“...his [Mark's] new plan called for Cable's opening the show with a fifteen-minute talk while the house assembled; and even with all the encores the two of them did not hold the audience for more than two hours. Sam confided joyfully to Livy that now 'only half the house hears C's first piece – so there isn't too much of C. any more – whereas heretofore there has been a thundering sight too much of him.'” (pg 48 Cardwell)
"Mr. Clemens was recalled after every recitation. He kept his hearers in a perpetual roar, and he did his best undoubtedly, as during the evening he took occasion to thank his audience for their attendance upon such a blustering night. He unwittingly created a great deal of merriment by failing to find the proper exit leading to the waiting-room, where he sat during his associate's recitations. He crossed the stage twice, tried every door, and was amazed at the great number of wrong doors he could find. He appeared to be as greatly amused as the laughing lookers-on, and finally dove through a doorway after murmuring "Guess I rehearsed with the wrong door." "I admire this elegant building," said Mr. Cable, laughing heartily at the other's discomfiture, "but I do think a guide should be provided for strangers." All of Mark Twain's selections were from his "Innocents Abroad," except one from the advance sheets of his latest production, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Chicago Tribune 1885: January 17, courtesy Touring with Cable and Huck
Cable wrote home that the Chicago readings were “one of the greatest successes, if not the very greatest, artistic and pecuniary success of our season. The thermometer is 4° below zero and falling.” Clemens’s story of Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer liberating runaway [Jim] was received with a continual tempest of merriment and when I gave “A Sound of Drums” I saw persons in tears all over the house. I was called back twice after my Creole songs and twice after “Mary’s Night Ride.” Mark & I both seemed especially inspired tonight & to inspire each other.” Along the tour people came up to Cable and thanked him, often in tears, for his Freedman paper [Turner, MT & GWC 89].
Sunday, January 18, 1885:
Sam finished the letter to Livy, writing in the morning and after breakfast adding to it at noon, when he wrote about the Chicago readings: We’ve had an immense time here with these three big audiences in this noble Central Music Hall. But for the fearful storms, we would have turned people away from the doors. It is a beautiful place, & you should have seen that alert & radiant mass of well-dressed humanity, rising tier on tier clear to the slope of the ceiling. Last night was the greatest triumph we have ever made. I played my new bill, containing The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (cut it down & told it in 13 minutes—quickest time on record) & Tom & Huck setting Jim free from prison—25 minutes—but it just went with a long roll of artillery—laughter all down the line...& after a thrice-repeated crash of encores, I came back & talked a ten-minute yard (Gov. Gardiner)—on the state 35 minutes, you see, & no harm done—encored again after the encore, & came back & bowed. And mind I tell the old Jumping Frog swept the place like a conflagration. Nothing in this world can beat that yarn when one is feeling good & has the right audience in front of him [MTP].
Railroads: Galena and Chicago Union, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy