Submitted by Scott Holmes on Sat, 12/14/2019 - 13:07

Sam and Cable rode the train all day and gave a reading in Grand Opera House, Dayton, Ohio. Afterward, Sam wrote from Dayton, Ohio to Livy:

“Livy darling, we got up at 7 this morning & traveled all day, arriving here an hour after dark. I did not feel tired, & do not feel tired now, though I nearly always do feel tired after a reading. However, I suppose I am tired, even if I don’t feel so.”

Sam told again of the wonderful banjo player they’d heard the day before, how George Cable accompanied the banjo-playing Cable (of no kin) on the guitar.

Sometimes it seemed to me it was almost the most inspiring music I ever heard; & his Way Down upon the Swanee River, with soft, fine variations was singularly tender & beautiful. He is self-made, self-taught. I liked his “Golden Slippers” —in fact I enjoyed everything he played, & he must have played forty & fifty pieces in our rooms [MTP].

MARK TWAIN AND GEORGE W. CABLE--GRAND OPERA HOUSE.--It is probably a debatable question whether or not it is well for a lecturer to be preceded by a reputation for humor. People may go to hear, expecting to be convulsed with every sentence, and at the close of the performance, finding every vest button in place, think they have been disappointed. Upon the other hand, it is a comfort to the lecturer to know that his audience is on the lookout for his good things, and none of them are likely to escape a manifest approval. Laughter comes easy to an audience of Twain's, and having once started to laugh people are kept in a titter for the remainder of the evening. His fun is of the "dry" variety, not appreciated by the lover of the broad jokes and antics of the circus or minstrel show. In appearance he resembles the Nast caricatures of Whitelaw Reid, tall, gaunt, with long neck, heavy moustache and lots of hair. He wears a dress suit, but it is awfully wrinkled, and Mark looks as uneasy in it as a young man from the country. While speaking he holds up his right arm with his left hand, fingering his chin with his right hand in a nonchalant manner. He drawls his words, keeps a sober face, with rather an anxious, earnest look, and tumbles along into his story in a hesitating sort of way, very well imitating the characters supposed to be in conversation, and fetching a laugh about four times a minute. The best thing was his selection from his unpublished book--Huckleberry Finn, a companion to Tom Sawyer. He is droll and no mistake, but his trot off the stage every time seems affected." The Dayton Daily Journal 1884: December 31, Courtesy of Touring with Cable and Huck

Railroads:  Pittsburgh, Columbus and Cincinnati, Columbus and Xenia

Comment