Submitted by Scott Holmes on Sat, 12/14/2019 - 15:32

Sam and Cable gave a reading to a packed house at Whitney's Opera House, Detroit, Michigan. Even though there was a scheduling conflict with a high society event, the Light Guard’s Grand Levee Honors for Governor Russell A. Alger (1836-1907), and even though the thermometer had plummeted to 20 to 30 degrees below zero, “Luke Sharp” (Robert Barr, 1849-1912 ) of The Detroit Free Press reported the following Sunday that the audience was large and pleased [Denney 26]. George Cable wrote to his wife, Lucy: “Clemens found himself as heavy as lead—I mean in his own consciousness, and although the audience showed some heartiness of appreciation while he was before them, yet he came off disheartened, vexed & full of lamentations over his condition” [Turner, MT & GWC 101].

In Detroit, Mich. Sam wrote to George Iles.My Dear Iles: / I am so driven that I am obliged to cut correspondence down to telegrams; but I must drop just a line to thank you for your kindnesses & courtesies, {O, h—l, it’s platform time} —— Midnight.—P.S. I got your other telegram a while ago, & answered it, explaining that I have only a couple of hours in the middle of the day for social life. I know it doesn’t seem rational that a man should have to lie abed all day in order to be rested & equipped for talking an hour at night, & yet in my case & Cable’s it is so. Unless I get a great deal of rest, a ghastly dullness settles down upon me, on the platform, & turns my performance into work, & hard work, whereas it ought always to be pastime, recreation, solid enjoyment. Usually it is just this latter; but that is because I take my rest faithfully, & prepare myself to do my full duty by my audience. I am the obliged & appreciative servant of my brethren of the Snow-Shoe Club, & nothing in the world would delight me more than to come to their hours without naming time or terms on my own part—but you see how it is. My cast-iron duty is to my audience—it leaves me no liberty & no option. With my kindest regards & compliments to the Club & to you, I am ... [MTP].

Sam began a routine of eating his dinner late, this one at 11 P.M . [Feb. 13 to Livy, MTP].

See Touring with Cable and Huck for review.

Railroads:  Detroit, Monroe and Toledo, Dayton and Michigan, Cleveland and Toledo