Submitted by Scott Holmes on Sat, 12/14/2019 - 13:48

Sam wrote from Paris, Kentucky to Livy. He was sorry he’d missed going to a soldiers’ home in Cincinnati for General Franklin. I froze to death all last night, & never once thought of Sam Dunham’s camel’s hair shirt—but I did think of it a couple of hours ago, & am very comfortable, now. I mean to lay it on the bed every night after this. When we came to put out our washing yesterday in Cincin, Mr. K. piled out a whole trunkful—all saved up since we were on the road last. I called Pond’s attention to it, & he said he would not permit that; he would make K pay for that wash out of his own pocket, I speak but the truth when I say I like K better & better; but his closeness is a queer streak—the queerest he has got [MTP]. Note: “K” was Sam’s way of referring to Cable. 

Cable wrote home that “we hardly had time to eat & dress for the platform” after reaching Cincinnati in the evening [Turner, MT & GWC 81]. Fatout says the men registered as “J.B. Pond and two servants” [Circuit 209].

A beautiful new hall. Cardwell notes that it is on the 2nd that JB Pond departed for New York. His brother, Ozias took over as tour manager. Twain gave Ozias Pond a notebook of his own invention. Ozias commented “I will make my twenty-fifth attempt to keep a diary.” (pg 32 Cardwell)

Ozias Pond recorded in his diary that Sam was examined by a phrenologist (reading bumps on the head). Cardwell writes that Ozias, “infected with the humor of the two writers and amazed at Twain’s extravagance punned feebly: ‘There was nothing in it’”

Crowded houses for both shows

"Ennuied theater-goers, sated with "patent insides" plays like somebody or other's Confectionery, the Work-house Convict, Stuffed Doll, Skipped by Daylight, Consternation, and similar productions, found infinite relief last night listening to the readings given by Mark Twain and Geo. W. Cable. They must have felt flattered by the audience that greeted them, for, in addition to being of goodly size, it was made up of the best of society people. Cable was the first to appear. He is small, dapper, and so slight that his dress suit clings rather than fits to his frame. After being introduced he seated himself at one of the tables on the stage and waited until the late comers had been shown their chairs. His colorless face, encircled with abundance of dark hair, did not suggest risible tendencies, and his long pointed beard, suggestive of a cheap stage make-up for the villain's part, was also against his present calling. Taken altogether, he had the look of an overworked student who was cultivating brain at the expense of physique. When silence obtained he came forward and began the entertainment in a disappointing voice, for it was weak, effeminate, and thin, and had a metallic quality that could scarcely be called agreeable. Throughout the evening his selections were entirely from one of his own works, the name of which was prominently displayed at the beginning of every one of his numbers on the programme, the text following it in smaller type. Either the man is infatuated with his own work or takes this means of bolstering its sale. Ill-advisors have put him forward as a humorist lecturer when the pathetic is far better suited to his abilities. On several occasions this fact was proved, and in "Mary's Night Ride" he reached a point bordering on the tragic. As he reached the climax in this selection his words were delivered with a dramatic effect so thrilling as to send cold chills through every listener. He was heartily applauded for this and had to answer a recall, as on a former occasion, when he gave three quaint little creole songs, of singular and haunting tune. Reciting the English words first, he followed with the Creole patois original in a wierdly musical voice. In strong contrast to Mr. Cable, Mark Twain is tall, awkward, gestureless, with a shock head of iron-gray hair and a deeply-furrowed, tired face. With all these rostrum disadvantages, he enters upon the stage, nevertheless, with the self-possessed ease of a man passing into his own drawing-room. The look upon his features suggests that he has mislaid his eye-glasses and has returned to look for them. Finding a number of persons present, he stops and has a long talk with them, during which they are the most willing listeners in the world. To describe his voice is almost next to impossible. Persons who have heard Frank Mayo can form something like an idea of its peculiarities. It is a thoroughly down East nasal tone, flowing with the steadiness of a brook in words that, though scarcely separated, are perfectly distinct and rich in their delicious drollery. There is not a sentence but what conceals a mirth-provoker of some kind, that jumps out at the most unexpected time and place. Concluding his remarks, he ambles off the stage with a funny little trot, as if he was wild to get out of sight as soon as possible to have a roar all by himself." The (Cincinnati) Enquirer 1885: January 3 Courtesy Touring with Cable and Huck

Sam wrote from Cincinnati to Livy:

“Livy darling, we finished one of those awful days, where you talk twice in the same day. It is a dreadful pull on a body’s muscle.”

Sam told of a young college girl from the music college where the hall was, asking him if the readings were over and if Mark Twain was going to read again, and would “he read something good?” Sam answered affirmatively and took the girl back stage, giving her a seat off-stage. When other girls came looking for her he gave them seats with the first girl. “Then I went on the stage & shouted away, for the delectation of 1200 women in front, & this little group in the rear. Take it all around, we had a mighty rousing time, & a most pleasant afternoon” [MTP].

Sunday, January 4, 1885:     

Sam wrote from Cincinnati to Livy of the day’s activities:

“I breakfasted with the Halstead family at noon; spent 3 hours in the pottery, dined (over) at Mrs. Geo. Ward Nichols’s; spent a most shouting good lovely 3 1⁄2 hours at Pitts Burt’s fireside; & then he brought me home, & I have just now got my clothes off.”

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