion. For 6 hours now, it has been impossible to realize that this is India & the Hoogli. No,
every few miles we see a great white-columned European house standing in the front of the vast levels, with a
forest away back — La [Louisiana] planter? — & the thatched groups of native houses have turned
themselves into the negro quarter familiar to me near 40 years ago & so for 6 hours this has been the sugar
coast of the Mississippi ...
We are lying from noon all day at anchor below the shoalest place, waiting for high tide for tomorrow’s
shoals. Getting below this shoal place (Mary & James) saves us 26 hours — it would be that long before w d be
a high enough tide to float us over. We had short of 4 inches to spare this time
March 27 Friday – The S.S. Wardha negotiated the last stretch of the Hooghly River and by 11:15 a.m.
was in the blue of the Bay of Bengal. Again Sam was nursing a cold. Sam’s notebook:
Mch. 27. We have slept on deck these 2 nights. Very hot, & mosquitoes troublesome elsewhere.
10 a.m. The Hoogli here is 5 miles wide, the shores a low fringe of forest — a ribbon....
Left the muddy water for the blue at 11.15 — the line separating the 2 colors distinctly mark[ed]. But the
illusion has remained — I am leaving La & the Miss behind — not India & the Hoogli. See Bayard Taylor....
We have been out of the river 2 hours, now (2 pm) but its brown streak is still visible off to one side.
March 30 Monday – The Clemens family was en route on the Wardha in the Bay of Bengal, headed for
Colombo, Ceylon. The Wardha anchored in the bay at Madras, India at 8 p.m.
March 31 Tuesday – The Wardha was piloted into the harbor of Madras, India at daybreak for a 24
April 1 Wednesday – The Clemens family was again en route on the Wardha in the Bay of Bengal,
headed for Colombo, Ceylon. Sam noted, Curving down around the S.E. corner of Ceylon
April 2 Thursday – The Clemens family was en route on the Wardha in the Bay of Bengal, headed for
April 3 Friday – Shortly after noon, the Wardha arrived in Colombo, Ceylon.
One very seldom sees the ocean slick enough to cast reflections, often as we see the reverse stated; but now
(noon) nearing Colombo, the vast piles of pink, & leaden & snow-white clouds on the horizon are repeated in
detail in the slick & polished surface of the sea
April 4 Saturday – At 5:30 in Columbo, Sam gave another “At Home” lecture, probably his No. 2
program. In the evening during a tropical downpour, the Clemens party sailed on the S.S. Wardha for
Port Louis, Mauritius